Tag: Netflix

Bleach (Japanese Movie Review)

Film

Bleach (Japanese Movie Review)

Bleach poster

  • Genre: School, Youth, Fantasy, Mystery, Martial Arts, Supernatural, Manga
  • Release Date: 2018
  • Origin: Japan, Based on a manga, created by Tite Kubo

Cast:

  • Sota Fukushi as Ichigo Kurosaki
  • Hana Sugisaki as Rukia Kuchiki
  • Miyavi as Byakuya Kuchiki
  • Erina Mano as Orihime Inoue
  • Yosuke Eguchi as Isshin Kurosaki (Father)
  • Masami Nagasawa  as Masaki Kurosaki (Mother)
  • Ryo Yoshizawa as Uryu Ishida
  • Taichi Saotome as Renji Abarai
  • Yu Koyanagi as Yasutoro ‘Chad’ Sado
  • Seiichi Tanabe as Kisuke Urahara (ex grim reaper)

Review & Synopsis

This film is loosely based on a manga.  Loosely I say because having read the summary of the manga version online, it seems some of the character’s schoolmates have their own superpower, which is not really tackled in the film.

Anyway, the film revolved around a young highschooler named Ichigo Kurosaki.  From an early age, he can see ghosts and sort of help them.

This special power is known by his father, Isshin, who is super handsome and fit, and by his two young sisters, Karin and Yuzu.  They live in Karakura Town.

After another day of saving another soul, he was in his bedroom when he noticed a girl in Shogun outfit.  They were both surprised to see each other.

The girl was a grim reaper and before they can properly introduce themselves to each other, they heard a great commotion downstairs.

A hollow has snatched Yuzu.

They followed the hollow, which is a gargantuan ape-like creature with super vigour and agility.  They are of course invisible to those without sixth sense.

It took all Rukia’s, ( the soul reaper) skill and power to fight and yet she can’t completely vanquish the hollow.

The injured Rukia told Ichigo that she needs him to help her by making him a substitute reaper, otherwise the hollow will devour both of their souls.

Though he was reluctant, Ichigo allowed the blade of Zanpakuto to pierce him in the middle of his chest.  Rukia’s every ounce of power flowed into him.

Apparently, Ichigo is really special because he has a high spiritual pressure, which made the new Zanpakuto almost double in size.

Ichigo metamorphoses into a gorgeous samurai warrior in the style of manga. 🙂 He has orange hair and brown eyes.

Before long, the hollow was defeated by this new gorgeous fighting machine.

Ichigo woke up the next day confused as everything seems to be normal and yet not quite right.  Yuzu, his young sister, cannot remember being kidnapped by the hollow.

He was still contemplating what had happened when he was in school.  A cute girl, Orihime has a crush on him and he might have liked her too but he was distracted by a new student, who was none other than Rukia.

Rukia, having lost all her power to Ichigo has to stay by his side and assume a human body.

Rukia explained to him that there are two kinds of souls.  The first one is the whole or normal ones, the human called ghosts.  The second type is the hollows.  The hollows are soul eater, they especially like feeding on souls of those who died with a grudge to bear.

Rukia told Ichigo that she needed to train him to defeat the hollows. now that he is a soul agent.

She then told him that there are two main duties fo a soul reaper.  First is to guide the soul of the newly dead to the soul society to undergo a ritual called a burial.  The second duty is to destroy every hollow with the Zanpahuto. (sword)

What Rukia did not tell Ichigo was that aside from hollows, a small band of remaining Quincy is after the soul reapers. The Quincy are humans, who have the ability to detect the whereabouts of hollows but more some reason, their tribes were annihilated by the soul reapers.  Probably because the Quincy has the power to manipulate the soul energy of both the Reaper and Hallows.

There was a boy in his class, Uryu, who happens to be a Quincy.  He knows that Ichigo is now a reaper because he can feel his strong spiritual pressure and he also knows that Rukia is a soul reaper.

Rukia is warned by Kisuke, an ex-grim reaper, that she is being hunted by her brother Byakuya and Renji.

Rukia knows that this is likely to happen as she has lost her power to a human.  This means as per  Soul reaper code her extermination and Ichigo is just a matter of time.

She made a deal with her brother, telling him that she can defeat the hollow they have been hunting for the last 54 years, the Grand Fisher.  And Ichigo can vanquish the hollow.

Byakuya and Renzi gave them some time to do their mission.

Rukia trained Ichigo extensively in martial arts.

Then came the death anniversary of Ichigo’s mother.

His family went to the cemetery but on the way, his two sisters got waylaid by a little girl, the same little girl who killed his mother.

When Rukia and Ichigo got to them, the hollow, the Grand Fisher, had the sisters in his clutches.

Rukia turned Ichigo into a fighting machine.  It is sort of edifying to note that the hurricanes and tornados may be the work of the invisible hollows! Hmmm

Anyway, they chased the Grand Fisher everywhere in the town and created chaos everywhere including in the coffee shop where Ichigo’s schoolmates were gathering.  Chad, who has super strength like the Haulk was tasked by Ichigo to look after their schoolmates.  Uryu was also there.

After a prolonged battle between Ichigo and Grand Fisher and with a little help from Uryu, the hollow was finally defeated.

A budding bromance between Ichigo and Uryu was cut short by Renzi.  He stabbed Uryu, then started fighting Ichigo.

It was a real test for ichigo but he managed to injure Renzi pretty badly in the end.  But then Byakuya was also after him and his sister, who refuses to harm Ichigo.

Ichigo was no match for Byakuya.  Several times he was left prone to the ground and yet he would get up again and again until Rukia cannot take it anymore and pretended that she holds Ichigo in contempt.

