A meek agent at the Showa Life Insurance company receives a phone call from a customer who says that she's planning to commit suicide and wants to know if her policy will pay out. Concerned... See full summary »
A Chinese emissary is sent to the Gobi desert to execute a renegade soldier. When a caravan transporting a Buddhist monk and a valuable treasure is threatened by thieves, however, the two warriors might unite to protect the travelers.
A middle-aged man, Ekrem, is forced to take care of his mother, Nergis, who suffers from Alzheimer's disease. He has set aside all his dreams and ambitions in life to look after his mother ... See full summary »
Takeuchi and Abe are failing TV directors. Seeking a chance to break out from their slumps they go to the Jukai. The Jukai is a vast, primeval forest that spreads out on the northwestern ... See full summary »
When an American is murdered in a Japanese inn, Tokyo police detective Munesue follows the trail of the killer to New York. There he is joined by a New York City detective named Shuftan and together they sort out the crime.
A big group of freshman students go out of town. On the journey, their bus has to cross a creaky old river bridge which is the only way to get to the center of a dark forest. When the bus ... See full summary »
Kind of hard to recommend this one highly. Ashura no Gotoku is a soap opera-ish story covering a couple of years in the lives of four sisters, their parents, and their husbands, fiances, and illicit lovers. Based on a novel by Kuniko Mukouda, one of the most popular female novelists in postwar Japan, and reputedly autobiographical--she is represented by the third sister Takiko, who wears glasses and is socially maladroit at first, but undergoes a dramatic transformation (always a good clue to the authorship of the story).
The plot mostly revolves around how the four women try to cope with the fact that their father, though in his 70's, has taken a lover, despite continuing to live together with their mother. Although the storyline has some overdone and even ludicrous scenes, it does manage to hit some high points, particularly the scenes which underscore how, when all is said and done, it is wonderful to have siblings to confide in and draw strength from, even when you don't always see eye-to-eye with them.
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