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Oscar Week Special! Watching the Noms So You Don’t Have To: Letters From Iwo Jima Friday, February 23, 2007

Posted by cdnmoose in athleticsupporter, CDNMoose, Elric, liveblog, movies, Oscars, racistmascot_inc.

Unlike most blogs that wouldn’t piss on you if your hair was on fire, here at DeadOn we care about our readers.
LFIJ - Poster
We know that you don’t have the time, money or dating capacity to get out and watch all of this year’s Best Picture Oscar nominees. But you absolutely want to be able to impress your co-workers around the water cooler with your ruminations of what each movie has to say about the human condition, and you damn well want to win your Oscar office pool.

Therefore, as a service to our readers, some of our contributors are gathering every night this week at a renovated strip club now operating as a movie theatre (with very sticky floors) in Cary, North Carolina.

We are capturing their observations through a liveblog while they watch and annoy the patrons around them by talking incessantly throughout the movie and by kicking the chairs of the old people sitting in front of them.

Today’s movie is Letters From Iwo Jima, as viewed by CDNMoose, elric and AthleticSupporter (with an opening serious film comment from racistmascot).

Note: All that’s left is our OSCAR WEEK SUPER-SPECIAL *LIVE* liveblog of the Oscar telecast and pre-show starting Sunday at 6PM Eastern here on DeadOn…

Warning: This post contains spoilers (hint: the Japanese lose).

This is the final OSCAR WEEK SPECIAL! post. So far, we sat (and drank) through Babel, The Queen, Little Miss Sunshine and The Depaahted.

Because this was our final liveblog of the Best Picture nominees, we wanted to do something…”special”.

So we loaded up the family truckster, left the skyscrapers of Cary, NC behind and headed down the Tommy Bradshaw freeway until we hit “Little Japan” in Garner, NC.

We entered the Kokusai Shochiku cinema, picked up some Goobers and Green Tea and took our seats.

What we did not plan on was that the film we watched was shown entirely in Japanese, with no subtitles.


CDNMoose: AthleticSupporter, how’s your conversational Japanese?
AthleticSupporter: I’m gonna have to stay sober for this one, so I’m able to dedicate my full comprehensive abilities to not understanding a word they say
CDNMoose: haha. the opposite tack I took, AthleticSupporter
AthleticSupporter: japanese… none :-)
elric: mine’s not so good. I know basic affirmative and negative phrases, exclamations, and 3 different ways to say pervert
CDNMoose: that should come in handy if the soldiers escape and make it to New York
AthleticSupporter: uh… I do have a bottle of scotch I could work on
CDNMoose: I played hockey at 5 and have been drinkin’ since
CDNMoose: so I’m well lubed
CDNMoose: (if I know what I mean)
AthleticSupporter: I prefer not to think about it

Begin serious film commentary:

racistmascot: I find it funny that Eastwood made two movies that each show one side as being monsters, instead of correctly making one movie that showed both sides as being equally capable of honor and horror.

End serious film commentary.

Who let racistmascot in here with his sensible ramblings and excellent debate questions?

And with that, he is ejected from our screening.

So, though none of us speak the language, we settled back and let the magic of cinema wash over us…

Let the jackassery begin.

We open with a title card written in (duh) Japanese.

CDNMoose: <something>
AthleticSupporter: <squiggly marks>
elric: no clue

Really, who isn’t gonna want to read 8,000 words full of “what did he say?” and “I don’t understand what’s happening”?

This was such a good idea.

I’ll go out on a limb and assume the title card said “Letters From Iwo Jima”, because I am a gambler by nature.

The title card fades and we see a shot of the beach…the year is also noted.

CDNMoose: 2005!
CDNMoose: <– figured that one out

Thank God they included the Hindu-Arabic numbers with the pictograms, or we’d still be lost…

Anyway, we are shown a large, black stone with a blocky map engraved on it, presumably a memorial identifying historical places on the island.

AthleticSupporter: tetris, anyone?
CDNMoose: that’s why they lost, I guess….they sucked at raster puzzle games
elric: tetris was designed by a commie
AthleticSupporter: ya… but it’s so addictive

We are shown quick cuts from other areas of the island in current day– old guns and tunnels and turrets and the like.

CDNMoose: the dilapidated weapons of war…so…symbolic of…something.

elric: over/under on our Gojira references in this commentary?
CDNMoose: 19 (and I’ll take the over)
elric: yeah, me too
AthleticSupporter: considering I have no idea what Gojira is… 0 for me
elric: dude
AthleticSupporter: oh… I know that

The scientists make their way into a man-made cave. They are digging around and excitedly find…something.

But before we can see what they have found (I’m guessing it’s not a Dharma Project hatch), we pan back from the shovels and see a soldier digging in 1944.

elric: oh, back in time we go
CDNMoose: We knew they were scientists because of the the white pantsuits

AthleticSupporter: I’m still running my inner dialouge with a southie accent
CDNMoose: I’m going with the Newfoundland accent…not entirely dissimilar to the Japanese
elric: I’ll go Liverpudlian

So we don’t really know what the digger dude’s name is at the time, but looking back now at the IMDB, let’s say he’s…”Saigo”.

Saigo narrates as he digs.

elric: I think he’s talking about digging latrines
elric: or graves
elric: or both

Well, at least we know he’s digging. That’s the international language.