Byakuya then stopped his assault on Ichigo because his sister had managed to retrieved her power back from Ichigo and she went with her brother and Renzi.

Ichigo was left thinking that once again, his life was saved by another.

He woke up at home after a very long sleep as if everything that happened was just another figment of his imagination.

He went to school and everyone was accounted for except for Rukia but Uryu was there.


I really enjoyed this film.  It has a good story and the action is hyped and fast.  I totally recommend this film which can be seen on Netflix!

The actors are gorgeous.  Sota is super handsome and Hana has that seriousness about her that is rather affecting.

****4/5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meteor Garden 2018 (Chinese Drama) Review

Meteor Garden poster

Drama

  • Genre: ROMANCE, Youth, School
  • Date Released: 9 July 2018
  • CDrama: 48 Episodes
  • Remake of Taiwanese drama (2001) of the same title, based on Japanese manga Hana Yori Dango
  • OST: For You by F4

Cast: 

Many are already familiar with this drama as it has been remade by several countries over and over.  It is based on a Japanese manga called Hana Yori Dango (Boys Over Flowers)

Meteor Garden 2018 is a remake/reboot of the Taiwanese version of the Hana Yori Dango

It is about a girl, who came from an ordinary family and now enrolled in a posh and prestigious school for the children of the  rich and famous.

The school is ruled by four uber gorgeous boys, known as the F4.  They reign in terror amongst the children of the rich.  Anyone found lacking is given a red card, which means his/her life and happiness within the school are in jeopardy.  The victim would then rather transfer to another school or bear with all the punishments until the F4 get bored and cease the tortures.

Shan Cai is a brave girl who went against the F4.  Despite the red card, she stood her ground and gave Dao Ming Si a good kicking.  Instead of giving her an even harsher time, he fell in love with her. 🙂  She was the first one who ever tried to put up a fight.

Hua Ze Lei actually was helping her in the background and she knew it.  She had a bit of a crush on him.

Thus the drama developed into a love triangle.

I can’t wait for this new Shen Yue drama! Roll on 9 July 2018!

Four episodes are now on show but with no English sub/ huhuhu


Netflix got rights for this drama.  They will start showing them on 13 July!  Yey, can’t wait.

Meteor Garden 2018 (Chinese Drama)

The first six episodes subtitled in English are now available in Netflix.  It is about 24-35 minutes each episode.

This is the second major drama for Shen Yue, who catapulted to stardom playing Shao Xi in A Love So Beautiful, which is also available to watch in Netflix.

I have to be honest, I am still bias towards ALSB.  It is still the sweeter and cuter drama.

Shen Yu’s Shan Cai is really super annoying and excruciatingly embarrassing most of the time, I am yet to warm towards her.

I came to this drama, unsure of Dylan Wang, having seen a behind the scene’s video of him being too boisterous to Shen Yue with her hoodie.

Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised! Dylan Wang is the best actor of them all.  He was able to project a spectrum of emotion.  He is vulnerable, snarky, immature, kind, jealous and proud.  He is certainly an actor to watch.

As to Shen Yue, I am not sure what happened but she’s only produced half of the charm she had in ALSB.

This version is more true to life.  The F4 are gorgeous, tall, rich young men, who excel in their field.  They are more spoiled rather than out and out evil.  They are more ‘ordinary’ that the other versions. Probably I was spoiled by the Korean and Japanese version.

Episode 1-6

Shan Cai’s mother is a very good cook.  She makes a living from her homecooking and delivery.

Shai Cai wanted to help her mother build her business up.  So she enrolled in the Nutrition Department of the best and most exclusive university in ‘China’ called Ming De University.

There she had a reunion with her former schoolmates.  Chen Qinghe is her childhood best friend. while Li Zhen was a high school acquaintance.  They decided there and then that they will be best friends in college.

During orientation, a famous man called Mr Bobbit came to speak to the students.  Shan Cai and the rest of the attendees were in ecstasy in the presence of this famous American man.

After the talk, just outside the auditorium, still excited with their good fortune of listening to Mr Bobbit, another ecstasy inducing event happened, the F4 came sauntering into the school, much to the delirium of the girls.  In the chaos, Shan Cai’s phone was nudged out of her hand into the ground.  Crawling into the floor in between commotion of legs running towards the F4, Shan Cai tried to reach for her phone.  She was inches away towards it when a green crocodile shoe stepped on it causing it to break.

Shan Cai was so annoyed, she runs after the owner of the shoe.  She saw him in a  huddled crowd.  Without much thought, she grabbed the man in the middle, which happened to be Mr Bobbit.  She was quickly restrained by the bodyguards.

Shan Cai was persona non grata for assaulting such an important man. She was being gossiped about for her misdemeanour.

To get rid of her stress, she went on top of the building and vent her frustration by shouting her lungs out.  She was told off by a man seating nearby of the racket she was making.  He happened to be one of the F4.  He was Ze Lei.

During many instances, she kept meeting Ze Lei, who was rather kind to her unlike the leader of F4, Daoming Si.

Si seemed to delight in torturing her.  Shan Cai can’t take it anymore so she gave him a flying kick straight on his handsome face.

Si was not annoyed, he actually developed a grain of respect towards her, which quickly developed into tenderness.  So much so that he told her that he wanted her to be his girlfriend.  He listed all the pros of becoming his girlfriend, but Shan Cai was not interested as she was already half in love with the gorgeous and musical Ze Lei, despite him having a girlfriend already.

Yuan Zi, the girlfriend, was very friendly towards Shan Cai.  She includes Shan Cai’s to all her parties.

But hormones have taken over Shan Cai’s brain.  The friendship with the girlfriend was immaterial. Out with sisterhood!!!  Shan Cai was determined to pursue Ze Lei, which was noticed by Si.  This created a gulf between Ze Lei and Si’s friendship.

