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Sunday, June 26, 2011

13 Assassins: Historical, Fierce, Cultural, Humanly Action-FIlled

Is it action film? I think yes, but not like our contemporary fun-action films. 13 Assassins made me look away from the screen so many times, especially when it was time to cut necks or any body parts. 13 Assassins is so fierce but retain the cultural aspect of the setting. 13 Assassins looks so truthful, the muddy fighting field, the warriors and samurais fighting together soaked in blood and mud and soot and dirt, the speed of the fighting... all of these are so humanly, not like the edited action or super-hero films. This film, 13 Assassins, just gets you in the heart... it was difficult to breath all through out the film!

samurai [ˈsæmʊˌraɪ ˈsæmjʊ-];n pl -rai
(Historical Terms) the Japanese warrior caste that provided the administrative and fighting aristocracy from the 11th to the 19th centuries.

ronin [ˈrəʊnɪn]; n Japanese history
(Historical Terms) (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) a lordless samurai, especially one whose feudal lord had been deprived of his territory

Here is the video of the film's trailer with a little feature comment in it. The full trailer is further below (without comments/featured review).

The film's website own description of the film:

"Cult director Takeshi Miike delivers a bravado period action film set at the end of Japan's feudal era in which a group of unemployed samurai are enlisted to bring down a sadistic lord and prevent him from ascending to the throne and plunging the country into a war-torn future."
And the Assassins are (listed with last names first):
1. SHIMADA Shinzaemon (Kōji Yakusho) – The leader of the group. A war weary, former decorated Shogun's Samurai who is hired to carry out the mission.
2. KURANAGA Saheita (Hiroki Matsukata) – Second in command to Shinzaemon. Another veteran samurai, who volunteers his best students to join the group.
3. SHIMADA Shinrokurō (Takayuki Yamada) – Nephew to Shinzaemon. A samurai who has strayed from the ways, a gambler and a womanizer. He joins the mission to redeem himself.
4. ISHIDUKA Rihei (Kazuki Namioka) – A skilled and courageous assassin.
5. HIRAYAMA Kujūrō (Tsuyoshi Ihara) – A fierce ronin, training under Shinzaemon. A samurai of unmatched skill and prowess.
6. MITSUHASHI Gunjirō (Ikki Sawamura) – Another samurai from Kuranaga's dojo, he is instructed to buy out the Mayor of the town, and start preparations for fortifying the town.
7. ŌTAKE Mosuke (Seiji Rokkaku) – Plump-faced samurai with a jovial demeanor who provides occasional comic relief.
8. HIOKI Yasokichi (Sōsuke Takaoka) – An assassin from Kuranaga's dojo, highly skilled.
9. HIGUCHI Gennai (Yūma Ishigaki) – Horii's demolition partner, a tough and skilled samurai.
10. HORII Yahachi (Kōen Kondō) – A skilled samurai from Kuranaga's dojo, he and Higuchi are skilled in the use of explosives.
11. SAHARA Heizō (Arata Furuta) – An elder ronin, battle scarred and hardened. He favors the spear to the sword.
12. OGURA Shōujirō (Masataka Kubota (ROM-4)) – A young samurai, untested in battle but with unwavering devotion and skills to match.
13. KIGA Koyata (Yūsuke Iseya) – A hunter claiming to be of direct Samurai lineage who is found suspended in a cage in the forest as a punishment for pursuing his boss's wife. Aids the assassins in finding a route to Ochiai as well as in combating the enemy samurai.

In 13 Assassins, we see honor, courage and responsibility. It's amazing to see that death for samurai is very normal, so long as it is honorable, for them it is a beautiful thing! Or not even for samurai alone but also for other people during the Shogun era. Where else can we find this type of courage and dignity?

Here is the Trailer of 13 Assassins for non-Japanese (English) viewers:

Sunday, June 12, 2011

X-Men 4 Known as "X-Men:First Class" Movie Experience

I watched the film at Pathé in The Hague Spuimarkt, Netherlands last Wednesday, the 8th of June. Yes, it's 5 days after the release but I could not complain. It was not that late. The 4th X-Men Film, which is officially named, "X-Men: First Class" is a fresh watch after the series of X-Men Films. I was able to see the first three films numerous times in 4 languages and I still like watching any of them anytime.

X-Men: FIrst Class setting is primarily somewhere in 1962 coinciding with the Cuban Missile Crisis. The film portrays the relationship between Charles Xavier and Erik Lensherr known as Professor X and Magneto, respectively. In the film, it is portrayed how the respective origin of their groups was formed. Professor X has the X-Men while Erik lead the Brotherhood of Mutants. This film is freesh in terms of casts. The previous casts in other X-Men Films are in their younger versions in X-Men 4 or X-Men First Class. The film casts James McAvoy as Professor X and Michael Fassbender as Magneto. Kevin Bacon, January Jones, Rose Byrne, Jennifer Lawrence, Zoë Kravitz, Nicholas Hoult and Lucas Till are some of the casts as well.

Below is the whole trailer for X-Men: First Class. You will see the clips for the main characters such as Beast, Mystique, Havok, Banshee and the rest.

Here are the involved actors in their mutant forms:
James McAvoy as Professor Charles Xavier / Professor X : The telepathic leader and founder of the X-Men and one of Magneto's best friends until conflicts of opinion create a rivalry between them and their teams.

