Stoker Trailer

Stoker                                                                       Stoker Poster

Release Date: 01st March 2013 (US)

Running Time: N/A

Director: Park Chan-Wook

Writer: Wentworth Miller, Erin Cressida Wilson

Starring: Nicole Kidman, Mia Wasikowska, Matthew Goode, Dermot Mulroney, Jacki Weaver, Lucas Till, Alden Ehrenreich, Phyillis Sommerville

A few weeks ago I posted a trailer for The Last Stand, an upcoming American film being helmed by Kim Jee-Woon (A Bittersweet Life, The Quiet Family). He is one of a number of successful Korean directors working on Hollywood projects.  Now, thanks to the eagle eyes of Curiosity Kitty, I have seen a trailer for Park Chan-Wook’s English language debut, Stoker.

When India Stoker’s (Wasikowska) father dies, her mother Evelyn (Kidman) brings in a mysterious uncle named Charlie (Goode) who seems charming but has a dark side which draws India to him.

Park Chan-Wook has made two incredible films in Oldboy and J.S.A. and one excellent one in Thirst. While The Last Stand looks like good old-fashioned action fun, this looks like it is a psychological horror/family drama. Nothing supernatural. It stars such fine actresses like Nicole Kidman (The Hours) and Mia Wasikowska (The Kids are All Right, Jane Eyre) and the British actor Matthew Goode (The Lookout). The trailer looks visually stunning but I am unsure as to whether that is enough to persuade me to see the film. I’ll have to wait for reviews. It is written by Wentworth Miller who is famous for Resident Evil: Afterlife… Famous to me for that film at least. Apparently he was inspired by Alfred Hitchcock’s Shadow of a Doubt. I honestly thought that it was something to do with Bram Stoker and vampires but there you go.

Genkina Hito’s Film Review Archives

Genki Read or Die Film Review Archive

 

Whenever I do my trailer posts and reference filmographies it takes me an age to look up films I wrote about over a year ago like Cure, Survive Style 5+ because the search function brings up nearly every post in between because I keep referencing different titles. It is a vicious circle that keeps expanding. I have now been inspired by Goregirl to break that circle and create a film review archive which lists every title alphabetically.

When creating this post it was interesting to see the changes I have made over the two plus something years I have been operating.

I have reviewed a lot of western films. That was because I was going to the cinema nearly every week when I first started. Not anymore. I tend to purchase DVD’s and stay home. The last time I went to the cinema was in July for Snow White. The last time I reviewed a western film was Prometheus because I liked it a lot and thought there were too many negative reviews.

Thankfully, I am covering Japanese and East Asian cinema which has given me direction so expect the western films to be in the minority soon. Actually, I think Japanese films already make up the majority of reviews… Whatever the case here is the archive. You can also find it on the above menu and on the right as represented by a picture of Rin Takanashi no less. I will have to revamp my top ten films section as well but for now, happy exploration.

Genki Read or Die Film Review Exploration

Japanese Films at the 37th Toronto International Film Festival

Toronto International Film Festival LogoThe Toronto International Film Festival is about to launch soon and the number and quality of Japanese films is ABSOLUTELY BLOODY BRILLIANT! Forget Venice, London, Berlin and Cannes. I wish I were living in Toronto! While there are a few titles that were screened at the Venice Film Festival, there are even more which are premieres and have yet to be released in Japan. They are all interesting. Whether you want the number one Japanese movie box office smash (Thermae Romae), a forthcoming drama involving otaku and sex (The Cowards Who Look to the Sky) or Yakuza tearing chunks out of each other (Outrage Beyond), it is all here.

Here is the line-up!

The Cowards Who Looked to the SkyThe Cowards Who Looked to the Sky Movie Poster

Japanese Title: ふがいない 僕 は 空 を 見た

Romaji: Fugainai Boku wa Sora wo Mita

Release Date: 17th November 2012 (Japan)

Running Time: 142

Director: Yuki Tanada

Writer: Kosuke Mukai, Misumi Kubo (Novel)

Starring: Tomoko Tabata, Kento Nagayama, Masataka Kubota, Mieko Harada, Takahiro Miura

Otaku have proven fertile ground for but when I read more of the plot it sounded quite miserable. I haven’t read the original novel by Misumi Kubo but judging by the trailer, emotions are running very high! It stars the beautiful Tomoko Tabata (Blood and Bones, The Hidden Blade), the handsome Kento Nagayama (Crime or Punishment?!?), the young Masataka Kubota (13 Assassins), Takahiro Miura (Tokyo Playboy Club), and Mieko Harada (Helter Skelter).

