Archive for April, 2010

Kokuchisezu

Posted in Movies on April 30, 2010 by otakujade

Starring

  • Tetsuya Watari – Seiji
  • Hideaki Takizawa – Ryo
  • Atsuko Takahata – Toko

Watch it online: http://www.dramacrazy.net/japanese-drama/kokuchisezu-episode-1/46918

Plot:

Seiji Hasegawa (Tetsuya Watari) is a respected veteran doctor whose code of ethics is very strong. He believes in informed consent, the idea that patients should know everything about their condition so that they can make decisions about their treatment. He passes this code to his son, Ryo (Hideaki Takizawa), who has just become an intern. However, when a colleague gives Seiji’s wife, Toko (Atsuko Takahata), a checkup and finds she has cancer, Seiji’s conviction wavers. The colleague says Seiji must break the bad news to Toko, but he can’t, and as he procrastinates, Toko’s condition becomes more dire, creating a dilemma that is both personal and professional.

Tackey in Doctor's Uniform - pls forgive the crappy image since I can't DL this I don't have any decent screen caps to show.

Pls. forgive the crappy photo. I can’t download the movie so I don’t have any decent screen caps.

Review:

As I watched this jdorama I found myself asking two questions – 1) would it be kinder to tell a dying person that he/she is about to die; and 2) why do i keep watching Tackey jdorama when all I do whenever I do is cry?

This is the result of my longing and search for another Tackey jdorama…thanks to someone with the username “slipknotows” from Youtube who passed on the link for this jdorama. Actually, it says on the site that it can be downloaded..problem is I don’t know how to use rapidshare. 😦

The answer to my second question is easy..I’m a huge Tackey fan! So even though I am torturing myself, crying my eyes out and looking all puffy eyed the next morning I still watch the movie. Besides, the film has Atsuko Takahata…probably one of the best Japanese veteran actresses.

On the second question..now this is a bit more difficult and one that requires no specific answer. If anything else the film showed me that. In the film there were two sorts of people – those who want to know and those who do not wish to be informed. Those who wish to get everything ready for the ones they love and those who would rather deny the fact.

A lot of it relies on the strength of the person and those around them. It is always easier for those around us to accept our fate if the one with the illness accepts the situation openly. And sometimes those around needs to be strong enough to accept first because those with the illness remains in denial of what is to come.

On the case of Toko (Atsuko) although she already knew that she was sick, she would rather no one confront her with it. That way she could still live her life the way she prefer. Seiji struggled for a long time whether to tell his wife about her illness or not, but just when he was ready to do so Toko stopped him, asking him instead to make her well…to encourage her to fight her illness although it was clear in her own eyes that she already knew that she was about to die.

Ryo, their only son, initially got mad at his father for not telling them about it and at the same time berated himself for not seeing the sights on his mother considering he himself is doctor. But in the end he realized that it was his mother’s wish for things to be that way.  As a mother, my heart ached to see how devoted Ryo was to his mother, and how attached he was to her.  He often said that his mother was the light of their home, that without her even in the daytime the house feels bleak and dark. I guess for a mother like me that would be the best thing a son or any child could say to his mother. It’s wonderful to be loved but its even more blessed to be treasured in such a way.

As a mother my most fervent ambition is for my children to say someday “Mom, you’re a good mother to us”. Then I would be able to say to myself  “I have done well.” For what is the use of gaining the rest of the world if you loose the most important part of you — as a mother — its my children.

Goodness  I am crying again!!!!!

Something for you and me to think about….

Posted in Introspection on April 23, 2010 by otakujade

For all parents out there….and for everyone who someday will become parents like we are. Here’s something to think about and remember.

It’s one of those rare time when I post something not original here but this one just deserves it so much….

On Children
Kahlil Gibran

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.

Something to Say about New Moon or More Accurately… Admiration of Taylor Lautner!

Posted in Books, Movies on April 21, 2010 by otakujade

Call it boredom or simply a lack of anything to occupy my time (my officemate calls it denial… as I refused to be viewed as even remotely interested in the Twilight series) in any case, yesterday I found myself watching New Moon. As it has become quite obvious by now that I am no Twilight Saga fan, nor am I a big romance novel fan for that matter. And if it’s vampire I’m looking for I believe I can find enough satisfaction with Anne Rice’s vampires. Lestat, now that’s one mean vampire..hehehe!

