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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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Shissou ~ Dead Run~ (2005)


Country: Japan
Genre: human, drama, life&death, violence, ***
Format: movie
Cast: Tegoshi Yuya, Kan Hanae, Nakatani Miki, Toyokawa Etsushi, Osugi Ren, Terajima Susumu, Kase Ryo, Suguta Shun, Takahashi Hitomi, Emoto Tasuku,
Synopsis: In a small city called Hama people are divided into to groups - Shore and off-Shore, that do not get along as off-Shore people tend to be from lower social groups (like criminals). Shuji was 7 when he was impressed by Demon-Ken's kindness, when Demon-Ken gave him a lift to home. But few days later Demon-Ken was found dead in the woods. Years later in junior high Shuji still remembers Demon-Ken and finds some connection with Off-Shore. He and his friend find that a small church is being built there. At the same time his brother Shuichi, who has always been a top-student, is being suspended from school because of a cheating in test. That makes Shuichi's mental state collapse. Shuji finds hope and answers from the church and also he meets there Eri, but yakuza wants to buy the off-Shore area for building there a turism centre. One by one the houses of Off-Shore get destroyed in arsons. Everyones lives are changed by doubts and truth.
Rating: 4/5
It is a SABU movie, so there is everything you can see in "Troubleman" too (but the latter one was more romantic and easier that "Shissou"). It actually is crazy and total mind-******* movie. In the end I felt like I was going insane and that made the movie so great. It definitely is movie with one of the most serious topics (If I leave out based-on-true-life-events movies). The sickest thing is that everything what happens in the movie, is 100% possible in real life, even now!
It has a great scene capturing, but at the same time, many scenes are a little bit hard to understand, but in the end it is a total masterpiece!
Tegoshi Yuya played the main character Shuji. It was his first role in a movie (one of his first acting ever - only Division 1: 15 sai no blues was made some months before). Many times it seemed like Shuji was just a side-viewer in the whole story, getting into those situations because of other people. That´s why I was so furious when classmates started to block him from class. Shuji was not responsible for those things. Mostly I hated the former friend - I know that his hate for Shuji might have been caused by the fact that when the friend was said to be guilty, Shuji stayed away from him too. Shuji does many irresponsible things, I believe that it shows how big the impact all, what had happened, had on him.
I cannot say anything about the church and how he started to be religious (In real life Tegoshi Yuya is not a christian - at least there are no public information about him being it). He found hope and strength from The Bible. As I am not religious, then I do not know how to comment his views and stuff. I know that when he wanted to put his friend and brother to read The Bible and go to church, he kind of a did not thought that not all people find justice in it. I know that there many people who after living through hard things, do not find relief in the religion, but at the same time, some start to devote their life to God.  I liked that back then Tegoshi Yuya had that average Japanese boy look xD Now he is really charismatic and real ikemen-idol.
Shuichi's (I know, they really similar names) story is so sad. I believe that in real life it might happen too, that top student might lose his head after getting suspended. But it is so sad - no-one can really understand later and that makes hard for others to help. I loved how Shuichi's and Shuji's relationship was and how Shuji tired to help Shuichi. 
The leadgirl was Eri (Kan Hanae). She was really confident and smart girl, a little bit rebellious. I liked that she was able to live on (okey it was because she was unable to commit suicide, but still). Her story is sad too - it shows how some people just do not have luck in their lives. She reminded my one book, where a woman had lived through fire in her childhood (Not sure, but I think she lost her family in it), anyway it made a big impact on her, but she saw flames as red horses and then when she is older, she starts to set houses on fire to see horses again. Eri's situation is not like that, but it just reminded me the trauma. For me, the highlight of the movie was Eri's and Shuji's relationship. There was no emotions, just young first fonding (is there such word? okey, I could use words as devoting, attaching, fancying too, but "fond" seems to be more accurate for them, but I am not sure how the noun is) Eri and Shuji were similar to each other as well as different.
