First Love (Miike, 2019)

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HungFist
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First Love (Miike, 2019)

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Set over one night in Tokyo, the film will follow Leo, a young boxer down on his luck as he meets his ‘first love’ Monica, a call girl and an addict but still an innocent. Little does Leo know, Monica is unwittingly caught up in a drug-smuggling scheme, and the two are pursued through the night by a corrupt cop, a yakuza, his nemesis, and a female assassin sent by the Chinese Triads. According to the production, all their fates intertwine in “spectacular Miike style, at his most and fun and anarchic.”
- https://deadline.com/2019/04/takashi-mi ... 202601162/

Two Cannes reviews, both calling the film the best Miike has done in years:

- https://variety.com/2019/film/markets-f ... 1203225496

- https://theplaylist.net/first-love-taka ... w-20190523

This could be the first new Japanese movie I see in theatre since Re-Born and the Roman Porno reboots... when Toei releases it in fucking 2020!

Half-empty HP:
https://hatsukoi-movie.jp/

Guro Taku
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Re: First Love (Miike, 2019)

Post by Guro Taku »

deadline wrote:
01 Jun 2019, 06:38
Miike style, at his most and fun and anarchic.”
Didn't they say the same thing about YAKUZA APOCALYPSE? I will watch it of course because Miike has earnied that lifetime pass in the late 90ies/early 00s but nothing in those two reviews leads me to expect a real return to form.

A one year deleay between world premiere and Japanese release does seem odd. I guess they really want to lean into festival play first and then use a bunch of festival credentials to advertise it Japan.

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Re: First Love (Miike, 2019)

Post by Budzinski »

This looks quite interesting to me. I gotta believe Miike can come close like the movies from back in the day. Maybe not with this one, but sooner or later, he will.

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Re: First Love (Miike, 2019)

Post by HungFist »

US teaser:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FnriSpm4ZBE

I remain hopeful that the film is (a lot) better than that teaser. Not a single interesting shot there.

Seems like the film will hit American theatres long before it opens in Japan.

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Re: First Love (Miike, 2019)

Post by Guro Taku »

HungFist wrote:
23 Jul 2019, 14:34
Seems like the film will hit American theatres long before it opens in Japan.
Well Go Usa will release the film in NY/LA on September 27, with an expansion planned for October 4. Does it even have a release date in Japan other than "2020"?

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Re: First Love (Miike, 2019)

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Guro Taku wrote:
23 Jul 2019, 15:41
Does it even have a release date in Japan other than "2020"?
Not that I know.

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Re: First Love (Miike, 2019)

Post by Guro Taku »

Theatrical release in Japan on February 28th:

https://hatsukoi-movie.jp/

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Re: First Love (Miike, 2019)

Post by HungFist »

This film marked the first time I've bothered seeing a new Japanese film in theatre in 2½ years... shouldn't have.

First Love (初恋) (Japan, 2019) [DCP] - 1.5/5
Miike's "return to roots", a dull one-night yakuza/cops/youngsters crash course completely void of the vigour that made his old films cinematic Duracell bunnies. Masataka Kubota and Sakura Konishi make a pair of good looking young leads with zero sparks between them; Shota Sometani gets the laughs by looking absolutely ridiculous as a mad yakuza. There's not one interesting action set piece in the film despite plentiful mayhem during the second half. Even worse, the film opens with a grainy Toei logo, but immediately after reverts to digital dog shit that looks like Japanese TV or a DTV yakuza film. Oddly though, the last 10 min looks very good, and is the only interesting part of the film story wise as well. Other two positives: no CGI blood, and finally there are convincing gun effects (largely MIA from Japanese cinema for the past 10 years).

Version reviewed: 115 min Japanese theatrical. The US/UK version seems to be about 7 min shorter, running 108 min as confirmed by various sources including the BBFC.


Taku enjoyed it much better than I did
Guro Taku wrote:
23 Feb 2020, 19:40
First Love (初恋) (Japan, 2019) [BD] - 3.5/5
This turned out to be a pleasant surprise from Miike, who arguably directs his best film here since 13 Assassins (2010). This story of a young boxer diagnosed with a brain tumor getting involved with a girl who's been selected as a scapegoat in a drug war between yakuza, triads and a crooked cop, also feels closer to what got me interested in Miike in the first place than the rampant idiocy of, say, Yakuza Apocalypse (2015). I would have rated it even higher if it had stuck the landing as well but after 95 propulsive minutes the film can't seem to find an ending and keeps going for another 10 minutes. I did love the final shot, though.

In case someone's a fan, Hard Core Chocolate has made a pretty nice t-shirt
Image
- https://core-choco.shop-pro.jp/?pid=148627848

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Re: First Love (Miike, 2019)

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HungFist wrote:
03 Mar 2020, 16:22
Taku enjoyed it much better than I did
Maybe one has to have paid to see all of Miike's recent films on the big screen (at festivals, obviously) to appreciate FIRST LOVE. If you give this one 1.5/5 I'd be curious how you'd rate LAPLACE'S WITCH or JOJO or AS THE GODS WILL. Hell, I watched about half of the first season of his magical grade school idol girls TV show (target audience: girls aged 2-4 according to Asahi Shimbun) as well. A return to form is always a matter of context.

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Re: First Love (Miike, 2019)

Post by HungFist »

Guro Taku wrote:
04 Mar 2020, 08:11
HungFist wrote:
03 Mar 2020, 16:22
Taku enjoyed it much better than I did
Maybe one has to have paid to see all of Miike's recent films on the big screen (at festivals, obviously) to appreciate FIRST LOVE. If you give this one 1.5/5 I'd be curious how you'd rate LAPLACE'S WITCH or JOJO or AS THE GODS WILL. Hell, I watched about half of the first season of his magical grade school idol girls TV show (target audience: girls aged 2-4 according to Asahi Shimbun) as well. A return to form is always a matter of context.
Gods was the film that made lose my faith (though I do recall rating it a bit higher, probably 2/5). Jojo and Lapland are on my no-go list.

I do recall enjoying Lesson of Evil though, especially seeing it on a 14m screen (it was a big mainstream hit)!

Gotta give you respect for the kids' show :lol: :thumbs:

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