Anzu (Tabata) is a depressed housewife who lives with a nagging mother-in-law and indifferent husband. When she attends an anime convention in cosplay she meets Takumi (Nagayama). The two start an affair at Anzu’s home. At this point, those already in Takumi’s life go through emotional upheaval of their own as a classmate confesses her love for him and his friend Fukuda (Kubota) finds himself at the mercy of a loan shark who has come to collect his mother’s debts. This is just the start of the emotional turmoil for all characters involved.

 

Dreams for SaleDreams for Sale Movie Poster

Japanese Title: 夢 売る ふたり

Romaji: Yume Uru Futari

Screening Dates: Monday, 10th September, 6:30 P.M. – TIFF Bell Lightbox 2, Wednesday 12th September 2:00 P.M. – Cineplex Yonge & Dundas 2, Sunday 16th September 2:45 P.M. – Scotiabank 3

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,

The first of two films at the festival which stars Teruyuki Kagawa and both are dark comedies… but I’m getting ahead of myself here. This one involves a couple who scam lonely women out of money through conning them into marriage. The principal cast are lead by 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?

  Continue reading “Japanese Films at the 37th Toronto International Film Festival”

Jinsei, Irodori, I’m Flash!, Akko-chan: The Movie, Hitori Kakurenbo Gekijouban Shin – Toshi Densetsu Trailers and Japanese Movie Chart

Hyouka Nichijou PicIt has been a bit of a quiet week for me. I managed to watch no Japanese films but I am making a renewed effort to finish the anime Le Chevalier D’eon (I started it last year but stopped watching due to Christmas). Anyway I posted a trailer for Kim Jee-Woon’s Hollywood debut, The Last Stand, the line-up for Scotland Loves Anime and a trailer for Berserk Movie III: Descent. What is happening in the charts?

  1. Rurouni Kenshin
  2. The Avengers
  3. Prometheus
  4. Umizaru 4: Brave Hearts
  5. The Wolf Children Ame and Yuki
  6. Total Recall (2012)
  7. Ushijia the Loan Shark
  8. Pokemon: Best Wishes 2012
  9. Kamen Rider Fourze the Movie: Everyone, Space is Here!
  10. The Dark Knight Rises

 Two of the Japanese films released last week enter the charts with Ushijima taking seventh place while Rurouni Kenshin takes the top spot. This has been the biggest opening of any Warner Bros. Japan’s releases… I think… and it has grossed $7 million. Pretty impressive. Prometheus entered at three and Umizaru and The Wolf Children remain in the top ten at four and five respectively.

What is released today? Lots of Japanese films! What a mix!

 

Jinsei, Irodori                                            

Jinsei Irodori Film Poster

Japanese Title: 人生、いろどり

Romaji: Jinsei, Iridori

Release Date: 01st September 2012 (Japan)

Running Time: 112 mins.

Director: Osamu Minorikawa

Writer: Noriko Nishiguchi

Starring: Sumiko Fuji, Kazuko Yoshiyuki, Yuta Hiraoka, Eri Murakawa, Mie Nakao, Tatsuya Fuji, Shigeyuki Totsugi

The third film from Osamu Minorikawa, Jinsei, Irodori is one of a couple of forthcoming films tackling the issue of the ageing population of Japan. It also reminds me of the anime Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita due to the plot involving food and a woman coming in from a large “agency” and helping a community… Tenuous, I must admit. Anyway the film stars a mixture of new talents like Eri Murakawa who starred in Train Brain Express (I keep referring to it as Take the A Train), Shigeyuki Totsugi (Mitsuko Delivers), and venerable talents like Kazuko Yoshiyuki who has starred in a wide variety of films like Maiko haaaan!!!, Glory to the Filmmaker, Departures, Gohatto and Lady Snowblood 2, Sumiko Fuji who has appeared in Summer Wars, Hula Girls and the original Thirteen Assassins and Tatsuya Fuji who I last saw in Bright Future.

