Archive for the Movies Category

Movie Review: Kyukyoku! Hentai Kamen (“Ultimate!! Pervert Mask”)

Posted in Movies with tags , , on December 16, 2013 by otakujade

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Sides hurting from laughing…face flushed and red….This was probably the silliest movie we’ve ever watched but we totally enjoyed it.  A word of caution to the un-initiated on these type of movies though, you have to be an otaku to be able to enjoy this!

The premises presented were ridiculous and impossible but it was so much fun watching this movie. I would have loved to give a summary of the film but doing so would be a major spoiler as this would give away some of the best parts of the film.

So here’s a bit of info about the character: Kyosuke Shikijoh was a high school student who has a very strong sense of justice but is considered a weakling because he doesn’t know how to fight. He joined the school martial arts club to get skilled in the art of fighting but he doesn’t seem to be improving at all. He was also quite useless around girls – when he is around them either he clams up or says the wrong thing. Something his mother always bother him about, telling him he has not inherited any of her genes. What sort of genes? Well, the perverted genes what else..hehehe! She was an S/M (sadomasochist) worker and it was on the job when she met Kyosuke’s father who was a police officer and who turned out to be quite the masochist himself…talk about perverted genes!

So to cut the story short Kyosuke found out that he did have that perverted genes within him.  His lady love was taken hostage by some robbers and he wanted to save her.  Kyosuke over powered one of the robbers and decided to disguise himself and put on his clothes and mask. However, he mistakenly put on a ladies party on his face thinking it was a mask and the genes was activated turning him into Hentai Kamen!!!!

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It was the most outrageous thing, especially as they tried to justify and give logic to the silliest thing on the film. Hubby commented how interesting it was that they were able to put some rationale into this very odd Japanese perversion (used ladies panties vendo machine, quickly comes to mind!)

All in all, it was a fun movie but again you have to be an otaku to enjoy it!

Movie Review: Mortal Instruments (City of Bones)

Posted in Movies with tags , , on November 25, 2013 by otakujade

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I know this is a tad late, well, I actually refused to watch this movie a few months back because someone told me its a lot like the Twilight Saga which I utterly hate; I hated the book and I absolutely loathe the movies. I can’t stand Kristine Stewart’s portrayal of Bella Swan makes me want to throw her an inhaler since she seemed to be out of breath and about to have an asthma attack all the time. So you can imagine why I didn’t want to even try watching this movie.

Anywhoo, someone just recently informed me that its nothing like Twilight so I took the chance, I liked the trailer I saw on Youtube but was really put off by the Twilight comment. I also wanted to read the book but seeing Stephanie Meyer’s comment about it made me apprehensive. Not that I hate love stories, because I sometimes do (e.g. Daniel Steele, Barbara Cartland and Nicholas Sparks) I just don’t like sappy ones. And I love the vampire genre too, but my vampires are more on the mythology created by Anne Rice.

 

So, I finally got to watch this movie and my friend was right, it was nothing like Twilight at all. Well, I liked the originally of the concept on the Crusaders asking an angel for help during the champagne and said angel poured out his (I always refer to angels as his because I have never seen any Biblical reference to any female angels) own blood on a cup and gave it to the Crusaders to drink from. And anyone who drank his blood was turned into half angel and half human able to see and fight off demons. A good catch though is that they still remain mortal enough to die. Now these people were then called Shadowhunters because they can see what is unseen by normal people called mundies.

 

There are two ways in which Shadowhunters are created, either they were born to parents who are Shadowhunters themselves or they are made, by allowing that person to drink from the Mortal Cup. Don’t know how that works really since the angel was only supposed to have given his blood once; since there was no blessing given to the cup itself for it how the power to turn ordinary humans into Nephilim (half angel, half human). But the deal is that the transition had to be done in childhood as adults who drink from the cup rarely survive; also only selected humans are able to be turned into Nephilim or they die. But I liked the concept, I’m trying to read the books now hoping to understand this concept better and find some explanation for the cup’s “holy” changing properties.