An officer is arriving to the island by plane…

CDNMoose: I’m going to keep assuming every Japanese military dude with ribbons and stuff is Hirohito. Cool?
elric: that’s safe enough

We cut back to Saigo, still digging (this is a thinking-man’s action movie, after all).

AthleticSupporter: yep, that’s totally a latrine
CDNMoose: I’d piss in it (more than be buried in it)
AthleticSupporter: according to my boy scout training, your not supposed to build latrines by the water
elric: what about the side of a hill?
AthleticSupporter: that could be problematic too

A dude in a swanky pith helmet comes to inspect the digging. He doesn’t look pleased, but then again, he *is* wearing a pith helmet. He appears to give Saigo a shit sammich.

elric: there are going to be some nice moustaches in this film, I’ll tell you that
AthleticSupporter: what’s the latrine dude doing, wearing a safari pith helmet?
elric: he’s going to go spelunking?
elric: no wait, that’s caves
CDNMoose: you never know when lions are going to get in your shit
AthleticSupporter: or GODZILLA!
AthleticSupporter: that too

LFIJ - Pithy Saigo

Saigo dreams of a world without Colnel Pithy

The officer’s plane lands on the island. He heads over to the dig site.

AthleticSupporter: that camo plane looks more like a dalmation
elric: Hirohito?
CDNMoose: (maybe)
elric: to be fair, I know about an Admiral Yamamoto too. I don’t think that’s him though
AthleticSupporter: are those mudflaps they have on their hats?
elric: where’s Yosemite Sam?
CDNMoose: they don’t have rednecks there
elric: there are rednecks EVERYWHERE

Of course it was neither.

It’s Ken Watanabe playing General Tadamichi Kuribayashi. We probably should have looked that up before we started drinking.

CDNMoose: they seem…confident?
CDNMoose: After all, with that latrine, they can shit or piss anywhere on this island

elric: they’re probably saying something about their impregnable defenses
elric: and schoolgirl panties
CDNMoose: why are you trying to distract me?
AthleticSupporter: I know about General Tao’s Chicken

Kuribayashi talks to a few men who are there to greet him by the plane, and they make their way to the rather iconic hill on the island where the digging is happening.

elric: we’ll dig for the Ark on that hill
CDNMoose: that hill looks…familiar, perhaps
AthleticSupporter: sweet ‘staches, though

Kuribayashi does not seem impressed with the digging.

LFIJ - Shitter Inspection

I can’t shit here…we better make it a gun turret instead…

He gets in Colnel Pithy’s shit, and right when it seems that Pithy is ready to blow up…

AthleticSupporter: CANE HIM!
elric: Clearly, he dug his latrine wrong
CDNMoose: the canings will continue until morale improves

…Pithy gets everyone to have a seat and they all enjoy some water.

Huh. Perhaps he got shit for working them too hard. That’s what you get when you put a pith helmet on a guy.

Absolute pithiness corrupts absolutely.

CDNMoose: water is distributed…there is much rejoicing
elric: now, to be fair, I don’t know if Rodan can come until after the Americans drop the bombs and irradiate everything
elric: someone just got called stupid

AthleticSupporter: Somebody is eating top ramen
CDNMoose: Who is Top Ramen? And why does he get all the action?
CDNMoose: HEY-O!

elric: it would be a horrible waste if they used disposable chopsticks
AthleticSupporter: nothing goes to waste… I’m sure they could make a cross out of them for a grave
elric: do they use crosses in Shinto?
CDNMoose: or shadow tentacles for finger puppet hentai
elric: that sounds like a better application

Kuribayashi strategizes with his men in his tent.

CDNMoose: That strategy is *classic* Kuribayashi (for all I know)

elric: I think someone just expressed doubt over the plans of a commanding officer
elric: that’s a caning
CDNMoose: Like I said…*classic* Kuribayashi
CDNMoose: oh you better believe that’s a paddlin’
AthleticSupporter: sign Tim Hardaway up for a paddlin’ too

The next day, the soldiers are in the ditches they dug the previous day (let’s hope they weren’t latrines after all), taking in some target practice.

elric: I wonder if the mudflaps are supposed to make them look like samurai . . .
elric: just a thought
CDNMoose: Saigo seems particularly inept
CDNMoose: can’t even reload his gun
AthleticSupporter: CANE HIM!
CDNMoose: here comes the paddlin’

elric: he can’t hit the broad side of an American
elric: and those Americans are broad. or something
AthleticSupporter: at least we know Tom Brady shoot’s straight
elric: is he the Sex Cannon of the regiment?
CDNMoose: wildly inaccurate, but lethal?
CDNMoose: I’ll say…yes
CDNMoose: but only because he loses at the end
elric: fair enough

CDNMoose: Just wait for Devin Hester to totally break the Axis of Evil “flying wing”
CDNMoose: or….the reverse of that
elric: they were just the Axis, no Evil

We cut to …

elric: women, wishing their menfolk luck as they go to war
elric: I think that kid was playing with a straw stuck in a cowpie
elric: what the heck just happened?

We are now flashing back to Kuribayashi before the war, sketching. Deep.

CDNMoose: flashback…I think that means he’ll be on Lost this season

Fastest. Flashback. Ever.

