A sendup of the stereo-typical Japanese family: dad is a salaryman jerk, unable to relate to anyone; mom is a hopeless housewife; the older son is a moderate academic success; but the ... See full summary »
A grand old Japanese hotel is trying to get a prestigious contract as the site of a summit meeting of important foreign officials. Unfortunately, this hotel is quite popular with the Yakuza... See full summary »
Pluto is a story of the extremes elite high school seniors are prepared to go to guarantee entry into prestigious universities, and asks what could possibly turn an innocent boy into a ... See full summary »
At the beginning of the film the father-in-law of the protagonist dies unexpectedly of a heart attack. The remainder of the film is episodic, moving from one incident to another over the ... See full summary »
Ryoko Itakura is a government tax agent who has just landed a big promotion. Her first assignment is to catch wheeler-dealer Hideki Gondo. She has a tough job, since in Japan tax evasion is... See full summary »
Goro's supermarket is not doing well; the rival "Bargains Galore" threatens his business. A chance encounter with Hanako, an energetic woman he knew in grade school, results in big retail ... See full summary »
A successful Japanese movie director in his 60s becomes increasingly ill while working on his latest film. His family, friends, and doctor try to keep the secret of his terminal cancer from... See full summary »
Marutai: Drama, Comedy, Violence & the Triumph of Loyalty
In this made-in-Japan drama/comedy/gangster movie from director Juzo Itami a star actress, Biwako (played by Nobuko Miyamoto), is the sole witness to a grizzly murder. The cops persuade Biwako to play the bait to catch the killers. Two veteran detectives are assigned to protect her at all times, and as the film progresses the guardians have no choice but to deal with the overly dramatic, hilarious, and sometimes harrowing ups-and-downs of Biwako's life. Beautifully shot and dynamically structured in a way that only the Japanese are capable of, Marutai reminds us that sometimes the most loyal friendships are formed under the darkest circumstances.
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