Everything’s better with Malkovich!

Even Michael Bay.

Now he tosses in Frances McDormand, and…Buzz Aldrin!

That sure sounds like Leonard Nimoy as the voice of Sentinel Prime.  And it’s Alan Tudyk, “Wash” from Firefly, as a fruity European major domo.

…I saw that twist coming a mile away.

Sentinel Prime: “…the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.”  That was shameless.  But amusing.

Transformers:  Dark of the Moon was very enjoyable popcorn fare.  Aww, but no Megan Fox, you say?

I think they muddled through without her.  And the bit about Armstrong, Aldrin, and Collins being secret space agents was great.  But it was also a looooong popcorn movie.  Combine that with having to get a tire dealt with, and it’s another almost blog-free day.

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About wormme

I've accepted that all of you are socially superior to me. But no pretending that any of you are rational.
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33 Responses to Everything’s better with Malkovich!

  1. Mountainbear says:

    No Megan Fox?!

    I might actually watch this!

  2. Xpat says:

    I watched the Half in the Bag review. Isn’t that enough?

    http://redlettermedia.com/half-in-the-bag/transformers-dark-of-the-moon/

    • Mountainbear says:

      Ow. Plot-wise even RTD’s final episode of Dr Who season 4 was a BAZILLION times better. Despite the stupid Doctor-Donna thing and the bouncing Daleks (which was god-awful.)

      Plus Giselle Bündchen? Oh god no. Another dumbass model trying to act. YUCK! I don’t care how “hot” she is (don’t think she is at all), she has the intellectual capacities of a trout and the acting skills of a wooden log. Fukada Kyoko looks like a Nobel Prize winner compared to her.

      I rather watch Princess Toyotomi. Or Casualty 1900s.

      • Xpat says:

        You might remember that I became a cult follower of Kamikaze Girls after I saw it for the 1st time about 10 months ago. What else was Kyoko Fukada in that I should see? Recently I noticed that Anna Tsuchiya (totally brilliant in KG–one of the best female roles ever) has joined the dumb “variety tv” panel circuit. Sigh.

        I saw Princess Toyotomi on the plane last month and didn’t like it. Another plane movie, Bridesmaids, was surprisingly good/funny.

        Hey, I rewatched Seven Samurai recently, after about 20-30 years. Better than every. High in the running for best movie ever made, I think.

        • Mountainbear says:

          The only thing that comes to mind is Yatterman. She was actually good in that. Avoid her tv stuff like Remote (which is pretty old) or Second Virgin (relatively new.) I’m not going to watch her new dorama this autumn, since it’s almost a 100% copy of Remote. Sadly it will get more viewers than Kuriyama Chiaki’s spy dorama, simply because FukaKyon is more popular (yet she’s the far inferior actress.) CK is epic. I saw the making of, she’s kicking some serious ass in it. Oh yeah baby! FukaKyon will also be in next year’s taiga, which already hurts my brain. She starred in the Ooku tv movie and her performance was just awful. She needs to stay away from period dramas, yet they dumped her into that one. Luckily Takei Emi and Tanake Rena will be in it, too, so there should be some decent female acting.

          I already fear who NHK will cast for the rest of the Aizu Women’s Brigade for the 2013 taiga Yae no Sakura. If they cast one of the AKB48s or some cutie pie like Ueto Aya or Horikita Maki for Nakano Takeko I’ll blow up the NHK building. There needs to be someone kickass for this character. Kuriyama, Shibasaki or Suzuki Anne (she so GOOD on stage it’s almost unnatural.) Heck even one of the Maeda Sisters would be a good choice. Shida Mirai, why not, I’d love to see her in a period drama. Anyone but some cutesy chick who might hurt herself with a naginata and who sucks in a period setting.

          Tsuchiya was ok in Sakuran, but she’s not that good and outside of Kamikaze Girls and Sakuran she’s always been dicking around on the sidelines as far as I remember.