Based on a true story, Kamikatsu in Tokushima prefecture is a small town where nearly half of the population are elderly people and its once thriving tangerine industry has collapsed. When a woman from the National Agricultural Cooperative Federation named Eda arrives and endeavours to revive the town by selling vegetables from the local area. She meets opposition but three women named Kaoru, Hanae, and Michiko join forces with Eda.

 

I’m Flash!                                                                          I'm Flash! Film Poster

Japanese Title: アイム フラッシュ!

Romaji: Aimu Furaashu!

Release Date: 01st September 2012 (Japan)

Running Time: 91 mins.

Director: Toshiaki Toyoda

Writer: Toshiaki Toyoda

Starring: Tatsuya Fujiwara, Ryuhei Matsuda, Kento Nagayama, Itsuji ITao, Kiko Mizuhara, Shigeru Nakano, Mayu Harada, Yukiya Kitamura, Michiyo Okusu

Toshiaki Toyoda (9 Souls) follows up Monsters Club with this thriller about a religious cult which stars a whole load of stars including the handsome Kento Nagayama (Villain), Tatsuya Fujiwara (Death Note, Battle Royale), Ryuheu Matsuda (Nightmare Detective, The Suicide Song), the beautiful Kiko Mizuhara (Norwegian Wood, Helter Skelter) and Mayu Harada (The Millennial Rapture) Happy birthday, Mayu! It also stars Itsuji Itao (Love Exposure, Tokyo Gore Police, Ghost Train, One Missed Call Final) who uses his ability to by slimy well in this.

Rui (Fujiwara) is the charismatic leader of a new religious group who attracts the attention of the media after a car accident leaves a man dead. He retreats to his group’s compound in Okinawa where his chief aide (Itao) hires three bodyguards (Matsuda, Nagayama, Nakano) to look after him, his sister (Harada), brother (Kitamura). Why the need for bodyguards? What is the threat and is Rui happy with the life and his religious group?  

  Continue reading “Jinsei, Irodori, I’m Flash!, Akko-chan: The Movie, Hitori Kakurenbo Gekijouban Shin – Toshi Densetsu Trailers and Japanese Movie Chart”

The Last Stand Trailer

The Last Stand                                                                             The Last Stand Movie Poster

Release Date: 18th January 2013 (US)

Running Time: N/A

Director: Kim Jee-Woon

Writer: George Nolfi, Jeffrey Nachmanoff, Andrew Knauer

Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Forest whitaker, Peter Stormare, Harry Dean Stanton, Rodrigo Santoro, Genesis Rodriguez, Luis Guzman, Johnny Knoxville,

While I only review American films on this blog if they have impressed me enough there are a number of Japanese and Korean directors working in Hollywood right now and so I post trailers for their projects. Right now Takashi Shimizu (Ju-On franchise, Reincarnation) is putting the finishing touches on 7500 (following the demise of the production company behind it, when that will get a release I have no idea) while Park Chan-Wook (Oldboy, J.S.A.) is handling Stoker. Kim Jee-Woon looks set to deliver the biggest blockbuster of the bunch in the form The Last Stand starring action hero Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Ray Owens (Schwarzenegger) was once in the LAPD but after a police operation goes badly wrong he leaves to become the sheriff of a quiet town named Sommerton Junction which is on the border with Mexico. Just when he thought he was free Owens is soon forced back into the thick of the action when an infamous drug baron escapes the FBI and makes a dash for the border. Owens will join forces with FBI agents Bannister (Whitaker) and Richards (Rodriguez) as they aim to stop the bad guy.