We are back to the island, a shot of the big hill.

elric: there’s that hill again
AthleticSupporter: the hill is symbolic
CDNMoose: *totally* symbolic
CDNMoose: …of?
AthleticSupporter: of a large breast
CDNMoose: ah
CDNMoose: In that case, where’s the nip?
AthleticSupporter: nipple = american flag on top *waves little flags like don king*

elric: I think when you walk up that hill, traditional Japanese music starts playing

We see a shot of the shoreline from the top of the hill.

CDNMoose: didn’t I see this shot in Castaway?
CDNMoose: where’s the Japanese Wilson?

An officer rides his horse up and down the makeshift village on the island, doing steeplechase-like things.

elric: I think they said something about the Olympics
elric: I guess that guy was an equestrian or something
CDNMoose: he has a thing for horses, apparently

LFIJ - Horsey

Watch next summer for the sequel: Letters From Dee Mirch

We see a seemingly iconic shot of the beach.

elric: whoa – Planet of the Apes?
elric: oh shit, it’s Spaceballs
elric: there goes the planet
AthleticSupporter: the combination is… 1…..2…..3…..4…..5
elric: maybe that’s not the shot Eastwood was going for, but that’s what I saw.
elric: the Japanese are just waiting to unleash Mighty Maid
AthleticSupporter: -1 Mighty Maid… +1 Bob’s Big Boy

Kuribayashi talks with Equestrian dude on the beach about his horse…

elric: dude carries a picture of his horse instead of his girlfriend . . . I think that translates into any language
CDNMoose: Dee Mirch suddenly has the screaming thigh sweats about this movie
AthleticSupporter: Back in 1942, I’m sure she was writing letters in her crib.. “japanese victory, holy in the night, affirmed”
elric: Hey captain, want me to rig up the sex swing?
CDNMoose: (laughter)
elric: . . . yes
CDNMoose: I’m guessing that means…”no”
CDNMoose: or maybe…”not now”?

A couple of officers (one of which is Equestrian dude) dine and enjoy a drink in the map room as they talk.

elric: serve good sake cold.
AthleticSupporter: his white shirt looks like it has a little japenese ascott thing going there
CDNMoose: “excellent still-made sake…you can barely taste the antifreeze”

CDNMoose: tactics are being discussed?
elric: lack of reinforcements? Hirohito’s being a douchbag?
CDNMoose: maybe the whole “bad moon rising” thing? The Yanks are coming?
AthleticSupporter: is that Johnny Walker?
AthleticSupporter: the square bottle is throwing me off.

Elric: is this foreplay?
CDNMoose: I hear traditional Japanese piano music…is someone walking up that hill?
elric: I think it’s foreplay

Meanwhile, on the beach…there is yelling. Kuribayashi is yelling directions at someone who is subsequently running around the beach in funny patterns, presumably to see if they can track and follow the enemy with their guns.

Hint: I’ve seen how this turns out…it won’t work

AthleticSupporter: this scene would be so much better if we had Dick Dale on the soundtrack

Saigo is sitting with a couple of buddies and watches this unfold. He stares at Kuribayashi’s ass…or perhaps his holstered gun.

He then notes that Kuribayashi has an American gun…or a sublime ass.

(or possibly both).

An officer shows up to get the boys back to doing something productive (yay! more digging!), but one of them is now is doubled over in pain.

AthleticSupporter: mudflaps shows back up
CDNMoose: they only call him that because he uses up all the toilet paper

elric: someone ate some bad fugu
CDNMoose: damn Mrs. Krabapple
CDNMoose: distracted him so he didn’t slice it right

Kuribayashi and his senior officers walk a barren, dusty path around the hilll…

elric: look sir, droids!

LFIJ - droids

They’ll hit the Jawas of Iwo Jima in a jiff…

They get into some deep, emotional shit while they walk.

CDNMoose: dissention in the ranks?
CDNMoose: disagreement on tactics, perhaps?
elric: I’m not going any further until we get some proper mudflaps!
elric: an ominous wind
CDNMoose: Perhaps he is looking for volunteers for a “secret mission”…in his tent…at midnight (bring lube)

Another plane has arrived carrying more officers.

AthleticSupporter: the gateway computer plane has shown up
CDNMoose: moooooooooooooooooo

elric: wait, the camera is focusing on one guy – he must be important

So there you go. An important guy has arrived on the island.

We have no clue who he is or why he’s important, but elric is right. He’s as subtly important as a shifty-eyed dog from The Simpsons.

We cut to the men inside one of their man-made tunnels.

AthleticSupporter: I totally want a secret tunnel like that
CDNMoose: if I know what you mean?
elric: all it takes is some elbow grease and a spoon

CDNMoose: I think I just saw Andy Dufresne….
elric: I think I just saw Daisuke Matsuzaka
CDNMoose: “Captain! then I will gain 35 pounds on Kobe steak…and sit back and enjoy the whores and coffee!”
CDNMoose: But you could tell it was Dufresne by the Jeff Garcia-lookalike cock imprint on his forehead
CDNMoose: wait– what?
elric: “Hey Captain, I’m developing a secret pitch for after the war. It’s called the gyroball”
AthleticSupporter: Garcia hellicoptered him?
CDNMoose: purple thunder, baby

The men read/write letters.

You know.


From Iwo Jima.

elric: “don’t talk to me when I’m looking at anime porn”

The men squee like little girls when an icky insect shows up in the cave.

