Recent and not so recent Japanese dramas

China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Thailand, etc.
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HungFist
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Recent and not so recent Japanese dramas

Unread post by HungFist » 26 Mar 2008, 16:02

No, I don’t mean doramas :D

Talk, recommendations, news, please. Myself I’m totally lost as I don’t have time to follow what’s happening on this front. But I was hoping Loudes, Shing and others could keep the board informed (hopefully also in the future) on new films that have been released and are worth watching or not worth watching. Talk on older films is also allowed.

* * * * *
Edit: imouto-threads
- Heaven's Story
- Love & Loathing & Lulu & Ayano
- Su-ki-da & Hiroshi Ishikawa
- Air Doll

* * * * *

Currently I’m looking forward to seeing Ichikawa’s How to Become Myself. Reliable source tells me it’s excellent. Fansubs available, too.

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Unread post by Lourdes » 26 Mar 2008, 16:14

Tony Takitani was the last one I saw and that was last summer, they've all seemed too much like dorama to me recently so I've spent my time on other things. I do begin studying Japanese in September so I need to leap back into that world soon and I'll post as I watch them.

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Unread post by HungFist » 26 Mar 2008, 16:24

Please do.

I've got Takitani sitting in the shelf behind me. Haven't watched it yet. Also in the same pile are Umoregi (The Buried Forest) and Hiroki's Vibrator.

Has anyone seen Rainbow Song? I think I read something about it not being quite that great, but it could still be worth a watch. Scripted by Iwai. I believe someone is currently working on (proper) subtitles.

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Unread post by Shingster » 26 Mar 2008, 16:42

You know, I don't think i've seen more than a couple of Japanese films all year. Been watching a lot of American cinema as we've had a spate of good films hit DVD this year. Again i'm drawing a blank to recall titles, even though I watched a lot of dramas last year. Obviously there's Tennen Kokekko, which I reviewed not long back, that's worthwhile.

I've put in a request to review the r2j of Naomi Kawase's latest: The Mourning Forest in April, as that looks interesting.

Isshin Inudou's latest: Kiiroi Namida (Yellow Tears) is out on r2j and r3hk. I haven't gotten round to watching it yet though.

Not seen Rainbow Song.
Tegami is out on Blu-ray, but the film is very very poor. :D

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Unread post by HungFist » 26 Mar 2008, 17:02

The Mourning Forest interests me, too.

I'm not sure what to think of Isshin Inudou. I liked Jozee, but Maison de Himiko didn't have much else good than one great dance scene and plenty of Odagiri cuteness. I recall the first half being painful to watch, although it got more entertaining after that.

Tennen kokekko is excellent. I love Yamashita. Although his recent films haven't been as good as his older ones, I've still greatly enjoyed them all.

Matsugane ransha jiken especially was a positive surprise. It had the worst advertising campagn ever, but the film turned out to be almost pure Yamashita. It's more slick than his old films, but it's nowhere near a mainstream movie (average viewer would consider it boring). Some people have compared it to Fargo, which actualy isn't too far off. However, that doesn't mean it's Fargo in Japanese, but a film that Fargo might have been if it had been directed and re-written by Yamashita. The long takes, the weird (but un-underlined) characters, music... the opening scene where a young kid finds a woman's body in snow and starts touching her crotch all very recognizable Yamashita.

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Unread post by Shingster » 26 Mar 2008, 17:17

I really want to watch Matsugane Potshot Affair and of course his earlier films Ramblers & No-ones Ark, but no subs on the r2j DVDs IIRC. I've been waiting and hoping for a r3hk release of Matsugane.

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Unread post by HungFist » 26 Mar 2008, 17:43

If I'm not mistaken new Realism no yado and No One's Ark subs have come to public distribution now. Ot at least someone was planning on doing them. I believe the same people are working on Hazy Life, too. I haven't seen that one yet, but if it's even half as good as Ark and Realism then it's gonna be a masterpiece. Matsugane subs are available, too.

Some Matsugane caps
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Have you noticed what a tiny guy Yamashita is? (Tennen kokekko extras)
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Sleepy too...
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... and a bit creepy, lol
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Unread post by Shingster » 26 Mar 2008, 19:26

Yeah he's got to be around 4ft tall, he draws a good caricature of himself iirc.

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Unread post by HungFist » 26 Mar 2008, 19:34

hehe, true, true

Just recalled another film I'm interested in; Aoyama's Sad Vacation. It's the final part in the trilogy and stars Asano, Odagiri and Miyazaki. It's out on R2J but no subs. But this is one that I suspect may get a fansub treatement sooner or later. Haven't heard anything yet, though

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Unread post by ericf » 06 Apr 2008, 17:36

I know Eureka is the first movie in the trilogy. And now Sad Vacation seems to be the third.
But what is the second film called?
Thanks.
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Unread post by Lourdes » 06 Apr 2008, 18:51

Helpless, Eureka and Sad Vacation.

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Unread post by Lourdes » 09 Apr 2008, 22:03

Even So, I Didn't Do It - 3.5/5
This film makes a rather important point about Japans crimminal justice system which views innocence as an intolerable failing of the police and courts rather than guilt as a failing of society. That said the film itself suffers from being a major Japanese film which means that the tiny pool of actors who appear in every other Japanese film are all used and they generaly fail to impress. It also strays dangerously close to 'dorama' moments complete with piano music in a few scenes. Having said that I still liked it, Masayuki Suo makes a good movie and I sat attentively until it was over.

