When easy-going Aoyagi meets an old friend for a fishing trip, he ends up drugged, framed for the Prime Minister's assassination, and on the run from corrupt cops. It's only the beginning ... See full summary »
A hustler who gets in trouble with a gang boss in the port town of Sukago agrees to make good with the don by putting him in contact with a mysterious hitman -- an assassin the hustler has ... See full summary »
Journalist Shuichi Fujii receives a letter from convicted killer Junji Sudo. Writing from death row, Sudo wants to confess to crimes unknown to the police. On visiting Sudo in prison, Fujii... See full summary »
Sugihara, born in Japan but with North Korean parents, falls in love with a Japanese girl after changing from a North Korean school to a Japanese school. His boxer dad teaches him boxing - skills used a lot.
The film traces the growth and friendship of two very different high-school ping-pong players. "Peco" Hoshino is a brash, arrogant player, determined to turn pro. He taught his quiet, nerdy... See full summary »
Tsuneo is a university student working part-time in a mah-jong parlour. Lately the customers have been talking about an old lady who pushes a baby carriage through the streets. They say she... See full summary »
A solitary middle-aged station manager is haunted by troubling memories of his past when he learns the line his station is on will be decommissioned for lack of profitability. He is visited... See full summary »
This Japanese-language movie, which to my knowledge hasn't yet been released with subtitles or dubbing, is best regarded as a gentle parody of the 1957 Henry Fonda classic "12 Angry Men". (The title, which translates to "12 Gentle Japanese", makes this obvious.)
Of course Japan doesn't have a jury system, so this is even more of a fantasy than it would have been. The performances are generally over-the-top, and it's rather hard to take any of it too seriously. But there are some nice humorous touches. Like the 1957 original, it is set almost entirely in a single room, and for the most part it parallels the original, with a few interesting twists. (In this one, all the jurors save one begin with an "innocent" vote)
Not a great movie by any stretch, but pleasant enough. Very little that's original here, though--if you want an original Japanese movie, check out recent titles directed by Shohei Imamura, Hirokazu Kore-eda, or Takeshi Kitano.
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