          Seven Samurai, make sure you see the long version. The longer version actually. There are so many different cuts of it around, it’s sad.

          And I’m so glad this year’s taiga is soon coming to an end. It’s a trainwreck. It’s so horrible you can’t look away. Ueno SUCKS. And the script is ass. Pardon my French. It has replaced the 2005 taiga Yoshitsune as “worst taiga ever” in my book. And Yoshitsune was god awful (the single highlight was MatsuKen as Benkei, oh he was so BADASS.)

          • wormme says:

            Your bi-popcultural knowledge is most impressive. How do you fit it all in your noggin?

          • Xpat says:

            I was going to ask the same thing. How do find time to keep up with that stuff?

            Mainly, the missus and I watch boring NHK documentaries (the city council in some Tohoku town discussing recovery, slow reaction shots of locals with mountans of gareki in the background), although she also watches those horrible “variety” programs–at which point I walk out of the room.

            Thanks for the movie tips! Sometime it would be nice to get Mountain Bear’s top 15 Japanese movies, just so I know what to look for and what to avoid.

          • wormme says:

            Studio Ghibli is the Pixar of Japan, IMAO. They don’t make bad flicks.

          • Mountainbear says:

            Well, outside of Doctor Who and Burn Notice I’m not really watching TV. Well, I’m not really watching TV anyway (I don’t have one, tossed it after more than a year of not using it), so I admit I download the new episodes when they pop up (I will NOT watch either in German, it’s disgusting) and buy the DVD when it’s out. Any other TV stuff is Japanese. And it fits well into learning the lingo. So it goes hand in hand with the useful stuff, which is quite nice. And that’s how it works. Plus, I have a horribly good memory. It’s a gift. And a curse.

            It also doesn’t help that I have access to the showbiz over there. I’ve met FukaKyon a couple of times (oh she’s pretty, but she’s not the type of women that makes me go nuts.) Kuriyama Chiaki, yep (she has this mixture of adorably cute and ultra cool and she’s a nerd.) Abe Hiroshi, yep (the guy’s so epic and his wife is smoking hot.) And a few others. Heck, the woman I love is an active actress over there, pretty well known (which is why her name must always be hidden.) Met her via my ex-gf’s dad, who’s a bigwig in the NHK. I’ve been at movie sets, sets of tv series, in “jidaigeki ville” during filming, etc. And I LOVE jidageiki, especially when TWIL is in.

          • wormme says:

            I actually recognized Ms. Chiaki’s name. Whoof. Of course I’ve only seen her in one thing, you know the one.

          • Mountainbear says:

            Starts with Kill, ends with Bill and is the one thing Hillary had plotted to do to her husband when she found out about Monica. Am I right?

            CK is very busy this season. One jidaigeki on NHK (plays the little sister of the main character, Tsukahara Bokuden, and so far is doing one hell of a job, which is why I want her as Nakano Takeko in 2013, she would be perfect), her own spy drama, then she’s in the current asadora (those are morning dramas, 15 minute episodes over 26 weeks, yes, that’s 156 episodes and they tend to get very boring very fast, personally I prefer the period asadora, usually in and around the showa period, over the modern settings; modern settings are simply boring for me and the stories could be done in regular length dramas) and she’s in the SPEC movie (SPEC was a quite successful police series, no Aibou, of course, but it held its ground.) And now I admit, I have every movie, every tv series with her. Been a huge fan for many years. I even have Beat Takeshi’s “Gonin”, where she was a small support at the tender age of 7 (I think it was 7, could be wrong.) What helps with her is that she’s an utter nerd. She’s a gamer, too.

          • wormme says:

            Give her to me!

      • wormme says:

        That’s not Gisele, it’s…hang on…Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. She’s not a bad actress. She might even be good, can’t tell from this Michael Bay production. She definitely has charisma as well as beauty.

