Japanese Cinema

add news feed

tweet a story

The official website for Dean Fujioka’s I Am Ichihashi: Journal of A Murderer has been updated with a new 90-second trailer. The film is based on an autobiographical novel titled “Taih? Sareru Made” (Until I Was Arrest...
The official website for Dean Fujioka’s I Am Ichihashi: Journal of A Murderer has been updated with a new 90-second trailer. The film is based on an autobiographical novel titled “Taih? Sareru Made” (Until I Was Arrested) by Tatsuya Ichihashi, the man who murdered British English teacher Lindsay Hawker in early 2007. As the title suggests, it depicts his desperate attempts to evade capture for 2 years and 7 months following the murder. In keeping with his own version of events, Ichihashi...
about 5 hours ago
RIP men's egg (1999-2013)
RIP men's egg (1999-2013)
about 6 hours ago
Nagahide Niwa (Fumiyo Kohinata), Katsuie Shibata (Koji Yakusho), Hideyoshi Toyotomi (Yo Oizumi) and Tsuneoki Ikeda (Koichi Sato) decide the future of Japan in THE KIYOSU CONFERENCE. Photo courtesy of Fuji Television Network. © 2013 FUJ...
Nagahide Niwa (Fumiyo Kohinata), Katsuie Shibata (Koji Yakusho), Hideyoshi Toyotomi (Yo Oizumi) and Tsuneoki Ikeda (Koichi Sato) decide the future of Japan in THE KIYOSU CONFERENCE. Photo courtesy of Fuji Television Network. © 2013 FUJI TELEVISION NETWORK, TOHO Source: Fuji Television Network Official Site: kiyosukaigi.com (Japan) In 2011, critically acclaimed screenwriter, producer, film director and entertainment pioneer Koki Mitani secured his reputation as Japan's leading writer-director with A GHOST OF A CHANCE (???????, Suteki na Kanashibari), the No.1 Japanese live-action film of the year. Now the filmmaker returns with his latest undertaking; the historical epic THE KIYOSU CONFERENCE (????, Kiyosu Kaigi, 2013) starring 26 of Japan's top stars. In 1582, before the unification of Japan, Nobunaga Oda was forced to take his own life at Honno-ji Temple during a violent revolt led by Mitsuhide Akechi. Following Oda’s death, Japan held the Kiyosu Conference -- the “conference that changed the course of history” -- to resolve the Oda clan’s succession of leadership. Mitani gives us his unique interpretation of the intricate web of human relationships involved in this process as the brave general Katsuie Shibata and Hideyoshi Hashiba, who would later unify Japan, engage in a battle of wits, deceit and bargaining. Continued...
about 13 hours ago
Lately, a certain term began to sound very popular around China~ Chinese Dream. As government officials try to explain in their well prepared and yet very dull PR speeches, it’s pretty much the same concept as the American Dream ba...