CDNMoose: millipedes!
elric: seriously now
elric: why did it have to be millipedes
CDNMoose: …and that guy went on to invent “Centipede” for Namco.
CDNMoose: just wait for the mushrooms later

elric: when does a kid with a ball come by and roll all their shit up?

The men lay in their bunks and talk.

CDNMoose: the grunts discuss…?
AthleticSupporter: periods
CDNMoose: “The Magnificent Ambersons”
AthleticSupporter: Proust
elric: DRINK

Saigo walks the camp the next day and has a flashback (maybe he’s on “Lost” this year, too).

elric: fade to . . . woman in some kind of shop
elric: it’s the Crazy 88’s

CDNMoose: dead soldier’s wife?
CDNMoose: ah, Saigo is getting drafted

AthleticSupporter: she’s got a sash. that’s miss japan
elric: man, what she must have done to win that contest
CDNMoose: …to that tentacled monster with nothing but lust in its eye
AthleticSupporter: now she just needs to be an alcoholic coke whore like miss america… then we can talk

elric: so are they going to shag before he goes to die on some hill that plays traditional Japanese music?
CDNMoose: it would only be appropriate
CDNMoose: do we agree he got drafted?
elric: I think so
CDNMoose: maybe he won the lottery and those are tears of joy
elric: he selected the short chopstick

He drops down to his knees and puts his head to his wife’s belly.

CDNMoose: He’s what, talking to his unborn son?
elric: oh, I see, their child is going to grow up fatherless due to this god forsaken war

They continue digging on the side of the hill.

elric: and now that’re mining music out of the hill
CDNMoose: “we’ve almost emptied the ‘traditional/somber vein of this mine…shall we move on to the ‘campy/banjo’ vein?”
elric: so I think they’re digging caves so they can fight a battle of attrition against the invaders

AthleticSupporter: what they don’t tell you, is that this movie was also filmed in the hollywood hills
CDNMoose: does that mean they’re about to dig for Bob Seger?
CDNMoose: *shudders*
elric: what, is Bob Seger a Balrog or something?
CDNMoose: apparently. and the only thing that could kill him was a Silver Bullet Band
CDNMoose: he was a werewolf balrog
elric: but the man had Night Moves
CDNMoose: nothing scarier than a dog beast on fire during his full moon Night Moves
AthleticSupporter: there used to be a strip club in indianapolis called night moves
CDNMoose: was it a naked horse club?
AthleticSupporter: must have been… I think I saw Dee Mirch going in
CDNMoose: or are we talking delicious, busty, corn-fed down-home girls?
CDNMoose: because if that’s the case, I vote that we stop this movie and talk about that
elric: so are we agreed that Japanese soldiers preparing for certain death is a metaphor for Middle American whorehouses?
CDNMoose: toally agree, elric

They go over strategy on the big map.

AthleticSupporter: that island totally looks like a conch shell
CDNMoose: That’s right, AthleticSupporter…that’s why the island was so important. whoever is holding the island gets to talk
CDNMoose: *duh*

The Americans show up to say “Hello”…with a vengeance!

elric: air raid
CDNMoose: ’bout time we got some manly killin’
AthleticSupporter: finally… 44 min in and we get some killin
elric: so this is where they run into the caves?
CDNMoose: nah. the latrines
CDNMoose: (unfortunatley)

elric: no, they’re shooting the music hill!
CDNMoose: every bullet is taking a note away from “Pink Lady’s” discography
AthleticSupporter: now those hills are REALLY dusty
CDNMoose: …and if Michael Bay directed this air raid? we’d have 188 cuts by now
elric: and Martin Lawrence screaming

Looks like there is at least one casualty from the bombing…

AthleticSupporter: Barbaro!
elric: they bombed the guy’s horse?
AthleticSupporter: he had laminits, so they had to put him down…. with a bomb
elric: it was the only humane thing to do
elric: I knew I saw UPenn on those planes
AthleticSupporter: where’s THAT horse’s messageboard?
CDNMoose: yeah!
CDNMoose: I’m starting a website: http://otherterminalhorsesneedlovetoo.com
AthleticSupporter: dear japanese man’s horse. your crossing over the rainbrow bridge, newspapers, sun in the east. affirmed. Dee Mirch

Some of the men are down in the caves while the bombing continues overnight…

elric: down in the caves, Daisuke is working on his secondary pitches
CDNMoose: and his fourth pound cake
elric: he’s not sharing, apparently
CDNMoose: You don’t have to share…when you are THE DICE K!
elric: Hickory Dickory Dock!
CDNMoose: This chick was sucking my….

LFIJ - Tunnels

A man’s mind goes through some weird shit in the tunnels…

Kuribayashi doodles in his quarters (if you know what I mean), and we cut to…

elric: lots of boats
AthleticSupporter: there we go…. America FUCK YA
elric: I think I saw that scene in Troy. what a shitty movie

Yep. Looks like dozens and dozens of ships are about to hit the island. This…this is not good.

AthleticSupporter: underground bunker + old communication system. I can only assume they are about to find “The Others”

Kuribayashi gives ’em the old “Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?” speech. Gripping.

elric: “We will fight to the end! Or until we run out of schoolgirl panties! whichever comes first”
elric: Panties!
AthleticSupporter: if only they thought ahead and imported schoolgirls to make a nonstop supply
elric: Panties!

