Four trailers this week – two for the films occupying first and second in the Japanese box-office chart and one for a Japanese film due out some time this year. The fourth is for Guy Maddin’s latest.
A Ghost of a Chance
Japanese title: Suteki na Kanashibari (Once in a Blue Moon)
Released: October 2011
Running time: 142 min.
Director: Koki Mitani
Starring: Eri Fukatsu, Hiroshi Abe, Toshiyuki Nishida, Kiichi Nakai, Koji Yamamoto, Tadanobu Asano
This is currently reigning supreme for a second week at the top of the chart in Japan. It stars Eri Fukatsu who was excellent in the award-winning drama Villain and two of Japan’s coolest actors, Hiroshi Abe and Tadanobu Asano who both appeared in Survive Style 5+.
This legal drama/comedy revolves around Emi Hosho (Fukatsu) who is a lawyer representing a client accused of murdering his wealthy wife. He claims that he didn’t do it. His alibi? While staying in an inn he suddenly suffered sleep paralysyis. Checking out his story, Emi also suffers the same thing and discovers it is down to the ghost of a Sengoku era military commander named Rokubei Sarashina (Toshiyuki Nishida). Now all Emi has to do is get the ghost to testify in court!
YUREI!!!! Ahem. Sorry. The trailer looks like fun.
Released: November 2011
Running time: 133 min.
Director: Toya Sato
Starring: Tatsuya Fujiwara, Yusuke Iseya, Yuriko Yoshitaka, Teruyuki Kagawa, Katsuhisa Namase
Sitting at number two in the chart is a live-action film named Kaiji based on the massively popular gambling manga/anime of the same name. This stars Tatsuya Fujiwara of Battle Royale and Death Note fame and also has Teruyuki Kagawa of Tokyo Sonata. I am intrigued as to whether the film will capture the madness of the source. Here’s the trailer.
Kaiji (Tatsuya Fujiwara) is a gambler who has run up debts of 200 million yen and he has to clear it in two weeks. He has been here before so what is his plan this time? To take on the toughest pachinko machine out there. This machine is named the swamp and offers a payout of over 1 billion yen. There’s a catch, The swamp is controlled by an illegal casino operation named Teai and a shadowy figure named Seiya Ichizo (Yusuke Iseya) controls the machine and ensures it never pays the jackpot. In order to beat the machine Kaiji recruits people Teai have hurt including Yumi Ishida (Yuriko Yoshitaka) who is the daughter of a man killed by Teai, Yukio Tonegawa (Teruyuki Kagawa) who lost his job thanks to Teai and the daughter a former Teai employee named Kotaro Sakazaki (Katsuhisa Namase).
Running time: N/A
Director: Takanori Tsujimoto
Starring: Yuma Ishigaki, Yasuaki Kurata, Natsuki Kato, Karin Yamaguchi
Hard Revenge Milly. What a great title. What a great action film. The director of that is back with a thriller that centres on a police investigation tracking a serial killer. Why am I interested? The trailer looks fun and the director worked with Mamoru Oshii who I am a big fan of! Anyway Monster Killer received its premiere at the Tokyo International Film Festival.
At number three in the Japanese chart is The Three Musketeers. This was also at the Tokyo International Film Festival. It was the opening film. Hard to believe really.
Running time: N/A
Director: Guy Maddin
Starring: Jason Patric, Isabella Rossellini, Kevin McDonald, Udo Kier
After watching Maddin’s film, My Winnipeg, I became a fan of his. Keyhole is his latest project and is a gangster thriller based on Homer’s Odyssey. Just looking at the visuals confirm we are going into a very creepy place indeed!