Anyway, so here I was watching New Moon and was actually about to get really bored not even half way into the film when out came this gorgeous half dressed hunk, whose abs was enough to make the mouth water. Sheesh! Of course I am talking about Taylor Lautner. The description “sort of beautiful” really didn’t do him justice; he was all male in that film. Taylor Lautner was oozing with machismo on this film without even trying. He could just appear on the screen and your attention was instantly riveted towards him. This guy has a certain kind of presence that demands attention. (I’m feeling a bit of the cougar thingie here but what the heck.)

I couldn’t believe they were actually considering replacing Taylor Lautner from the role earlier. I mean, he was just the perfect guy for the character. Lautner has the gentle looks well fitted for the role. He had certainly built his physique for the role but more than that his facial features were more than exactly what the role required. He has the gentle yet fierce looks of a man/wolf. I was easy to imagine in him having the gentleness and loyalty of the dog and the fierceness of the wolf – all tied into one bigger than life character. The longing in his eyes were all too real and the hurt you read on his face was so tangible, Taylor Lautner made it all more believable for me. His character, Jacob, was something of a tragic hero here…a younger guy in love with an older girl he can’t possibly have. The concept was…to put it very gently – mediocre; it’s been used countless times before but there was something about how Lautner played it that made it the character quite interesting…and sexy.

As I watched Jacob and Bella grow closer together, after Edward’s leaving, I found myself actually wishing she would just dump the vampire all together and go for the werewolf! I also found myself wanting to roll up a newspaper and just smack the girl on the back of the head for being so dense. I mean, come on vampires are just too over rated these days. Or was it that I was actually routing for Taylor Lautner in place of Robert Pattinson? Hmmm.

And by the way, what happened to Robert Pattinson? He was so beautiful in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, yet in the Twilight Saga he just looked so washed up – dull and skinny. Aren’t vampires supposed to be ethereally beautiful? Their skins are supposed to shine and shimmer, they’re supposed to look eternally young! Edward looked either sick or lacks about a week of sleep…you choose!

Okay, back to Taylor Lautner a.k.a. Jacob. So here I was hoping Bella for once would do something sensible and just go for someone more reliable but no, she was too obsessed with the vampire. Oh well! I found myself really wanting to comfort Jacob when she told him “it has always been Edward”. I wanted to put my arms on the poor guy and kiss him – ops! – I mean kiss the pain away! Hahaha!

Alright, I think I am obsessing over Lautner here, but I guess that’s love for you. Bella must really love Edward to want him so even when faced with someone as desirable and more deserving of love, as Jacob.  No wonder this type of genre appealed to teenagers so much, they can relate to it. I mean, I guess I’m just too old and jaded for the entire concept to work on me but I’m also old enough to understand that when you’re young love seems to mean everything…and especially when that sort of love is coupled with a bit of danger.  It’s sort of a fairy tale romance – but I guess I still prefer the dark and deeper story of Harry Potter, there’s just nothing like it really.

Do not judge the Book by its Cover…

Posted in Uncategorized on April 19, 2010 by otakujade

I have heard that saying far too many times, and like everyone else I claimed to know what it means – and I do. But how many have really experienced what the old saying says…or come face to face with it. For me…I just recently had.

He had made a name for himself as one of the strictest officer there was in the organization, and in an organization that is para-military that is saying quite a lot. In a work environment where you obey first before you complain, Sir Ed (allow me to call him that as I cannot really divulge his name) made a refutation for himself as being hard-headed, driven and a very work oriented. Most personnel fear him and certainly most offices are apprehensive at the thought of having him as their boss…and we were no different….and how wrong we were!

I remember almost audible groan most of us made when we found out Sir Ed was going to be our next boss…we’re in a uniquely work environment where we’re actually two offices merged into one; so we have the big boss and the little boss who’s actually the work horse of the big boss and the one who manages the offices. Now the little bosses usually stay about a year or so..but never more than 3 years. And the big boss? Well, they stay shorter and usually not more than a year and a half. We are actually, one of the 4 offices within the organization that changes the head of office so much, it’s sometimes emotionally draining. You get to know one boss and like him and after a few months he gets pulled out and in comes another one who you want to kill (if you can..) but that’s how it is with us.

