Friday, April 17, 2015

Takashi Kashiwabara Weibo update: Hello everyone, long time no see

English translation: 

Hello everyone, long time no see. I used another angle, not that of an actor to see video in a new perspective. I realized that this product was the result of the effort of many people whom I do not know. It does not only apply to the Entertainment industry, i am sure it applies to other occupations too. Everyone has their own responsibility. Thus, when we gather all these responsibilities together, it becomes a product. Perhaps, there are responsibilities in all sort of measures be it big or small. Despite that, everybody has a part to play to accomplish the product. 

Although I have been placing my emphasis on being an actor till now, I am still interested to know more about video making. Therefore, recently I have been experimenting with camera. Instead of fliming a video, I started with photography. This is just an ordinary work, but i wanted to upload a picture of the dessert which was sent to my friend house.  

When do you take photo? When you are with your friends, eating delicious foods, beautiful sceneries, with someone whom you treasure... It is indeed meaningful to capture that precious moment. Drama or movies were interlinked to those photographs. 

It was indeed meaningful...

Sunday, March 22, 2015

SG50 Countdown at Marina bay: The Float

This was the first time I went to a New Year countdown party at Marina bay: The Float. The reason that I went for this countdown party is solely because of Big Bang! Initially I like Big Bang songs, but not to the extend of being a big fan (VIP). My friend and I decided to head down to Marina bay: The Float with a mass crowd and queue up for almost 2 hours to get into the venue. We brought $20 tickets which were the cheapest, therefore we were allocated to the seats which were at the side of the stage. 

I was very excited about watching Big Bang performance since this will be the first time I ever watch the Korean boyband perform live onstage. Although I had watched G.D solo concert before, I have never watch Big Bang perform as a group. I have to say that their performance was spectacular and entertaining. What surprised me the most was their choice of clothings. They still looked like fashion icon, especially G-dragon. However, I pity them for performing at the outdoor stage in Singapore. Having to sing and dance onstage in a hot weather was crazy! Kudo to their professionalism! They performed for almost 1hour and should be well paid for their efforts. 

It was indeed worth the wait and all the anticipation that night. They surprised me by singing so many songs. I simply love the whole group performing together onstage. Their stage presence were fanastic and their songs were so upbeat. Many fans screamed at the top of their voices. The sound system was a letdown, however it does not dampen the mood of their fans as they were also seen swaying and dancing to Big Bang music. No doubt, their performance was definitely the Hightlight of the day. 

A big thank you to my friend  who is a big fan of Big Bang for taking all the pictures during the performance. I had great memories of the night and the atmosphere was simply marvelous. That was probably one of the best performance I have ever seen. 

That night Big Bang sang seven songs: 1) Fantasic baby 2) Tonight 3) Lies 4) Bad boy 5) Feeling 6) Gara gara go 7) G.D x Taeyang Good boy 

Big Bang showcased an unforgetable performance. I did not regret purchasing the ticket to SG countdown 50. In addition, I would most likely watch their live performances if they come back for Asia concert tour. 

Who is your favorite Big Bang member? I personally enjoyed the performance of them in a group. G.D is stylish and handsome, Top is hot, cool and suave (notably the worst dancer in BB), Taeyang is charismatic and dances well, Daesung is cute and sings well. Last but not least, Seungri is a charming chap. I heard that Big Bang will make a comeback album this year. Who is excited about their comeback album? Hopefully we will see them soon! 

This will probably be the first and the last time ever for me to join in a countdown party. I do not like mass crowd and the time wasted to queue up for hours just to get into the venue. At the end of the day, it was pretty exhausting, having to push and squeeze between many people in the line. 

However, Big Bang make all the waiting worth it. After the performance that night, I became their big fan too. I am joining in the VIP club. :)

Wow! Fantastic baby 

The rest of the performance of SG 50, was mostly boring. Accept for the performance of Malaysian diva Siti Nurhaliza, homegrown singer Stefanie Sun, Veteran singer Kit Chan and Famous song-writer Dick Lee. 

Not to forget the beautiful fireworks in the sky. Everyone look up at the sky and make a wish. Happy New Year! 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Takashi Kashiwabara Weibo Update: Happy Birthday


中文翻译: 各位粉丝,非常感谢大家的祝福。

English Translation: To all my Fans, thank you for the well wishes. 

