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Japanese helmer Kazuyoshi Kumakiri ventures into “Lolita” territory with “My Man,” an adaptation of Kazuki Sakuraba’s controversial bestseller about the quasi-incestuous relationship between an orphaned young girl and the distant relative who adopts her. Framed by the snowbound shores of Hokkaido — “the end of the world!” per the heroine’s smilingly cryptic exclamation — the characters seem inseparable from the formidable landscape, their natures and their bond superseding mere psychology. Distanced yet emotionally charged, the film eschews identification in favor of fascination. Winner of the top film prize at the Moscow Film Festival, this obsession-tinged mood piece could flourish on the fest/arthouse circuit.
In a scene made familiar by the recent Fukushima disaster, 10-year-old Hana (Mochika Yamada) is first encountered wandering dazedly through the dark, disorienting maze of an emergency shelter, having lost her family in an earthquake/tsunami. Jungo (Tadanobu Asano), a 26-year-old relative whose relationship with Hana »
- Ronnie Scheib
Well, here’s a trailer that goes from standard to insane very quickly.
Released by Toho Company (the studio behind every Japanese Godzilla movie) has released the trailer for Parasyte, a two-part sci-fi horror movie based on a Manga of the same name. The film sees, “a teenager whose body is invaded by an alien parasite that takes over his hand instead of, like many of his fellow humans, his brain. He ends up battling for survival in a world teeming with seemingly normal but potentially deadly alien-controlled hosts.”
Watch the trailer below:
- Luke Owen
Tokyo — Hot young male actor Toma Ikuta, who starred in the hit Takashi Miike gang actioner “The Mole Song: Undercover Agent Reiji,” has been announced as the lead in the revenge thriller “Grasshopper.”
Based on a novel by Kotaro Isaka (“Golden Slumber,” “Fish Story”) that has sold 1.27 million copies in Japan, the picture stars Ikuta as a junior high teacher who quits his job and infiltrates the underworld to find the killer of his lover.
Also in the main cast are Tadanobu Asano (“47 Ronin,” “Thor”), playing a killer-for-hire who drives his victims to suicide and Ryosuke Yamada of the Hey! Say! Jump! boy band, playing a knife-wielding hitman.
Directed by Tomoyuki Takimoto, who worked with Ikuta on the 2013 sci-fi thriller “Brain Man,” the pic starts shooting today (July 7) and will be in theaters in 2015, with Kadokawa producing and distributing.
- Mark Schilling
Japan was the big winner at this year’s Moscow International Film Festival which ended on Saturday evening with the Golden St. George trophy for best film going to Kazuyoshi Kumakiri’s My Man (Watashi-No Otoko) [pictured].The film, which also received the Silver St. George best actor honours for Tadanobu Asano, had its international premiere in Moscow and was the first Japanese film to win the grand prix since Kaneto Shindo’s Will To Live received the honour
Japan was the big winner at this year’s Moscow International Film Festival which ended on Saturday evening with the Golden St. George trophy for best film going to Kazuyoshi Kumakiri’s My Man (Watashi-No Otoko) [pictured].
The film, which also received the Silver St. George best actor honours for Tadanobu Asano, had its international premiere in Moscow and was the first Japanese film to win the grand prix since Kaneto Shindo’s Will To Live received the honour in 1999.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Martin Blaney)
Tokyo — Kazuyoshi Kumakiri's My Man (Watashi no Otoko) won the best film award at the Moscow International Film Festival on Saturday, with Tadanobu Asano (Thor, 47 Ronin) taking best actor for his role as a man who becomes romantically involved with his adopted daughter. Film Review 'My Man (Watashi no otoko)' My Man is based on a novel by Kazuki Sakuraba and stars Fumi Nikaido (Himizu) as the daughter who lost her family in a tsunami that hit Japan's northern island of Hokkaido in 1993. It is the first victory in Moscow for a Japanese film since Kaneto Shindo's Will to
- Gavin J. Blair
I have a curious habit, maybe you have it too, if you are a real movie geek, film fan, cinema addict, what have you.
