Sinbad: The Magical Lamp and the Moving Island, Something Like, Something Like It, Yoshimoto Shinkigeki Eiga `Saiyuki’, Enishi: the Bride of Izumo and other Japanese Film Trailers

Happy weekend, readers!

Hana-bi Miyuki's Photograph

2016 is off to a flying start with lots of movies with lots being released and in all genres but so far nothing I have written about has grabbed me as something to track down at international festivals. Speaking of festivals, I have three to write about and quite urgently. The Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme, Brick Lane Japanese Film Festival, and Rotterdam International Film Festival are all launching soon and I haven’t written a word despite having done the research. A combination of Fallout 4 (20 hours – too many since video games are procrastination – clocked since January 03rd) and mismanaged time has seen me let my schedule slip. Apologies. I also started helping out with film festivals and getting a bit more work. I can’t apologise for that because I enjoy helping out with film festivals 😉

What did I post this week? A review for the Takeshi Kitano film Hana-bi which I awarded 5/5 for the great story and fantastic visuals. It is on Blu-ray and has been released by Third Window Films.

What’s released this weekend?

Sinbad: The Magical Lamp and the Moving Island   

Sinbad The Magical Lamp and the Moving Island Film Poster
Sinbad The Magical Lamp and the Moving Island Film Poster

シンドバッド 魔法のランプと動く島Sinbad: Mahō no Lamp to Ugoku Shima

Release Date: January 16th, 2016

Running Time: 50 mins.

Director: Shinpei Miyashita,

Writer: Hiroyuki Kawasaki (Script Supervision), Kaeko Hayafune (Script)

Animation Production: Nippon Animation

Starring: Tomo Muranaka (Sinbad), Momoko Tanabe (Sana), Tadashi Miyazawa (Najib), Nao Nagasawa (Ali), Takeshi Kaga (Captain Razak),

Website ANN MAL

This is the sequel to an animated film released last year.

Synopsis from ANN: Sinbad and his friends run afoul of a storm while riding on the ship Bahal. Ali sights an island, which the ship heads toward to make repairs. Sinbad and Sana board a dinghy and land on the island. Sana sees a vision of a magical lamp, and Sinbad and the others set out to find it.



Something Like, Something Like It   

Something Like, Something Like It Film Poster
Something Like, Something Like It Film Poster

のようなもののようなもの No Yona Mono no Yona Mono

Release Date: January 16th, 2016

Running Time: 95 mins.

Director: Yasukazu Sugiyyama

Writer: Masaki Horiguchi (Screenplay)

Starring: Kenichi Matsuyama, Keiko Kitagawa, Katsunobu Ito, Pierre Taki, Denden, Ryohei Suzuki,

Website    IMDB

According to psycho-drama, this is a sequel to Yoshimitsu Morita’s debut film “Something Like It” from 1981.

Synopsis: Rakguo Master Shinkome (Isao Bito) is set to retire and asks Shinden (Kenichi Matsuyama) to find a former disciple, Shintoto (Katsunobu Ito), who has disappeared. Shinden visits ex-disciples in his search for Shintoto.

The next part of the synopsis comes from the Tokyo International Film Festival:

Shinden is an overly serious rakugo comic storyteller apprentice. He encounters his senior, Shintoto, who had given up rakugo to live a more carefree lifestyle. As Shinden deals with various struggles, he learns how to live a more appropriate, enjoyable life. Lifetime employment and the security of working for a major corporation have ended, so now it’s difficult to be assured of happiness, regardless of age…In spite of that, we want to convey to all of the “Something Like It” people of today just how wonderful it is to leave yesterday behind, and positively strive for a better tomorrow.


Slit Mouth Woman in LA   

Slit Mouth Woman in LA Film Poster
Slit Mouth Woman in LA Film Poster

口裂け女 in L.A. Kuchisake Onna in L.A.

Release Date: January 16th, 2015

Running Time: 104 mins.

Director: Akira Hirose, Hiro Kay, Kazuya Ogawa, Takeshi Sone

Writer: Akira Hirose, Hiro Kay, Kazuya Ogawa, Takeshi Sone (Screenplay),

Starring: Lauren Taylor, Megumi Ageishi, Courtney Bandeko, Stefanie Estes, Amelia Gotham, Eiji Inoue,

Website    IMDB

Synopsis IMDB: The rumor of Slit mouth woman is blasting in LA. Claire (Lauren Taylor) sees the nightmare of her every night. She met the professor of the urban legends research and talk about the phenomenon. She finds out that the incidents are not just Slit mouth woman but the other urban legends from Japan. The professor assumes that some of the homicides are relates to Japanese Urban Legends and ghosts, which are actually happened in LA. A few days later, she scared of illusion of Japanese Urban Legends and realizes that she herself is turning into the woman.


Yoshimoto Shinkigeki Eiga `Saiyuki’   

Yoshimoto Shinkigeki Eiga `Saiyuki' Film Poster
Yoshimoto Shinkigeki Eiga `Saiyuki’ Film Poster

よしもと新喜劇 映画「西遊喜」 Yoshimoto Shinkigeki Eiga `Saiyuki’

Release Date: January 16th, 2015

Running Time: 56 mins.

