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Friday, July 29, 2011

Do-re-mi-fa-sol-la-si-do (2008)


Country: South-Korea
Genre: friendship, romance, music
Format: movie
Cast: Jang Geun Suk, Cha Ye Ryun, Jung Ui Cheol, Im Joo Hwan, Lee Eon Jeong,
Synopsis: Jung Won (Cha Ye Ryun) works part-time as a Dragon mascot at amusement park. One day some guys pull a joke on her. To make a revenge on them she pours drink on the main guy. Some days later she founds out that the same guy has moved next door with his family, by some agreements they start to get along, but it happens that Eun Kyu's (Jang Geun Suk) band mate is former best friend of Jung Won.
Rating: 4/5
It is really unpredictable movie. At first I really thought "ahh.. and then happens that and that.." but actually none of it happened! The best description of the story line is "slow-slow-slow-BANG - slow-slow-BANG - slow-slow- BANG-slow". (Those "BANGS" are the places when biiig changes happen). In addition, it does not seem like a sad movie or something, but it made me cry with seconds, because of the situation in the movie.
I like when movies show some great relationships and in this movie Jung Won's and his brother's relationship is amazing. It seems like they do not like to help each other and are fighting and yelling more, but actually what really showed how great their relationship is, was when brother beated up Hee Won.
Jang Geun Suk looks so young in it. XD I just had to mention it... some of the OSTs of the movie are also sang by him ^^ Once again I got proofs of his amazing acting and singing skills.
Even though I gave 4 stars to it, I actually had many things to disapprove.
Firstly, many things were hard to understand or totally unexplained. Like I did not see the part where they started to have feelings toward each other!?! At first they were not even friends, when they were together and then they already in love. Beside, did she start dating Eun Kyu to make Hee won jealous or because she wanted to be with Eun Kyu?  Also I did not understand if Hee Won really loved her or he just wanted to make her miserable to pay back for the past.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Baby and Me (2008)


Country: South Korea
Genre: family, comedy
Format: movie
Cast: Mason Moon, Jang Geun Suk, Kim Byeol, Ko Gyoo Pil, Choi Jae Hwan,
Synopsis: Joon Soo is a rebellious 18 years old student. One day his parents leave the house saying that they will come back when boy has come to his senses. Joon Soo hoping that he can make a home-party with friends, goes to do shopping. But he does not arrive home with just grocery, but with a baby with a note saying he is the father.
Rating: 4/5
Mason Moon is sooooo cute! He is totally the star of the move. (Sorry, Jang Geun Suk!). I think the girl's, Kim Byeol's family was horrible! To call their children with numbers O.o I understand that they had to many children, but it gives lifetime trauma to children.
Also Joon Soo's parents were weird. They had money enough to go to somewhere more hygienic than that public place, but I guess that was the cheapest. The most normal parent of all was Joon Soo.
There is not much to happen in this movie, but you can clearly see how Joon Soo feelings for the baby change and it seems like with those feelings he himself grows up into an adult too. I think that actually he must not worry about raising child alone, because I know that a lot of girls would take a single dad like him =P
I did not really get Kim Byeol. She was like a weird genius, but she made a perfect tutorial how to act when you meet a hot guy. 1) Stare at him for some minutes 2) when you are able to breath, control his heart beat by touching his chest to make sure he is a human being 3) touch his face to make sure he is not an illusion 4) Take a picture of him with your cellphone so you could always remember his face 5) tell him your phone number
The school was weird too. I understand that in Asia it is seemed as a bad thing when a student has a child, but I think that school should still support them. In my country it is totally allowed and then teachers might do a new special timetable for the student so he/she will be able to graduate from school. 



SPOILER review:
I do not understand how this kind of friend is possible. I think too that it is would have been better to child to grow into family like Joon Soo had, but he really did not think how it will mess up Joon Soo's life.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

19 - Nineteen (2009)


Country: South Korea & Japan collab.
Genre: youth, friendship, law
Format: movie
Cast: TOP, Seung Ri, Huh E Jae, Maeng Bong Hal, Kim Ri Na, Jang So Yeon
Synopsis: Min Seo (Seung Ri) fails on his collage entrance exam. Eun Yeong (Huh E Jae) aims to become an hairstylist and tries to pay her mom's hospital fees. Jeong Hun (TOP) is a freshman, but goes more to work than to university. They all are 19 years old. One day a young high school girl is murdered - she had worked at the same place as Jeong Hun and gone on a date with him; she had been a classmate with Eun Yeong and Min Seo had had a secret crush on her, but those three don't know anything about each other. Three of them become main suspects. They escape from the police and start to look for the truth.
Rating: 4/5
It is one of the Telecinema series. And it is really great movie.
It is sad that they actually do not show that they have lost someone. Beside Jeong Hun, whose crying scene is one of my favorites of all. In crying scenes top it would be number one. It is so sincere and (I might be wrong but) it is high possibility that those were real tears, since it is said that TOP has never faked tears in dramas/movies, he always cries himself. Amazing, ne? I really really like it. He is the only one who really cared. Eun Yeong was her schoolmate, but did not seemed to care at all. I definitely cry when some of my schoolmates or crushes dies, so that was a minus side of movie (That Min Seo and Eun Yeong did not care).
If you are TOP's, Seung Ri's or Big Bang's fan (TOP and Seung Ri are in Korean band Big Bang) then you can hear TOP's rap and Seung Ri singing a love song. Really beautiful, but I like TOP's  rap more (Oke, you can hear 3 songs by him - at the start, in the middle and in the end). He has greaaaaaaaat voice =P
I was neutral about Huh E Jae acting. Nothing amazing but nothing bad. At the same time TOP is über-amazing actor. Korean movie analytics have told that if he will take more drama/movie parts then he might become most successful Korean idol, who's acting. Nothing in his acting seems fake and he does not look like usual idol, he has something more realistic in his appearance, which makes the character more reliable. It is funny how they made Seung Ri to play Min Seo part, he suits into that so well. As I had not listen to Big Bang at the time I watched this movie, I did not know how much he acted in it, but now I know that he is nothing like his character xD I actually do not like Min Seo kind characters or people, they
are soo weak and powerless. If you really liked the girl, he should have talked to her.. -.-
I hated the police. It is sooo horrible if police just starts to make you in fault of something, but I know that it happens in real life too, but usually not with so horrible things as murder (I might happen with fine tickets and stuff).
I liked that this movie shows how they try to manage with the escape and with their own lives, even after this horrible happening they try to look the brighter side of the life. Also it shows that you can never trust anybody but yourself.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Code Blue


CODE BLUE (2008)
Season 1
Country: Japan
Genre: work, medical, life
Format: drama 11 episodes + special
Cast: Yamashita Tomohisa, Aragaki Yui, Toda Erika, Higa Manami, Asari Yosuke, Ryo, Kodama Kiyoshi,  Katsumura Masanobu, Yanagiba Toshiro, Sugimoto Tetta, Terajima Susumu, Yuui Ryoko, Shima Kaori
Synopsis: Interns Aizawa, Shiraishi, Hiyama and Fujikawa start their flight-doctor training. They must save people in unpredictable and dangerous situations with less time and equipment.
Rating: 3/5
I did not liked the first season very much, it was kind a boring. Almost in every episode they saved the person, but in real life it is great if there is at least one person who doctors can save. Also in first season it totally looked like they do not have a personal life (except for Hiyama), that made drama monotonous.
I liked that Aizawa's character made trough a big change during the drama. At first he was a "bastard", then he became "cool bastard", then "cool lifesaving bastard" and finally he was "cool lifesaving bastard with emotions and reasons". Why he still was bastard? Because he was so egoistic and thought he really is better than other (Oke he was the best, but it is a big difference between knowing it and showing it!!). But I must say that I would have preferred to be treated by Aizawa too, because he  was sooo ahead of others.
I also liked Kuroda-sensei, he had personality problems, but in the end he did everything to help interns. Who I did not like, were Shiraishi and Mitsuno-sensei. Shiraishi was just too theory-type person and that made her annoying. Mitsuno-sensei was the doctor, who did not have the doctor-attitude... but I must say that I did not recognize Ryo at the first place, because I was more used to see her with really short hair. And on Hiyama and Fujikawa spot, I much stayed neutral. Drama does not concentrate on other doctor's personal thinking at all, which makes the drama a little bit too plain. It is like only Aizawa's world. You could say that it pretty Japanese version of "Dr. House", exepct that dr. House is young fresh intern in "Code Blue" and is named Aizawa.. 
There is only one special story-line and it is "them as interns"... yes, nothing more.. but it is a great "mediacal research drama"! =P
The special really seemed like another episode of season 1, so there is not much to bring out.


CODE BLUE (2010)
Season 2
Country: Japan
Genre: work, medical, life
Format: drama 11 episodes
Cast: Yamashita Tomohisa, Aragaki Yui, Toda Erika, Higa Manami, Asari Yosuke, Ryo, Kodama Kiyoshi,  Katsumura Masanobu, Sugimoto Tetta, Terajima Susumu, Yuui Ryoko, Shiina Kippei, Shima Kaori, (Quests: Lily Franky, Hamada Gaku, Hirayama Hiroyuki, Yoshida Yo)
Synopsis: After going back from the suspension, interns are soon going to end their internship. They all have their hesitations and concerns about the past and future.
Rating: 4/5
I liked it much more than the first season. First of all people died in it, which made it more like real life, but now in every episode someone died. It kind a look like, when in first season they saved all the people, then in second season they cannot save them. Secondly, it showed their personal life, so they are not all robots and workaholics. Even a doctor has it's own family and personal problems.
In season two Aizawa was not a bastard anymore (Thank you, Kuroda-sensei!!), he turned into cool!best!handsome! New supervisor was annoying at the start, but he turned out to be more appealing that you will guess. Also Shiraishi was less annoying.
In first season, there did not seemed much friendship between four of them, but in second season they stand for each other. I think that because of the suspension they bounded together, which was great.
Surprisingly I did not cry much during it, but the episode where Hamada Gaku was guest was the saddest and the BEST episode of all seasons. This episode totally gave a plus marks to it.
In the end, second season was much better - it has more activity going, more realistic, characters' personalities have made trough a change etc. They more concentrate on characters' thinking and life-views. So it has more different story-lines than in first season.But still it mostly concentrated on Aizawa and his past.

Last Friends (2008)