 

And IMHO that was the only thing original in the story, sad to say. The story was basically a mix of Harry Potter (the use of magic and runes to fight their enemies and tap into the world of the supernatural), Underworld (the fight with guns and swords) and Star Wars (the leads who first fell in love with each other turned out to be siblings – Clary (Princess Leah) and Jace (Luke Skywalker); they got separated during infancy and whose Dad turned out to be the villain, Valentine (Darth Bader). See the pattern?

 

But entertainment-wise the movie was decent and greatly entertaining. As I mentioned earlier I’m reading the book now hoping to see more into the story as only books can do and hopefully, I will like this story better. Wish me luck on that.

Movie Review: Gatchaman: Battle of the Planet (Movie)

Posted in Anime, Movies with tags , on October 16, 2013 by otakujade

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For the much younger generation who probably have not heard or only have a very vague knowledge of this anime based movie, here’s a bit of history…

The Science Ninja Team Gatchaman or simply Gatchaman was an anime created by Tatsuo Yoshida in 1972. Gatchaman was composed of five members – 4 guys and a girl – much like Voltes V and Combattler V. Though make no mistake, Gatchaman predates both anime series by a couple of years.  In some countries the series is known as G-Force which was lifted from one of its OVAs – G-Force: Guardians of Space (1986). The main theme of Gatchaman involves the preservation of natural resources and the responsible use of technology for advancements and progress. The theme of the anime clearly reflects ideals way advance for its time. The main villain of the anime was a group of technologically advanced aliens known as Galactors who wants to invade the earth for its natural resources including oil, water, sugar, uranium, etc. A shape-shifting hermaphrodite known as Berg Kattse is the leader of the Galactor.

The Gatchaman team employ super robots to fight the giant robots used by the Galactor to attack the earth. They are often aided by a mysterious fighter known only as the Red Impulse which was later revealed to be Ken’s father.  Aside from the super robot the team also employ a unique highly violent and effective fighting style akin to their avian namesakes,  developed by their creator Dr. Nambu, which enable them to perform superhuman feats much like the ninjas of legend.  They also have a kickass ride called the God Phoenix, a supersonic plane capable of underwater travel and minor space flight as necessary.

Team Members:

Ken, the Eagle (Owashi no Ken) – team leader, pilot and tactical expert.

Joe, the Condor (Konduro no Jo) – second in command, marksman and weapons expert.

Jun, the Swan (Shiratori no Jun) – the only girl on the team, electronics and demolitions expert.

Junpei, the Swallow (Tsubakuro no Jinpei) – the youngest member of the team at age 10 or 11, reconnaissance expert.

Ryu, the Owl  (Mimizuku no Ryu) – main pilot of the God Phoenix and muscle man of the team.

 

Review and Major Comparisons between the Movie and the Series:

being fans of the series since, well since we were quite young, hubby and I excitedly watched the movie and came out – not quite sure whether we were happy about it or not. Definitely we were happy to see that the series finally get its live-action adaption and that it was done by a Japanese company – we actually made a major sigh of relief with that bit of information. However, we expected to be totally blown away by the movie as we were with Rorouni Kenshin but Gatchaman the Movie, was a huge let down.

There were major plot and character personality changes that was just hard to ignore. By now we’re used to seeing slight changes from the series to the film but these were just too big. Firstly, there was no mention in the series about special genes, called Receptors being present in the team members. The movie postulates that the Science Ninja Team was special chosen because of their Receptor genes which enable them to imbue weapons with certain properties making them able to penetrate the Galactors armor. The Galactors are said to be immune to any human weapons except when they are powered or enhanced by the Receptors. In the series, the team members were especially trained in the unique ninja style patterned after their avian namesake – much like the ninjas of legend.  There was no special gene, no superhuman powers given to the members aside from their special trainings and natural skills, that was the theme of the anime of the 70s – just look at Voltes V, Daimos, Combattler V and the likes. The gene-thing was an idea postulated in the 90s where DNA and genes were the big theme among anime such as Evangelion, Gundam, etc.

