ANNOUNCEMENTS

20 MOVIES in 1 month challenge: 17/20

Next reviews: 30+ Single on Sale, Okja, Bloody Monday S1, Heroine Shikkaku, The Beauty inside, Terra Formars, Ayashii Kanojo, Secret Message, Vancouver's Asahi, Onmyuji ~The Yin Yang master~, Onmyouji II, Hajimari no uta, Dive to the future, The professor and his beloved equation, The Commitment, Maison Ikkouku 1,2; Very ordinary couple; Rurouni kenshin ~Kyoto inferno~, Attack on titan 1,2; I have to but new shoes; Blackboard 1,3; Beyond the memories; Gangnam blues;

Currently watching: Bloody Monday S2, Karei naru spy, Brilliant Legacy

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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Sweet room (2009)


Country: Japan
Genre: friendship, romance, ***
Format: cellphone drama 4 episodes
Cast: 1.ep "Last Love": Narimiya Hiroki, Shiomi Yukari
         2.ep "Birthday" : Mukai Osamu, Hasegawa Emi
         3. ep "Triangle": Kaname Jun, Watanabe Naoko, Kubota Yuusuke
         4. ep "Room service": Toyohara Kosuke, Noriko Iriyama,
Synopsis:  Four stories of four men in a hotel room. In "Last love" Narimiya Hiroki is a young photographer who is photographing his crush, while she announces that she is going to die due to incurable disease. "Birthday" Mukai Osamu creates the most wonderful birthday celebration for his girlfriend. In "Triangle" Kaname Jun is fighting over a girl with his friend, who is also in love with that girl. A few hours later friend dies and tells to make action. "Room service" Toyohara Kosuke plays the part of a servant, who will have a romance with a visitor.
Rating: 1/5
 I liked Narimiya Hiroki´s episode... other were just like they were.  It was Narimiya´s first time filming this kind of bed-scenes. Must say that he totally nailed it! I have never understood how can he make these face expressions. It feels like he is in big pain or agony. Every time I see that face, I feel like I want to hug him so tightly. The end of his episode was just funny. I feel so sorry for him..
"Birthday" was most romantic. All that, how the male character thought and everything he did for her. (It is hard to make a review, if the drama has no names... hope you understand). It really seemed like a real young people love story, like a puppy love ^^.
"Triangle" was most annoying. I do not know why, but I am not a big fan of Kaname Jun. He is a great actor, but something is missing. The story of it was lousy too. "Why don´t you go out with her?" does not have the same meaning as "Why don´t you sleep with her?!".
"Room service" only episode without hard bed-scene. I liked this end the most, it was sweet. otherwise it was nothing special.
Mostly they all contain a lot of nudity and bed-scenes. It is best not to watch with really young children (And it might be uncomfortable for you to watch it with your parents, but I watched clips of "Last Love" with my mother. I´ll tell that even if it is uncomfortable for you, there is nothing new to your parents anyway....). 
All episodes should be about 10 minutes, I guess?

"Last Love" clips were used in (former) Tohoshinki/DBSK/TVXQ or what ever they are called more music video for "Stand by me" (Which is also the theme song of the movie).

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Halfway (2010)


Country: Japan
Genre: romance, school
Format: movie
Cast: Kitano Kie, Okada Masaki, Narimiya Hiroki, Naka Riisa, Mizobata Junpei
Synopsis:Hiro (Kitano Kie) and Shu (Okada Masaki) are in last year of high school and they start dating. Their relationship is going to be darkened by the fear and changes of tomorrow as Hiro is going to attend in local university, but Shu has always wished to go to Tokyo.
Rating: 2/5
I have read the original manga. It is amazing how similar the actors are with original characters. For spoiler, the manga and movie have different endings. As it really is a shoujo-manga, then manga has actually unrealistic end, that´s why I liked the movie ending more.
Actors were just great. They totally pulled it off - .^ Specially I liked Kitano Kie, but I did not like her character. Her eyes are amazing.
It is another Kitagawa Eriko´s works. That explains why the movie is just going in a slow-motion. There is no big happenings, mostly about one thing and that´s all. In addition, if you have seen other Kitagawa Eriko´s works, then you should know that the female lead is cry-baby, egoistic and childish. Hiro really cries a lot... it is not even crying, it is whining like a baby! (But it is understandable, when it is a baby, but for 17-18 year old girl it is really childish.). (BTW. If you think that I just do not like Kitagawa´s work, then wait til Sunao ni Narenakute review or read it, and you might change your mind. It seems like they have used hand-camera for filming and there is very few montage done, many raw cuts and it is very documentary-like. In some ways it is really fascinating, but it doesn´t work for that story. It seems like you are entering to someones personal life.
The reason why it did not get higher rating is that it was tooo slow and I did not enjoyed it. I just do not understand how can one girl be so childish!!!
I totally love Narimiya Hiroki and Naka Riisa (They acted together in "Yankee-kun to Megane-chan"), but sadly they did not have any screentime together this time. They both are still so great ^^ I would like to see them acting together more. They have a chemistry on screen ^^ 

Friday, June 24, 2011

Toki wo kakeru shoujo (2010)


Also known as: Time traveller, The Girl who leapt trough time
Country: Japan
Genre: future, drama, romance, time travel
Format: movie
Cast: Naka Riisa, Narumi Yasuda, Nakao Akiyoshi, Kanji Nishimaru, Katsumura Masanobu, (+ Matsushita Yuya)
Synopsis: It is year 2010 and Yoshiyama Kazuko works secretly on formula to time travel. She gets into car accident, which leads her to comatose, her daughter Akari hears about mom´s first love. In order to fasten mother´s recovery , Akari uses the time travel formula to go back into 1970-s. After making the mistake with year, she meets Ryouta.
Rating: 3/5
It was like a sequel to the real story. I have seen the anime-movie of it and I enjoyed it. About movie, I did not get that same feeling, but there where some scenes which I totally loved. It is like usually that first movies are a little bit better than sequels, but if look at it as a different movie or you do not know about the real story, then it is a great movie.
It has a great story and I liked that it has many side-stories and a beautiful ending. I cried like a insane, but the tears were worth it xD. Again it is a movie were everybody and everything have connections, but actually if you always try to think ahead, then it might be predictable - so don´t think, watch~! (I know I just totally remade Bruce Lee´s "Don´t think, feel~!" But after one click i discovered that it is sooooo common phrase xD just search from tvtropes.org and you´ll see where it has been used. I know, out of topic)
Naka Riisa is so great actress. No matter what she had to do she did it so well that it didn´t seemed to be acting! it was so natural! and I fell in love with her haircut. I know it is so ordinary and plain, but it is beautiful.
The are some weird characters, but they do not annoy. May be Kazuko is weirdest, because as a mom she should have worry about her daughter more, not sending her 40 years into the past.