Country: Japan
Genre: romance, domestic violence, friendship, LGBT
Format: drama 11 episodes
Cast: Nagasawa Masami, Nishikido Ryo, Ueno Juri, Eita, Mizukawa Asami, Yamazaki Shigenori, Nishihara Aki,
Synopsis: Michiru has had a very difficult childhood and has gone through man difficult things. Finally she moves in with her good and caring boyfriend, but as soon as she has moved in Sosuke turns out to be a violent and jealous man. On one day Michiru runs into her old friend Ruka who introduces Michiko to her house mates. Michiru finds care and love from them, but actually every person has its own problems to think of too. 
Rating: 3/5
It was pain to watch, but after it had ended.. I totally liked it. It was horrible and crazy and bad, but it really showed different sides of the world. There are many people who suffer from domestic violence, there are many people who have childhood traumas, where they have been abused, there are also many people who hesitate in their sexual orientation. And I liked that this drama brought up all those themes, because those are the things that most of the people do not want to talk about.
As you see it has an outstanding cast too.  My favorites were Eita and Ueno Juri. I have always liked Eita's acting and his character was great too.  About Ueno Juri I discovered that she would have been great in Michiru role too, but she as a tomboy was good too. I liked that Ruka was hesitating about many things, but in the end she wanted others to be happy. I did not liked Nagasawa Masami's acting much, because I actually almost forgot who was played the part of Michiru. I think that Michiru role was difficult, so I forgive her. In this drama Nishikido Ryo is the violent one... it is spooky xD Acting was great and fictionally was the character too. It was so amazing how Sosuke had hide it before, but they say that usually those kind of man really hide it until it is to late for woman to leave.
The end was so unpredictable.. I did not see that coming. I understood that something happens, but did not think that in this way to that person. No spoilers, watch it if you want to know ;)
I must say that it took a lot of courage and coercion to watch it, but i am really happy I did it.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge (2010)


Also known as: The Perfect girl evolution
Country: Japan
Genre: horror, comedy, romance, surreal
Format: drama 10 episodes
Cast: Oomasa Aya, Kamenashi Kazuya, Tegoshi Yuya, Uchi Hiroki, Miyao Shuntaro, Kato Seishiro, Kanbe Ranko, Osugi Ren, Takashima Reiko, (Guests: David Ito, Hoshino Aki, Nukumizu Youichi, Sato Eriko, Aso Yumi, Okuda Erika, Asami Reina)
Synopsis: Kyohei, Yukinojo, Takenaga and Ranmaru are total ikemen, who live under the same roof. Their landlord Mrs. Nakahara promises to give them free board-and-lodging on one contition - They must turn her niece, Sunako, into a lady. An easy task turns into the hell, when the guys meet Sunako - spooky girl, whose hair cover her face, loves horror movies and dark, and whose best friend is an old skeleton puppet.
Rating: 3/5
This story itself is really surreal, especially some episodes (like with the ghost, magic mushrooms etc). I have seen the anime version of it too, so I understand that they made it based on the manga really well, but in manga there is no Takeru, but I guess they needed a narrator.
I somehow think Sunako went overboard with all of that. I understand that the guy she liked told she was ugly, but if it would have been me, I would have made myself so beautiful to show what he missed. I think that Sunako even had the strenght to do it, but as long as she was happy as she was, it's okey..
Oomasa Aya made a great work. In manga and anime Sunako is mostly chibi (really small child like etc) and as you know in real life it is impossible to do, but you actually get the same feeling from Oomasa Aya acting. In manga and anime Sunako turns into a beautiful women (as she really was) when she is really angry or embarrassed (of love feeling) and if I watched drama version, then I still totally saw the difference.
What I do not understand is how women can go so far for so-called love? I liked when Kyohei explained that if you really do not know what the person is like, do you really love him/her? Just because you like his/her appearance does not make it love. I do understand the feeling of those 4 guys. If you are told almost everyday that you are beautiful, it finally loses its charm.
Talking of love then Takenaga and Noi love-line was cute! I soooo loved Noi! She was the cutest of all and while being cute, she was NOT ANNOYING!! =)

Yonimo Kimyona Monogatari: Imakiyo-san (2006)

Country: Japan
Genre: surreal, horror
Format: part of Yonimo Kimyona Monogatari series
Cast: Matsumoto Jun, Takahashi Mai, Sakai Toshiya, Kitamura Eiki
Synopsis: It is an old legend that a ghost named Imakiyo-san might visit lonely and sad people. If you obey the 4 rules he might bring you happiness. If you do not, something bad might happen.
Rating: 2/5
It is sooooooooo spooooooooooky!!!! I had a nightmare after watching it.... O.o and it was sad too, because I did not know what really happened to Kazuo. As it is  "Yonimo kimyona monogatari" then you really do not know the real end or the other reasons of something, like why they broke up etc. And it is still so spoooky.
I must say that Matsumoto Jun's acting is great, that nervous feeling is great and it is so sad how he broke all the rules without noticing it before it was to late. I think that I would move out quietly at the first place xD but I am afraid that it would not make things better.

∞Uppers (2010)


Country: Japan
Genre: yakuza, life, family,
Format: movie
Cast: Kanjani∞ (Yokoyama You, Nishikido Ryo, Shibutani Subaru, Yasuda Shota, Murakami Shingo, Maruyama Ryuhei, Ohkura Tadayoshi)
Synopsis: 7 hitmen (Jacky, Johnny, Gum, Ace, Arsenal, Toppo,Mac) with a similar background are like brothers to each other. On one day a woman leaves her baby to them to protect him. But hitmen, who are used to "get rid of" annoying officials, have heart for that baby and decide to keep him with them until they find his mother.
Rating: 3/5

So cute!! It was made after the movie "3 men and a baby" and actually is a promotional movie for Kanjani∞' same named album. (Kanjani∞ is a Japanese band under Johnny's Entertainment). All soundtracks are from that album.
The story was cute, but some of the scenes where just too epic xD Kanjani looked pretty nice as hitmen.
 

