Tag Archives: Tom Cruise

All You Need Is Kill

5 Jan

I’ve written a post before about some of the numerous Hollywood that were either inspired by Japan or were actual remakes of Japanese movies.

(Click here to read it.)

Well, recently Hollywood has made more Japan-inspired films.

For example…

– Japanese title: ウルヴァリン SAMURAI (Wolverine Samurai) / U.S. title: “The Wolverine

「ウルヴァリン SAMURAI」 (“The Wolverine”)

–  “47 Ronin

47 Ronin

– Japanese title: ゴジラ (Gojira) / U.S. title: “Godzilla


And now, I’ve heard that Tom Cruise is in a new movie called Edge Of Tomorrow which is an adaptation of the Japanese novelオール ユー ニード イズ キル」 (All You Need Is Kill).

Edge Of Tomorrow

「オール ユー ニード イズ キル」(“All You Need Is Kill”)….the Japanese novel that Edge Of Tomorrow is a remake of.


U.S. Independence Day by numbers

5 Jul

Today is already July 5th in Japan, and America’s 「独立記念日」 (Independence Day) isn’t obserevd in Japan (obviously)…but, as I’m American, I thought I’d write a post about it.

Kind of a “Didja know…?” post.

So, did you know that…

– three U.S. Presidents died on July 4th? (John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died on the same day…1826 July 4th, and James Monroe died on 1831 July 4th.)

– Heavy metal singer Ozzy Osbourne was married on 1982 July 4th (thirty years ago yesterday).

– There were (at least) two movies with Fourth of July-related titles…”Independence Day” and “Born On The Fourth of July“.

– Tom Cruise starred in the aforementioned “Born On The Fourth of July” and he nearly was born on that day…his birthday is July 3rd.

Can you think of any other July 4th coincidences or interesting trivia?

Are you American? How do you celebrate America’s Independence Day? (Even better…are you not American but celebrate the holiday??)

The best movie soundtracks

10 Apr

I have written a post about my favorite movies and another about classic movies quotes, but until now I hadn’t written one about the best movie soundtracks.

I have a number of movie soundtracks in my CD collection. Some are outstanding collections of songs from terrible movies and some others have only a few songs that are worth listening to…but I enjoy listening to all of the soundtracks on this list and I recommend picking them up if you don’t already own them.

So, here they are in no particular order (other than the order in which I remembered them as I mentally cataloged my CD collection)…the songs that I like are written in red:


Who Made Who (the official soundtrack for the movie Maximum Overdrive)

AC/DC "Who Made Who"

Track listing (all songs by AC/DC):

1. Who Made Who
2. You Shook Me All Night Long
3. D.T.
4. Sink The Pink
5. Ride On
6. Hells Bells
7. Shake Your Foundations
8. Chase The Ace
9. For Those About To Rock (We Salute You)

The movie is called “Maximum Overdrive” and was written and directed by Stephen King, so you’d think the movie would be good…but it’s unbearably bad.
The soundtrack though (titled “Who Made Who“) is an AC/DC album and, as you’d expect, is excellent. That said, though, it’s mostly a “greatest hits” type collection…only three songs were new songs written for the movie: “Who Made Who“, “D.T.“, and “Chase The Ace“. Of those three, the title track is a good song but the other two are instrumentals, which I personally don’t care for. And the other six tracks are AC/DC classics.


Last Action Hero

This is an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie (one of his three films that Danny DeVito co-stars in) and, similarly to Maximum Overdrive, it’s a bad movie with a great soundtrack.
Personally though, I don’t like five of the songs on the album but the other seven songs are on my i-pod.

Track listing:

1. Big Gun (by AC/DC)…great song.
2. What The Hell Have I (by Alice In Chains)…I don’t like this one much.
3. Angry Again (by Megadeth)…great song.
4. Real World (by Queensryche)…I like Queensryche but not this song.
5. Two Steps Behind (by Def Leppard)…I’m not a fan of this one either.
6. Poison My Eyes (by Anthrax)…great song.
7. Dream On (by Aerosmith)…classic great song.
8. A Little Bitter (by Alice In Chains)…much better than their other track on this album.
9. Cock The Hammer (by Cypress Hill)…this song’s not bad.
10. Swim (by Fishbone)…I don’t like this one at all.
11. Last Action Hero (by Tesla)…great song.
12. Jack And The Ripper (by Michael Kamen and Buckethead)…I don’t like it.


