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David L ReinkeMay. 25, 2016 - 12:48AM JST
Good point Katsu78, and this is where parents need to be informed consumers so they can select the best set for their kids. There are still plenty of sets available that are more "generic" (which is to say not tied to a specific theme or film) that allow for more 'free form' play and construction.
It is also worth considering just who if purchasing these sets. Many are older collectors who will build the Death Star or the Avenger Tower and then put its on display. For kids, they might also build a pre-designed firetruck or castle, but once they start playing with it these items will rarely remain as built.
There is a book, Extreme Bricks by Sarah Herman c2013, that catalogs just what one can build with Lego, and the photos are simply amazing. It proves that with enough time & talent (and bricks) you really can build anything. There are other books on this very topic and they might serve to inspire young engineers.
Posted in: Toy 'arms race' turning Lego violent: study
David L ReinkeMay. 24, 2016 - 12:18PM JST
Tempest in a teapot.
LEGO is a great toy.
With enough time & talent (and enough bricks) you really can build anything.
David L ReinkeMay. 23, 2016 - 11:48PM JST
Interesting -- more than 70's year after the war and we are still making new, and important, discoveries. This book should prove to be a fascinating read.
Posted in: Mountbatten’s Samurai: Imperial Japanese Army, Navy Forces under British control in Southeast Asia, 1945-1948.
David L ReinkeMay. 14, 2016 - 12:51AM JST
Trump as Groucho Marx?
That is an insult to true Marxists the world over.
Trump is precisely the type of pompous blowhard the Marx Brothers took aim at.
Posted in: Trump's brand of populism: Is he the next Andrew Jackson? Or the next Groucho Marx?
David L ReinkeMay. 08, 2016 - 12:46AM JST
Are there no new stories to tell?
Posted in: 'Predator' reboot to begin filming by October
David L ReinkeMay. 06, 2016 - 12:14AM JST
Lawrence Kasdan's film, Silverado.
Posted in: 'Magnificent 7' revives forgotten story of black cowboys
David L ReinkeApr. 15, 2016 - 09:05AM JST
"...O’Reilly and Dugard the most widely read historians..."
Historians? These two?
This topic, the final year of the war in the Pacific, has been covered very well indeed by John Toland (Rising Sun - The Decline And Fall Of The Japanese Empire, c1970) and by Max Hastings in his book, Retribution - The Battle For Japan 1944-45, c2007.
As for the atomic bomb, there are several books the very best of which are:
The Making Of The Atomic Bomb by Richard Rhodes, c1986
American Prometheus - The Triumph and Tragedy of J Robert Oppenheimer by Kai Bird & Martin Sherwin, c2005
History Wars -- The Enola Gay And Other Battle For The American Past by Edward Linenthal & Tom Engelhard, c1996
Posted in: O'Reilly's next 'Killing' subject: Japan, at end of World War II
David L ReinkeDec. 30, 2015 - 12:37AM JST
Star Wars singing contest ... Where's Bill Murray?
Nothing but Star Wars,
It's got to be Star Wars,
All of the time."
--Bill Murray, SNL
Posted in: 'Kohaku' New Year’s Eve singing contest will be invaded by 'Star Wars'
David L ReinkeDec. 16, 2015 - 09:16AM JST
LEGO -- the best toy ever.
I played with LEGO when I was younger, as did my daughters and now my grandsons. With enough time, talent, and bricks, you really can build anything.
Posted in: Building blocks for the future
David L ReinkeDec. 14, 2015 - 01:25AM JST
"...people here simply can't act and almost all Japanese films are strange and boring..."
Chushhingura (any number of versions)
Fires On The Plain,
The Human Condition,
A host of incredible actors in the Kabuki Theatre:
Yes, I which more actors were that 'bad.'
Posted in: Teaser gives us our first peek at Japan’s upcoming Godzilla movie
David L ReinkeNov. 24, 2015 - 09:12AM JST
"...1983’s “Return of the Jedi” that culminated in Luke’s patricidal killing of Vader."
Well, not quite.
Luke does cut off his father's hand during their light saber duel, but Vader dies from wounds sustained while saving his son, Luke, from the wrath of the Emperor.
That aside, the article rightly credits Williams with creating a series of scores that deftly enrich the universe created by Lucas. It is now impossible to imagine Star Wars without the iconic music by John Williams.
Posted in: In 'Star Wars,' classical music has rare giant impact
David L ReinkeNov. 07, 2015 - 10:19AM JST
Saw this film at a screening a couple of weeks ago -- enjoyed it very much. The cast is in top form and the story told with wit, intelligence, and a heavy dose of irony. The scene of the confrontation between Trumbo and John Wayne elicited well deserved applause from the audience. This is a film worth seeking out.
Posted in: 'Trumbo' resurrects Hollywood's darkest chapter
David L ReinkeOct. 11, 2015 - 01:02AM JST
"the tourists do not want to see "traditional" ninja ..they want to see the ninja and samurai as portrayed in kabuki which is what they have seen in the western films."
As portrayed in any number of films (both Japanese and Western) perhaps so, but as portrayed in Kabuki?
Most Americans have not seen Kabuki, unless they happen to live near one of the handful of universities with active Japanese Theatre programs (like the University of Hawai'i at Manoa) and even then, ninja do not appear as characters in that many Kabuki plays, nor are those plays the ones usually selected for performance in English. (More common are Kanjincho, Sukeroku, Narukami and very rarely Chushingura.)
However, when it comes to film (Hollywood, Anime, TV's American Ninja Warrior) your point is well and fairly taken. Indeed, the historical reality might disappoint.
David L ReinkeOct. 04, 2015 - 11:06PM JST
Ah Hollywood ...
They call it Show Business for a reason.