The whole movie is great mind-rape. It has so many changing-points were you just do not know what happens next, but in the end when you know so clearly what is going to happen, you wish from the bottom of your heart that something would happen and would go differently. I screamed "NOOOOO!! NOOO!! IT CANNOT HAPPEN!!" in the end like lunatic xD The movie is really disgusting and there is so much violence and (nicely said) sexual interests. It is said that sometimes something can be so sick and horrible, that it is beautiful. It is totally right for "Shissou ~ Dead run~". I recommend it to those who have strong nerves, want to be aghast and who want to blow up their emotional balance. 

Division 1: 15 sai no blues (2005)


Country: Japan
Genre: human, life, school, violence
Format: mini-drama (~20 minutes X 4 episodes; Division 1 series 13th stage)
Cast: Zeebra, Tegoshi Yuya, Iwasa Mayuko, Higashi Ayu, Chiyo Shota,
Synopsis: Shunsaku (Zeebra) start to work as a tutor for a junior high school boy Sanada Kohei. Kohei has had 10 tutors before him, sucks at studying, at communicating with people and is bullied by his classmates - only joy for him are his flowers and love for Sakie, a girl in his class. But Kohei is not the only one who seems to have problems in this house. Shunsaku tries to show to the family the meaning of blues.
Rating: 3/5
For the first thing - the family is totally wacko!! Mentally it is really hard drama to stand - there are too possibilities - you love it or you hate it.
Tegoshi Yuya is the highlight of the drama and most of the people watch it because of him (true, even I xD). Kohei's character is actually disgusting and gives me creeps, but he still is the highlight. Believe me or not, but he actually screams more than talks in drama - and his screaming is funny, because Tegoshi Yuya had kind of a different voice back then (I think he was going trough voice-change then xD  He was 17 when the drama was filmed). He is isolated, depressed  and he bites nails - but you can see that Tegoshi Yuya in real life did not bite nails, because the way he did it was just hilarious and totally fake. Even though it did not look like biting, it was gross and made me sick O.o More than that, the creepiest thing was "The Blanket". I find it absolutely insane and grotty. Kohei actually reminded me Tegoshi's character Tommy in "Gekidan Engimono - Ie ga tooi", but Kohei is  more repulsive. In the end, I hated the bullies more than Kohei. He had just some issues, but bullies were unforgivable. In my country some years ago one bullying led to suicide, bullying does not have to be physical and even mental bullying is a school violence! It is not a funny thing and I hate it so much.  (About school violence I recommend you a movies called "The Class" (2007)- it is Estonian movie, it actually had drama sequel in 2010 "The Class - life after", but I do not know if the drama is available in English, and "Hold me tight" (2010) Denmark movie. Both of them are absolutely brilliant movies) 
You can see how far the school violence goes in "Division 1: 15 sai no blues". I really understood that he actually was in big pain and wanted somebody to stop him. At the same time, when Shunsake hit Kohei (and it is not for only once), then I yelled "YES!!!!". Kohei was a crybaby and had no self respect or confidence. Sakie role was really imporant in drama, but the actress did not have much screentime. I do not know who is the actress, so I would appreciate if somebody would tell me, if they know. She is really beautiful. Drama does not show her side of the story, so it divides the thoughts apart - how does she feel, what she really meant etc.
And when you took a a first glance at his sister Yukari, you understood that the problem lays in the family. How can one girl let herself down to this low? I am not going to write a long post about "how to be confident in your own body?" (If someone really wants I may write a special page about it - I am the best person to talk about this kind of thing xD)  And then comes the most utopian part of the drama - NO woman changes so quickly from nerd to babe (I do not insult nerds! I mean the stereotypical American thinking of nerds as unpopular glass-wearing science freak - I actually find nerds amusing and very interesting people, especially I like their smartness =D ). This kind of changes take at least months and years! I did not understand why Yukari and Kohei did not talk to each other much, but I guess they just followed their parents patterns.
