Author: Brian Watanabe

Trailer review: Cameron Crowe’s ‘Aloha’

Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone and a shaka in “Aloha.” I know what you’re thinking. Has it come to this? Have our attention spans atrophied so much that we’ve stooped to reviewing film trailers? Don’t you know trailers have more to…

10 Things I learned from ‘Boyhood’

Photo by Matt Lankes from the book “Boyhood Twelve Years on Film.” Sunday night, “Boyhood” won three Golden Globes for best director (Richard Linklater), best supporting actress (Patricia Arquette) and best drama. The ultimate coming-of-age story, filmed over the course…

Frolic gift guide: For the pop culturist

Is the term “pop culturist” just a fancy way of saying “nerd?” Yes. In the same way “wine enthusiast” is a fancy way of saying “wino.” The thing is, I’m too old to be a “nerd.” I’ve got kids. I’ve…

HIFF Q&A: Ty Sanga, ‘The Life of Pinky Thompson’

Ty Sanga wants to tell you a story. It starts in Kalihi where he grew up. His mother was first-generation Filipino and his father was Hawaiian-Chinese. They worked hard, so Ty did too. He worked room service at the Ihilani…

Q&A with HIFF’s Anderson Le

Photo courtesy of Bao Nguyen. Anderson Le has your dream job.   As programming director of the Hawaii International Film Festival since 2002, Le travels the world watching movies. While it’s more fun than typing TPS reports, his work is…

Hitchcocktober A-Z

Alfred Hitchcock directed over 52 films. To put that into perspective, that’s roughly the number of films directed by Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg, combined. Over his 50-year career, Hitch was an innovator, an icon and one of the most…

Happy 40th birthday, ‘Saturday Night Live’

It was Saturday night, May 21, 2005. The host was Lindsey Lohan and the musical guest was Coldplay. My then-girlfriend, now-wife, and I were living in New York City for almost two years, and we finally got tickets to “Saturday…

My summer in baby jail

When I told my wife I had an idea for a column called, “My summer in baby jail,” this was her reply… “Oh, you’re in baby jail? Oh, YOU’RE in baby jail? OH, YOU’RE IN BABY JAIL?” Then she threw…

The night Gecko Books bought out “Batman”

There’s a black and white photo hanging near the doorway in Gecko Books. It’s of a crowd in front of the Waikiki 3. “Batman” is on the marquee. It looks timeless, which seems antithetical for the ’80s. I always wondered…

12½ questions: Adam Braff, ‘Wish I Was Here.’

It was a good night for Adam Braff. Last night at Consolidated Theatres Kahala, a packed house was treated to the Hawaii premiere of “Wish I Was Here.” Braff co-wrote and produced the film with his brother, Zach Braff, who…

Movies that mean summer

For me, summertime means movies. But sometimes, those movies have meanings of their own. Movies are time travel. Like hearing your favorite summer song, films can uncork a flood of memories from the past. Does that mean in 20 years,…

Summer binge-watching guide

Ah, summer. For most in Hawaii that means sun, sand and sunburn. But for some (I know you’re out there), it means something else. This one goes out to the pale ones. The ones who ask: Why lie on the…

10½ questions: Kaui Hart Hemmings

Photo courtesy of Kaui Hart Hemmings It’s hard to believe this is only the beginning for Kaui Hart Hemmings. Her critically acclaimed first novel, “The Descendants,” was adapted into an Oscar-winning film directed by Alexander Payne. She walked on the…

“Bill & Ted” and the best of “Slacker Cinema”

In high school, I didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up. But I knew exactly what I was.I was a slacker.This Wednesday, “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure” is back on the big screen, part of Consolidated…

Review of ‘Frozen’ by a 3-year-old

Is a 3-year-old too young to watch a movie in the theatre? Probably.But this was a big deal for me. See, the first movie I remember seeing in a theatre was “Star Wars.” I was waaay too young to watch…

Here’s to the other guy: Top 5 Harold Ramis Films

My role models came from the movies. I grew up your typical ’80s child of divorce with a healthy distrust of adults. So I turned to the movies to meet the people I wanted to be. Han Solo. Indiana Jones.…

‘Sherlock’ Season 3 Premiere

People get passionate about good work.Just ask the roughly 450 die-hard fans that packed Consolidated Theatres Ward to watch the big screen premiere of “Sherlock” season 3. PBS Hawaii hosted the sneak preview, days before the show’s official debut this…

Top 5 Christmas movies not about Christmas

Fighting over mall parking? Done. Bulk gift card buying? Over. Your credit card bill? Don’t even think about it. It’s time to kick-back, have an adult beverage and wrap some gifts by the tree while watching your favorite holiday movie.…

Top 5 reasons to watch ‘Big Trouble in Little China’

“You can always tell somebody’s sense of humor by if they like this movie or not.” ~ Kurt Russell.Everybody relax, Jack Burton’s here. For a lot of die-hard “Big Trouble in Little China” fans, Wednesday’s special Hana Hou Picture Show…

Why you have to watch ‘Rear Window’

“If one were to ask, ‘What are the movies of Alfred Hitchcock like?’ You could show them “Rear Window” and in a sense, touch on everything in Hitchcock.” ~ Curtis Hanson (director, “L.A. Confidential”)When I was a kid, I remember…

Why ‘The Lost Boys’ Will Never Grow Old

“You’ll never grow old, Michael. And you’ll never die.”Those words, from a young Kiefer Sutherland in “The Lost Boys,” just might sum up our collective fascination with vampires. After all, not many of us dream about turning into bats and…

Enjoying ‘Sixteen Candles’ at age 16, 26 and 36.

How old were you when you first saw “Sixteen Candles”? It’s a question I asked myself when thinking about this fan favorite, which is back on the big screen for the Hana Hou Picture Show. I personally can’t remember the…