So back to Sir Ed, well, the first day he came to our office – everything changed. He imposed strict discipline and everyone followed and yet no one resented it because we became proud of what we do. We took pride in knowing that we’re functioning better than other offices do. Then Sir Ed started renovating the office…the lounge areas, the kitchen, little boss’ office – and on supplies…we were always well provided. Our team buildings were the best, food was always plenty AND our bonuses were always hefty. We through it all our office never asked for additional budget…Sir Ed was using what was there all along even when the benefits were never given to us. He might be a stickler for the rules but his heart and mind was always with the personnel and their families. He was always thinking what was best for the personnel…what was best for their families…

So maybe Sir Ed was a hard man…but he has a heart for his people. That was something we found out first hand. Many offices still fear him and not us, to us we’ll take him any day he wants to come to us. Sir Ed has moved on now..blessing another office with his presence and imposing strict adherence to the rules…but I’m quite sure they will soon learn to see that the book maybe covered in rough leather but the pages were made of smooth, shiny linen.

In this organization we have come to know far too many bosses already but very few have really made their mark. Truth be told, I could only name 4 or 5 who really made being there worthwhile.

Hello Again…

Posted in Uncategorized on April 17, 2010 by otakujade

It’s great to be back!!!

I’ve really missed blogging, and I finally got my pc set up once more which means I’ll be able to blog again. Well, the house renovation is finally through (thank goodness!) and now I can get back to my normal routine. I have a lot of things to blog about..I think I have to sort my thoughts first…so ciao for now…and see yah later…

…in about a couple of hours maybe..hehehe!

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief

Posted in Books, Movies on April 4, 2010 by otakujade

I actually waited until I have read the book before attempting to make a blog or more accurately a review and comparison of the film vs the movie. So, here goes…I hope I do justice to what I set out to do.

Director: Chris Columbus
Screenwriter: Craig Titley
Starring: Logan Lerman, Brandon T. Jackson, Alexandra Daddario, Sean Bean, Pierce Brosnan, Steve Coogan, Rosario Dawson, Catherine Keener, Kevin McKidd, Joe Pantoliano, Uma Thurman, Ray Winstone

Movie Plot Summary: It’s the 21st century, but the gods of Mount Olympus and assorted monsters have walked out of the pages of high school student Percy Jackson’s Greek mythology texts and into his life. And they’re not happy: Zeus’ lightning bolt has been stolen, and Percy is the prime suspect. Even more troubling is the sudden disappearance of Percy’s mother. As Percy adapts to his newly discovered status as a demi-god (his father is Poseidon), he finds himself caught between the battling titans of Mt. Olympus. He and his friends embark on a cross-country adventure to catch the true lightning thief, save Percy’s mom, and unravel a mystery more powerful than the gods themselves.

This was how the film was presented.

Review and Comparison:

Major Difference:

Sheesh! Where do I begin?

A friend told me that I was quite fortunate to have seen the film before I got my hands on the book. Actually, this might be another Harry Potter for me though, I honestly doubt it would create the same mania with me personally. Sadly, the story just isn’t that deep and complicated as I would have wanted it to be, but it’s certainly a lot better (for me) than the Twilight series could ever hope to be.

1) In the movie Perseus (Percy) Jackson was cast as a teenager, probably about 14 years old and older; whereas in the original story from the book, Percy was a 12-year old boy, in 6th grade.

2) In the movie, during the attack at the museum Mr. Brunner threatened the Fury (Mrs. Dodds) to leave; whereas in the book Percy killed the Fury with the pen which turned into a sword called Riptide (Anaklumos) which was thrown to him by his Latin teacher, Mr. Brunner.

3) The three pearls – in the movie Percy and his companions sought out the pearls that will enable them to leave the realm of Hades. However, in the original story these pearls were gifted to Percy by a Naiad under the service of his father Poseidon.

4) The Lotus Eaters – in the movie we saw Percy realizing that he was trapped with the lotus eaters through the guidance of his father, Poseidon. In the book, Percy realized they were in trouble inside the Lotus Casino after talking to a kid who was wearing a 70s outfit and using the expression”Groovy”. I mean who uses that anymore..hehehe!