Thursday, June 23, 2011

Tatta Hitotsu no koi (2006)


Country: Japan
Genre: Romance, drama
Format: drama 10 episodes
Cast: Kamenashi Kazuya, Ayase Haruka, Tanaka Koki, Hiraoka Yuta, Toda Erika, Kaname Jun, Saito Ryusei,
Synopsis: Hiroto is a young poor guy, who works at his deceased father´s ship factory, while Nao is a spoiled university girl, who has not worked a single hour in her life and whose father owns a diamond shop. Hiroto´s prejudices and Nao´s naive outlook start to change after meeting each-other.
Rating: 1/5
You can totally see the Kitagawa Eriko´s (scriptwriter) handwriting in it. Her written female-leads are always the same - naive, childlike, otherworldly, innocent and mostly crybabies, but Nao is officially the worst! As Ayase Haruka played Nao.. I do not know if I did not like character or her acting. (I should watch more her dramas, then I could tell which, but something about Ayase Haruka annoyed me). Nao´s character was so horrible, she was so selfcentred and did not understood other´s problems at all (In my point of view..). It was ironically funny, how her character was tried to make more appealing for viewers with her illness and all, but it kind a failed. Many times I wanted to hit her and tell her to grow up. (Do not worry, I am not violent xD)
At the same time, Hiroto (Kamenashi Kazuya) was great. I totally understood him and his purposes. It was great that drama was made from his point of view. Even though he is a guy, his thoughts and acts were so cute and made heartpounding fast. I think that because of Kamenashi Kazuya this drama got high viewer-ratings when airing. Only bad side was, that Kamenashi Kazuya had his skinny time then... and he smoked all the time!!! I give cookies to person, who counts how many times he smokes in this drama xD
Tanaka Koki played the role of one Hiroto´s friends and he was so funny! He can make so funny face-expressions xD enjoyed watching him ^^ His character was honest and true, that´s why I liked him the most. I liked that Yuko started to feel it too at least for some time.
Hiroako Yuta acting was great too - I would like to have a friend like him, but I have to say that he had a bad taste in women xD I forgive it to Hiroto, but not to him!
I think many would like to hear about Kaname Jun too. His acting was good, but character sucked! I have an older brother and thank God that he is not like Tatsuya! If I had a brother like him, I would not know what to do.. -.-'
My favorite episode was 9th (It has only 10 episodes xD)
Easily said, at first it seems a great love story of young people, but as series goes on Nao starts to get on nerves and is tiresome.
It is great drama for those who love shoujo-mangas.



Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Several Questions that make us happy (2007)


Country: South-Korea
Genre: Romance
Format: movie? mini-drama? in 2 episodes
Cast: Story 1: Bae Jang Ok, Lee Han, Joo Hyun, Kim Ja Ok, Kim Yeo Jin
         Story 2: Ryu Seung Soo, Yoon Sui Yi, Son Hyun Joo
         Story 3: Park Shin Hye, Lee Tae Sung, Kim Chang Wan, Kim Hye Ok, Jung Moo Song,
                  Park Sung Woong
Synopsis: Three stories of unrequited or painful love.
Rating: 1/5
It was another really weird movie... I loved Park Shin Hye and Lee Tae Sung stroy! It was so sad, but most appealing. I would like to see a long drama version of it! They both are such great Korean actors! But mostly you might not get the point of this movie. Everything is explained in a minimum and mostly they show one situation where the character gets hurt (like the end of the love).
PS! Do not try to understand the title. They ask no questions and the story does not make you happy at all! ^^ So try to be happy yourself...

U-Turn (2008)


Country: South-Korea
Genre: romance
Format: cellphone drama 4 episodes
Cast: So Ji Sub, Lee Yeon He, Ryu Duk Hwan, Ryu Seung Ryong
Synopsis: So Ji Sub had a unsuccessful addition. On the way home he suddenly stops his ca, because of the weird noise. He discovers a young woman in car´s trunk. Woman does not remember anything about herself and neither does Ji Sub.
Rating: 1/5
It has 4 episode and each of them is about 5 minutes long... and that´s why you cannot remember much after watching it. I liked the storyline and actors were great too. Storyline was well explained, but on the other hand, it was a little bit too sappy.
It actually was a extended tv advertisement for Ssang Yong Motors (That explains why it is so short!)
I would have liked if it had been longer. The part were they get feelings towards each other was almost missing.
Character Ji Sub seemed like a he had a split personality. One moment he was calm and cute and then he was really angry and pissed xD

Monday, June 20, 2011

Speed Star (2001)