I saw many uploaded photographs of Love Letter and Itazura Na Kiss (Mischievous Kiss) on Weibo, it brought me back to those days when I was young.  It had been 20 years ever since, I have received Birthday wishes from my China fans because of those flims. From the bottom of my heart, i am very thankful for all your support. Nowadays, i am not just an actor, I have been working hard learning the rope to be a scriptwriter and venture into flim production. I hope to view the entertainment world in a new perspective. Although I have nothing much to show yet, I will continue to work hard and gather all your support which gave me lots of strength. I will try my best to produce the results of what I had learnt. 

To all the fans who created the video clip to wish me a happy birthday, please do not let this uncle who had just stepped into 38 years old cry. I was moved to tears by all the fans that appeared in the video clip. There was a video subbing and the production was great. In addition, there were many fans that speak in Japanese, I felt your love deeply. While watching the video there was a warmth inside me, i wondered is it because I am excited or am I feeling touched. 

I viewed the photographs through movie, however some of the photographs that was stored in the electronic device cannot be opened, I will figure out a way to retrieve these photographs. All the fans who left comments in my Weibo and those who made the video clip, I am very grateful for your support. Once again, I felt that your encouragement for me is so precious.  

DramaQueen thoughts 

Finally, Takashi Kashiwabara updated his Weibo account with his recent photographs. I am expecting him to do so since it was his birthday on 16 March. Most of the time Kassy would only update his news randomly, but he would always make it a point to greet his fans especially during special occasion or festivals. 

I personally thought that Kassy is really humble and sweet to show his appreciation for his fans who has been supporting him all these years. He mentioned that most of his fans know him because of Love letter and Itazura Na Kiss. It is true that most of his fans began to know him through these flims. However, I hope Kassy will continue to act in good film productions in the future. At the age of 38, he is really not as old as what he had described about himself. He could be an uncle to the young teenagers but definitely not to the twenties age group. In addition, he still look young and handsome for his age. 

Kassy mentioned that in the future, his focus will be on film production and scriptwriting. That sounds great since we will be able to see more of Takashi Kashiwabara. As long as he is happy and living a fulfilling life, I am sure his fans will support him all the way. :)

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Interstellar (Movie Review)

I have to say that Interstellar was definitely more entertaining than Gravity: more characters, less monologue and more storyline (though if you really try to understand most of the conversation it really doesn’t make sense; time warps and wormholes and theories that sound deep but actually make no sense at all). This review contains spoilers, so if you wish to avoid spoilers altogether, you may want to look away.

Interstellar is set in some distant future where food is scarce and everyone is struggling to survive as the earth is hit with drought and dust storms. From the technological 21st century, Interstellar’s world has been reduced to a backward society where exploration and science is deemed unnecessary and more people are required to farm (the slowly dying corn). Things are so desperate (survival vs. exploration/science) that the government alters their history books to blot out traveling to space and even landing on the moon; society has become backward and anything to do with technology (e.g. engineering and exploration) are shunned.

The story begins with Cooper, a successful corn farmer who once worked for NASA but since the change in the climate (e.g. sand/dust storms are a common occurrence and the only remaining crop that can be grown is corn, but even that is soon about to die off) and shortage of food, everything to do with science and technology is shut down. As a result, Cooper uses his engineering skills to modify tractors and ends up being a successful corn farmer.

Things take a interesting turn when Cooper’s daughter, Murph (named after “Murphy’s Law”), discovers a ‘ghost’ in her room which seems to be sending her messages in the form of Morse code, which she decodes and tells her father. The decoded message turns out to be coordinates that lead them to a secret underground NASA facility.

At the NASA facility, Cooper and his daughter discover a secret project that has been ongoing for some time: with the climate changes and dying crops, there is a need to find a new home somewhere out there in outer space. Apparently, NASA had received information about 3 possible planets that could be their new home, but with the planets being so far away they have no sure way to determine which planet is the most live-able. To get to these planets, they would have to travel via a wormhole and from there make their exploration. Years back NASA had sent a team of explorers out to determine which planet would be more suitable but none of them have returned. The plan that NASA has is to send some explorers to check out the planets and determine which planet is live-able.

