The Long Excuse 「永い言い訳 」 Dir:  Miwa Nishikawa 2016

The Long Excuse The Long Excuse Film Poster

永い言い訳 Nagai Iiwake

Running Time: 123 mins.

Director:  Miwa Nishikawa

Writer: Miwa Nishikawa (Screenplay/Original Novel),

Starring: Masahiro Motoki, Eri Fukatsu, Pistol Takehara, Maho Yamada, Tamaki Shiratori, Kenshin Fujita, Keiko Horiuchi, Haru Kuroki,

Website IMDB

Miwa Nishikawa loves writing about the worst traits of people. Nishkawa’s previous feature films, Wild Berries (2003), Sway (2006), Dear Doctor (2009), and Dreams for Sale (2012) have protagonists who are unctious liars, unappreciative egotists, unrepentant cheats, and utter scoundrels. In this film, based on a novel she wrote, Nishikawa asks the audience to follow a character whose emotional life is a cold-hearted absence borne by self-absorption, a man who has disappeared into himself and lost sight of what really matters in life, other people.

Continue reading “The Long Excuse 「永い言い訳 」 Dir:  Miwa Nishikawa 2016”

The Long Excuse 「永い言い訳 」 Dir:  Miwa Nishikawa 2016

The Long Excuse The Long Excuse Film Poster

永い言い訳 Nagai Iiwake

Running Time: 123 mins.

Director:  Miwa Nishikawa

Writer: Miwa Nishikawa (Screenplay/Original Novel),

Starring: Masahiro Motoki, Eri Fukatsu, Pistol Takehara, Maho Yamada, Tamaki Shiratori, Kenshin Fujita, Keiko Horiuchi, Haru Kuroki,

Website IMDB

Miwa Nishikawa loves writing about the worst traits of people. Nishkawa’s previous feature films, Wild Berries (2003), Sway (2006), Dear Doctor (2009), and Dreams for Sale (2012) have protagonists who are unctious liars, unappreciative egotists, unrepentant cheats, and utter scoundrels. In this film, based on a novel she wrote, Nishikawa asks the audience to follow a character whose emotional life is a cold-hearted absence borne by self-absorption, a man who has disappeared into himself and lost sight of what really matters in life, other people.

Continue reading “The Long Excuse 「永い言い訳 」 Dir:  Miwa Nishikawa 2016”

Bayside Shakedown 4: The Final New Hope, Blazing Famiglia, Dreams for Sale Trailers and the Japanese Movie Box Office

This week I enjoyed seeing Doctor Who back in his new series and the Paralympic Games butHyoka Nichijou Pictures I did not watch too many films… I am watching the anime Le Chevalier D’Eon andI also have plans for a season dedicated to a Japanese director (more on that next week)… Indeed, the only Japanese film activity I have taken done this week is furiously posting about the Japanese Films at the 37th Toronto International Film Festival, and furiously planning my trip to the BFI London Film Festival (post tomorrow – here is Alua’s post about the event at Otherwhere). I also posted about the cool anime Kyousogiga and Annoying Dragon interrogating me. Blogging style. It was fun! Enough about me.

What is happening with the Japanese movie box office?

  1. Rurouni Kenshin
  2. The Avengers
  3. Prometheus
  4. Dear
  5. Akko-chan: The Movie
  6. The Wolf Children Ame and Yuki
  7. Umizaru 4: Brave Hearts
  8. Intouchables
  9. Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted
  10. Ushijima the Loan Shark 

Akko-chan the movie, one of the Japanese films released last week enters the chart at number five. Rurouni Kenshin remains at the top spot. Indeed, the top three remain unchanged from last week. Umizaru and The Wolf Children are still raking in cash while another new entry, the French film Intouchables enters just above them.

There is an interesting selection of Japanese films released today.

Bayside Shakedown 4: The Final New Hope                      Bayside Shakedown The Final New Hope Movie Poster

Japanese Title: 踊る 大捜査線 新た なる 希望

Romaji: Odoru Daisosasen The Final Arata Naru Kibo

Release Date:  07th September 2012 (Japan)

Running Time: 126 mins.

Director: Katsuyuki Motohiro

Writer: Ryoichi Kimizuka

Starring: Yuji Oda, Eri Fukatsu, Toshiro Yanagiba, Yusuke Santamaria, Shingo Kotori, Shun Oguri, Kotaro Koizumi, Yuki Uchida, Atsushi Ito

This latest entry in the Bayside Shakedown series was released yesterday. This is a popular franchise running since the 90’s – when I first visited Asia movie sites like Kung Fu Cult Cinema back in the early 2000’s, this was a familiar title. This latest one is apparently the final entry in the franchise and it stars Yuji Oda who has been in numerous entries franchise, Eri Fukatsu (Villain, Space Travellers), Yusuke Santamaria (Doppelganger), and Shun Oguri (Ghost Train, Space Brothers). The trailer looks like fun.