My favorite characters were Johnny, Gum, Toppo and Ace. They were so overwhelmed by the baby. It is said that all babies are made with the same proportions - big head (compared to body), chubby, helpless - and it is all to bring up motherly feelings in grown ups. That's why everybody find babies cute. And all women find cute men, who know how to handle with babies, even if it is not their. (Yeah.. the movie got 3 stars just for the cuteness...)
Mostly the story is about their feelings toward the baby (They name him Eito, because he is the 8 member of them), which brings up hesitations in some of them etc.
It is a great movie for new Kanjani
∞'s fans to learn their names and faces.. oke you must know it before who plays what character.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

My little black dress (2011)


Country: South Korea
Genre: friendship, women talk, life
Format: movie
Cast: Park Han Byul, Cha Ye Ryun, Yoo In Na, Yoon Eun Hye, Lee Yong Woo, Dong Ho (U-Kiss), Jeon Su Keong
Synopsis: Yoo Min, Hye Yi, Soo Jin and Min Hee met in university. Now after the university has ended they must face the truth of hard work and life. Yoo Min still does not know want she wants from life, she manages to become a TV writer's assistant, but she more is a babysitter. At the same time she is having relationship troubles. Hye Ji has had the easiest life of all and has never worked hard. Over night she becomes a famous idol. Soo Jin who has gone to more auditions than she can count, but has always failed, is jealous over Hye Ji. Min Hee has a wish to go studying in States, but struggles with poor language skills. Yoo Min, Soo Jin and Min Hee must also face big money troubles.
Rating: 3/5
Total girl-power movie. I think that it will be too boring to male viewers. Beside all the characters are with a little higher financial position, which makes it more boring. It is really hard to find resemblance with your own life. It is more like story of rich and beautiful, but a great story. Actually there is no special storyline, it starts with the end of the university and ends almost with out ending, because everything goes on after it. But as a women.. I liked the story. It actually showed many sides of woman's life - the parts, which most of the men won't understand. Further more, it showed everyone as a main character (oke, Yoo Min fulfilled the narrator's part too).
All the characters are different. I liked Min Hee the most, she was so cute and sincere. I did not liked Soo Jin very much, she was a little bit too bitchy, but at the same time I understand that she was very depressed. Their friendship was amazing. To drive to other city just to comfort a friend is really incredible. I think the friendship theme was the best storyline in this movie. This movie also shows that you can find friends from most uncomfortable and weirdest situations.
I liked the talk between Yoo Min and Young Mi about being your own life's side character. More than that sometimes it even feels like other are characters of a drama and you are only a viewer. Also great sentences, which are true, are:
"People with a dream or people without a thought.. I do not know why they are both so depressed"
"They say that the age of man's mind halts exactly at 17"
"Women do not like to be  called princesses, but they like to be treated as princesses"
"If a part time job is dating, then regular job is marriage"

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Kakure Karakuri (2006)


Also known as: Hidden trick
Country: Japan
Genre: mystery, life,
Format: movie
Cast: Kato Shigeaki, Hiraoka Yuta, Hoshi Nanase, Kuriyama Chiaki, Ochiai Motoki, SUGIZO, David Ito, Erena, Sugimoto Tetta, Moro Morooka,
Synopsis: Kurimoto Yousuke wants to spend his summer vacation working in onsen with pretty girls, but he ends up with his classmate Abe Tomonari in a weird region, which is ruled by two families. They have to solve the mystery of clockwork doll to help the children of those families - Hanayama Karin and Reina and Kazami Taichi.
Rating: 3/5
Actors were great! As I understand then "Kakure karakuri" is not a famous movie, but it has such a famous cast!!! Kato Shigeaki looks hot =P (sorry unnecessary comment). His character is great. I like his point of views and it is so funny how he mistakes the names and his face of  "That's what I told right now" (even though he did not) is cuuuuuuuute. My favorite is the Kurimoto-Karin-Abe love triangle XD Over-acting made the movie even better, it was a little bit parody-likeish xD All characters are different and not annoying, beside Taichi, because I did not understand why he walked so weirdly... There are times when the scene might be like "EEEEHHH??". especially bath-scenes.
The storyline was spooky time to time and made me really think what is the secret, but actually the real secret was a little bit disappointment. The doll was totally scary.. I am afraid of this kind of old dolls. 
It was said that the mystery was only 120 years old... actually for me it is too short period as there are only 2-3 generations of those families, so in the end it seemed weiiiird. I think that NOT hiding the secret would have worked out better than hiding it.
Movie was actually made for Coca Cola anniversary. That explains the coca cola advertisements in the movie. 

Monday, July 18, 2011

0 Goushishitsu no Kyaku: Man who won't fight (2009)


Also known as: 36 Ten no Pride no Takai NEET
Country: Japan
Genre: surreal, life
Format: part of Zero goushitsu no Kyaku, 4 episode mini-drama
Cast: Koyama Keiichiro, Ando Sei, Yokoyama Yu,
Synopsis: Ooyama Shigeto (Koyama Keiichiro) idolizes blogger KING as its sarcastic views and sayings makes a big influence on him. He calls KING to the hotel to meet his idol and receive the score. But everything turns out wrong as KING turns to be a women and score not so high.
Rating: 1/5
This is series which really had a main point and a great one. It was made into a stage show too with the same actors (+ some more).  I really wanted to see it, but as I am not in Japan, I did not see it, but I wonder how it worked out.
I was so annoyed by KING. She was so despaired and unwilling to accept the truth. Why some people do not understand that their words can hurt other people? Sometimes even more than acts. She was a real bitch... but Ando Sei played her well. At the same time I would not have recognized Koyama Keiichiro if I would have not known it is him. Just amazing acting, but as a character.. he was so easy to manipulate. He should grow up sooner.
I have seen some parts of the making too and I must say that Koyama Keiichiro was über-happy for his character's name. (Explenation: Koyama Keiichiro is in NEWS and Kato Shigeaki is NEWS member too, and they are veeery good freinds.....)