The men write letters (yes, once again…from Iwo Jima).

elric: praying and writing home before the end

elric: is that guy stuffing his pants?
elric: he’s totally going get caught going through customs
CDNMoose: Midnight Express, anyone?
AthleticSupporter: he should have keistered his stash

A massive bombing by air of the big hill commences.

elric: the songs!
AthleticSupporter: bombing the big titty
CDNMoose: Oh, the humanity!
elric: The nipple is still intact
CDNMoose: That is, oddly enough, what I call foreplay with the wife
AthleticSupporter: bombing the titty?
CDNMoose: the BIG titty
CDNMoose: I leave the small one alone
elric: just one?
AthleticSupporter: she walks hunched over to one side?
CDNMoose: she’s a lefty, let’s leave it at that
elric: Phil Mickelson?
CDNMoose: naw– I said only *one* big titty
elric: touche

LFIJ - Big Titty

Kuribayashi strolls the beach in front of Big Titty in happier (i.e. less “bomb-y”) times…

In the caves, there is dirty business to be done.

elric: Saigo’s emptying someone’s foul discharge, it would seem
elric: and here are the Americans – and he drops the discharge.
CDNMoose: if I know what you mean
CDNMoose: important discharge, it would seem
AthleticSupporter: oddly.. that is what Ron Mexico does too.
AthleticSupporter: well, maybe not so oddly
elric: apparently so. wonder what’s so important about it. maybe it has medicinal properties?
AthleticSupporter: that is the general’s bedpan
CDNMoose: The spirit of the great blue warrior resides in the stool of Kuribayashi

The Yanks bomb from the shore and the land invasion begins.

elric: well, here they come. send out the Katamaris
CDNMoose: you gotta put a man on the 101st marine division!
elric: a man?
CDNMoose: strong safety
CDNMoose: you don’t leave that shit up to a linebacker
AthleticSupporter: ray lewis would do
elric: Sean Taylor’s got a lot of work on his hands
CDNMoose: as long as he thinks this is an all-star game, he’ll be fine
AthleticSupporter: I think tank has the weaponry to manage things.
elric: and the Americans were all punters in college
AthleticSupporter: Brian Moorman?

CDNMoose: flamethrower == my worst nightmare
elric: so the Americans are here an hour in. If the Japanese are going to hold out for another hour and 15 minutes, they truly have my respect
AthleticSupporter: s/worst nightmare/wet dream/
CDNMoose: I didn’t think we’d get vi jokes in here
CDNMoose: AthleticSupporter, you put the “vi” in “virgin”

More bombing, more damage. The Japanese begin their defensive attack.

elric: big titty’s taking some damage
elric: and . . . that’s a severed arm
elric: go! put his arm back on!
CDNMoose: it works for BattleBots
elric: with what?
elric: go find me a Hi-Potion

Because of all the caves, there is much to retreat to in the big hill.

AthleticSupporter: titty mountain is hollow?
CDNMoose: that’s what gives the songs an echoing, resonant “deepness”
AthleticSupporter: whenever I see hollow mountains, I think of the Goonies
CDNMoose: rawk
elric: when I first saw it, I was still too young to understand what One Eyed Willie was referring to

Begin serious film commentary

AthleticSupporter: what people are missing here is that Clint made like 1 1/2 movies and got to reuse footage to make 2 full movies.
CDNMoose: stop it, AthleticSupporter
AthleticSupporter: oh… that was actually useful information… sorry

CDNMoose: so…does this only get a best picture nod because it is from a (typically) unseen perspective in american cinema? or is the writing, acting and drama somehow “better” than Flags of our Fathers?
elric: maybe both?
CDNMoose: (you started it, AthleticSupporter)

End serious film commentary.

AthleticSupporter: you would think with the large production budget that Clint could have got Vic Romano, Kenny Blankenship, Captain Tenneal and Guy LeDouchce to do the voiceover for this movie.
elric: +1 AthleticSupporter
CDNMoose: Kenny FTW
CDNMoose: I expect some crotch shots in the second half of this movie
AthleticSupporter: BONZAI!
AthleticSupporter: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MXC

While we were out making jackass comments, more fighting and orders from the higher-ups.

elric: note ordering suicide charge?

Several men are down in the caves and have apparently made a suicide pact of some sort. One by one they enable their grenades and hold them to their chests and, well, blow themselves up.


CDNMoose: Hmmm..they have failed, so…? why not blow themselves up?
CDNMoose: they don’t want to be prisoners?
elric: I guess the order was for suicide, not a suicide attack

Down to Saigo and one other guy who may be having doubts of the geniusness of this plan. Saigo may have just been the messenger…who knows? Oh yeah, those who speak Japanese, or those who have seen the English version of this film.

LFIJ - Gun on mitten strings

Pvt. Seko was always losing his gun until his mom remembered how she fixed his mitten problem when he was a kid.

Anyway, he and the other remaining dude decide that “suicide is not the answer” and take off from the death scene.

CDNMoose: just like in Hold’Em…last to act has the advantage
AthleticSupporter: “Screw you guys… I’m going home”
CDNMoose: and there goes the button

Out of nowhere, inside a tunnel, a Japanese soldier gets flamethrowed (could *too* be a verb).

