Destroy All Planets 2010

Destroy All Planets 2010
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Sunday, January 15, 2017

SURELY YOU GESTE! Another Evening with the Ulf-Man!

Actor Ulf Otsuki at our usual Indian restaurant. Photo by Brett Homenick. 

After attending the event earlier today, I headed to actor Ulf Otsuki's home, and we took in another Hollywood classic. This time, it was the Gary Cooper vehicle Beau Geste (1939), which earned Brian Donlevy a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination. I enjoyed the second half much more than the first, which took way too long to get on with the story.

After the movie, we went out again for Indian food at our usual location. It was another great meal, after which I returned home. Thank you again for your hospitality, Ulf-san!

SONNY CHIBA: Master of Japanese Mobsters!

Japanese action star Sonny Chiba poses for photos among the gathered fans. Photo by Brett Homenick.

Today, I attended a fun event at the Sun Plaza in Nakano, Tokyo. The guest of honor was Toei action star Shinichi "Sonny" Chiba, who's headlined everything from the bloody actioner The Street Fighter (1974) to the tokusatsu cult classic Invasion of the Neptune Men (1961). Around the world, Chiba-san is best known for his yakuza (Japanese mobster) movies.

Chiba-san impressed the audience with his stories, and he shared his memories of becoming a Toei New Face and working with directors as varied as Kinji Fuksasaku and Quentin Tarantino.

It was a blast seeing Chiba-san again. He's always in great spirits and has a warm personality, a trait not often shared with other international movie stars. A fun time was most certainly had by all who were there.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

SUPER FESTIVAL 73! Toys, Toys, and More Toys!

Kamen Rider cosplay! Photo by Brett Homenick. 

It's that time of year again. January 8 saw Super Festival 73 invade the the Science Museum in Chiyoda, Tokyo. I was interested to have another look at the show, but it's starting to feel a little too familiar.

If you're a toy collector, Super Festival probably has a lot to offer. But if you're like me, and your toy-collecting days ended when you were 12, it can get a little repetitive, especially when the displays continue to look more and more similar as the months pass.

I walked around the various rooms of memorabilia to see if I could find anything interesting, and for the first time in a while (and perhaps ever), I left the show without having purchased anything. The only thing I paid for was my 1,500-yen ticket to the show. I was actually rather pleased that I didn't buy some old book or DVD, but at the same time, it does make it seem like something's missing.

The highlight, of course, was seeing my fellow fans wandering the halls. I also enjoyed seeing Return of Ultraman suit actor Eiichi Kikuchi, who wished me "Happy New Year" in no less than three languages! Kikuchi-san is truly a class act, and he's always awesome when I see him.

With Eiichi Kikuchi.

Another familiar face on hand was Sojiro Uchino, a child actor who appears in episodes of Ultra Q, Ultraman, Kaiju Booska, and even Gamera vs. Viras. Uchino-san is a staple of Super Festival, and when I didn't see him at the last show, it certainly didn't feel the same without him.

With Sojiro Uchino.

When all was said and done, I didn't spend that much time at the show. Maybe an hour, hour and a half. Super Festival can be an interesting show, but for a person who just isn't into collecting stuff, I find it has less and less to offer these days. Here's hoping the next one will be a lot more exciting.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Remembering Francine York

With Francine York in July 2010.

On January 6, actress Francine York, a staple of television during the 1960s, passed away after a battle with cancer. She played the Bookworm's henchwoman Lydia Limpet on the Adam West Batman TV series and also appeared on such shows as Perry Mason and Lost in Space. Her film roles range from Mutiny in Outer Space (1965) to The Nutty Professor (1963).

While attending The Hollywood Show in July 2010, I briefly met Ms. York at her autograph table and spoke to her about her work on Batman. I'll always remember her kindness. Rest in peace.

Friday, December 30, 2016

SHINJUKU AT NIGHT! Random Shots Around Kabukicho!

Here are a few shots taken last night while walking around Shinjuku with a friend. Happy New Year!

A DAY WITH THE ULF-MAN! Going for Lunch in Asakusa!

Ulf Otsuki gives the cameraman thumbs up. Photo by Brett Homenick. 

As the New Year approaches, I've been keeping pretty active, and today was no exception. I met up with Ulf Otsuki for lunch in Asakusa. As usual, it was a lot of fun to spend time with Ulf and his family.

The drive to Asakusa was rather beautiful, and I wish I could have taken some photos.It was a gorgeous day, marred only by the fact that it was freezing cold outside.

I'm excited for the New Year, and I hope it will be even more productive than this year. Happy New Year!


So this happened. I was interviewed in Shibuya on December 29 about random Japanese things for TBS Television. The segment should air on January 24 sometime between 7:00 and 9:00 p.m.

In the interview, I was asked about my life in Japan and my interests in Japanese things. Naturally, I talked about Japanese movies. The whole process took about five minutes. It'll certainly be interesting to see how much, if any, of the interview gets aired.