Si tried many things, which he does not usually do, to entice Shan Cai away from Ze Lei but it is becoming a losing battle.

Ze Lei had gone to Paris to be with Yuan Zi, who had decided to become a lawyer with a charitable institution, Without Borders.  She also willingly cut herself off from inheriting her family fortune.  Really nice girl, hear that Shan Cai!!!

Shan Cai misses Ze Lei so much that when out clubbing one evening with a secretly vengeful friend, Li Zhen, she became inordinately inebriated.  With drunken hazy sight, she sat down next to a foreigner, who was playing the piano. She was imagining that he was Ze Lei.

She woke up the next morning in a strange bed, with a note from Thomas, the foreigner, saying that he enjoyed himself.

Episode 7 – 12

Daoming found Shancai having a rather intimate conversation with a foreigner at the school.  Thomas came to see Shaicai after their misadventure the night before, where she ended up being tucked into bed by Thomas.

Shan Cai became the topic of gossips at school after her photos seemingly in bed with Thomas were posted on Weibo.

She was ostracised for being cheap and doing the dirty on Thomas especially when her boyfriend is Si.

Shan Cai said to Si that she doesn’t care about the gossips and the bullying as long as Si believes her.

It was found out later by Ximen and Feng Mei who posted the photos on Weibo.  Shan Cai was shocked to know that Li Zhen stabbed her in the back.

Episode 13

Awwww I am absolutely won over by this drama version of Hana Yori Dango.  And yes, the Shen Yue I love and adore is back big time in all her cuteness and brightness.

She is now my favourite Shan Cai (Makino Tsukushi) ever.

Dylan Wang and Shen Yue have a sizzling chemistry.  So good that I felt sad for Xiao Xi and Jiang Chen of ALSB.

Anyway…

In order to pay off the 1M Yuan Shancai loaned to her by Daoming Si, she hesitantly enters the C4.

Being a novice, she had to do a lot of preparation, practice and developing a positive mental attitude.

She had a perfect tutor from the ‘violent’ 🙂 Dao Ming Zhuang and Dao Ming Si himself.  Shancai moved in into the Dao Ming mansion.

Dao Ming Zhuang gave her a book to read called Book of Songs, which is actually a really old Chinese classic book of poetry.

Shancai found out what appetisers are for.  They are there to build the appetite and complement the main course.

A meal that is unforgettable engraves the cook and the food to the heart of the diner.

This is now really the beginning of a beautiful friendship and relationship between Shan Cai and Dao ming Si.

It was utterly cute the way Si made Shancai more confident in herself and in her abilities.

Standout scene: I love their flirty face painting during their card game.

Episode 14

Aww it is the day of the Chinese Cuisine Culinary Competition (C4).

Young ladies, mostly with previous culinary experience entered the contest.  One of these young ladies was Zhou Caina.

Zhou Caina was a girl who has being touted as the future bride for Tian Ye, the sous chef at the restaurant Shancai works at.

During the contest, Daoming Si was on tenterhooks.  He was supporting Shaicai 120%

Zhou Caina won the 1M Yuan as deservedly so but there was a surprise prize for Shai Cai.  She won a Special award and 500K Yuan as well.

Standout: Shancai choosing pineapple to add to her recipe as she looked at  Daoming Si.

Episode 15

Shancai and DaoMing Si’s romantic whole day date was scuppered by the appearance of a random child, who needed babysitting.  What was this about?!!!

Episode 16

Shancai literally almost froze to death but saved by DaoMing Si.  Though Shan Cai almost met her maker due to hypothermia,  her skin to skin contact with DaoMing Si for some heat was hot! 🙂 Unlucky lucky Shancai indeed!

Despite the skinship, Shancai continues to play it cool with Dao Ming Si, which infuriates him to the limit.

Episode 17

Shancai is proving popular with the boys, another one is vying for her attention much to the jealousy of Dao Ming Si.

Despite Dao Ming Si telling her that he likes her, she walked away with the new boy.

Episode 18

It was a bad decision because Shan cai got kidnapped.  It turned out that the new boy was in collude with the kidnappers.

Standout scene 🙂 The F4 pranked Shancai; pretending that DaoMing passed away.  Shan Cai was upset and telling DaoMing that she won’t allow him to die on her as she had not apologised to him yet and that despite his so many transgression in the past…  The ‘corpse’ of DaoMing can’t take it anymore that he had to say something.  Shancai ended up in bed astride Daoming trying to strangle him.  He told her that it hurts to have her sitting on top of him as he broke three ribs.  Awwww

Episode 19

It was DaoMing Si birthday and after a quick makeover on Shancai by Lei, Ximen and Feng Mei Zuo, Shancai was ready to meet DaoMing’s mother.  But it turned embarrassing as Shancai ended up prostate on the floor when Daoming’s mother entered the ballroom.

She forbade them to see one another again as Shancai comes from another ‘world’.

DaoMing Si left his own party with Shancai. She then gave him her baked cookies as his birthday present.  DaoMing was in high heavens, he said that it was the best present he had ever received.

DaoMing Si’s mother can’t be thwarted though because the next day she went to meet Shancai parents’.  She tried to bribe them with 5M Yuan to make Shancai stay away from Daoming.

Shancai’s parents humiliated DaoMing Si’s mother by pouring flour over her head.

Episode 20

DaoMing Si’s mother really can’t be stopped.  She is now bringing in the big guns in the form of an arranged fiancee for Dao Ming Si.

During a lunch with the girl’s family and Dao Ming’s, Shancai was invited too to witness the marriage arrangement.