A certain number of movies that I have seen and loved with all my heart were losers at the box office or were mercilessly slammed by critics, usually both. This doesn’t happen all the time, mind you. I know a bad movie when I see one. But several times I have seen a movie on opening day and loved it so much I was sure it would be a big hit and be loved by critics and film goers, nope, not all the time.
Here then is my own personal and highly eccentric top ten list, with some honorable mentions, of movies that lost out, yet I love them still, many of them desperately, hysterically, madly do I love these films, well anyway… let me tell you about it. »
- Sam Moffitt
Stars: Keanu Reeves, Hiroyuki Sanada, Ko Shibasaki, Tadanobu Asano, Min Tanaka, Jin Akanishi, Masayoshi Haneda, Hiroshi Sogabe, Takato Yonemoto, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Rinko Kikuchi | Written by Chris Morgan, Hossein Amini | Directed by Carl Rinsch
An ancient Japanese legend tells the story of 47 samurai, seeking revenge on a rival warlord who killed their master and banished them from their homeland, making them ‘Ronin’. 47 Ronin is the Hollywood take on this legend, throwing magic, giant beasts and fantasy adventure into the mix as the Ronin, lead by a ‘half breed’ known as ‘Kai’ (Keanu Reeves), seek to destroy Lord Kira (Tadanobu Asano) and his witch protector (Rinko Kikuchi) and restore their honour.
The first thing to be said about 47 Ronin is that it is very CGI heavy. Some people find that kind of thing very annoying, although in this case I felt it did add a lot to the film. The magic felt a lot more potent, »
- Richard Axtell
Exclusive: Paris-based company adds trio of Japanese titles to slate.
French MK2 has picked up sales on Japanese director Naomi Kawase’s An about the friendship between a baker and an old lady who bond over a passion for traditional red bean pastries.
The Paris-based company has also acquired Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s supernatural love story Journey To The Shore, about a dead man who takes his wife on one last trip together, and Masa Sawada’s documentary I, Kamikaze, revolving around the memoirs of Fujio Hayashi, one of the last surviving coordinators of Japan’s Second World War suicide missions.
MK2 is also handling Kawase’s Still the Water, a coming of age tale set on a remote Japanese island, which will premiere »
Director: Carl Rinsch
Running Time: 118 Minutes
47 Ronin is a Hollywood adaptation of a true story from Japan. It is helmed by a first time director, has faced much studio interference, and has its theatrical release delayed for over a year. The film should be a write-off. Yet, it is far from such. 47 Ronin is at times a magnificent big scale adventure film that is a lot more serious and thoughtful than many of its multiplex counterparts. It’s still very messy, mostly in terms of pacing and the cohesion between scenes, but it is very easy to see some specks of greatness as well. Even in its chopped form, it is still highly enjoyable, especially when it comes alive in its action sequences.
The film follows the true story of a group »
- Luke Ryan Baldock
The first trailer for the live-action adaptation of Lupin III has arrived. Shun Oguri stars as Arsène Lupin III, the world's greatest thief. Watch as Interpol Inspector Zenigata (Tadanobu Asano) begins his worldwide hunt for this infamous anti-hero from the iconic Japanese Manga. No U.S. release date has been announced just yet. It makes its debut in Japan on August 30.