Secondly, in the movie the audience was made to believe that there was a sort of training school for Gatchman members, and that aside from the team in Japan there were other Receptor teams fighting Galactors in other parts of the globe. This global cooperation force does not exist in the original anime. In the anime, the Gatchaman team came from different parts of the globe but all with Japanese descent.  Jo, who was originally named George Asakura was Italian with Japanese descent, his parents were members of the Galactor until they were assassinated while trying to escape, Dr. Nambu rescued the young George and renamed him Jo. Jun was an American with Japanese descent, she was raised in an orphanage and recruited by Dr. Nambu. There was also no mention in the movie of the special techniques or avian skills used by the team members, though the speed was emphasized with Jo’s fighting style there was no mention of why or how he attained such skill. The other members did not even exhibit any of the fighting styles often seen in the original anime.

Thirdly, the film did not make any effort to develop any of the characters – villains and heroes. Thus, the film seemed shallow and the villains did not frighten at all. I mean there was no feeling of threat at all, that the viewer can relate too. The film fail to get the audience involved in the plot and this makes for a very dull viewing experience.  The film makers tried to come up with a love angle on the film which was not present whatsoever in the anime and that too failed big time!

Fourth, Berg Kattse was NOT and I repeat NOT a WOMAN! WTF!? Berg Kattse was a shape-shifter and basically a hermaphrodite which means the character can either appear as a woman or a man depending on the need. Berg Kattse was a character, not a title that can be transferred as it was made to appear in the movie.

In conclusion, this movie could have been nice but it turned into a big waste of time. It failed in so many levels that I pity the theater that gambled on showing this film in the first place, which for us was SM Cinema. This was the first time that we entered a cinema where there were probably less than 20 people seated. The anime was a classic, and thus only a handful of young people today know about it. It was either you grew up with the anime, like us, or they’re real anime otakus who know far more than the average anime watcher. Hence, SM Cinema should have advertised the movie instead of taking the route they made with Rorouni Kenshin. Maybe if they had, more people would have watched the movie but as it was we only found out about it by accident and that was because we live near the mall. That plus, the fact that the movie wasn’t really very good…well, I would say the Failed result should be expected.  😦

Movie Review – Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods

Posted in Anime, Movies with tags , , , , , , , on September 23, 2013 by otakujade

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After 17 years of waiting Toei Animation finally came out with another DBZ movie! And I don’t really care what some people say, for us this new movie was a wonderful addition to the DBZ genre.

We’ve been fans of the DBZ series since the mid-80s and since then have followed the series and its movies whenever they came out. While hubby and I were more oriented with the old series and can sing along with the original “Cha-la, Head Cha la” theme which our kids barely recognize as they’re more familiar with the Dragon Ball Kai theme, this series is one of those anime that we have some commonality. And to be completely honest about it, we love this new movie because it had a certain feel that was so authentically DBZ. I didn’t really know what that was until I read from Wikipedia that Akira Toriyama, the original mangaka of the series was heavily involved in its conceptualization and creation. Yay!

Out of the numerous DB movies what makes this particular movie unique is that it’s actually a part of the Dragon Ball timeline; the events of the movies was placed between after Son Goku defeated Kid Buu and before the 28th World Martial Arts Tournament. So unlike the other movies this one is not a spin off but an actual part of the series. Hooray for that!

The movies was like a walk through memory lane for us, DB fans. And we do so much enjoy the familiar situations and inside jokes and sarcastic remarks between the different characters. There were the old antics between Son Goku and the others; I thoroughly enjoyed Vegeta’s serious but funny attitude. Oh Vegeta really rocked on this movie for me. It seems that he already knew who Lord Birus was and tried to keep him happy so he would not destroy the earth. He even went so much as to set aside his pride just to please the Lord of Destruction, but all that went to naught when Lord Birus slapped Bulma. Vegeta went berserk! LOL! Loved how he yell “You dared hit my Bulma!” then attacked Lord Birus…in his anger he was even able to surface Goku’s current level and that was saying something!

I won’t go into details about the movie because that would be spoiling it for everyone, but I will stay this – it was a very entertaining and awesome, awesome DBZ movie! If you’re an anime otaku and you missed this, you’ll be kicking yourself to the next decade! So, go watch it!