The girl was actually just Daoming’s type, as feisty and lippy as Shancai.  And rebellious as well.  The girl got up and left followed closely by Dao Ming Si leaving a confused and sad Shancai inside the private dining room.

Daoming realised that he run off with the wrong girl when he noticed that he was holding on not with Shancai.

Shancai had a confrontation with Daoming Si telling him that the fiancee is just perfect for him and that he should marry her.

This really broke Daoming.

In the end, the girl, who became rather weirdly friendly with Shancai reported that DaoMing had agreed to date her.

huhuhu

Episode 21

Episode 22

Episode 23

Shancai was homeless and Dao Ming Si brought her home.  She ended up as a maid in Dao Ming Si’s mansion much to his displeasure but Shancai insisted that she wanted to earn her keeps.

This episode is where they watch a meteor shower.  The romantic Dao Ming Si surprised Shancai with a diamond encrusted necklace in the shape of a meteor (I think, no subtitles available yet)

Apparently, Dylan Wang personally designed the necklace to give it to Shen Yue for her birthday.  Awww

I have to say Dao Ming Si is gorgeous but he is becoming even more good looking as the drama progresses.  How is that possible?

(I adore Hu YI Tian but I am now totally seduced by Dylan Wang! LOL)

Episode 24

Episode25

Episode 26 – 27

In this episode, it was the first time that Shancai initiated a kiss with Dao Ming Si by pulling his necktie and gave him a sweet kiss on the lips.  Awww

It was a reward for trying to convince her to move out of the mansion with him.  It was the sweetest scene.

Can you imagine Dao Ming Si afterwards… So cute.

Unfortunately, it did not last long as Dao Ming Si’s evil mother interfered.

The mother targetted Shancai’s friends’ family.  Therefore, Shancai doesn’t really have much choice but to surrender to Dao Ming Si’s mother.

Shancai had a traumatic break up with Dao Ming Si in the pouring rain.

Shancai left the mansion, Dao Ming Si and Ming De university and gone to live with her parents in the countryside.

These episodes also are about the love triangle between Mei Zu, Caina and Terence.  Actually, it is more about Caina and Terence.  It was rather romantic.  Caina got caught in the rain in the middle of nowhere and ended up spending the night on a tent with Terence.  It was a one night stand but was rather meaningful, however, Caina refuses to acknowledge this fact.  It turned out that Terence is an internationally renowned designer.

Episode 28

Terence is gorgeous.  There can be said about maturity.

I think Caina think so too.  She can’t help herself but be attracted to Terence despite the devotion from the equally gorgeous and young Meizou.

Episode 29

Again this episode is about the burgeoning attraction between Caina and Terence.

Terence told Caina that he wanted her to go traveling with him.  She was about to tell him that she was willing to go with him but found him in the embrace of his pretty PA.

The poor Meizou was heartbroken but loved Caina enough that he wanted her to be happy even if not with him.

He told her that Terence really loves her but he was leaving at that moment.

Episode 30

ShanCai is back but it seemed Dao Ming Si has finally given up on her.

Episode 31

It is the graduation day for the F4.  The F4 were really sweet allowing photo opportunity with their juniors.

Huace Lei asked Dao Ming Si blessings to pursue Shancai himself.

There was a scene where he serenaded Shancai with his violin playing, which enraged Dao Ming Si

Episode 32

Dao Ming Si changed his mind again.  He went to Huace Lei’s house and found him still in bed. Dao Ming Si told him that ShanCai is his and that Huace Lei should not butt in.

Dao Ming Si looked for Shan cai everywhere but the crafty Huace Lei told her to turn off her mobile phone for 48 hours.

Dao Ming Si finally found her with Huace Lei at a bus stop.  He told her that he loves her and wanted to be with her but Shan Cai chose to board the bus an leave him absolutely devastated, running after her bus.

He was tired and upset crouched on the road when Shan Cai appeared.  They were happy about to reconcile when it was aborted by the sudden presence of the police who was about to arrest Shan Cai for thievery.  To find her Dao Ming Si reported her for stealing the diamond-encrusted meteor necklace.  Hilarious ending.

Episode 33

After Dao Ming Si cleared the misunderstanding with the necklace with the police, Shan cai and Dao Ming Si reconciled.

She finally realised that Dao Ming Si did really work to keep their relationship going almost single-handedly.

She finally had the courage to blurt out that they should start dating officially.  Dao Ming Si almost choked on the mushroom and ham roll he was eating.

They did agree that they should keep their relationship just between the two of them.

Because their friends are unaware of this new closer relationship, they tried to create a situation for Dao Ming Si and Shancai to be together including locking them in a room.

Episode 34

Finally, Dao Ming Si was in seventh heaven.  ShanCai told him “Yoshi ai ni”.

Epidose 35

Shancai’s friend, Xiaoyou has sex on her brain.  No matter how much Ximen try to tell her that she is not really his type, she clung to him.  They ended up in a hotel room.  They were about to go to bed but Ximen halted their awkward situation, saying that he knew that she’s not ready and not the kind of girl to sleep around.

But Xiaoyou said that she was hesitant because it would be the first time but she would get better.  She would do anything to please him.

In the end, Ximen left her in the hotel room as he can’t reason with her.  I just want to slap her!  Really.  I supposed XiMen looks really delicious.  But where is her pride?

Dao Ming Si moved in next door to ShanCai’s.  They were both thinking of going to each other room but just too shy to really do it.  So cute.

Episode 40

Shan Cai went to London to see Dao Ming Si.

Episode 41

It was the end of the road for Shan Cai and Dao Ming Si.  They spent a loving fund day in London but both knew that they had to part.  Dao Ming Si had to sacrifice his happiness in order to not lose control of the Dao Ming Corp’s hotels worldwide.