Detroit Rock City

This is the second “KISS movie” (the first was the ridiculous “KISS Meets The Phantom Of The Park“) and stars Edward Furlong as a teenager trying to get to a sold-out KISS concert in Detroit. It’s not as boring as it sounds…it’s actually kinda entertaining.

As I’m a fan of the band KISS, naturally I have this movie on DVD and the soundtrack on CD.

Track listing:

1. The Boys Are Back In Town (Thin Lizzy cover by Everclear)…not bad.
2. Shout It Out Loud (by KISS)…classic great song.
3. Runnin’ With The Devil (by Van Halen)…great song.
4. Cat Scratch Fever (Ted Nugent cover by Pantera)…great remake of a great song.
5. Iron Man (by Black Sabbath)…great song.
6. Highway To Hell (AC/DC cover by Marilyn Manson)…Marilyn should’ve stayed truer to this excellent song!
7. 20th Century Boy (by T.Rex)…this song is alright.
8. Detroit Rock City (by KISS)…classic great song.
9. Jailbreak (by Thin Lizzy)…great song.
10. Surrender (by Cheap Trick)…it’s alright.
11. Rebel Rebel (by David Bowie)…I don’t like David Bowie’s music.
12. Strutter (KISS cover by The Donnas)…pretty good remake of a great song.
13. School Days (by The Runaways)…I don’t enjoy this song much.
14. Little Willy (by Sweet)…I don’t this too much either.
15. Nothing Can Keep Me From You (by KISS)…it might be blasphemous for a KISS fan to say—but I hate this song!



Another terrible movie with a good soundtrack. Shocker is a horror movie by director Wes Craven (who wrote and directed “A Nightmare On Elm Street“) about a serial killer who is given the death penalty for his crimes but “becomes” electricity after death with the power to possess other people…or something stupid like that.

I remember watching this as a teenager and recognized the voice of Paul Stanley (of KISS) singing the closing-credits song…so I bought the soundtrack to get the new “KISS song” which, it turned out, is a song by “The Dudes Of Wrath“, which was a special one-time collaboration of Paul Stanley with members of Def Leppard, Whitesnake and Motley Crue.

Track listing:

1. Sword And Stone (by Bonfire)…I don’t like this song much.
2. No More Mr. Nice Guy (Alice Cooper cover by Megadeth)…great remake of a great song.
3. Shocker (by “The Dudes Of The Wrath“)…it’s alright.
4. Timeless Love (by Saraya)…I don’t like this song either.
5. Demon Bell (by Dangerous Toys)…great song.
6. Love Transfusion (by Iggy Pop)…not so good.
7. Different Breed (by Dead On)…great song.


Bill And Ted’s Bogus Journey

Another stupid movie with a good soundtrack. If this even had a plot I can’t remember what it was.

Track listing:

1. Shout It Out (by Slaughter)…not a great song, but not horrible.
2. Battle Stations (by Winger)…not a favorite but alright.
3. God Gave Rock ‘N Roll To You II (by KISS)…good but certainly not one KISS‘s best.
4. Drinking Again (by Neverland)…it’s alright, I guess but not really my style.
5. Dream Of A New Day (by Richie Kotzen)…it’s alright.
6. The Reaper (by Steve Vai)…Steve Vai is a guitar wizard but I don’t care for instrumentals much.
7. The Perfect Crime (by Faith No More)…pretty good.
8. Go To Hell (by Megadeth)…great song.
9. Tommy The Cat (by Primus)…this band was too weird for me.
10. Junior’s Gone Wild (by King’s X)…I don’t like King’s X.
11. Showdown (by Love On Ice)…not so good.
12. The Reaper Rap (by Steve Vai)…this “song” is stupid!


Mission: Impossible II

The movie was alright and the soundtrack has some gems hidden amongst some tripe.