        • Xpat says:

          It’s the Red Letter Media guys, who threw in the Gisele goof. They make mistakes like that on purpose. It’s part of their schtick. In the same review Mike said Dark Side of the Moon was by Led Zeppelin.

        • Mountainbear says:

          Those blondes, they look all the same to me these days.

          • Xpat says:

            You and me both. I guess blonde Amazons can’t compete with our Asian fetish.

            It’s like looking at a giraffe. Cool animal, but I don’t want to go out on a date with it or anything.

          • Xpat says:

            But I really like Vicki Vallencourt in that Waterboy movie . . .

          • Mountainbear says:

            All I see is crickets. I had to google her.

          • Xpat says:

            I think there’s a rule here that a Waterboy clip has to appear in every tenth WORM post. That’s how I got introduced.

            Whatever that movie is, it would be nothing without the Mama character, who totally makes it. But Vicki is my type, if she’d just change the lipstick (although I understand the necessity for the character).

            Her best line: “Well, I happen to find Deputy Dawg to be very, very sexy.”

          • wormme says:

            Oh yeah, Vicki is the best little bad girl.

          • Mountainbear says:

            Never seen it.

            I only know Waterboys, which was actually quite funny.

          • Xpat says:

            Yeah, Waterboys was funny. The TV version was funny, too. (I’m not sure which one came first.) I think Waterboys rates higher than Waterboy, which is mostly just gratuitous goofiness.

            Densha Otoko (Train Man) was another funny one in both the movie and TV version–I think the TV version was the best of the two.

            Not so much good stuff on TV these days, but when it’s good it’s really good. Kurumi no Heya (Walnut Room?) was a very good recent one, a quirky but moving broken family saga set in the Showa era. Evocative nostalgia without sappiness, and haunting music.

          • Mountainbear says:

            TV version was first. There were two series if my memory serves me right. Second featured a very young… what’s her name. Damn. She was in Bull Doctor this summer, played the detective. Very round lips. Ishihara Satomi.

            In the series, I think in the 1st one, they actually tried to sneak into a synchronized swimming event, which, of course, only had girls. They were found out. Hilarity ensued.

            Densha Otoko is brilliant and has one of the best openings ever. You can’t go wrong with ELO’s Twilight.

            And I agree. The seasons are getting weaker. I mean last season, 3 gender bender dramas. Only IS was really good. The rest, yuck. I mean that Hanakimi thing, I already disliked the “original” version with Horikita (she’s not that great an actress), but the “remake” with AKB48’s Maeda Atsuko was even worse. The girl can’t act to save her life. Sure she’s cute and all, but that’s not nearly enough. Heck, in Q10 she annoyed the living hell out of me. Her voice… oh god… She’s the reason why duct tape and chloroform were invented, seriously. Q10 would have been much better with a different lead. Shida Mirai, please! At least it had Fukuda Mayuko and Takahata Mitsuki (even though Takahata’s character was a horrible stereotype, and she’s pretty good on stage, was sold way under her value and skills to boost the idol from AKB48.)

            Or the detective dramas. Jeez. They’re getting dumber and dumber. Aibou and Hanchou and some of the 90 minutes specials on TBS and others (especially the Kariya series, I LOVE it, it’s just impossible to find on Share or Perfect Dark anymore, I wish TBS would release it as DVD box) are rocks in the sea of stupidity. Zettai Reido? The whole concept was horribly CSI (which is already pretty dumb, police don’t work like that, but it’s still smarter than NCIS which really topped the mountain of idiocy in an episode where they fought off a hacker… with two people typing on the same keyboard… WTF), and they made it worse with putting Ueto Aya into the mix. Ueto as detective is actually worse than her in Azumi (where, honestly, whenever she tried to look mean I wanted to pat her on the head and give her a cookie.)

            Medical dramas I don’t watch. I would never get past the first 10 minutes without being insulted in my intelligence and medical training.