Towards the end of the episode, someone used a taser on Dao MIng Si.  With the shcok of it, Shancai fainted.

Episode 42

When they both woke up, they found themselves on a seashore, a la Blue Lagoon.  They were having a whale of a time, no not really.  They were puzzled who kidnapped them and dumped them on a deserted island.

It ended up that they were not kidnaped at all but pranked by Xiaoyou in connivance with the other F3.

Now they had a whale of a time but shortened by the arrival of authorities as their supposed kidnapping had gone viral internationally.

When they returned to Shanghai, it was total mayhem.  In the chaos, DaoMing Si was left bleeding from a stab wound.

Episode 43

Dao Ming Si pretended that he had amnesia.  Shan Cai was really upset but finally realised how much he means to her.

Episode 44

This episode for lack of a better word is boring.  I have to admit I have lost my appetite and excitement for this drama from a few episodes back.  The story with Ximen and Xiaoyou is so tedious.  If you think the romance between Shan Cai and Dao Mng Si is not really believable.  Ximen and Xiaoyou are just wrong.  How could a womaniser, gorgeous, rich young man fall for a conniving little madam, who doesn’t have anything to show for?  She is the most annoying character.  She is so lazy at work and always on a depressing day-dream.  Why give her so much screen time?

Episode 45

Episode 46

Episode 47

Episode 48

Episode 49

I have to admit that I have gone off with this drama because of Xiaoyou and Ximen storyline.  But I am still curious how the ending went.

I am sure I am going to watch the missed episodes at some point.

Anyway, as can be expected it is a happy ending with Shan Cai having a wedding with the gorgeous Dao Ming Si.

It looks like there was also a reconciliation between the ogre mother.

This mother-in-law even attempted to cook breakfast for the newlyweds as her way of a farewell treat before she goes away to find herself as she travels the world.

Ximen is now happily in a relationship with Xiaoyou (in real life it would have never happened or at least it would not last 🙂  bitter much) LOL

Mei Zuo would continue his search for his ideal, the perfect older woman.  🙂

As to Hua Ze Lei, he is still rather lackadaisical about his ideal woman.  He will wait for her to come to him rather than searching for her ….


Though this version is visually pleasing with gorgeous young actors, but compared to the previous ones, this, I am afraid, is lacking in depths.

It is only mediocre as it has undergone drastic political correctness, which sadly took its heart and soul.

The F4 are supposed to be the all-powerful band of flower boys, not only within their locale but inclusive of surrounding schools as well as they are well known for their unbelievable good looks, fame, and fortune.  They were treated like gods and behaving like one, often egotistical, despotic and utterly self-centered.  They would often issue punishment for even the littlest of things when it took their fancy.

The new F4, though extraordinarily gorgeous, lack the power and pizzazz of the previous F4s.   What we’ve got in this version are four handsome young men, who can be just anybody with good looks in any school.  They are not mega-rich vengeful boys.  They don’t punish/bully anyone but instead, they challenged anyone who gets their attention to a game of bridge!  They don’t make you quake in your boots.

Part of the F4 charms is their being clothes horses.  This time around, their wardrobe is very moderate and can be copied by just anyone who has a sister or a mother, who has a penchant for long woolen cardigans and dress shirts. 🙂

Having said that the F4 did a good job especially Dylan Wang and Cesar Wu.  They have both the right amount of swagger and arrogance.

As to Shen Yue, she is charming and cute but I think she needs to take more acting lessons and acting workshop.  She also needs to correct her posture.

Overall it is enjoyable but something that will not last in your psyche as the previous version.

 

 

Lost in Space Reboot 2018 – Review

 

Family members 

Lost in Space Reboot 2018 – Review

Referring to my previous post announcing the return of the classic 1960s TV sci fi series, here is my take on Lost in Space – Review,

Jean & I binged watched all the episodes over two nights. In our humble opinion Netflix have done well with this reboot. I watched the original series when a youngster. It was good to hear the original & iconic theme music, especially when the Robinson family’s spacecraft Jupiter 2 took to the skies.

In these introduction episodes, there are a  few changes from  the original plot and storyline as of course can be expected as reboots usually vary a little bit from the original.

The Robinson family are part of other  colonists, including other families too, each with their own Jupiter designated spacecraft. The Jupiters’ are docked in the much larger  mother ship called ‘The Resolution’, which has a mysterious and  secret faster than normal human technology space drive.

This mysterious drive is the key to the unfolding story.

The Resolution is taking the colonists to an exo planet near the Alpha Centauri star system.

A catastrophe occurs and the family have to flee the mother ship in their Jupiter(2) & land on an unknown planet which can sustain life.

Quite a few media critics who saw the first two episodes on preview,  were lukewarm in their comments .

As I have found with other reboot  TV series such as the excellent ‘Star Trek Discovery’, the whole series has to be watched to get a truer opinion. At the end of its first run after initial criticisms, ‘Discovery’ won over the majority of it’s critics and die hard Star Trek fans. The characters are seen to evolve over the series as does the story line.

The (different from the original) bickering and a touch dysfunctional Robinson family finally  come together in adversity as these critics would have seen had they kept with the series.

Jean & I liked the evolving characters and exciting story, there was some funny humour and excellent CGI, overall a good reboot. We hope it will return for series two.

We currently await to see if Lost In Space will be renewed by Netfix for a second series. The viewing figures are apparently good  and we should know soon.

Jean said that this reboot gives a different connotation to:

Danger, Will Robinson!

All in all, we highly recommend this series for an exciting watch for the whole family!

Stop Press!

