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08 July 2007

Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" reminds me of Professor Fieldman

The film describes how danger our planet is in. The carbon dioxide rate in the air is highest in last 650,000 years. The ice in North Pole will disappear in 40 years. Manhattan will be under water by rise of sealevel. There is greater threat than terrorism. That is "Global Climate Crisis."

The most of what Al Gore presented was what I have already known. I learned those things from Professor Glenn Fieldman's class at San Francisco State University. The title of the course was "World Eco Crisis." That was one of the courses of my major, International Relations.

 Professor Fieldman was a liberal type of scholar, which you can easily find in San Francisco. She was expert for environmental issues. Al Gore reminds me of her so well.

Al Gore not only talked about the critical situation we are in. He also noted that there is political factors that drove the situation worse. That is journalism and the political and economic entities behind. The environmental crisis issues have been reported for many years and in many media outlets but there are many that deny such facts. So people have to wonder if the environmental crisis really exists. That was what Ms. Fieldman emphasized. News media are sponsored by large corporations. They can't critisize their major ad clients and shareholders. NBC is owned by General Electronics, that is why they can't critisize Nuclear Power Plant management.

Al Gore says Bush administration is backed by oil business tycoons. That is why Bush withdrew from Kyoto Protocol. It seemed Al Gore really wants to strike down his opponent who unfairly took away his "President" title.

But there are very important things that are missing in the film which Ms. Fieldman most strongly emphasized. That is gap between the rich and poor countries. That may be a major causes for current global eco-crisis. The rich countries have exploited poor countries, and made them poorer. People in those countries have to exploit their natural resources to live on.

This is what Al Gore could not mention because he is a man who drives a Mercedes-Benz, very luxurous and high emission car, and who lives in a mansion that consumes so much electricity which is worth 30,000 US dollars every year. 20 times as much as average household in U.S.

After all, politicians are hypocrats.   

28 June 2007

"The Guardian" Remake of Japanese film?

I bought a DVD of the film "The Guardian" starring Kevin Costner and Ashton Kutcher. The story of rescue swimmers of US Coast Guard.

It has been rumored that the film was actually remake of Japanese Coast Guard film "Umizaru (Sea Monkeys)" released in 2004. It was a popular movie and sequel was released later year. Indeed there are some scenes overlapped. The first scene of light seen from the blue water. Loss of lives, severe school training, girl hunt and friendship among school boys.

But overall the stories are quite different. In fact, American version was much better, dramatic and dynamic. Keven Costner did great act. He played a role of an instructor for prospective swimmers. I was really moved by the character he played. I never realized such a crazily brave job exists in this world until I saw this movie. Oorah! The movie never let me go.

I wish the movie producers will make sequel for this film. This time, remake Japanese sequel "Umizaru 2."

The story is like this. Jake, played by Ashton was stationed in Florida base. His fiance, Emily was on board of the ship sailing to Miami. She was with her mother and mother's fiance who was the owner of the ship. But the ship got an accident and started to sink. Most of the passengers evacuated from the ship helped by USCG crews. Jake and his friend, Hodge were part of the team.

Emily, her mother and the owner were stuck in the bottom of the ship. Jake tried to rescue them but the ship was rapidly sinking and great amount of water poured into the room they were in. The owner was so shocked with the situation and said "I am bankrupt. My ship now became Poseidon." Jake tried to cheered them up to make it through to the deck. But Jake aparted from Emily and Hodge. Then he and Emily's mother and the owner got trapped in the deep water. They had no way to get out. They almost gave up but at that moment, the Guardian appeared and guide them to where they can breathe. The Guardian was a legendary man who looks like an actor in the movies like "Field of Dreams" and "Dances with Wolves."  

24 May 2007

TV Mini-Series "Shogun" God Cursed Sodomite!

I rent DVD of TV Mini Series "Shogun" aired in U.S., 1980. I remember when I first visited the U.S., American host family where I stayed played the video of this show to welcome me. It was a very popular show. So I just wanted to see it again.

The story takes place late 16th century in Japan, when Japan was not unified. An English shipper captain, John Blackthorne was saved by the Samurai Lord, Toranaga after his ship was wrecked by the heavy storm. Blackthorne then learned how to become Samurai. Later Toranaga became the shogun, the general who governs whole of Japan. Toranaga is actually named after Tokugawa Ieyasu, who founded Tokugawa dynasty that continued for 2 and half century just by his descendants.

It was almost 10 hour show. I enjoyed only first 2 hours. As for rest of the show, I fast forwarded just to see how Japan was depicted. More than half of the show was spoken in Japanese. I could not understand how American viewers could enjoy it although each Japanese conversation was interpreted by Japanese care taker woman for Blackthorne. Kind of frustrating to see for the English viewers, I wondered. But there are many new and exciting things introduced in the show especially for westerners such as Harakiri, a man and a woman taking bath together. Not common in modern Japan but typical and normal in that era.

 There was a very interesting thing even for Japanese. That proves that sometimes foreigners know better of our country's history. In the scene, Japanese care taker woman named Mariko told Blackthorne that he should choose a woman to sleep with for his health. Blackthorne declined. Then Mariko said "Do you prefer a boy?"

He was so shocked and got angry and then said "I am not God Cursed Sodomite! My intimate customs doesn't include boys." I was surprised, too. But the truth is in that era, Sodomite was considered normal in Japan.

If you want to know more about that, please read this post.  



21:00 Posted in Film | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: japan, samurai, gay, homosexuality, tv

04 May 2007

"Flags of Our Fathers" Can't believe Native American was one of the heroes

I rent the DVD of the film. It is one of Clint Eastwood's set of 2 films about Iwojima battles.

The story of surviving soldiers who raised the pole of the flag on the Iwojima Island during WW II.

I've already seen the other one at the theater last December. So I was not very much impressed by this film except one of the heronized soldiers was Native American whom they called "Indian" in those days.

 I could not believe the army, the government and even general public in those days treated him as a war hero. Even it was a time of racism. He was invited to the White House. He toured the whole nation to raise fund for the war.

Maybe because the war can make all races equal. The war can unite all races in America. Kind of a sad thing to know.


20:35 Posted in Film | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: War, iwojima