Rather than listing this album’s entire track listing, I’ll list the few good songs on it (with it’s track number):

1. Take A Look Around (by Limp Bizket)…this band has a couple of good songs and this is one of them.
2. I Disappear (by Metallica)…great song.
3. Scum Of The Earth (by Rob Zombie)…great song.
6. Have A Cigar (Pink Floyd cover by the Foo Fighters and Brian May)…excellent remake.
8. Goin’ Down (by Godsmack)…pretty good.
12. Alone (by Buckcherry)…pretty good.


Iron Man 2

The sequel to the movie about the American superhero character. I can’t elaborate because I haven’t watch the film…but, like the Maximum Overdrive soundtrack, this one is entirely by AC/DC (and all the song’s are great, of course).

Track listing:

1. Shoot To Thrill
2. Rock ‘N Roll Damnation
3. Guns For Hire
4. Cold Hearted Man
5. Back In Black
6. Thunderstruck
7. If You Want Blood (You’ve Got It)
8. Evil Walks
9. T.N.T.
10. Hell Ain’t A Bad Place To Be
11. Have A Drink On Me
12. The Razor’s Edge
13. Let There Be Rock
14. War Machine
15. Highway To Hell

What are your favorite movie soundtracks?


Tom Cruise was Japanese, U.S. may get Japanese phones, and a feline station-master…

5 Sep

Have you heard about any of these news stories in Japan?

◎ The wife of the Japanese Prime-Minister-elect, Miyuki Hatoyama, seems to be a bit eccentric.
She has been quoted as saying that she was abducted by aliens and taken into their triangular UFO for a trip to the planet Venus…which she described as rich with green foliage!
She also said that she and her husband eat some of the sun every morning for energy!
And that she met the famous American actor Tom Cruise in another life when he was Japanese!

DoCoMo, the most prominent cellular-phone provider in Japan (and the one that my family uses), plans to begin selling their cell-phones in America. As well as offering many of the services that they provide in Japan, such as their “I-mode” internet service. It’s not clear yet if they plan to offer their cell-phone wallet service which is extremely popular in Japan to pay for everything from vending machines to groceries to fast-food to train fares.

The key-pad of a Japanese "DoCoMo" cell-phone.

The key-pad of a Japanese "DoCoMo" cell-phone.

◎ A small train line in a small town near Osaka, Japan was in danger of closing down until the media in Japan reported that a cat that had been hanging around the area was “hired” as the new 駅長 (station master).
The cat’s name is 「たま」 (Tama) and she gets paid with cat-food by the train line.
I remember when this story was on TV here about two years ago.
It’s seems that the tactic worked…people are coming from all over Japan to ride the train and see 「たま」 (Tama), the 駅長 (station master).
All the new customers are good for business and have kept the train line from closing down…but it created a new problem—where to put the cars from all the customers that drive to the station from around Japan.
The train station that the cat works at, 喜志駅 (Kishi Station), doesn’t have any car parking spaces near it.

Tama the feline station-master

Tama the feline station-master


Hollywood inspired by Tokyo

7 Aug

Over the years, Hollywood has remade many Japanese movies and also made original movies that were inspired by Japan.

Here’s a list of some of them that I thought of. Tell me if you can think of others that I may have forgotten.


  • U.S. remake: “Gatchaman
    Gatchaman (scheduled for release in 2011)

    Gatchaman (scheduled for release in 2011)

    Japanese Translation Of US Title: 「ガッチャマン」 (Gacchaman)

    Original Japanese movie: 「科学忍者隊ガッチャマン」 (Science Ninjas: Gacchaman)



    (Click here to see my “Gatchaman” stamps.)

  • U.S. remake: “Astro Boy
    Astro Boy

    Astro Boy

    Japanese Translation Of US Title: 「アトム」 (ATOM)

    Original Japanese movie: 「鉄腕アトム」 (Powerful Atom)



  • U.S. remake: “HACHI: A Dog’s Story
    HACHI: A Dog's Story (release date 2009 Aug 8)

    HACHI: A Dog's Story (release date 2009 Aug 8)

    Japanese Translation Of US Title: 「HACHI: 約束の犬」 (Hachi: A Faithful Dog)

    Original Japanese movie: 「ハチ公物語」 (Hachiko’s Story)



    (Click here to read another post I wrote about this movie).