Lately, a certain term began to sound very popular around China~ Chinese Dream. As government officials try to explain in their well prepared and yet very dull PR speeches, it’s pretty much the same concept as the American Dream back in the 1950s~ work, money, happiness and national pride. However, “American Dreams in China” does not bother with this issue directly. It is only due to strange translation that one may get such an impression. Actually, the literal transliteration would sound something like “Chinese Partner”. And indeed, the story is a mix of comedy and drama which revolves about the dreams and careers of 3 good friends, who came to be successful businessmen. You could say that “American Dreams in China” has elements of a Hollywood style rags-to-riches plot, but there’s more to it~ For one to understand and like this motion title, one must comprehend what China looked like 30 years a go, and trust me, it had absolutely nothing to do with anything you have today. Back in the early 1980s when the story begins, Chinese society was still a firmly Maoist environment, with little or no personal freedoms. The country only started to open up, but still, the road ahead was long and challenging. Money or any kind of major material possessions were a distant dream for most. Young people had only but two choices~ to study and hope for a city desk job, or settle in the country side and employ in a field or factory. Naturally, many had a problem with the options, which pushed to them find luck in other places of the world, most often in the USA. Some of them succeeded to cross the ocean, but most had to stay in China and search for a different way. American Dreams in China is a story about three college friends with same dreams, and yet, paths that took very different turns. Especially the film’s latter half focuses on the rise of China, and there is a clear message that Chinese people are inherently cleverer, more moral and generally better than stupid Americans who are only economically at the top due to their aggressiveness and luck. There’s also a very odd message in the film about racism in the USA, which seems quite irrelevant to the plot of the film and just another way for the film to push home the message that Chinese people are a better people than Americans. It is a drama (based on a true story as they say) with comic elements~ A Chinese tale which in a humorous, and yet very bold ways speaks of a generation that started the business story which, up till today, made China the economic center of the world. Their work and effort will go along with the changing society, enduring the wild and turbulent tides. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-04SMK2esG8 That said, it’s smart on Peter Chan’s part of picking up on this trend and using it here because American Dreams in China is a Mainland Chinese story made for the Mainland audience. The content may prove more difficult with English-speaking audiences whom aren’t aware of the cultural context or why the three friends carry the values they do about America and the American Dream to laugh at it whole-heartedly. Suffice to say, Chan balances the film well and it is impressive to see a Hong Kong director tune to a Mainland frequency. Best thing I can say about Peter Chan’s direction is that he is worldly. American Dreams in China will connect with its audience, namely Chinese people who were born in the 80′s, and those people will enjoy it.
about 22 hours ago
Misa Kuroi is an adorable high-school girl who arrives at her new school when it is falling under an evil supernatural force. Trying to figure out who’s behind the supernatural attack, Misa also has to deal with assumptions by her ...
Misa Kuroi is an adorable high-school girl who arrives at her new school when it is falling under an evil supernatural force. Trying to figure out who’s behind the supernatural attack, Misa also has to deal with assumptions by her fellow classmates that believe she is the one behind it all. Misa and twelve other students are kept late after school hours one day to retake an exam. Then, after sunset, the entire school is deserted, and the students find themselves trapped inside and their teacher no where to be found. One by one, the thirteen students are picked up and disposed of in horrific and graphic fashion. It is up to Misa to try and gain the trust of her fellow students so that she can protect them and stop the evil before it’s too late. Here’s a sexy and bloody by-the-numbers supernatural teen horror film that somehow manages to be fresh and exciting. The tight and intelligent script is matched by high production values, interesting characters, slick special effects, and a haunting musical score. The direction is smart and generates a tense atmosphere of ever-increasing dread without dipping into cheap thrill exploitation. Highly recommended as a late night scare-fest. There’s not much of a background to the witch Misa in this story, as she’s pretty much thrown right into this one and we got to accept it, even though this vagueness could frustrate. This would be the first of four chapters of this character. And the second entry (which is so-so and reminded of “The Terminator”) would go onto be a prequel, which explained a lot about Misa’s past and how she became to be a witch. The static script throws around plenty of witchcraft mumbo jumbo and lets the mystery unfold perfectly fine with few well-disguised red herrings and pawn-figures. The usual twists are also thrown in for good measure. Miho Kanno plays her new friend who shows her around school. You may recognize her from her role a few years later as the first Tomie. Prolific actress/voice actress Ryouka Yuzuki (aka Kanori Kadomatsu / Ayumi Nagashii) plays a schoolgirl who is having a lesbian affair with the teacher played by Mio Takaki (an actress from a few Ultraman films). The lesbian affair and its resulting nudity seems to be an idea of the producers to appeal to the exploitation audience and really doesn’t add anything to the film. I found the end to be, like a lot of movies that build you up, quite disappointing, but the attractiveness of the actors and the relative originality of the plot more than made up for it. Yoshino Kimika’s character Misa is captivating – you can see she’s no normal Japanese high school girl. Yoshino’s doubtful earlier movie career must have brightened considerably on the release of this movie. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cOurSHdHwa4 Then the movie ends. It has its moments and for the most part I enjoyed it, I liked the kills and I liked that the one guy I thought they were going to make the jerk turned out to be okay. There is a bit of sexual scenes in the movie, but nothing that really lasts all that long, just adds a hint of spice. The main problem with this film though is the fact it just seems to be a sequel, that we should have been introduced to this character and seen her in all her glory. She is made out to be so powerful, but she does not really do a whole lot in the entire movie other than be held captive like all the other students. It was an okay movie, but I do hope the other two parts are a bit better at presenting themselves. Late night scare-fest aside, if I have to judge the film on a critical level, I have to split it down the movie. See it but it is nothing memorable.
