In this edition of The Good, The Bad and the Ugly we have new Asian films worth going to see if they break on UK shores, underwhelming technology and fashion business trends:
|Cat Shit One – imagine a film that did for the war on terror what The Deer Hunter and Apocalypse Now did for the Vietnam War. Only as computer animation where the bad guys are camels and the protagonists are rabbits. That’s Cat Shit One.
Like most anime it is made up of short episodes with the first one in the can and available on DVD from Amazon.com. They are financing the production as they go so hence selling one 22-minute episode at a time.
The idea behind Cat Shit One is a manga series based in Vietnam and later low-intensity conflicts during the 1980s.
|In this case bad meaning good as Run DMC would say. Let The Bullets Fly is a Chinese film some of the best talent from Hong Kong. It is set in the chaotic times of the 1920s China. Much of the timing in it reminds me of Sergio Leone’s Dollar’s trilogy or My Name Is Nobody.
It’s good to see Chow Yun-Fat back in the heart of the Chinese film industry in a role that suits him better than Confucius.
|Akira – I love the original but the idea of Hollywood making a live action version of an anime film after the Avatar The Last Airbender car crash doesn’t bear thinking about. I am sure that they will probably try and dump down the story as well.|
|iPad – its not that the iPad is bad technology. It isn’t, it’s more that I can’t find a way to it it into my life. I think that the real gift of the iPad is that it has managed to press the reset button on the definition of PC, which had strayed of its homebrew roots of lean engineering to being a profligate waster of memory, power consumption and time.
The iPad is a cure for laptop shoulder providing much of the same functionality in a much lighter package.
But as a content creator I find my Mac laptop irreplaceable.
|3D – Let’s be honest about one thing first of all. 3D is all about making cinema films harder to pirate rather than primarily for audience enjoyment. Once you take that into account together with the divergent formats of 3D TVs it all looks like a consumer electronics car crash.
Glassless 3D displays from Toshiba have apparently been a bit of a disappointment. Let’s see if Nintendo can reinvigorate 3D for consumers, the way it did with moving console gaming beyond anti-social males with social inadequacy issues.
|Nokia’s phone range – Symbian has been written off, the low-end phones aren’t as interesting as other people are offering and the MeeGo devices have had the kosh laid on them. Whatever Nokia does to come back with won’t be in mobile or smartphone.
The deal with Microsoft is kind of like the insurance company that Xerox bought to keep the cash flow going whilst they perfected modern photocopying.
However if Nokia can’t win a sector it owned, how does it expect to come back with something completely new? It also has to make you wonder what will happen with Nokia Siemens Networks?
|Gyaru fashion – fashions that young Japanese women are shaking up the way the style business operates. Many of the looks come from the customer up. Fashion labels spring up in the Tokyo shopping areas of Shibuya and Harajuku but then find new ways of reaching a customer base: real world events, mobile commerce and e-commerce help customers from outside Tokyo get the latest styles.
Local brands also ensure that they provide fashions that suite the body types of their customers and even use ‘ordinary models’ rather than your traditional size zero clothes horse to show off the threads.
|Luxury wear – most of the real excitement seems to be happening in the board room as fashion labels either look to IPO in Hong Kong or get acquired as part of a large group like LVMH.
One of the most fascinating aspects of this industry is watching how the Asian markets change and mature at such a rapid rate. Things will get very interesting if the Chinese government drop the luxury good tax. This will cause a realignment in retail strategies and brands may look at new routes to market.
|Disposable fashion – high cotton prices and an increasing Chinese consumer market is starting to put a restriction on the high street cancer of disposable fashion and I will be glad to see the back of it.|