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2009 Archive
 
 

Site Update - 1.18.09

 

Hey Kids, news, news, news …

To celebrate our first update of 2009, we running our first contest of the New Year and we’re thrilled.  As you know, we luvs us some Jackie Chan like a crazy person.  Add to that our absolute fanaticism for the Malaysian Goddess Michelle Yeoh, the Invisible Woman of the Heroic Trio, the graceful non-Japanese geisha, the most badass Bond Girl this side of Grace Jones.  Combine the legendary two together and you have the makings of one crazy action film. Oh wait, that would be Police Story 3 A.K.A. SUPERCOP.  We’ve been gifted with a copy of the fabulous 2-Disc Edition including interviews with Jackie and Michelle (- and Ken Lo!) to give away to one lucky winner who can answer the questions on our contest page.

Click on the SUPERCOP DVD cover to go to our contest page. 

All thanks to Dragon Dynasty and Special Ops Media for the prize.

 

Interviews!

Chandni Chowk to China makes Hollywood history by being the first Bollywood film to be released worldwide by a major US movie studio. Stars Akshay Kumar, Deepika Padukone, and director Nikhil Advani talked about working with Master Killer & Keeper of the 36th Chamber of Shaolin, Gordon Liu, pinching Ang Lee’s Lust, Caution drag and playing amidst Zhang Yimou’s Golden Flowers. Click on the poster to dig the visit.

 

We’ve got chatter with Kevin James about his first non-Adam Sandler/Will Smith-imbued effort, Paul Blart: Mall Cop. Tickle Kevin's mustache to take you there.

 

We also have birthed our first review of the year with The Unborn.

 

 

 

 

We somehow managed to recover from that traumatic experience after reviewing the lovely Owl and the Sparrow.

 

 

Later babies, but soon.

 

Enjoy,

 L.M.D.

Jan. 18th, 2009 

 

Site Update - 1.28.09

 

Gong Hei Fat Choi, babies!  Happy Year of the Ox to y’all!  How apropos that we’re in the middle of our Jackie Chan SUPERCOP DVD Giveaway Contest.  Make sure you get your entries in before Feb 9th, kids.

 

And because it’s such a special season, I’m thrilled to bring you couple of amazing exclusive interviews.

First, we were thrilled to chat with the creator of Jack Skellington, Zero and Miss Spider, the brilliant Henry Selick.  Mr. Selick had plenty to say about his latest masterpiece Coraline, (- I’ll have so much to say about the film itself soon). Dig in as Mr. Selick (- accompanied by a stunning blue-haired guest) talks about getting a sneak peek at Neil Gaiman’s manuscripts, Ray Harryhausen and the Pillsbury Dough Boy.

 

Next, we had the pure honour of speaking with one of the last true living legends of Hollywood. Hang in for our bawdy, hilarious, insightful chat with Mr. Ernest Borgnine as he discusses winning the Oscar, Spencer Tracy, Lee Marvin, Charles Bronson, Alan Ladd, Robert Downey, Jr. and how, at age 92, palling around with Jane Russell will add 10 more years to any man’s life.

 

Finally, we’ve updated Groove Me for y’all. So boogie down with things you know and some glorious new sounds.  We’ve got the two Oscar nominated songs from Slumdog Millionaire, the latest from Gackt, new band alert for the adorable girl trio Stereo Pony and classic blasts from The Clash, Erasure, Pretenders & Blondie.

Dig it, swingers!

 

Enjoy,

 L.M.D.

Jan. 28th, 2009 

 

SUPERCOP - Contest Winner

Hey Babies, it is my deepest joy to announce that the Fabulous Eric Neuner of BK, NY,  came closest to vanquishing our Jackie Chan/Michelle Yeoh knowledge banks by getting four out of five questions correct on our quiz.  He’s won a Dragon Dynasty 2-Disc Ultimate Edition of SUPERCOP of his very own.

Here is the quiz reprinted with the correct answers

 1.)  Name the two other stars who were known as the Three Dragons of Hong Kong martial arts films along with Jackie Chan. These two trained and grew up in the same Peking Opera school with Jackie.