Gekidan Engimono: Unlucky Days ~Natsume no mousou~(2004)


Country: Japan
Genre: surreal,
Format: part of Gekidan Engimono series, 4 episodes mini-drama
Cast: Sakurai Sho, Koyama Keiichiro, Hirayama Aya, Yamazaki Shigenori, Sugai Kin, Kawahara Sabu, Hankai Kazuaki, Minagawa Sarutoki,
Synopsis: Kantaku (Sakurai Sho) has broke up with his girlfriend Miki (Hirayama Aya) and is in big money trouble as yakuza wants him to pay the debt. At one day the most weirdest things start to happen. Sanada (Koyama Keiichiro) steals money from his boss, famous mangaka, who has killed his partner and now sees his ghost. One banknote has something weird written on and it ends in Miki's hands, same time  bank is robbed and its money ends in Kantaku hands.
Rating: 1/5
It is the weirdest Gekidan I have ever seen. In the end I did not catch the main point of this serie. I have heard that there are some people who like it the most, I would really like to know the reasons. There are many different story lines and all are attached to each other, so you really must hold your mind opened. Again, there are many mistakes made like there should havve been security cameras, tint-bomb with the money etc, but as it still was a Gekidan I can forgive it. I cannot make any screenshots as the quality of this video I watched really sucks. Much over-acting by actors and many-many annoying or weird characters.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

0 Goushishitsu no Kyaku: Kanpeki na otoko (2009)


Country: Japan
Genre: life, psyhological
Format: part of Zero Goushitsu no Kyaku series, 4 episodes mini-drama
Cast: Kato Shigeaki, Morisako Ei, Kanjiya Shihori, Yokoyama Yu,
Synopsis: The third story of  "0 Goushitsu no Kyaku". Yazaki (Kato Shigeaki) is a great doctor, who takes his young patient Karen (Morisako Ei) to the hotel. He, patient and nurse Yoshimi (Kanjiya Shihori) all receive their rating. Yazaki misses just 2 point of 100 with score 98. Why he loses those 2 points and how can a dieing person receive a score, when usually their score is given as blank note.
Rating: 1/5
I even liked it. Yazaku character was nice and it seemed like there was some things on with Yoshimi, but it seemed like "We are trying to keep everything professional" XD What more I liked in Yazaku was that he did not wanted to get those 2 points and he did not liked the idea of getting ratings. Beside Kato Shigeaki was great in that role and Kanjiya Shihori is just so cute actress. I like the whole story, it is sad, but nice and beautiful. I actually do not even know why I gave it only one star... this time you can really hate me if you want xD
I totally love theme song "Tokei Jigake no Umbrella" by Arashi. It is really really catchy.

Sotsu Uta: Sotsugyou shashin (2010)


Country: Japan
Genre: life
Format: part of Sotsu Uta series
Cast: Nagasawa Masami, Masuda Takahisa, Hara Fumina, Yasuda Ken, Utagawa Shiiko,
Synopsis: Final story of Sotsu Uta series. The radio caster Hitomi (Nagasawa Masami) always wanted to become a radio caster, but as she got her job by having a love affair with her boss, she is put into variety show on TV. Hoping to find inner peace she returns to her childhood village, but the place which had to remain the same is going trough changes. Only one who has not changed is childhood friend Tsuyoshi (Masuda Takahisa).
Rating: 1/5
Really nice and heart warming movie. It shows changes of life and people, which we must accept even if we do not want. I liked the fact that they talked how big city has changed the people. Actually I am afraid of those changes too, that when I finally move away from this place, I might change.
But I liked the saying that Graduation is not ending, but it is beginnig of something else. So remember it, does not matter what door closes behind you, another one opens before you. As it was the last episode of the series, you can hear the other episode conclusions a bit too, but otherwise episodes are not attached  to each other, so you can watch episodes as different movies too. (Every episode is made after one famous song).
From all of the things I loved Hitomi's and Tsuyoshi's relationship the most. Their friendship was amazing, but you can definitely see how time has left its marks on it: some things unsaid have gathered and feeling of uneasiness grows. Hitomi is only character who is in every episode of the whole Sotsu Uta series. She is a radio-host, who might have earned her position with something else than her talent. Compared to Hitomi then actually Tsuyoshi was much more grown up and he was willing to accept the truth. Like he said several times, they are not children anymore. There will be time when every person must grow up.
I like to believe that Tsuyoshi had actually more feelings for Hitomi than just feelings of friends. That would have explained the reason, why he has still alone etc, but there was no hints about it (oke, you can take some things like Tsuyoshi always supporting Hitomi and so on as those hints). Masuda Takahisa can act those kind of characters very well - a little weak and soft by nature, but with big heart and will to succeed no matter what. At the same time I was not amazed by Nagasawa Masami's acting nor her character. I do not approve the way Hitomi got her job, I do not approve how she was so headstrong.
I liked Nagasawa Masami in "Proposal Daisakusen" and "Last Friends", but here she just was not that great. Especially which I did not like was in the end the use of English "See you tomorrow". I have heard Japanese radio shows, so it was just too plain there. In Japanese it would have suited more, beside this was her last radio show, so why say tomorrow?
There is no action, love lines etc. It is more movie of much talking and thinking, time to time really slow, but at least it has really beautiful scenery's.