I did not like the mom at all. She had annoying variable voice and no parent, aware or not, should not prefer one child to other. It was so easy to see that she was much more concerned about Kohei than Yukari, I understand that Kohei had had problems since childhood, but showing the preference in front of everybody makes the other child feel just abandoned and pushed aside. The father of the family was just selfish and did not think clearly. The family did not speak to each other much, mostly only mother was panicky talking, but others even did not listen to her. For many times I wanted to make a big wake up call to the family, so they could wake up from their sleep. Luckily, I was not the one who had to do it.
Shunsaku actually was not a tutor, but he had knowledge and motivation. I must admit, that even I did not understand the whole "blues" thing in the end, but otherwise he told pretty smart things. Shunsaku was real pervert, but at the same time he did not to anything illegal. I loved how he actually fitted into this family and was there like at his own home and he was the most normal person in the house!  It was cute how he connected with mom and how children bonded with him in the end. He had extreme tips for everybody, but I loved his enthusiasm and that he had his limits too. (Now he reminded me "Gachi baka" Gondo, but Gondo did not seem to have the limit where he just wanted to leave. That's why Shunsaku looks more human to me than Gondo). NB! Zeebra acted as Shusaku and also the themesong of the drama, "Wildin" is his song.
It takes much nerves to watch it, but I must admit that I loved it! It has so many minuses, as you see in this review, and I do not know what were the real pluses of the drama, but it had something sweet and hopeful in it.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Chonmage Purin (2010)


Also known as: A boy and his Samurai
Country: Japan
Genre: family, food, historic
Format: movie
Cast: Nishikido Ryo, Fuku Suzuki, Tomosaka Rie, Sato Hitomi, Kutsuna Shiori, Horibe Keisuke, Inoue Jun, Nakamura Yuji, Konno Hiroki
Synopsis: Kijima Yasube is a samurai from Edo Period. He goes through time-slip and ends up in nowadays Tokyo. He meets Hiroko and her son Tomoya. Yasube finds it hard to manage by himself in Tokyo and he starts to live with Hiroko and Tomoya, in return he does the housework as Hiroko is divorced and has a stressful work, which makes her unable to do the housework at the same time. Yasube starts to make pastries, which are new to him. The 3 of them grow really close, but everything has its end.
Rating: 4/5
 A really really great movie. Actually I did not hope much from it, so it definitely beat my expectations.
Nishikido Ryo played the part of Kijima Yasube. He suited for that role perfectly! Nishikido Ryo was  like Yasube had to be - tough by appearance and words, but sweet and gentle inside. What is amazing, is that Nishikido-san actually took 2 months of baking classes just for this role. He himself has said that in reality he hates all kind of sweets. Besides, seeing Nishikido Ryo with children makes me fall for him =D  I loved Yasube's character - he had amazing learning ability and Gyoza sake! he was soooo good! His learning ability kinda looked too amazing, so that it already crossed the line - the movie does not show much of his failures or hard times (oke, there was the one time with vacuum cleaner, but still) - I believe that even I won't get used to living in Tokyo with that time as he did (I know - he still was Japanese and stuff) and I am living in 21st century! His adaption with year 2010 was too quick.
His hair looked hilarious when it was apart, but thank Gyoza, it was just a wig for all the movie. Still it looked funny. Especially the "Kappa-scene" lol. I liked how Yasube kept his old manners too - all this samurai's respect and acts. It looked cool and confident. May be he was a little bit too confident in himself at times, so I loved 100% when for a second he gets a rebound and then achieves the same confidence again.
