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2008 Archive

Happy 2008

Dearest Babies, I’d like to take this time of renovations, reservations, reconciliations, reciprocations, recitations, recapitulations, reconsiderations, recreations, registrations, relocations, rejuvenations, regulations, resonations, remunerations, revolutions and resolutions to wish all our beloved visitors of the Temple a resplendent, restive and rejoicefull (- ?!) New Year!


MG - January, 2008

Shrine Messenger

Hey Bubis,

Many additions on the Temple front. New Year, new reviews:

Some reviews from the end of '07:

We’ve added to Filmstarrr, so dig our interviews with Keira Knightley, James McAvoy, Daniel Day-Lewis and Paul Thomas Anderson.

Expect more from the backlog of movie star face-to-face coming soon!


MG - 1.23.08

Shrine Messenger

Happy February, babies! There’s fun, fun, fun everywhere.

First off, we’ve finally transcribed the notes from our wonderful chat with Francis Ford Coppola. That man could sit and read the phone book and you’d swear you were sitting in a Master Class on Filmmaking. What a trip to hear him talk about “friends his age who still make films” in passing and realise he means Messrs. Spielberg, Scorsese and Lucas, amongst other cinema luminaries. He came to discuss his film Youth Without Youth along with the excellent Tim Roth and the fabulous Alexandra Maria Lara. Click on the poster and be enlightened.

We’ve finally added a review of your ever-luvvin' elephant-head’s current favourite show on television, Pucca. Click on the logo to read, watch and get happily hooked on the Kung-Fu cuteness!

Last but not least, another film I am counting the minutes for, Iron Man. We were thrilled to receive a new screengrab from the Iron Man teaser that’s going to play during the Super Bowl on Sunday and it’s fab! Click to embiggen the photos and check out Mr. Stark’s funky new platforms …

Here's some more luv from Stark Industries...

More goodies arriving shortly, dolls. Enjoy.


MG - 2.1.08

Shrine Messenger

Hey Babies, as promised, much more goodies today.

First I want to tell you about the amazing visit we had from the illustrious, down to earth and not particularly tough on the eyes supastar, Colin Farrell, who chatted about his fabulous new film, "In Bruges" (- our review will be up, posthaste). Colin's lovely costar, Clémence Poésy, better known to US audiences as Fleur Delacour, from the fourth film in the Harry Potter canon, Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire accompanied him and I got to ask the two a few questions on behalf of us Potterheads;


MG: Since your costars, Clémence, Brendan Gleeson and Ralph Fiennes are all in the Harry Potter series; do you think you would be interested in doing a Harry Potter film?

Colin Farrell: Harry Potter? I would love to do that. I'd love to do that. I'd love to do that. I f*****'  never get the calls for that, the good stuff like that. I woulda loved to have done Happy Feet, as well, but anyway...

MG: You've got three stars of the films that could hook you up with the casting agent.

Colin Farrell: I'll get on it, man.

MG: Clémence, Fleur is very present in each of the last two books, have you been approached about returning for film 6 or 7?

Clémence Poésy: I'm definitely not doing the sixth, cos they're shooting now. And I think they {the filmmakers} kind of have to make choices because the books are getting bigger and the film can't last for five hours. And I don't know what's going to happen with the 7th, so ...

Colin Farrell: Get Terry Malick to direct it!

Clémence Poésy: (laughs) That would be cool. Would you give him a ring?

(both laugh)


Kids, I'm calling it now, Colin Farrell as Fenrir Greyback! - Or at least Regulus Black, but Colin as a werewolf? Oh, yeah... 

Warner Brothers, are you listening?

The rest of the interview should be up in FilmStarrr by the weekend.

 In other news, here's more Iron Man goodies for those who opted to watch the insanely addictive Puppy Bowl instead of the thing with all the fellows running about in 1980's shoulder fashion.

Trailers, darlings, the fabulous ones that played yesterday. Click to take your pick:






Luv it!

MG - 2.4.08

Shrine Messenger


Turn and face the strange…Ch-Ch-Changes…

Well, babies, what a lot has happened since your Beloved Elephant-Head spoke to you last. Contrary to rumours around the Temple, I was not unconscious under a banyan tree all this time after overindulging in a particularly delicious crop of betel nuts. There’s been much work in this hive. Let’s get to some announcements:

~ Kiddies, your Ever-Luvvin’ Pachyderm has just had the great good fortune to be included on the respected film review site, Rotten Tomatoes. We are thrilled to be amongst such stellar company.

However, to lay eyes upon such a Deity as Myself could ostensibly blind the uninitiated, so I’ve decided to take on a slightly more human name and somewhat less human form.  Temple-Dwellers, you may find Our reviews under the pseudonym of one Diva Velez (- which actually means, "Hey, That God Has Got A Big Elephant Head" in the original ancient Tookie Tookie language).

Here’s the direct link to Our page:



~ MySpace, YourSpace, we all have a MySpace. And so we do:


Come on over and be friendly, just make sure you take your shoes off before you step on the rugs.


~ More work: new reviews and interviews since last time:

Movie Reviews:

And by our Darlin’ Dollie Banner:


Filmstarrr Interviews:


Ill-Literate Book review:


See? A virtual whirlwind of activity – no betel nut hangover here! And there’s more to come shortly, but that’s what cooking for the moment. Enjoy, Dahlinks!


MG - 2.29.08

Shrine Messenger


Happy Springtime, Bubis! The sakura and magnolias should be blossoming any minute now and we're thrilled! It’s been too long a while since I’ve done one of these, no April Foolin', but there’s been so much fun round the Temple, I have to keep you posted.

Exciting Stuff: We’ve had two of the most fabulous interviews, recently. First, we had the great blessing to be included in the New York City press conference held by The Rolling Stones and director Martin Scorsese for their new IMAX concert film, Shine a Light. Rock and Roll Circus, indeed! It was madness, folks, being peanut-hurling distance from Sir Michael Philip Jagger and Johnny Depp’s spiritual (- and silver-screen) pappy, Keef Richards, though I daresay Charlie Watts has always been my Darling. Ron Wood played up for our exclusive photos, and getting to hear the bullet-time patter of Martin Scorsese in person is surreal. Good time, that.