So this is a classic action film the likes of which propelled Scwarzenegger to fame. I actually enjoyed some of his films like True Lies but the real draw for me is Kim Jee-Woon. I have reviewed two of his films so far – The Quiet Family, A Bittersweet Life – and need to review the others I have seen (although the prospect of re-watching The Good, the Bad, the Weird leaves me feeling tired…).  The trailer looks pretty awesome – he is bringing his post-modern take on films to Hollywood. My only reservation is that Kim Jee-Woon is not writing. That job is being handled by Jeffrey Nachmanoff (The Day After Tomorrow), Andrew Knauer and George Nolfi (co-writer of The Bourne Ultimatum and the writer and director of The Adjustment Bureau). Not bad but not brilliant. What does look good is the cast which includes top veteran actors like Forest Whitaker (Ghost Dog, The Last King of Scotland), Luis Guzman (Magnolia, Snake Eyes), Harry Dean Stanton (Alien, Repo Man) and Peter Stormare (Fargo).

Sweet Home スウィトホーム (1989)

Genkina Hitos Sweet Home Review Banner

Sweet Home                                           Sweet Home Poster

Romaji: Suui-to Ho-mu

Japanese Title: スウィトホーム

Release Date: 21st January 1989 (Japan)

Running Time: 100 mins.

Director: Kiyoshi Kurosawa

Writer: Kiyoshi Kurosawa

Starring: Nobuko Miyamoto, Shingo Yamashiro, Ichiro Furudate, Fukumi Kuroda, Nokko, Juzo Itami

Kiyoshi Kurosawa is one of my favourite directors so the chance to catch one of his earliest films (thanks to a tip from Sadako’s Movie Shack) which inspired a game considered one of the forebears of Resident Evil¹ was too good to pass up.

A film crew consisting of Kazuo Hoshino (Yamashiro), his daughter Emi (Nokko), producer Akiko Hayakawa (Miyamoto), cameraman Ryō Taguchi (Hurutate) and art restorer/TV presenter Asuka (Koroda) head off to an old and abandoned mansion where famed artist Ichirou Mamiya is said to have painted a final undiscovered fresco inside shortly before his death. After entering the house they discover the fresco and Asuka sets about trying to restore it for a documentary but weird sounds can be heard all over the place and when Taguchi knocks over a creepy shrine a supernatural force is unleashed. Only local man Yamamura (Itami) seems to know the true nature of the curse but can he do anything to save the crew?

The Film Crew in Sweet Home

Sweet Home is a haunted-house movie. Its horror DNA is a mixture of traditional Japanese imagery like long-haired yurei and western influences like Poltergeist, and The Exorcist. As is to be expected for a horror film directed by Kurosawa Sweet Home is anything but sweet. With Kurosawa at the helm you can count on a film which supplies absorbing and creepy atmospherics. This time however instead of an intellectual ghost story what we get is a highly kinetic and mainstream movie which utilises special effects and broad acting to deliver a fun ride.

Continue reading “Sweet Home スウィトホーム (1989)”

Angel Dust エンジェル ダスト (1994)

Genkina hito Review Banner for J-thriller Angel Dust

Angel Dust                                                       Angel Dust Movie Poster

Romaji: Enjeru Dasuto 

Japanese Title:エンジェル ダスト

Release Date: 23rd September 1994 (Japan)

Running Time: 116 mins.

Director: Sogo Ishii

Writer: Sogo Ishii, Yorozu Ikuta

Starring: Kaho Minami, Takeshi Wakamatsu, Etushi Toyokawa, Ryoko Takizawa, Masayuki Shionoya, Toshinori Kondo, Yukio Yamato, Jin Akiyama, Tomorowo Taguchi

I avoid serial killer films but Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s Cure (1997) is the exception. I love it. It is partly due to the atmosphere that is unique to Kurosawa’s films, his intelligent deployment of cinematic techniques to create specific feelings and plot twists, the dose of the supernatural, intelligent writing, and deep characters. Angel Dust (1994) has many of the same elements.