Posted in: Ad-driven Scorsese film premieres in S Korea
David L ReinkeOct. 01, 2015 - 12:46AM JST
What -- Did Thomas not pay a visit to the Kabuki-za?
Posted in: Thomas the Tank Engine’s video visit to Japan is more Japanese than life in Japan
David L ReinkeSep. 16, 2015 - 09:08AM JST
The film is "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" while the stage play is simply "The Rocky Horror Show."
We actually staged an 'imaginary kabuki' version of this play, calling it the "Onnagata Pinker Show." at the University of Hawai'i back in 1981. It was, to say the least, an imaginative take off on the original.
Posted in: Tokyo International Players to perform 'The Rocky Horror Show'
David L ReinkeAug. 17, 2015 - 12:42AM JST
We have been presenting Kabuki, in English, at the university of Hawai'i (and at other select universities) for years now, always to sold-out houses. This includes both classic plays (Chushingura, Kanjincho, Ibaraki) as well as fusion, or what we call 'imaginary kabuki' plays (Richard III, Revenge At Spider Mountain, The Emperor Of Mars).
That this production in Vegas enjoyed an audience of over 10,000 on Friday night is impressive but not completely surprising. Kabuki is a wonderful theatrical art form, full of life and energy. There is spectacle, but there is more, much more, for these are stories that delve deeply into the human condition -- love, sacrifice, the corruption of power -- themes that are universal.
Bravo on this initial success in Las Vegas, but the real question remains: Will traditional Kabuki prove as popular not only in Vegas but in the the wider US?
I think it can, but only if Shochiku, and its US partners, are willing to spend not just the money, but also the time to build an audience. If they are, then Kabuki could finds the US to be very receptive indeed.
Posted in: Kabuki show debuts at Las Vegas Bellagio as MGM eyes Japan
David L ReinkeJul. 06, 2015 - 10:08AM JST
I can not speak to the efficacy of the Japanese government's efforts to promote Japan, however...
Ignoring, for the moment, the monster in the room (Godzilla) I do know that when the University of Hawai'i mounted a production of The kabuki play Chushingura, under the direction of Nakamura Matagoro II, it played to sold out houses for three weeks in Honolulu (8 performances per week) a sold out tour if the neighbor islands and then a six week coast-to-coast tour of the U.S. each performance sold out. Likewise, our production of Kanjincho, under the direction of James R Brandon & Onoe Kikunobu, also enjoyed a sold out run in Honolulu.
The annual Anime Expo at the Los Angeke Convention Center just finished, once again enjoying robust attendance. At the 2010 convention a live stage show, by a troupe from Tokyo, of a ghost story performed in Japanese, was enthusiastically received by the standing room only audience.
Perhaps it is the case, as noted above, that the material selected and how it is presented, are the critical factors in their success or failure to attract an audience. Clearly the interest exists and their are audiences willing to pay to see good films, plays and works of art.
Can the Japanese government do more? No doubt.
I, for one, would love to see more Kabuki here in the US. The NHK used to broadcast, weekly, kabuki plays. They have a vast library of classic plays featuring some of the greatest actors to grace not just the Kabuki stage but any stage in the world. The government should make those recordings available, at a very attractive price, in the US market. Will they be as big as Godzilla? Perhaps not, but wth time and patience the will find a following here in the US.
Posted in: Gackt lashes out at Cool Japan: 'Almost no results of Japanese culture exported overseas'
David L ReinkeJun. 21, 2015 - 11:53PM JST
It is all about the money, and Hollywood listens closely to the cash register, after all, they call this "Show Business" for a reason.
So vote with your wallets. Go to those stories you want to be told.
That said, some stories really do work better on television. Stone's Alexander the Great is a case in point. Stone has recut the film half a dozen times now and still can not seem to get the film the way he wants it. This may be that the story of Alexander is simply too great to be told effectively even in a 3+ hour film. However, as an episodic series, like those on HBO, he just might be able to tell the story he wants to.
On the other hand, a film like Zack Snyder's 300, is all about the visuals and so works better on a larger canvas where the visuals can easily overwhelm the viewer.
As for the 70's being the "Golden Age" of cinema...
Yes, there were lots of great films in that decade, but the golden age?
In the 70's they were talking of the 40's as the golden age, and no doubt in the 2020's they will be looking at the 90's as the golden age.
It is story telling and every year there are stories well told and not.
Posted in: Superhero movies are ruining cinema, says 'Exorcist' director
David L ReinkeJun. 20, 2015 - 10:02AM JST
Sorcerer was an excellent film, a re-make of a great European film, but excellent in every respect.
For the director of The Exorcist to complain about the take over of Hollywood by fantasy films as opposed to those 'rooted in realty' rings just a tad bit hallow. Besides, it was Woody Allen's Annie Hall that won the Oscar for best film in 1977, not Star Wars.
That said, Friedkin is absolutely correct, some of the very best work is being done on television, particularly stories that require time to develop their plot and characters. We can hope that Friedkin does direct again.
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May. 26, 2016 - 03:47AM JST
Be nice people:)
Posted in: Obama arrives for summit
May. 26, 2016 - 03:16AM JST
Beat then senseless without getting caught because the police sure ain't gone do their job properly.
Posted in: What is the most effective legal way to deal with stalkers?
May. 26, 2016 - 03:11AM JST
But if blacks and hispanics are to blame, it must be mind boggling that this story…
Posted in: Protests turn violent outside Trump rally in New Mexico
May. 26, 2016 - 03:07AM JST
I don't think that a 1-year-old boy is capable of ripping up the windows net.
Posted in: Baby boy falls to death from 6th floor in Kyoto
We all understand they want to keep their right to insult and scream hateful slogan in…
Posted in: If restrictive provisions are included, this will have the effect of public authorities passing judgments regarding (whether specific types of expression are) good or bad.
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