Michael Fassbender as Erik Lehnsherr / Magneto: The leader and founder of the Brotherhood of Mutants and one of Professor X's best friends until conflicts of opinion create a rivalry between them and their teams.

Kevin Bacon as Sebastian Shaw: A scientist and the leader of the Hellfire Club, a secret society bent on taking over the world. Shaw is also a mutant who can absorb kinetic and radiated energy and redirect it.

Jennifer Lawrence as Raven / Mystique: A shape-shifting mutant and Charles Xavier's childhood friend and considered adopted sister until she chose to be in Magneto's side.

 January Jones as Emma Frost / White Queen: A telepath who can also change her body into diamond form and she is also a member of the Hellfire Club.

Rose Byrne as Dr. Moira MacTaggert: A CIA agent and love interest of Charles Xavier.

Nicholas Hoult as Dr. Henry "Hank" McCoy / Beast: A former scientist and political activist who transformed into a frightening looking mutant in an attempt to cure himself, but is kind at heart.

 Zoë Kravitz as Angel Salvadore: A mutant with housefly wings and acidic saliva.

Caleb Landry Jones as Sean Cassidy / Banshee: A mutant capable of ultrasonic screaming used in various ways including as a means of flight.

Lucas Till as Alex Summers / Havok: A mutant who has the ability to absorb energy and discharge it as blasts.

Edi Gathegi as Armando Muñoz / Darwin: A mutant with the power of "reactive evolution."

Jason Flemyng as Azazel: A Hellfire Club member who teleports.

Álex González as Janos Quested / Riptide: A mutant with the ability to create powerful whirlwinds from his hands.

X-Men: First class has Usd 55 Million gross income in its first week. Not bad at all! Not bad!
If I have to watch the film as it is, there is little flaw but if I have to connect it with other X-Men films, I would have problem. In X-Men 3, Professor X was still walking with Magneto when they took the young Jean Grey but here, in X-Men 4, Prof. X lost his les/could not walk at an early age.

I was also disappointed at the place where we watched thefilm. Pathé in The Hague Spuimarkt, theater number 9 is not the best of the auditoriums/theaters they have. The screen was like moving and the sound was horrible! But then, we cannot have all we want, the next time I will surely complain. In fairness, 3 days after I watched other films in Pathé in The Hague Spuimarkt salle number 2 and 5 and they're much better in audio and visual quality.

Adsense Account Even More Valuable! Don't Let It Get Disabled...

google adsense situationIt's almost 5 years that yours truly is blogging. I found out lately that having a Google Adsense is not as simple anymore as how is used to be. What does it mean? Bloggers may be reduced due to lesser motivation and for the existing Google Adsense publishers, it means that they have to be very careful in maintaining their accounts and take good care of it to be not disabled.When I was just starting, any new blogger who wishes to publish and gain from Google Adsense could do so automatically (at least that's how I know being situated in Western Europe).

What does it mean, in general to the following parties? It means differently for Google than to remaining publishers and also disappointing to those who would like to be a publisher.

Generally, I can think, by controlling, limiting, and checking Google Adsense publishers, Google Adsense:

a. improved the quality of theìr ad publishing: Whether we admit it or not, long-existent and proven publishers mean that they are more compliant with Google Adsense ad policies. They are also the ones who don't do stupid stuff to gain a few cents but endanger their accounts (there are publishers clicking their own ads for that and get their account blocked/disabled);

b. gained more customer: as the consequence of the above, people and companies using Google Adwords are even more confident that their advertisements are in good hands;

c. discouraged online traffic: When I was starting to blog, I did not know what was Google Adsense. It was however the topic of the blogosphere and it seemed that everyone was just crazy for it. I have to admit, they had the reason to and that made me one of the publishers as well. Everyone was like into blogging wishing to earn through Google Adsense. Now, that it is not as simple as it used to be in becoming a member or an approved Google Adsense Publisher, I don't think bloggers are as motivated as before. Thus, web traffic will e reduced. Those who roam around the www are usually those who have websites or blogs.

d. improved the blogging/online community: By not encouraging crappy blogs, the online community would be a better place. Whether we admit it or not, tons of bloggers just copy and paste and this is very annoying. It's onay from time to time and with citations/acknowledgment but othes do it for all their blog entries.

For Newbie Bloggers:

a. dicouragement if they get rejected: Once a new blogger gets rejected, they would stop blogging. This is not good things for the www traffic.

b. more motivation: On the other hand, very good quality blogs will have no problem getting accepted being a Google Adsense publisher.

c. get more challenge, make them do a higher quality site/blog: This is the best part. I salute those newly-accepted in Google Adsense. This means that you are a good publisher.

For existing Publishers:

a. we have to be really careful: we don't want our accounts blocked or disabled.

b. we have to maintain the good quality of our blogs, check and recheck if we still adhere to Google Adsense rules: This is a scary thing but it's for our own good if we remain as publishers. Yes, it's maybe a couple of hundred bucks a year earning but being an extra earning, that amount does not hurt at all! Right? So much more for those who earn in thousands (like in the image below).

c. We are a reduced supply, more chance to earn more: Simple rule of supply and demand, if we are few, Adword Publishers would have to bid higher to have us publish their ads... that would be a good sign for us publishers (and of course to Google first!).

Happy Blogging!
If nothing else works, there are always competitor Ad networks we bloggers can join in.

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