Yonimo Kimyona Monogatari: Law of Recycling suicides (2009)

Country: Japan
Genre: surreal, law
Format: part of Yonimo Kimyona Monogatari series
Cast: Ikuta Toma, Ryo
Synopsis: The country works up a secret law of recycling suicides: people are saved at the last moment from death, they are declared dead and their further lives are used for the sake of the country.
Rating: 5/5
This movie is sick and awesome! It is psychologically challenging to accept the events of the movie and it definitely makes you rethink about life, law and suicides.
Ikuta Toma is one of my favorite actors for his diverse acting skills. I think that filming for it was wild and I would really like to see the making of it. His  character has given up on life and decides to commit suicide, only to end up finding himself on weird twisted program where he has no right to make choices over his life.
No matter what character Ryo plays, she has always given me the "bitch with no morals"-feeling and this is exactly the movie where she is it. She has no emotions, this is just her work in front of her country and "it is a good deed for the society". She sees all the people in the program just as small inanimate pieces that are needed for the job.  
I would understand the program if it would have been acting to remind those people how precious the life is, but as it was all real deal, the law was horrible.In some way I understand this law, because it is like Kamiya-san says: "You were the one who decided to make suicide, now by law you are considered as died in suicide." but at the same time there is no right to use other people lives for no matter what reasons. This law is really scary and sick, but also leaves me thinking about possible secret conspiracy laws where maybe some people how are "gone missing", have gone missing by some other ways. But in the end, it is just my imagination thinking too much again. I think that people will go crazy from the start of the program.
Suicides have become more and more frequent in our society and especially in youth due to school-bullying and of course for grown-ups after break-ups or job loss. Despite showing signs of someone being suicidal, we tend not to notice them until it is too late. I like how this movie shows that many suicidal people actually do not want to die, but they just do not want to live their lives. It might be difficult to understand, but at least that was what I got from this movie. I definitely agree to Kamiya-san's saying: "It is selfish to end your life yourself". In my point of view, people who commit suicide are weak and selfish as it takes a lot of  more strength and confidence to continue living and they tend to see only their point of few.  But at the same time I understand that while just seeing things from their side, they are unable to think about others. Maybe that is just human nature? I just find that committing suicide is like a cheat-code in life to finish a level in game without actually playing it. In this life there are so many chances of every hour that we might die the next minute and also, there are many people who want to live so bad, but some unfortunate moment takes them away. If you are alive, then you should appreciate every second you are breathing. If you think I do not have experience with suicides then you are wrong - I have seen how suicide has ruined a whole family and I have seen people grow up "thanking" for their "unsuccessful attempt" as their life turned into something beautiful and cheerful. I live by the moto that "everything is possible until you are alive - things can never get better when you are dead".
This movie definitely left a strong impression on me and this 20 minutes are worth spending on it.


Yonimo Kimyona Monogatari: Kino Koen (2006)

Also known as: The Yesterday park
Country: Japan
Genre: surreal, life, friendship, time travel
Format: part of Yonimo Kimyona Monogatari series
Cast: Domoto Koichi, Yamazaki Shigenori, Harada Natsuki
Synopsis:Yosuke (Domoto Koichi) loses his best friend in an accident. Some hours before they played ball in a park and talked. Next day Yosuke is again at the park, recalling last day, suddenly a baseball rolls to his feet. Picking up that ball sends him back to last day, giving him the chance to change the death of a friend.
Rating: 5/5
 Absolutely marvelous work! It is so interesting and surreal that it nails you to the screen. It kind a reminds me USA's movie "Butterfly effect" (2004) - actually there are more movies about this kind of time travel, but I believe "Butterfly effect" is the most known  - , but "Kino Koen" has way better solution to it. It makes you think that these things cannot be happening or you start to overthink all the things in your life. In addition, it might make you wonder about the possibilities of your own actions when you are placed in this kind of situation.
Yosuke did what I think anyone of us would do as a friend. Domoto Koichi's acting is great. You can see how he plays his character changes off. Yosuke is guy, who cares much of his friends, but does not show that much emotions. He is trying to give his best in his life, but seems to fail in university and relationships. At the same time Takao is working at family liqueur shop and knows what is the most important in life and is a man of actions, which all makes Yosuke feel that Takao is much better man than he will ever be. Their friend Noriko is a shy girl, who is in love-triangle with the guys. In a way she is more like a messenger in the movie -updating with all bad news.
The end definitely added the final star to rating so be sure to watch it all. It really makes you want to live your life fullest, because you never know when you will die and you must always care for others, because you might loose them even today. It also shows that sometimes you have to accept the fate as it is.
This story is (at the moment) my favorite from all of the "Yonimo Kimyona Monogatari's". Every single thing is perfect in it. You can see the things that are always repeating - the balloon, children, car, water - and it might drive you totally insane. I am really prone to deja-vu's and sometimes while having a deja-vu, I get scared that what if deja-vu's are just these "returning points" from were we have a chance to do something differently. With my imagination I also end up thinking about all the possibilities how I might have died for me the have the returning point. Of course, I am actually aware that scientifically the "deja-vu" is explained by nerve-system mistake by making connection with long-memory rather than short-memory and making us think that we have had this situation before even though it is the first time happening. Still it is scary to have one repeating deja-vu going over and over again as most of the time I end up having a deja-vu of having the same deja-vu once or twice before.
What is also good about this movie, is that it is only 25 minutes long, so you can watch it any time like when you have free half hour between your lessons and you have your laptop with you. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Yonimo Kimyona Monogatari: Sainoudama (2007)

Also known as: "Talentball"
Country: Japan
Genre: surreal
Format: part of Yonimo Kimyona Monogatari series
Cast: Sakurai Sho, ( Hirayama Aya??)
Synopsis: Masakazu is aiming to become a musician, but he is lack of talent. He discovers talent balls - 3 lollipops, which will relieve unknown talents.
Rating: 1/5
 Song is really catchy. "Ore no peppin' gaaaru..." It is so funny when they put professional singers to non-singers (Sakurai Sho is a singer in ARASHI), because like they say at the start of the movie "They are horrible!". I would never stand to listen that song forever. Sakurai Sho was amazing in it. Really well played character. If I start to think, then the movie was so sad, because it was like a war (not a fight) against fate. No matter what he did, it did not give any great result (except the end), that´s why I liked that he, Masakazu turned everything for good at last.
As all Yonimo Kimyona Monogatari series it has a really unpredictable ending, but if I compare it to "Kino Koen" and "Law of recycling suicides", then it was not that great at all. it was more like "I have 20 minutes free time and I am in a mood for anything" watching. It is not very intresting or amusing.
I do not know the name of the actress, so I would be grateful if someone tells me. I know that I have seen her before too, but cannot recall it. Am I right if it is Hirayama Aya?