Country: Japan
Genre: Action, speed, cars
Format: movie
Cast: Takizawa HIdeaki, Ohno Satoshi, Yoshikawa Hinano, Kanno Miho, Kishitani Goro
Synopsis: Sho (Takizawa Hideaki) is a former racer. With his friends Kaoru (Yoshikawa Hinano) and Hiroshi (Ohno Satoshi) he is stealing cars to get money to run away to Mexico. On their last time, they are caught and pulled into dangerous vortex of underground.
Rating: STARLESS
It was wanna-be-Hollywoodish, but sucked. Only great point was beautiful cars, but at the same time those racing parts (filmed in side the car) where too fake. And I think we all know what will happen if you turn the wheel on high speed too much... yeah, those parts where scene was put fast-forward and those where wanted to make slow motion were seen-trough. I understand that in 2001 the movie production was not like in 2011, but at the same time: I HAVE SEEN OTHER MOVIES FROM YEAR 2001 TOO!
The story line was not good at all. May be it is just my point of view, who would like to run away to Mexico?? and for those reasons no one will start killing others, like in this movie. This is so old story that the bad-ass, who had past-problems, will be in trouble, when he/she is going to end business -.-  I believe that even in 2001 it was a cliche too! If you do not have a great script, then it is hard to do it into a great movie, does not matter how good actors do you have (Actually if you have a great actors, then it might going to be even worst movie!). those references to Hollywood movies and actors was one of the worst parts of the script ever!
Most of the time I tried to catch scenes with Ohno Satoshi, but when he was killed, I lost all interest in it, so most of the time I was just annoyed. Yoshikawa Hinano was cute too, that was a great thing.
In the end, those good points still did not give enough to get at least 1 star.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Gekidan Engimono: Ie ga tooi (2005)


Country: Japan
Genre: friendship, school
Format: part of Gekidan Engimono series, mini-drama 4 episodes
Cast: Masuda Takahisa, Kato Shigeaki, Tegoshi Yuya, Kusano Hironori, Mizukawa Ayami
Synopsis: Kume (Masuda Takahisa) wants to create a band, Kojima (Kato Shigeaki) is popular with girls, Kita (Kusano Hironori) is a pervert and Tommy (Tegoshi Yuya) is a silent boy, who loves to watch bugs.
Rating: 2/5
It is weird... really weird. It shows their time after school day.. and mostly they don´t do anything special, just sit there and talk, mostly about band, ero-things, girls and Tommy.
But in some way, its weirdness made it funny.
As some of you might know, then Masuda, Kato, Tegoshi and Kusano are (were as Kusano "left" the agency) in a band called NEWS. It was Kusano´s only acting he did. And in addition, the song you can hear there (from recorder) is actually sang by Masuda himself - he was asked to sing as bad as he can.. .
I liked that it showed their problems. But in the end, it was just a drama without beginning and end.



Friday, June 17, 2011

Kimi ni Love Song wo (2010)


Also known as : Love song for you
Country: Japan + Korean band Supernova
Genre: romance, music
Format: movie
Cast: Supernova (Chosinseong) members: Sungje, Yunhak, Kwangsu, Sungmo, Jihyuk, Geonil; Minamisawa Nao, Erena
Synopsis: Chosinseong is in Japan for a second year. Sungje is having troubles with his Japanese pronunciation, while going on a walk he meets with a Japanese girl Saori, who is a Chosinseong´i fan and promises to teach Japanese to Sungje. But.. Saori is blind and Sungje introduces himself as a Jae.
Rating: 2/5
It would have get at least 4 stars (may be even 5), IF it would have been drama... As its run time was only a hour, everything developed too fast. It still was cute love story and so on, but it would have been something amazing when they would not have rushed with the time. I understand that actually they did not have much time, but it seemed even shorter.
I learned a new word from there too. "Nanpa" - a skirt chaser. XD Yes, movies and dramas can be really educating for language learning.
Even though it was a sad movie... I started to laugh too many times. Like one of the things I started to do was "Ikemen YAY!~" expression ("Ikemen" means "good looking guy"). Sadly I cannot show you how it goes, but it happened every time, when Yunhak (Yoonhak - i do not know the right way to write his name) entered the screen XD For you to know, it was my first time seeing Chosinseong (sad, but true). But I really like their songs - as much as I heard their songs there.
I hated the sister.. she was so annoying. I understand that she was afraid and everything, but really! I understand Saori´s point of view more (especially because of the end).
If you want to know more, why it got low rating, then read the spoiler part below the pics.

SPOILER!!! The dying part was just tooooooo weird... it was fake... and it definitely was because she finally saw how Sungje looked like. If you have a weak heart, then you should not watch ikemen!!! It will definitely cause a heart to stop, especially when you understand that the idol, who you love, was that ikemen!!! and when he has said that he loves you too.. Even thinking about that makes your heart skip a beat! I must say that the dying scene just took a star away.. otherwise it would have gotten 3 stars.

Dareka ga uso wo tsuiteiru (2009)


Country: Japan
Genre: law, drama, family
Format: movie
Cast: Mizutani Yutaka, Tegoshi Yuya, Miyazaki Yoshiko, Tanimura Mitsuki,
Synopsis: Sato Toshiaki (Mizutani Yutaka) is a salesman who misses his usually train. After riding a later train, he is being accused of groping. All case makes a big impact on the family and all of them must find their own truth and way to cope with it.
Rating: 1/5
It is a sad movie of the family, but it might happen to anyone - to be accused of something that they have not done. Law cannot protect everyone. It does not matter if you are telling the truth, when you do not have any evidence to prove it, you are guilty. Even in my country (even though the system has always been horrible) there have been cases where a man has been put into jail and years later the police finds evidence of his guiltless. In this movie the trial was on for so long time (It was about a year, if I remember it correctly) and to think that he had to be in the jail for so long O.o (Oke, he was not there for all this time).
The family side of the story was even sadder than Toshiaki´s one story. Trying to cope with rumors, own life, financial incomes - it must be hard.
But if you want to know why it got only one star, then... it is just a movie you do not want to see again. That makes you think about all the bad people in this world and to see those guys in jail, makes you feel really sick. Also you might disappoint more in court systems.
In addition, I was really annoyed by the girl, who was groped. It is as horrible as all the crimes, but you cannot be shut up when it is happening and then later accuse somebody who you THINK MIGHT have done it.
I must say one more thing: The only highlight in this movie is Tegoshi Yuya, who plays the role of the son. He is the only sunlight in this sad blurry grey movie.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Waraeru Koi wa Shitakunai (2006)