Today, we were equally blessed with an exclusive interview with the creator of some of my favourite dreamstart material, director Wong Kar-Wai. The creator of such mesmerising fare as In the Mood for Love, 2046, Happy Together and one of our most favouritest films in the Omniverse, the delightful Chungking Express, sat down with yours truly for a chat about Otis Redding, Edison Chen, Hong Kong diners, the anniversary of the late, great Leslie Cheung, American radio, Chinese censorship, and of course, the Temple’s Great Unrequited Luv, Mr. Tony Leung Chiu-Wai. And, yes, we do get round to examining his latest gorgeous work, My Blueberry Nights, as well.

For a man who so effusively (- and effectively) saturates colour throughout his films, director Wong was head to toe monochromes in a fabulous tailored suit for our meeting, right up to the white gold at the top of his ever-present shades. He spoke in calm, measured soft voice and weighed his words carefully. I had expected a deep-thinking fella, but he had a great sense of humour and was instantly amused by a certain interviewer’s choice of hair tint, delightedly exclaiming, “It’s blueberry!” before sitting down to talk. By the same token, despite the presence of the sunglasses, we could see a mist pass over his eyes as he graciously shared his memories of the great Hong Kong actor, Leslie Cheung, one of Wong’s biggest stars, who passed away by his own hand 5 years ago today. It was deep, y’all.

I think I’m going to start a new campaign round the Shrine to nominate the coolest person on the planet each month, and despite some serious competition on the very first day, Wong Kar-Wai has already taken April.

Click on the posters to head over to the interviews.

Recent Movie Reviews:

Horton Hears a Who

Flash Point

Meat Loaf: In Search of Paradise

Boarding Gate

Drillbit Taylor

Stop-Loss - featuring our interview with director Kimberly Peirce also a great chat! Click here for that.



Sheesh, it has been a long time. All-righty then, babies, plenty of stuff to see and more on the way. Enjoy!


MG - 4.1.08

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Hey Kids, We intend to be thoroughly exhausted this weekend. The New York Comic Con is in town and I’ll be around for most of that. Already we’ve had too much fun watching the legendary Stan “The Man” Lee receive his New York Comic Legend award, then listening in on an exclusive press announcement about his newest project; a collaboration with Hiroyuki Takei, creator of Shaman King. They have created a comic - or is it a manga? I’m calling it a comanga. The title is Ultimo and the precious few graphics we’ve seen are beautiful. Those lucky folks in Japan have already got a hold of the monthly comanga. We in the States will be seeing it shortly.

And surprise of surprises, I was lucky enough to have a little face/trunk time with the creator of The X-Files, the suave and dapper Chris Carter, and the equally smooth writer of the upcoming X-Files feature film (- which opens July 25) Frank Spotnitz. They very graciously told me extremely little about the new movie, but were very charming while keeping mum. That interview will showing be up in FilmStarrr soon. We were also shown the thrilling new trailer for the film and all I can say is, "I want to believe."

But in the meantime, babies, enjoy this first batch of photos. More to come after tomorrow’s fun.


MG - 4.18.08

Shrine Messenger


Wooo! So much to say! Babies, I’m so sorry I’m late to tell you about the 2nd day of the New York Comic Con, but I think I’ve only now recovered. Day 2 was mostly spent in the main screening room as various movie studios showcased their wares before a entertainment famished audience: Here’s a small run down of the upcoming tricks and treats.

The Good:

Disney started the morning just right with a 10-minute collection of clips from Wall-E. Having not raved over Cars or Rataouille, I am frothing at the tusk over this one. It really looks like Pixar has recaptured the pure charm of their earlier works, a la Luxo, Jr. or Tin Toy. They followed up with a trailer and panel for the new Chronicles of Narnia film, Prince Caspian, which looks much more battle-heavy and intense than its predecessor. The main heartthrobs from the film, Prince Caspian himself, Ben Barnes, and William Moseley (Peter Pevensie), were there, as well as another heartthrob, the brilliant Peter Dinklage and producer Mark Johnson. One highlight of the panel was Will Moseley’s Errol Flynn-like leap off the stage to oblige a lovestruck fan with a hug.

I also got to interview them all afterward, so that will be coming soon!

Universal made a very nice showing with their clips of Wanted, which looks like over-the-top fun and got a great reaction from the crowd. Director Timur Bekmambetov discussed working with Angelina Jolie and James MmmmmcAvoy.

Next, Guillermo Del Toro brought out his pals, Ron Perlman, Doug Jones, Luke Goss, Mike Mignola and the terribly lovely Selma Blair (- along with a security force of bizarre, phantasmagoric life-sized monsters) to chat about Hellboy 2: The Golden Army. Knowing his audience well (- hence the security force), the adorable Del Toro also handed out NYCC-exclusive Drew Struzan-illustrated posters to the crowd that was already squeeing over the sight of Selma Blair in a minidress.


The Meh:

Universal also provided a short panel on the new Hulk film. It certainly looks better than the Ang Lee original - much more action and not a Hulked-out poodle in sight. But I have to admit all the chatter about Edward Norton’s issues with the film has me worried. The silence of director Louis Leterrier who had been so talkative until he was asked about Norton wasn’t lost on the crowd, either. However, it’s got Tim Roth, who was also on the panel and, unlike during my previous interview with him for Youth Without Youth, seemed completely jazzed about the film, so that’s gotta mean something. They showed us some unfinished action clips, one of which brought a collective gasp from the punters. Another clip showed us a cross-pollinating cameo appearance by a comic-book colleague of the Hulk’s, starting his own franchise. Also, it was amusing to see autograph mogul Lou Ferrigno take over the panel and turn it into a voice-over audition for Leterrier and listen to him ponder about what he “started.” Bless. I can now put those rumours that it was actually Jack Kirby who “started” the Hulk to rest.

Lionsgate’s panel for 2009’s (!) The Spirit was interesting. I was excited to hear Frank Miller speak on this project that means so much to him. However, the proceedings took a turn toward the predictably absurd when all the questions from the audience were propositions for star Eva Mendez, who looked lovely in a strapless spring dress. Nonplussed moderator Kurt Loder attempted to drop the boom on the eager Romeos and actually entertain some questions, but those men knew this was their one chance in La Mendez’s presence – they were going for broke! The teaser itself was way too brief and too much like Sin City for me to bear any real judgment.


