Japanese Fansubber Highlights! - Irozuku Fansubs

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Irozuku Subs is an incredible Japanese drama fansubber with an ever-increasing body of work. I love their subtitles, but also appreciate the respect they show official streaming platforms when a popular drama is picked up that way. They've actually stopped subbing dramas once VIKI has approved it (like Black Cinderella and Peanut Butter Sandwich), and I respect them for that choice since it shows a deeper appreciation of copyright laws and not wanting to overstep boundaries and also saving their energy for other projects. They even take on smaller, lesser-known, or publicized work which is AWESOME because these are usually the dramas that wouldn't get subbed otherwise.

🌸 Website: Irozuku Subs

🌸 Twitter: @irozukusubs

They offer hardsub downloads for anyone visiting their site, and softsubs to be joined with raw video files to anyone monetarily supporting them on Patreon. Fans can also buy them individual "coffee" which is a really great way to support your favorite fansubbers even if you don't have the funds to support them every month with a Patreon commitment.

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Rewatching Mel Brooks' The Twelve Chairs in 2022

Monday, April 18, 2022

I rewatch Mel Brooks' The Twelve Chairs (1970) every year. I suspect it's one of Brooks' lesser known comedies, but it's the only one of his films that I religiously watch because it has the least amount of crude content. Go figure!

The setting is 1927 Russia, a decade after the revolution. It's a satirical look at Russia, featuring three lead male characters whose ultimate goal is tied to greed.

Brooks, Moody, and Langella in The Twelve Chairs (1970)

Ippolit Vorobyaninov (Ron Moody) is the main "protagonist." He is a member of the deposed Russian aristocracy, a man born into great wealth, a man awash with pride and arrogance in his youth now brought low after his family's wealth was taken from them. His greed is found in the little things. When his mother-in-law is on her deathbed, his first thought is, "that poor woman, that poor woman," followed by "who is going to take care of me?" Empathy coupled with selfishness.

Langella in The Twelve Chairs (1970)

Ostep Bender (Frank Langella) is the second "protagonist." He is a communist, but first and foremost, he is about himself. His own security, his own safety, his own wellbeing, is his first and only priority. He has been taking care of himself all his life, and so there is nothing he will not stoop to so that he can continue to live. When his and Vorobyaninov's roads cross on a hunt for a dining room suite that inside one chair hides a fortune in jewels, it is the joining together of two equally selfish men.

Deluise and Langella in The Twelve Chairs (1970)

Father Fyodor (Dom Deluise) is the "antagonist" if you could call Ostep and Vorobyaninov protagonists. He takes Vorobyaninov's mother-in-law's final confession, learns about the jewels hidden in that dining room suite, and starts out on his own journey to find those chairs. His hunger for wealth is greater than his holy calling and he casts aside his faith.

Enjoy this fun scene from the film, one of my favorites because it showcases Dom Deluise's brilliant comedic talent!

I make them sound nasty because they really are. These are not likable men. They're laugh-so-hard-until-you-cry hilarious, but they're not nice. And you don't want to be them! These 3 lead characters will do ANYTHING to get this wealth. For Vorobyaninov, it's because he wants to be rich AGAIN. For Ostep, it's because he's never been wealthy, and the temptation of possibly having ENOUGH is overwhelming. And for Fyodor, he's done playing the holy game, and wants an OUT. Selfish motives, one and all, and it can be funny to watch selfish people chase a pipe dream.

Langella and Moody in The Twelve Chairs (1970)

It can also be scary.

Because we're seeing this happen right now, with Russia shamelessly chasing something they used to own, but is no longer theirs. They're doing the same old thing. Does it mean I think all Russians are like the men in The Twelve Chairs? No, of course not, but it is ironic that a Russian satirical story published in 1928 that features greedy men chasing vain ambition should still be so relevant in 2022, almost 100 years later. Maybe some things don't change.

The Twelve Chairs is hilarious. It's got so many belly-laughs in it. Even my sister loves it now, which she didn't when I wrote my Frank Langella and Mel Brooks Unite in The Twelve Chairs (1970) post back in 2016. But it was hard to rewatch it this year, in this moment, at this time. Because the concept is funny when it's a satirical comedy of selfish men, but it's not so funny when the man is someone with what feels like infinite power and what he's chasing isn't jewels hidden in an old chair, but an entire sovereign nation.

Brooks and Langella in The Twelve Chairs (1970)

Kudos to Mel Brooks, that marvelous man of Jewish Polish and Ukrainian heritage who created this movie. He also has a bit part to play as Vorobyaninov's old servant, Tikon, a hilarious role for a hilarious man.

Watch The Twelve Chairs. It's pretty clean with just a smidgeon of vulgarity. Now is the time. 

Note: I didn't make the GIFS, some kind person on Tumblr did.

Slava Ukraini

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