Country: Japan
Genre: romance, Christmas
Format: drama 3 episodes
Cast: Yamasaki Shizuyo, Koumoto Junichi, Masuda Takahisa, Sakai Wakana, Natsukawa Jun, Matsuo Toshinobu, Okada Yoshinori, Ogi Hiroaki, Yahagi Ken,
Synopsis: Suzune (Yamasaki Shizuyo) is an elevator girl, she is not the prettiest one, but she falls in love really quickly. Suzune´s friend Tonaka Ippei (Koumoto Junichi) is a manager of cake shop, but he is hardly managing to cope with his job. Yukiko (Sakai Wakana) used to be news announcer, but must work now in variety show. Akai Santa is "Happy Delivery" man, who is mostly controlled by his 4 older sisters. They all are missing love in their lives and during the Christmas they have started to feel loneliness. Without knowing, they will become related to each other in one or other way.
Rating: 5/5
This is my Christmas special drama. I watch it on every Christmas now. It is beautiful and sad, but it kinda gives me a courage to keep trying harder. I like Suzune´s saying "Even if I fail 99 times, I know 100th I will succeed" and her thoughts about confessing to people you like. To some people it happens that they cannot move on without a real end, they want to be sure that there won´t be any "if"-s in future. "If that person is really necessary for you, you will see him again someday, but if not, then he/she is not meant for you". I guess this drama is something that has a bit of similarity with all of us, so it is easy to relate to some characters or situations.
The short drama is also very humorous and keeps you laughing for a long time. Characters´ thoughts are shown out to viewers and it adds so much more to the story. In addition, look forward to actor's face expressions. The drama is technically great too. I like how the timeline is shown, so you must watch the clock and think about the time to understand the right order of things happening. If you do not pay attention, then it might get a bit confusing and you might miss some hints that they are giving you. Lastly, I think it has one of the best soundtracks ever! Not only the theme songs, but the whole sound is great, funny and gives you exactly the right feeling while watching it.
There are four main-characters, who in some way or another are related to each other. The action is set during the Christamas mostly in big shopping center where a lot of people go to make the shopping for the holidays.
Most of the time the link between characters is Suzune, who is also known as "Love Terminator". She is much bigger than average Japanese woman and not exactly the beauty-queen by her appearance, but she happens to fall in love much easily than most of people. She tends to over-react and is very fast-forward when it comes to liking somebody. I must say that actually there is something beautiful in her, both by appearance and personality, but most of the time she makes a fool out of herself with her actions. Besides, she is very un-professional when it comes to work. During that Christmas, one of Suzune's eye-candies became Ryohei, who is intern at the shopping center. He is cute and goodhearted and a bit naive with life, but I understand his feelings when things come to Suzune. And as I said that she falls in love very easily, then there are more Santa, who becomes her love of her life and Shigeo, who becomes the first man to be interested in Suzune.  
Suzune's great friend is Tonaka Ippei - baker and an owner of the bakery store at the shopping center. Similar to Suzune, He is bad when it comes to love, but at the same time, he does not fall in love as easily as she. He is also bad when it comes to saying right things. Once he gets nervous, he can say very wrong things in wrong place. Everyone misunderstand Tonaka's  name for "Tonakai"m which in Japanese means "Reindeer", that´s why he gets so irritated for calling him "Tonakai" and that´s one reason why he is dressed as a reindeer in the end. To know the other reasons, watch the drama.
Despite, not falling in love easily, this Christmas he ends up falling for Rika, who is cute-looking lady working in a store. She is shy and decent woman, but her love for sweets is enormous.  I totally understand how she gets excited when she is talking about sweets and cakes. Anything and everything, which tastes sweetly, is my addiction and eating 6 pieces of cake is not a problem.
The last characters are Yukiko and Santa. They have about 6-8 years age-difference as Yukiko is 29, but Santa is some years over 20. Santa is most of the time abused by woman, since he is too nice and good-looking. Growing up with 4 older sisters, has made him afraid of older women and love is not in his priority. He is working as Happy Delivery delivery-man. I really started to think how is that possible that Santa is perfect, while his sisters are like... well you will see once you watch it. It is the same mystery like it is with Goofy and Max(imilian) from Disney channel (high five for Disney fans). In addition, there is a name-twister in Santa's name too as literally it means "Red Santa".
Yukiko is facing the biggest changes in her life and as we know not all the Christmas are merry and jolly. She gets fired from her usual job in the TV and put into variety show that is not her specialty at all. In addition to having problems in her love-life, she tends to drink too much and has most of the time a bitch-attitude to protect herself. I guess Sakai Wakana is my favorite on-screen love-interest of Masuda Takahisa. The look very good together and their characters have good chemistry.
Overall the drama is very beautiful and worth every second of watching, but unfortunately I guess it is also very under-rated drama as it definitely does not have the popularity it should have.
There are some good sayings to put behind your ear and make them your everyday motos:
"If there is no ending, there won't be a new beginning"
"Life is a roller coaster"
"you cannot achieve happiness, when you are scared"
"If you smile, only good things will happen"


Spoiler-Review: I hoped that Suzune understands Shigeos feelings, as he acted was exactly like male-version of Suzune, except that Shigeo had some looks and money, but at the same time I understand that you cannot make yourself fall in love with someone when you just do not have the spark. In addition, I think that Shigeo was maybe a bit too fast with the proposal.
In addition, I was hoping to see that Suzune and Tonaka end up together as they understood each other the most and were matching very well, but I guess this is what you call a great friendship.

