Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy, POP!, Watashi wa ittai, nani to tatakatte iru no ka, Kamen Rider: Beyond Generations, Unfeigned Happy Ending Japanese Film Trailers

Happy Weekend!

Mawaru Images

I hope you are well.

Due to tiredness, I haven’t got back into writing about films although I did drop a Letterboxd review for a noir earlier this week. I’ve got end of year posts I should do but I want to play Mechcommander 2 and other video games… ACTUALLY, I did finish watching over 50 screeners for an event taking place next year! Before then…

What are the first batch of films released this weekend?

Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy   Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy Film Poster 2

偶然と想像 Guzen to sozo

Release Date: December 17th, 2021

Duration: 121 mins.

Director: Ryusuke Hamaguchi

Writer: Ryusuke Hamaguchi (Script), 

Starring: Kotone Furukawa, Hyunri, Ayumu Nakajima (segment “Magic (or Something Less Assuring”)), Shouma Kai, Katsuki Mori, Kiyohiko Shibukawa (segment “Door Wide Open”), Aoba Kawai, Fusako Urabe (segment “Once Again”),

Website     IMDB

Three short stories make up this omnibus film directed by Ryusuke Hamaguchi who is famous for Happy Hour, which won a special mention for script and best actress at Locarno in 2015, and Asako I & II, which played at Cannes 2018 in the Competition section.  Each of the stories has the theme of “coincidence” and “imagination”.

 

Synopsis: Three stories of fate and fortune: In Magic (or Something Less Assuring), a woman realises that the man her best friend has talked about as “hitting on her” is a former boyfriend who broke up with her two years ago. Door Wide Open features a story of a student who failed to graduate planning to ruin a professor’s reputation by using a girl to trap him. Once Again sees two women who grew up together reunited in Sendai for the first time in 20 years. One shares feelings that they have held in their hearts since their high school days.

POP!      Pop Film Poster 2

Release Date: December 17th, 2021

Duration: 86 mins.

Director: Masashi Komura

Writer: Masashi Komura (Script), 

Starring: Rina Ono, Yugo Mikawa, Katsuya Kobayashi, Masumi Nomura, Kenta Kiguchi,

Website

This was the winner of the Grand Prix and Best Actress Award (for Rina Ono) at MOOSIC LAB 2020-2021I saw it as part of the Osaka Asian Film Festival 2021 and reviewed it and interviewed Masashi Komura, the director, who gave some really deep thought to his answers. It’s a slowburn existential ride that convincingly captures a certain sense of inertia experienced in youth.

Synopsis: The story taps into a crisis of confidence experienced by Rin Kashiwakura (Rina Ono). She is a wannabe actress who is about to turn 20 years old but has already lost sight of her dreams. She works part-time as an official mascot on a struggling local TV charity program called Tomorrow’s Earth and part-time at a remote mountainside car park where an older co-worker leaves all of the tasks to her. Both jobs look unfulfilling in different ways and her joie de vivre is clearly on the wane, a situation exacerbated by her personal life where she only has an Amazon Echo for companionship. Just as she begins to wonder about her career, she begins to question if she will ever find love and she struggles to fit in with others. Change, however, literally explodes into Rin’s dull days as she witnesses a serial bomber in action as he is in the middle of a campaign of planting bento box bombs around her city. Blown out of her inertia, she begins to track the sites of the bombings and discovers that they form the shape of a heart once they are all put on a map. Her encounter with this mad bomber inspires her to question what she wants to do with her life as she approaches adulthood but answers are not all that easy to come by…

 

Watashi wa ittai, nani to tatakatte iru no ka    Watashi wa ittai nani to tatakatte iru no ka Film Poster

私はいったい、何と闘っているのか Watashi wa ittai, nani to tatakatte iru no ka

Release Date: December 17th, 2021

Duration: 114 mins.

Director: Toshio Lee

Writer: Fumi Tsubota (Script), Shiro Tsubuyaki (Original Novel),

Starring: Ken Yasuda, Daichi Kaneko, Eiko Koike, Yui Okada, Toki Koinuma, SWAY,

Website 

Synopsis: Forty-five-year-old Haruo Izawa has worked as the manager of Umeya, a local supermarket for 25 years. He is so dedicated to his job it is like he lives for the praise of his boss and the part-timers who trust him and he dreams of promotion. However, his love for his family is also important and he worries about his son’s fight for a regular spot in the youth baseball team and having to meet his eldest daughter’s boyfriend. His mind is torn between all of these responsibilities. 

 

Kamen Rider: Beyond Generations    Kamen Rider Beyond Generations Film Poster

仮面ライダー ビヨンド・ジェネレーションズ Kamen Raida- Biyondo Jenere-shonzu

Release Date: December 17th, 2021

Duration: N/A

Director: Takayuki Shibasaki

Writer: Nobuhrio Mouri (Script), Shotaro Ishinomori (Original Creator),

Starring: Kentaro Maeda, Subaru Kimura, Wataru Hyuga, Ayaka Imoto, Yui Asakura, Kurara Emi,

Website Kamen Rider Wiki

This film was made to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Kamen Rider franchise.

Synopsis:  The story unfolds in three eras: 1971, with the first Kamen Rider; 2021, and 2071. It starts with 2021’s Kamen Rider who is forced to fight the Kamen Rider from 2071. Why is he fighting a future hero? A secret revealing the hidden history of the Kamen Riders will be revealed. 

Unfeigned Happy Ending    Unfeigned Happy Ending Film Poster

偽りのないhappy end Itsuwari no nai happy end

Release Date: December 17th, 2021

Duration: 97 mins.

Director: Daisuke Matsuo

Writer: Daisuke Matsuo (Script), Shiro Tsubuyaki (Original Novel),

Starring: Yui Narumi, Bambi Naka, Yuumi Kawai, Shima Tabata, Eita Okuno, Ryuju Kobayashi, Yua Shiraishi,

Website

This is the feature film debut of Daisuke Matsuo. Prior to this, he worked as an assistant director for many of Sion Sono’s films starting with Himizu.

Synopsis: Eimi has lived in Tokyo ever since graduating from junior high school in Shiga. She suggests to her younger sister Yu that she join her, and while Yu resisted at first, she came to Tokyo. Then she disappeared. In the middle of this situation, Eimi meets Hiyori, whose younger sister is also missing. The two share their woes but then police contact Eimi to inform her that a young woman’s body has been found at Lake Biwa in her hometown. However, the body is not Yu’s but Hiyori’s sister… 

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