  • U.S. remake: “Shall We Dance?
    Another US remake of a Japanese movie starring Richard Gere.

    Another US remake of a Japanese movie starring Richard Gere.

    Japanese Translation Of US Title: 「Shall We ダンス?」 (Shall We Dance?)

    Original Japanese movie: 「Shall We ダンス?」 (Shall We Dance?)


  • U.S. Remake: “The Ringring-usJapanese Translation Of US Title: 「ザ・リング」 (The Ring)
    Original Japanese movie: 「リング」 (Ring)ring-j
  • U.S. remake: “The GrudgegrudgeJapanese Translation Of US Title: 「The Juon」
    Original Japanese movie: 「呪怨」 (Juon (Grudge))


  • U.S. remake: “Dark Waterdark-waterJapanese Translation Of US Title: 「ダーク・ウォーター」 (Dark Water)
    Original Japanese movie: 「仄暗い水の底から」 (Dark Water From Below)dark-water-j
  • U.S. remake: “Last Man Standinglast-man-standingJapanese Translation Of US Title: 「ラスト・マン・スタンディング」 (Last Man Standing)
    Original Japanese movie: 「用心棒」 (The Bodyguard)youjinbo
  • U.S. remake: “A Fistful Of DollarsfistfulJapanese Translation Of US Title: 「荒野の用心棒」 (The Bodyguard Of The Wilderness)
    Original Japanese movie: 「用心棒」 (The Bodyguard)youjinbo
  • U.S. remake: “The BodyguardbodyguardJapanese Translation Of US Title: 「ボディガード」 (Bodyguard)
    Original Japanese movie: 「用心棒」 (The Bodyguard)youjinbo
  • Eight Beloweight-belowJapanese Translation Of US Title: 「南極物語」 (South Pole Story)
    Original Japanese movie: 「南極物語」 (South Pole Story)


  • Magnificent Sevenmagnificent-sevenJapanese Translation Of US Title: 「荒野の七人」 (Seven Men Of The Wilderness)
    Original Japanese movie: 「七人の侍」 (Seven Samurai)seven-samurai
  • DragonballdragonballJapanese Translation Of US Title: 「ドラゴンボール」 (Dragonball)
    Original Japanese movie: 「ドラゴンボール」 (Dragonball)


    (Click here to see an earlier post I wrote about this movie).

  • Speed Racerspeed-racerJapanese Translation Of US Title: 「マッハGOGOGO!」(Mach GoGoGo!)
    Original Japanese movie: 「マッハGOGOGO!」(Mach GoGoGo!)


  • GodzillagodzillaJapanese Translation Of US Title: 「ゴジラ」 (Godzilla)
    Original Japanese movie: 「ゴジラ」 (Godzilla)


    (Click here to see an earlier post I wrote about this movie).



  • Gung-Ho!
  • Gung-Ho!


  • The Karate Kid

    「ベスト・キッド」 (The Karate Kid)

    (Click here for my post about this movie).

  • Lost In Translation

    Lost In Translation

  • Ramen Girl

    Ramen Girl

    (Click here for my post about this movie).

  • Mr. Baseball

    Mr. Baseball

    Mr. Baseball

  • Toxic Avenger II

    Toxic Avenger Part II

    Toxic Avenger Part II

  • Sgt. Kabukiman, N.Y.P.D.

    Sgt. Kabukiman, N.Y.P.D.

    Sgt. Kabukiman, N.Y.P.D.