Movie Review: The Conjuring

Posted in Movies with tags , , on September 17, 2013 by otakujade

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This was probably the first horror movie we were excited to see in years. The news that the movie was “too scary” only served to fuel our curiosity about the film even more. And so hubby and I went and saw the movie.

We have both seen “The Amityville Horror” more than 2 decades ago and was intrigued to find the Warrens once again. The fact that the incident was supposed to be one of the cases the Warrens worked on like the Amityville incident really solved us off.  And we were not disappointed. The film was very good and engaging but it’s not nearly as scary as it was made out to be. I am not sure if that was because we were both used to these types of movies or that the media hype was all that it was – a  hype.

I guess it also has something to do with our age and the fact that our cultural orientation was different from most people who said the movie was “scary”. We’ve never liked or enjoyed or even were scared of the usual western horror movies which were mostly just gore. We both like the types of horror flicks that affect you psychologically. I’m talking about movies like the Japanese horror movies the Grudge and Shutter; these films come to mind when I think of really good horror movies. Oh, but I also liked the original Amityville movie and Omen.

What I loved best about The Conjuring is how it was made believable by the rational explanations given by the Warrens about the haunting/disturbances that the Perron family experienced. The Warrens know what they were doing and they were very methodical, almost scientific in their treatment of the situation at the Perrons home. And when things get dicey, the Warren couple responded appropriately, true there was a moment when they got scared as the situation from the Perron’s house had spilled over to their own home and affected their own daughter but again their response was very logical.

I especially liked how the possession and haunting was explained; how inanimate objects are not possessed but are only being used as conduit or tools to weaken the resolve of the person that evil entity is targeting so that eventually when his/her belief and will to fight is weak enough they/it can possess the person. Also, I liked how the Warrens were never theatrical about how they explain things, they were very direct and their words very simple which makes them all the more believable.

I guess what made this film even more appealing to us was the fact that hubby and I were both raised around stories, similar to this one. We were both aware that these entity can latch onto a person and follow that person around where ever he/she goes. Plus, the fact that we have both experienced first hand the presence of these entities. So, to us the movie was not all that scary but it actually presented what we both already know in the first place.

The film will probably scare those young people who have been used to watching suspense-thrillers and supposed-horror movies which are mostly based on gore because this film would appeal to their psyche more than anything else. It leaves you with an uneasy feeling of what could possibly be out there.

Movie Review: The Raid: Redemption

Posted in Movies with tags , , , , on January 8, 2013 by otakujade

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SUMMARY:

This is a 2011 Indonesia film directed by Gareth Evans and was originally released as “The Deadly raid” or simply “The Raid” in Indonesia,  however when the movie was released in the US the distributor couldn’t get the license to use that title so it was renamed “The Raid: Redemption”. The film stars Iko Uwais as Rama a rookie SWAT officer who was part of the 20-man Detachment 88 special police squad  led by Sgt. Jaka played by Joe Taslim.  Their mission was to arrest Tama Riyadi, a crime lord whose strong hold is located in an apartment building in the middle of the slums in Jakarta. The entire building was under Tama’s control and its inhabitants his army. He has two lieutenants, Andi played by Donny Alamsyah (who we will find out later is Rama’s brother) and Mad Dog, Tama’s ruthless henchman.

The team was able to enter the building undetected until they reached the 6th floor where a young lookout chanced upon them and managed to sound the alarm before he was shot to death. It was then that the situation got real sticky for the team. Tama sounded the alarm and shut down the building trapping the SWAT team inside. Two snipers from outside took out their means of transportation and started picking off members of the team who had the misfortune of exposing themselves.  Then, Tama took the game a little further by announcing on the PA system that he will grant free permanent residence to those who kill the intruders. And this is where the nightmare began for the SWAT team.

During the battle, Jaka learns from Wahyu that the mission isn’t sanctioned by the force, meaning nobody knows their location and no backup or reinforcements will arrive.  The team backed into an empty apartment where they narrowly escape thanks to Rama’s improvised explosion. By then only 5 of the team remain and they got separated trying to escape from the apartment after the explosion.