        The answers are Sammo Hung and Yuen Biao

 

 2)   Name the film featured on this site starring Jaycee Chan, Jackie’s son.

                The answer is THE DRUMMER

 

 3)   Name the two actresses who co-starred with Michelle Yeoh as two-thirds of the HEROIC TRIO.

                The answers are Maggie Cheung and Anita Mui.

 

 4)   Give the title of a Jackie Chan film that starred each of those two actresses  from HEROIC TRIO.  (i.e., one actress – one title = two different Jackie Chan  films)

                The answers are Maggie Cheung starred with Jackie Chan in PROJECT  A - Pt. 2, POLICE STORY 1, 2, and 3 (a.k.a. SUPERCOP) & TWIN  DRAGONS.

              Anita Mui & Jackie Chan starred together in RUMBLE IN THE  BRONX, MIRACLES, or DRUNKEN MASTER 2 ( a.k.a. LEGEND OF DRUNKEN MASTER).

 

 5)   Jackie Chan isn’t the only one known for dangerous stuntwork:  On which  film did Michelle Yeoh crack a vertebra after falling 18 feet and landing on her  head? {- It’s okay, she’s fine.}

                The answer is Ah Kam {1995}

 

And there ya go.  Well done, El Fano!

 

Stay tuned kids, our next contest will be courtesy of a little blue-haired mite who’s quite fetching in a yellow raincoat.

 

Enjoy,

 L.M.D.

Feb. 9th, 2009 

 

Site Update - 2.17.09

Well kiddies, what a couple of weeks.  Only now have I been able to realign my jaw after viewing the loveliness that is Clive Owen as he came to chat about his latest, The International.  The lovely and freakishly wee new mum Naomi Watts and unexpectedly fetching director Tom Tykwer were also on hand.

Click on the handsome English man to go to the interview.

Click on the poster to read our review of The International.

 

 

 

 

We’ve finally recovered from the frantic festivities of the New York Comic Con in time to give you a quick run down of all the massive madness.  Besides mixing with the throng of fun-loving humanity, we had the great fortune to speak with some folks from Pixar about the fantastic-looking Up, took a stroll with Joss Whedon, watched a Japanese hype machine overload, drooled over my favourite denizen of Dawson’s Creek and mingled with the costumed con-goers.

There was so much activity that I had to put it – and dozens of photos -  on a whole other page, so click here for three nutty days at the New York Comic Con.

Here’s a small sample of what you’ll see.

Master of the Whedonverse

Sho Sakurai & Takashi Miike do it Red Carpet style

Pacey!!! Joshua Jackson

Pixar's Up producer Jonas Rivera & director Peter Docter

Jin!!! Daniel Dae Kim

Last bit of news:  For the JRock/Juno fans: The Fabulous Megumi and our friends at Samurai Beat Radio have posted part one of their interview at Kinokuniya books with our favourite Eastern dirty thought, Sugizo, and the brilliant, hilarious Ben Watkins of Juno Reactor.  You might notice some familiar looking photos there, as well.

Click here to go to their podcast.

Click here to read our exclusive interview with Sugizo featuring tons of exclusive photos.

 

Enjoy,

 L.M.D.

Feb. 17th, 2009 

 

Site Update - 3.31.09

 

Hey Babies, so much to say, so little time to say it as I’m rushing to post the photos of the congregation of Beautiful Ones gathered at the Japan Society’s first ever Cosplay Party.  It was a blast to see all the amazing work and devotion (- and lack thereof in some cases) of the multitude of otaku who attended.

Click here to see all of our photos of the glamourous kids who made the scene

There’s much Japanese-based joy to tell you about besides the Cosplay Party, Japan Society is also hosting the multimedia exhibition called KRAZY!, spotlighting the influence of modern manga on video games, music and anime.  You can peruse stacks of imported manga, play Pac-Man opposite a pal at the old sit-down consoles, listen to the soundtracks of Cowboy Bebop and Ghost in the Shell in the music room, and huddle in your own booth for two while viewing the brilliant of Paprika, Patlabor, Macross and the classic feature, Akira.

