They Shall Not Grow Old

91lwssevehl._sl1500_That movie has been hyped so much that when I finally got to see it I was rather disappointed. It is not really a documentary as the picture are shown as it is without any context (places, dates or names). It is just footage of the First World War (the war to end all wars they said, but it ended up being the most useless, senseless war of all time) with voiceover by survivors who describe their experience. Not all footage has been restored, retimed and colourized — but most of it. And I am wondering when those testimonies were recorded — as the voice sounded like old men and the recording seems of pretty good quality, so it must have been done at a time when they already had good equipment, although the sound had probably been restored the same way the pictures were. Both the original footage and the audio recording of the British soldiers come from the archives of the Imperial War Museum and the BBC.

All in all, the movie is still pretty interesting as it give us the chance to witness the Great War in colour, as it was experienced by the men who fought it. It gives a really good impression of what it must have felt like. The war is not an impersonal historical event anymore as we get closer to the soldiers. It is a fit tribute for the 100th anniversary of the end of the war. I was expecting more visually, but Peter Jackson’s team did a really good work (it’s a great technological feat to gather, edit and restore all this footage) and it is therefore a must-see movie. Through this those young men will indeed never grow old and hopefully such horror will never be repeated.

The movie was shown on the BBC and is already available on Blu-ray & DVD in U.K.. It was shown in theatre for one day in North America and hopefully will be picked up for broadcast (Netflix? Amazon?) and released in DVD/Blu-ray soon. The critical response was very positive (8.6 on IMDb and 98% on Rotten Tomatoes). stars-3-0

To learn more about this title you can consult the following web sites:

[ AmazonGoogleIMDbWikipediaYoutube ]

[ Traduire ]

Capsules

Mujirushi: Le Signe des rêves 2

signe-des-reves-2-covLe récit, débuté dans le premier volume, se poursuit. [Attention: SPOILER] Kasumi et son naïf de père Takashi ont un plan pour voler La Dentellière de Vermeer au Louvre: distribuer des masques de la présidente américaine Duncan (une sorte de mélange entre Trump et Hilary) dans le cadre d’un faux exercice d’évacuation et profiter de la confusion pour cacher le tableau dans les combles du musée. L’escroc Iyami, ce prétentieux personnage aux dents saillantes, espère profiter de la disparition du tableau pour vendre son faux à haut prix… Le pompier Michel tente de les en empêcher mais de toute façon Takashi ne réussi pas à saisir le tableau et le plan échoue… Toutefois, l’incident est perçu comme  une manifestation éclair anti-Duncan et, comme un scandale impliquant la président éclate au même moment, les masques de la présidente reviennent populaire et l’usine de Takashi suffit à peine à répondre à la demande. Sa femme revient et sa fortune est retrouvée!

signe-des-reves-2-bcovEntremêlé au récit principale on retrouve trois autres histoires: celle de l’inspecteur japonais à la poursuite d’un trafiquant de tableaux volés qui fait erreur sur la personne; deux journalistes qui “suivent” la présidente Duncan et révèlent le scandale; et finalement l’histoire de Kyôko, une japonaise qui a vécu à Paris et s’est occupé de Michel quand il était jeune. Finalement, l’histoire qui lie Kyôko et Iyami n’a rien de mystique et, si elle est un peu rocambolesque, elle est même plutôt décevante tellement qu’elle est banale. 

signe-des-reves-2-plancheLe manga nous offre quatre planches en couleurs et se conclue avec les fiches signalétiques de deux des oeuvres du Louvre représentées dans le récit (La Dentellière de Vermeer et la statue égyptienne du couple Sementaouy et Rouiay), une postface de Naoki Urasawa (qui explique la genèse du manga) et la présentation du personnage de Iyami. C’est sans doute cette dernière qui est la plus intéressante car elle donne une nouvelle optique au récit. On y explique que Iyami est en fait un personnage très populaire du manga Osomatsu-kun par Fujio Akatsuka. Le récit est donc rempli d’inside jokes que seul les gens familier avec cet aspect de la culture japonaise peuvent comprendre  et apprécier. Cela m’avait échappé…

Si le dessin de Naoki Urasawa semble un peu ordinaire, il est très efficace à exprimer l’action et l’émotion des personnages. Et, si la conclusion de l’histoire est un peu décevante, le récit est bien mené et captivant. Le signe des rêve demeure donc une bonne lecture. C’est du Urasawa, après tout!

