Glasgow Frightfest ’17: ‘Shin Godzilla’ Review

Stars: Hiroki Hasegawa, Yutaka Takenouchi, Satomi Ishihara, Ren Ôsugi, Akira Emoto, Kengo Kôra, Mikako Ichikawa, Jun Kunimura, Pierre Taki, Kyûsaku Shimada, Ken Mitsuishi, Shingo Tsurumi, Kimiko Yo | Written by Hideaki Anno | Directed by Hideaki Anno, Shinji Higuchi

Godzilla, officially The King of the Monsters, returns to his Japanese roots following the 2014 Gareth Edwards directed Us film in Shin Godzilla. Set in present-day Japan, the film sees an unexplained seismic event occur off the coast of Shinagawa, causing ripple effects all the way to the capital. Ministers scramble to figure out what’s going on but only cabinet secretary Rando Yaguchi knows what the audience already does. That Godzilla has majestically returned and has his fire-breathing, stomping sights on Tokyo once more…

It’s hard to belive that Godzilla, such a symbol of the nuclear fallout of the Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki; and (to a lesser extent) the Daigo
See full article at Blogomatic3000 »

Movie Review – Shin Godzilla (2016)

Shin Godzilla, 2016

Directed by Hideaki Anno and Shinji Higuchi

Starring Hiroki Hasegawa, Yutaka Takenouchi, Satomi Ishihara, Ren Ohsugi, Akira Emoto, Kengo Kôra, Mikako Ichikawa, Jun Kunimura, Pierre Taki, Kyûsaku Shimada, Ken Mitsuishi


Japan is plunged into chaos upon the appearance of a giant monster.

Having been dormant in his native Japan since 2004’s Godzilla: Final Wars, the King of the Monsters is back with a brand-new outing, a completely new look and a re-developed backstory and creation. Gareth Edward’s 2014 American reboot split some sections of the audience, but those craving an ‘authentic’ Japanese Godzilla movie can rejoice with the release of Shin Godzilla, which gets a short theatrical run in America today.

Co-directors Hideaki Anno and Shinji Higuchi (best known for their work on Attack on Titan and Evangelion) make a bold statement coming into this movie by not playing with the rules set by previous instalments.
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

‘Audition’ Blu-ray Review (Arrow Video)

Stars: Ryo Ishibashi, Eihi Shiina, Tetsu Sawaki, Jun Kunimura, Renji Ishibashi, Miyuki Matsuda, Toshie Negishi, Ren Ôsugi, Shigeru Saiki, Ken Mitsuishi, Yuriko Hiro’oka | Written by Daisuke Tengan | Directed by Takashi Miike

Takashi Miike’s Audition will always be a special movie to me, because it sparked off my obsession with Takashi Miike. It also put me off the meal I was eating when I first watched it, so it impressed me too. The fact that Arrow Video have given it a special edition should be enough to make it a must buy, but do they do the film justice with their release?

Audition (Ôdishon) is the story of Shigeharu Aoyama (Ryo Ishibashi) a widower who “auditions” prospective women to date under the rues of a film role. When Asami Yamazaki (Eihi Shiina) is interviewed she catches his eye, and he takes her on a first date. Little does he
See full article at Blogomatic3000 »

37th Yokohama Film Festival

The award ceremony was held on February 7th in the Yokohama Kannai Hall and the winners were:

Best Film: Our Little Sister (Hirokazu Koreeda)

Best Director: Hirokazu Koreeda (Our Little Sister) Ryosuke Hashiguchi (Three stories of Love)

Yoshimitsu Morita Memorial Best New Director: Daishi Matsunaga(Pieta in the Toilet)

Best Screenplay: Shin Adachi (100 Yen Love, Obon Brothers)

Best Cinematographer: Mikiya Takemoto (Our Little Sister)

Best Actor: Masatoshi Nagase (Sweet Red Bean Paste) Kiyohiko Shibukawa (Obon Brothers, Areno)

Best Actress: Haruka Ayase (Our Little Sister)

Best Supporting Actor: Ken Mitsuishi (Obon Brothers, Three stories of Love)

Best Supporting Actress: Aoba Kawai (Obon Brothers, Kabukicho Love Hotel)

Best New Talent:Suzu Hirose (Our Little Sister) Hana Sugisaki (Pieta in the Toilet, The Pearls of the Stone Man) Ryoko Fujino (Solomon’s Perjury)

Special Jury Prize: The cast and staff of Bakuman

Special Grand Prize: Kirin Kiki

Top Ten Movies:

1. Our Little Sister
See full article at AsianMoviePulse »

Berlin Film Review: ‘Homeland’

The devastating plight of Fukushima citizens after the nuclear fallout gets short shrift in Nao Kubota’s ho-hum “Homeland,” which belittles the trauma of evacuees and dodges issues of gross government/corporate injustice in favor of a meek, generic domestic drama. Aping a long line of more illustrious helmers who contributed to the quintessentially Japanese shomingeki genre highlighting ordinary families, Kubota mistakes the prosaic for the universal, wasting his cast’s acting chops on humdrum activity and bland dialogue. The result is a narrative that perversely refuses to engage on a dramatic or emotional level, or to look its unavoidable political context in the eye. With big names like Hirokazu Kore-eda and Nobuhiro Suwa credited for “support,” “Homeland” could make it into festival sidebars.

Having left Fukushima for Tokyo as a teenager and broken off all contact with his relations since, Jiro Sawada (Kenichi Matsuyama) returns to the now-evacuated zone
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Exclusive: Beyond Outrage TV Spot

  • MovieWeb
Exclusive: Beyond Outrage TV Spot
Internationally-renowned actor-director Takeshi Kitano returns with Beyond Outrage, his follow up to 2011's Outrage. We have an exclusive TV spot for fans to check out, before this action-packed sequel arrives on iTunes and other VOD formats November 28, ahead of its theatrical debut on January 3, 2014. This explosive thriller co-stars Ryo Kase, Toshiyuki Nishida and Shun Sugata.

With Beyond Outrage, action cinema master Takeshi Kitano returns to the hard boiled characters, black comedy and unflinching violence of his crime masterpiece Outrage. This time, a manipulative police crackdown on organized crime has ignited a tricky power struggle in the yakuza underworld.

The Sanno crime family has grown into a massive organization dominated by young executives whose new approach to running the family is causing frustration and pent-up resentment with the old-guard members. This vulnerability in the Sanno hierarchy is exactly what anti-gang detective Kataoka has been looking for, as the police force prepares a full-scale crackdown.
See full article at MovieWeb »

Kitano Returns In ‘Beyond Outrage’ Trailer

Takeshi Kitano is a talent agency unto himself. The comedian, writer, director, game show participant (of Takeshi’s Castle fame) has always delivered some of the most beautiful, violent, and funniest films around. His classics, including Dolls, Sonatine, and Hana-bi are just some of the examples of his exceptional work. Now he ventures into sequel territory with Beyond Outrageous, the follow-up to 2010′s Outrage. Following on from the events of the last film, Ohtomo (Kitano) is out for revenge, which ignites an all out Yakuza war on the streets of Japan. The trailer promises plenty of Kitano’s signature sudden and shocking violence, as well as glimpses of his dark humour.

Beyond Outrage will hit iTunes and On Demand services 28th November, with a cinematic release in the Us on 3rd January. It stars Takeshi Kitano, Ryo Kase, Toshiyuki Nishida, Shun Sugata, Ken Mitsuishi, and Tomokazu Miura.

Source: IMDb

See full article at The Hollywood News »

Venice 2012: Takeshi Kitano’s Outrage Beyond

  • Filmofilia
When it comes to Venice Film Festival, Japanese director Takeshi Kitano is definitely not a stranger. I’m sure you all remember his Hana Bi from 1997 (for which he recevied the Golden Lion), or 2003 Zatoichi project (Silver Lion statue).

Well, guess what, Kitano is now back In Competition with his completely new project, titled Outrage Beyond. And, in case this sounds like it has something to do with Kitano’s Outrage movie from last year’s Cannes film festival – relax, you’re not tripping – it’s just a sequel to the original story…

So, this time we have the Sanno crime family all grown into a huge organization, expanding its power into politics and legitimate big business. The Sanno’s upper ranks are now dominated by young executives, and the old-guard members are penting up resentment while being pushed to the sidelines.

This vulnerable spot in the Sanno hierarchy is
See full article at Filmofilia »

Edinburgh International Film Festival 2012 - Rentaneko (2012)

Rentaneko is showing at the Edinburgh International Film Festival 2012, which is being covered by Samantha Morrison...

Rentaneko, 2012.

Written and Directed by Naoko Ogigami.

Starring Mikako Ichikawa, Reiko Kusamura and Ken Mitsuishi.


Set in Japan, a woman rents out cats to lonely people.