Click on Afro-Samurai to be transported to KRAZY!

~

LMD has pleaded with the heavens and been favourably answered, the deities at Viz Media and National Cinema Media have gifted us with another special movie event.

The final chapter in the Death Note trilogy, L: The Last Name will be played across the country for two nights only on April 29th & 30th.  In a very special and commendable first, NCM has listened to Death Note fans and made the first night (April 29th) a subtitled screening in the original Japanese language!

Yes, kids, for the first time on the big screen you can hear L as he truly sounds in all his cuteness.

Click on the kawaii L banner to order advance tickets!

Please come out and support this special screening and show movie studios that anime fans are not too lazy to read!

~

Last, but certainly not least on the Nippon in New York scene is the announcement of the Brooklyn Botanical Garden’s Sakura Matsuri, taking place on May 2nd-3rd .  We reported on the breathtaking, ethereal beauty of the springtime event last year and it’s our new tradition. Grab an ochoko ( - or twelve) of sake and come out to take part in demonstrations of classic Japanese arts, dance, music and kendo and boogie down with DJ’s spinning what’s hip in Roppongi.  All this gorgeousness takes place under the umbrella of the loveliest orchard of cherry blossoms in New York City.

Hanami, the Japanese cultural tradition of viewing and cherishing each moment of cherry blossom season begins April 4th through May 10th.  Don’t forget to check into the BBG.org groovy Cherrywatch site, updated daily, so you can clock the progress of the real stars of the Matsuri weekend.

~

In the middle of all this fun we actually got some interviews done with some amazing folk:

Paul Rudd, Jason Segel & the cast of I Love You, Man sit in for some good times and stolen Smarties.

 

Nicolas Cage, Rose Byrne & director Alex Proyas talk about Knowing.

 

 

 

Director R.W. Goodwin chats with us exclusively about Alien Trespass

 

 

 

 

 

~

Look! Movie reviews!

 

 

Enjoy,

 L.M.D.

Mar. 31st, 2009 

 

Site Update - 5.5.09

 

Hey babies, so much to say.  We’ve settled down from the whirlwind that was the Tribeca Film Festival and I’ve so much to report.

Tribeca:  What lovely movie madness overtakes my fair city every year around this time.  This year the film selection was more streamlined and as a result packed with some truly amazing films, some thought provoking pieces, and inevitably, the odd waste of celluloid.

I’ll be writing more on the individual films, but here’s a short list:

The Best:

Departures – This year’s Foreign Language Academy Award winner. It deserves every last ounce of gold on its Oscar. Click here for our chat with director Yôjirô Takita & star, the lovely Masahiro Motoki.

 

Black Dynamite – It’s been a long time since I literally rolled in the aisle with laughter, but this homage to 1970’s blaxploitation films had me laid out and convulsing over two seats.  Click here for our rap session with star and co-writer Michael Jai White and director Scott Sanders.

All About Actresses – This mockumentary about the lives of the some of the most famous actresses in France – complete with musical numbers – was as delightful as champagne and strawberries. Click here for out exclusive interview with the director, writer and star, the fabulous Maïwenn.

My Dear Enemy - A beautiful, moody, and unexpectedly funny study of two exes thrown together by fate.  Click here for our exclusive interview with director Lee Yoon-ki.

 

Still Walking – A daylong look into a family reunion that is at turns hilarious, scathing and hypnotic.

 

The Thinker:

Outrage – The talk of the festival, how many politicians would be outed during this documentary.  The discussion of public hypocrisy is so engaging you don’t really care. Click here for our sit down with director Kirby Dick.

 

Why did they bother?:

Hysterical Psycho – This misbegotten attempt at a horror spoof marks only the second time I’ve ever walked out of a movie.  Life’s too short and had I stayed it would only have gotten shorter.