Lupin III: Movie Pictures GalleryLupin III: Movie Pictures Gallery 1Lupin III: Movie Pictures Gallery 2Lupin III: Movie Pictures Gallery 3Lupin III: Movie Pictures Gallery 4Lupin III: Movie Pictures Gallery 5Lupin III: Movie Pictures Gallery 6
Lupin III comes to theaters in 2014 and stars Tadanobu Asano, Nick Tate, Meisa Kuroki, Jerry Yan, Shun Oguri, David Asavanond, Nirut Sirichanya, Geoffrey Giuliano. The film is directed by Ryûhei Kitamura. »
Hovering around the twenty-one to twenty-four feature film mark with at least a quarter of those films belonging to first time filmmakers, the Quinzaine des Realisateurs (a.k.a Directors’ Fortnight) has in the past couple of years, counted on a healthy supply of French, Spanish and Belgium produced film items, and has been geared towards the offbeat genre items as with last year’s edition curated by Edouard Waintrop and co. To be unveiled on the 22nd, as we attempted with our Critics’ Week predix, Blake Williams, Nicholas Bell and I (Eric Lavallee) are thinking out loud and hedging our bets on what the section might look like or what the programmers might be looking at for 2014. Here is our predictions overview:
- IONCINEMA.com Contributing Writers
Properly channeling Japanese culture for American audiences has been a challenge given how different our tastes and expectations are. We find the content of much of their Manga and anime either not to our taste or outright incomprehensible. So, the challenge of adapting their bushido Edo-era and adding in some powerful fantasy into 47 Ronin was going to be a challenge. Mix in American performer Keanu Reeves as a half-breed you have an uphill challenge in making the film palatable to enough moviegoers to justify the $170 million budget.
It has some terrific concepts and incredible visuals but it’s a mess of a movie, with a long, sluggish middle that loses the audience. Even amazing CG and a strong Asian cast can’t support a messy script.
- Robert Greenberger
Chicago – If you’ve ever wondered what the difference is between a director and a producer, let “47 Ronin” explain how the hierarchy of creativity hinders the evolution of even the most straightforward-sounding pitches. “47 Ronin” is the type of samurai movie set in Japan that features native actors speaking only English, while Keanu Reeves stars as an outsider clearly plunked into the picture for stateside star power.
Co-written by Chris Morgan (the writer behind the “Fast & Furious” renaissance) and Hossein Amini (who wrote “Drive”), the film is directed by first-time helmer Carl Rinsch, whose popular science-fiction short “The Gift” is available for a look on Youtube. And even with the hands of Amini, Morgan, and Rinsch, the film’s vision is lost in a desperate appeal to fit different pieces that do not work together.
Better taken in the vacant mindset of a late night viewing, if at all, “47 Ronin” is »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
Keanu Reeves makes an explosive return to action-adventure in 47 Ronin. After a treacherous warlord kills their master and banishes their kind, 47 leaderless samurai vow to seek vengeance and restore honor to their people. Driven from their homes and dispersed across the land, this band of Ronin must seek the help of Kai (Reeves)—a half-breed they once rejected—as they fight their way across a savage world of mythic beasts, shape-shifting witchcraft and wondrous terrors. As this exiled, enslaved outcast becomes their most deadly weapon, he will transform into the hero who inspires this band of outnumbered rebels to seize eternity. 47 Ronin was directed by Carl Rinsch, from a screenplay written by Chris Morgan and Hossein Amini. The cast includes: Keanu Reeves, Hiroyuki Sanada, Tadanobu Asano, Rinko Kikuchi and Ko Shibasaki. The film will be released on December 25, 2013. Merry Christmas, dude! »
I debated whether I should watch 47 Ronin or not. It seemed to me the page view alternative was embarrassing myself by posting fan altered pictures from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles teaser trailer so I opted for Ronin. Suffice to say, the result wasn't going to be pretty either way. Originally scheduled to hit theaters November 2012 before finally hitting theaters December 2013, the final reported budget for this retelling of the classic Japanese tale was $175 million. Throughout the course of production there was talk of just how bad things had gotten and, at the time, the budget was said to have ballooned to over $225 million. After watching all 118 minutes of this film (ten of which are the closing credits) it would appear the money was spent on crummy visual effects, but mostly production design as several massive sets, aided by CGI, were created only to eventually present a picture that never feels authentic, »
- Brad Brevet
Universal Studios Home Entertainment released the samurai action-thriller 47 Ronin on Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray and, DVD today, April 1st. Keanu Reeves brings his martial arts skills back to the silver screen as Kai, an outcast who bands together with a group of samurai warriors to take on a horde of mythical creatures and evil witches as they fight to reclaim their homeland. In honor of the Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray and, DVD release, we have an exclusive featurette that takes fans behind-the-scenes with Keanu Reeves, as he explains where his character is coming from on the set, along with director Carl Rinsch, who gives us more insight into the mythical style of this story.