Hiroko, at the same time, was totally 21st century woman - direct opposite to Edo Period beliefs, which seemed normal to Yasube. I liked that Hiroko was more work-oriented and very confident in herself even though she was a single mother. I do not think that she was a bad mother, because it must be hard to bring up a son alone. With her lifestyle I understand why she was unable to make proper food or house works. She was 8 years older than Yasube. I liked that she put Yasube into awkward positions with her acts and words. I did not see much emotions of love. Same goes to Yasube, but it more looked like they did not even had that kind of scene to show these! (That's the reason why it did not get 5 stars) In Hiroko role was Tomosaka Rie  and I liked her pretty much - she is not like the classic beauty and that works for her. She really looked like a woman who tries to succeed in life, has had very difficult situations in her life etc.
The little dude was cute =D (I know - all little children are adorable, but still). It was amazing how he was able to cry. It looked believable. Tomoya character seemed like a normal child for that age - all this Pokemon stuff and so on. The thing that is most common for children is to cry and laugh on and off - it might look like he gets over things really fast, but actually that is how the children of that age are. I think that Tomoya was the character, who brings the movie down to earth, when the time slip is abnormal.
The thing I loved most about the movie, was that it showed the differences of older generations and nowadays one (If I may say so). Even though many of old beliefs do not take place in 21th century big countries (I mean developed North countries - I have no idea what is the right word for that in the economical concept), like women must stay at home and raise children, while men bring in the money. (Even though I would like to be a house-mom in future, I still would like to remain some of my own financial resources) - no woman likes to spend her husband's money for her shopping and beauty treatments and if the married couple divorces, then the woman has still her income to manage with life. But I think that old rules like showing respect to others who are older, especially to your parents, and that parents have to call to order their children and must make then clear how to act - should be in nowadays life too. I feel like there are so many young people and even small children, who are really rude and have no social ability to act normal - maybe it is rude of me, but I mostly think that the problems lay in their upbringing. 
The thing I did not liked at all was that I did not understand the time flow - it definitely did not seem that he had been there for months when it came out that he had. I really thought til then that it was maybe 3 weeks! And the thing that they actually took it really easily that he came from Edo Period through time slip - things like that happen everyday, ne? Beside, no-one ever thought of his ID?? He had no proves to identify himself - no birth certificate or ID etc. and even when he became famous, no-one really thought who he is? where he is from? Weird, but I hope that normal viewers do not start to think about this stuff.
The end of the movie is pretty good =D In some way it is totally neutral end, but it works for this movie.
It is a very sweet movie mixed with beliefs of different time periods and people (not to mention those super yummy cakes shown in the scenes!!!). I strongly recommend it, you can even get some little knowing of Edo Period - who knows, may be someone gets a strong interest for Edo Period from this.


SPOILER review: I hope you noticed this, but towards end Yasube asks the same thing from Hiroko, what asked Hiroko's ex-husband - to give up on working and stay at home. This was the reason why Hiroko told him to leave. There are women who worhship their work and feel that working gives them a measure of indepentency - that does not mean that they love their family less than home-mothers. I find that disappearing point very wierd - I mean the outcome of the scene was weird. You could totally see how it was made with computer! At first, it more looks like he **** on ground, so the ground gets wetter. Sorry, but it really looked so for a minute xD I just did not like that fake computer effect and their poses, but it still was a sad scene, even though it was a little bit predictable thing to happen. But the kiss-scene was rather unpretictable, but on the other hand it was quick and there did not seem to be much emotions. Yasube was not an enchanted frog, who you kiss when you want to break the curse. But it seemed like it was exactly what Hiroko thought when she kissed him in this kind of situation. (but at the same time - we all would have done it :D )
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Sorry for being away for so long. Last three weeks have been really hectic and I went to holidays too - which btw was amazing. I actually felt that I am going crazy, because I had not watched anything for a while. So I have not had any time to write reviews too. For last days I have been studying for like 24/7 and my sleep time has been 4-6 hours per night. I am afraid that my crazy time might stay until 17th December O.o, but I really try to end with it this weekend. I hope you can forgive me just a long break and not fulfilling my promise to write sooner.