Guro Taku wrote:Third Window Films will release Love and Peace in the UK. No date has been set.
I saw this a few days ago, and thought it was pretty good actually. It's a mixture of family movie, kaiju film and Batman Returns.
The plot in short: a bullied office worker (Hiroki Hasehawa from Why Don't You Play in Hell) is spotted by a music producer (Kyohiko Shibukawa) who turns him into a rock star. Meanwhile, his pet turtle whom he flushed down the toilet while being bullied by colleagues, swims down the sewer and is adopted by an underground community consisting of an old drunk and all kinds of talking toys, teddy bears and small animals that he has brought to life. And of course, towards the end the film proceeds to the kaiju territory as the turtle begins to grow...
You probably didn't expect this from Sono, this is a family friendly movie. It's clean and bloodless (unlike Nishimura's Torakage, which slips to semi-splatter from time to time despite its G-rating) and has a nice moral message about the importance of caring. It's also packed with all kinds of cute creatures, including the big (eventually giant) turtle who is just like a little child longing to his owner. The film is at its best with these fantasy characters. Think of Batman Returns but less dark/tragic. Should work just as well for kids and adults.
There's tons of lovely handicraft and practical effects, including miniatures, puppets, and men in rubber suit The special effects supervisor is the same guy who worked on Henge, btw. The kaiju stuff is pretty brief, though, so don't expect the film to get to that territory until the final reel. Thankfully, the use of computer graphics is kept to a minimum. Actually, the film's trailer contains about 40% of all the CGI, and about 0.4% of all the practical effects...
On the minus side, there's a frequent feeling that the film could be even better. As it stands, it's certainly good, but it doesn't have the mad energy of Tokyo Tribe, the depth of Noriko's Dinner Table, or the breeze of Love Exposure. Instead it's again recycling some music from better Sono films. So, it's kind of missing that final "something". And, well, the acting is pretty damn over-the-top, though oddly un-irritating.
That being said, this certainly turned out better than I expected. Quite a pleasing film. I could even imagine watching this again before it leaves the theaters if I can find time. Recommended.
Screencaps from the trailer: