Saturday, 26 April 2014

My Trip to Toho Studios

Toho Studios Japan.

Well this was a pain to find, after doing some research before we went to Japan I saw a picture of Toho studios with a statue of Godzilla outside with his tail smashing through some concrete and a huge painting on the studio wall of The Seven Samurai, I had to go so on our travel plans it went!  The map off of Google looked simple enough to follow, exit the station and you’ll see a KFC, Follow the road straight down and then slightly to the left and there you have Toho studio’s, no, not that  simple, We left the station and spotted KFC straight away, followed the road straight down and slightly to the left, walked through a park which was a very nice park I must say but ended up on what appeared to be a busy duel carriage way with bridges everywhere, I think we were lost.

Now being a geek (and proud!) and a huge Godzilla fan I donned my Godzilla T-shirt for the trip and photo opportunity with the statue and the Samurai, As I said we were lost and when I spotted a car park security guard I thought  “ I know, if he doesn’t speak very good English I’ll just point to my T-Shirt” But it was to no avail, My Japanese is terrible and the even  me pointing to my T-shirt and  using the Japanese “Goijira” to him just ended up with him smiling very politely and nodding his head, He must have thought I was a right weirdo!  
We walked, Walked some more, then some more. Up a hill, Down a hill, around a corner but I had no idea where we were going I was well and truly lost. Before we went to Japan we had planned in Tokyo as our last stop for a few days and Emma bless her for her patience said that why don’t we have “Jonny Friday!” a day just for me involving Kaiju toy hunting and a trip to Toho Studios. So with getting lost and looking at my watch it was getting later and later and eating big time into Jonny Friday, I was ready to give up, But Emma said we have come this far we will find it! We wondered around what seemed to be the 100th corner when Emma said “Stop, show me the map, I'm sure I recognise the name of that furniture centre” so out came the map and there it was the furniture centre with Toho Studios on the map a few 100 yards away, Had we finally found it? Yes we had! As I walked further up the road I saw it slightly hid behind some stunning cherry blossom trees a sign for the legendary Toho Studios.

So we walked up to the studio and I spotted him, yes Godzilla! Standing around 7ft tall the detail was amazing, I was thinking of ideas/angles for my photo’s when a Japanese lady with a small child on the front of her bike who was holding a cool Ultraman toy came and sat in front of it, The child obviously loved it but all I could selfishly think was “how long you going to be, I want a photo!” After 5 minutes or so they left, The only people there were me and Emma and a man who worked for the studio who appeared to have the never ending task of sweeping up the cherry blossom. To the right of Godzilla is a huge wall with a painting of the Seven Samurai and when I say huge I mean HUGE, it was amazing to see the scale of it just looking up, A great memory to have.  

Now unfortunately you can’t get access into Toho Studios only on certain days do they open their doors for special tours but our time in Japan didn’t coincide with one of these dates, But saying that I did take a sneaky photo down the side of the entrance where I spotted Mothra! The people at the reception desk were looking at me a bit odd but I’m sure I’m not the 1st or even last geek they will have to look at, So I though sod it I’m only here once, let’s get a photo!

So with no one around it was photo time with The King of the Monsters! As I said the detail on the statue is amazing and it was quite a surreal thing to see him covered in falling cherry blossom, one thing is for sure though if I ever win the lottery I am commissioning one to be made and he’s going in my garden! (sorry Emma!)









So that was our trip to Toho Studios, Thanks to Emma’s patience we found it. We then wondered back up the road, back to the station and got lost again! This time we found ourselves wondering through an housing estate and down a huge hill which I commented on “ I wouldn’t fancy walking back up that!” but I did, we were knackered but found a vending machine, got some weird tasting fruity water and spotted a bus that had our station name on it, We decided no matter how long the bus journey took us we were getting on it, 2 stops later and literally 3 minute’s drive  we were at the station, we were just around the corner all the time! But what a great trip it was, now off to find some toys! Needless to say when hopefully we go back to Japan I’d love to go again and this time I’m going in! Below I have put a short video I took that hopefully gives some of the scale of the samurai wall and the king of monsters Goijira!(look out for the man with the broom!)
Jonny T.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Nordic Noir expansion continues with first Norwegian TV title "MAMMON"

Arrow Films’ Nordic Noir label continues to scour the globe in order to bring UK viewers the very best in foreign language film and television. Following the incredible success of Danish dramas The Killing and Borgen (which has just been nominated for its second TV BAFTA), the Danish/Swedish co-production The Bridge, and French title Braquo, Nordic Noir are pleased to announce the arrival of their first Norwegian television acquisition MAMMON.

To be released as a DVD box set and Digital Download on Monday May 5th, MAMMON is currently airing on C4’s sister channel More 4.

Drawing comparisons to the American political thriller All The President’s Men, MAMMON follows uncompromising investigative journalist Peter Verås, one of the country’s most well-respected writers, who uncovers evidence of serious financial fraud within the Norwegian government.

Delving further into the case, relying on information passed to him by an anonymous source, Verås discovers a shocking revelation – that his own brother is heavily involved in the illegal activity.

Struck with guilt and confusion, he has no choice but to continue the investigation and expose the truth, but as the story breaks, things become increasingly dangerous for him and his loved ones.


Release Date     Monday 5th May 2014
Language             Norweigan (English Subtitles)
Running Time    6 x 58mins
Directed by         Cecilie A. Mosli

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Monday, 14 April 2014

Japanese DVD'S!

So I made it back from Japan and what a fantastic place it was! First thing to say was that they are the most polite, Friendly and helpful people I have ever met. The other thing that really surprised me was the lack of DVD’s and Blu-Rays available, I was talking to a guy out there and he was saying that basically with Japanese society being so manic most people nowadays just download movies and TV shows to their portable devices, This would explain the cost of the DVD’s and Blu-Rays I saw, the new DVD’S are all around £18 each and Blu-Rays between £25-35! I went to various cities all over Japan and went to the likes of Tower Records and HMV but even those big retailers and very limited stock. The biggest stockist I saw was a chain called Book Off, they specialised in Mainly Manga comics and CD’s but did have a pretty good DVD range but once again they were very pricey, I have stuck some pictures below and 1000 Yen is equivalent to around £6, so the Gamera one was pretty cheap but it was on a value type label so the print was probably not great. Either way as a film geek like me it was great just to have the chance to go hunting and I did pick up a Day of the Dead for around £9, I had to buy something, Although bizarrely Book Off was still selling VHS! And most of the cinemas are owned by the great studio that is TOHO, Enjoy the pictures,
Jonny T. 


Manga Otaku (Geeks) Browsing in Book Off.

Yes they still sell VHS!

One Of many TOHO Cinemas.

A John Carpenter DVD Box-set!

A great Ghibli Collection

Expensive but great covers for Godzilla.

Jonny Sokko! (Thanks Misfitboy for telling me what it was!)

Have some Gamera!