The Awful:

Lucasfilm took an opportunity to connect with its rabid fanbase and turned it into a mind-numbingly boring hour-long shilling session. Hey, buy the latest Young Indiana Jones DVD set; buy the new Lego Indiana Jones video game (- which actually did look cute), here’s many clips of previous Star Wars conventions, don’t miss your chance to attend the upcoming one in Tokyo! Like a Lucasfilm infomercial. We were shown terribly uninteresting clips of the animated Clone Wars feature, which frankly looks terrible. Why didn’t they just give the project back to Genndy Tartakovsky, who made the last truly good Star Wars anything with his Cartoon Network version of the same events? We were supposed to ooh and ahh at the same Indy trailer we’ve all seen for a month, now – only it was on the bigger screen, so that supposedly made it special. Here size really didn’t matter, I’m still not impressed. Thank goodness the Robot Chicken team was brought out and Seth Green added his brilliance and humour to what was the worst panel of the day.


The Sublime:

After being serenaded with the Speed Racer theme song by the young boy playing Spritle, we watched a throwaway showing of the latest trailer (- Studio folk, if you‘re coming to a comic convention, bring your A-game. If it’s out there, the fans will have seen it a million times!) Then a rep from DC Comics blessed the afternoon with his introduction to the long trailer (not to be shown for another two weeks) of The Dark Knight.

This is the first trailer where you really get a sense of all the characters. Clearly, the action in the sequel will focus much more on the supporting players now that we’ve had our origin story. And to that, I had stone-cold chills up my arms at Heath Ledger’s Joker. The trailer spotlights him for the first time and the effect is heart-stopping. Right from the get-go, it’s obvious this isn’t Caesar Romero’s clown prince. Ledger, in smeared clown paint strikes a note of deep psychosis with just the tilt of his head or the altering of his voice and it’s one of the scariest things I’ve ever seen on screen – and it was only a three minute trailer! Ledger’s Joker is pure malice and disturbance and he doesn’t wave his arms around and make monkey noises like Jack Nicholson to scare us. One could practically hear the entire convention audience hold its breath. Chilling to the bone and absolutely haunting. The rest of the trailer gives us glimpses of what looks like an amazing work; lots of Christian Bale / Aaron Eckhart interaction and racing Batmobile sequences. I think I took Buddha’s name in vain about 80 times after the preview was over once I picked my jaw up of the floor.

Also: While I was interviewing the denizens of Narnia I missed the huge Battlestar Galactica panel, but I did manage to take a few photos.

Tomorrow, I’ll try and post some impressions of my Tribeca Film Festival adventures. In the meantime, I’ve posted my interview with the gorgeous action Goddess the fabulous, sexy and funny Maggie Q who stopped by to chat about her new action epic, The Three Kingdoms: Resurrection of the Dragon. Click here to visit Maggie Q!



MG - 4.28.08

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Hey babies, a little bit of back to basics for us after a couple of weeks of swanning about the fun and games of the New York Comic Con, the Tribeca Film Festival and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden's beautiful Sakura Matsuri (– that's Cherry Blossom Festival to you, Gai-jin) featuring and unique and brilliant JPop, group, ZAN. We do have our exclusive Tribeca interview up with Daniel Lee, director of Maggie Q & Andy Lau’s latest martial arts epic, The Three Kingdoms. There are other interviews coming from there as well, but we have also managed to do a few reviews finally. So…

Click on the titles to read:

Our Exclusive Interview with Three Kingdom’s Director, Daniel Lee.








A long overdue addition to Ill-Literate: Author Charlaine Harris’ latest, From Dead to Worse.







Jane's Remembrances of Forgetting Sarah Marshall.


Dollie finds Then She Found Me


Our listen to Noise


We Fall for The Fall


Amazing armour! That’s Iron Man. A blazing power! That’s Iron Man!


Here's some highlights of our Hanami at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden's Sakura Matsuri.

Shin Ichikawa from ZAN playing three different 17-string Kotos - Most folks have trouble learning 6 measly strings

Shin Ichikawa from ZAN again, just for the Kawaii factor


That’s all for now, kids. More soon.


MG - 5.9.08

Shrine Messenger - Urgent Bulletin!


Death Note Live Action Movie Screenings

May 20th & May 21st


Heads up, babies! For two nights across America, Viz Pictures & National Cinemedia is hosting screenings of the first Death Note Live Action movie.

Light Yagami, a brilliant student receives the power of gods when mysterious black book called the Death Note falls into his hands. The book allows him to anonymously kill any person whose name he enters into it and soon that power goes right to Light’s pretty little head. The police cannot stop Light, now operating under the name, “Kira.” and it seems the only one who can is an eccentric, reclusive sweets-addicted genius called “L.” Both young and exceedingly intelligent, the two rivals play a deadly game of cat and mouse as each tries to discover the identity of the other before more people die.

Children, RUN to see this! The live action version of the insanely popular anime - which we raved about here - is exciting, funny and absolutely thrilling. The two leads, Tatsuya Fujiwara (Battle Royale – Yay!), as the bored, arrogant Light, and Kenichi Matsuyama (Linda Linda Linda - more Yay!) as the shaggy haired, determined boy-genius, L, are both canny and clever and play off each other very well. Matsuyama is often hilarious, and Fujiwara is cool as ice as the schoolboy murderer; they couldn’t have been more perfectly cast. Director Shusuke Kaneko (Gamera: Guardian of the Universe and the best Godzilla film ever made, Godzilla: GMK!) does a wonderful job of capturing the excitement of the drama while giving us a wonderfully realistic rendering of Ryuk, the Shinigami (Death God) whose bright idea it was to toss the Death Note in Light’s path in the first place. Good stuff, folks.

Click on the Death Note for more info on what promises to be the most fun.


Seriously, go now!

Death Note Piccys (Courtesy of Viz Pictures)



MG - 5.19.08

Shrine Messenger - (Not as) Urgent Bulletin


Charlaine Harris Interview / Bleach Movie Screenings / Tite Kubo in San Diego

Hey kids, more news on the home front and from eastern shores.