Mujirushi: Le Signe des rêves 2, par Naoki Urasawa. Paris: Futuropolis / Louvre Éditions, octobre 2018. 136 pages, 19.5 x 26.5 cm, 20,00 €  / $39.95 Can. ISBN 978-2-7548-2581-8. Sens de lecture original (de droite à gauche). Pour lectorat adolescent (14+). stars-3-0

Vous trouverez plus d’information sur les sites suivants:

[ AmazonBiblioGoodreadsGoogleWikipediaWorldCat ]

© 2018 Urasawa Naoki • N Wood Studio / Futuropolis • Musée du Louvre Éditions.

[ Translate ]

Capsules

Indexes Update January 2019

I am catching up with updating my Bibliography and the blog indexes for Books and Movies/TV reviews for the May 2018 to January 2019 period (132 entries in 9 months). Sorry, I should have updated them more often (the previous update was in April !).

It’s clear that I am commenting on more movies & TV series  (47) than books (24). I really have to change that and read more books!

[ Traduire ]

Continue reading

Découverte: Suggestions d’achats

En octobre dernier j’ai fait une liste de suggestions d’achats pour le bibliothécaire adulte de ma bibliothèque. Elle comprenait quelques mangas récents qu’il me semblaient essentiels d’avoir, des livres de cuisine japonaise en manga (une curiosité) ainsi qu’une série d’anthologies de littérature de l’imaginaire japonais que je trouvais intéressante à lire (particulièrement parce qu’elle contiens des histoires courtes de l’auteur KAJIO Shinji, dont l’oeuvre n’a pas encore été traduite ni en anglais, ni en français). Je la partage ici avec vous:

[ Translate ]

Moriarty vol. 1-2, Hikaru Miyoshi, Kana (Coll. Dark), Juin/Septembre 2018, 212/204 pgs, 9782505070733 / 9782505070740, 6,85€ / $12.95 Can ch. [ Amazon / Biblio / Goodreads ]

The Manga Cookbook: Japanese Bento Boxes, Main Dishes and More!, The Manga University Culinary Institute & Chihiro Hattori, Japanime Co. Ltd, December 2007, 158 pgs, 978-4921205072, $16.95. [ Amazon / Goodreads ]

The Manga Cookbook Vol. 2: More Popular and Delicious Japanese Dishes!, The Manga University Culinary Institute & Koda Tadashi, Japanime Co. Ltd, June 2017, 160 pgs, 978-4921205362, $16.95. [ Amazon / Goodreads ]

The Manga Cookbook Vol. 3: Japanese Fusion Food with Character!, The Manga University Culinary Institute & Ryo Katagiri, Japanime Co. Ltd., September 2018, 192 pgs, 978-4921205393, $19.95. [ Amazon / Goodreads ]

She and Her Cat, Vol. 1, Makoto Shinkai and Tsubasa Yamaguchi, Vertical Comics, Aout 2017, 180 Pages, 9781945054402, $12.95 US / $13.95 Can. [ Amazon / Goodreads ]

Le signe des rêves Vol. 1 & 2, Naoki Urasawa, Futuropolis (Coll. Louvre), Août/Octobre 2018, 144/136 pgs, 9782754825771 / 9782754825818, 20 € / $39.95 ch. [ Amazon / Biblio / Goodreads ] Voir mon commentaire du vol. 1 et du vol. 2.

