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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Ashita no Joe (2011)


Country: Japan
Genre: boxing, dreams
Format: movie
Cast: Yamashita Tomohisa, Iseya Yusuke, Karina, Kagawa Teruyuki, Katsuya, Koga Mitsuki, Moro Morooka, Nishida Naomi, Sugimoto Tetta, Baisho Mitsuko, Tsugawa Masahiko, Hulk Ren,
Synopsis: Story is set in 1960s in a city slum. Yabuki Joe is poor, but a great fighter. His fighting skills get noticed by ex-boxer Tange Danpei, who now has ruined his life with alcohol. Unfortunatelly, the fight leads Joe into prison for one year. Tange has made up his mind to make Joe into professional boxer. After losing a man-to-man match to Rikiishi Toru, Joe decides to accept Tange's offer in order to pay back to Rikiishi, who after releasing from prison continued his shining boxer-career. 
Rating: 5/5
Made after one of the most famous same-named sport-manga by Isao Bitou. Manga was published from 1968 to 1973, but is still famous nowadays.
Yabuki Joe is one badass. He tends to think he is much better than he really is, which makes him more vulnerable and naive. Most of the time he does not listen to Danpei on the match. Btw, I adore his hair =P I think that Joe's role shows how great and willing is Yamashita Tomohisa as an actor. He went on a serious boxer diet, that did not contain any red meat (!), for the role. He took down about 9 kg and 9% of body fat and went through boxer training. About the diet he said at first that it was okey, but as the time went on, he admitted that no-one should go through it and the diet was more like a nightmare. I agree - he looked too skinny in the end and there was no chubby cheeks.
One amazing fact about the movie is that all the punches were real - I think they wanted to make it very real-like... Under-cover fact, there is a rumor that he got one veeeery painful punch to one very gentle spot during filming, but he said that he is okey and continued to film until the end of the scene - after that he went to dressing room alone and kept punching the wall because of the pain - how much more can one actor put up with for the sake of the role??
Rikiishi Toru was Joe's only real rival, but I saw them more as best buddies too. They saw each other as the reason to continue with boxing and they were the only ones to truly understand each other. Iseya Yusuke also took down on weight and in the end his body fat was only 3-4%!!! In movie, I felt sick when I saw his abs - he was way to skinny! I do not find man with these kind of abs sexy..
Karina was very elegant in Yoko role. Yoko was one fateful woman. I did not understand what she felt towards Joe, but as you see, she had feelings for Rikiishi. Also, Yoko suffered from past trauma, which makes her real bitch, who cares less about pour people. That's why I enjoyed all the things Joe said to her. Brilliant!
Danpei's actor Kagawa Teruyuki actually is a big boxing fan, so in his free days he went and taught Yamashita about box.  I liked the saying "Tomorrow will never come if you do not spend today well".
I have no words left. It was very interesting and I understand why it is soooo great. There are some slow motion scenes and they look horrible! (in a good way). The shootings were amazing! but even after watching an incredible movie as "Ashita no Joe", I do not like box - it is too violent.
Definitely, WATCH IT!! You will not regret it!


SPOILER review: In the end of the manga, Joe dies too. In movie, he does not die, but Rikiishi dies after the ending match. Weird is it that I cried when Joe lost the match, but I did not cry when Rikiishi died...

1 comment:

  1. Just watched this movie :) I agree that Joe and Rikishi appeared more like best buddies instead of rivals. They would have had a really really wonderful friendship if Rikishi hadn't died. Yamapi is a talented actor (he especially impressed me in Nobuta wo Produce) but this time Yusuke Iseya really wowed me. I mean, man, that much of weight loss for one scene? Amazing.

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