 

Despite the occasional clunker, overall it was a wonderful festival.  Even the TFF press office was gorgeously appointed this year courtesy of DirectTV, and it was a great place to meet with the filmmakers and discuss their projects.  Click in the coloured links to read our chats with those talented folks.

Plus, I got to sip Pomeritas in the presence of the painfully beautiful Gael García Bernal and Diego Luna as they celebrated their latest film, Rudo y Cursi. 

Click here for our interview with Mexican fabulosity.

Life is good.

 

Enjoy,

 L.M.D.

May 5th 2009

 

Site Update - 5.14.09

 

In the midst of all the craziness of the Tribeca Film Festival, we were able to indulge in the various celebrations of Japanese culture taking place around NYC.

 

L:  Change the World:  What exquisite joy to sit in a surprisingly full audience (- like our lovely "L" on the right) of anime fans who are actually willing to read.  The large crowd was finally able to fall fully under the thrall of the wonderful Kenichi Matsuyama speaking as the shaggy-haired, sweets-loving super genius L Lawliet in his own voice in this last chapter of the live-action Death Note films.

Special Thanks to the fabulous Michelle Portillo of NCM Fathom  and our Viz Goddesses for making the evening possible.

 

Sakura Matsuri at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden: Oh yeah!  Neither rain, nor mud, nor ridiculous mass-transit delays could keep the hardcore cherry blossom worshippers from their appointed Hanami.  Under a water-tight tent, the faithful risked the frizzies and soggy tabi for the most beautiful cultural celebration in New York City.  We enjoyed classical nihon buyo, koto performances and the boogie-down bushido of Samurai Sword Soul.  Click here for nearly 100 pics from our annual visit.

 

Ampersand Hair Design:  Having a luv for all things Japanese around cherry blossom time led me to focus my eyes to a gem right under my fringe.  As the entire world seems to be turning East for cues on style and fashion, I wanted to let you know about Ampersand Hair Design, run by Japanese-born, Tokyo-trained stylists who know exactly how to bring the J-Rock/Visual Kei star out in anyone. Click here for more on the style oasis that is Ampersand.

 

Movies:  Oh look, movie reviews.

 

 

Enjoy,

 L.M.D.

May 14th, 2009

 

Site Update - 6.8.09

 

Hey All, such a fun thing to tell you about. In celebration of the upcoming The Taking of Pelham 123, we were invited to take a rare subway excursion through some of New York City’s underground history. Risking tetanus, imprisonment, crawly things and a hefty laundry tab, we uncovered views of the City that most New Yorkers never get to see.


Click on The Taking of Pelham 123 banner for all the photos from that adventure.

The Taking of Pelham 123 opens in theatres on June 12th, 2009
 

 

Enjoy,

 L.M.D.

June 8th, 2009

 

Site Update - 6.21.09

 

Hey all, so much to say, let’s get to it. 

So many faces:  We’ve been social butterflying all over town lately, kids.  We’ve had some great interviews with some brilliant folks.

Year One Click here for our interview with comedy star Harold Ramis

 

 

 

TetroClick here for our chat with legendary director Francis Ford Coppola & star Alden Ehrenreich
 


Easy Virtue Click here for words from Jessica Biel, Colin Firth, Ben Barnes and the filmmakers behind the Noël Coward adaptation.
 

 

 

UpClick here for funny business with Pete Docter & Jonas Rivera, the director & producer behind Pixar’s latest triumph
 


Dance Flick Click here for a Wayans laugh riot

 

 

 

 

We’ve even gotten some Movie Reviews done:

 

NYC is currently in the thrall of the New York Asian Film Festival and the Japan Society's Japan Cuts all sorts of cinematic joy from the East.  Click on the banners for schedules and ticket info.

Tickets have also gone on sale for the New York Anime Festival, running Sept 25-27th.  Click on the NYAF 2009 mascot for info and tickets

More soon, Babies.

 

Enjoy,

 L.M.D.

June 21st, 2009

 

Site Update - 7.21.09

 

The heat of the summer has made me update-lazy, kids, but there’s been good stuff going on. Let’s get to it.