Netflix recently confirmed that there will be a second series, possibly airing later in 2019 or early 2020. 🙂

 

 

Lost In Space (Netflix Tv Series Reboot)

Lost in Space Reboot 2018, Netflix

Genre:  Sci Fi, Family in Peril in Space

Released Date: 18 April 2018 in the UK

Cast:

  • Toby Stephens as John Robinson
  • Molly Parker as Maureen Robinson
  • Ignacio Serricchio as Don West
  • Taylor Russell as Judy Robinson
  • Mina Sundwall as Penny Robinson
  •  Maxwell Jenkins as Will Robinson
  • Parker Posey as Dr Smith

 

Lost In Space (Netflix TV Series Reboot)

I am happy to see this classic TV sci fi series Lost in Space return for a deserved 21st century reboot.

I remember rushing home from secondary (high) school to watch the original series (seasons), running for 83 episodes  from 1965 to 1968.  The first series was made in black & white as colour TV was two years away. The second series introduced colour. Along with ‘Voyage to the bottom of the sea’ and ‘Dr Who’ (1963 to present)  & ‘Star Trek’ (1965 to present , were and still are my favourites  as with my friends.

Lost in Space is based on the classic 1812 novel  ‘Swiss family Robinson’, about a family ship wrecked and castaway in the East indies. The Robinson family learn  how to survive and become self reliant.

1965-1968 Family, Don West with Dr. Smith & Robot            The 1998 Movie cast

The 1965 modern sci-fi reiteration sees a family of would be forerunners of planet colonisers along with the co pilot Major West and an unwelcome stowaway, enemy agent, Dr. Zachary Smith. Smith was sent aboard to sabotage the Jupiter 2 space craft. He succeeds but gets trapped as the spacecraft is lost in space. Smith brilliantly played by Jonathon Harris  continually tries to thwart the family. In later episodes Smith becomes toned down & more comic. His bantering with the robot assistant (who becomes regarded as part of the family) is popular.  The Robot’s frequent utterances of “Danger, Danger, Danger Will Robinson!”  Smith gets into all sorts of escapades with aliens etc., dragging the family with him.  My male school friends & I liked Penny Robinson as she was our age.

The 1998 movie generally keeps the same characters & roles, but is  darker than the 1960s innocent TV show. Gary Oldman is excellent as Dr. Smith. technical evolution of SFX (special effects) and CGI (computer graphic imaging) add to the story.

Now the 2018 series approaches and the show’s trailer shows what looks like brilliant SFX and CGI  now de rigeur for a successful screen sci fi  creation. This time some tinkering with the characters. A mixed race daughter, a reformed rogue finding a family he never had character which replaces that of upright major Don West. Dr. Smith is now portrayed by a woman, which will be interesting as we see how the characters develop.  The popular human constructed family robot is replaced by a  mysterious  alien robot found on planet they land on.

2018 Space Family Robinson

The New Dr. Smith

 “Danger, Will Robinson!”  Alien robot – friend or foe?

My only regret is that they did not keep the original classic shape I like for the Jupiter 2 spacecraft. I am looking forward to the series.

Jupiter 2 Spacecraft

Original 1960s version

Movie version

Netflix 2018 series version

Good Morning Call Season 2 Review

A Netflix Original poster

Drama

  • Genre:  Romance, School, Youth, Comedy, Drama
  • Live-Action Television series – Manga Shojo
  • Date Released: Season 1 – 2016, Season 2 – 2017
  • OST: End of the World by Caspa

Good Morning Call Season 2 Review

New Cast (Season 2):

    • Shiraishi Shunya as Uehara Hisashi.
    • Fukuhara Haruka as Yoshikawa Nao.
    • Sakurada Dori as Shinozaki Daichi.
    • Sugino Yosuke as Natsume Shu.
    • Sagara Itsuki as Nanase Rin.
    • Takahashi Maryjun as Kumanomido Saeko.
    • Arai Moe as Konno Marina
    • Nagashima Shugo – Micchan
    • Nagasawa Koya – Abe Jun

 

Yes, finally Good Morning Call Season 2 (Our Campus Days),  is being shown by Netflix.

It has 10 episodes altogether with some new characters.  This series two continues on from their middle school/high school days to university life; campus days.

The new series is a Netflix original and they had only started showing Season 2 yesterday.

So whilst agogly waiting for this Japanese drama’s second series, I rewatched the original one a couple of days ago and enjoyed it once again.  Lots of giggles!

Then yesterday, within minutes of release in Netflix, I was there in front of my huge telly, goggle-eyed.  What a sad, happy life I lead!!!  🙂

And I binge-watched all 10 episodes in one day. 🙂

(I think Netflix has said that their customers are binge-watching their ‘box-set’ series!  – Guilty!!!)

Good Morning Call – Series two is still as Kawai but more mature.  I had a few tears a few times.  Poor Nao!

Good Morning call, Our Campus Days follows on from when Uehara and Nao were forced to share an apartment and live together.

They were victims of a scammer, who rented the same 2-bedroom apartment to each of them. For months they lived together secretly.

Before long Uehara and Nao developed feelings for each other but the school found out about their housing situation.

It was a school taboo for two unrelated kids to live together by themselves even it was platonic.

In the last episode of the first series, Uehara and Nao promised to be still together even if they have to live separately.

On moving day, they found that their estate agent/landlord put them into two flats, which were next to each other.

Series two continues on from this.

Uehara is a popular boy with his stunning good looks,  200 IQ and being athletic to boot. He is one of the top three most gorgeous (popular) boys in the university.

Girls were swooning every time he walks by. But he is beyond cool. He was cold. He does not like all the fuss.   This made him even more desirable. He is stalked by girls and it has become a bit of a problem for him.

