Halo 3 – FPS Love Story

It has been a while since I first bought Halo 3. Coming back to the game and playing it on Legendary difficulty was a shock at first. I had forgotten what it was like and some of the finer points of the story but I was determined to go achievement hunting when I reached Cortana, a bigger shock was in store.

After a few levels I realised I wasn’t immersed in the game. This is in complete contrast to the original Halo which I love. Replaying Halo 3… I felt some spark was missing. A distinctive voice.

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AMV of the Week – Chanbara Classic.

Sword of the Stranger was a 2007 anime movie produced by the anime studio Bones (Cowboy Bebop). The story involved a young boy named Kotaro and his dog who are pursued by a group of soldiers from China, on a mission to claim the boy for a ritual that will grant the emperor of China immortality. Fortunately, Kotaro falls in with a Ronin named No Name who has given up fighting but will have to take arms once again to defend Kotaro.

It’s a chanbara or perhaps a more accurate reading would be period samurai drama  or jidaigeki set during the Sengoku period so the idea of Chinese military types roaming around Japan makes sense.

Not that that matters because the story is a simple skeleton upon which you can drape some of the most intense action scenes in anime. Every sword fight is cleverly choreographed, fast paced, brutal and the characters display a grace and patience that is majestic.

Furthermore, it’s a gorgeous anime and fast paced, never outstaying its welcome. Like this AMV, really.

Pitchshifter are a band I’ve never heard of or would listen to based on this track alone and yet the music reaches intense heights when coupled with the imagery. The original
track, My Kind, is edited down so that the images in the AMV and the music are choreographed brilliantly with each swing of every blade, every arrow and the lyrics.

Link and Trailer Round-up and Sidney Lumet R.I.P.

Before I get into the main body of the post, the first BBC news headline to catch my eye when I connected to the internet was the death of Sidney Lumet at the age of 86.

For most cinephiles, his name will be familiar through classics like 12 Angry Men, Dog Day Afternoon and Network which are classics – just look on YouTube for the endless clips. I have watched two of the above and others but cannot talk confidently about his work or his impact beyond how memorable they are. I can quote them so they worked and had an impact on me as a film-goer. I’ll leave it to better writers to eulogize him properly but in any case, let me just add my condolences.

R.I.P. Sidney Lumet. The world has lost a great film maker.

Back to original programming…

Every week I come up with a wealth of information and trailers that I bookmark and hope to revisit because they are interesting but don’t quite warrant a post. Getting back to these links can take me a while so here’s the highlights of the stuff from this week before I

Has everybody seen the trailer for Lars von Trier’s latest film?

I’m not a fan of the chap’s work. Actually, I find most of his films rather dull punctuated with points of staggering bad taste. That said, the cast looks absolutely stellar with Kirsten
Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Charlotte Rampling, John Hurt, Kiefer Sutherland, and old von Trier collaborator, Stellan Skarsgård.

What drew my attention to the project was the story. When I first heard about it, it sounded damn interesting. That and the casting of Kirsten Dunst. Who appears nude. Ahem.

Web Game/Art/Random Cool Thing

This can qualify as an art installation, a game and a random cool thing. After messing around with this thing a few times I have absolutely nothing but praise.

A shot of the thing

For anybody who liked the Electroplankton games on the DS, here’s a link to something that is just charming. All you have to do is click on the squares. The order and pattern of squares that you click are of little importance because you will still create beautiful music!

The original poster (this is tumblr so people reblog like crazy) is here

This has replaced (temporarily) Japanese electro-pop as my internet soundtrack.

BBC – Movie Star Archive Collection

The BBC interviews a lot of stars. As Britain’s national broadcaster it would. All of these interviews are in an archive named:

Hollywood Voices Interviews with the Stars of the Golden Age of American Cinema

I haven’t explored it too deeply yet but from what I have heard, it’s quite fascinating. For any cinephile, this is a treasure trove of a standard and quality that the BBC is world renowned for.

AMV of the Week – James Horner and Mushi-shi

Music first.

I have not watched the film A Beautiful Mind but the music from this AMV, A Kaleidoscope Of Mathematics, came from it. The film doesn’t inspire much interest from me but seems pretty well regarded.

It is the music I am most interested in…

Just listening to the music, I can imagine myself sitting in the cinema in absolute rapture. One look at the composer’s name and you will recognise a string of hit movies such as Titanic, Braveheart, Glory and perhaps my favourite (and certainly the best) Aliens!!!!

Onto the anime!

I have not watched Mushi-shi but after viewing this AMV I wish I had listened to all of the critical praise it garnered and bought it because the complete collection box-sets are unavailable. I’m not going to download it and I’m not going to buy individual volumes, thus I won’t see it which fills me with a sense of melancholy because the anime is beautiful. It is further enhanced by the delicate orchestration of the music which matches the rhythm of every scene.

I’m sure I’m watching spoilers from the anime but I can’t help it when the video is just this beautiful. Enough from me. Enjoy:

UK Trailer for Takashi Miike’s 13 Assassins

If you check back on my movies to watch in 2011, Submarine and Takashi Miike’s 13 Assassins were there. Submarine was brilliant and I am amped up for 13 Assassins and well here’s the UK Trailer Takashi Miike’s latest:

British film distributor Artificial Eye has released a trailer for the theatrical release of Takashi Miike’s ’13 Assassins’ which is due out on the 6th of May.

The film won four technical awards at the 34th Japan Academy Prize (or the Japan Academy Awards) and has been warmly received on the international festival circuit. The film also represents an effort to a more traditional style of samurai revenge drama that echo some of the classics of the genre (including the original 1963 version).


It is 1844 and the country of Japan finds a rare moment of peace has descended. However, the possible rise to power of the depraved and psychopathic Lord Naritsugu, the Shogun’s younger brother, threatens to destroy that fragile peace and destroy the Shogunate. In an effort to preserve order, high ranking official Sir Doi calls upon the noble samurai Shinzaemon to assemble an elite group of samurai to carry out a daring ambush that may also be a suicide mission.



Survive Style 5+ サバイブスタイル5+ (2004)

Survive Style 5+   Survive Style 5+ Film Poster

Japanese: サバイブスタイル5+

Romaji: Sabaubu Sutairu 5

Release Date: September 25th, 2004 (Japan)

Running Time: 120 mins.

Director: Gen Sekiguchi

Writer: Taku Tada (Screenplay),

Starring: Tadanobu Asano, Reika Hashimoto, Kyoko Koizumi, Hiroshi Abe, Yosiyosi Arakawa, Sonny Chiba, Kanji Tsuda, Ittoku Kishibe, Yumi Asou, Pierre Taki, Tomokazu Miura, Ryunosuke Kamiki,

What would happen if you remade Pulp Fiction in Tokyo and you substituted the cool for the bizarre and the criminal for the hilarious? Survive Style 5+.

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