about 22 hours ago
Source: Discotek Media TEKKAMAN BLADE II: COMPLETE OVA COLLECTION cover art. Image courtesy of Discotek Media. © TATSUNOKO PRODUCTION On October 29th, the OVA series TEKKAMAN BLADE II (??????????????II, Uchu no Kishi Tekkam...
Source: Discotek Media TEKKAMAN BLADE II: COMPLETE OVA COLLECTION cover art. Image courtesy of Discotek Media. © TATSUNOKO PRODUCTION On October 29th, the OVA series TEKKAMAN BLADE II (??????????????II, Uchu no Kishi Tekkaman Bureedo Tsuu, 1994) will be released on Region 1 DVD by Discotek Media. Ten years have passed since the original series -- TEKNOMAN to fans of the US TV series -- and a new generation of Tekkaman must confront a powerful enemy while rebuilding their forces. In STAGE 1: THE NEW GENERATION, Yumi Francois, a young mechanic, is the unlikely candidate for the elite Tekkaman fighting team. Thrust into the midst of battle, she must overcome her fear and inexperience and gain her teammates' confidence and trust to survive. In STAGE 2: THE ALIEN INTRUDER, the Tekkaman team discovers a new enemy planning to destroy them. Faced with adversaries everywhere and conflict with the team, the Tekkamen must beat the overwhelming odds against them to win. In STAGE 3: FINAL ENCOUNTER, ultimate destruction is at hand! The past has caught up to the present -- can the team come together in the face of the truth to avert utter disaster? Continued...
1 day ago
Welcome to a new venture of the GGtMC!!! This is the Midnite Ride!!! On the first episode of the Midnite Ride, Large William covers You're Nobody 'til Somebody Kills You (2012) directed by Michael A. Pinckney. Emails to midnitecinema@gm...
Welcome to a new venture of the GGtMC!!! This is the Midnite Ride!!! On the first episode of the Midnite Ride, Large William covers You're Nobody 'til Somebody Kills You (2012) directed by Michael A. Pinckney. Emails to midnitecinema@gmail.com Voicemails to 206-666-5207 Adios!!!
1 day ago
Nobuo Uematsu (?? ??) is a Japanese video game composer, best known for scoring the majority of titles in the Final Fantasy series. He is considered one of the most famous and respected composers in the video game community. After we int...
