Posted in Sports, Video

Nick Suzuki traded to the Canadiens

The Montreal Canadiens recently traded their captain and top goal scorer for the last several years (excluding the most recent one) in a trade that everyone saw coming. Nobody predicted who the Canadiens would get for Max Pacioretty. Out of the package they received from Las Vegas, Nick Suzuki a 19 year old first round pick is the most intriguing. Whether this will be considered a good trade or not largely hinges on whether Suzuki not only becomes a regular NHL player but one as impactful as Pacioretty was for the Habs. He plays center which is a position that Habs have been trying to fill for many, many years.

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Posted in Music, Next Music From TOKYO

Next Music from Tokyo vol 13 tour – Oct 5-10, 2018

Next Music from Tokyo or should that be Next Music from Tokyo & Taiwan? Because for the first time in the tour’s history, it will be inviting a band from Taiwan to perform. It’s a band that has toured in Japan so it would seem that some Japanese fans are aware of them. Four other bands from Japan will be coming too. Two are bands from past volumes. There’s Otori making their second showing and Mass of the Fermenting Dregs making their third appearance (the first band to do so on the tour). I had previously seen this band in the in Vol 8, which was the first NMFT show that I ever attended and I’ve  attended every show ever since (except vol 12). The other two bands are new to the tour and both are all female trios: UlulU and Paranoid Void.

It kicks off with two shows in Toronto on Friday October 5 and Saturday October 6. Then in Montreal on Sunday October 7 and ends in Vancouver on October 10. Tickets can be purchased online now.

Videos after the jump.

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Posted in Reviews, Trailers, Video

Searching – film review

Searching (2018)
Director & Writer: Aneesh Chaganty
Cast: John Cho, Debra Messing, Michelle La

Synopsis

A father misses a couple of phone calls from his daughter while he’s asleep. When she doesn’t return home,  he tries to contact her again but ends up contacting the police to search for her. While searching through her laptop for clues he discovers that he does not know his daughter as well as he thought he did.

Review

The thing that will become noticeable early on is that this movie is not filmed or staged in a conventional manner. Everything is seen via some sort of video media, whether it be a computer screen, a smartphone screen, a TV screen or surveillance camera. It is not the first movie to do so but very few films have chosen to tell their story in this way. It’s an interesting technique that makes it stand out and is particularly effective in the beginning when we see a montage of sorts showing the Kim’s family life before tragedy strikes. However, the restriction to telling the story via screens starts to feel forced towards the end when it the film resorts to hidden cameras, live TV and live streaming to show the final events.

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Posted in *Recommended, Food, Reviews

Food Fight! Japanese Cheesecake [日本のチーズケーキ]

Uncle Tetsu VS Yoko Cheesecake

Food Fight! posts will be totally biased where I compare the same or very similar foods and declare a winner (or not). For this inaugural edition of I have sacrificed my health and waistline to compare two Japanese cheesecakes that are currently available in Montreal.

Before we go on, it’s important to note that Japanese cheesecake is significantly different from traditional or Western cheesecake. Japanese cheesecake is perhaps more similar to a sponge cake than a traditional cheesecake. The Japanese version is also known to be very jiggly and fluffy. I’ve seen the terms “cotton cheesecake” or “soufflé cheesecake” to refer to the Japanese cheesecake as a way of differentiating it from its Western counterpart.

TetsuVsYoko

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Posted in Reviews, Trailers, Video

Crazy Rich Asians – film review

Crazy Rich Asians (2018)
Dir: Jon M. Chu
Cast: Constance Wu, Henry Golding, Michelle Yeoh, Gemma Chan, Awkafina

Synopsis

Based on the book of the same name by Kevin Kwan (who has subsequently written two more books that form a trilogy), the movie follows Rachel, a Chinese American professor who goes to Singapore with her boyfriend Nick who she quickly discovers is part of one of the richest families in Singapore. She has to deal with judgmental rich people and of course Nick’s unimpressed mother.

Review

The actresses and female roles are almost all really good some of which in some way almost steal the spotlight away from the lead, Constance Wu. But let’s talk about her as Rachel first. She does a good job and her character arc actually goes in unexpected directions. The conflict between tradition and modern attitudes has a bit of a different twist here as socio-economic classes also comes into play. It informs and affects the romantic conflicts but doesn’t overwhelm the main story. Wu handles both the comedy and serious scenes in convincing fashion.

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Posted in Fantasia 2018, Fantasia International Film Festival, Film Festivals

Fantasia 2018 festival in review

Fantasia 2018, total films seen: 23

Although the lineup featured some films I was excited to watch, this ended up like last year where nothing really stood out. In fact, I’d say that I felt even more indifferent about most of what I watched compared to last year. The best thing I can say is that I didn’t really hate anything I watched this year but at the same time I only gave two films the recommended label, this is the lowest total and ties it with 2011, the first year that I extensively covered the festival on this blog. However, due to the schedule and my other personal commitments I missed a lot of the South Korean films but I’m not sure that it would’ve affected my overall impression that much. Many of the South Korean films didn’t appeal to me or appeared to be retreads.

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Posted in Art & Animation, Fantasia 2018, Fantasia International Film Festival, Film Festivals, Reviews, Trailers, Video

Penguin Highway – film review – Fantasia 2018

PenguinHighwayPenguin Highway / ペンギン・ハイウェイ (2018)

DIRECTOR: Hiroyasu Ishida
WRITER: Makoto Ueda
CAST: Kana Kita, Yû Aoi

Synopsis

Adpated from a book, a 4th grade boy has a crush on an older woman who works at the dentist’s office that he goes to but that’s not the only thing on his mind. When penguins start appearing in his town, he decides to investigate with his best friend.

Review

This film exhibits one of the great things that make animation a special medium. There are simply things you can draw that you couldn’t possibly replicate in real life or even with the aid of photo-realistic computer graphics. That sort of imagination and creativity are on display in this film.

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