Jaka was confronted by Mad Dog and held at gun point. He was led into an empty room where Mad Dog challenged him to a hand to hand combat.  Mad Dog proved true to this name sake and after a brutal fight was able to kill Jaka.

Rama on the other hand left his wounded companion with one of the tenant he helped earlier and proceeded to look for his other team members. Andi took the chance to abduct his brother and help him escape, unfortunately he was seen my Tama through the CCTV. He was being brutally beaten by Mad Dog when Rama chanced upon them. Mad Dog confident in his fighting abilities allowed Rama to untie his brother and in tandem they faced off with Mad Dog in a battle to the death.  Mad Dog was defeated after a very long and vicious battle. They found Tama on the 15th floor but before they could make the arrest Lt. Wahyu losses it and shot one of the team members in the head. The others just had enough time to dodge the bullets and hide. Believing he could use Tama was leverage to get out of the building. As Lt. Wahyu was leading Tama out of the building, the crime lord boasted that his actions will be in vain because of the massive corruption in the police force and that the crime lord will be out of jail in no time at all. Wahyu loses control shot Tama in the head , he would have committed suicide but he ran out of bullets. It was then that Rama and Andi over powered him and subdued the crazy lieutenant.

Andi handed over to Rama the list of Tama’s contacts in the police but when Rama enjoined him to return home Andi refused saying that he was where he belonged. He had finally found something he was good at and he rocks at it. The two brother separated, each going his separate ways and each moving towards a totally different direction.

 

REVIEW:

Honestly it was one of the best martial movies I have ever seen…it’s not gory but there is enough cruelty in the way the killings were made to make me cringe at certain points of the movie. I remember really hating Mad Dog when I first saw him. He was an arrogant man, not very tall and even very intimidating and yet he had his walk that makes me want to sneer at him. But once the fighting started I realized why he was called such and I was amazed at his fighting skills.  He was around 5’5 to 5’6 at best, a bit on the skinny side and sporting longish hair (kindda remind of me of hubby actually, but I didn’t say anything in front of him of course… hehehe! though looks-wise he looks more like hubby’s friend from the office) but he was a very, very skilled and powerful fighter. The Actor who played Mad Dog was Yayan Ruhian, he was handsome or anything but damn, I would go out with him anytime. Talk about a guy who can protect you.

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The fight scenes were to die for in this film. It was vicious, it was engaging and it so epic. I also love the way that the martial style of each character was so easily distinguished in the film. It was like watching one martial art fighting style squaring off with another fighting style.  I have always been fascinated with the Indonesia martial art, Silat, and anybody who know a little about martial arts and would be honest about it will tell you that Silat is one of the best and most brutal fighting styles. This was also highly exhibited in the film. Rama was using Pencak Silat; Mad Dog utilized Muay Thai while Jaka was using a combination of Wushu and Judo. I repeat it was one of the most intense martial arts movies I have ever seen.

There were several brutal killing scenes in the movie but to my opinion it was necessary to deliver the story. It was simply a very, very well made film. This is one action movie every self-respecting action fan should see.

 

Rorouni Kenshin Live-Action Film: When the Icon/Legend becomes a Phenomenon

Posted in Anime, Movies with tags , , , on January 7, 2013 by otakujade

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I guess SM never expected this movie to have such a huge following, and I’m betting they were quite surprised with the turn out and the hype that this film made once it was announced that it will be shown in the country. You can almost feel their apprehension when SM decided to show the film via a limited play date; the longest of which extending only 5 days in selected SM Cinemas here in Metro Manila and concentrated mostly in the Quezon City area. However, after the first week the showing, the movie was extended for a few more days…which stretched in to another week and eventually…3 weeks! Whatever doubts SM may have had at the beginning, those were all erased as they raked in the cash and the movie became an unprecedented success.