CDNMoose: he picked the wrong day to wear paint thinner cologne
AthleticSupporter: the brand of his cologne was “Sex Panther”
CDNMoose: by Odeon
CDNMoose: 60% of the time,. it works every time
CDNMoose: though it smells like burnt hair and diaper

An American makes it into the cave and is, well, smacked down.

The Yanks are no longer pitching a shutout.

AthleticSupporter: their cave is decorated like many college dorms throughout america…with christmas lights
elric: where’s the Starry Nights Poster?
CDNMoose: I don’t see a flag in the window
AthleticSupporter: I was looking for the dave matthews band poster, but no go
CDNMoose: or beer bottles stacked in pyramids
AthleticSupporter: I think I did see the fraternity paddle though
elric: or the one with the two chicks making out
CDNMoose: “The Kiss”
CDNMoose: never heard of it (though I somehow knew it’s name. Odd).

AthleticSupporter: every dorm room I ever had also came with a pot dealing roomate.
elric: not mine. my roommates were of the non drug-dealing persuasion
CDNMoose: AthleticSupporter, I was never your roommate. Stop lying
elric: can’t say the same about the guys across the hall though

AthleticSupporter: one of my roomates had a semi-celeb. dad.
elric: Ken Watanabe?
AthleticSupporter: nope, not ken. the guy that played Grossman on CHiPs
CDNMoose: bwahahahahahah
CDNMoose: <– old enough to remember that
AthleticSupporter: me too
elric: not I
AthleticSupporter: I met him… his favorite bands are Pearl Jam and the Doors

See? And you didn’t think you were gonna learn anything reading this.

CDNMoose: oh yeah…tense movie
elric: there are a lot of caves in big titty
CDNMoose: this is where they find out the island is inside a national park….and it’s modern times
elric: that’s actually one of the two Shamalamalamalyan movies I like
AthleticSupporter: I hadn’t seen it… thanks for ruining it!
CDNMoose: Unbreakable being the other, I’m sure
elric: yup

AthleticSupporter: I think that’s the only plot of a movie we are going to spoil in this chat
elric: I think so too. I liked the color work in The Village
CDNMoose: when we discover that Bruce Willis was a dead chick?
elric: living dead girl?
CDNMoose: same diff. neither can press charges

AthleticSupporter: this movie is slow… when do we get to the seppuku?
elric: you know, a Rob Zombie soundtrack would make this movie much . . .
CDNMoose: …less enjoyable?
elric: yeah, I think so
CDNMoose: …more surreal?
elric: I couldn’t come up with anything else
CDNMoose: …less commercial?
AthleticSupporter: ..appealing to dirtbags
elric: . . . more tainted by Rob Zombie

At night time, a nightfall counter attack is happening

elric: another night raid? hell, haven’t they figure out that these things don’t work?
CDNMoose: that’s life in the Big Titty
elric: Big Trouble in Big Titty?
CDNMoose: *classic* Kuribayashi strategy
CDNMoose: “at night, we can’t see the dead bodies, ergo…no casualties”

LFIJ - Night attack

Seriously…it might work this time…

Kuribayashi is briefed. We’re assuming it’s not great news.

elric: what piece of sobering news is left to tell Kuribayashi at this point?
AthleticSupporter: that somebody saved a bunch of money by switching to geico?
elric: truly sobering

The next day, in the caves…

elric: do tell
CDNMoose: “I lived in California for awhile”
CDNMoose: see?
CDNMoose: I’m a natural

Okay…so it was just an American prisoner talking to Equestrian dude in English (good thing we had the Japanese subtitles).

Perhaps I’m not so smart after all.

elric: oh so it’s this guy’s Barbaro that got bombed
CDNMoose: now you know why he was so sad
AthleticSupporter: and got my ass kicked by Jesse Owens

Since we have cut away from the American G.I….

elric: I went back to not being to understand this movie
CDNMoose: I lost it too
CDNMoose: shit

We flash to the village again. An officer comes to a house and puts the Rising Sun flag out front, then sees they have a dog.

He threatens to shoot the dog, then doesn’t kill the dog. We don’t know what this means.

We guess dogs aren’t allowed ‘cuz they’re loud and it was supposed to be shot, but dude couldn’t do it.

As it turns out, his partner, however, is not a PETA fan.

AthleticSupporter: they are going to skewer the dog
CDNMoose: don’t stereotype, AthleticSupporter (no matter how tasty that will be on a bed of rice). It’s not nice.
AthleticSupporter: … I’m just sayin.
elric: and the children?
elric: is the dog a werewolf or something?
CDNMoose: awooooooooooo
AthleticSupporter: dinner!
AthleticSupporter: damn… they fooled me
AthleticSupporter: “you motherfucker”
CDNMoose: It’s all coming apart!
CDNMoose: (or something)
CDNMoose: is this 1944? or 1932?
AthleticSupporter: so many twists and turns in this movie… they do kill the dog… they don’t kill it… they do kill it
AthleticSupporter: I guess they had to have SOMETHING that we didn’t know the ending of to stick in the movie.
elric: that’s a spoiler I suppose
CDNMoose: what? that the dog dies?

