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Friday, October 26, 2012

Matataki (2010)


Also known as: Piecing me back together
Country: Japan
Format: movie
Genre: life&death, love
Cast: Kitagawa Keiko, Okada Masaki, Otsuka Nene, Shiro, Nagashima Eiko, Fukami Motoki, Chisaki Wakana, Shimizu Saki, Yoshinaga Johnny,
Synopsis: Sonoda Izumi is a young woman, who got into a traffic accident with her boyfriend Junichi. For unknown reasons she was able to come out of it with only small physical wounds while Junichi and other truck driver had lost their lives. Due to the shock she is unable to remember anything about how or why the accident happened, but constant nightmares and fragments of memories are haunting her to find out the truth about Junichi's last minutes.
Rating: 2/5
 I expected it to be another cute sad love story that will stay in my heart forever, but I expected too much as it turned out to be slow healing from trauma and nothing more.
There is nothing bad to say about Izumi, but she was a bit too nosy about Makiko's matters and she did not understand that her brother was just worried about her. I totally understand brother's actions, because he hoped that maybe so Izumi can finally move on and continue her normal life (as normal as it can be after this kind of accident). What I liked about Izumi, was that she decided to know the truth so badly, that she did not care anymore if the truth would turn out to be bad or good. Also, I bet one reason why she was unable to move on, was that she did not attend the funeral - from personal experience I know that it is really difficult to make yourself believe that this person is not with you anymore when you cannot say goodbye at funeral.
Kitagawa Keiko's acting was great, but at first her limping leg was a bit fake, but it is difficult to pretend to walk with a limp when your leg is totally fine. She is one of the reasons why many people even consider watching it. I find her great actress too and in this movie, she was able to show the character as she was. I would like to comment more about Junichi too, but I tell you that Okada Masaki had too less screen time! Only thing I can say about Junichi is that he had real artist soul - everything based on moment feelings and inspiration, he basically did what he wanted at the moment. I would have loved to see more about two of them, but what to do if the movie is already ready and out.
The other lead woman was Makiko, a lawyer who helps Izumi with her investigation. I actually think that most of what she did was not her job, but who cares about these things.. and I wonder if in reality it would be possible to get close to all those reports about the accident as they got? but these are things I know nothing about, so I will leave it there. Makiko was with her own problems too. Of course those problems were totally made up and worsen by herself, because I hoped that she has some juicy reason to go to psychologist, but it was nothing that important. She knew investigating well, because she knew many little details about her sister, even though she said that she has not been in contact with her for long time..
In whole the movie was rather depressing, but the interest to get to know the truth grew. I did not like that it was so slow and they tended to repeat one sentence like 3-4 times in a row, so in the end  it felt
like they are teaching me language and I must repeat after them to get the pronunciation right -.-. Technically was it really cool to watch because all the memories, dreams and present were mixed up and then you had to think which is reality.
Story itself got really great in the end, when the things started to become more clear or there were some movements in investigation, but then again the technical part of the movie could have been better there. It was like first part= (bad story+technically great) and second part= (great story+technically weaker). No matter what, the end result will make you cry your eyes out. Maybe it would be really great movie if they would add more scenes showing Izumi's and Jun's relationship and cut down on repeating and slowness.
Maybe you now think that the movie really sucked, but I must say that actually when it first came out it was on top of charts and just watch the trailer - it is much promising, ne? Watch the movie itself and let me know what you thought of it, because I have heard that for some people it is already favorite movie...
I will end my review with a comment by my sister: "It is more like a movie about two women solving each other problems.."



SPOILER-review: The English headline is sooo well chosen, because in the end she was literally piecing him back together.I actually loved this scene, because it shows so well person's behavior in shock situation. Izumi knew that for an artist fingers are really important and then how she desperately tried to put his fingers back on to hand was so sad and cute and I could not help myself than just cry. But as much as I know about first aid, she should not have put him to sitting position - he had broken his spine in several places. Actually I wonder how it was even possible that he did not die instantly?  But of course the English title is actually about getting back the memories and moving on with the life. 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Hungry! (2012)