PLOT:

The film was based on the season 1 and 2 of the anime series, with some inputs coming from both the manga and the OVAs.  It wasn’t an exact adaptation of the series however it was close enough to be thoroughly satisfying. Something that even the uninitiated would understand and the fangirl (like me) and fanboys would appreciate. Some hardcore fans would probably comment on the sequence of events or that the movie did not actually follow the plot of either the manga or the anime. However, this should be expected. It is simply impossible to religiously follow the plot of the anime or the manga through the movie considering the time frame.  This is nothing new and considering the number of books and comic book stories turned films, this should be expected. But I would venture to say that compared to those this movie adaptation was wayyyy, wayyy better. Watching the film you get the impression of how much the director and the people behind the film respected the storyline and consequently the fans. As I earlier commented, leave it to the Japanese to make a film adaptation of their animes and stories – they understand it better thus they will treat it with a lot of respect.

So, as for me, in terms of the plot…this active adaptation is a complete success.

CHARACTERIZATION:

Character development wasn’t given much time in the film, may be it was due to time constraints or because they focused more on the series of events in the film however, it was good enough that even those who know little or none at all about the series would get it that Kenshin Himura was supposedly a legendary battousai (assassin/man slayer) who have decided to live that life behind and turn a new leaf living a peaceful and low profile life. Besides, I do think that the director and writers of the film probably surmised that majority of those who will sought to watch this movie would at least have a little knowledge of the anime series.  Rorouni Kenshin was and still is an iconic manga and anime series in Japan and Asia and in some western countries where anime is being appreciated.

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With regards to the choice of the actors who played the characters, Takeru Sato was simply perfect. I mean, he was a complete surprise to me personally. In terms of looks they couldn’t have chosen a better Kenshin, who would have thought that the pretty boy from Kamen Rider Den-O would be so perfect as the most feared, ruthless battosai. I totally admire Sato on this, because not only was he able to really internalize the role of Kenshin but he really studied the role and the character such that fans get to see Kenshin’s mannerisms and movements in Sato – the way that Kenshin end nearly his every fighting move kneeling on the ground with his head bowed, the way Kenshin likes to stand up after a fight and seem to fix the sheathed sword on this waist, his agility, his funny “Oro” expressions and the way Kenshin deliver those funny, clueless comedic lines that render the humor in the series. It was just…I repeat…PERFECT!

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Munetaka Aoki was also spot-on as Sagara Sanosuke, except for the fact that  he is a bit short compared to the Sanosuke of the anime series. But looks-wise he was flawless, and his acting was wonderful as well.

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In terms of the actors in this film, I guess the only ones I have a slight comment would be the women. Emi Takei was a wonderful Kamiya Kaoru, her simplicity and almost plain looks was exactly how Kaoru was in both the anime and the manga. However, it wouldn’t hurt if she was a bit more tomboyish as Kaoru was actually quite the tomboy.

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Yuu Aoi as Takani Megumi did her best to give justice to her role…and in reality she was very good at it. My only negative comment about this is that Megumi from the original story is supposedly sultry, sexy, mysterious and all together gorgeous. Though Aoi is beautiful in her own right, she was just a tad too old for Megumi plus when placed beside Takei she looks much, much simplier. I mean, Megumi from the anime and manga would make Kaoru look like her servant, whereas in the movie Takei outstaged Aoi in beauty.

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Taketo Tanaka as Myojin Yahiko was so cute but he’s way to young for the role. In the original story Yahiko was already in his teens.

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Yusuke Eguchi was actually a huge improvement for Saito Hajime, I mean I have no complaints Eguchi was a real eye candy but, well,  I like Saito but he wasn’t really in THAT handsome. Again, I’ve got no complaints …just saying.

FINALLY….

All in all the film was a raging success. There were a couple of minor deviations from the original storyline and one or two major infractions but all in all it was a very, very good adaptation of the series. It was the sort of adaptation film that Hollywood directors, writers and producers should try to emulate. I loved the film…saw it twice actually and am looking forward to the DVD’s release so I can watch it every time I want to. Oh, we’re (Kenshin fangirls and fanboys everywhere) are already looking forward to the sequel. Can’t barely wait!