The good folks at Walt Disney Studios have been so kind as to share some sweet piccys of our upcoming thrill, Alice in Wonderland, directed by our adored Tim Burton and starring our beloved Johnny Depp. Tripalistic as these first images are, I expect great things.

More fun: we got some hunkalicious Jake Gyllenhaal in the first teaser poster for Prince of Persia proving that even the best looking boys look better with long hair. Sweetness.

We’ve had the pleasure of some fabulous chats:

Legendary producer of such Hong Kong classics as Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon Hero, Curse of the Golden Flower and most recently, Blood: The Last Vampire, Bill Kong, indulged us with a talk.

 

 

From the New York Asian Film Festival we got to meet a real heartthrob of Asian cinema. Tak Sakaguchi first stole out dainty hearts in Ryuhei Kitamura’s gunfights and zombies classic Versus and has kept a stranglehold since.  

 

We’ve updated Groove Me radio with some summer vibes, with tracks from the (500) Days of Summer soundtrack by Mumm-ra and The Temper Trap, also Q-Tip, Blondie, Korean pop stars Super Junior, The Ramones, Japanese rock goddesses Scandal, Talking Heads, Peter, Bjorn & John, The Rolling Stones, Bowie, Deee-Lite, our darling hide, Sly and the Family Stone and a couple of Michael Jackson/Jackson 5ive jammies, so click here to head over and boogie down.

In other news, dig some reviews:

More soon, Babies.

 

Enjoy,

 L.M.D.

July 21st, 2009

 

Site Update - 8.2.09

 

Hey kids, some fun things to let you know about

Two giants let me bask in the cool of their shadows:

I had an exclusive chat with the man who single-handedly put modern Korean cinema on the map. Chan-wook Park, director of such works of genius as Oldboy and Sympathy for Lady Vengeance stopped by to talk about his dark, sexy new Thriller, Thirst.

 

 

 

Strreeeepppp!!!  Yes, chitlins, I was in the same room with the Goddess of Acting herself, Meryl Streep. The Thespian deity kindly graced me with her attention, answering questions about her amazing turn in Julie & Julia. Stanley Tucci was kind enough to be sure I was still upright afterward.

 

 

Stompin’ the courtyard with the seniors of Gotta Dance, director Dori Berinstein talked to us about capturing the amazing Netsationals dance squad in motion.

 

 

 

So happy to know that for our growing number of readers with a fetish for Korean TV dramas, your prayers have been answered.  High-quality, licensed, subtitled streaming videos of Korea’s top soaps are available on the brand spankin’ new website Dramafever.com Click on their banner to check it out.

 

And I hate to say it, but your ever luvvin’ LMD is still feeling the effects of a little too much partying with the fine folk from the Asian American International Film Festival. Watch this space for reviews and interviews to follow.

 

 

Enjoy,

 L.M.D.

Aug. 2nd, 2009

 

For Our Loved One ...

Scott Hoffman

Without whom we'd have no name and no idea how much joy one person could bring with them into this world and how much more they take away when they're gone.  Your amazing smile, your incredible hugs, your beautiful heart that saw the best in me and everyone around you will be missed every day.

Requiescat in pace, sweet friend.

~

"And at night you will look up at the stars. Where I live everything is so small that I cannot show you where my star is to be found. It is better, like that. My star will just be one of the stars, for you. And so you will love to watch all the stars in the heavens... they will all be your friends. And, besides, I am going to make you a present..."

He laughed again.

"Ah, little prince, dear little prince! I love to hear that laughter!"

"That is my present. Just that."

"What are you trying to say?"

"All men have the stars," he answered, "but they are not the same things for different people. For some, who are travelers, the stars are guides. For others, they are no more than little lights in the sky. For others, who are scholars, they are problems. For my businessman, they were wealth. But all these stars are silent. You-- you alone-- will have the stars as no one else has them--"

"In one of the stars I shall be living. In one of them I shall be laughing. And so it will be as if all the stars were laughing, when you look at the sky at night... you-- only you-- will have stars that can laugh!"

And he laughed again.