Speculative Japan #1: Outstanding Tales of Japanese Science Fiction and Fantasy, by Gene van Troyer (Editor). Kurodahan Press, 2007, 290 pg. ISBN 9784902075267. Anthology that contains the short story “Reiko’s Universe Box” by KAJIO Shinji. [ Amazon / BiblioGoodreads ]

Speculative Japan #2: The Man Who Watched the Sea and Other Tales of Japanese Science Fiction and Fantasy. Kurodahan Press, 2011, 282 pg. ISBN 9784902075182. Anthology that contains the short story “Emanon: A Reminiscence” by KAJIO Shinji. [ Amazon / Goodreads ]

Speculative Japan #4: “Pearls for Mia” and Other Tales. Kurodahan Press, 2018, 272 pg. ISBN 978-4-902075-84-7. Contains the short story “Pearls for Mia”「美亜へ贈る真珠」by KAJIO Shinji. [ Amazon / Goodreads ]

Vampire! Tales of Blood and Roses from Japan. Kurodahan Press, to be released late 2019, pages TBD. ISBN 978-4-909473-00-4. Contains the short story “干し若” by KAJIO Shinji. 

Continue reading

Deadpool

deadpool-posterA comedic take on the superhero movies (and particularly the X-Men). It offers the usual plethora of stunts and special effects, as well as the usual story [¡SPOILER! although it’s all in the trailer…]: mercenary boy is madly in love with girl, but has to leave her to go seek a cure for his cancer which turn him into a super-healing anti-hero with a new ugly face so he cannot come back to her but instead seeks revenge against the vilain who did that to him however in counter-action the bad guy kidnaps girl therefore he has to save her and they ends up back together in a happy ending but the guy remains a jerk.

It’s all rather ordinary but what’s distinguish this movie is the dialogues (actually, mostly the monologues, performed by Ryan Reynolds) which are rather funny. Frankly, the movie should have been titled “deadpan”… It’s another brainless action movie. Nothing serious (the good thing is that it doesn’t take itself seriously at all) but it offers some twisted entertainment. A fan-boy movie.

It is based on a Marvel comic book set in the X-Men’s universe. Despite being called vulgar, infantile, obnoxious, irreverent, etc., it was well received (mostly by  the comics book fans) with ratings of 84% / 90% on Rotten Tomatoes and 8.0 on IMDb ! Rated R…stars-2-5

To learn more about this title you can consult the following web sites:

[AmazonBiblioGoogleIMDbOfficialWikipediaYoutube]

[ Traduire ]

Capsules

Snow storm aftermath

This week-end we had the first real snow storm of the season (about 20~30 cm) as well as some very cold temperature (in the -20s °C or in the -30s °C with the chill factor). Apparently, it is the first time that we have this combination of snow storm and extreme cold weather since 1920!

Here is a time-lapse video of the storm taken between 2019/01/19 16h00 and 2019/01/20 16h00. So there you have twenty-four hours fast-forwarded in a little less than a minute:

Of course, the borough is in no hurry to pick the snow. Like I previously mentioned, in early January, the snow had not been picked up at all since the beginning of the season which caused piles of ice to form on he street making it quite challenging for the car to park. And when they did try to pick up the icy snow piles in the second week of January, the ice was so hard that it was practically impossible to remove it all, leaving an ice layer as high as the sidewalk (4 to 6 in.)! And when it snows on that, try not to get stuck when you park your car. I understand now why so many people have SUV despite living in the city!

The borough also had trouble removing the snow from the sidewalks. Yesterday I have seen the sidewalk tractor actually working only early in the morning — it passed in front of my house around 7h29. With the wind drift, the people cleaning their driveway or cars and putting the snow on the sidewalk (with total disregard for their fellow citizen who are walking) the sidewalks quickly became completely unpassable for pedestrians. I did see a sidewalk tractor around 15h37, but it was driving in the middle of the street without any snow-plow in the front or even a salt-spreader in the back. In the evening, the sidewalks had not been cleared for over twelve hours and I was worried that my wife would have trouble walking back from the bus stop after work, so I called the city’s public works to let them know and a sidewalk tractor did the job around 22h45…

