Haunted School: The Curse of the Word Spirit, Bolt from the Blue, Eagle and Hawk, Oh! Father, Our Family, The Right Way to Forget, Death Blog the Movie Japanese Film Trailers

Still the Water On SetCannes is underway and I’ve been sucked into the hype by constantly checking the film reviews and videos over at The Guardian and the info on Bonjour Tristesse. The Japanese entries are splitting the critics; The Tale of Princess Kaguya is wowing everyone while Naomi Kawase’s Still the Water is receiving mixed reviews (Peter Bradshaw reviews it in this video an does a better job of explaining it on film… digitally, I should say, than in text). Alas, I’m not at Cannes but I can watch films and so on Monday I did a double-bill of Blue Ruin followed by The Wind Rises and both films blew me awaaaaaaaay. Expect long reviews next week.

This week I posted about Third Window Films and its release of the Korean drama Bleak Night. Bringing things back to festival hype, I posted about the Kotatsu Japanese Animation Film Festival which takes place next month. I also updated the Japanese Films at Cannes post with a trailer and a clip for Still the Water.

What’s released in Tokyo this weekend???

Haunted School: The Curse of the Word SpiritHaunted School The Curse of the Word Spirit Film Poster

Japanese Title:  学校の怪談 呪いの言霊

Romaji: Gakko no Kaidan Noroi no Kotodama

Running Time: 105 mins

Release Date: May 23rd, 2014 (Japan)

Director: Masayuki Ochiai

Writer: Toru Tsunemitsu (Original Novel), Masayuki Ochiai (Screenplay),

Starring: Ayano Konishi, Miyu Yamabe, Hitomi Arai, Yuri Nakae, Mei Shoji, Shono Hayama, Kai Inowaki, Tatsuya Kuroki, Kohei Takeda, Anna Ishibashi

The first and only Ochiai film I have reviewed was Infection which I thought was a fun and gooey J-horror.  He now enters the teen horror realm with an adaptation of a novel.

Ayano (Konishi) and her friends discover that a school was the location of a fatal gas attack. After finding out about this, the girls start experiencing strange things like hearing breathing in empty classrooms and seeing shadows… Another girl, Hitomi (Arai) enters the school to shoot a horror video and capture sight of a fox’s window which leads to the spirit world…



Bolt from the Blue   Bolt from the Blue Film Poster

Japanese Title:  青天の霹靂

Romaji: Seiten no Hekireki

Running Time: 96 mins

Release Date: May 24th, 2014 (Japan)

Director: Hitori Gekidan

Writer: Hitori Gekidan (Original Novel/Screenplay), Atsuko hashibe (Screenplay)

Starring: Yo Oizumi, Kou Shibasaki, Hitori Gekidan, Seiya Kimura

This is the second novel adaptation of the weekend and it’s directed and adapted for the screen by the actor Hitori Gekidan. It stars Yo Oizumu (The Detective at the Bar) and Kou Shibasaki (Battle Royale, One Missed Call, 47 Ronin).

A magician named Haruo (Oizumi) wants to be the best in his field but he’s off to a poor start and nobody is going to listen to his problems especially since he has no parents. Then he travels back in time by around 40 years and discovers the secret of his birth…



Eagle and Hawk   Eagle and Hawk Film Poster

Japanese Title:  鷲と鷹

Romaji: Washi to Taka

Running Time: 102 mins

Release Date: May 24th, 2014 (Japan)

Director: Mikio Osawa

Writer: Hitori Gekidan (Original Novel/Screenplay), Atsuko hashibe (Screenplay)

Starring: Mikio Osawa, Kazumi Morohoshi, Ritsuko Tanaka, Shun Sugata, Daisuke Motoki, Shinji Takehara, Izam

Lead actors Mikio Osawa and Kazumi Morohoshi were part of the idol group Hikaru Genji. They have now made the transfer to the silver screen in this gangster film. Despite being idols, these guys aren’t totally newbie actors and they have strong support from the likes of Shun Sugata (Heat After Dark, Eyes of the Spider) and Hitoshi Ozawa (Dead or Alive, Boiling Point, Score).

Seiji Washio (Osawa) and Kazuya Takamura (Morohoshi) were once friends but split when Kazuya became a police detective and Seiji a yakuza gangster. Things change when Kazuya needs Seiji to spy on his gang which is in the middle of a war with rival forces.



Oh! Father   Oh! Father Film Poster

Japanese Title:  オー!ファーザー

Romaji: O ! Faza

Running Time: 102 mins

Release Date: May 24th, 2014 (Japan)

Director: Michihito Fujii

Writer: Kotaro Isaka (Original Novel), Michihito Fujii (Screenplay)

Starring: Masaki Okada, Shiori Kutsuna, Shiro Sano, Masahiko Kawahara, Daisuke Miyagawa, Jun Murakami, Akira Emoto

Warner Bros Japan are back adapting another novel which makes this the fourth adaptation of this weekend.