"And when your sorrow is comforted (time soothes all sorrows) you will be content that you have known me. You will always be my friend. You will want to laugh with me. And you will sometimes open your window, so, for that pleasure... and your friends will be properly astonished to see you laughing as you look up at the sky! Then you will say to them, 'Yes, the stars always make me laugh!' And they will think you are crazy. It will be a very shabby trick that I shall have played on you..."

And he laughed again.

- Excerpted from The Little Prince

by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

 

L.M.D.

August 28th, 2009

Site Update - 9.30.09

Kids, it’s been aaaages.  So much to go on about, let’s get a move on. 

 

J-Rock in the USA: The Influence of Japanese Rock in America.

I hosted the first ever J-Rock in the USA panel at Kinokuniya Bookstore.  It was a great thrill to be honoured with Narina and Kin from NoirceuR (& their manager, Joseph), the irreplaceable Gosha, Tsubasa, Shu and Koto from Uzuhi, and gracing us from all the way from Baltimore, Kazuya, Kane and Sai from [geist].  We had a great time chatting about their influences, their fans, anime (- or not) and what future they see for bands in the US shaped by Japanese rock.

Here’s some pics. Video (Yes, video) coming soon.

 More if you click here.

 

New York Anime Festival 2009/ Far East to East Showcase/AKB48

Hey kids, this was the final year that the NY Anime Festival was going to stand on its own.  Starting next year, comic book geeks and otaku will share the Javits Center for their annual jamboree. I felt duty bound to watch the cosplayers, maids and lovers of Japanese culture roam unfettered in their undiluted element through the convention halls one last time.

This year, music was my focus, and I had the opportunity to attend the Far East to East Showcase, featuring the amazing Echostream.

I also had the surreal experience of attending the New York debut of AKB48, a Tokyo-based group of 48 girls who sing and dance to Akihabara pop songs.

Click here for the full collection of photos.

 

Interviews:

Bandslam: Stars Vanessa Hudgens, Aly Michalka and Gaelan Connell sat down to take about a different kind of high school musical.

 

 

 

Fifty Dead Men Walking:  We were reunited with the wonderful and charming Jim Sturgess, armed this time with Gandhi himself, Sir Ben Kingsley, to talk about this tense IRA drama.

 

 

My One and Only:  I had a delightful exclusive chat with The Tanned One himself, George Hamilton, who reminisced about Robert Mitchum, Lana Turner, Jim Morrison and Vincente Minnelli on the way to discussing his new biopic.

 

 

 

 

9: FRODO!!! I mean, Elijah Wood, along with costar Jennifer Connelly and director Shane Acker sat in to discuss very small creatures fighting the Apocalypse.

 

Still Walking:  The brilliant Japanese director of Nobody Knows, Hirokazu Kore-eda discussed his latest treatise on family relations.

 

 

 

Bright Star:  The lovely Ben Whishaw and Abbie Cornish with director Jane Campion and producer Btalked about loving the poetry of  Keats and staying well-corseted.

 

And here’s some movie reviews

 

 

 

Enjoy,

 L.M.D.

Sept. 30th, 2009

 

 

 

Site Update - Nov. 3. 09

Kids, it’s been forever, but I have such exciting news, you might forgive my tardiness.

We are very proud and honoured to host a very special event with the biggest rock band in Asia.  And if you're very good - and very lucky - you might be one of a very exclusive number of fans to attend this amazing event.

Please join us for Average Blasphemy: A Conversation with Dir En Grey, hosted by The Lady Miz Diva Vélez, Tuesday, November 10th at Kinokuniya Bookstore, 1073 Avenue of the Americas.

The contest is over.  Thank you all for entering.

Winners will be notified and announced on Sunday, November 8th, 2009.  Click here to go to the contest page to find out if you’ve won.

 

 

Enjoy,

 L.M.D.

Nov. 3rd, 2009

Updated: Nov. 7th, 2009

 

Site Update - Nov. 13. 09

Kids, because it seems like this month we can't walk out the door without an Asian superstar falling on us. we'd like to help our friends at Giant Robot with this last minute bit of excitement!

