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James Hadfield

For James Hadfield's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Captain America: Civil War: Marvel shows Superman how it's done

Apr 27, 2016

Captain America: Civil War: Marvel shows Superman how it's done

Have we reached peak superhero yet? After spending the winter months watching “Jessica Jones” and “Daredevil” on Netflix, viewers can now subject themselves to a barrage of comic-book spectacle at their local multiplex. Following last month’s clattering, messy “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” ...

Youth: Sorrentino gets extra sentimental

Apr 13, 2016

Youth: Sorrentino gets extra sentimental

“I don’t want to read any more of it, write any more of it, I don’t even want to talk about it anymore,” said the novelist Philip Roth in 2012, as he announced his retirement from literature. “I’m tired of all that work. I’m ...

3-D pornography is still pornography

Mar 30, 2016

3-D pornography is still pornography

During the heyday of Japan’s “pink films” (cinematic porn) in the 1960s and ’70s, directors were given free rein over their pictures as long as they included at least one sex scene per reel. For the late Koji Wakamatsu, perhaps the genre’s most famous ...

The Nihilist Spasm Band: 51 years later it's still chaos

Mar 13, 2016

The Nihilist Spasm Band: 51 years later it's still chaos

Japanese TV had never seen anything like it. During the final episode of irreverent variety show “Tamori’s Music is the World” in March 1996, viewers were introduced to a group of silver-haired Canadians billed as “the Rolling Stones of noise music” — a sobriquet ...

The Greek auteur who cooked up 'The Lobster'

Mar 9, 2016

The Greek auteur who cooked up 'The Lobster'

When a gifted director ditches their native tongue and starts working in English, it can be a fraught process. For every Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, there’s a Wong Kar-wai or Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, whose career still hasn’t recovered since he parlayed the Oscar triumph ...

Odious politicians could learn from 'Escobar: Paradise Lost'

Mar 9, 2016

Odious politicians could learn from 'Escobar: Paradise Lost'

As Donald Trump closes in on the U.S. presidency, it’s worth remembering that the demagogic real-estate mogul is far from the most odious individual to have pursued a career in politics. Take Pablo Escobar, for instance: The notorious drug kingpin briefly served as a ...

Tarantino has a lot to say about nothing in 'The Hateful Eight'

Feb 24, 2016

Tarantino has a lot to say about nothing in 'The Hateful Eight'

Stranded by a blizzard in the wilds of post-Civil War Wyoming, a posse of Quentin Tarantino alumni convenes at a remote cabin for a murderous reunion party. They’re an impressive bunch — weathered, whiskered and heavily armed — but their master’s wit seems to ...

Apple fans get a fairly good origin story

Feb 11, 2016

Apple fans get a fairly good origin story

‘It’s like five minutes before every launch, everyone goes to a bar and gets drunk and tells me what they really think,” laments Steve Jobs (Michael Fassbender) during the closing stretch of Danny Boyle’s buoyant, breathless biopic. Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin has done an ingenious ...

Japan's unofficial rebuttal to 'The Cove'

Feb 10, 2016

Japan's unofficial rebuttal to 'The Cove'

For the past few weeks I’ve been having flashbacks of a video that a vegan acquaintance posted on Facebook. Shot on a hidden camera, it depicted hundreds of fluffy male chicks getting conveyed into an industrial grinder, their punishment for being deemed surplus to ...