Stand Up! (2003)


Country: Japan
Genre: youth, youngster, ***
Format: drama 11 episodes
Cast: Yamashita Tomohisa, Narimiya Hiroki, Oguri Shun, Ninomiya Kazunari, Suzuki Anne, (Minor roles of Tsukamoto Takashi, Becky, Sugita Kaoru, Shaku Yumiko)
Synopsis: Shouhei (Ninomiya Kazunari), Kengo (Yamashita Tomohisa), Kouji (Oguri Shun) and Hayato (Narimiya Hiroki) find out that they are the last virgins in their high school. At the summer vacation their childhood crush Chie comes to visit them after 11 years. The summer of last youth is on with many promises, obstacles and as well as love and pain.
Rating: 5/5
It IS SOOO FUNNY!!! In some way it it really pathetic who try tried to lose their virginity in any matter, but at the same time to protect it? But those two exclude each other! It shows really well nowadays youngsters, but drama gives much notes to write down for beginners - Lesson one should be: ALWAYS use protection! I liked the fact that drama does not show only guys viewpoint, but from Chie (played by Suzuki Anne) you can hear about girls view too. At the same time, Chie´s story was so horrible and sad, but actually it might happen to lot of people (Yes, even to guys).
Parents were sooooo annoying!!! You cannot protect your child from everything and you definitely cannot control child´s life! I was so pissed off because of the parents. Only parents who were a little bit normal were Kenken´s (Kengo) and Shou-chan´s (Shouhei) moms. Even though Kenken´s mom owned a love hotel and her thoughts and sayings were.. eeem mostly the things the guys thought. I liked that they understood that their children are growing up and it is all part of it. It is like my parents have said to me: "We have been young too" (Not about that certain thing, but still).
Friendship between guys and Chie were so sweet. Even though, Chie was mostly outsider, they really worked everything out.
The cast is excellent! Just read the names from cast and you want to watch it!
I just thought about drama name... you can think about the meaning in two ways... =P



Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Koizora the movie (2007)


Country: Japan
Genre: romance, drama, human
Format: movie
Cast: Miura Haruma, Aragaki Yui, Koide Keisuke, Haru, Usuda Asami, Karina, Nakamura Aoi
Synospsis:  Tahara Mika (Aragaki Yui) loses her cellphone, she finds it from liberary with all contacts deleted. From that they she starts communicating with mysteriuos caller, who had found her phone. The caller turns out to be Hiro (Miura Haruma), guy with bleached hair from another class.
Rating: 2/5
It is said to be more accurate to the real story than drama, but I did not like it very much. It all went to fast. Even though it had a great cast, I enjoyed drama cast more. I am not impressed by Aragaki Yui acting and it would be better if Miura Haruma NEVER bleaches his hair. Actually I was pretty depressed for this being a first time I saw Miura Haruma acting, because he is a great actor and so on (I love him in "Kimi ni todoke"), but here.. it just isn´t his best role.
I like the fact that Haru, who plays here Aya, plays the part of Saki (Hiro´s ex-girlfriend) in drama version. I like her in Saki role more.
I almost gave it only one star and that was for the story itself, but finally I decided to give another star. If there is someone who does not want to watch 6 hours drama, then they can watch the whole story in 2 hours, but I have to say that they are pretty different!! So it is best to watch both of them and then decide, which they like better.




Monday, June 13, 2011

Koizora (2008)


Country: Japan
Genre: romance, school, family,drama
Format: drama 6 episodes
Cast: Mizusawa Elena, Seto Koji, Abe Tsuyoshi, Aoi, Miura Shohei, Haru, Nagayama Kento,
Synopsis: Drama version of "Koizora". Mika´s life is pretty normal, until she is suddenly kissed by Sakurai Hiro, a boy from her school with a abnormal appearance. At the same time, there is Mika´s classmate Tatsuya, who is in love with Mika, but with Hiro´s persevere, surprising and sudden character leaves a big impact into girl´s heart. 
Rating: 5/5
I like the drama version much more than movie version - there are just too many things going on to but it into 1,5 hour, even though in the end drama got a bit too lingering. 
I liked Seto Koji´s acting more. Furthermore, I loved Hiro´s character - he is totally the guy whom
girls might fell for. His surprising and sudden acts were the things which make girl´s heart race. (But there are also some things I do not approve to remake in real life). Hiro acted like a bad guy, but actually was really caring and loving. The head patting is one of the cutest things of all and girls actually like that (at least I do) ^^ At first, Hiro seems really persistent and kinda delusional, but it was more caused by the fact that he was used to "easy" girls and that's something that Mika definitely is not. I felt that thanks to Mika Hiro grew up. You can hear Seto Koji singing and playing the guitar too!! (if you do not know, then Seto Koji is in a j-rock band called Tetra-Fang and in a actors group D-BOYS)
The storyline was beautiful and really sad. How is it possible, that when somebody finds her/his true love, then something sad and terrible will happen? Oke, it is not so all the time, but Hiro´s and
Mika´s love story is based on true-life-events. It was originally a keitai-novel written by Mika. To me the story was really unpredictable and every new thing surprised me. From the start you can understand that something is going to happen, but you do not know what! (It is like "Nana" anime, where I started to cry in the end of every episode, because I knew something will happen, but did not knew what) Mika is played by Mizusawa Elena. Her acting is not the best in it, but it was her first time acting too, so let's forgive her. Mika is used to be protected and her horizon is actually really narrow at first. She is shy, plain and she does not have an outstanding beauty, but there is something really cute and natural in her. That's what makes men fall for her and their exes' hate her. Dealing with jealous ex and her friends can be really frightening and I know the fear she was going through. Being afraid to walk alone on the streets and changing route just because you see one of them - even though when you say that it did not shake you at all and you will not give up on a guy just for that, there will be the fear for long time. Especially, when you have been seriously threaten.
The friend-relationship between Mika-Aya and Hiro-Nozumu is really great. True friendship is when you do not betray your friend. Mika made everything she could to get Aya and Nozumu together and Aya was always by her side. Like the time when news about Mika´s and Hiro´s relationship spreed out, then Aya told Mika to keep chin up and smile as she usually does ^^ And Nozumu kept his promise to Hiro, even though he did not approve it, because he saw how much Hiro is actually hurt.
There are two sentence more, which I like and both of them are from Mika:
"Do I need a reason to like something?" - actually, you really don´t! It just happens and you cannot tell the reasons. It might be someone or something - it does not matter. Do you can give reasons to
everything you like? I know that I cannot, because I like really weird stuff too. Another sentence was "Walking shoulder by shoulder at the same pace" - in fact in this scene Hiro and Mika did not walk in the same pace, but you get the idea. I never knew what is so great about it, but I think that until you have not walked with somebody like it, you will never knew. Even if you are not in a relationship or if it is only the person you like (might be one-sided crush), when you notice that you are walking down the stairs with that person step by step in the same pace, even though you see that he could walk faster (because you are in shock and are walking really slowly), it is something that you will always remember. As you might understand, it has happened to me - he was my first love. He always took me by surprise, but at that time.. well, I was not the person I am today. I think that it is with all first loves in the world ( not accurate about people who marry their first love), that first love is something that is bittersweet, it hurts like hell, but feels like heaven at the same time and you know that no matter what you will always remember him/her.
I think that "Koizora" is definitely a MUST-WATCH drama, real classic that you will remember after watching. When I re-watched it, I started to cry after first 3 minutes of first episode, so cry-baby's (like me) need a tissue-box near you!