Nobuo Uematsu (?? ??) is a Japanese video game composer, best known for scoring the majority of titles in the Final Fantasy series. He is considered one of the most famous and respected composers in the video game community. After we interviewed him on our website we got inspired to countdown his top 10 compositions. We promised ourselves to limit each entry to one Final Fantasy game as we would be afraid that FFIV and VII would swallow up the entire Top 10, so without further ado… The original soundtrack has been hailed as one of the best video game soundtracks ever made and was scored primarily by Yasunori Mitsuda, with assistance by veteran Final Fantasy composer Nobuo Uematsu. A sound programmer at the time, Mitsuda was unhappy with his pay and threatened to leave Square if he could not compose music. The result…magical! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c8G4tENMWS4 Beautiful song in a place full of beautiful ladies. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cu7Ddlk-CD8 “Jenova” serves as the eponymous battle theme for Jenova, and can be heard during the encounters with Jenova?BIRTH and Jenova?DEATH. When the theme shifts to the major mode for the “fanfare” section just before it starts over, the chord progression is either identical to or a transposition of the second half of the Prelude, depending on the relative keys of the two themes. It’s beautifully haunting. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9kGaw216HM Rad Racer 2! The game only had two main songs: Gum Ball Crash and Coast to Coast. We love it! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-c7ZPnHSdY When Hironobu Sakaguchi left Squaresoft (now Square-Enix) and struck out on his own, he left behind the series he had created, Final Fantasy. Nobuo Uematsu, the series’s renowned composer, also left shortly after. The majority of the game’s score features live instrumentation, which especially leans towards oboes and bassoons, but several of the tracks utilize synth. The score is varied, and makes use of glockenspiel, harpsichord, xylophone, and sitar as well as the usual trumpets, flutes, and strings. The sad variation on the main theme in “Parting Forever” add balance to the score. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nF3dh_R2eu8 “To Zanarkand” was originally written by Uematsu before the development of Final Fantasy X, for the recital of a flutist friend named Seo. Uematsu eventually decided the track was too gloomy and kept it for a later use. When development of Final Fantasy X started, he decided to use the track for the game. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eKyvAjoIvAI Ah…The main battle theme of FFVI! From the familiar intro, the drums crash in and trumpets soar in this rock-inspired and fiery battle song! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCIfTzsHnkc When I first heard the theme for her castle, it honestly creeped me out. But honestly, I think the theme matches the design of Ultimecia Castle perfectly which features a baroque organ, and is separated into three sections of varying emotions. The styles of these three sections vary from light-hearted, dark and sinister, and playful intimidation. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CqtGBR80NWw This arrangement is longer than any other version of “Kuja’s Theme”, and features “Wicked Melody”‘s opening, which leads to a fast-paced build up and then the theme breaks out in a guitar riff. This arrangement mixes the melody of the theme while elements of funk and rock can be heard in the background. One of the best villian theme songs ever, in our opinion. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MmYSy9U78Sc The FFXI airship is quite different to the airship themes in other FFs and seems interesting. But most importantly, this tune brings me back to my old college days in the dorm playing this MMO for hours upon end. Its nostalgic, its melodic, and it’s catchy. When this tune plays you are in the middle of a cutscene and you can really take i
1 day ago
The latest Pretty Cure film, DOKIDOKI! PRETTY CURE THE MOVIE: MEMORIES FOR THE FUTURE, opens this month in Japan. Image courtesy of Toei Co., Ltd. © 2013 DokiDoki! Pretty Cure the Movie Production Committee Source: Toei Co., Ltd. ...
The latest Pretty Cure film, DOKIDOKI! PRETTY CURE THE MOVIE: MEMORIES FOR THE FUTURE, opens this month in Japan. Image courtesy of Toei Co., Ltd. © 2013 DokiDoki! Pretty Cure the Movie Production Committee Source: Toei Co., Ltd. Official Site: precure-movie.com (Japan) Additional Material: Tokyo International Film Festival Let's go to the world of the future! On October 20th, the 26th Tokyo International Film Festival will host the world premiere of DOKIDOKI! PRETTY CURE THE MOVIE: MEMORIES FOR THE FUTURE (???????????? ????!!?????????????, Eiga Dokidoki! Purikyua Mana Kekkon!!? Mirai ni Tsunagu Kiboo no Doresu) for its Special Screenings section. Continued...
1 day ago
Today it was announced that actor Hiroshi Tamaki and actress Satomi Ishihara will co-star in a film adaptation of the Fuji TV jidaigeki drama Bakumatsu Kokosei (lit. Late Edo period high school student). The film marks the first time eit...
Today it was announced that actor Hiroshi Tamaki and actress Satomi Ishihara will co-star in a film adaptation of the Fuji TV jidaigeki drama Bakumatsu Kokosei (lit. Late Edo period high school student). The film marks the first time either actor has played lead in a historical drama. The TV show starring Fumie Hosokawa and Shinji Takeda aired in 1994 and featured a mix of modern and traditional cultures thanks to the ever-popular “time slip” trope in which characters from the modern era find...
1 day ago