Monday, August 28, 2006

Kero-baby: cuteness alert!

She must be the cutest baby on the web! I was searching for Keroro on Youtube and there she was! Under doraemonyeung's profile, who must be the proudest relative/parent ever! So adorable!

(By the way, she is singing, or attempting to sing, the Keroro's opening theme for the 1st series, that you can hear in the background, sung in Chinese. Super-lovely! Aaaaawwww...)

Sunday, August 27, 2006

This weekend's flicks

Yesterday... March of the Penguins. One beautiful piece of cinematography about the emperor penguin's struggle for survival in the whites of Antartica. Even better was the documentary included in the DVD's special feature: "Of Penguins and Men", showing all the hard work behind the cameras. An adventure not to be missed.

Today... Lady Vengeance. A Korean production about a woman in search of vengeance and justice. Wonderful photography and soundtrack, and brilliant actors. Dark sense of humour and some quite melancholy moments make of it a piece of perfect and delicate balance. You should check that out.


Sometimes I think if I am not a bit weird or what. I have two antagonic sides co-existing inside me.

One is the "I-adore-all-things-cute" side or, most specifically, kawaii. The other is the complimentary "But-I-love-horror-flicks" one. Meaning that people can listen to me digressing and going all "aawwww" at the latest Hello Kitty gimmick and - ten minutes later, literally - going all excited about that new JHorror release where hairy ghosts come out of toasters, for example.

Those two things live inside me like an old Stevie Wonder's song: "in perfect harmony". Although they may seem a bit incompatible to the world around me. That is why I so much identify with Momotchi and Tama-chan, from my beloved Keroro Gunso series. They are characters of "extremes". Taste-wise and pesonality-wise too. I have a bit of their mood swings as well (Mark knows well about it!). I can be in cute-mode now, and the next moment become a venomous harpy! Ha ha! Of course I am exaggerating a bit here, but yeah, you can picture it...

Cute stuff I love:

- Sanrio characters, especially (and above all) Hello Kitty;
- Pucca;
- Morning Glory's Babu and Blue Bear;
- San-X stuff:
- Cute maneki neko;
- Nici stuff;
- Cute Asian makeup brands such as Majolica Majorca, Anna Sui and Lavshuca.

However, there are "cute" stuff I seriously dislike because they look tacky, passé and utterly mind-numbing, such as:

- Some kinds of Teddy Bears (eg, Care Bears and several greeting card ones);
- Barbie dolls;
- Bratz;
- Teletubbies;
- Anne Geddes baby pics;
- Ads where dogs and little babies talk with silly adult voices (eg, Andrex toilet rolls where a lovely and playful Labrador puppy sounds like an old drag-queen, Pampers etc...)

As for the Horror, I must say I am quite proud of my collection of DVDs! Mostly Asian films, because their approach of horror is not only "cleaner" but also deeper, and mostly impressive. Stylish even. And, the Horror I dislike is stuff like Re-animator and Infection for example. They are just plain gross. Period.

Notes: There is no such a thing as a JHorror film where a hairy ghost comes out of a toaster, of course! They normally come out of TVs and bathroom sinks, but not toasters - at least for now; one can only hope...

Also, I recognise this whole cute thing is a bit subjective. I know that, for some people, Hello Kitty may look abominable and Care Bears adorable, for example. Or drag-queenish labrador puppies may sound like the epitome of cuteness... Who am I to say? Anyway, it's all too personal in the end, no?

Finally, the above picture with Momotchi and Tama-chan I got in the super-cool Keroro's Korean website! Worth checking (and bookmarking) it!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Wish List!!!

Mark just found out that a new Hello Kitty mobile phone is being released this month: it is the BenQ Siemens AL26 Hello Kitty. Pink, cute and slim. It is a sliding phone too, which is what I want for me next! Need to have it! I don't know if it will be available here in Ireland. If not, I can always get it on EBay, because Mark checked it would work here with no problem, no matter where we buy it!

I knew the OKWAP Kitty one, made in Korea, which is cute and comes with lots of extras (straps, purse etc). However the design of the BenQ looks prettier and less bulky. The OKWAP is quite expensive on EBay, even after more than one year of its release. It must be a good phone, but I will wait to see where I can get the BenQ. As for the extras, I have more than enough straps and cute purses to use with, so I would not really need it.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Father Dougal's Three Wishes

Thanks to YouTube, here is a scene of our all-time fave "Father Ted". Father Dougal must be one of my dearest characters; he is so silly you can just love him!
I could not find my really favorite scene though, the one about the Spider Baby in the Fun Fair...

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Afuro Gunso, yeah, Afuro...

Afro Gunso (Romaji Lyrics):
Hello mommy!!! This is for you, he he!!!

Aikotoba wa afuro to gunsou
Afuro (afuro) gunsou (gunsou) 3,2,1, faiya-!
Afuro gunsou afuro gunsou wa afuro
Afuro gunsou afuro gunsou wa afuro
Ranbou ni hipparuna kiyasuku yubi de tsumamuna
Sore ijyou chikazukuna itzura suruna sawaruna!
Chiri chiri jori jori babe
Bosa bosa (kushya kushya) mojya mojya
Kibishii tatakai daga tonikaku haragoshirae
Byuaa na uchyuu no seimei sunao sugi teheso magari
Teki wa kinpatsu de sutore-to 3,2,1 Faiya-!
Afuro gunsou afuro gunsou wa afuro
Afuro gunsou afuro gunsou wa afuro

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Nonsensical and delightful: Survive Style 5+

I ordered "Survive Style 5+" from Play some weeks ago and we just watched it last week. The film is great fun and visually amazing. Colorful and surreal. Think about an Almodovar flick mixed with some Clamp's "XXXHolic", and then you can have an idea. Aesthetics to die for. A bit kitsch, a bit psychedelic. Sometimes gothic, but never in shades of black. Everything is colourful and bright there. The interior of the houses is also fabulous, as are the clothes.

The story is about 5 different groups of characters whose lives end up interacting at one stage or another:

- Aman, played by the gawjus Tadanobu Asano, who keeps trying to kill his wife but she always comes back to life;
- Yoko, who is a publicity/creative director who records her wacky ideas for commercials on a little voice recorder. She has an affair with a stage hypnotist - who is a celebrity and bit of a jerk;
- Mr. Kobaysahi is a businessman who gets tickets to take his family (wife and 2 kids) to that hypnotist's show;
- An English hitman (and a bit of an Angel of Death it seems!) played by Vinnie Jones , that arrives to Japan and, in the company of his translator/sidekick, also goes to the hypnotist's show but with a very clear function (telling which would be a bit of a spoiler though!);
- A trio of hoodlums, which are rather very sympathetic and not quite the badasses, which goes around town breaking into houses and ends up meeting the hitman in an onsen.

I cannot tell much more, but the situations are hilarious. I especially like Yoko when she observes the things happening around her and then giggles in delight imagining the potential ads that she can create from that. And I love when the Kobayashi family enter their car and start singing like mad on the way to the hypnotist's performance!

The clothes used by Aman's wife are wonderful. A bit déco sometimes, and not unlike a Pucci frock straight out from the 60's. And their house is fantastic, with "eyes" being a recurrent theme (even on Aman's coat, who seems to be the one obsessed with them). Eyes on the curtains, on the chairs, on posters and paintings. Everywhere.

"Survive Style" is a black comedy with a happy ending. Everything is stylish and beautiful: clothes, décor and music. The story is hilarious and touchy at the same time. It's definitely worth watching it. I will be getting the soundtrack very soon.