SPOILER-review: I do understand why Hiro broke up with Mika and did not say the truth about the cancer. I think that in these kind of decisions there actually is not right way, because I too would not want to make my partner suffer, but at the same time.. he should have the right to know. As I said, it is really difficult to find any easy way.
There was one thing that I did not understood - why they did not use protection? If you have sex, then use protection - it is a really easy knowledge and I would not say that they are terrible expensive or difficult to find from stores (first part might depend on countries, but it is cheaper than bring up a child). On the other hand, I am extremely happy that they decided to keep the baby, even though things went other way, because I agree with Mika on this question - I would never forgive myself if I get pregnant and would not give birth to this child. I know so many acquaintances, who have made abortion and I do not judge them for their decisions, but I am just saying that it is something that I would not do. 

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Secret (2007)


Country: Taiwan
Genre: Romance, mystery, music
Format: movie
Cast: Jay Chou, Kwai Lun-mei, Anthony Wong, Alice Tzeng, Devon Song, Huang Jun-lang, Yunhao Zhan,
Synopsis: Ye Xianglun (Jay Chou) transfers to a music school, where many talented young musicians study. On the first day he hears a beautiful melody coming from the old piano room. He finds there Lu Xiaoyu (Kwai Lun-Mei). Between them grows a relationship, which is full of mysteries like why cannot be that beautiful song played on the old piano, why doesn´t Lu Xiaoyu attend classes  and many more. At the same time Qing Yi (Alice Tzeng) is in love with Ye Xianglun.
Rating: 5/5
There was never a moment, when I thought it is boring - oke I wasn´t able to think or do anything else than watch it. It is interesting, beautiful, mysterious! I cannot find the right words to explain the feeling this movie leaves.
Jay Chou played the lead Yie Xiang Lun. In addition, it is also Jay Chou´s first directed movie, written movie and he also wrote the music for it. His talents does not stop there as all the piano playing is done by himself too. Despite being so talented, most of the critics do not approve him as an actor as acting skills are lacking the most. 
Xiang Lun is mostly lone wolf – he gets along with everybody, but he prefers to be alone as there is few connections between him and others. He is a music genius whose piano playing cannot be distracted by anything or anyone. He is a perfect son for unperfect dad. He does not relieve his thoughts to almost anybody which makes him strange in the eyes of others. Only Lu Xiao Yu becomes his most precious friend with who he can talk about anything. I like how Xiang Lun is like socially awkward, yet loved and admired by everyone.
Lu Xiao Yu is a sensitive girl who was was hurt by everybody she trusted. There are few moments when I thought that she should have at least listened to Yie Xiang Lun before dashing away, but at the same time I understand that almost all girls would have misunderstood the situations. She is very mysterious character and even more mysteries lay around her. Lu Xiao is a bit jealous type of girl, but at the same time she really likes to tease him and make him jealous, though many times it happenes unintentionally. 
Father of Xiang Lun plays a big role in the storyline. He never understands his son and he can be over-protective. He thinks he does the best for everyone, but most of the time he makes everything more difficult. At the same time it can be just his ignorance that causes everything. I believe that if he had looked deeper into Xiao Yu business and checked closely the music notes, most of the tragedy would have not come. Anthony Wong plays this character amazingly good – all his looks and aura suits into this role and of course he has really great English.
On top of everything that is already happening, another classmate Qing Yi has a crush on Xiang Lun, while he sees her only as a friend. Despite being one of the prettiest and outgoing girls, she can be seen daydreaming about him many times. She adds the misunderstandings to the story and in a way I feel sorry for her,  because it can look like she is also a victim of misunderstandings. 
I did love the piano playing scenes. They mostly play Chopin´s music (and music done by Jay Chou). Thanks to that I was able to pass my music test too. Chopin is one of my favorite composers, but listening it in gallery everyday for hours and hours is too much (I used to work in art gallery).
Movie also has a beautiful scenery - it is actually filmed in Jay Chou´s school. Movie was nominated for all kind of different awards thanks to its scenery and best visual effects more than once. Every time I watch it, I find something new, which I have not seen before (and I´ve watched it at least 5-6 times).  It is impossible to see all the hints with one watching and that actually makes the watching more interesting every time. 


If I could, I would add some more stars to it. It is not a usual movie, it is not another love story, it is not a school-drama or music movie - It is something of all of them and from everything else too. There are so much comedy in this tragedy or tragedy in this comedy. From all of the movies (Asian as well as Western movies) I think it is the most fantastic movies ever. I really consider it as one of the greatest movies I have seen. It is like, if somebody is searching for a perfect movie then it might be it.