Director: Kazuki Kano

Writer: Takashi Matsumoto (Screenplay),

Starring: Medaka Ikeno, Suchi, Hiroshi Yoshida, Shiya Matssura, Ai Sakai, Reina Ikehata, Yumi Suenari

Website    IMDB

Synopsis: Journey to the West gets remade by a popular comedy troupe called “Yoshimoto new comedy” so we see comedians play the roles of Goku (Hiroshi Yoshida), Sanzo (Suchi) the priest and more as they head to India to look for Buddhist scriptures. Along the way they meet allies and supernatural creatures… or at least that’s what’s meant to happen. Instead they get magicked away to Taiwan in 2015, and need the help of a beautiful woman named Lingling (Reina Ikehata) to help them get back on track.


Enishi: the Bride of Izumo    

Enishi the Bride of Izumo Film Poster
Enishi the Bride of Izumo Film Poster

The Bride of IzumoEnishi: the Bride of Izumo

Release Date: January 16th, 2016

Running Time: 110 mins.

Director: Hiroshi Horiuchi

Writer: Hiroshi Horiuchi (Screenplay)

Starring: Nozomi Sasaki, Yuta Hiraoka, Toshiya Isaka, Lily, Shunya Isaka, Toshie Negishi, Issei Ishida, Shiro Sano,

Website    IMDB

Cinematography by Christopher Doyle and there are f*cking idols in ths one. Come on Japan!

Synopsis: Maki Iizuka (Nozomi Sasaki) is an editor of a wedding magazine in Tokyo and she is going to get married to Kazunori Nakamura (Yuta Hiraoka) but when her grandmother dies Maki has to sort out possessions. One such possession is a box made from an empress tree which contains a white bridal Kimono and marriage registration forms. The name “Soichi Akiguni” is on the form and so Maki goes to her hometown of Izumo to find out more about the man. This is where she meets a handsome young fisherman…


Vauxhall Rideshow – kyôfu no haiko dasshutsu!!   

Vauxhall Rideshow - kyôfu no haiko dasshutsu!! Film Poster
Vauxhall Rideshow – kyôfu no haiko dasshutsu!! Film Poster

ボクソール★ライドショー 恐怖の廃校脱出!「Bokusoru raidosho kyofu no haiko dasshutsu!

Release Date: January 16th, 2016

Running Time: 25 mins.

Director: Koji Shiraishi

Writer: Koji Shiraishi (Screenplay)

Starring: Koji Shiraishi, Shigeo Ohsako, Natsumi Okamoto, Erena Watanabe, Chika Kuboyama,

Website    IMDB

Synopsis: Idols go to a school located somewhere in the mountains to film a programme and get attacked by guys who look like they stepped out of a freakshow. It’s a 4DX movie so that means that all of a person’s senses are put into action as audience member’s sit in seats that movie, smell things connected to scenes and hear and see stuff. What they will feel? I have no idea. Rumbling seats and damp clothes from spilled drinks… and fear, presumably.



Kujin Film Poster
Kujin Film Poster


Release Date: January 16th, 2016

Running Time: 115 mins.

Director: Yuichi Onuma

Writer: Yuichi Onuma, Takehiko Mintao (Screenplay),

Starring: Tadashi Okuno, Kaori Takahashi, Susumu Hasegawa, Katsuya Kubota, Kenji Yoshioka,

Website    IMDB

Synopsis from IMDB: In the summber of 1945, Katsuo Hashimoto applies for the special attack corps. Overhearing a rumor that an attack would be ordered soon, Katsuo feigns illness, causing his friend Toshio to unexpectedly take his place. Katsuo is left with the words, ‘Please, take care of my sister,’ as Toshio disappears into the summer sky. 60 year later, Japan has long since lost the war. Katsuo, who has been struggling with his for many decades is diagnosed with pancreas cancer, and given a year and a half to live. Accepting his imminent death, he travels to the Reiryu Mountains in Tendou City, Yamagata, where Toshio’s family temple is located to atone for his mistake.


Futari no shikeishuu   

Futari no shikeishuu Film Poster
Futari no shikeishuu Film Poster

ふたりの死刑囚「Futari no shikeishuu

Release Date: January 16th, 2016

Running Time: 85 mins.

Director: Reika Kamata

Writer: N/A

Starring: N/A


Synopsis: A documentary about two men condemned to die on death row. Despite being convicted of grisly murders they are said to have committed in the 1960s doubts remain and their families have campaigned for retrials. The actor Tatsuya Nakadai narrates things.



6600 Bolt   

6600 Bolt Film Poster
6600 Bolt Film Poster

6600ボルト「6600 Boruto

Release Date: January 16th, 2016

Running Time: 120 mins.

Director: Takashi Honji

Writer: N/A

Starring: N/A


Synopsis: A documentary about a musician and artist named Yamabe Zenjiro a.k.a. YAMAZEN. Due to suffering an electrical shock of around 6600 volts as a teenager, he lost his left eye and his nose but that didn’t stop him from becoming a musician. He was filmed over a period of time from the age of 57 to 60.


Japanese Movie Box Office Results for this Week:

Star Wars The Force Unleashed (2015/12/18)

Eiga Youkai Watch: Enma Daioh to Itsutsu no Monogatari da Nyan! (2015/12/19)

Kizumonogatari I: Tekketsu-hen (2016/01/08)

Orange (2015/12/11)

Bridge of Spies (2016/01/08)

Jinsei no Yakusoku (2016/01/09)

Pink and Gray (2016/01/09)     

Haha to Kuraseba (2015/12/11)

007 Spectre (2015/12/04)

Eiga Chibi Maruko-chan – A Boy from Italy – (2015/12/23)

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