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Life Tastes Good (1999)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama | 24 January 1999 (USA)
Two San Francisco detectives discover a corpse in an abandoned car. From the dead man's wallet and a tape recorder, they determine the man was a money launderer. The story is then told in ... See full summary »



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Credited cast:
Harry Sado
The Woman (as Julia Nickson-Soul)
Julie Sado
Greg Watanabe ...
Howard Sado
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Sean Blackman ...
Bernie (as Sean San Jose)
Mr. Jones
Judi Nihei ...
Tomoye Takahashi ...
Mrs. J
Diane Takei ...
Jennie Yee ...
Harry's Wife


Two San Francisco detectives discover a corpse in an abandoned car. From the dead man's wallet and a tape recorder, they determine the man was a money launderer. The story is then told in flashback, narrated by the dead man. Seems he was being pursued after robbing a partner who had been robbing him. Hiding out in a warehouse, he tries to re-establish contact with his children. In the warehouse, he then is contacted by a woman who frequents it because her husband died there and becomes obsessed with its new inhabitant as the reincarnate of her husband. Of course, following all of these goings-on, he ultimately must face down his pursuers. Written by John Sacksteder <jsackste@bellsouth.net>

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Crime | Drama


Not Rated


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24 January 1999 (USA)  »

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User Reviews

A movie that displays the best movie can be, great actors/actresses and a great story.
16 February 2000 | by (San Francisco) – See all my reviews

"Life Tastes Good" is one of those movies that you just wish you had the power (read: money) to bring about it's wider distribution. Philip Kan Gotanda has put together a story w/ a family of veteran actors Sab Shimano and Tamlyn Tomita and new-comer Greg Watanabe all of whom draw us into each tiny step the plot and characters make. In this story, we have a father, Shimano, trying to re-establish ties w/ his daughter (Tomita) and son (Watanabe). The daughter is willing to accept the father's return but is concerned about his judgment of her life. The son has the career his father would admire but the son resents the father for a reason that isn't initially clear. Those of us here in San Francisco have been privileged to watch Greg Watanabe grow as an actor to the point of our expressing sadness and anger that Hollywood does not provide parts for Watanabe. Gotanda has utilized him well as he places a quirky reserved son, childish in his expressions of upset towards his father. Tomita's character is also well-developed to display a disaffection w/ her place in this world, yet still finding self-affirmation. I simply loved this move with each slow step. Not much is said in the movie. You're forced to pay attention than forced to ask questions w/ your friends afterwards. [I apologize if I've spelled the name's incorrectly. Unfortunately, due to Hollywood's white-boy network keeping many Asian-Am actors/actresses out of roles, I have not seen any of the names of the actors/actresses in this movie often enough to remember the spellings.] One of the interesting facets of the film is Gotanda's character's use of his finger as lethal weapon. When asked at a question and answer period of the San Francisco International Film Festival where he came up w/ that idea, Gotanda responded by saying that when one is forced to work w/ a small budget, one cannot afford guns, so he had to be creative. Hollywood's blockbusters w/ tons of cash @ their disposal can create fancy visuals, but they often lack in the creative story-telling and characterization demonstrated in this gem. Life does taste good.

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