SPOILERreview: 

Niini no koto wo wasurenaide (2009)


Country: Japan
Genre: Family, human, drama
Format: movie
Cast: Nishikido Ryo, Yamada Ryosuke, Tanaka Rena, Kuroki Hitomi, Shirakawa Yumi,
Synopsis: Kawai Keisuke wants to become a physicist since young age. At the age of 15 he is diagnosed with brain tumor and doctors tell he has only one year to live. He loses meaning of his life and falls into despair. With help of his family and friends he is able to live another 8 years.
Rating:2/5
Another sad, based on true life story (You can find that it is based on same-named  novel by Kawakami Masumi, but the novel is based on true-life). I have watched it twice - First time was during the 24-Hour Tv 2009, when that movie was first shown, but the second time was later (with English subs - I cannot understand Japanese so well, but the movie is really easy to understand in Japanese too! may be it is because they do not have long conversations that much?) Even though it is a sad movie, I managed not to cry.. But I cried when I saw the real family and heard real Keisuke´s brother´s letter. Losing someone precious always hurts.
Back to the movie. Nishikido Ryo acts those kind of characters well (despair, sad, lost life´s point etc)
- It might be only my opinion that he has acted similar ("1 litre of tears", "Orthos no inu", "Last friends", "Joker" (oke in it he was a little bit perverted and funny too), "Ryuzei no Kizuna" - O.o I really must watch different dramas from him!!! like "Chonmage Purin", "Attention please" "Inu o Kau to Iu koto" may be then I can find another side - Pretty much named most of his dramas -.-)
This was the first time I saw Yamada Ryosuke´s acting.. yeah, he has a cute smile xD
But otherwise, it was like going and going and going and then when it arrives you have fallen asleep (reminds a gif-file of Akanishi Jin -.-) actually I think it is only that kind of drama which is best to watch in earlier time, not when you have not slept for many-many hours.
I enjoyed the family trip part and brother-to-brother parts, but like I said: It is just not my cup of tea :/
One fan-made trailer too (For people who do not want spoilers, it is better do not watch, but it is really-really well made!)




Wednesday, June 8, 2011

RESCUE (2009)



Country: Japan
Genre: rescue, action
Format: drama 9 episodes
Cast: Nakamaru Yuichi, Masuda Takahisa, Yamamoto Yusuke, Shoei, Kaname Jun, Tanaka Yoji, Yamamoto Koji, Ishiguro Ken, Takahashi You, Ichikawa Yui, Fueki Yuko (Yoo Min), Ebata Hiroki, Nishihara Aki,
Synopsis: Kitajima Daichi (Played by Nakamaru Yuichi) was saved by a Special Rescue team as a child, now he and his friend Tetsuka Yutaka (Masuda Takahisa) enter Special Rescue Team trainings to become a member of Super Ranger.
Rating: 3/5
First star for cutting their hair. As many of you might know Nakamaru Yuichi and Masuda Takahisa had longer hair since young age and they had to cut their hair just to get the role. I liked them with longer hair too, but the star is for willing to do the chance. (And as I have seen they still have shorter hair since then xD) Another star for ... half-naked scenes. There were many bathroom scenes and scene without shirts. (If you have seen Masuda Takahisa´s muscles, then you should know what to wait for)
I liked the drama for showing the hard life of rescuers. As a average person we might never understand how much are they trying to give their best. It was a great contrast to show characters´ personal life too (Oke mostly it was just drinking beer in a pub xD).
Usually I am not a big action fan, but "Rescue" really got my attention, especially because the emergencies were real (as they might happen). Another thing is that they must had a REAAALLY BIG budget to make all those explosions and fires.
The series was made with collaboration of real rescue squad of Yokohama, so the actors received a rescuing knowledge too.
It was filmed in winter 2009, so respect to actors for coping with the cold.
I liked the theme song too - "Rescue" by KAT-TUN.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Toilet (2010)


Country: Japan/ USA (+Canada) collaboration
Genre: Drama, family,
Format: movie
Cast: Alex House, David Rendall, Tatiana Maslany, Motai Masako, Sachi Parker
Synopsis: 2 brothers and a sister: Ray is a grown-up man, who loves Gundam toys and lives his life every day the same way; Lisa is a poetry student, who tenders to look up side down on others and Maury is a pianist, who suffers under panic-attacks. After mother´s death they must cope with their own lives and look after their Japanese grandmother, who was brought there some time before mother´s death.
Rating:5/5
I LOVED IT! It is definitely something different. It shows the ups and downs of their lives in a short period, so it is really down to earth story - most of the things in the movie can happen to all of us.
It was weird how the number 3000 always appeared xD No matter what was, always the bill was for 3000 dollars (It is much money in my country - Ray had to earn much money)
Before watching it, I said to my sister that I do not like movies without soundtracks and so on, but in this movie you will find many spots were is almost silence O.o I was really moved by it, it did not bother me at all!! I even enjoyed it! Since Maury (Played by David Rendall) was a pianist, then you will hear many famous pieces from Liszt, Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms. I love music, especially when I see a person playing some instrument or singing. I was really amazed by piano parts.
I did not get the toilet part, because actually in Japan they do not have those ├╝ber-amazing toilets everywhere and many places still have Japanese-styled toilets, but Baachan´s character and her reasons will stay secret.
SPOILER!! There are many great quotes, that I liked:
Maury: "It´s pointless to ask reasons for people´s urges" - it is true, people should to the things the feel like (as long as they are not braking the law). That quote was about him wearing a skirt, but this is the same thing with everybody and everything - If someone wants to wear something or do something, then one does not have to have a reason for that.
Agni: "It is not information, it is knowledge" - intelligent, not smart xD
Ray: "We need to keep mom´s memory in our hearts" - as the movie is pretty much about life and death, then the grief is a big part of it. Sooner or later we all will lose someone important to us and I know that keeping one´s belongings does not bring one back and does not easy the pain, but for some reason we still do it - want to keep one´s memory in material too. Letting go is the hardest part. That leads to another quote:
Ray: "I wanted Baachan to stay by my side" Life is really short when you start to think about it. Every second there is an opportunity not to see the other day or to hear for the last time someone´s voice. Only thing we can do is to continue living. I think that the one´s, who´s gone,  do not want us to be sad. But we still will cry and say "I want to see you again" or "I still have so many things to talk to you", I hope they will forgive us that. *Sorry! carried away by my own feelings* It was adorable, how they grow to like each other (The whole family)
Agni: "If you have not known it for all this time, then you guys must be a real family. Is that not good enough?" -It was when Ray got to know that he was not the real brother of Lisa and Maury. I do not how it should feel to find out something like it, but I think the same way as Agni - It does not matter if you are blood-related family or not, if you have feelings of a family, it is all that counts! I have a BIG family and beside that I have extra-sister and I feel like a happiest person it the world, because these people, who I count as family, helped me in hard times and I know that I can rely on them anytime. Is that not what families do?
Just two really good:
Ray: "I do not wear actually the same clothes everyday. I have seven of those same shirts!"
Lisa: "I AM NOT FAKE"
Funny was that Baachan said only two things "Maury, COOL!" and I discovered that "Cool" means actually so many different things! Baachan was my favorite character. Maury was great too, but it was so sad that he was sick, because he had those attacks only and he knew that he is sick :S
I loved that movie, it is heartwarming and heartbreaking movie. Remember to hold your close ones and do not be afraid to say them how much they mean to you! LOVE YOU ALL! ^^

