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Sunday, March 3, 2013


What a Sunday.  I saw a double-bill, where the Hawaii Rainbow Wahines softball team beat Memphis State and Western Kentucky for the tournament championship:

This softball field is a good example of horrible design.  No matter where you seat in the grandstand, horizontal and vertical poles break up your view.  Anyway, they don't charge for softball games on campus.  In between those two games I walked over to Sushi King for their combination special:

Sauteed garlic ahi and zaru soba with a small bottle of hot sake and a Heineken.  I guess this establishment does not know that Hawaii law prohibits serving two drinks to the same person.  This is the best lunch I've had in a long time.  The cost was 1/20 of what I paid at Vintage Cave, and a far better value for the price.

I then went to Ward Theaters and another double-bill, purchasing two tickets, the first for 21 and Over, while the second was Jack the Giant Slayer, which was playing in their Titan XC 3D auditorium.  You pick your seats for this, and I was surprised to see that I was the first person to sign up for one.  

Even more astonishing, I walked into the first movie and I was the only person in this largest of theaters in this complex.  I was 15 minutes early.  Turns out that Jack was by far the #1 movie this weekend and 21 and Over was #3.

21 and Over was like The Hangover (same screenwriters), but on a college campus, and equally gross.  Reviewers gave it a 32% rating, while 67% of the audience liked it.  It was okay, and reasonable escapist fare.  Justin Chon (the guy with the ID on his forehead) turns out not that stereotypically bright Asian student that you might think, which drives the plot.

I avoid fairy tale fables like the plague.  However, every so often I have a relapse.  I think I went mostly because of the super sound and 3D, which somewhat surprised me, for the glasses were much lighter and effects a little better.  The beanstalk was impressive and fee-fi-fo-fum giants really ugly, although the whole script was weak and predictable.  Rotten Tomatoes gave Jack the Giant Slayer 52%/66%.

Of course you know this story if you were once a child.  Jack and the Beanstalk is an English folktale and is 200 years old.  Yet, the writers got carried away and worked in a princess, a major battle and those giants.  Bill Nighy is the voice of this one:

The first film was made in 1902, with Disney producing Mickey and the Beanstalk in 1947, where Mickey plays Jack.  An Abbott and Costello kidee adaptation was called Jack and the Beanstalk in 1952.  Japan had an animated Jack to Mame no Ki in 1974.  There was, actually, a very recent 2010 version entitled Jack and the Beanstalk with a whole bunch of stars, including Christopher Lloyd, Chevy Chase and Chloe Grace Moretz, which had a tepid 35% audience like.

So why did they bother with this version?  I don't know, but scooping up the highest boxoffice revenues this weekend means something, and something else tells me that there will be at least one sequel, even though a grand sum of $200 million already  has been spent, and the profit potential is nil.  The lead is Nicholas Hoult (fresh from Warm Bodies), with Eleanor Tomlinson, Ewan McGregor and Stanley Tucci (I did not recognize him).  


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