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Shindo tells the story of two people, a usual…anyway, Uta (Riko Narumi) is a gifted pianist, coming from a not so well-off family, her mother sort of forced her to play piano, for the sake of her future (apparently). And she met a senior of hers who is trying to get into college through piano audition, it’s a music school. But he’s not as good and Uta sort of helped him boost his confidence…and he finally got in.

Uta on the other hand, isn’t sure herself whether she really wants to continue playing despite her liking for piano and music. she supposedly likes to play on her own will…not being forced. Then she begins to suffer hearing loss…But before she lost it completely, she was given a chance of a lifetime to perform in place of a famous pianist with the orchestra.

The story is pretty slow but it showed trivial things that matter. Although i’d have preferred some scenes cut off. I’m not sure whether it’s to lengthen the movie…or whatever, but if i were the director, i’d have cut them of.

I am impressed though by the two leads’ talents in playing piano. I’m certain by now that Riko Narumi does know how to play coz in the last two movies, i’ve seen her play. And that senior, he’s good too! He’s the one acting as L in Death Note i think…correct me if i’m wrong but yeah…

OVERALL: 7.5/10

The soundtrack is good. Ripple song especially the piano version is really touching! Especially watching them both playing together during the ending montage…really nice…

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With great reviews and responses…from forums and friends, i had huge expectations…

However…the ending kinda disappoint me. The storyline is a bit…of a lackluster for me, after having watched resident evil, this movie to me is just …not as good anymore. But what i liked in the movie is the relationship between him and his pet dog, which literally brought me to tears watching that touching scene.

But other than that, nothing else actually attracted me at all. Chemistry is near zero, except the one btw him and Sam(hisdog).

And i think he has one of the least lines in this movie. which is …kinda different if done the right way, but here, it’s just not as good. Will Smith saved the movie though, his superb acting from his body language and facial expressions in some scenes are just magnificent! But if he’s not there, then this movie is pretty much *nothing*.

OVERALL: 7/10
And i’m being generous for that….xD

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Calling You is a story about two people, separated by time differences, until the end of it, it really really reminds me of the movie The Lake House. Although i actually preferred this one over that. Featuring two young actor/actress, Riko Narumi (1 litre of tears) and Koide Kesuke.

Riko plays a girl who is shy, lonely, and apparently the only one in her class who doesn’t have a phone. yes, she doesn’t need one anyway if it won’t ring…you see. Becoz of her past trauma while playing piano, she became kinda quiet. suddenly one day, she picked up a toy phone and it actually rang. Okay, this part of the movie needs some imagination, if you keep on wondering how it happened with your scientific knowledge, well…you won’t find this movie that realistic and you wont enjoy the main point of the movie. so…scratch all those “realistic values” here.

So, she made mental connections with this guy who is deaf and dumb. I’ve never seen this guy acting before, but i gotta say, he has one of the CUTEST SMILE ever!!! yes! I really love his smile and his honesty. portrayed very very well here. And of course, Riko is good as usual.

I wont give more details further…but it’s a worh watching movie. I enjoyed every bit of it. And the ending was sad…if u can guess…by now. And also, i like the simple twist in the story…that caught me off guard…like i actually missed that part till when it was nearly revealed. ” I should’ve figured it out…”

OVERALL: 8/10
Good soundtrack and excellent acting …you dont wanna miss this. xD

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Min is played by Jun gi-Lee, a new rising Korean actor who followed his father to Kyoto, Japan. There he meets Nanae (Aoi Miyazaki), a local student where he studies. Despite having language barrier, they still manage to understand each other, although it’s a bit…*slow*. Seeing Aoi playing a normal student, without much makeup, like seriously i couldn’t recognize her at first! took me a while to get used to her present character. Coz in NANA movie before this, she’s much well adorned…if you know what i mean. And also, in NANA she was happy go lucky and gets over-excited easily, here…it’s like a 180 degree turn….here, she’s a more quiet person but kind all the same.