Nao, on the other hand, is ordinary (the actress is actually very pretty) and rather clumsy but has a pure heart and perseverance.  Her innocence made her a boy magnet.  Gorgeous guys were falling for her big time.  Daichi (one of the three popular boys) loved and pined for her for eight long years.

Uehara’s predicament with boisterous girls following him everywhere continued on until he met Natsume, who he really gets on with.  Natsume showed him a secret room, where he can relax and have a moment of peace 🙂  He was so grateful to Natsume, who is very gregarious and very popular with everyone, especially with the girls.

Uehara admired Natsume’s openness and helpfulness.  He perceived Natsume as a male equivalent of Nao.  Natsume, like Nao, Uehara thinks, would go a long mile to help others, even if it means inconveniencing himself.  He was rather envious of Natsume’s friendliness, so much so that he developed a bit of an inferiority complex when comparing himself to Natsume.

Natsume is flirty and in touch with his feminine side. He loves handicrafts and embroidery. No Uehara and Natsume do not have a gay thing. LOL 🙂

In fact Natsume kissed Nao, which Uehara witnessed. Nao was so distressed that she was spinning like a top, but Uehara forgave Natsume almost in a heartbeat. What kind of a boyfriend is he?

In the end Natsume truly fell for Nao.  Told you, she is a boy magnet 🙂

Nao and Uehara’s relationship was undergoing a very uncertain phase.  To comfort the aggrieved Nao, Natusume kissed her which Uehara found out. Uehara was waiting for Nao to confess about the kiss but Nao was too embarrassed to say anything at first until the moment for confession has passed its time limit.

But before judging Nao, Uehara was not a hard done by boyfriend.  He went on a date with his boss, called Saeko, who is aptly named as she was slightly psychotic.  LOL.  Uehara and Saeko even shared a kiss which Nao witnessed.  Saeko also confessed to Uehara.  Though Uehara did tell her that he doesn’t return her feelings, he continued to be closed to her, much to the discomfiture of Nao.

There are plenty of things that are going wrong as well as a misunderstanding between Nao and Uehara so their relationship became rather awkward.

Uehara said that he wanted space and asked Nao not to go into his flat or contact him for now.

Nao understood and did what Uehara wanted. She is not confident about the relationship anyway. She was thinking that her relationship with Uehara was purely accidental, that if they were not ‘forced’ to live together Uehara would not have given her even a second look. Thinking this she finally accepted that they were not really right together and told Uehara that they should break up.

Though they had broken up, Nao said that she would only ever love Uehara and she put Natsume properly in his place.  She cannot have a deeper relationship with Natsume.  She was very upset too because Natsume had been a crutch to her in facing all her troubles.

You might get the impression that this drama series is full of angst and heartbreak but actually, there are plenty of cute and heartwarming moments; you can’t help but fall in love with Nao and Uehara all over again (if you had seen the first series).  You would also like Natsume for being a good friend and a ready shoulder to cry on for Nao.

Spoiler Do not Read (But I know you want to 🙂 lol)

Uehara was also missing Nao but he kept thinking that Natsume was better suited to be with Nao.

Natsume is a good guy and really cares for Nao and her happiness. So he misled Uehara with misinformation that Nao was going on a little vacation with him.  He let Uehara know where Nao would be at.

Saeko also came to the rescue by telling Uehara to stop running away.  But run away was what Uehara did.  Running to Nao.  I have to admit he never look more gorgeous than when he was running in his denim jeans and white t-shirt and an open polo shirt.  There is something so attractive about a fit young man running.  (Ooops, I digress) 🙂

Uehara confessed his feelings to Nao that even if she loves someone else, he would still love her.  Awww.

The end was that they are finally together with a more mature relationship.  They spend nights together in each other’s flats.   Ahhhh Uehara has turned lovely dovey 🙂 🙂 🙂  Well lovey-dovey the Uehara way.


I rewatched this whole series a second time and hated Uehara even more.  He was a clueless lump.

How can a guy who was supposed to be stalked by girls in his every ‘walking  moment’ 🙂 lose confidence in himself.  Even Saeko, his lab boss has fallen for him.  I don’t get his character motivation.

I think he has a boy crush on Natsume.  He treated him better than he dealt with Nao.

During Uehara’s birthday, which he knew Nao really worked her guts out to make it as happy and festive for him as possible; decorating every nook and cranny of his apartment, cooking all the foods he likes and more (he saw her itinerary for his birthday) and yet he did not give any second thought for working late and coming to Natsume’s rescue and bringing him to the apartment.   At least Natsume has the grace to leave and yet Uehara was easily persuaded to run after him.  He found it so easy to disappoint the poor girl.

After knowing that Nao is not happy of his closeness with Saeko (they are on a first name basis, which is apparently not the Japanese way between people who are not related), Uehara did not take Nao’s concerns into consideration; he even went on a date with Saeko.  He lamely said that it was not a date but like going for a meal with Natsume (a friend).

Ha!  He pined for Yuri for years, how can he not know about feelings?!!!

He also knew that Saeko has the hots for him and he did not really tell her to stop her flirting, in fact in a way he encouraged it.  He even allowed her to kiss him and protected her when she needed it.

I am so annoyed I think I shall rewatch it again in a couple of days!  LOL

 

The Giant Mechanical Man Movie

Last night Jean & I chatted about what movie to watch  on TV, normally we watch stuff on Netflix.  As we have been watching a steady diet of action, crime horror, thriller movies. Jean suggested a romantic movie. Normally I guess men would not opt for watching these movies by choice, in order to not become in touch with their feminine side 😉

Anyway, I said OK and let’s have a look at the choices. I scrolled through the titles on offer. I came across one I thought sounded vaguely sci fi I like 😉

It was titled ‘The Giant Mechanical Man‘, it is directed by Lee Kirk. The synopsis sounded interesting so we watched the film. I must say that I enjoyed this off-beat & charming movie. This indie movie excellently conveyed loneliness at not being understood, feeling awkward socially and a bewilderment with today’s society. There is fine acting by all the main cast.