We flashback to pre-war where Kuribayashi dines with one of the dudes from “Desperate Housewives”.

elric: I can understand again!
AthleticSupporter: oh thank god
CDNMoose: when does Eva Longoria come on?
AthleticSupporter: the subtitles are saying something about “evil empire of infidels”

Desperate Dude gives Kuribayashi a 1911 Colt .45 as a gift.

Ahhh, this is the gun that Saigo was staring at earlier. It’s alllll coming together, people.

AthleticSupporter: Colt 45? Where’s Billy Dee Williams when you need him?
CDNMoose: yeah, like he’d choose to fight for Japan
elric: Lando would fight for Japan?
AthleticSupporter: him, harrison ford, chewbacca, and princess leia
CDNMoose: only if there was money in it

AthleticSupporter: deadon related info: we are getting hits from people searching for “japanese girls without panties”
CDNMoose: I wish!
AthleticSupporter: no .. we are
AthleticSupporter: http://technorati.com/posts/tag/japanese-girls-without-panties
elric: not surprised there
CDNMoose: but…did they stick around and browse?
CDNMoose: I’m guessing the Babel liveblog isn’t *exactly* what they were looking for
AthleticSupporter: they probably left when they found out we had no japanese panties
AthleticSupporter: so they left to go find a torrent of it.
elric: but there were japanese schoolgirls without panties in Babel
elric: I’m blind! find me a Tincture!
CDNMoose: yeah, that’s why I made the tag. To get those people coming to the site.
CDNMoose: I will not, however, use it here. Fucking military prudes with their panties.

Back in the caves, we see the injured at night.

AthleticSupporter: get him a body bag, yeah!
elric: Chocolate Mousse?
CDNMoose: “So long, Deja Vu…I will remember you!”

One dude (could be Equestrian guy) is wearing a bandage over his eyes. I can’t tell if it’s him because he’s lost that glamourous pseudo-ascot thing he had on the whole movie.

CDNMoose: oh, but the blindness…right.
elric: not that there’s anything to see in the caves anyway
CDNMoose: if they drank the water in the tunnels, they could “see” the music

AthleticSupporter: The Japanese are masterful spelunkers.
CDNMoose: stereotype!
elric: stereotype?
elric: Japanese people are blind spelunkers?
CDNMoose: exactly
AthleticSupporter: Japanese people are blind spelunkers who are good at math, like electronic gadgets and are afraid of GOJIRA!
elric: don’t forget the porn
CDNMoose: and the panty-less-ness
AthleticSupporter: .. yes, and like anime porn
elric: and eating/randomly executing household pets

CDNMoose: give the blind guy a rifle…what could possibly go wrong?
AthleticSupporter: he’s about to go kurt cobain on …..
AthleticSupporter: himself?
AthleticSupporter: the americans?
elric: as opposed to . . .
CDNMoose: kurt did both
AthleticSupporter: ya, I guess if he shot the americans the cobain reference would be not quite as apropros
CDNMoose: kurt killed a Japanese guy?
elric: a blind Japanese guy?
elric: is that what Pennyroyal Tea is about?
AthleticSupporter: who looked like a racoon
CDNMoose: that may explain his angst
elric: I think I like that interpretation of the song. I’ll use it from here on out
CDNMoose: sounds about right
CDNMoose: <– singing it in his head right now to search for the significance
AthleticSupporter: I think this movie could be summed up with the title of another Nirvana song
AthleticSupporter: “Territorial Pissings”
CDNMoose: Mr. Moustache?
elric: Moist Vagina?
CDNMoose: Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge On Seattle?
elric: Heart Shaped “Dick in a” Box?
CDNMoose: if so, we have to include Rape Me
CDNMoose: that’s not good for anyone
AthleticSupporter: ok, I take it back… Nirvana should have done the soundtrack, for sureAthleticSupporter: I’m not sure if that’s topical to a war in the pacific.

Outside, a line of soldiers is wandering the hills.

elric: so what’s going on in the movie now? why are they just walking around?
AthleticSupporter: I’ve been asking that question the entire 1:49 we have spent so far
CDNMoose: English!
CDNMoose: they are surrendering
CDNMoose: or he has a runny nose
CDNMoose: a runny, runny nose
CDNMoose: good thing the Japanese subtitles are there for us
elric: otherwise we’d have no clue
AthleticSupporter: oddly.. the movie makes less sense when they are speaking english

The Americans decide not to keep the prisoners. Bing. Bang. Boom. They are shot.

CDNMoose: he waved that kerchief in a most threatening manner
AthleticSupporter: ..coming down the mountain
CDNMoose: hence the music?
AthleticSupporter: just thunder
CDNMoose: the delicate sound of…?
elric: like an avalanche, coming down the mountain?
CDNMoose: more like a rock, apparently
AthleticSupporter: “I was strong as I could be.”
AthleticSupporter: and we are back at Bob Seger
AthleticSupporter: … up the hill

There is running. And shooting.

elric: what the hell?
AthleticSupporter: this looks like where we might get a payoff for running around to dodge bullets
AthleticSupporter: *cue the benny hill music*

Back in the caves…

elric: so it seems that they’re down to the last cave?
AthleticSupporter: <still in the cave>

Kuribayashihas seemingly resigned himself that it is over.