With the arrival of Cooper, they decide to put him in charge of this mission, which he takes on with much reluctance: the time in which it takes for him to travel to and back from this exploration might take him a long while due to the time continuum in space, time so long that his young daughter, Murph, might be old by the time he comes back, if he ever comes back.

Despite this, he still perseveres and makes the trip. By the time his team arrive, and in order to save time they decide to explore the one of the planets, but due to the time difference they end up spending more time there, wasted at least 2 decades and have one less teammate who was swept away by the strong waves. Now left with little fuel, they have to make a descision between the 2 remaining planets. Their decision leads them to discovering a conspiracy by the explorer who landed before them: he wanted to make them believe that his planet was live-able despite it being an inhabitable place. As a result they lose one of their team members and that explorer when escaping.

Left with little fuel, they decide the split into 2 groups - Cooper and one robot to try and make his way back to earth or contact them with the coordinates for their last remaining planet (and hope), and Amelia with another robot to explore the other planet and set up base with Plan B (creating humans from scratch).

Now this is the part where the story gets weird as Cooper is goes through a wormhole and ends up being that "presence" in his daughter's room trying to communicate with her through Morse code. He ends up being able to send her the coordinates through a watch he left with her before he left earth.

On earth at the same time, things are not looking good as the dust storms get worse and people (especially) are dying from respiratory issues. Murph has started to work with NASA and is trying to find a way to contact her father. Through some trail and error she manages to decrypt the message sent to her via the watch. In doing so, she manages to save the population and bring them to safety.

Than, we are shown that Cooper is thrown out of that wormhole and floating out in space where he gets picked up and sent to a station, which has been converted into living quarters for the inhabitants of earth. The station is named after his daughter, Cooper Station, because she saved the people and brought them to escape. Cooper is still the same age as when he left due to the time warp of the wormhole while his daughter has aged to an old woman of about 80 years old. He is just in time to see her as she departs from life. After coming to terms with everything, Cooper leaves the station and goes to look for Amelia.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

The making of Takashi Kashiwabara cameo in Itazura Na Kiss - Love In Tokyo

Takashi Kashiwabara cameo in episode 15 of Itazura Na Kiss - Love In Toyko

Takashi Kashiwabra 

Itazura Na Kiss - Love In Tokyo production crew were waiting for the arrival of Takashi Kashiwabara. It had been 17 years since the remake of this Japanese idol drama. Aiko Sato had previously made a cameo appearance in episode 10 as nurse Kotoko. 

Finally, Takashi Kashiwabara arrived at the scene. The director introduced him to everyone. He bowed humbly to the crew as he get ready for his cameo appearance. He is Naoki Irie for the day, as the director teased him.

Takashi Kashiwabara Interview:

I remembered during that time after we filmed this drama, we received many support from fans in Japan when it was shown on TV. Especially in Taiwan, the response was great. At the same time, I received many job opportunities in Taiwan. I received a lot of love and was well taken care of.  Therefore, with this feeling of gratefulness, I intent to repay the kindness which I have received. Therefore, I agreed to this cameo upon invitation. 

During that time, Teacher Kaoru Tada often came to visit us at the filming set. She would say to me, "You have the feeling of Naoki Irie." This comment had given me lots of courage.  I am thankful for that encouragement, thus I thought of repaying her. 

Today the scene is about Naoki Irie going to give up his ambition. At the hospital, he crossed path with Takashi Kashiwabara who acted as a doctor.  He appeared to be deep in thoughts and turned around to look at him. 

Naoki Irie 17 years ago 

In the manga, I felt that Naoki is a great character. I felt troubled after reading the manga. Because I have read the whole series of manga, I felt that as far as possible, Naoki cannot treat Kotoko too badly. He has to be cautious about it. 

Kiss NG scene

Kassy:   Oh is there?

Interviewer: Yes there is.

Kassy: Under the circumstances when both people are not very familar with each other, it felt a little bit weird.

During filming, I would discuss with my co-star Miss Aiko Sato regarding the kissing angle. After we settled on that, we will film the scene. When we finish filming, we will look through the scene again.