Continue reading “Angel Dust エンジェル ダスト (1994)”

Another, Our Homeland, Japan Lies, Kamen Rider Fourze the Movie: Everyone, Space is Here!, Code Geass: Akito the Exiled Trailers and the Japanese Movie Box Office Charts

Anime Character Guessing Game Entry - EriThis week I posted a review for The Suicide Manual, a trailer the latest PreCure movie (boy are there a lot of those!) and information of Terracotta’s release of the anime adaptation of Junji Ito’s Gyo (which has me very excited!).  I did have another film review on offer but I have been engrossed with the 2012 Olympics (which I love!) and the BBC’s spectacular coverage (second to none!). I have managed to talk to members of Team GB (okay, their support/physios) and I’ve also had the opportunity to test out my Japanese on visiting Japanese fans who have been unfailingly polite (much to my relief because they could have laughed at my pronunciation etc.). Speaking of Japanese people, I wonder…

What’s happening with the Japanese movie box-office chart this week?

  1. Umizaru 4: Brave Hearts
  2. The Dark Knight Rises
  3. Road to Ninja: Naruto the Movie
  4. The Wolf Children Ame and Yuki
  5. Pokemon: Best Wishes 2012
  6. Eight Ranger
  7. Helter Skelter
  8. Brave
  9. The Amazing Spider-Man
  10. Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha The MOVIE 2nd

Two of last week’s newest entries enter the charts in the form of the latest Naruto movie and Eight Rangers at three and six respectively. Uzimaru holds onto the top spot while, The Wolf Children Ame and Yuki drop from second to fourth and Helter Skelter drops from fourth to seventh in its third week. Thermae Romae falls from the top ten. After fourteen weeks and making a lot of money. What an achievement.

What’s released this week? A strong dramatic film, an interesting documentary and a live-action adaptation of a favourite anime of mine.

Another                                              Another (live-action movie) Poster

Japanese Title: Another

Release Date: 04th August 2012 (Japan)

Running Time: N/A

Director: Takeshi Furusawa

Writer: Sachiko Tanaka,Yukito Ayatsuji (Novel)

Starring: Ai Hashimoto, Kento Yamazaki, Ai Kato, Mika Akizuki, Hiroko Sato, Masaki Miura, Mana Kanno, Takashi Waki, Maya Okano

Yukito Ayatsuji’s supernatural-mystery novel Another has had an anime adaptation (which I liked a lot) and the live-action movie is released today. The director of the movie adaptation is Takeshi Furusawa who acted as assistant director to Kiyoshi Kurosawa on the classic J-horror film Pulse and director of the so-so Ghost Train. Kento Yamazaki (Wings of the Kirin) plays Kouichi while Mei Misaki is played by Ai Hashimoto (Confessions, Sadako 3D). Other cast members include Hiroko Sato (Atsuhimie No.1, Cursed), Masaki Miura (Cold Fish), and Maya Okano (Time Traveller: The Girl Who Leapt Through Time). Two trailers, one featuring Sadako!

 

The story takes place back in the Spring of 1998 at Yomiyama Kita middle school where a transfer student named Kouichi Sakakibara arrives from Tokyo and finds himself in a class under a curse which causes unavoidable death. It seems to be linked to the death of a student in 1972 but a code of silence has developed amongst pupils and teachers past and present. When classmates begin to die Kouichi finds himself drawn into the deadly curse with only the silent and mysterious Mei Misaki seemingly able to give answers.

Our Homeland                             Kazoku no Kuni (Our Homeland) Poster

Romaji: Kazoku no Kuni

Japanese Title: かぞく の くに

Release Date: 04th August 2012 (Japan)

Running Time: 100 mins.

Director: Yang Yong-Hi

Writer: Yang Yong-Hi

Starring: Sakura Ando, Arata, Yang Ik-June, Kotomi Kyono, Jun Murakami, Taro Suwa,

This movie was one of a strong contingent at this year’s Berlin Film Festival where itwas screened at the Forum section and won the CICAE prize. It is a partly autobiographical story that draws on the director’s life and tells the story of the emigration of over 90,000 Koreans from Japan to North Korea after being promised a better life. An early review shows that it is a strong dramatic film. It stars Sakura Ando (Love Exposure, Crime or Punishment?!?), Arata (After Life), Kotomi Kyono (Takeshi’), Jun Murakami (Himizu, The Land of Hope, Blazing Famiglia), Taro Suwa (Ju-On: The Curse, Reincarnation), Yoshiko Miyazaki (Villain).