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Megane - 2/5
One of these semi-comedic 'slice of life' films in which nothing happens. I didn't find anything to be particually objectional - a bit of naff acting and comedy but that's it - however there isn't exactly anything redeeming to it either. Forgettable and not something I'd recommend except as a time waster.

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Unread post by HungFist » 09 Apr 2008, 22:15

My expectations (based on the trailer and website) for Megane match your comments, but a film in which everyone wears glasses (doesn't that equal to cuteness boost?)? I think I may have to check it myself if a cheap HK dvd gets released some day.

*****

EDIT: new film with Kaho (Tennen kokekko). Just thought to mention.

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Unread post by Lourdes » 09 Apr 2008, 22:51

Cuteness? No, that was just a gimick that has nothing to do with anything in the film and it's not a cute film in any case.
HungFist wrote:EDIT: new film with Kaho (Tennen kokekko). Just thought to mention.
I always send those sorts of films to my mother, she loves them. I get a little tired of the same thing in every film.....

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Unread post by HungFist » 10 Apr 2008, 00:11

but all girls look cuter with glasses :D

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Unread post by HungFist » 16 Apr 2008, 15:30


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Unread post by HungFist » 20 Apr 2008, 20:59

The R3K (and most likely R2J) Tony Takitani features an unfortunate subtitling error. The subs begin perfectly in sync but start lagging little by little until at the end of the movie they come 0.4 seconds late. It's easy to fix, though. Just set the scrip to run 0.4 seconds shorter and everything will be in sync.

*******

New film from the director of Rainbow Song, Ame no tsubasa.
http://www.emimusic.jp/amenotsubasa/

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Thursday, 01 November 2007

TOKYO -- Exhib United Cinemas will produce "Ame no Tsubasa" (The Wings of Rain), a teen love drama based on the winning entry to UC's "Cinema Plot Competition, the company announced on Thursday. Held for the first time last year, the competition solicits ideas from ordinary film fans for pic plots, with the winner to be made into a pic shown in UC theaters.

"Ame no Tsubasa" stars up-and-comer Misa Fuji ("The Simpsons"), in her first starring role as a girl whose bad moments always seem to unfold in the rain -- but in the course of the film gets a grip on her life, even though she can't always avoid precipitation.

The helmer is Naoto Kumazawa, whose credits include "Niraikanai kara no Tegami" (A Letter from Niraikanai) and "Niji no Joshin Rainbow Song" (Goddess of the Rainbow -- Rainbow Song). To build interest in the pic, popster Kumami recorded and released its theme song prior to the start of shooting.

The pic is skedded for a late February 2008 release, starting with UC theaters in Tokyo and Fukuoka. Also, on Thursday, UC announced the winners of the second Cinema Plot Competition, judged by "Tekkonkinkreet" helmer Michael Arias.
- http://www.varietyasiaonline.com/content/view/4853/53/

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Unread post by Shingster » 17 May 2008, 20:13

I finally got hold of a review copy of The Mourning Forest, found it to be a riveting but challenging drama, pretty much as you'd expect from Naomi Kawase. It's good to know there's still some arthouse Japanese directors who aren't pandering to mainstream audiences (as Shiota and Yamashita have started doing). I'd definitely recommend it to Hung and Lourdes, dunno if either of you are familiar with Kawase's work?

I have also since watched No One's Ark, Ramblers, and Matsugane Pothsot Affair, all of which I really enjoyed.

Lourdes: Is the r2j DVD of Even So, I Didn't Do It out now? If so are fansubs available?

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Unread post by HungFist » 17 May 2008, 22:59

Not familiar with Kawase's work.

Akihiko Shiota? Is that's a big loss? Gaichu is excellent (although it fired a bit over a few times) but Moonlight Whispers was a trainwreck (fun, yes, but I'm not sure how much of that was intentional). Canary has been bashed by pretty much everyone. I'd still like to see it, though. Shiota seems to have a good ear for soundtracks at least.

Waiting in the Dark just came out in HK (I think the R2J is subbed, too). Any comments? Heard one so far, not especially positive.

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Unread post by Shingster » 18 May 2008, 01:08

I enjoyed Gaichu and Canary to some extent, but I'm not exactly a massive fan of his work either tbh. I have GIPS on my uwatched DVD pile. Don't know much about Waiting in the Dark, can't say it appeals much to me. Not surprised there are negative reviews beginning to surface, shame really, as the writer/director has performed script duties on some very good films.

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Unread post by Lourdes » 18 May 2008, 03:05

Shing, yes, subs are available.

Is Canary the one that starts with a boy running away from something or other or to something or other? That was horrid, I don't think I lasted more than 15-20 mins.

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Unread post by Shingster » 18 May 2008, 17:46

Sounds like it, I recall you hating it and saying so on the AsianDVDGuide back in the day as well. :D

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Unread post by Lourdes » 18 May 2008, 18:29

http://www.bulletsnbabesdvd.com/forums/ ... 8152#78152

Of course I watched for longer than that out of fairness.

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Unread post by Lourdes » 18 May 2008, 21:35

Hung,
The subtitle synch of the R2J Tony Takitani seems okay to me. I've cut a sample from near the end and uploaded it Here (85MB), see if it's any different.
I'll be getting hold of the R2UK tomorrow to do a comparison with.

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Unread post by HungFist » 18 May 2008, 22:34

Thanks, there is a difference. Weird. The R2J is perfectly fine, the R3K lags.

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