Had a few days off recently and for once didn’t go on a trip as saving for one next month. It was tipping it down with rain anyway so I watched a few DVD’s with Japanese connections as the rental store had a special offer.
Firstly, I watched ‘The Last Samurai‘ (2003) which I’d still never seen. It was actually better than I’d imagined it would be though far too long for someone with my limited attention span! Read a more detailed review of this film here.
Secondly, I watched ‘Pearl Harbor‘ which I only knew previously to be a war film best not to be mentioned to most Japanese! ‘Tora! Tora! Tora!‘ (1970) is the cooler WWII film to like and this one isn’t but I quite enjoyed it despite being an overlong Hollywood film (albeit one full of amazing battle scenes) overflowing with cliches.
Next up was the 1982 so-called sci-fi classic ‘Blade Runner‘ which was set in a Los Angeles perhaps based on a futuristic Tokyo. This was the directors cut so I don’t know whether it’s better or worse than the other version. I know many people consider this to be amazing, and whilst I did enjoy moments of it, I never really got into the story so much.
As I think I’ve mentioned before, my ideas about Japan previously came from films like ‘The Karate Kid‘ (1984) as well as ‘Lost in Translation‘ (2003), ‘007 You Only Live Twice‘ (1967), ‘Kill Bill‘ (2003), ‘Austin Powers in Goldmember‘ (2002) and even ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s‘ (1961) where Mickey Rooney portrayed a Japanese man in a time when you could get away with such a thing.
Whilst its not a film ‘The Simpsons‘ also gave me an insight into the land of the rising sun and my final viewing was their ‘Japan: 30 minutes over Tokyo‘ episode (Season 10 Episode 23 for all the geeks out there!) which saw the dysfunctional family go to Japan and run out of money resulting in them appearing on a crazy Japanese game show in order to win tickets back home. Seeing Homer continuously just walking through the thin paper walls was very amusing as was his rude behaviour in such a polite country and it was these images which were stuck in my mind before I came here.
Tokyo Fox Rating 7/10 (The Last Samurai)
Tokyo Fox Rating 7/10 (Pearl Harbor)
Tokyo Fox Rating 6/10 (Blade Runner)
Tokyo Fox Rating 9/10 (The Simpsons)
The Simpsons also advertised a tasty Japanese drink called ‘CC Lemon’ years ago and those adverts are here for anyone interested.