Yukio (Okada) is a high school student who lives with his mother and four different fathers. Four? Well his mother falls in love a lot and these four guys live with her. Guys like Satoru (Sano), a professor who oversees Yukio’s education, Taka (Kawahara), a gambler with excellent intuition, Mamoru (Murakami), an ex-club host who gives advice on women to Yukio, and Isao (Miyagawa), a P.E. teacher who likes mixed martial arts. With these four backing him, Yukio should be unstoppable but he gets involved in a strange crime and he needs them to save him! Also joining in is Taeko (Kitsuna), a girl from Yukio’s class who tells others that she’s his girlfriend…



Sake-Bomb                                                                            Sake-Bomb Film Poster 2

Running Time: 82 mins

Release Date: May 24th, 2014 (Japan)

Director: Junya Sakino

Writer: Jeff Mizushima (Screenplay),

Starring: Gaku Hamada. Eugene Kim, Marlane Barnes, Josh Brodis, Samatha Quan, Hiroyuki Watanabe

I saw Sake-Bomb and interviewed its director at last year’s Raindance Film Festival. While the film is well made it didn’t rock my world but at least I can copy and paste the info here!

Naoto (Hamada) is a shy guy who just happens to have inherited a brewery. When his boss gives him a week off work, he heads to Los Angeles where he hooks up with his cousin Sebastian (Kim), a guy who hates Asian stereotypes and American attitudes to Asians. Naoto wants to look for his lost love and so Sebastian leads him on a road-trip. Hilarity ensues as they go on a journey both physical and metaphorical…



Our Family   Our Family Film Poster

Japanese Title:  ぼくたちの家族

Romaji: Bokutachi no Kazoku

Running Time: 117 mins

Release Date: May 24th, 2014 (Japan)

Director: Yuya Ishii

Writer: Kazumasa Hayami (Original Novel), Yuya Ishii (Screenplay)

Starring: Satoshi Tsumabuki, Mieko Harada, Sosuke Ikematsu, Kyozo Nagatsuka, Mei Kurokawa, Yusuke Santamaria, Shingo Tsurumi, Mikako Ichikawa

Yuya Ishii is back following his success with The Great Passage which swept more than a few trophies at the Japanese academy awards. His latest project has toured the festival circuit already and it has gotten good reviews. It’s based on a semi-autobiographical book and deals with everything from disease to a stagnant economy and is very serious.

Reiko (Harada) hasn’t been feeling good lately. She is getting forgetful and it looks like she may have Alzheimer’s… It’s worse. Cancer. Her family, split apart due to disputes unite around her. Husband Katsuaki (Nagatsuka), first son Kousuke (Tsumabuki), and second Son Shunpei (Ikematsu) rally around her when she finally starts t speak her mind and tells of her desire for everyone to get together again.



Kikaida Reboot   Kikaida_Reboot-p1

Japanese Title:  キカイダー REBOOT

Romaji: Kikaida Reboot

Running Time: N/A

Release Date: May 24th, 2014 (Japan)

Director: Kento Shimoyama

Writer: Shotaro Ishinomori (Original Manga), Kento Shimoyama (Screenplay)

Starring: Jingi Irie, Aimi Satsukawa, Kazushige Nagashima, Shingo Tsurumi, Renji Ishibashi, Hirotaro Honda,

Yet another adaptation only this one is from a manga from Shotaro Ishinomori.

In near future Japan, robotics expert Nobuhiko Komyoji leads the “ARK Project” and creates Robot Kikaider (Irie). After Nobuhiko dies in mysterious circumstances, Kikaider launches a mission to take down ARK!



The Right Way to Forget   The Right Way to Forget Film Poster (2)

Japanese Title:  正しく忘れる

Romaji: Tadashiku Wasureru

Running Time: 90 mins

Release Date: May 24th, 2014 (Japan)

Director: Masayuki Inoue

Writer: Masayuki Inoue (Screenplay)

Starring: Marie Ono, Shota Sometani, Masayoshi Shinoda, Hiroyuki Suzuki,   Taichi Nagasawa,

This is the 2010 drama about a woman named Haruko Yamamura (Ono) who lost her father to suicide and cannot forget him. She joins a group for people coping with suicide and meets a young man named Yukio (Sometani) and the two get caught up in each other’s lives…



Kawashita-san wa nando mo yattekuru   Kawashita-san wa nando mo yattekuru Film Poster

Japanese Title:  川下さんは何度もやってくる

Romaji: Kawashita-san wa nando mo yattekuru

Running Time: 82 mins

Release Date: May 24th, 2014 (Japan)

Director: Shinji Imaoka

Writer: Shinji Imaoka (Screenplay)

Starring: Hiroshi Sato, Takuya Sakurai, Fumio Moriya, Shingo Mizusawa

This film comes from prolific director Shinji Imaoka who was last on my radar for his screenplay adaptation of The Drudgery Train. This time he is back doing pink films and in this film a man named Kawashita who died after committing suicide comes back to life and gets his friend Imanishi to help him get a woman…



Death Blog the Movie   Death Blog Film Poster

Japanese Title:  デスブログ 劇場版

Romaji: Desu burogu Gekijouban

Running Time: 82 mins

Release Date: May 24th, 2014 (Japan)

Director: Masaaki Jindo

Writer: Masaaki Jindo,Kazuhiro Imagawa, (Screenplay)

Starring: Mika Akizuki, Rino Aoki, Yuki Endo, Kanon Miyahara, Kana Nakada, Yumiko Takahashi, Toya Morita

Idol Kana Nakata of Nogizaka 46 takes the lead in a J-horror with high school girls getting picked off by mysterious forces when they wind up on a blog called unhappiness. Writing blog content can be deadly! Death Note… I mean Death Blog.

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