“Did I receive any mail?”asked Akemi.

She seemed genuinely crestfallen when I informed her: “No.”, then did that thing she always does when she’s thinking, alternately inflating one cheek, then the other.  “Waiting for something?”I asked.

“An invitation to my sister’s wedding.”

I considered.  “Are you sure you’re invited?”

She threw me a look, then redirected her attention to the brochure for The Imperial Hotel Tokyo I’d just received.  “It’s too bad,”she said, eyeing one of the hotel’s fall deals.  “They have a great deal in September.”

“When’s your sister getting married?”


“Is it set in stone?  Would it be possible for her to move it forward a couple of weeks?  I mean twenty six thousand yen a night.  That’s a pretty good deal.”

She ignored me.

“What?  Would it hurt to ask?”

And continued to ignore me.

So, hey, the votes are on and, if you didn’t notice, The Fifth Element came out on top.  That means that Monday, July 15th, the Supermovie of the Week Club will reconvene with a non-superhero-themed movie. Our resident film critic, Cookie Monster, will swing by to weigh in with his thoughts on the movie – and expect you to weigh in with yours as well.  The week following, we return to the super theme with one of the movies we overlooked in our year-long marathon viewing: Despicable Me.  The sequel is getting a lot of buzz so I’m curious as to what all the fuss is about.  Anyway, check out the trailers of the next couple of movies on deck:

What’s with Gary Oldman’s hair?  And Chris Tucker’s everything?

My writing partner gives it the thumbs up.  But he’s got kids.

Hey, speaking of movies (and at the risk of sending Das into a tizzy) here’s an interesting article on The Lone Ranger’s box office underperformance: The Lone Ranger Represents Everything That’s Wrong With Hollywood Blockbusters.  I agree with the breakdown, especially point 4, “The Length Problem”.  “Fun” summer releases have no business being over two hours long.  Oh, hey, by the way, Hollywood – Despicable Me 2, which is kicking The Lone Ranger’s ass, runs a comparatively brief 98 minutes.  This does NOT bode well for the 131 minute Pacific Rim which, coincidentally or not, is already on track to flame out at the box office.  But, clearly, Hollywood will be damned if they let the general movie-going public tell THEM what to make! Witness the After Earth debacle.  They’re going to let M. Night Shyamalan keep making movies until he gets it right!  Suddenly, The Sixth Sense seems like such a long time ago.

Oh, to those of you inquiring about Martin’s birthday present, I ended up getting him a gift certificate for THIS place: Snake River Farms, home of American Wagyu Beef and Kurobuta Pork.

25 thoughts on “July 10, 2013: Tokyo plans! Watch this! And not that!

  1. Well, you know best about your friend’s tastes, but I still think The Queen Mary in full seagoing regalia was the way to go. He’d have made such a cute Commodore, don’t you think?
    So you are off to Japan again. Could you maybe take a trip to Taiji and witness the dolphin slaughter then write about it in your blog? I, and many other dolphin and whale lovers would be eternally grateful.

  2. I completely agree about the length problem. It seems many of these movies are padded with time to their detriment, just to make them more “epic”. Bleh.

    Hopefully, I’ll get a chance to watch the Fifth Element before I head out on the road again.

  3. I totally agree with the article. I like Johnny Depp but I’m kinda glad the movie is not doing well.
    The running time is something that has annoyed me for ages. Very few movies need to be over 2h, for the vast majority and especially the brainless ones, 90 min is plenty. It used to be epic movies like Dances with Wolves that were overly long, but these days every movie needs to go on forever.
    The franchise thing, sequels and prequels and 20th parts of the same movie as well as remakes have long worn out their welcome.

    I hope the movie industry learns something, but if the digital age and Hollywood show us something, things won’t change for another 5y at least.

  4. Pacific Rim looks amazing. I do like the designs in those. That being said, Mechs/Exosuits seem like a good way for humans to explore other planets for obvious reasons. I think someone will invent something in the distant future that is around this level. Of course spaceships will always be at the forefront.

  5. The Lone Ranger is not doing well only because I HAVEN’T FEAKIN’ SEEN IT YET!!!! AAAAARRRRGGGGHHHH!!! I am so overwhelmed right now with work and life that I barely have time to pee. I think maybe I’ll start wearing diapers. 😛


  6. But, clearly, Hollywood will be damned if they let the general movie-going public tell THEM what to make!
    it seems that “hollywood” is at least 5-10 years behind the movie-going public’s thinking. they think: “hey! this overblown, plot-hole filled, star-studded extravaganza made a boatload of money a few years ago. this must be what the people want.” even though the last 5 of those kind of movies didn’t do that well.

    spielberg predicts “implosion” of the movie industry. (can’t recall if this was poster here)

    Steven Spielberg on Wednesday predicted an “implosion” in the film industry is inevitable, whereby a half dozen or so $250 million movies flop at the box office and alter the industry forever. What comes next — or even before then — will be price variances at movie theaters, where “you’re gonna have to pay $25 for the next Iron Man, you’re probably only going to have to pay $7 to see Lincoln.” He also said that Lincoln came “this close” to being an HBO movie instead of a theatrical release.

  7. Glad you are home safe and sound. Hope the doggies and sitter got along. 🙂

    As much as I loved Sixth Sense, I have been disappointed in all his other work I have seen. And sorry, no desire for Lone Ranger or Pacific Rim.

    Well too bad you can’t negotiate the Sept rate for Nov! You could TRY!

  8. I’m Back! My dog and surprisingly my cat were both overjoyed to see me and now neither will leave me alone. It is good to be home.