The Korean guy is convincing in his role, although this is the first time seeing him in a movie, for me, he definitely did his part very well. And he is kinda….cute too, jumping like a child outside the window to attract Nanae…that scene was funny. And racing with the monk! god….haha…

I learnt a Kyoto dialect way of saying Thank You…* ookini* xD
and *rain* in Korean is ” pii”. A lot of rain is ” Jangma” in Korean and “Tsuyu” in Japanese. “Haengbook” is happiness in Korean…well, basically u learn new stuffs in here…xD

Apparently, Nanae has some problems in her family which made her move suddenly and disappeared. Leaving Min alone, not understanding the reason she did it.

Overall: 7/10
Why? Because…the movie doesn’t really offer much except for maybe great soundtrack to make up for the lack of actions and pretty mundane storyline. I suppose i only liked the snowfall at the end of the movie which is pretty. To know the ending, watch it urself. Sorry to say that i won’t watch it for the second time though, and i did fast forward some scenes…which too longer than they should have to be filmed, some scenes are just unnecessary…

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Here’s the trailer, WATCH IT xD

Ok, you know what? I didn’t think that there’s anything much to anticipate for year 2008 till now. xD

Yes, this is a new movie coming out on February 2, 2008. And guess what> it stars Horikita Maki as the lead with two characters. Here’s the case: Minato (her cheerful personality) meets Night/Knight (her alter ego who has a dark character).

That said, i suppose you can guess what she’s playing this time. She has multiple personality disorder apparently.

Here’s the synopsis:
Minato befriends Night whom she thought is a boy her age. Yes, a boy, and she sends letters to him. That’s how they communicate. Then, Minato fell for this guy, and she told Night about it. Night gets agitated…coz he likes Minato. and so, begins this weird/awkward love triangle.

I can’t wait for this movie! I think it’s gonna be superb, given this good storyline. I just love movies with mental illness characters. Especially those that has personality disorders. I like it when actors/actresses are given a more challenging role to act as different or altogether the opposite personalities.

February….hurry!

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Directed by Andrew Lau, known for his previous works like Internal Affairs (HK), it’s his first time trying to direct an English movie. The movie’s about an employee of Department of Public Safety, Agent Erroll Babbage played by Richard Gere ( i have to say that’s a pretty quirky surname) *reminds me of cabbage* And he’s gonna retire in like 3 weeks 3 days (18 exactly) when he was given the responsibility to train his replacement through his remaining days at work.

So well, his female replacement is starred by Claire Danes (Little Women) as Allison Lowry. The movie is pretty dark and edgy as the director uses freeze frames and flashes right from the beginning till almost the end. It’s a thriller and mystery, so i suppose it’s appropriate. however it does get a bit dizzy and confusing to watch.

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Agent Erroll has a problem of his own as he trails sex offenders across the country, looking for missing girls/women, and he got so into the job that he starts to lose his temper as well as rational (he carries his own gun around). And trainee Allison can’t accept his way of working around the suspects.

Overall, the movie is fine, it does get to the point although things seem a bit messy in the beginning as Erroll moves from one place to another interrogating suspects, which one of them is Beatrice Spell’s boyfriend. I just wanna say this, Avril Lavigne played a small role in here as the girlfriend of the suspected sex offender. She did a decent job, only has few lines, so it’s hard to judge her acting abilities with such a short screen time. But like i said, decent job. Her character though…apparently was killed in the end of the movie. Pretty gross way to die. *SPOILER* I think if i saw properly, her face was uh…peeled or just covered in red blood all over.Although i am sure that’s just a dummy, but still. yes, this movie’s filled with gross stuffs. Especially when they were hunting down these people who cut off girls’ hands and feet for whatever reason they have in mind.

OVERALL: 7/10

This movie’s not for everyone. If you like thrillers, you might want to watch this. There are several scenes where they’ll get you all squirmy. But it does get interesting towards the end. A simple twist.