Monday, July 11, 2011

JOKER ~Yurusarezaru sousakan~ (2010)


Country: Japan
Genre: law, police, justice
Format: drama 10 episodes + special
Cast: Sakai Masato, Ryo, Nishikido Ryo, (Watanabe) Anne, Osugi Ren, Kaga Takeshi, Hirayama Hiroyuki, (as a quest cast Oshinari Shugo)
Synopsis: Date Kazuyoshi (Sakai Masato) is a police detective. He is known as "Saint" as he has not arrested a criminal for years and because of his quiet, peaceful nature. But at night he is going to punish criminals who have gotten away by law, but there is a time, when even Date misses the weak point. At the same time he has to watch over Miyagi Asuka (Anne), a young detective, who wants to know the truth about his brother's, Date's old pair-man, death and Date's ex-girlfriend and used-to-be detective Katagiri Saeko (Ryo), who starts investigating "Mysterious disappearances".
Rating: 2/5
Okey.. I start from the start. The extra name "Yurusarezaru sousokan" ("Unforgivable police detectives") is lame and tooo long to say, just JOKER would have been better or something else with JOKER.
 What was totally funny, was that Date reminded me Sailor Moon (but he did not make the transform like she did xD). Every time he was going to bust criminal, he said "There is no tomorrow for you!" and shot, Sailor Moon said : "By the power of Moon. I will punish you" and made something to the bad guy.  In addition, he sometimes imitated Lt. Horatio Caine from "CIA Miami" (played by David Caruso) with his head and look. In one episode the criminal even said that Date tries to act cool xD
But I must say that actually the drama is predictable - all the first LIVING guests are criminals, even though they try to confuse people (but it does not work). The drama more makes you confused about the law, even though I know that it all is corrupted, the drama was too negative about it. I try to think like Miyagi Asuka, who believed that you can punish people by law.. but at the same time there are many cases where criminal gets out of the jail and kills again. On the other hand, for some of the criminals I found that in the JOKER system the punishment was too much. This drama makes you think about justice. In this drama, most of the criminals seemed lunatic to me.
What really made me think, was that there was no security cameras, when Date worked at night! I understand that some placed it was usual that they are missing, but places like art gallery???  just too weird.
 About characters and actors... I already told you about Date, he was so cute by his nature, but Sakai Masato was great too. And there was a person about who I have not told a word: Nishikido Ryo who played the part of Kudo Kenji. He was just sooooo great. I enjoyed it very much. Kudo's character was well explained and Nishikido Ryo played it all out. I actually wanted that Kudo would have gotten his long waited kiss, but I was not much disappointed  when it did not happen as it still was a police-drama and he actually made a progress with his feelings. Kudo's character was like a piece of sunshine in a black and white drama. Beside, at many times it seemed like Kudo was the smartest of them all!!!! there was a footprint place and even I was able to say that those were different people!!! -.- But I liked  that he was not afraid of anything in it.
annoying characters...Katagiri Saeko, Asuka and Master.. Katagiri Saeko was just stupid and annoying, she really had a big mouth and did not know when to shut up. It was sad that she and Date still loved each other, but sometimes I felt like she loved Miyagi Natsuki more. But actress Ryo looked so beautiful and young (There are times when she looks old like in "Yonimo Kimyona Monogatari: law of recycling suicides"). Asuka was just naive, she actually was not that annoying and I liked that her feelings for Kudo were nice. She more was natural character, for who you cannot really say anything annoying or great. Master... it was all because of the end.
 There were many cases, where I did not understand the reasons and some proofs were bad. I liked the ending theme "SCAR" by RIP SLYME. I usually to not listen to that kind of music, but it is really addicting song and now there is even a JOKER-episode-ending-dance and you are lucky that you cannot ever see it!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Dance Subaru (2009)


 Country: Japan
Genre: Dance, life
Format: movie
Cast: Kuroki Meisa, Hiraoka Yuta, Maeda Ken, Sano Miko, Kakei Toshio, Go Ah Ra, Momoi Kaori, (+ DBSK, TVQX, Tohoshinki - performing in the club)
Synopsis: Twins Subaru (Kuroki Meisa) and Kazuma dream about becoming a professional ballet dancers. After Kazumas death, dance becomes Subaru´s only happiness, even though her father disapproves it.  Subaru starts to perform at one cabaret-bar, but in order to become a professional ballerina she starts hard training and takes part of the international competition.
Rating: 3/5
Dance movie... Ballet... OH GOSH HOW I LIKED IT! I adore ballet and it was a great movie because in some scenes they connected the street dance and ballet and I must admit that that movie made me fall in love with contemporary dance. As a dancer myself, I enjoyed it sooooo much. To dancer, dancing really is something to express your feelings with, if you are angry, happy, sad - there is no expression that dance cannot show. 
At the same time it was really sad movie. I was under a sugar over-doze, when I watched it for the first time, so then it was even sadder, but even now I start to cry when I see it. I think the start was the saddest, how Kazuma died. I have a twin too, so I understand their connection - someone who has lived everything trough with you, just a thought of loosing that person makes me cry... actually I start cry as soon as hear something about losing someone familiar. That´s why I really liked Subaru´s way to move on and give her best. As I have been trough many painful times in my life, I understand that you cannot stop your life - it must go on even when it is hard (It is better to move on, than lose 1 year from your memories)
The friendship side was great too. Every friendship might suffer from jealousy, but you can really see you are your real friends when you are in trouble. That is what made this story sweet, no matter how bitch Mana seemed, she was actually the cutest friend of all, I would not mind having that kind of a friend, because I think, that she did the most to help Subaru. I hated her father... I still hate... because the thing Subaru says in the start, that he cared only about Kazuma, was totally true. Even though it was a painful saying, it was true even years later. I did not get the feeling like her father cared of her, it more seemed to be that to him Subaru was only someone annoying.
 I must say that I love Kuroki Meisa appearance... she is so beautiful, she is an amazing dancer and her athletic frame is amazing. I so wish I would be like her - I think I should watch more into the mirror... -.- Today I look more like Park Bom from 2NE1.
What I did not like in this movie, was that they tried to put a love-line in it. But it must have been a successful love or not put it in at all, because as it was, it was just a fail. I understand all characters, but it just did not convince me. Mistaking with love-lines are really big mistakes in my opinion. I know it is hard to make the perfect love scene for script-writers and actors, but it is something that makes a big impact on the movie. I understand that it is a dance movie, but as I said - that kind of mistake is too annoying. In addition, it does not matter how I complimanted Kuroki Meisa, bit the truth is, that no matter what the scene was about, she always had the same expression on her face, which is baaaad.. feeling of no emotions...