It’s a fairly bizarre premise, something that I don’t think would fly anywhere but Japan. The film is set up as a series of encounters between Sayoko, our main character, and new customers. Each customer, while having entirely different situations, still echoes the loneliness of the customer before them, and the scenes even repeat lines from previous sections. This repetitive structure builds loneliness upon loneliness, until we can see it reflected in Sayoko herself.

There are recurring scenes in which Sayoko talks to the photo of her late grandmother, and where she draws out her life goals, and hangs them on the wall to remind her.
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Berlinale 2012. Panorama Program Complete

  • MUBI
Adding just over a dozen features and four shorts to the lists of previously announced titles (first round and Dokumente), the Berlinale announces that the Panorama program for this year's edition (February 9 through 19) is now complete. The breakdown: "53 feature films: 18 in the main program, 15 in Panorama Special and 20 in Panorama Dokumente.... 34 productions from 37 countries are screening as world premieres. Seven fictional films are directorial debuts. There are 12 German productions, and 24 women filmmakers presenting 16 films."

New narrative features:

Bugis Street Redux by Yonfan, Hong Kong. With Hiep Thi Le, Michael Lam, Greg-O and Ernest Seah.

Cherry by Stephen Elliott, USA. With Ashley Hinshaw, James Franco, Heather Graham, Dev Patel and Lili Taylor. World Premiere. The site.

Chocó by Jhonny Hendrix Hinestroza, Columbia. With Karent Hinestroza, Esteban Copete, Fabio García, Daniela Mosquera, Jesús Benavides. Wp.

Glaube, Liebe, Tod (Belief, Love, Death) by Peter Kern, Austria. With Traute Furthner, Peter Kern, Joao Moreira Pedrosa.
See full article at MUBI »

Brutal Trailer for Director Yosuke Okuda’s Gangster Flick Tokyo Playboy Club

Writer/director Yosuke Okuda’s “Tokyo Playboy Club” strongly resembles something cult legend Takashi Miike would have crafted during his hungrier days. It’s filled with peculiar characters, graphic violence, and plenty of yakuza-related tomfoolery. And while these elements aren’t exclusive to Miike’s body of work, it’s hard to see them in a low-budget J-cinema setting without being immediately reminded of his work. No offense to Okuda, of course, as “Tokyo Playboy Club” looks to be a fine film. I’m extremely anxious to check it out. Here’s what the film is all about: Set within the Tokyo underworld, Katsutoshi (Nao Omori) finds trouble at work and hides out at his friend Sekichi’s (Ken Mitsuishi) night club “Tokyo Playboy Club.” Kasutoshi’s run in with a waiter (Yasushi Fuchikami) at the club and the waiter’s girlfriend Eriko (Asami Usuda) leads to far bigger troubles & then unexpected consequences.
See full article at Beyond Hollywood »

Trailer for Yuya Ishii's 'Azemichi no Dandy'

On Wednesday, Bitters End uploaded a trailer for Yuya Ishii’s Azemichi no Dandy to their channel on YouTube.

The film stars Ken Mitsuishi as a 50-year-old single father named Junichi Miyata. Back in junior high, Junichi was bullied and made a promise to himself that he would grow up to be really cool.

Junichi has been raising his two children, an unemployed 19-year-old named Toshiya (Ryu Morioka) and an 18-year-old high school senior named Momoko (Jun Yoshinaga) on his own since his wife died of cancer 15 years earlier. He works extremely hard as a truck driver to buy whatever he thinks his kids want; and even though money is tight, he never lets it show.

One day, Junichi feels ill and becomes obsessed with the idea that he may be dying of cancer like his wife. Convinced his life will soon be ending, he begins putting his affairs in
See full article at Nippon Cinema »

Asami Usuda and Nao Omori to star in Yosuke Okuda’s ‘Tokyo Playboy Club’

24-year-old Yosuke Okuda is set to make his commercial film debut with Tokyo Playboy Club, starring Asami Usuda and Nao Omori.

Okuda won the Grand Prix of last year’s Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival with his independently-produced feature-length debut Hot as Hell: The Deadbeat March, which he dedicated to his personal hero, Quentin Tarantino.

The Fukushima-born director admitted this is a particularly tough time to start shooting a movie. His house is located inland, so his family was safe from the recent tsunami. However, his parents’ tofu business and various other locations were severely damaged by last month’s disaster. He was convinced to go ahead with the film by his father, who bluntly told him, “You concentrate on your movie.”

The new film is set in the Tokyo underworld, with pacing, violence, and humor that’s being compared to Battles Without Honor and Humanity.