CDNMoose: “I fucked up. I fucked up bad”
CDNMoose: “trying to tell them the world’s funniest joke to slay them instead of using guns was not such a good idea”
CDNMoose: “probably because they don’t speak Japanese”
elric: it worked for the British
AthleticSupporter: translation: “Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I’m just a caveman. I fell on some ice and later got thawed out by some of your scientists. Your world frightens and confuses me!”

elric: a bunch of shrill Japanese kids singing is just what I want to hear before I go and get myself shot
AthleticSupporter: I don’t know why, but I hate hearding groups of children singing.
CDNMoose: “hearding groups”?
elric: like herding cats
CDNMoose: because they spend so much time training the flock, they never learned how to sing in key?
AthleticSupporter: Michael Jackson, on the other hand, loves it

AthleticSupporter: hearding, cats, children, elephants, monkeys, jesus juice, purple mushrooms… all of the above
CDNMoose: purple mushrooms…LIKE IN CENTIPEDE!?!?!

One last charge…

elric: Kuribayashi’s last charge?
CDNMoose: *classic* Kuribayashi

CDNMoose: “Now lets get over the line and get this tickle fight started!”
AthleticSupporter: now now… don’t they know tickling never solves anything?
elric: guns don’t kill people, tickling kills people
CDNMoose: only if you do it right

They head down the mountain once again.

AthleticSupporter: more spelunking.
elric: dawn breaks over big titty
AthleticSupporter: …down the mountain
AthleticSupporter: is that what the oscar peeps look for. up a mountain, down a mountain, up a mountain, down a mountan, kill a guy or 20, up a mountain, down a mountain.
CDNMoose: worked for “Ordinary People”
AthleticSupporter: and Cast Away… minus the death in the middle
CDNMoose: Wilson bought it
CDNMoose: that counts
AthleticSupporter: wilson totally got hosed on his Best Supporting Actor Oscar
CDNMoose: it’s all politics
elric: and blowjobs
AthleticSupporter: the Spalding people were on the nominating committee
CDNMoose: besides, he wasn’t all-natural. he had work done. he was totally inflated.

Kuribayashi shoots himself in the chest and Saigo drags him somewhere to be buried.

AthleticSupporter: so un-japanese…. don’t they know suicide is to be done by Seppuku
CDNMoose: but that way it’s painless
CDNMoose: it brings on many changes

His sword is picked up from the dead soldier by an American…

CDNMoose: soon to be seen again In Pulp Fiction
elric: Zed?
AthleticSupporter: I can sell this on QVC

…as is his Colt .45.

CDNMoose:Man, he really liked that gun. *sniff*

Saigo swings his shovel wildly as the Americans decide whether or not to shoot him. They don’t.

And we cut to…

CDNMoose: ahhh…scientists. Back to present day.
AthleticSupporter: archeologists digging up the latrines

Not quite latrines, but what they were digging for and found were a metric pantload of letters.

You know. Letters. From Iwo Jima.

CDNMoose: nice rack for an end shot
AthleticSupporter: that profile of that hill is so paleo-erotic
CDNMoose: oh yeah, baby…
elric: All Quiet on the Big of her Front

The End.

Credits roll.

CDNMoose: any other notes?
AthleticSupporter: we came in under on the GOJIRA! references
CDNMoose: true!
elric: very true
AthleticSupporter: +3 on video games
CDNMoose: geeks, all
elric: only a couple of comments about eating dogs

A solid movie, really. Probably would have even been better if we understood a word of what they were saying.


“Letters” is an 8-to-1 longshot on Sunday. I’m gonna put a couple of bucks on it. Could happen (though I know it won’t).AthleticSupporter



1. Texas Gal - Friday, February 23, 2007

OK, wow. How y’all could watch this with no subtitles is beyond me- you are all heroes to the cause.

2. steve - Friday, February 23, 2007

Our ability to put up with incomprehensible things were fostered by two things:

1) Alcohol
2) A lifetime of not understanding women, yet liking them anyway.

3. steve - Friday, February 23, 2007

This liveblog was probably the closest to MST3K, in that we really did kind of have to make up the story, rather than riff on what we were actually watching.

4. cdnmoose - Friday, February 23, 2007

Yes, it was just like MST3K..but minus the humour and the robots.

Oh, and the fact that we weren’t trapped in space at the time.

5. steve - Friday, February 23, 2007

cdnmoose: speak for yourself

6. cdnmoose - Friday, February 23, 2007

Steve, you’re a robot?

7. steve - Friday, February 23, 2007

I’m a sophisticated sex robot sent back through time to change the future for one lucky lady….. ladies?

8. the_bad_one - Friday, February 23, 2007

The movie was better with the subtitles, in the sense that you actually knew what was going on, but you did manage to miss some colossal anvils in the script. Like the part where Saigo literally says “I’m just a simple baker.” I think it’s in the Best Picture competition mostly because of its pedigree and the perspective it’s told from, not because the actual movie is that brilliant.

9. Elric VIII Emperor of Melnibone - Friday, February 23, 2007

I dunno – for all the confusion, I think our version’s pretty solid. What with the Bob Seger music hill and all.

I did think Clint Eastwood stole a ton of iconic shots from other movies, although I couldn’t tell how intentional it was.

10. gymclassheroes - Tuesday, February 27, 2007


Wilson would’ve been Tachikara in this movie…which, oddly enough translates as “Wilson”. Who knew?

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12. dofus hack - Wednesday, August 28, 2013

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