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Released on December 19, 2007, this is their 5th studio album.

  1. “voyager”
  2. “Hoshi no Tori” (星の鳥?)
  3. Mayday(メーデー?)
  4. “Sainoujin Ouenka” (才悩人応援歌?)
  5. PLANETARIUM(プラネタリウム?)
  6. supernova
  7. “HAMMER SONG to Itami no Tou” (ハンマーソングと痛みの塔?)
  8. “Jikuu Kakurenbo” (時空かくれんぼ?)
  9. “Kasabutabutabu” (かさぶたぶたぶ?)
  10. “Hana no Na” (花の名?)
  11. “Hitori Goto” (ひとりごと?)
  12. “Amedama no Uta” (飴玉の唄?)
  13. “Hoshi no Tori reprise” (星の鳥 reprise?)
  14. KARMA(カルマ?)
  15. “arrows”
  16. “Namida no Furusato” (涙のふるさと?)
  17. “flyby”

Mayday is electric guitar driven and is a midtempo track. It’s pretty fast and filled with energy as the lead kept on singing, nonstop really. There’s something with the lead’s vocals which kinda makes me cringe when i first listened to them, but i got used to it. It’s…different you know. Like it’s kinda ‘soft’ for a male singer. xD

Planetarium is one of their singles and it’s really good. Highly recommended. It’s more of a slower track with this relaxing feel. The whole pop/rock scene is toned down for this track, with light drums and easy guitars. The lead’s vocals as usual are great here.

supernova starts with light acoustic guitars as the lead opened slowly. Another laid back track with the ” la, la, la, hey, hey, hey and ooh…”. but i think the tracks a little bit too long for easy listening. It’s 6 minutes long. However, it picks up towards the end.

Kasabuta Batabu is a cute and fun song. You know…the melody reminds me of songs like Ai Otsuka might sing. Even the title is funny! The clapping works fine and it just sounds like a pretty childish song, but not too immature.

Hana no Na is a quiet track accompanied with acoustic guitar. Another long track up to 6 minutes. I figured that this band, when it comes to slow tracks, it takes longer xD There’s some sort of sadness in this song, yet it’s not grief. It’s just…it makes you feel nostalgic.

Karma is the opening for the video game, Tales of the Abyss. It’s a fast electric guitar driven from the start.

arrows is another quite track and slow. with the lead’s soft vocals, it feels pretty tranquil. And…i’m not surprised anymore when i see how long it is. I’ll let you guess it yourself. xD

Namida no Furusato
is another single from the record. begins with electric guitar solo. Midtempo. not bad actually.

flyby definitely got me. I was tricked with the slow acoustic and i thought it’s gonna be another slow one, until it bursts into the chorus, loud….i was *wow* As the last track, it’s really short. Just over a minute long. Too bad, I’d hoped that it’s a full length track but considering there are already 17 tracks in the record, it’s ok to cut it short.

OVERALL: 7/10

the record does have a few strong tracks, especially the singles, while the slower tracks sound similar, with one or two actually nice to listen to after a rough day, just sitting down and relaxed. But they do sound pretty repetitive, a bit recycled to me.

Just some screencaps of her latest PV.

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I really love the concept she uses this time. The whole carousel and puppets…

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Her dancers did awesome with their acting as puppets, even Ayu herself did well. The only problem i have with this PV though is the lack of other actions…like, there are only few scenes and they get boring to watch after a while. But nevertheless, I just LOVE it when she uses string puppets!

she’s done it several times already in other videos, just this time, it’s much more wholesome. I like weird weird stuffs in her videos.