            One thing I’m definitely not watching this season is HUNTER. It insults my intelligence and Yonekura I don’t like (think she sucks, saw her 2003 in MUSASHI as Otsu and was appalled, if there was ever a miscast on a taiga it was her as Otsu.)

          • Xpat says:

            Alas, you are so right about Maki Horikita. But such promise, such a let down. After Nobuta and Always I was all set to worship her forever. What happened?

          • Xpat says:

            By the way, just the other night Maki Horikita was in a dreary made for tv remake of Yellow Handkerchief (not a super great movie to begin with, but it had a great original cast including Ken Takakura, and some quirky, sentimental charm). I watched it, just the last bits, intermittently. It sucked, though I notcied there were mildly fascinating cameos by some of the original cast.

          • Mountainbear says:

            Not sure, but after Nobuta she played the same character over and over again. Still does it. And Hanakimi is already ass plot-wise. It makes no sense. Whoever wrote the original story forgot that girls eventually get boobs and boys usually have penises and hiding those anatomical differences isn’t as easy in the setting as some may think.

            Nobuta was good and then there was… Tokyo Shônen was okay. And that’s about it. Other stuff she did, like Teppan Shojo Akane, oh god, that was so bad. She did some stage finally, as Jeanne d’Arc. Haven’t heard much about it. It was certainly not Musashi or some other stuff with a magnificent cast.

            Yellow Handkerchief, was that the one with Abe Hiroshi? Have downloaded it, but not watched it yet. Heck, the reason I downloaded it was Abe Hiroshi. Another lead and I wouldn’t have bothered. Remakes usually suck. Like those Kurosawa remakes? Oh god. The Hidden Fortress remake? Bleh. Abe Hiroshi is a good Rokurota (but of course no Mifune), but the rest, ugh. Same with the Sanjuro remake. The one thing that totally killed it for me was seeing Suzuki Anne as a total airhead. She can do it convincingly, but it doesn’t suit her. I absolutely love her stage performances, sadly they are usually when I’m not in Japan and she’s been doing a lot of it in the past few years. She is absolutely powerful on stage. And Musashi, at least the version I saw last year in London (was sold out all the time), was mega powerful. A dream cast, a dream director and a dream script. One of the scenes at the end has Musashi and Sasaki turn to face the audience. Fujiwara Tastuya as Musashi, Katsuji Ryo as Sasaki. Fujiwara turns, looks directly at me, POWERFUL. The whole play was amazing.

            It’s one thing I’ve noticed. Stage and indy movies are what you really have to look out for. The big blockbusters are usually bad. Japan’s mainstream movies are just as shit as Hollywood’s. But indies like Linda Linda Linda? Oh that movie was brilliant. Swing Girls (not a big production but absolutely amazing, and has Shiraishi Miho as teacher, hellooooooooo nurse!) Hula Girls. Hana & Alice (has one of the most beautiful scenes ever, the dance scene with Aoi Yuu, just amazing.) Etc.

  3. Xpat says:

    I loved Swing Girls and Hula Girls, too. The last was surprisingly well done and I didn’t expect to like it. I’ll look out for the other ones. This is quite useful because I haven’t been keeping up yet I want to catch some good ones and avoid the crap!

    Yes Yellow Handkerchief remake was Hiroshi Abe. He’s great in general, but this was a wooden performance. (I really liked the TV production Dragon Zakura several years back.) If you’re coming to Yellow Handkerchief cold and haven’t seen the original it might be tolerable to watch once. But, knowing you, when you see the younger guy’s performance you’ll probably want to smash the screen with your Thor hammer.

    Unrelated, in the category of movies watched on the plane that I never would have watched in any other context but really enjoyed: Diary of a Wimpy Kid I and II. They were laugh out loud hilarious.

    • Mountainbear says:

      Then I’m probably going to delete it, as I know the original.

      Hana & Alice:

      I love that scene. Aoi Yuu’s solo in Hula Girls was also so damn good.
      Ignore Miss Shotgun Marriage in this scene, her role is absolutely irrelevant in this movie, that’s actually her only appearance.