Side Comment: In classical mythology once a person had eaten the lotus flower which was the food of the lotus eaters, that man is lost forever, he could neither remember where he was going or where he came from. Hence, the book was classically more correct in that there Percy and his friends was never said to have eaten the lotus flower unlike in the film where it was shown that they were eating this food.

5) The thunderbolt – in the film this was hidden inside the shield given by Luke (son of Hermes) to Percy; in the book the thunderbolt was inside a bag given by Ares to Percy as a reward for retrieving Ares’ shield from the Water Park. Here the thunderbolt was enchanted to appear within the bag from Ares containing their provisions and change of clothes only after they reached the Underworld/Hades’ realm.

6) In the movie, only one item was stolen – the master bolt (the piece from which all Zeus’ thunderbolts were made from); in the book two items were stolen to create a three-way war – Zeus’ master bolt and Hades’ Helm of Darkness (cap of invisibility).

Side Comment: The book logic was a lot more believable and mythologically correct. Between the “big three” namely Zeus (Sky); Poseidon (Sea); and Hades (Underworld)… Hades would have been the prime suspect for the crime since he was the one with the record of stealing…that of the kidnap of Persephone. So, to be able to point the theft to him Hades needs to be a victim too thus, the theft of his precious item the Helm of Darkness.

7) The thief – in the movie Luke, son of Hermes, was shown as the real thief who stole the master bolt because he was angry at the gods from being useless parents and he wanted to bring them down. In the book, Luke really was the thief but he was acting under instructions of a much stronger entity, one so old and evil – who was once called the Crooked One – the titan Kronos.

Side Comment: I mean think about it, would a 19-year old kid be able to think of such an underhanded plot? Granted he was a demi-god but still he was half-human afterall.

8) In the film, the gods lack of attention to their children was explained as because Zeus made a decree that the gods were not allowed anymore to have any direct contact with their children; whereas there was no mention of this rule in the book.

Review:

The movie was vastly entertaining taken at face value. It was a great adventure and in some degree it got the interest of young kids to read their mythology, though the downside would be they would be hugely irritated by the misinformation by the film. But as entertainment, I think the movie was very good.

Now, what I don’t understand was the continual insistence of Hollywood to make movies out of book stories when they know full well that they would be criticized for their lack of accuracy. I mean, I am not a book nerd so much as to insist everything to be in the movie but at least when they make lapses in the film they should at least make them unnoticeable and what’s more it should be more accurate and should follow the plot of the book.

I tip my hats off to Chris Columbus for this movie, he might have might found himself a new Harry Potter, though I think he did a better job with HP because he was very close to the original with the first two films until Alfonso Cuaron ruined it.

I also do not understand Hollywood’s need to sweeten up the plot, like they did with the explanation of why the gods are not in direct contact with their children. Classical mythology tells us that that was just how they are! They are philanderers, thieves, jealous, they’re selfish and not very good parents.  How many times in Greek mythology have we seen Zeus hiding from his wife Hera, when he was chasing after this or that nymph? Or Poseidon raping Medusa. Or Athena instead of taking pity on her servant Medusa was disgusted by her weakness and turned her into a hideous monster. In mythology, we read about many nymphs and maiden who would rather die than gain the amorous attention of the gods.

I remember during my mythology subject in highschool this was among the first things my teacher asked of me during my research on the greek gods and goddesses. She asked, “how come the greek deities never lasted like the Christian belief did?” And I answered what I read from Edith Hamilton’s conclusions – that the Greek deities were not able to survive once Christianity began because people were looking for something beyond themselves, something they could hold on to and believe to be above them. The Greek dieties had the emotions and tantrums of humanity, they’re spiteful, they’re spoiled, they’re jealous and not above being tricked by humans. There was really nothing to believe in, men fear them because they can be capricious and can rain pestilence on them but they do not respect the gods. Whereas, Christianity gave them Jesus Christ who loved beyond any human could ever love, who was forgiving and merciful beyond human capability and who never showed any capriciousness or cruelty. Traits that would be humanly impossible to attain, something that’s beyond human and yet wrapped with love and purity.