Yuki Furukawa as Naoki Irie

Before meeting the new Naoki, I was interested to find out about his appearance. After meeting him, I think Yuki Furukawa Kun has a tall build. He possess a charisma just like a character that walk out of a manga. I am extremely happy to meet the 2013 version of Naoki Irie and this drama which i have a cameo appearance will be ending soon. I hope everyone will continue to support the story of Naoki and Kotoko. Thank you very much. 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Drama Review: All about my siblings episode 3

Drama Recap: Bitter Secret

Satoru lament that it is difficult for an ex-convict like him to find a job and be accepted back to the society. Asahi felt that he have not tried hard enough. The siblings did not express objection knowing that Satoru is living off the family expenses. They have accepted the fact that Satoru will continue to laze around. 

Conflicts arises when Satoru and Asahi clashed with their moral belief. Satoru accused Asahi for a hiding a bitter secret which caused him to leave the family ten years ago. Asahi told Saturo to leave the house if he felt so terrible, however Satoru declared that the house was left behind by their father and he has the right to live here. 

Asahi looked for Azura at the eatery store during lunch time. It will be Asahi first family visit and he is going to announced Azura pregnancy to her mother. They were feeling nervous about it and tried to rehearse their speech beforehand. Suddenly, Asahi's boss appeared in the store and tried to make small talk with Azura.

On the other hand, Asahi tried to avoid him but was still spotted by the sharp eyes boss. He asked about Satoru and Asahi revealed that his brother knew about their father incident ten years ago and that was the reason why he left home. The boss looked surprised with a tinge of guilt on his face. He offered Asahi to bring Satoru to work at the construction site too.

Satoru continued to kill time while playing arcade games. A mysterious woman sat beside him and it turnout to be Takako. She offered him a job at the field but he declined the offer. He stated that Takako was just trying to make up her for a mistake to her decreased mother. Not about to give up, Takako passed him a name card and tell him to reconsider.

Haru was trying to recruit Kasumi into his threate acting club. Tadashi was initially puzzled about his brother decision to scout for talent in a girl that deceived him. However, he was just as amazed as the other cast members when he saw her audition for the lead actress role. Everyone applauded her effortless performance and delivery of the script.

Asahi paid a visit to Azura's mother house to asked for blessing. As expected, her mother have doubts about their future as a couple. Despite, Asahi reassurance that they will be happy, her mother was still not convinced, stating that the couple will face a tough road ahead of them. 

Hikari is still going out with Masaomi and they were photographed dating together. It was Satoru who took their picture and he showed animosity towards Masaomi. There seem to be another hidden secret between the two of them. Satoru adviced Hikari not to go out with a bad person. 

Satoru continued to idled around and refused to find a proper job. Asahi received a call from the restaurant that his brother had apparently ate the foods without money to pay. Asahi rode the bicycle and rushed down to pay the bill on behalf of his brother. Feeling frustrated, Asahi threw the bicycle at Satoru and told him to settle down for a job. Satoru mentioned about the bitter secret that could not be resolved so easily. 

Asahi decided to reveal about the bitter secret tonight. On the other hand, Hikari faced with a heartbreaking news about a premature baby. Both of the parents do not want the baby to receive treatment anymore. Hikari could not handle this devastating situation and Masaomi stayed by her side to console her. 

All the siblings were present at night, and Asahi divulge the truth behind their father "accident". Actually, their father shouldered the responsibility of a mistake which eventually led to his accident. Their father did not make the mistake that cost his life. The culprit behind their father death was the company that Asahi is currently working at. The boss had then offered Asahi a full-time job at the construction site to compensate the family.

The revelation about the bitter secret did not sit well with his siblings. They blamed him for giving up the fight for justice. Satoru even accused Asahi for being self righteous and pretentious. However, Asahi stated that he had no choice but to compromised due to their helpless situation. He declared that he had not done anything wrong to apologize to them, since all of them grew up pretty well. He did not not expect his siblings to show gratitude to him after all the sacrifices that he had made. Asahi felt that it was his responsibility as the eldest son to provide for the family in the absence of their father.

Asahi felt terrible for getting all the blame from his siblings. He was sitting on the swing alone, while singing his favorite song. A few moments later, Azura gave Asahi a call to cheer him up and he felt energized again. 

Satoru decided that he has no right to blame Asahi as long as he did not work like his brother. Therefore, he is here to interview for a job at the construction site. Asahi said that it does not matter to him if Satoru will be employed, however that does not prove to be the case. 

