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Jam Films (2002)

6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 455 users  
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"The Messenger" is a mysterious woman who appears to a mobster hiding underground to tell him about his ultimate fate. A bag with a "Kendama" ball and string toy gets mixed up with a bag of... See full summary »

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, (as George Iida) , 6 more credits »

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(story), (story), 7 more credits »
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Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
Natsuko Akiyama ...
(segment "Hijiki")
Reila Aphrodite
Hirofumi Arai ...
(segment "Justice")
Haruka Ayase ...
(segment "Justice")
Ryôko Hirosue ...
(segment "Arita")
Satomi Ishihara
...
(segment "The Messenger - Requiem for the Dead")
Hitomi Kurihara ...
(segment "Justice")
Akaji Maro ...
(segment "Pandora - Hong Kong Leg")
Akifumi Miura ...
(segment "Justice")
Takao Ohsawa ...
(segment "Cold Sleep")
Samuel Pop ...
(segment "Cold Sleep")
Tak Sakaguchi ...
(segment "The Messenger - Requiem for the Dead")
Kuranosuke Sasaki ...
(segment "Hijiki")
Ryôko Shinohara ...
(segment "Kendama")
Edit

Storyline

"The Messenger" is a mysterious woman who appears to a mobster hiding underground to tell him about his ultimate fate. A bag with a "Kendama" ball and string toy gets mixed up with a bag of onions, and leads a couple to ponder their relationship. Fujio awakes from "Cold Sleep" to find he has crashed on an unfamiliar planet with some crazy people and an attractive "new Eve." Mayuko, has an itch she keeps secret before she is introduced to a mysterious yet strangely satisfying cure (Pandora - Hong Kong Leg). A man finds himself surrounded by the police and holds some women hostage as they eat "Hijiki" (edible seaweed) and advise him about what to do. In a class studying the Potsdam Declaration, some high school students find their minds elsewhere. Tojo is keeping a tally of the "snapping" of the tight shorts worn by the girls jumping hurdles outside the window according to color. Will he find ultimate "Justice." Ever since she can remember, "Arita" has appeared somewhere on every ... Written by Brian Greenhalgh

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User Reviews

 
Gems: Some Diamonds and some glass
12 February 2005 | by (Kansas) – See all my reviews

Watching this collection of short films was quite interesting to me because, as far as my memory goes, I believe that I have never watched a short before. Well lets get to the films: The Messenger: Requiem for the Dead Director: Kitamura Ryuhei Most of the films that I watch, be they Japanese, Korean, Chinese, or Russian, tend to be drama films. I rarely watch action films unless they were made by Kitano, Fukasaku, Kurosawa, or Suzuki. Therefore, the only Kitamura Ryuhei film that I have viewed is _Aragami_ which I watched more out of curiosity of wanting to see the sister film of Tsutsumi Yukihiko's _2LDK_ than anything else. I thought _Aragami was decent, I did like Osawa Takao's acting and I though Uotani Kanae had an alluring presence, but the film left me overall with a "meh" attitude. I did not expect too much from _The Messenger_, but I was quite surprised actually Uotani does a nice job portraying the elegantly haunting Messenger, and there is a bit of interesting camera play. One of the better shorts in this collection in my opinion.

Kendama Director: Shinohara Tetsuo My knowledge of Shinohara's films is limited to his 2002 film _Inochi_ based on the novel of the same name by the Korean-born-Japanese writer Yu Miri, author of _Gold Rush_. Therefore, like with Kitamura's short I had little previous knowledge of Shinohara's films. A kendama, a wooden toy in which one tries to catch a ball in a couple of cups on the implement or on the peg on top, is given as a reward to a business man, after he wins the company's sumo tournament, however, he does not care to have it and gives it to a female co-worker. Suddenly desiring it back he chases his co-worker who runs into a man, accidentally swapping the bag containing the kendama with one containing onions. What follows is a decently interesting ten minutes that show how minor events can change one's life. Pretty decent little film.

Cold Sleep Director: George Iida _Cold Sleep_, by the director of _Dragon Head_, is definitely my least favorite short in this collection. Basically six individuals, including Osawa Takao and the buxom Tsunoda Tomomi, who are considered the elite of society were put in a state of "cold sleep" and blasted off into space when the earth was in its last years. However, a problem arises when bugs were found in the cold sleep system making four of the members stupid. Only the Japanese members are okay, but for how long...

Pandora: Hong Kong Leg Director: Mochizuki Rokuro A short for folks with foot fetishes, hehe. A young woman, Yoshimoto Takami, she has been in several Ultraman series, has a secret; she suffers from a severe case of Athlete's Foot! Desperate for a cure, she encounters a middle aged Chinese man, Mao suit and all, selling all types of cure all medicines. Worried at first, the young woman accompanies the old man to his hideaway where she is told to sit in a chair and put her feet in a hole where they are licked by an ikimono, or "something alive." This segment is one of the stranger of the seven, but in a good way. It is dark and erotic without being explicit.

Hijiki Director: Tsutsumi Yukihiko This one is quite odd also. A young man who has taken two women and one girl hostage in their apartment is threatening them with a shotgun, but far from being scared the "16" and "20" year old women tell him how horrible their lives have been and then order him to shoot them. Not really much else to say about this one except that there is one humorous scene in which the fortified vitamin qualities of Hijiki are explained, followed by the quaffing of orange juice.

Justice Director: Yukisada Isao Having enjoyed his film _Go_ immensely, I was looking forward to this short by Yukisada. While listening to the dorky monotone of blonde teacher rambling on in English about the Potsdam Summit, a young man watches a number of girls outside jumping hurdles. However, this is not just innocent gawking. The young man separates the girls into three teams, red, blue, and green, determined by the color of their gym shorts, and gives points to the teams whose members pull their wedged shorts out of their cracks after jumping the hurdles. Yes friends this is short that consists of high school girls, relieving themselves of their wedgies while a blond, bespectacled dork rambles on about Japan's unconditional surrender after World War II. Has to be seen to be believed Arita Director: Iwai Shunji I don't believe an introduction is needed for this director. This film consists of one character, Hirosue Ryoko, and the odd little creature, Arita, that appears on every piece of paper she touches. When she was two or three the girl would draw and paint and when she was finished an odd little drawing would appear on her art. When she was older and her art had improved, the creature was still there. The creature was even on her tests and essays, but no one seemed to notice but her. In fact for a long time she thought everyone had their own Arita, but one day she discovers that was not the case. One day, after being dumped by her boyfriend, she decides to burn a piece of paper with Arita on it... Another note: As he would later do in _Hana and Alice_, the score of this film was composed by Iwai.

This collection of short films definitely has some hits and some misses, but it is good overall. It is worth watching just for _Arita_.


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