Based on an epic story, this extraordinary tale of inspiring courage has its origins in the early 18th century. After a treacherous warlord kills their master and banishes their kind, 47 leaderless samurai vow to seek vengeance and reclaim their honor. »
A handsome movie in many ways, but it feels like an unpolished first draft, one that can’t quite decide how fantastical it wants to be. I’m “biast” (pro): like Keanu Reeves more than most
I’m “biast” (con): nothing
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
This umpteenth iteration of the Japanese legend of the 47 ronin, or masterless samurai warriors, has its fair share of problems, but not as many as you’ve heard, and not as many as the presence of poor Keanu Reeves — who has unfairly become a cinematic punchline — may have led you to believe. Stolid, stoic Reeves (The Day the Earth Stood Still, Street Kings) is well-cast as the half-Japanese, half-British Kai, whose status as an outcast in xenophobic 18th-century Japan means he has to keep his eyes down and his mouth shut, and the actor maintains a modest presence throughout, »
- MaryAnn Johanson
On April 1, Universal Studios Home Entertainment will release 47 Ronin on Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray and, DVD. Director Carl Rinsch's action-adventure stars Keanu Reeves as Kai, an outcast who joins a small group of samurai warriors to battle mythical beasts, shape-shifting witches and other creatures to avenge the death of their master and take back their homeland. We have a giveaway lined up where fans can take home this action-packed film, co-starring Hiroyuki Sanada, Kou Shibasaki, Tadanobu Asano and Rinko Kikuchi. These prizes will be gone quicker than you can swing a samurai sword, so find out how you can win below.
47 Ronin Blu-ray
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Just "Like" (fan) the MovieWeb Facebook page (below) and then leave a comment below telling us why these prizes must be yours!
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Based on an epic story, »
Chicago – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Combo Pack with our unique social giveaway technology, we have 5 free Blu-ray and DVD combo packs up for grabs for the home entertainment release of the new visually stunning 3D film “47 Ronin” starring Keanu Reeves!
“47 Ronin,” which is rated “PG-13” and will be released on Blu-ray and DVD on April 1, 2014, also stars Hiroyuki Sanada, Ko Shibasaki, Tadanobu Asano, Min Tanaka, Jin Akanishi, Masayoshi Haneda and Hiroshi Sogabe from director Carl Rinsch and writers Chris Morgan and Hossein Amini.
To win your free “47 Ronin” combo pack courtesy of HollywoodChicago.com, get interactive with our unique Hookup technology directly below. That’s it! The more social actions you complete below, the higher yours odds of winning! Completing these social actions only increases your odds of winning; this doesn’t intensify your competition or lower your odds!
Preferably, use your computer to enter rather than your smartphone. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
Japanese sellers arrived at FilMart with everything from art films aimed at the international fest circuit to big-budget commercial pics.
Some are already on the buyers’ radar, such as Sion Sono’s highly anticipated “Tokyo Tribe,” which is being repped by Nikkatsu. Based on a best-selling comic series set in a near-future Tokyo, the pic focuses on street gangs, or “tribes,” roaming the urban wilderness.
Sono (pictured) has recently veered from such arty fare as the nuclear-disaster-themed “Himizu” (2013) and “The Land of Hope,” to the blood-soaked gangster shocker “Why Don’t You Play in Hell” (2013). The new pic promises to be of the latter type.
Also in the Nikkatsu lineup is Kazuyoshi Kumakiri’s “My Man,” another film inspired by an earthquake and tsunami, but occurring in Hokkaido in 1993, not Tohoku in 2011. Fumi Nikaido stars as a girl who loses her parents in the disaster and is taken in by »
- Mark Schilling
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