Asahi was anxious to help his brother to fill up the personal particulars in the employment form. The boss came and take a look at the two brothers. He told them that it is not necessary to fill up the form since he had already decided to employ Saturo. 

Asahi and Satoru awkwardly turned around and tried their best to tolerate the boss unpleasant behavior. They took a few steps towards the door and the boss suddenly jeered Satoru for being an ex-convict. Asahi intended to turn around and confront the boss. In order to avoid trouble, Satoru tripped Asahi over and stated that he is used to people calling him a jailbird. Asahi was furious and pushed Satoru down, stating that this is not something that he should get used to. In a fit of anger, Asahi did a flying kick towards the boss and knocked him onto the floor. He warned the boss not to speak ill of his family members. He revealed that he had being holding a grudge on him since their father's death. Satoru looked on in surprise as he did not expect Asahi to react so strong to stand up for him. 

Asahi was fired from work and he left his workplace together with Satoru. Both of them sat at the playground and have a heart to heart talk. The troubled Asahi mentioned about his problems, as he will be meeting Azura 's mother tonight. He is worried that since he is jobless now, it will be seen as being incapable to take care of Azura. Satoru listened attentively and reprimanded him for being impulsive. 

Satoru is back to his usual carefree self as he turned around and walked away. He suddenly turned back and addressed Asahi as his elder brother. After Satoru left, Asahi realized that he had just called him brother after so many years. 

Asahi went for his house visit after he mustered all his courage. He confessed to the Azura's mother that he is jobless now. However, he promised to try his best to provide for the family. Azura and her mother were calm and composed after hearing the news, and Asahi was puzzled. 

Asahi gave a formal bow and accidentally knocked his forehead on the table. The mother and daughter laughed at him, stating that Asahi resembles his brother Satoru, especially the way they bow. 

It turned out that Satoru had visited the family eariler to explain about the incident. He said that they are proud of Asahi as their eldest brother. They owe their achievements to Asahi who had took up the duty to raise his younger siblings up.

Asahi was touched by his brother's gratitude and cried. Actually, his siblings appreciate him very much but they do not express their thoughts to him. Asahi cried and Azura's mother offered him a handkerchief. 

The next morning, Asahi was lying on the floor after having a drink too much. He woke up to the alarm of the TV programme, only to realized moments later that he was already dismissed from work. He decided to cheer himself on and the noise that he made, disturbed Hikari. She walked out of her room with messy hair and instructed her brother to keep quiet as she is sleeping now. 

On the other hand, Satoru decided to accept the job offer at the field, Kasumi  joined Haru acting club as the leading actress, while Tadashi carried a touch on her. At the hospital, a photograph of Hiraki and Masaomi was sent to him by an anonymous person. Who is that mysterious person?

My thoughts 

I can spend my whole time watching Satoshi , Hikari and Eita acting together in a drama. They were simply the focus of the story and their performance were outstanding as usual. The conflicts between the siblings and how they resolved the issue was interesting. Towards the end of the episode, I was so touched by the strong bonding between Aashi and his siblings. 

The bitter secret is actually a burden to Asahi. I can sympathize with him, and it is good that he decided to shared this secret with all his siblings. It will take some time for his siblings to soak in the truth and understand his position. Eventually, they will appreciate him for the sacrifice. I respect Asahi character and his strong determination. Even Satoru could not bring himself to work for the enemy. Asahi placed his priority on his  family welfare and thought of them before himself. 

The next episode should be focusing more on Hiraki and Masaomi love affair. Satoru also have some issue with Masaomi, I am quite curious about this hidden secret too. On the other hand, Tadashi and Haru have a crush on Kasumi. What will happen to the love triangle? I am also interested in the ambiguous relationship between Satoru and Takako. Lastly, will Asahi and Azura baby be delivered smoothly? It has been a pleasure for me to watch this Jdorama. Hopefully, the rest of the episodes will be engaging too.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Drama Review: Two Weeks

Cast: Lee Joon-gi, Kim So-Yeon, Ryu Soo-young, Park Ha-Sun


Jang Tae-san is a small-time gangster who has learned to survive with his fist and wits. He meets and falls in love with a college student, Seo In-hye, who sees a good heart and wounded soul underneath his tough exterior. When In-hye gets pregnant, Tae-san prepares to leave the gangster organization to start a life with her. But he is blackmailed by the gang boss, Moon Il-seok, who wants Tae-san to be his fall guy for an assault charge and go to prison in his place; Il-seok threatens to kill In-hye if Tae-san refuses. So Tae-san tells In-hye to get an abortion and cruelly breaks up with her, then goes off to prison for several years.