    Anyway – onto the more important things like the Lone Ranger – I have no desire to see it. Even Johnny Depp doing his thing is not enough incentive to go see this one. The only possible chance I see it is if it plays as the second movie at the Drive In Theater (only one still in existence in this area) this weekend.

    And finally, being the follower that I am – I had to catch up on all the posts I missed and I have only one thing to say: Joe, you and Akemi eat a lot of food and it looked amazing – but how on earth do you manage to stay thin? You both look great.

  9. G’day

    To join in with all the birthday celebration going round, it is mine today, Thursday.

    No desire to see The Lone Ranger. Despicable Me 2 is great. Although I have not yet seen all of DM 1.

  10. I never did get to go to a Japanese wedding. One of my shipmates married into a wealthy Japanese family. Not sure which chain of department stores they owned, but they were, and are, substantial. He was not allowed to invite any of us, save the Division Officer. They flew in his family at least. He showed us the amazing portrait photos, and apparently the gift bags were mind blowing. More of a corporate affair than what we’d consider a family wedding. Still, we had one heck of a bachelor party for him.

    That was 20 something years ago, and he is still in Japan.

  11. If a movie is good then it never feels too long; 2.4 hours of Independence Day flew by at a fun clip, while 3.10 hours of King Kong made me aware of every second that dragged by. Tarantino actually owned up to his overlong running times after Death Proof, but Del Torro or Jackson appear to have no plans to reign things in. But I would have loved to see 3 hours of Blade Runner or 4 hours in Raiders of the Lost Ark.

    Two fun films for Cookie, Fifth Element is every kind of crazy but when it comes on the telly I always end up watching the whole thing.

  12. yay….Tam Dixon, the perfect question. How does one say stink eye.
    Fifth element is a fav and I never really paid attention to the length.
    LONG is like – Titanic. No matter how long it is, the ending will not change. And, one gets to suffer thru the entire agony of the sinking.
    There are a few others that fall into this category…can’t remember.
    Gettin’ oooollllllddddd.

  13. Happy Birthday Janet! Any big plans?

    Oh, to those of you inquiring about Martin’s birthday present, I ended up getting him a gift certificate for THIS place: Snake River Farms, home of American Wagyu Beef and Kurobuta Pork. That was a good idea! I’m sure he & his better half will love it.

  14. Happy Birthday @ Janet!

    I have 4 more days “off”; daughter and baby are out of town and I’m relaxing big time. 🙂

  15. @archersangel

    It does seem like movies are getting more and more expensive and after marketing there’s not that much of a return for an average movie. The days of stars commanding ridiculous salarys could be over in the future.

    The Lone Ranger is predicted to lose Walt Disney $150-200 million in the boxoffice.

    But yeah, there’s not a huge return on a movie with a budget of say $200 million pulling just $300-400 million In the boxoffice.

    The Stargate SG1 movies(Though they did feel like extended episodes) prove that you can make solid, enjoyable movies on a low budget 😉

  16. Oh and I hope we see more low budget movie successes in the future. The Purge with a budget of $3 million, made $73 million back in the boxoffice, I can imagine bigger studios looking in this direction for a quick profit.

  17. Finally we get to hear about Martin’s present. That is a nice gift especially for a foodie.

    I didn’t like this Fifth Element trailer. It makes it look like a movie it really isn’t. I thought it more of a fun comedy set in a sci-fi world. Sure the death of all mankind is a serious matter, but nothing in this movie is serious which is why it is awesome.

    Happy Birthday @Janet (or I guess belated birthday since it is now the 11th)

  18. Oh shoot! You’re reading another Sweet Tooth. I’m behind. I need to get mine out and see which ones I need and place an order.

    @ Das – good luck with those diapers! 😆

    @ Janet = Happy Birthday!!

  19. Hi Joe,

    I think it a bit unfair that it seems that M. Night Shyamalan has taken the fall for the film, when the direction of the film was the least of it problems, in fact I thought the direction was descent.

    Lazy/crap acting, crap script being thin on story and both impose on shyamalan by Will Smith.

    Personally when I pay over 10 quid for a ticket, another fiver for food and drinks, I want my films to be over 2 hours. Shorter films should be mean cheaper tickets, we all know it wot through.

    It will be sad day if we see the end of tent pole movies, especially when the main costs of many of these films is the actors, one of the pirate of the Caribbean half the budget is rumor to have gone on actor wages, who will be the last people in Hollywood to take a pay cut, an for me, are often the second reason why a film doesn’t work, it looking like Gravity is going to be unwatchable given the two leads. Lack of a descent story being the first reason.

    The problem with today franchises is that they are rarely written to be franchises, the universe the film is set in often lack the depth to support more than one film, Pirate of the Caribbean. Star War film did create a sense that there was this big, huge universe out there to explore. I sadly with the crew Disney is hiring I don’t think we will see much of that universe explored, if we do, it will be with lense flair, motion blur and camera movement crank up to 11. That one thing I like about watching Pacific Rim trailers, is the minimal use lens flair, minimal blur, minimal camera movement, I can see and enjoy what going on and will be going to the cinema.

    An remember movies studios losing money of a film isn’t all bad, they use those losses to decrease their tax bills and some films are intentionally set up so that they will incur losses that can be use to decrease the studio tax bill.

  20. Maybe the question should be, why is The Lone Ranger considered a summer blockbuster? I watched the original the series and after seeing the previews this is not something I want to see. Also maybe the movie is so long because it cost $200+ million to make.

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