 

From 1959 to 1979 the North Korean government implemented a policy to attract Korean living in Japan to the idea of immigrating to North Korea. One of those who went was Son-Ho (Arata) who left his younger sister Rie (Ando) behind in Japan. 25 years later the two meets again when Son-Ho returns to Japan for three months for an operation. The film looks at the clash of feelings and cultures.

 

Japan Lies: The Photojournalism of Kikujiro Fukushima, Age 90

Romaji: Nippon no Uso: Hodo Shashinka Fukushima Kikujiro 90-sai

Japanese Title: ニッポン の 嘘ー報道 写真家 福島 菊次郎 90-歳

Release Date: 04th August 2012 (Japan)Nippon no Uso Hodo Shashinka Fukushima Poster

Running Time: 114 mins.

Director: Saburo Hasegawa

Writer: Saburo Hasegawa

Starring: Ren Osugi

This documentary follows the work of photographer Kikujiro Fukushima, a man who served in the Japanese army and narrowly avoided the atomic bomb and with the end of the war became disillusioned with Japanese state and began documenting its darker aspects. Ren Osugi reads Extracts from Fukushima’s writings. This sounds like a fascinating watch for anybody interested in history and Japan.

Kikujiro Fukushima is a man who has documented controversial aspects/moments in Japanese society such as discrimination against people of Korean ancestry, violent protests against the Japan’s involvement with the Vietnam war and the Japan-U.S. security alliance, and portraits of radiation poisoning following the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and his most recent work photographing the farming communities in Fukushima prefecture following the meltdown at the local plant following the March 11th Earthquake and Tsunami. Hasegawa’s documentary tells Fukushima’s story from his early days to now.

Kamen Rider Fourze the Movie: Everyone, Space is Here!Kamen Rider Space is Here

Romaji: Kamen Raida Foze Za Mubi, Minna de Uchuu Kita!

Japanese Title: 仮面 ライダー フォーゼ The Movie みんな で 宇宙 キターツ!

Release Date: 04th August 2012 (Japan)

Running Time: 66 mins.

Director: Koichi Sakamoto

Writer: Kazuki Nakashima

Starring: Sota Fukushi, Ryuki Takahashi, Fumika Shimizu, Rikako Sakata, Ryo Yoshizawa, Shiho,

Tokusatsu and super sentai series are not my forte. I do not really watch them but I marvel at their long titles and the mix of Kanji, Katakana, and Hiragana.

 

The Kamen Rider club in Amanogawa High School are fighting a mysterious monster named Zodiatsu while Space Ironmen Gurandain and Sukaidain are putting the finishing touches to a satellite weapon which has enough power to destroy the world. The team clearly have their work cut out if they are going to stop all of that.

 

Code Geass: Akito the Exiled

Romaji: Ko-do Giasu: Boukoku no Akito

Japanese Title: コード ギアス 亡国 の アキト

Release Date: 04th August 2012 (Japan)

Running Time: 66 mins.

Director: Kazuki Akane

Writer: Morita Shigeru

Starring: Maaya Sakamoto, Miyu Irino, Ai Kayano, Yuko Kaida, Asami Seto, Marya Seto, Kenta Miyake, Keiji Fujiwara, Masaya Matsukaze

 

Although the concept of Britain ruling the world through mecha is amusing I have yet to watch the anime Code Geass. This trailer is for the first episode of Sunrise studio’s forthcoming four episode spin-off from the Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion TV series from 2006. It is called Code Geass: Akito the Exiled. It is directed by Kazuki Akane (Birdy the Mighty Decode, Vision of Escaflowne), the script has been written by Morita Shigeru (Space Brothers), and Kimura Takahiro (Dirty Pair Flash) is adapting Clamp’s character design and Yasuda Akira (Turn A Gundam) is in charge of mecha design.