Eight years later, Tae-san is running a small pawnshop. One day, In-hye unexpectedly pays him a visit and tells him that she cut ties with her disapproving family and had the baby after all. But her daughter Soo-jin has been diagnosed with leukemia and needs a bone marrow transplant. Since she isn't a match, that leaves Tae-san. Reeling from the discovery that he's a father and wanting to do something good for once in his meaningless life, Tae-san agrees to the undergo the surgery, which is scheduled to take place in two weeks. But he becomes embroiled in political intrigue when Il-seok conspires with a corrupt politician Jo Seo-hee to frame Tae-san for the murder of an undercover agent, who had infiltrated the gang under the orders of prosecutor Park Jae-kyung. Tae-san is arrested by detective Im Seung-woo, who happens to be In-hye's current fiance. While being transported, the police car he's in gets into an accident and Tae-san escapes. Now a fugitive, he is hunted by both the police and an assassin, and what ensues is two weeks of his desperate struggle to save his life and his daughter's. - Taken from Wikipedia 

My thoughts 

Lee Joon-gi delivered one of his best performance to date in this drama. I still remembered him as a feminine man in the movie - King and the clown. Time passes by so fast, this man had grown up to be a handsome and matured man. His delicate facial features are still there but he is no longer just a pretty boy anymore.

In this drama, Lee Joon-gi is convincing as a man who struggled to live. All the professional methods that he used to escape were interesting and unthinkable. From a crowardly small-time gangster to a brave and loving father, the transition was smooth and touching. He impressed me with his acting skills in every episode. Gradually, my only motivation to finish watching this drama is mainly because of him rather than the storyline.

In my opinion, there are only a handful of actors that were able to cry convincingly well without looking ugly. Lee Joon-gi belongs to this category of actors. There were many emotional scenes where he challenged himself to do well each time. The best part of the show was his interaction with his adorable daughter who was terminally ill. Those emotions that was presented onscreen were so raw and real. I would like to specially mention Lee Chae-min who acted as his daughter that suffers from leukemia. She is so cute and innocent here.

The romance on the other hand were downplayed. Park Ha-Sun does not have great chemistry with Lee Joon-gi. Neither does she have any chemistry with Ryu Soo-young. As an actor, Ryu Soo-young did not leave much of an impression other than being a good guy.

I do not like Kim So-Yeon performance in this drama. She does not have poor acting skills, it is just that there is something wrong with her character. She seem to be trying too hard to protray a Procecutor that was tormented by her own past and experiences. Most of the time, she was frustrated throughout the drama, especially when she failed in her mission.

While it is understandable that she wanted revenge, she did not show her intelligence in many situations. Her only motivation is to nail the criminals behind her father's murder and she has been trying so hard all these years. As a Procecutor, she is not calm and rational enough to lead a team of detectives to catch the criminals. As a result, she tends to make bad decision and judgement.

The villains were predictable and nothing smart came out from the script. The action scenes and all the scheming behind every move build up to nothing fantastic. Yes, certain parts were draggy and falls flat whenever they tried to built some suspense. 
As usual, the rich and the powerful politician who were greedy and manipulative, eventually falls into our hero Jang Tae-San trap. The cast were moderately good, however the storyline seem to be a little letdown to me. Half way through the cat and mouse chasing game, I have already lost half of my interest in the show. The suspense and thrill were not that engaging afterall. I shall not mention any spoilers, just in case you have not watch this drama.

In conclusion, Two weeks is a heartwarming action thriller that is worth to watch. Especially if you are a fan of Lee Joon-gi. Just be prepared for some impractical plots and some noticeable flaws in the drama. Most of the time, Lee Joon-gi is on the run from the police and the assassin that was sent to take his life. If you are willing to overlook some of these loopholes in the storyline, then you would enjoy this drama. 

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