Shunsaku Aoshima (Oda) and the team have to unravel a case of kidnap/murder which takes place an International Environmental Summit which may involve a member of the police organisation.

 

Blazing Famiglia                          Blazing Famiglia Movie Trailer

Romaji: Bakugyaku Famiglia

Japanese Title: 莫逆家族 バグギャクファミーリア

Release Date: 08th September 2012 (Japan)

Running Time: N/A

Director: Kazuyoshi Kumakiri

Writer: Hiroshi Tanaka (manga)

Starring: Yoshimi Tokui, Kento Hayashi, Sadao Abe, Tetsuji Tamayama, Tatsuya Nakamura, Jun Murakami, Hirofumi Arai, Nao Omori, Arata, Kazuki Kitamura, Mitsuko Baisho

This film is an adaptation of Hiroshi Tanaka’s manga. It stars a whole bunch of popular actors who I keep writing about including Kento Hayashi (Ushijima the Loan Shark), Sadao Abe (Paikaji Nankai Sakusen, Maiko haaaan!!!, After Life), Tetsuji Tamayama (Who’s Camus Anyway?, Elevator to the Gallows, Norwegian Wood), Hirofumi Arai (A Road Stained Crimson), Arata (The Millennial Rapture) and Jun Murakami (Himizu, The Land of Hope). I really need to review After Life and Who’s Camus Anyway?

Tetsu Hino (Tokui) once led a teenage motorcycle gang which struck fear in the Kanto area. He is now a father struggling to provide for his family including his teenage son Shuhei (Hayashi) who is now following a rebellious path. When Tetsu is contacted by his old biker gang it is because the daughter of one of them was assaulted by an old rival named Igarashi (Murakami). Tetsu finds himself drawn back into his old life-style.

 

Dreams for Sale                                   Dreams for Sale Movie Poster

Japanese Title: 夢 売る ふたり

Romaji: Yume Uru Futari

Release Date:  08th September 2012 (Japan)

Running Time: 137 mins.

Director: Miwa Nishikawa

Writer: N/A

Starring: Takako Matsu, Sadao Abe, Lena Tanaka, Sawa Suzuki, Tamae Ando, Yuka Ebara,  Tsurube Shoufukutei, Tae Kimrua, Teruyuki Kagawa, Yusuke Iseya,

This film is at both the Toronto International Film Festival and the London Film Festival and from the review that the Japan Times gives it looks pretty good. The cast includes Teruyuki Kagawa (Tokyo Sonata), Takako Matsu (9 Souls, Confessions, April Story), Sadao Abe (Paikaji Nankai Sakusen, After Life), Sawa Suzuki (Loft), Tae Kimura (My House, Kaidan, Starfish Hotel, Infection), and Tamae Ando (Noriko’s Dinner Table, Phone Call to the Bar).

 

When Kanya (Abe) and Satoko (Matsu) celebrate the fifth anniversary of their restaurant they had no idea it would end with the place burning down. This disaster forces Satoko to take on a job at a noodle shop while Kanya gets depressed and does what most movie men do in such a situation: drink and gamble. Then, one night, he returns home with cash and claims he got it by spending time with a lonely woman.  Satoko is initially angry but then realises the full potential of the scame and so the two embark on a series of sham relationships to get money together to re-open their restaurant. Surely it wont go that smoothly?

Ihara and Yakusho in RetributionUnfortunately before I posted this my computer suffered a major software fault. Right now I am running on a slightly older back-up which means I have had to do a bit of tinkering to restore settings/programs. I was able to retrieve my files and get things back up and running but this does not leave me feeling terribly confident. I am going to have to get a new computer and another portable hard drive. If I go dark for a spell, you know why. Fingers crossed, this is just a hiccup.

Villain UK DVD Release

Third Window Films has announced the DVD release date of the multi-award winning Japanese film Villain.

Villain DVD

UK DVD Release Date: 5th of December 2011

Running time: 140 mins

Certificate: 15

Director: Lee Sang-il

Starring: Eri Fukatsu, Satoshi Tsumabuki, Hikari Mitsushima, Masaki Okada,

DVD EXTRA FEATURES:

Anamorphic Widescreen Transfer with 5.1 Surround Sound and optional English subtitles

1 Hour long ‘Making Of’

Discussion between director Lee Sang-il and actor Satoshi Tsumabuki

Theatrical Trailer

I personally liked this film a lot as my review shows and I wasn’t alone as it was nominated for 15 Japanese Academy Awards and won for Best Actress, Actor, Supporting Actress Supporting Actor and Music Score, beating out the magnificent 13 Assassins! Just look at the talent involved:

Eri Fukatsu: one of Japan’s best actresses and the lead in the current number one film in the Japanese box office, Once in a Blue Moon. For her performance in Villain she won the Best Actress at the Montreal Film Festival.

Continue reading “Villain UK DVD Release”

A Ghost of a Chance, Kaiji 2, Monster Killer, Keyhole Trailers

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.