      Generally you can avoid the mainstream blockbuster stuff.

      Heaven’ s Door is also good. The only remake I know that was better than the original (but the original had Til Schweiger and even a wooden log can out-act him.) Remake features Nagase Tomoya and Fukuda Mayuko (she’s really good in it.) Giniro no Ame, also good. Keibetsu, very good. DVD release is next month. It’s those small, low key productions that really surprise.

  4. Xpat says:

    Nice suggestions.

    Yes, the remake of Yellow Handkerchief is potentially dangerous. When Maki Horikita hugs the snivelling twerp at the end, it might inspire a man to embrace celibacy and join a monastary.

    There’s a pretty good show on tv now called Seiwa Semei, about an insurance company, and a spider woman who preys on men to get insurance money and then . . . disposes of them. Well acted. Dark.

    After Kamikaze Girls I had high hopes for Pako’s Magic Picture Book (same director, and includes Anna Tuschiya as a carnivore bad girl nurse in a pysch hospital). Not totally uninteresting, but overall it fails–an overdone attempt at Tim Burtonism.

    • Mountainbear says:

      Indeed.

      If you ever bother to watch the latest Ooku movie, ignore Horikita. She’s so useless in it. Heck, I admit, I only watched it and got the DVD because Shibasaki Kou is playing the shogun, and she’s damn fine at it. Kou + period drama = epic. I loved Dororo mainly because of her, she was hilarious. But then you have a scene with big, badass shogun Kou and who comes prancing in… Maki-chan being all cute and sweet and generally making me want to set her on fire.

      Some actresses shine in period dramas (Kanjiya Shihori comes to mind), others should stay the heck away from them (Horikita, Ueto, Acchan from AKB48.).

      Generally, really, it’s the indies. I need to look through my indy list. Oh, Road 88, also very nice. Brilliant little movie. Scrap Heaven, Odagiri Joe and Kuriyama Chiaki, I loved it. It was somewhat weird but it was good. No mass produced cart of horse manure. Sad thing is, all the indies I usually have to import. Only blockbusters like the “Japan sinks” remake (god that was bad, Shibasaki and Fukuda Mayuko were sold way under their actual skills and value) make it into the shelves here (and don’t make me start on German dub, it’s AWFUL.)

      Got some more indies lying around. Really need to look through them. Maybe I should make a Top 15 list. Or a simple list. I’d have a hard time really chosing my favorite. Of course RAN, Kagemusha and Seven Samurai would be in it.

      Listing all dissapointing indies would be a very short list. Listing all dissapointing blockbusters, now that’s an endless list. And don’t make me start on movies based on anime and manga. Cause then I can only say “Saikano, why. Why? WHY?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!” I’m very picky with anime and manga (and every twerp assumes I’m the total anime/manga geek because I’m in Japanology at university, idiots all of them), and I love Saikano. But that movie. Ugh. Oh yeah, blockbuster, huge budget… I can’t blame the actors, they did what they could with the little they were given. But the script… god… why?! It was STUPID. It was BAD. It wasn’t Saikano. At least the school uniforms for Maeda Aki and Kanjiya Shihori were utterly cute and the two had a great chemistry. The best thing about that movie are the two making-of features that exist.

      I dread the day when someone finally makes an NGE (the one that was being worked on has been in development hell for almost a decade) or a Kino no Tabi live action movie. I’ll probably kill someone.

      • Xpat says:

        Mountain Bear’s top 15 would be great. (I’d say leave out pretty much anything by Kurosawa because it’s too obvious.) Maybe, the top 15 from 1990 to the present?

        We don’t do movies much (and we actually go to a DVD rental store . . . Isn’t that retro?) but when we do it would be nice to go right to the good stuff and evade the bad.

        • Mountainbear says:

          DVD rentals aren’t really that retro, at least from what I’ve seen in and around Tokyo. It’s a business that seems to still go nicely.

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