I’m so excited for our first foray into literary tête-à-tête. In other words, we just had our first author interview! I’m even more thrilled that the person who graced us with that honour was the wonderful and fabulous Ms. Charlaine Harris, creator of the Sookie Stackhouse and the Southern Vampires Mysteries series. She couldn’t have been gracious, funny or delightful as we discussed Sookie’s latest adventure, From Dead to Worse, which just charted in at #6 on the New York Times Bestseller list in its first week on sale. She also talked about Sookie’s Hollywood debut as the new HBO series, True Blood, adapted from the books and produced by Alan Ball (American Beauty & Six Feet Under) and starring Anna Paquin as Sookie, makes its way onto television screens September 7th.

Click on the piccy to go to the interview.


More Viz screenings! This time I don’t want you guys to miss out on the fun of catching another two night movie event as the first feature film from our insanely beloved anime series Bleach, unspools across America. Memories of Nobody follows Ichigo Kurosaki, a not-so-average Japanese schoolboy and part time Shinigami (Soul Reaper) as he discovers a mysterious girl called Senna, a Shinigami who may be the key to the destruction of the World of the Living and the Soul Society. Can Ichigo, Rukia, Renji and their crew save the Shinigami and save the world. Find out June 11th & 12th, folks

Here’s the tickets link: www.FathomEvents.com

Lastly, on the Bleach tip, here might be the last bit of new I post for a while. The San Diego Comic Con is coming, boys and girls. The biggest comic show in America and I had no intention of going until I just heard that the creator of Bleach, Tite Kubo is going to be appearing. It’s his first North American appearance and he’ll be introducing a screening of Memories of Nobody and partaking in other events throughout the weekend of July 24th -27th. There’s a “Bleach Day” happening on Saturday, July 26th and for those dressed in their best Bleach attire at the con, you may have a chance to win prizes. Oh, the beauty. So I’m off to start hitchhiking now, I should get to San Diego by July 27th


Bleach Piccys (Courtesy of Viz Pictures)


MG - 5.22.08

Shrine Messenger - Disney Edition


Hey kids, some Disney movie news for ya.

Why do I have a feeling that this little independent film will make a few shekels? Zac Efron, Ashley Tisdale, Vanessa (please keep your kit on) Hudgens - Here’s your High School Musical 3 poster.



Also here’s some other Disney fun that I’m really looking forward to. The good folks at the Mouse House have given us links to some Wall-E shorts: I think I’m going to expire from the cuteness. I can’t wait for this movie Go Pixar!

All in Quicktime cos that's how we roll:

WALL•E “Meets A Magnet” Vignette

WALL•E “Meets A Hula Hoop” Vignette



MG - 5.23.08

Shrine Messenger


Hey, Dearest Acolytes, so much going on round the Shrine. Crazy little bits of joy going on all over the place. Let’s hit it, babies:

Announcement about the Bleach: Memories of Nobody New York screening:

Bleach Character Designer Masashi Kudo and Producer Ken Hagino will be making a rare US appearance and speaking before the June 11th screening. Sweetness.


We managed to take some time from our Devotions for some people watching down at the Kinokuniya Bookstore just in time for their first annual Lolita & Maid Fashion Day. Seeing all the lovely girls (- and boys!) dressed in their Victorian ruffley finest was a treat. Look! 

At long last, Groove Me has been updated on the Listen, Hear page. I’m so happy to share some of our favourite hymns and boogie-down anthems. This time we’ve included goodies from Go Home Productions, an Amy Winehouse remix, the Bleach Anime’s peppy OreSkaBand, Cat Stevens as a kitten, Mr. James Todd Smith (- I hear the Ladies Love him), some Daft Punk action, and the Japanese phenomena known as Gackt. (- Watch this space for a lot more news about this JRock wonder and some of his equally fab colleagues coming soon!) There’s other happiness on our CG Victrola, too, so Dig It, babies! Click here for Audial Fabulousity!

And last but never least; we have some New Reviews at the Zoo! Click on the titles for our latest Rants n’ Raves.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Sex and the City


Take Out

Kung Fu Panda




MG - 6.9.08

Shrine Messenger


Look East, Young Elephant...

Well kiddies, what a lovely invasion we’ve been hosting from The Land of the Rising Sun! Last weekend we had our eyes filled with the Harajuku/Akihabara-influenced gorgeousness at First Annual Lolita & Maid Day at Kinokuniya Books. This week we had a wonderful double whammy from the Bleach movie screening (- thanks to the fabulous folks of Viz Media) and the screamingly-anticipated Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots.

 First, we stopped in at the special premiere screening of the debut feature film from our current favourite anime, Bleach: Memories of Nobody. The screening was attended by Bleach Producer, Ken Hagino and Bleach’s Character Designer, Masashi Kudo. There was also a special appearance from our favourite Gigai container, the fabulous Kon on hand to get much deserved fan luv. Each member of the audience was given a special Gotei 13 armband and all were challenged to shout their best “Bankai!!!” along with the creators for a filmed segment for TV Tokyo. There was a special video message to the audience from Bleach daddy Tite Kubo himself (- who treated us all to a mesmerising How to Draw Ichigo lesson). Kubo-sensei confirmed his attendance at the San Diego Comic Con. Producer Hagino-san gifted us with the exclusive announcement that the third Bleach movie would soon start production.

Much fun! See?


Today, we dropped in to the UniQlo shop in SoHo for a little trunk time with the creator of the legendary video game Metal Gear Solid. Hideo Kojima conducted an autograph signing for some 300-plus lucky fans to celebrate the arrival of the latest chapter in the MGS saga, Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. Allegedly the final go-round for one Mr. Solid Snake, Metal Gear mania manifested itself on our shores over two consecutive signings with Kojima-sensei and the lovely Yumi Kikuchi, the real life avatar of the game’s Raging Raven; the first taking place hours before at a midnight Virgin Megastore event. We saw many shrieking boys, one Solid Snake in our crowd, one Playstation 3 signed, a few Metal Gear NES cartridges, and a few dog tags and Ipods. The very gracious, genuinely humble Kojima-sensei shook hands and warmly greeted all comers despite obvious exhaustion.


(- Special Blessings to Taeko from NewYork-Tokyo.com for making our meeting possible 

I don’t know what’s with all the good things from the Land O’ Mifune, but I’ll take it. More stuff coming, soon, kids.