Omori plays a man
See full article at Nippon Cinema »

Trailer for "Mother Water" starring Kyoko Koizumi and Satomi Kobayashi

Ntv has posted a trailer for Kana Matsumoto‘s Mother Water, a new film featuring many of the same cast and staff from “Kamome Diner”, “Megane”, and “Pool”.

The film is set in Kyoto, and the title is a reference to the city’s large river and many waterways. In keeping with that theme, the story revolves around three women for whom water is of prime importance. Hatsumi (Mikako Ichikawa) makes and sells tofu, Takako (Kyoko Koizumi) opens a coffee shop, and Setsuko (Satomi Kobayashi) owns a whiskey bar. Like the water of Kyoto, the three women have a subtle but important impact on the people around them. Ken Mitsuishi and Ryo Kase also star as a public bath owner and furniture salesman, respectively.

The film marks the first time former classmates Koizumi and Kobayashi have acted in a movie together.

“Mother Water” will open at Cine Switch Ginza and
See full article at Nippon Cinema »

Former classmates Kyoko Koizumi and Satomi Kobayashi co-star for the first time in “Mother Water”

Earlier today, a press event was held in Kyoto to announce the production of a new film called Mother Water, which involves many of the same cast and staff who previously brought us “Kamome Diner”, “Megane”, and “Pool”. The film’s seven main cast members were all in attendence: Satomi Kobayashi, Kyoko Koizumi, Ryo Kase, Mikako Ichikawa, Kento Nagayama, Ken Mitsuishi, and Masako Motai.

Set in Kyoto, the breezy tale focuses on circumstances surrounding three women and their relationships with other people around town. Much like “Kamome Diner”, the film has a peaceful, indifferent theme and involves ordinary characters brought together by a local establishment. However, instead of focusing entirely on one place, several different characters run their own businesses.

Kobayashi plays a whiskey bar owner named Setsuko, Ichikawa plays a tofu maker named Hatsume, Kase plays a used furniture dealer named Yamanoha, Mitsuishi plays a public bath owner named Otome,
See full article at Nippon Cinema »


Opens Friday, March 7

New York

A convoluted, time-twisting, sexually tinged thriller that owes more than a small debt to "Vertigo", Hideo Nakata's "Chaos" is the sort of intellectual cinematic parlor game that will best appeal to those who like their mysteries as complicated as possible. Resembling "Memento" in its intricacies if not its elegance, the film has already been slotted for an American remake directed by Jonathan Glazer and starring Robert De Niro and Benicio Del Toro. No doubt, the complexities of its plot will be somewhat smoothed out for domestic consumption. The film is currently playing an exclusive theatrical engagement at New York's Cinema Village.

The story begins simply enough, with the kidnapping of the wife of a successful Japanese businessman after the two have had lunch together in a restaurant. We soon learn, however, that the kidnapping is a ruse, staged by Satomi (Miki Nakatani), the wife, with the aid of her handyman Takayuki (Ken Mitsuishi) to better test the fidelity of her husband Goro (Masato Hagiwara). Showing up at Takayuki's house after the "abduction," she willingly submits to his suggestion that he tie her up, with the inevitable kinky sex resulting. But even here, things are not quite what they seem, with the plot further evolving into a nearly indecipherable morass of twists, double-crosses and illusions.

Complicating matters even further, the story is told in nonchronological fashion, providing only the subtlest of hints to clue us in as to the sudden shifts in time. The results demand the closest of attention, with even the most attentive viewers likely to become lost at some point, though the numerous homages to "Vertigo" provide handy reference points.

Ultimately, the willful obfuscation becomes more frustrating than entertaining, and director Nakata ("Ringu" and "Ringu 2") fails to provide enough of a visual style or sustained mood to sustain interest. Not helping matters are the inexpressive performances by the male leads. The beautiful Nakatani, however, demonstrates that she has what it takes to be a femme fatale in the best noir tradition.


A Kino International release

Tidepoint Pictures/Viz Films and Kino International


Director: Hideo Nakata

Screenwriter: Hisashi Saito

Producers: Takeo Kodero, Satoshi Kanno, Kimio Hara

Executive producer: Naoki Kai

Director of photography: Tokusho Kikimura

Music: Kenji Kawai


Goro Kuroda: Masato Hagiwara

Satomi Tsushima: Miki Nakatani

Takayuki Komiyama: Ken Mitsuishi

Detective Hamaguchi: Jun Kunimura

Running time -- 104 minutes

No MPAA rating

See also

Credited With | External Sites