Monday, June 6, 2011

Kowai Nichiyobi (1999-2000) + Honto ni atta kowai Hanashi (1999-ongoing)


Counrty: Japan
Format: mini-series
Cast: veeeeeeery different actors/actresses; many really famous have acted here, including JE boys.
Synopsis: The true horror stories from Japan.
Rating: 2/5
I have not seen them all, but one episode is usually really short ^^ so it is easy to watch. I watched it with my friends for 5 hours in a row (no pauses) in the middle of the night. I am a really scaredy-cat when it comes to horror-movie and to over-come my fear, I start making weird comments like "What a sexy ass!" "Oh, look who is acting there!" "Aww, that´s cute!" -.- for some people it might be more horrifying than movie itself. Most of the time I was behind the blanket and screamed when other screamed.. I should really watch these episodes again, but I better look for episodes I have not seen yet. (Even though I am a scardy-cat, I still tender to watch horror-movies ^^)
Maybe one day I make a better review, but it really has too many  episodes xD



Saturday, June 4, 2011

My Boss, My Hero (2006)



Country: Japan
Genre: School, romance, friendship, yakuza
Format: drama 10 episodes
Cast: Nagase Tomoya, Tegoshi Yuya, Tanaka Koki, Aragaki Yui, Murakawa Eri, Osugi Ren, Kikawada Masaya, Ichimura Masachika,  ( a minor role from Naka Riisa)
Synopsis: Sakaki Makio is 27, dropped out of high school and becoming a successor of his father - yakuza boss. But before he gets a boss-position, his father forces him to go back to high school and graduate, otherwise the position goes to Makio´s little intelligent brother.  In school Makio cannot reveal his true background and must play a role of 17-year-old guy.
Rating: 2/5
The best part was "Sakura-nantoka" (In English it should be something like "Sakura-something") - yeah, actually Sakurakoji (played by Tegoshi Yuya) is not a hard name to remember XD Nagase Tomoya acting was great too - in some way he totally bulled off high school student role, but he as yakuza was over the top. It is weird that Nagase Tomoya´s appearance and singing voice are so different - The Theme song is "Sorafune" by TOKIO, Nagase is the lead singer of the band.
Makio´s brother Mikio (by Kikawada Masachika) was so annoying (character, not actor) - he could have done anything, but he decided that he should be the next yakuza-boss even though he knew it was Makio´s dream -.-
The "Water" joke was funny - in a weird way it is really catchy -.^
But it got two stars because after finishing it, you (at least I) was able to remember only those highlights. (Oke, Koki´s acting was great too xD he was really.. eem.. violant xD). Beside, while watching it, I did not get the addiction. Sorry for not explaning it more!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

1 litre of tears (2005)




Country: Japan
Genre: family, romance, human, life
Format: drama 11 episodes + special
Cast: Sawajiri Erika, Nishikido Ryo, Yakushimaru Hiroko, Jinnai Takanori, Narumi Riko, Fujiki Naohito,  (Matsuyama Kenichi)
Synopsis: The story is about Ikeuchi Aya, 15-year-old girl, who is diagnosed with a spinocerebellar degeneration disease (aka SCA type 2). The disease, which will paralyse person´s talking, walking and eating, but do not harm the mind at all, changes lives of her and people beside her.  
Rating: 5/5
The drama is true life story. Kitou Aya (1962-1988) suffered from that disease, before her death, her writings were published and drama is based on these.
 It is a MUST-SEE drama! Even if you hate sad dramas, you should watch it. It reminds us, that life is full of unexpected things and there are people who are ill and we must be there for them - not to pity them or stay away.
I definitely cried more than 1 litre of tears. I cried since the first episode till the end of it. Every time I feel like crying, I consider watching it again, but as soon as it starts, I already cry.
Sawajiri Erika made a great work. She did not not over-act. Nishikido Ryo as Hayato was great too, even though Hayato did not exist in a real life - he was the only fictional character.
The scene of Nishikido Ryo crying is considered as one of the best male-character crying scenes - it is in later episode, so look for it (I think it is in 10th episode). But this drama also had a funny fact - Nishikido
Ryo gets wet really often - some fans made funny pics about it too, but I cannot submit them here, since I have not done them and I do not know who made them.


1 litre of tears SP (2007)

Country: Japan
Genre: Human, life, romance
Cast: mostly same as drama +Okamoto Anri
Synopsis aka SPOILER (for those who have not finished watching drama): After Aya´s death, Hayato has become neurologist at the same hospital were Aya was treated, but he has lost his sight and will. He meets 14-year-old Mizuki, who suffers from the same disease as Aya. At the same time Aya´s sister, Ako, is in training to become a nurse.
Rating: 1/5
Drama was much better. If there is someone who most likely do not want to watch the whole drama, then watch SP - it takes all episodes together in a smaller amount, but at the same time it shows who the life went on after the drama ended. Besides, it is damn romantic that Hayato left emptiness, it shows how much he wanted Aya to live, but as I know - every grief must have an end - the ones, who left do not want us to feel sad. To not worry - you will still cry your eyes out.
(I have an idea - next time when I want to cry I will watch SP!)