MG - 6.12.08

Shrine Messenger


Hey Babies,

Just a quick word to inform y'all that the fair metropolis of New York City has been set upon by that sensational celebration of films from the other side of the globe, the New York Asian Film Festival. NYAFF v.7 has begun and much eastern-flavoured merriment and excitement ensues. Running from June 20th through July 6th, this year’s selection is a mixture of the fabulous, provocative and bizarre. According to the festival’s adorable creator, Grady Hendrix, all the kids seem to be piling in for the US premiere of “L: Change the World”, the sequel to the madly successful previous two Death Note live action films, starring Kenichi Matsuyama, as the eponymous eccentric forensics genius.

The premiere started off with a bang as your ever-luvvin’ Elephant-head made the acquaintance of a lovely Korean libation called Jinro soju. This gorgeous vodka-esque spirit was mixed into many apple martinis, cosmopolitans and other cocktails. The Jinro soju, along with copious amounts of free Kirin beer, made for a very friendly gathering at the NYAFF opening night party. We were very happy to run into the director of Odagiri’s latest, “Then Summer Came,” the renowned playwright, Ryo Iwamatsu, who kindly posed for us.  See?

Besides the latest Death Note film, there are new contributions from Takeshi Miike (- featuring Quentin Tarantino {?!}), two pictures by Johnnie To, “Accuracy of Death,” starring Temple favourite Takeshi Kaneshiro as a Shinigami intrigued with the humans he’s sent to dispatch. Lots of great stuff, boys & girls, catch the festival while you can!

Click on the adorable “L” poster to take you to movie info, showtimes and tickets. 


More stuff on the way, dolls, stay tuned.




MG - 6.21.08

Shrine Messenger


I’ve been a bad, bad elephant. I haven’t kept up with reporting all the great things going on as I should be. The punctuality gods are going to take away my honey-roasteds any minute. I pine for your forgiveness acolytes and your understanding that sometime four hands just aren’t enough.

Gerron wi’ et, you! Here’s some stuff.

Still in the throes of the Mystic East we had the priceless pleasure of meeting a true legend of Japanese cinema. Thanks to the lovely Jenny Jediny & the good folks at the Film Forum we were graced to be in the presence of legendary star of such films like Yojimbo, Ran and Kill!, Tatsuya Nakadai as the FF began a retrospective of Nakadai’s best films running now through July 17th. It was a fascinating chat with 75 year-old Nakadai who openly discussed about that film and his work with such great directors as Akira Kurosawa and Masaki Kobayashi. He was funny and candid when answering a question I asked him about today’s Japanese actors and his thoughts on why they just don’t make ‘em like they used to.

I also attended a chat with one of the true innovators of modern Japanese cinema. Satoshi Kon joked following a screening of his anime masterpiece, Paprika (which we reviewed here), how surprised he was at having a retrospective after only having made four feature films. He thought he should quit now while he was ahead. The Film Society of Lincoln Center retrospective of the works of Satoshi Kon ran over the weekend and featured the entire Paranoia Agent series shown over two days. Kon is currently working on a new project that appears to star two characters featured in the background of Paprika. We couldn’t find out more, sadly, but we did shoot everything in the wonderful gallery of Kon’s painting and original film art (Special Thanks to Gabriele Caroti). It’s worth making the trip up to the Walter Reade just to see his brilliant artwork.

I promise to get highlights of both chats up soon.

Our darling Peter Tatara of the New York Anime Festival is trying to kill us. His announcement heralding the arrival of the creator of one of the Temple’s Anime paradigms, Vampire Hunter D, had our little lump of charcoal heart pause for a good three seconds. This September, Yoshitaka Amano is coming to the New York Anime Festival!

Oh boy, I think I need a defibrillator. Click on D to find out more.


And hey, we’ve even got some new movie reviews to peruse!  So click it 'n dig it, babies.




MG - 6.30.08

Shrine Messenger


Hey Babies, such a bad pachyderm am I. It’s been aaages, but never fear, chitlins, your ever-luvvin’ Elephant-Head’s been on the case to report all the fun going on around the Temple.

Our Beloved Apple has been besieged with Asian Film Festivals. Three different festivals in three weeks. We reported about the Subway Cinema New York Asian Film Festival, then there was Japan Cuts, and the latest Asiafest was the New York Asian American International Film Festival 2008 *phew*. Held at the gorgeous Asia Society, lovers of cinema from the East were treated to 9 days and nights of new and cutting edge films, panels and Q&A’s with filmmakers, and Egads do those folks know how to throw an afterparty! Look below for some pictures of some of the luminaries in attendance. Special blessings to the fabulous Clara Yun and Chris of Asian CineVision for keeping this pachyderm upright!

We made another sojourn off the island, this time in the quest for art. We made sure we ran to the Murakami exhibit at the fabulous Brooklyn Museum before it fled our shores. The artist takes a lot of guff for allegedly neither painting nor constructing his pieces himself, but I simply see Murakami as the natural successor to Andy Warhol, who made his fortunes elevating the inane and everyday into works of (highly commercial) art. The joy of all that mass-produced perverse, anime-esque goodness went straight to our hearts.

WARNING! The pics at the museum features material that may be considered adult, so please skip over if you are disturbed by plastic nekkidity.


YAY for Temple Visitors! We have our chats with the fabulous cast and director of The Wackness and a tête-à-tête with director and Beastie Boy, Adam Yauch about his latest opus, Gunnin' For That #1 Spot. Click their respective posters to share the luv.



And finally, yes, we do actually have some movie reviews, including our ever-luvvin’ Dollie Banner’s review of The Animation Show 2008!







MG - 7.28.08

Shrine Messenger


Hey, Boys and Girls, I know, I know, I’ve been an awful and neglectful Deity; the end of summer slows me down to an elephant’s pace, but I come with many a glad tiding. In the words of the miraculously fabulous George Michael, after he graced the stage at Madison Square Garden this past July after 17 flipping years away…“you’ll be so forgiving.”

Onward, Acolytes!

Festivus for the Rest of Us! - Or, at least for people who really like Asian film.

Our fabulous Viz Goddesses have got a taste for throwing a fabulous shindig and are once again hosting an exclusive two-night screening of the sequel to the brilliant and MG- adored Death Note live action film. The screenings are slated to take place on October 15th & 16th at 7:30PM.

