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Film Review: ‘The Eternal Zero’

A fictional account of a Japanese WWII pilot that features the most breathtaking images of aviation seen in an Asian war film since South Korea’s “Soar Into the Skies” (2010), “The Eternal Zero” marks another vfx victory for helmer Takashi Yamazaki, here surpassing the technical sorcery of his “Space Battleship Yamato” while delivering an elegantly crafted human drama. One of Japan’s 10 biggest hits of all time (having bagged $82.7 million to date), the eight-week B.O. champion cloaks its nationalistic message in an emotionally wrenching story that sweeps the viewer right along — but cops out in the finale, with a glorification of kamikaze missions that contradicts its initial criticism of blind patriotism. While Koreans and mainland Chinese may take issue with the film’s ideology, its crackling action scenes rep a selling point in other overseas markets, even if its mammoth length presents a challenge for theatrical release.

The film
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Hong Kong Film Review: ‘Silver Spoon’

As wholesome as fresh milk, “Silver Spoon” centers on a pack of individualistic youngsters who attend a vocational high school for dairy farming in Hokkaido, northern Japan. Not your average youth film about sports, first love or superheroes, this pleasant pic offers an uncommon glimpse into modern agricultural practices while teaching respect for the food chain. Adapted from the bestselling manga by Hiromu Arakawa, it is smoothly if unadventurously helmed by Keisuke Yoshida and brightened by a likable teen cast. It’s ideal material for educational screening events and could target tween auds in Asian markets.

Arakawa (who also penned the huge hit “Fullmetal Alchemist”), actually has farming roots and attended an agricultural school in Hokkaido on which the setting of “Silver Spoon” is based. Her experience lends authenticity to the fiction, underscoring the rugged pride of country folk as well as the economic difficulties they constantly face. Yoshida’s
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Aoi Miyazaki to star in “Petal Dance”

Today it was revealed that Aoi Miyazaki will be starring in a movie called Petal Dance, which will be released in spring 2013.

The story will reportedly depict four women who deal with various problems and re-examine their lives during a short journey. Shiori Kutsuna, Sakura Ando, and Kazue Fukiishi will co-star.

Hiroshi Ishikawa is the film’s director. He last worked with Miyazaki in 2005’s su-ki-da, which ended up being a big hit for him. Miyazaki praised Ishikawa’s unique production process, citing his ability to challenge actors to “live” as their characters.

Miyazaki and Ando will play friends Jinko and Motoko. When they hear a rumor that their friend Miki (Fukiishi) recently jumped into the ocean, they decide to visit her in northern Japan. Kutsuna will play another girl they meet along the way through a random coincidence.

Filming began on March 3rd and has already wrapped. Production is
See full article at Nippon Cinema »

More cast members announced for “Akko’s Secret”

Yesterday, the supporting cast of Yasuhiro Kawamura’s Akko’s Secret was revealed to Japanese media via press release.

The film is a live-action adaptation of Fujio Akatsuka’s classic “Himitsu no Akko-chan” manga series (1962-1965) about a 10-year-old girl who receives a magical mirror which lets her transform into whatever she wishes. In this live-action version, Haruka Ayase stars as Akko-chan after using the mirror to transform herself into a 22-year-old woman.

It was previously known that Masaki Okada would play Naoto Hayase, an elite employee of a cosmetics company Akko-chan begins working for.

The newly-announced additions include Teruyuki Kagawa as the spirit of the magical mirror, Shosuke Tanihara and Kazue Fukiishi as fellow company employees, Muga Tsukaji as a security guard who befriends Akko-chan, and Ren Osugi as the company’s former president.

Smaller supporting roles include Riko Yoshida as 10-year-old Akko-chan, Keiko Horiuchi as her mother, Shungiku Uchida
See full article at Nippon Cinema »

Brad Pitt Moneyball Photo call in Japan Pictures

Us actor and cast member Brad Pitt poses for photographers at a press conference to promote his latest movie 'Moneyball' in Tokyo, Japan, 10 November 2011. The movie directed by Us director Bennett Miller will be released in Japan's theaters on 11 November 2011. Epa/Everett Kennedy Brown Us actor and cast member Brad Pitt (R) poses for the media with Japanese actress Kazue Fukiishi at a press conference to promote his latest movie 'Moneyball' in Tokyo, Japan, 10 November 2011. The movie directed by Us director Bennett Miller will be released in Japan's theaters on 11 November 2011. Epa/Everett Kennedy Brown Us actor and cast member Brad Pitt waves to the cameras at a press conference to promote his latest
See full article at Monsters and Critics »

Trailer for upcoming "Gegege no Nyobo" film adaptation

A trailer for Takuji Suzuki‘s adaptation of Gegege no Nyobo has been uploaded to the film’s official YouTube channel. The film is based on an autobiographical novel by Nunoe Mura, wife of “Gegege no Kitaro” creator Shigeru Mizuki, and comes on the heels of a TV drama based on the same work which is currently in the middle of its run on Nhk.

Like the drama, it covers the couple’s relationship as Mizuki, whose real name is Shigeru Mura, toiled in obscurity before finally becoming a famous manga writer after years of hard work. Back in June it was revealed that Kazue Fukiishi will play Nunoe and actor/playwright Kankuro Kudo will play Shigeru, taking over the roles played by Nao Matsushita and Osamu Mukai in the TV drama.

The film premiered at the Pia Film Festival on July 21, 2010 and will be publicly released by Phantom Film
See full article at Nippon Cinema »

Trailer for upcoming "Gegege no Nyobo" film adaptation

A trailer for Takuji Suzuki‘s adaptation of Gegege no Nyobo has been uploaded to the film’s official YouTube channel. The film is based on an autobiographical novel by Nunoe Mura, wife of “Gegege no Kitaro” creator Shigeru Mizuki, and comes on the heels of a TV drama based on the same work which is currently in the middle of its run on Nhk.

Like the drama, it covers the couple’s relationship as Mizuki, whose real name is Shigeru Mura, toiled in obscurity before finally becoming a famous manga writer after years of hard work. Back in June it was revealed that Kazue Fukiishi will play Nunoe and actor/playwright Kankuro Kudo will play Shigeru, taking over the roles played by Nao Matsushita and Osamu Mukai in the TV drama.

The film premiered at the Pia Film Festival on July 21, 2010 and will be publicly released by Phantom Film
See full article at Nippon Cinema »

Kazue Fukiishi and Kankuro Kudo to star in “Gegege no Nyobo” film

In mid-April, it was announced that an autobiographical novel by Nunoe Mura, wife of “Gegege no Kitaro” creator Shigeru Mizuki, would be released as a film shortly after a TV drama based on the same work aired on Nhk.

The film was directed by Takuji Suzuki. Like the drama, it covers the couple’s relationship as Mizuki, whose real name is Shigeru Mura, toiled in obscurity before finally becoming a famous manga writer after years of hard work. Earlier this month, it was revealed that Kazue Fukiishi will play Nunoe and Kankuro Kudo will play Shigeru, taking over the roles played by Nao Matsushita and Osamu Mukai in the TV drama.

Fukiishi recently revealed on her blog that a private preview screening was held back on the 27th of last month with Mizuki and Mura in attendance. After the screening, Mura grabbed hold of her hand and thanked her for her portrayal.
See full article at Nippon Cinema »

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