  • Star Wars

    Star Wars

    Star Wars

  • Memoirs Of A Geisha

    Memoirs Of A Geisha

    「SAYURI」 (Memoirs Of A Geisha)

  • Last Samurai

    Last Samurai

    Last Samurai

  • Ronin



  • Fast And Furious 3: Tokyo Drift
    「ワイルド・スピード」 (Fast & Furious) 3: Tokyo Drift

    「ワイルド・スピード」 (Fast & Furious) 3: Tokyo Drift

    Also, I just found this “Pixar ‘Cars’ X ‘Tokyo Drift’“:

  • Black Rain

    Black Rain

    Black Rain

  • Blade Runner

    Blade Runner

    Blade Runner

  • Austin Powers: Goldmember

    Austin Powers 3: Goldmember

    Austin Powers 3: Goldmember

  • The Simpsons: 30 Minutes Over Tokyo
    (It’s not a movie…just one episode of a weekly U.S. TV show. But I wanted to include it since the characters go to Japan. And it’s funny.)

    The Simspons "Thirty Minutes Over Tokyo"

    The Simspons "Thirty Minutes Over Tokyo"

  • American Yakuza

    American Yakuza

    American Yakuza

  • The Hunted

    The Hunted

    The Hunted

  • Rising Sun

    Rising Sun

    Rising Sun


Japanese movies

13 Dec

Hollywood has made remakes of many Japanese movies (and French, Korean, German etc ones as well. Did you know “Three Men And A Baby” was a French movie first? “We’re No Angels” was too. “The Lake House” and “The Departed” were originally Korean movies.).

Recently, I’ve heard that Hollywood will be making live-action movies based on the Japanese アニメ (cartoons) 「ルパン三世」 (“Lupin The 3rd“) and 「ドラゴンボール」 (“Dragon-ball“).


The fairly recent American movie “Speed Racer” is another live-action movie based on the Japanese アニメ (cartoon) 「マッハゴゴゴ」 (“Mach Go-Go-Go“).

And Keanu Reeves will star in a remake of 元禄忠臣蔵 (“47 Ronin“).
The original is a classic Japanese movie from the early 1940’s. It’s based on the true story of the forty-seven 浪人 (ronin*), (*浪人 (ronin) are samurai with no master), who seek the revenge of their master’s death.
The graves of the real 47 ronin are at 泉岳寺 (Sengakuji Temple) in 東京都港区 (Minato Ward, Tokyo).

Robert DeNiro has also starred in a movie titled “Ronin“.

Do you know the famous Japanese movie 「用心棒」 (“Yojinbo“)?
用心棒」 (“Yojinbo“) means “bodyguard”. It’s another movie about a 浪人 (ronin).
It’s about a 浪人 (ronin) who goes to a town where competing crime gangs are trying to take over the town. He “joins” each gang to help them eliminate the other…with the intention of having them kill off each other and thus saving the town.
He remains wild and mysterious to everyone in the town and never gives his real name.

用心棒」 (“Yojinbo“) was originally remade as the cowboy movie “A Fistful Of Dollars” starring Clint Eastwood as the “man with no name”, and again as the American gangster movie “Last Man Standing” starring Bruce Willis.
It was also given a nod in the movie “The Bodyguard” when Kevin Costner’s character takes Whitney Houston’s character to the movies on a date and they watched 「用心棒」 (“Yojinbo“).

Similarly to “A Fistful Of Dollars” cowboy version of the Japanese Samurai movie 「用心棒」 (“Yojinbo“), the American movie “The Magnificent Seven” is a remake of the Japanese movie 「七人の侍」 (“The Seven Samurai“) with cowboy gunfighters instead of samurai.

The Japanese horror movies 「リング」, 「呪怨」, and 「仄暗い水の底から」 have been remade as “The Ring“, “Grudge“, and “Dark Water“, respectively.

Of course, when Hollywood made “Godzilla” everyone knew that was based on the iconic Japanese 「ゴジラ」…but did you know that the American movie “Shall We Dance?” (starring Richard Gere and Jennifer Lopez) is a remake of the Japanese movie 「Shall We ダンス?」?

And then there are the American movies that aren’t remakes of Japanese movies, but Japan-inspired…such as: “Mr. Baseball“, “Gung-Ho“, “Lost In Translation“, “The Last Samurai“, “Memoirs Of A Geisha“, “Black Rain“, and “Blade Runner“.

I’m sure there are more that I’ve forgotten about…

On a different note…
An English charity called “Save The Children” voted Japan the world’s leader for children’s health, safety, nutrition and education!
I’ve always known that Japan is a good place to raise kids!