Extras: Soundtrack for this post (Olympic Badminton and this video)

Kazoku no Kuni (Our Homeland) Poster 2

Mei Misaki - Another Poster

The Suicide Manual 自殺マニュアル (2003)

Genkina hito's Film Review Banner for The Suicide Manual

The Suicide Manual

Romaji: Jisatsu Manyuaru                               Suicide Manual Poster

Japanese Title: 自殺マニュアル

Release Date: 04th October 2003 (Japan)

Running Time: 86 mins.

Director: Osamu Fukutani

Writer: Osamu Fukutani, Hiroshi Kanno (Screenplay), Wataru Tsurumi (Original Book)

Starring: Kenji Mizuhashi, Chisato Morishita, Yuko Nakamura, Niki Nagasawa, Kei Horie, Hideo Sakaki, Miho Fujima, Yuka Hanabusa, Maki Meguro Ayaka Maeda

Wataru Tsurumi’s notorious book, The Complete Manual of Suicide has been blameComplete Manual of Suicide by Wataru Tsurumid for helping people to commit suicide and improving the chances of death occurring. This is not the first time I have encountered Wataru Tsurumi since news organisations around the world carried reports on his work. What I did not know was that his book had inspired a film. The result is far less interesting than one might think.

Yuu (Mizuhashi) is a journalist/cameraman with AX TV, a local broadcaster. He has been tasked with investigating a recent spate of suicides by his boss Yashiro (Sakaki). He heads over to the scene of a group suicide with his assistant Rie (Morishita) where they encounter a survivor (Nagasawa) who puts them on the trail of a woman named Rikki (Nakamura) who organises group suicides through her suicide bulletin board and a DVD she sends to potential suicides. The DVD is called The Suicide Manual. Yuu finds himself haunted by the concept of suicide and becomes obsessed with contacting Rikki.

This V-cinema release was the second directorial effort of Osamu Fukutani, one of the writers from the low-budget horror films The Locker 1 and 2. The cast list for The Suicide Manual features actors from both of those films and even the director Kei Horie. While I was no fan of Osamu Fukutani’s writing in The Locker I am interested in seeing how he squares up as a director.

The film opens with the lines:

The purpose of this movie is to warn against suicide. Its intent is not to encourage people to commit suicide

Continue reading “The Suicide Manual 自殺マニュアル (2003)”

Women on the Edge, Eight Ranger, Naruto the Movie: Road to Ninja Trailers and the Japanese Box-Office Chart

Kouhaku Kuroboshi designs for One OffThis week I got my Himizu poster from Adam over at Third Window Films and I wrote two reviews for the J-horror films Shibuya Kaidan 1 and 2 and a preview of Fuse: A Gun Girl’s Detective Story. Fuse is really capturing my imagination at the moment. I have been terribly busy this week what with work and life in general and so I found myself watching only a couple of Takeshi Kitano films and no anime (although I did watch the new trailer for One Off which still looks intriguing) and I pretty much stopped posting for AUKN (I wonder if anyone notices). I’m back on a somewhat even keel so I’ll resume my news duties and get back to watching more awesome Japanese films. Wasn’t the opening to the London 2012 Olympics spectacula?

What’s does the Japanese movie box-office chart look like this week?

  1. Umizaru 4: Brave Hearts
  2. The Wolf Children Ame and Yuki
  3. Pikachu the Movie 2012
  4. Helter Skelter
  5. Brave
  6. The Amazing Spider-Man
  7. Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha The MOVIE 2nd
  8. Soreike! Anpanman Yomigaere Bananajima
  9. Rinjo
  10. Thermae Romae

Last week’s new entry The Wolf Children Ame and Yuki has taken second in the charts while Uzimaru holds onto the top and Helter Skelter holds on to fourth in its second week. Thermae Romae remains in the top ten. Interestingly it was announced for this year’s Toronto International Film Festival alongside Takeshi Kitano’s latest film Outrage Beyond.

What films are released today?

Women on the Edge                                         Women on the Edge Movie Poster

Romaji: Girigiri no Onnatachi

Japanese Title: ギリギリ の 女たち

Release Date: 28th July 2012 (Japan)

Running Time: 101 mins.