The sequel, ingeniously entitled Death Note 2: The Last Name features both Tatsuya Fujiwara as Light Yagami and Kenichi Matsuyama as “L”. Feast your eyes as the two yaoi-licious adversaries square off to control the power of life and death.

Click on the poster to for screening info.



I’ve told you guys that over the summer we’ve had a bevy of wonderful Asian film festivals pass through our city. Well, apparently the fun’s not over yet, coming soon is the New York-Tokyo Grand Prix Film Festival. It has nothing to do with racing, but a lot to do with new Japanese film. What makes this festival stand out is that visitors to the New York-Tokyo website have actually programmed the festival. Craziness! Can't wait to see what was chosen.


So many faces… so many places…

Kids, I’ve been so fortunate to have had a plethora of Temple guests.

Fresh off the Pineapple Express, we chatted with James Franco, Seth Rogen, Rosie Perez & Danny McBride. Just one click on the photo of smilin' Seth and James will let you onboard.



Those gorgeous gals from The House Bunny, Anna Faris, Rumer Willis, Katherine McPhee & Emma Stone dropped by. Tickle the piccy for that action.






Severus Snape himself, or at least his fabulous alter-ego Alan Rickman scared the peanuts out of us with a single side-eye glance and a perfectly enunciated phrase. Click on the pic ... if you dare.




We met Dennis Freakin’ Hopper! See?






We also had a lovely exclusive tête-à-tête with the star & director of hilarious upcoming comedy, Ping Pong Playa, Jimmy Tsai & Jessica Yu.





We were also graced with a visit from Yuji Nunokawa, the venerable founder of Japan’s amazing Studio Pierrot, home of MG’s favourite bikini-clad Oni, Lum from Urusei Yatsura, as well as a couple of lesser well known anime called Naruto and Bleach.

Nunokawa-san listens to the audience reaction to exclusive screening of the latest Naruto movie trailer.

Nunokawa-san signs Bleach, Naruto and most, importantly, Urusei Yatsura items for the full house of fans.

Special blessings to our friends at Samurai Beat Radio for their help with Nunokawa-san's visit.

We’ve even had a minute to add a movie review or two. Y'all know what to click.


Babies, there’s so much good stuff coming, I don’t know how I’m going to fit it all on the web. Stay tuned for more fun in the Temple and don’t forget to leave your luv on MySpace.





MG - 9.1.08

Site Messenger - 10.27 08


So much to cover, where should I begin?  I know, Presents!  To celebrate our renaming, I’m running our first-ever fun contests with peachy little gifties.  Click here for info on how to win the massive Eragon/Eldest Omnibus by Christopher Paolini,  the fabulous DVD box set I Got the Feelin’: James Brown in the 60’s, or a DVD of Wong Kar-Wai’s latest opus, My Blueberry Nights.


It hasn’t been all sparks and glamour round here as we’ve made our changes, kids.  We’ve actually done a little bit of work and we’re happy to finally give you some fantastic exclusive interviews with some pop icons.


Andy Taylor

Pull up a place at the pub as the guitarist and founding member of Duran Duran spills his beer and even more about his juicy autobiography.


Yoshitaka Amano & Hideyuki Kikuchi

Nothing is lost in translation as we chat with legendary artist Yoshitaka Amano and Hideyuki Kikuchi, the author/creator of one of Japan’s most famous manga/anime characters, Vampire Hunter D.



LMD face to face with the legendary JRock guitarist/violinist virtuoso called “Walking Porn.”  Alert the Japanese Embassy.



Speaking moon language with the most fun band on the planet.




Oct. 27th, 2008 


Site Messenger - 11.1.08


Hey babies, here’s more of what we’ve been up to lately. We were so thrilled to attend the New York Film Festival screening of Wong Kar-Wai’s Ashes of Time Redux. We were especially privileged to be allowed a few exclusive shots of director Wong Kar-Wai, cinematographer emeritus, Christopher Doyle and - wait for it – the Greta Garbo of Hong Kong cinema, the legendary actress Brigitte Lin. *Squeee!* One of the most successful actresses in Asian cinema history, Madame Lin officially retired from the movie business in 1994, made an extremely rare appearance on behalf of the film that according to Wong Kar-Wai, she was so instrumental in bringing to the screen. She shared her memories about the film and about her costar the late, lamented Leslie Cheung and seemed genuinely touched and surprised at the semi-riot her appearance made amongst the international press. See?


Special blessings to the fabulous Sophie Gluck for her wonderful arrangements.


Did you think we would we have missed attending the most fun gathering of the year? Heck, no! The New York Anime Festival was even bigger and more fun than last year’s with more guests, more panels, more fans and more beautiful ones.

Samurai Beat Radio Panel guests Falsies On Heat

Quick, where's the bell peppers? Iron Chef Morimoto

Seiyuu Rie Tanaka kills the crowd with Kawaii!

The star of Anime Fest, Chibi Goku


Falsies on Heat again!




Nov. 1st, 2008 


Site Update -

Hail Macedonia!


Hey kids, if you're in the Big B.A. this weekend, make haste to the Macedonian Film Festival and experience the latest in modern filmmaking created by this Ancient Empire.


Come to listen to Q&A's by

Milcho Manchevski, Director of Dust & Before the Rain

Teona Strugar Mitevska, Director of I Am From Titov Veles

Ivo Trajkov, Director of The Great Water

Robert Jazadziski, Producer of The Great Water

Stole Popov, Director of Happy New Year

Darko Mitrevski, Director of Bal-Can-Can


Click on the banner above to go to the Macedonian Film Festival site for film info and ticket purchase.




Nov. 18th, 2008 


Site Update - 11.22.08

Hey kids, taking a small pause from the good times with the hard-partying folks behind the Macedonian Film Festival to let y’all know what’s up round the site.

We’ve put up our latest interview with the amazing Danny Boyle, director of such modern classics as Trainspotting and 28 Days Later, as he discussed directing in the barrios of Mumbai for Slumdog Millionaire. He was kind enough to bring along the young star of the film, Dev Patel, for his first US interview about his feature film debut.