Country: Japan
Format: drama in 11 episodes
Genre: food, romance
Cast: Mukai Osamu,Takimoto Miori, Inagaki Goro, Kuninaka Ryoko, Tsukamoto Takashi, Miura Shohei, Kawabata Kaname, Katagiri Hairi, Ishiguro Hideo, Osugi Ren,
Synopsis: Yamate Eisuke (Mukai Osamu) is the son of famous French chef in Japan. Even though Eisuke is born with cooking talent, he decided to succeed in rock world with his friends. But after turning 30 without musical debut, his life is turned up-side-down by mother's sudden death and loss of family's French restaurant. He decides to pick up cooking again by opening his own French restaurant with his former band mates in a old warehouse.  
Rating: 4/5
Easiest  way to finish this drama fast, is to eat when you are watching it. From my experience, it is difficult to watch as a poor uni student, but I was able to make myself something delicious to enjoy while watching.
Eisuke is rude and selfish man, but at the same time he can be really caring too and no matter what
the topic is, he is always having long wires. Despite the fact that he is super hot, he does not understand anything about women which makes love-triangles super difficult for him. He also is really bad with remembering people's names. Yeah, Mukai is veery hot, but for me he was outnumbered by Miura Shohei. But for your information, Mukai has been cooking since middle school and thought of becoming a chef in high school, do not know how great chef he would have been, but I think we all agree that we are happy that he became actor instead. He even took extra French cooking lessons, because he was not so familiar to French cuisine before, so in reality he REALLY cooked those foods himself.
During the drama he also gave out French cuisine recipe book to give Japanese people the possibility to enjoy French foods at home. I liked the t-shirts he was wearing, because they had great texts on, like "Heaven", "Girlfriend is better.." and especially the one "Trust me  - I am asshole"Priceless! Only thing that turned me off was when Mukai was wearing crocs . No matter how hot Mukai is, even he cannot make crocs seem normal.. For me, I do not think it was Mukai's best performances, but I think that might be because Eisuke is a difficult character too.
Kenta and Tsuyoshi are Eisuke's best-friends and former band mates, who start working with him at
the restaurant. Kenta is the most mature one, who is focused on getting married to his longtime girlfriend Toko - one of the cutest girls in the drama. Though he does not seem violent, fights between him and Eisuke are usual things, because he is one person who is telling the truth into Eisuke's face when he is getting annoyed. Tsuyoshi is single beer-loving man, who mostly thinks of boobs. He is one of those persons who make this drama worth naming comedy as the boob-jokes become frequent jokes. The coolest thing is that he does not have much lines, but him being on the screen fills his role. For Kawabata Kaname this was his first role and I think it was perfect.
When you know me enough, then I bet you already know that Taku was my favorite. He is cute, naive and always-go-lucky. He is the only one who did not abandon rock music, even though he did not seem to find a suitable band to be part of. Of course Taku did weird stuff at the beginning, but he had that charm to say "nothing of this really matters". If I were to say something negative about him, then Miura Shohei played him too much as Nakatsu from "Hanakimi", because Miura Shohei played the role of Nakatsu in 2011 version of "Hanazakari no kimitachi e" just before "Hungry!".    
Chie is 20 years old university student, who had her first falling in love, but I must say that she was
really childish. Chie had so many relations to their restaurant, but she was like little sister to all of them, because they all had 10 years age difference (except for Taku, who was the middle one 25). Especially for Eisuke, she was small brat who supported him. Chie was really cute when she talked nonsense that no one also understood. She was another character who made drama funnier, because Takimoto Miori has these great face impressions. But again the negative thing was that in some scenes she reminded me too much Mio/Miko from "Ikemen desu ne", which again was her last role before "Hungry!". 
Aso is the one character who pissed me off the most. I do not understand why Inagaki Goro plays the bad guys - all the roles I have watched from him, he is being complete bastard, but must agree, that he acts damn well these roles. Aso has many mental problems starting from being control freak. Also at one moment, I even got the thought that he might be gay, but watch and see that you will think it too! I did not agree with his views on French restaurants as I think that the best is when you can feel comfortable while eating delicious cheaper food. I would never pay expensive price just to get one small spoon of cream -.- I know I am a glutton like Chie who likes to eat and eat and eat, so I prefer when I can get full stomach from the price I am paying for it. While Aso was complaining about Eisuke's restaurant name, then I did not like his "Gasteria" at all - it reminds me "Gas" and "cafeteria" and when we but together food and gases, then of course it nails the top, but I would not want to go to restaurant to end up with gases....
Maria/Mariya is Eisuke's girlfriend, who liked more Eisuke-the-rocker than Eisuke-the-chef. I find her a bit annoying with all her diets and biorhythms, but she was the only one who was able to make Eisuke smile at any moment, because Eisuke was actually really bad with smiling to other people.There are a lot of more characters who make it really funny to watch, because they all have their own niche to be remembered, so I am not going to mention all of them. But I cannot help it to say that Chie's little brother Sasuke was way too cool, I totally adore him, because he was soo stupid.
It has a really tragic start, but later it gets a bit funnier, even though I would not consider that so much comedy, because mostly the "funny" happened with same characters and many of them were side-characters. Also, the OST is amazing! Theme song is "Rock me baby" by THE BAWDIES. The drama was later made into manga.


SPOILER review: I did not like the ending. Okey, they were able to get their restaurant back and continue to keep it. Eisuke and Maria stayed together, Kenta got married, Aso-san leaved them alone, but I do not like the fact that they left TakuXChieXEisuke triangle all opened. I would have preferred that she would have given up on Eisuke for once and for all and started to see only Taku, because it was so clear that for Eisuke she is only like a little sister!! It made me so angry, because there was Taku who had fallen sooo in love with her, but she was still after Eisuke who had intentions of getting married to Maria in future. I find her way of thinking so annoying and childish. Okey, she was only 20 so it is normal for her to want to date and stuff, but Eisuke and Maria were already over 30, soo I felt just angry at Chie in the end -.- Totally took 1/2 star down because of that..