my personal rating: 8.5/10

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Release Date: July 13, 2007
01. Intro
02. Gai Bian Zi Ji [改变自己]
03. Luo Ye Gui Gen [落叶归根]
04. Chuang Zuo Qian Yan [创作前言]
05. Wo Men De Ge [我们的歌]
06. Ni Shi Wo Xin Nei De Yi Shou Ge [你是我心内的一首歌] ft. Selina [任家萱]
07. Ai Zai Na Li [爱在哪里]
08. Cockney Girl
09. Bu Wan Zheng De Xuan Lü [不完整的旋律]
10. Ai De Gu Li [爱的鼓励]
11. Hua Ren Wan Sui [华人万岁]
12. Xing Qi Liu De Shen Ye [星期六的深夜]

3rd track is a single which is a ballad. It starts with European style violin or those kind of instruments, giving it a more western feel but then continues off with Asian mood. It’s a good slow track.

Before going into Wo Men De Ge, there’s a prelude to prepare listeners to the next full song. He spinned some of his older tracks in the prelude with distortion as he speaks something like ” I want to make our song (he and somebody)”. It features a bit of rapping, yet he uses electric guitar like the one Santana does. Hip-hop style.

The next one is well, commercially successful with radio spins and such, sung together with Selina (SHE). It was a cover of an old song actually, though i don’t know whose. Apparently it’s his first time singing in Minan language.

Cockney Girl is a rather weird song, starting with this tribal kind of music, then the hip-hop rapping comes in as a female singer joins.

Hua Ren Wan Sui begins with western bass, as he raps. a pretty enjoyable track. definitely hip-hop influenced.

The last track is accompanied with piano. A pretty quiet song, calm and relaxing. A great track to end the record.

OVERALL: 8.5/10

He continues with great hip-hop tunes as he raps very well anyway, and also good ballads. He knows what he does best in music and explores them and uses them to the fullest. I prefer his album this time over Jay’s, honestly. Jay should stick with you know…those ballads he used to make last time, he’s great with those. As for Lee Hom, he’s a great singer. The album is worth buying for fans i’d say.

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Released on November 2, 2007, this is his 8th album.

  1. 牛仔很忙 Cowboy On The Run (Niu Zai Hen Mang)
  2. 彩虹 Rainbow (Cai Hong)
  3. 青花瓷 Blue Vase (Qing Hua Ci)
  4. 陽光宅男 Sunshine Homeboy (Yang Guang Zhai Nan)
  5. 蒲公英的約定 Dandelion’s Promise (Pu Gong Ying De Yue Ding)
  6. 無雙 Unparalleled (Wu Shuang)
  7. 我不配 I’m Not Worthy (Wo Bu Pei)
  8. Pull/Ripping (Che)
  9. 甜甜的 Sweetness (Tian Tian De)
  10. 最長的電影 The Longest Movie (Zui Chang De Dian Ying)

 

I won’t elaborate the whole album so here goes with just several tracks I find more outstanding.

Let’s start with Track 1, Cowboy on The Run…features him singing in a cowboy style. It sounds pretty country and this is something new from him. I don’t mind it as long as it sounds good and he did manage to pull off well.

Blue Vase is an oriental influenced ballad. I find it very nice whenever he incorporates traditional stuffs into his work. He used “erhu” before in other tracks in previous albums, this time, it’s mainly “guzheng” or any kind of that family. You know, the one with strings on the wooden instrument where you pluck them. I’ve seen these instruments being played ‘live’, superbly beautiful!

Dandelion’s Promise is a track from the movie Secret where he starred alongside with Guey Lun Mei. It’s a ballad and not bad, really.

Sweetness is a light hearted pop song. Something I didn’t exactly expect to hear from him, it sounds like something Vivian Hsu would sing. In that case, nothing too special to brag about.

There are several faster tracks like Wu Shuang and Yang Guang Zhai Nan. But if you’re looking for those in his older albums, then you may be a little disappointed. I don’t know why but YGZN really sounds like something Mayday (the band) will sing. And also, the ballads this time aren’t as strong. Just 1 or 2 tracks, that’s all.

OVERALL: 7/10