It really seems that this new administration in city hall is either incompetent or inexperienced or too eager to save money. I don’t mind paying more taxes year after year if the quality of service is maintained or improves. However, if I paid more taxes and the quality of service decreases (and the quality of services has clearly decreased since the beginning of this new administration), then I am really not happy. And since, on top of that, this administration has not been treating its workers well, I seriously regret having voted for them…

[ Traduire ]

Mrs Wilson

mrswilsonThis three-part historical drama is set in Britain during and after WW2 (in the ‘50s & ’60s). When her husband dies, in the early sixties, Alison Wilson is already distraught. They lived comfortably in their little cottage. She’s a typist and Alexander is a spy novelists (and retired MI6 officer). They have two sons, Gordon and Nigel, and they were happy. However, as she tries to come around organizing her husband funerals, she receives the visit of a woman, Mrs Gladys Wilson, who claim to be Alec’s widow! Her happy world quickly crumbles as she struggles with one question: was her husband really the man he claimed to be? Was it just a lie? 

She knew Alex/Alec was a spy because they met at the Secret Intelligence Service headquarters where they were both working during the war. She starts her own investigation, questioning Alex’s handler at MI6, some colleagues in the Intelligence Service, Gladys’ son. She becomes obsessed with this quest to discover who the man she thought she knew for twenty-two years really was. The deeper she digs in his past the more secrets she discovers! Through flashbacks, she relives their history together until she understands who he really was. When she comes to term with the truth, she becomes a nun, but she never could tell her sons about their father until after she died—she had written everything down. 

It is a beautiful and compelling story told in the manner of a spy or mystery novel. The most interesting part is that it is a true story — and the cool twist is that Alison Wilson is played by actress Ruth Wilson, he own grand-daughter! Alexander ‘Alec’ Wilson wrote twenty-four novels, mostly inspired by his career in the secret service and his huge imagination. He was a bigamist who had seven children with several wives. Many aspects of his life are still a mystery as, even today, the Foreign Office still consider his files as ‘sensitive’.

Mrs Wilson is a very interesting historical drama, beautifully filmed and cleverly told. I enjoyed it greatly and recommend it warmly. It was well received by the critics (with rating of 88% on Rotten Tomatoes and 7.4 on IMDb). It aired on BBC One in late November / early December and will premieres on PBS Masterpiece Sunday, March 31, 2019, 9/8c (and will subsequently be available on Dvd, iTunes Store and Prime Video). Don’t miss it! stars-3-5

To learn more about this title you can consult the following web sites:

[ GoogleIMDbWikipediaYoutube ]

[ Traduire ]

Capsules

 

Tomb Raider

tomb_raider_(2018_film)This reboot of the video game adaptation is neither better nor worse than the previous one with Angelina Jolie. Unfortunately, the story is not very inspiring, but it offers good action (despite the impossible stunts typical of Lara Croft), as well as very nice acting from Alicia Vikander and Daniel Wu. I was quite annoyed by the fact that all the aspects of the supposedly Japanese ancient culture presented in the story is completely bogus and actually looks more Chinese than Japanese. (WTF!?) However, [SPOILER ALERT] I like that the ancient curse turned out to be a disease [SPOILER END]. It offers a nice breath of realism in the movie. Unfortunately, to make it cinematically palatable they had to make the disease’s symptoms completely, absurdly improbable. 

It is safe to say that Alicia Vikander comfortably slips into the Lara Croft character (despite not having her exaggerated physical attributes which she thankfully compensate with great stamina and charm) and delivers a performance that saves the movie from a complete wreck. The movie received mixed reviews (6.3 on IMDb, 51%/56% on Rotten Tomatoes). All in all, it’s an average action movie that offers brainless entertainment. It’s worth watching, whether you are a fan or not, but only if you have time to spare. stars-2-5

To learn more about this title you can consult the following web sites:

[ AmazonBiblioGoogleIMDbOfficialWikipediaYoutube ]

Damn! The trailer is showing all the best scenes of the movie!

[ Traduire ]

Capsules