Continue reading “A Ghost of a Chance, Kaiji 2, Monster Killer, Keyhole Trailers”

Villain 悪人 (2010)

Villain   Villain Film Poster

Japanese: 悪人

Romaji: Akunin

Release Date: September 11th, 2010 (Japan)

Running Time: 139 mins.

Director: Sang-il Lee

Writer: Shuichi Yoshida, Sang-il Lee (Screenplay), Shuichi Yoshida (Original Novel)

Starring:  Satoshi Tsumabuki, Eri Fukatsu, Masaki Okada, Hikari Mitsushima, Ken Mitsuishi, Kimiko Yo, Kinuo Yamada, Akira Emoto, Kirin Kiki, ayaka Nakamura, kento Nagayama, Hanae Kan,

Knowing that Villain won the best director and acting categories at the 34th Japanese Academy Awards doesn’t prepare you for just how good the acting in this film is and I can see why Third Window Films has selected this as their major summer release.

Yuichi (Satoshi Tsumabuki) is a construction worker with no girlfriend or friends. He spends his days working and looking after his grandparents, with no enjoyment in life other than his car. Mitsuyo (Eri Fukatsu) also lives a monotonous life working at a men’s clothing store whilst living in an apartment with her sister. When the two meet using an online dating site, they immediately fall in love with each other despite clashing personalities and expectations. But there’s a secret Yuichi had been keeping from Mitsuyo: Yuichi is the one suspected of killing a young woman (Hikari Mitsushima) whose body was found at Mitsue Pass only a few days before. It is a murder that has left the families of all concerned reeling and as a society passes judgement, the victim’s father (Akira Emoto) searches for justice while Yuichi and his new lover try to elude the police. As the events that led up to the murder and its aftermath are revealed we learn the stories of the victim, the murderer, and their families and the emotions and desperation behind actions.

Villain Doomed Romance Continue reading “Villain 悪人 (2010)”

Villain Theatrical Release from the 19th of August

When Third Window Films announced that it had acquired the Japanese film Villain back in May/June I was intrigued by the film’s genre combination of thriller, character study and doomed romance so I reported it in my weekly trailer post. Now I’ve got more information on the film I’m very excited at the prospect of it being released theatrically across the UK, partly due to the awards buzz and critical acclaim but mostly because of the acting talent in it (including the rising talent that is Hikari Mitsushima!).

Villain (2010)

Villain Poster

UK Theatrical Release date: 19th of August 2011

Running time: 140 mins

Certificate: 15

Director: Lee Sang-il (Hula Girls)

Starring: Eri Fukatsu (The Magic Hour, Bayside Shakedown), Satoshi Tsumabuki (Tokyo!, Villon’s Wife, Pandemic), Hikari Mitsushima (Love Exposure, Death Note, Sawako Decides), Masaki Okada (Confessions)

In Japanese with English subtitles; Colour/35mm and Digital release

Villain Doomed Romance

-Synopsis-

Yuichi (Satoshi Tsumabuki) is a construction worker who has lived his entire life in a dreary fishing village. With no girlfriend or friends, he spends his days working and looking after his grandparents, with no enjoyment in life other than his car. Meanwhile, Mitsuyo (Eri Fukatsu) also lives a monotonous life pacing between the men’s clothing store where she works and the apartment where she lives with her sister. When the two lonely souls meet using an online dating site, they immediately fall in love with each other. But there’s a secret Yuichi had been keeping from Mitsuyo: Yuichi is the one suspected of killing the woman whose body was found at Mitsue Pass only a few days before…

As Yuichi and his new lover try to elude the police, the events that led up to the murder and its aftermath are revealed. We learn the stories of the victim, the murderer, and their families – stories of loneliness, love hotels, violence and desperation, exposing the inner lives of men and woman who are not everything they appear to be.

The talent behind this film is immense and I haven’t even mentioned that the musical score was provided by Studio Ghibli favourite Joe Hisaishi. Indeed, Villain comes with a lot of award buzz and has been heavily praised in Japan where it was nominated for 15 Japanese Academy Awards and won 5 including:

Best Actress, Actor, Supporting Actress, Supporting Actor and Music Score

Eri Fukatsu also won the Best Actress at the Montreal Film Festival while Satoshi Tsumabuki won Best Actor at the 53rd Blue Ribbon Awards. The film was also selected by the famous Kinema Junpo critics’ organization as best Japanese film of the year so you can see the high calibre of the film we have here. Just reading some reviews this looks like it could be one of the best films out this summer.

Interestingly, Villain is based on Shuichi Yoshida’s award-winning novel of the same name which sold over half a million copies in Japan. It has recently been translated into English and is due to be released by Random House publishing on the 18th of August – a day before the theatrical release of the film.

After reading the buzz I’m very excited but I was already sold when I heard it starred Hikari Mitsushima.

Hikari Mitsushima Villain

For more information including cinema screenings just go to the Third Window Films site.