RAIN IS HERE!!!

Doing a rare autograph signing in support of his new action film, NINJA ASSASSIN.

Miss this glorious sight at your eternal regret, luvs.

 

Enjoy,

 L.M.D.

Nov. 13th, 2009

 

 

Site Update - Dec. 2. 09

 

How much fun has been going on lately?  Too much, really, and here’s a bit of it.

 

We had the sublime joy of attending the preview of the stunning Tim Burton exhibition at New York’s Museum of Modern Art.  If you’re in town, go, if you’re not in town, go.  Click here, or on the pic of the auteur himself to see over 100 photos of the rarest of glimpses inside the Byzantine maze of the mind of one of the most singularly creative talents ever to pick up a camera.

 

 

 

Somehow I went up against the Ninja Assassin himself, the exceedingly lovely Korean superstar, Rain and survived! Click here for the exclusive pics and chat.

 

 

We had the pleasure of meeting the brilliant Henry Selick .  The director of the amazing Coraline and Tim Burton compadre gave us the pleasure of an up-close social visit with his brilliant, cobalt-haired progeny. Click here for our original tête-à-tête with Mr. Selick. Click here for our review of Coraline.

 

Here's some poster fun for a couple of films worth looking forward to for next year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

And jeez, there's been a bunch of Movie Reviews since last update:

 

 

Enjoy,

 L.M.D.

Nov. 13th, 2009

 

 

Glorious Things -

2009 Edition

 

Hey Babies, it’s our annual celebration of the beautiful, the brilliant and the fabulous stuff that traipsed across our path this year.  I will say the pickings were a bit more slim that the 2008 edition, but here goes.

 

Movies:

Coraline – Hypnotic, hip and actually does the impossible by improving on Neil Gaiman’s original short story. An absolutely gorgeous work of art.

 

(500) Days of Summer – JGL+ Pixies karaoke + a Hall & Oates dance sequence = Pure Luv

 

Up - If the first 10 minutes of this movie don’t make you sob like a professional mourner, you’re a waste of carbon.

 

Avatar – I’ve seen the future and sexy smurfs live there.

 

 

Nine – Kate Hudson and Fergie, I didn’t know you had it in you.

 

 

9 – Dark, moody, violent and not so much for the kiddies, with 9, writer/director Shane Acker proves himself to be a shot across the animated feature bow.

 

Departures – Charming and delightful in any language, and so deserving of every accolade, golden and otherwise.

 

Tom Hardy in Bronson – Ahhh! I’m scared! A mesmerising, breakout performance topped only by…

 

 

 

 

Christoph Waltz in Inglourious Basterds -  From the moment the giant pipe comes out of his pocket, you know this is going to be a good ride.

Jeff Bridges in Crazy Heart – Finally, Starman will get his Oscar.

 

 

 

 

Star Trek – After Cloverfield rating #1 on our Fail and Fail and Fail list last year, J.J. Abrams way redeems himself with a fun and truly satisfying redux of the 60’s TV classic.

 

Just Another Love Story – Ole Bornedal’s sleek Byzantine thriller defines film noir for a new generation.

 

Tyson – Love him or hate him, this portrait of potential and the American Dream gone terribly wrong is mesmerising.  

 

A Town Called Panic - So sorry we didn’t review this in time because I couldn’t have ended the year on a more delightful note than with this fresh, hilarious and saucily cute stop-motion animation from Belgium.

Update: Problem Solved - Click here for our review

 

 

Raw Emotion:

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus – Heath Ledger’s last work, so bittersweet as he’s so engaged and clearly enjoying this gorgeous film - director Terry Gilliam’s best in decades.  Gilliam’s ingenious and effective casting of Johnny (… My Johnny) Depp, Jude Law and Colin Farrell as alter egos for the fallen actor’s character is only topped by the beautiful speech Depp delivers about the passing of eternally young icons.