Spoiler alert!

The movie is about a man & a woman both well-educated, single & in their 30s, who though not knowing each other, live near each other.  Whilst not exactly mis-fits, they both still don’t know what they want out of life and find it too hard to conform to what is expected of them by their families and some friends. Janice(Jenna Fischer) is a shy woman, who is still trying to get to grips and navigate her way through adult life, trying to cope with jobs, relationships etc.

Tim(Chris Messina) is devoted to being a street artist.
giantmechanicalman3_zpsb53969ca

Janice Meets her future Man

Janice Meets her Future Man

He is a good listener!

He is a good listener!

Each day he becomes a silver-painted and silver suited giant( he wears stilts), android business man, complete with a silver brief case. When he finds a spot/pitch in a street, he performs his living statue, mechanical man mime act. He makes enough to pay the bills. His live in girlfriend does not understand him and tires of his lack of apparent ambition and so breaks up with him.

Janice loses her latest temporary job and the temp agency who find her work, lets her go because of complaints about her attendance and lack of interest. She is evicted from her apartment and forced to move in with her overbearing and interfering younger sister Jill (Malin Akerman) and her husband Brian (Rich Sommer). Janice is pressured by sister & brother-in-law to date Doug (Topher Grace), who is an egotistical self-help guru (probably socially inept and who tries to cover up by blustering) .

While out walking alone a few time, Janice sees this giant mechanical man street artist performing and is intrigued, she sees him as fellow non-conformist and kindred spirit. Janice tries to talk to the street artist, but part of his act is to remain silent and act oblivious to people.

Both Janice and & Tim search for a job (Tim finds he needs to supplement his street performing income). Both find low paying menial jobs at the local zoo (Janice eventually realises her potential in the job and gets promoted). They meet & chat while working and Tim recognises Janice as the lady who caught his eye while he was performing. They become good friends and realise they have much in common. Janice & Tim begin to date and become lovers. Tim has not yet told her that he is a street performer. However Tim becomes upset when as his alter ego, performing one night, he sees Janice walking with the persistent pompous Doug, who has his arm around her (much to her annoyance). She finally dumps Doug. Tim stops contacting her, she becomes sad and while out walking sees the street artist performing and walks up to him and desperately needing someone to talk to, she tells of her feelings for Tim, to the silent artist. He then looks down at her and smiles, she recognises the artist is Tim and the rest is history…living happily ever after 🙂

What Does It Mean?

I don’t know if I was overly sensitive because I was distraught!

Anyway in bed last night, my MacPro book was in a mood.  The cursor seemed to have developed a mind of its own.  Refused to do as I wished and just taken control of itself.

I had to call my genius son to sort it out remotely (this is such a wonderful system at teamviewer.com).  My ever so brilliant son was able to make it work.  But after 20 minutes it reverted back to its malfunctioning way.  I am afraid I gave it a bit of thumping as I was so furious.  It positively refused to open my website.  It did not want me to blog.  Probably did not want me to say too much that would fill me with shame and embarrassment the next day or two.   Omigod, it really felt supernatural.

daddy long legsAnd to top that I think a daddy-long-legs started flying by my bedside lamp.  It was creepy, lol, the way it was just flying round and round by the light.  This was around 3:00am as I was getting a bit tired, I gave it a quick swipe with one of my glossy magazines.  As soon as I did that it just disappeared, I looked for it on the floor but it wasn’t there!  Really spooky.

Then I thought, oh sh*t, I just killed my father. LOL 😉  The daddy-long-legs was probably the spirit of my Daddy who had passed on almost 30 years ago.  But I started thinking about him in the last few days.  He was probably with me last night telling me to be not too sad, that everything will sort itself out and to turn off the light and go to sleep.  Instead I turned away from his spirit life which was trying to guide and comfort me in my hour of deep sorrow!  How ungrateful was I?!!!

This deep sorrow was exacerbated by watching Julia Roberts’ Eat, Pray, Love on Netflix.  I only got half-way the film as I got so depressed and more alone.  Not good for a depressed women on the verge of a separation; a separation she really did not want but had to come to terms with it.

Well c’est la vie

Bye for now, I have got a mountain of clothes to iron and put away before the house valuation of Thursday.

Watch US Netflix films & tv shows in the UK and other countries on Google Chrome

As you may know, US Netflix viewers have a much broader range of films and tv shows which may take weeks or months to hit UK Netflix. Films such as Thor, Captain America and other block busters.

Recently I discovered that it is extremely easy to access the US version of Netflix, so lets skip pointless introductions and get on with it!

 

Please note This works only on Google Chrome and FireFox.

For Google Chrome

  1. On Google Chrome, navigate to https://mediahint.com/
  2. Click on Start Using to continue
  3. Download the extension found at the top of MediaHint page
  4. It will now download. Dismiss any messages that appear by clicking “ok”.
  5. On Chrome, go to your settings page, then go to the Extensions section (or click here chrome://extensions/)
  6. Locate the downloaded extension on your computer, and literally drag it onto your Extensions section
  7. It may pop up with warning messages saying it is requesting permission to access page data. It is 100% safe so you can click YES on these messages.
  8. Thats it, it should now appear in your list of extensions.
  9. Go to Netflix.com and you will now be able to browse and watch the extensive catalogue of films.

We noticed that we could access more and newer films and tv when using SAFARI on Apple MacPro

I’ll get round to writing up the rest of the guide for Firefox users!

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