Chichi yo, anata wa erakatta (2009)


Tagline: 1969 nen no Oyaji to boku (Me and dad in 1969)
Country: Japan
Genre: family, time travel, history
Format: movie
Cast: Kato Shigeaki, Aibu Saki, Tsutsumishita Atsushi, Nishida Toshiyuki, Izumi Pinko, Oshinari Shugo, Nukumizu Youichi,
Synopsis: Onoreda Riichi (Nishida Toshiyuki) and Harumi (Izumi Pinko) have been married for years. Now Riichi is forced to go on a early pension and because of family troubles, divorce becomes possible option. Their son Masaru (Kato Shigeaki) has not got any job and fights with father are usual things. After one big fight Masaru leaves home, he falls from the building´s roof and goes trough a time-slip, waking up in year 1969, when his parents went to university.
Rating: 2/5
I must say that i like that movie just because of Kato Shigeaki. I do not know why, but I enjoy his acting very much. And I loved that they had put in use Kato Shigeaki´s music talent ^^ I love when people, who can sing, are singing in dramas/movies. Beside he sings a great song there - "Kiseki" by Greeeen. (The funny thing is that Kato Shigeaki is in NEWS and many their songs are written by Greeeen ^^)
What I enjoyed too, is that this movie shows the life in 1969-s, when there were big street protests because of the economy and political reasons. It also compares nowadays with past about life, youth, opinions etc.
It might look too slow movie, but it is sweet actually. The start is reaaaaaalllly slow, that I did not like, but I liked the fact that later it was clearly seen how emotions and out-views changed. There are many times when young people do not understand their parents and parents do not understand their children. Ones want to be free and independent and others want their children to succeed in life. I think that most of the time children forgot the fact that their parents have been young too and parents tend to forgot what their youth was like.
I did not understand the Ryu Shi-won part. It was a little bit over-done - had nothing to do the main- nor side-stories. I liked Oshinari Shuga acting too - actually I did not recognize him at the first sight xD From the side-stories Harumi-Kamijo story was the best. 
A little cute fact - in this movie Kato Shigeaki character wanted to become mangaka (Manga artist) and in the next drama (If we exclude "0 Gyoushitsu no Kyaku: Kanpeki no otoko") "Troubleman" he was a mangaka.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Norwegian Wood (2010)


Counrty: Japan
Genre: romance, life&death, psychological, ***
Format: movie
Cast: Matsuyama Ken´ichi, Mizohara Kiko, Kikuchi Rinko, Tamayama Tatsuji, Reika Kirishima
Synopsis: Watanabe Toru (Matsuyama Ken´ichi) remembers back to the life in 1960-s. His close friend Kizuki has commited suicide, because of that Toru and Kizuki´s girlfriend Naoko grow closer, but their relationship suffers due to personal problems. At the same time Toru becomes close to girl called Midori. 
Rating: 1/5
I really really would like to READ the original novel written by Murakami Haruki as I have heard that the movie had turned into something else. So if you will be disappointed in the movie too, then read the original novel. (This book belongs into one of the classics ^^. I actually found out that they are selling english version of the book in my country too and on the cover is movie´s poster - I would even buy it because of Matsuyama!)
But back to the movie... It was tooooooo much about sex. It was made into the most important theme (In book it is not the main point! Only side story!!). So it was pretty annoying. It does not have many action scenes, but mostly they are talking about it. It surely has very perveted views and for me it is a little bit sick...
Naoko´s character remains the character, who you will not understand even after the movie has ended. It looks like she only was thinking and panicking about sex. (Again, I will give cookies to that person who finds a scene with Naoko without sex side...)  Movie does not explain Naoko´s mental issues and there is no word about her past and those are very important themes in the book.
In the end it might look like Toru did not care about Naoko as he called to Midori, actually in book it had been 10 years since happenings with Naoko.
If you ask about the actors, then actors are all fine and their acting is great. But as I have said before, just having a great actors does not make it into a great movie. Hard to belive that it even had a great base-text, but they ruined it sooooooo badly. I think that I can only blame Tran Anh Hung, who is the director of the movie and wrote the screenplay for it. Even though he is a famous and highly-rated director, I have understand that to many viewers his style is not appealing.
I hope to write better review after I have read the book. The movie was a BIG disappointment (I think it is the biggest disappointment in movies I have watched). But it had some nice sceneries...