We also have our chat with Darren Lynn Bousman, director of the provocative and singular Repo! The Genetic Opera.  Darren talked about the joys of Rocky Horror and Jesus Christ Superstar and what inspired him to put Paris Hilton, Sarah Brightman and Giles from Buffy the Vampire Slayer in the same film.

We’ve also got new movie reviews, including the latest chapter in the adventures of that British Secret Agent Man and a small indie film about a little known series of books about bloodsuckers that may eventually find a modest audience.













Nov. 22nd, 2008 


Site Update - 12.18.08


Hey little babies, so much moving, you’d swear we had the hippy-hippy-shakes.  

Thrillsville first:  We met Kate Flipping Winslet. Seriously, the actress we consider the finest of her age sat to chat about The Reader and Revolutionary Road and was every bit as fab as we reckoned she’d be.  

Click pretty Kate's photo to read the interview

(Added goodness: exclusive snaps of Lena Olin, the goddess who showed us all how to exit a vehicle in a most ladylike fashion in Romeo is Bleeding and played Irina Derevko on the Alias TV series, the most badass mama who didn’t hail from Ancient Greece.  Also, The Reader director Stephen Daldry, screenwriter David Hare and lovely newcomer David Kross, who holds more than his own in the film opposite the Mighty Kate.)


*sigh* Ah, Benicio Puerto Rico’s own, playing one of the best known revolutionaries of all time in the epic, Che.  Del Toro, director Stephen Soderbergh and costar Demián Bichir sat down to talk it over. Click the exclusive piccy to read all.


Cedric! The! Entertainer!  Anyone who’s been with us since the early days knows of my adoration for Ceddy Bear.  So joyous was I to come face to face with CtE, Oscar-Winner Adrien Brody, Jeffrey Wright, Mos Def, Gabrielle Union, Columbus Short, director Darnell Martin and Oz’s Kareem Said himself, Eamonn Walker as they confabulated about making Cadillac Records. Click on Ced, Mos and Adrien to take a ride.


It’s been a while, but yes, we’ve actually got up some movie reviews. So, dig the new.





We’ve been smothered under a mountain of excellent filmage (- mostly).  As a first time voter with New York Film Critics Online I was on hand to help elect the guild’s best of 2008, and they went a little something like this:


Slumdog Millionaire

Danny Boyle w/ Loveleen Tandan -
Slumdog Millionaire


Sean Penn -

Sally Hawkins - Happy-Go-Lucky

Heath Ledger - The Dark Knight

Penelope Cruz - Vicki Cristina Barcelona

Slumdog Millionaire - Anthony Dod Mantle

Slumdog Millionaire - Simon Beaufoy

4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days

Man on Wire


Slumdog Millionaire - A.R. Rahman

Sally Hawkins - Happy-Go-Lucky


Martin McDonagh - In Bruges




Some winners matched my choices and some ... well; it is a democratic society, after all.  In the next couple days I’ll be putting up my own Best Of (- and Not Very Good At All) list for the year.  You’ve been warned.

Lastly, a very Happy B-Day to that Glorious former Elephant Mum.

Later babies, but soon.




Dec. 18th, 2008 


Glorious Things -

2008 Edition




Iron Man – Robert Downey, Jr.’s official welcome home as the caustic, millionaire man of steel.  Director Jon Favreau’s eye-popping superhero thrill made us wish we’d sprung for the big tub of popcorn for once.


The Dark Knight – Director Christopher Nolan’s brave choice to put his main character on the sidelines and feature a dark, explosive war between good - Aaron Eckhart’s Harvey Dent - and evil - Heath Ledger’s Joker – took us places no other comic book movie has dared.


The Fall – A mesmerising achievement in art production, costumes and cinematography, starring matinee-idol-in-progress, Lee Pace, and unforgettable mite, Catinca Untaru.  Every single frame deserves its own place in MoMA.

Slumdog Millionaire – Joy, pure, unadulterated joy.




Teeth – Outrageous and original, there’s nothing more priceless than a movie that makes all the males in the audience simultaneously cross their legs.


Take-Out – Outstanding vérité look at a day in the life of a beleaguered Chinese take away delivery man.



The Wrestler – Moving, beautifully acted documentary-style tale of a New Jersey golden boy of the squared circle gone to seed.


Let the Right One In - Ingmar Bergman meets Hammer horror. This is how you do a proper teenage vampire movie, kids. Don’t let that Twilight trash fool ya.


U23D – Breathes new life into U2’s extensive classic catalog while raising the bar on the future of concert films.



Fighter – We were K.O.’d by this Tribeca Film Festival treat from Scandinavia; the story of a Turkish teen who’s desperate to get in touch with her inner Rocky.



Raw Emotion {Celluloid Edition}:


Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight – His ultimate psycho turn as the Joker chilled me in the cinema and still haunts after repeated viewings.  It’s a damned shame.


Mickey Rourke in The Wrestler – Welcome back, Prodigal.


Leonardo DiCaprio & Kate Winslet in Revolutionary Road - Not since Liz & Dick’s turn in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf has watching the American Dream turn toxic been so entertaining.


Catinca Untaru in The Fall - Those eyes, that missing tooth, the adorable accent; Untaru brings audiences back to the age when the world was a wondrous place.


Chiwetel Ejiofor in Redbelt - Captures the strength and dignity of a modern-day samurai disillusioned by the corruption in others.


Josh Brolin in W & Milk - Brolin hit biopic gold with his stunningly even-handed portrayal of the current Commander-in-Chief (- 20 days to go) and gives unexpected heart to the most loathed man in San Francisco, Dan White, the murderer of Harvey Milk.