 

Michael Jackson: This is It – The pure joy the enigmatic superstar took in entertaining is only weighted by the reality of Jackson’s loss, and the mystery of his demise is deepened by his apparent vitality in these candid moments.

 Either way, the music here ain’t too shabby.

 

Scott, My Darling: The sudden, shocking passing of my friend, colleague and beloved partner-in-crime, Scott Hoffman hasn’t healed, but I feel his positivity every day and hear him whisper in my ear every time there’s an cute actor on screen.  So, my dear angel, while I pray for God's Blessing that you Rest in Peace, I know you’ll appreciate this last one…

 

Rain’s abs – Ninja Assassin was a lot of fun, but lets face it, the real star of this chop-socky epic was the Korean megastar’s six-pack! Here's our exclusive interview with Rain {spoiler: he's wearing clothes :( }

 

 

Happenings:

The DivaCrew - The most fabulous, hard-working collection of brilliance that made our little shindig with Japanese rock gods Dir En Grey possible.

 

 

 

 

John Woo! – I still can’t get over having the extreme luck to interview this lovely, humble man responsible for more imitated cinematic mayhem than perhaps any other person alive.

 

Tim Burton at MoMA – A special trip into the mind and art of a very strange, brilliant and sweet man.

 

 

 

 

 

Borgnine!! – The nonagenarian Oscar-winner captivated us with tales of Spencer Tracy, Alan Ladd, Lee Marvin, Spongebob Squarepants and Tortilla Flats.

 

 

 

J-Rock In the USA: Our very first panel at Kinokuniya Bookstore starring {geist}, Uzuhi and Noirceur. Three of the most promising bands with J-Rock roots made our initial sally into the sweet, sedate bookstore fabulous and memorable.

 

Books: 

We haven’t gotten round to reviewing these properly, but you must read Laura Joh Rowland’s Sano Ichiro mystery series. A samurai detective in feudal Japan, that’s all I need, really.

 

 

Beverages:

Since we started it with Sofia Coppola’s glorious sparkling wine last year, I’m continuing the trend with The Pink Spider:

Puckfair in New York City’s SoHo is notable for so many things; amazingly beautiful architecture and design, behind the bar hotness and amazingly friendly regulars, but the real star of the show is The Pink Spider. This truly divine concoction - made exclusively for yours truly - consists of fresh squeezed pink grapefruit, grenadine and 80% vodka. There are other ingredients in there as well, but I’m usually unconscious before I can determine them all.

Named after the signature song of my departed soul mate, Japanese rock deity, hide, I think the guitarist would have been proud!

 

 

 

 

Of course, now that we've declared our favourite things, there’s the other stuff that tried to slide under the radar unnoticed…

 

Fail and Fail and Fail

 

Movies:

The Unborn – Our first review of 2009 and one of the worst of 2009.  I should’ve known the rest of the year would be slim pickings after this.

 

All About Steve – In Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan, Ricardo Montalban had these big leeches that were inserted in their victim’s ear and gradually killed them. That would have been a far more merciful torture than watching this.  

Observe and Report – Cos there's nothing more hilarious than a drug rape and a bi-polar “hero” off his meds.

 

Year One – Luv ya, Harold Ramis, but you should have left Mel Brooks’ schtick alone.

 

Dragon Ball – May Shenron bite everyone connected with this insult to millions of fans on their stupid, opportunity-wasting arses. (Yes, even both the Chows – Yun-fat and Stephen!)

 

My love affair with Japanese music managers: Read here for my baptism by fire into the ignorant madness that is Johnny’s Entertainment.  There’s been more rages and frustration with other Japanese bands and managers since then, but this one is the hallmark.

 ~

Anyhoo, Dolls, this is your wrap up for 2009.  In all honesty, but for a few exceptions, I say good flipping riddance and await 2010 with a billy cub and intimidating language about getting better.  Whatever it was, I’m so glad ya’ll hung around and I hope here’s where you’ll stay for more fun and fabulosity. 

 

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

Stay fabulous, babies.

 

 

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

 

 

 L.M.D.

Dec. 31st, 2009 

 

 

 

 

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