Director: Masahiro Kobayashi

Writer: Masahiro Kobayashi

Starring: Miho Fujima, Yuko Nakamura, Makiko Watanabe

Masahiro Kobayashi, writer and director of grim films like Bashing is back with Women on the Edge which stars Miho Fujima (Ju-On: The Grudge, Tajomaru), Yuko Nakamura (Blood and Bones), and Makiko Watanabe (Himizu, Love Exposure). Reviews aren’t kind.

The three Onodera sisters return to the home of their deceased parents’ in Kesennuma, Miyagi, a place affected by the Tohoku Earthquake. The house has survived the earthquake and tsunami and the three are looking to claim an inheritance. Nobuko (Nakamura) moved to Tokyo and is a divorcee, Takako (Watanabe) moved to New York and works as a butoh dancer. Third sister Satomi (Fujima) stayed behind. There are deep resentments and over the course of the film they will come out.

 

Eight Ranger                                          Eight Ranger Movie Poster

Eito Renja

Japanese Title: エイトレンジャー

Release Date: 28th July 2012 (Japan)

Running Time: N/A

Director: Yukihiko Tsutsumi

Writer: N/A

Starring: Yu Yokoyama, Subaru Shibutani, Shingo Murakami, Ryuhei Maruyama, Shota Yasuda, Ryo Nishikido, Tadayoshi Okura, Hiroshi Tachi, Becky, Misako Renbutsu, Renji Ishibashi, Hitomi Takahashi,

Yukihiko Tsutsumi went from box-office smash hit SPEC: Heaven to the more intimate and small-scale film My House. Now he is tackling a parody of super sentai shows as Eight Ranger shows. I really hate that type of show (Takeshi Kitano’s Getting Any? was going along perfectly until the final section with the Earth Defence Force…). It is based on some of the boy band Kanjani Eight’s live performance. Kanjani Eight take the lead roles but there other notable names including Renji Ishibashi (One Missed Call, Audition, Outrage),  Hitomi Takahashi (The Sound of the Sea, Crime or Punishment?!?), and Misako Renbutsu (River, Quirk Guys & Gals).

The devastated city named Eight City is under attack from Dark Crusade and only the Eight Rangers can protect the inhabitants.

Naruto the Movie: Road to Ninja.

Synopsis

Sixteen years ago, a creature known as Kurama the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox was released from its jinchūriki (living prison) by a mysterious ninja and unleahed on the Hidden Leaf Village, leading to the death of many people. In order to stop this demon the Fourth Hokage Minato Namikaze, and his wife Kushia Uzumaki, who was the jinchūriki, sealed the demon inside their new born son, Naruto. With the beast sealed inside Naruto, things went back to being peaceful until a group of ninja known as Akatsuki attack the village. They are under the guidance of Tobi, the mysterious ninja who unleashed the demon the first time.

This is the sixth Naruto movie to be released thus far and it is set in an alternate timeline Naruto the Movie Road to Ninja Posterin which Naruto’s parents are still alive. People also have very different personalities as seen when Sasuke is hitting on Sakura and Hinata is much more aggressive. Masashi Kishimoto, the creator of Naruto, is handling the character designs and writing the script with Yuka Miyata (Naruto Shippūden) for the movie. The film is directed by Hayato Date who has handled countless Naruto TV episodes and movies like Ninja Clash in the Land of Snow. The franchise voice actors also return with Junko Takeuchi voicing Naruto, Nana Mizuki voicing Hinata, Noriaki Sugiyama voicing Sasuke and Chie Nakamura voicing Sakura. The awesome J-rock outfit Asian Kung-Fu generation are providing the film’s theme.

Staff: Hayato Date (Director), Masashi Kishimoto (Script/Character Design/Original Creator), Yuka Miyata (Script), Tetsuya Nishio (Animation Director), Asian Kung-Fu Generation (Movie Theme)

Voice Actors: Junko Takeuchi (Naruto Uzumaki), Emi Shinohara (Kushina Uzumaki), Toshiyuki Morikawa (Minato Namikaze), Kazuhiko Inoue (Kakashi Hatake), Chie Nakamura (Sakura Haruno), Nana Mizuki (Hinata Hyuga), Noriaki Sugiyama (Sasuke Uchiha)

Studio: Studio Pierrot