Fun things:

Interviews:  Too many great ones, so I’ll mention the exclusives that were a big deal for us in 2008.  Like our face to face with cinema visionary and Hong Kong Legend, director Wong Kar-wai; our first author interview with the wonderful Charlaine Harris.  Japanese rock legend Sugizo’s words opened my eyes and warmed my … heart.  It was a joy to speak with Vampire Hunter D creator Hideyuki Kikuchi and legendary artist (- and designer of Gatchaman!) Yoshitaka Amano.  Duran Duran founder Andy Taylor and I need to get to the nearest pub and talk and talk.  Funny, honest and pulling no punches, Hawaii-born Hong Kong star, Maggie Q was one of my most enjoyable chats ever.  Japanese band Polysics is as much fun to speak with as they are on stage.  Let us not forget to send cheers to Sir Ronnie Wood, who suavely raised a glass to this hard-working person sitting in the front row at the Rolling Stones/Martin Scorsese press conference.  We also had once-in-a-lifetime meetings with comic-book alpha & omega, Stan “The Man” Lee, the real Last Samurai, Tatsuya Nakadai, the original Easy Rider, Dennis Hopper



Eddie Izzard at the Union Square Theatre – Unofficial warm-up for the comic’s Stripped tour in an intimate venue.  Izzard’s theory on giraffe communication is the most hilarious thing you will never be able repeat to another human being.

Sakura Matsuri at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden - Break out the sake and yukata for our new springtime tradition.  You’ll not find a lovelier day out dedicated to the cherry blossom and all arts Nippon without a passport. 

Equus - Feh, who cares about Daniel Radcliffe’s extremely energetic nude scene?  I came to see the heated sexiness that is Richard Griffiths.  Seriously, the show is gripping and sharp and features brave work by both Radcliffe and his equally unclothed costar, Anna Camp.  Special luv to Lorenzo Pisoni as Nugget, the horse we’d dearly luv to groom in a stable some dark, stormy night.

Asian American International Film Festival - Packed with a great slate of movies, one of the best screening rooms in the city, fun interviews and the best parties.

New York Anime Festival - A hyper-colourful singing, dancing (!) celebration of community and commerce, where anime fans get an entire weekend to freely revel in their Far East worship.



Jrock is the new move, babies.  Like Marco Polo, I have discovered the jewels of the Far East and boy, has it been good.  Amongst the Japanese rock riches we’ve unearthed both classic and new: Gackt, Polysics, The Blue Hearts, Stereo Pony, TeddyLoid, L’Arc en Ciel, Miyavi, Aqua Timez, and our little pink-haired patron saint, the late, great, guitarslinger, hide.

My chat with the beautiful and regal Versailles Philharmonic Quintet, before they put on a gut punch of a NYC debut concert was lovely.  There really is precious little sexier than five gorgeous Jrock gods all sitting on a bed bowing to you from the waist in unison.  I mentioned having my head done in by a talk with Jrock legend Sugizo, who was here playing as part of the most amazing and unique concert of the year with the electronic fusion combo Juno Reactor.  One of the most fun shows we attended was Polysics on Halloween night; the New Wave-loving quartet paid homage to their masters, Devo, taking the stage in yellow radiation suits and red flowerpot hats stripping down to their own orange boiler suits that were drenched in sweat by the end of their non-stop, frenetic show.

George Michael at Madison Square Garden - He knew we were waiting for him - but 16 bloody years?  Come on, Yog, step away from the pipe and take your rightful place back on stage. 

Slumdog Millionaire Soundtrack - Danny Boyle movies have always been known for their amazing soundtracks, but Jai Ho by A.R. Rahman and O…Saya, featuring M.I.A. are as indelible to this film as Lust for Life was for Trainspotting.


Things we luv {Abridged}:

Bleach - The most intriguing, exciting anime going.  Smart, funny and addictive, the series has just aired its 200th chapter in Japan and shows no sign of slowing down. Bleach’s US distributor, Viz Media has just made arrangements to release subtitled Naruto episodes the week after they air in Japan: Let’s hope they strike the same agreement with Bleach, so I can feed my Shinigami jones quicker.


Sofia Blanc de Blanc Sparkling Wine – Just in time for New Year’s Eve for the over-21’s; we had to take a moment to send our luv to the fairest maiden in the Coppola Kingdom.  Smooth, light and delicate with a sneaky kick, it’s the most imminently consumable sparkler I’ve ever imbibed.  The taste reminds me of the delicious lace cookies from Little Italy I used to love as a child.  Unlike many champers I’ve known, Sofia leaves neither strange aftertaste nor awful hangover.  All yum!


Fail and Fail and Fail – {Movie Edition}


Cloverfield – These are the rules; you make Diva physically ill, Diva gets to hate you for the rest of her life.  This awful tripe should have had a motion sickness warning at the door.  It didn’t help my squishy stomach that besides the retch-inducing shakycam, the film featured the dumbest, most irritating characters ever put on screen.  As I said before and it’s still true, I never cheered so hard for the monster to win.

Noise – A.K.A. The White Man’s Burden.  This paean to the put-upon Yuppie and all his sufferings living in cruel, heartless Manhattan, driving him to lame vigilantism made me want to go on a happy-slapping spree around the Lower East Side.  Sorry homes, I can’t feel ya; I was actually born here.

Tokyo! – A three film anthology revolving around the title: Chapter 1, Interior Design, by Michel Gondry is slow, but quirky and sweet. Shaking Tokyo, the 3rd chapter by Bong Joon-ho is moving and lovely.  It’s the middle sequence by Leos Carax called Merde that’s an interesting idea gone absolutely insane and not in a good way.  Self-indulgent, pointlessly ugly and just plain horrible, this truth-in-titling gets an extra boo-face for abusing the inimitable Godzilla theme by Akira Ifukube to add to its madness.

Funny Games – Pornographic, heavy-handed and manipulative, there is too much hypocrisy in director Michael Haneke’s finger-wagging snuff film to view as anything other than a sad misfire.

Twilight – Laughable special effects and none-to-subtle abstinence propaganda aside, this celebration of hair products and a Greek God of a male lead can’t distract from the utter decrepitude of this blatant cash grab ripoff of an entire fandom.

Sukiyaki Western Django – How do you say, ‘What an ungodly mess,' in Engrish?

The Women – When I first heard this threatened remake of one of my top 10 films of all time was finally happening all I could think was, “Why?’ Having seen this pointless, whingey, touchy-feely bore all I can say is ‘Who cares?’


There you have it, dolls, a teeny tiny glance at our favourite things of 2008.  Thank you so much for reading along with us through the year, Luvvies.  It means the world. We shall strive to present you with many more tidbits of joy and amusement in 2009.

Stay healthy, Stay safe, and most of all ...

Stay fabulous, babies.




~ Luv from The Lady Miz Diva and everyone at The Diva Review.




Dec. 31st, 2008 


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