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After terminally ill Bussan finally passes away he misses hanging out with his still living friends and decides to return to Kisarazu. In his ghost form however only his most trusted friends can see him, and his meddling in the lives of the living results in the return of Ozzy and a long dead team of American baseball players who drowned off the shores of Kisarazu. It's down to Bussan and the Cats to save the day and restore the town to order, but can Bussan bring himself to say bye-bye once and for all? Written by
The original 'Kisarazu Cat's Eye', I gather, was a TV series about a baseball team,one of whose members had cancer and had just six months to live.
This film is set three years after his death and, despite the above description, is a comedy. One of the teammates hears voices, telling him: "If you build it, he will come." He therefore reunites with his ex-teammates to try and carry out what he supposes to be his ex-team-mate's wishes. First they try building a massage parlour, but that is not what the mysterious voice requires, so they try building a Starbucks coffee-house before eventually trying a baseball pitch. At this point zombies turn up and the film gets really crazy.
At first I thought I was only going to be giving it three stars but as the film went on, I began to enjoy it more and more. It is quite surreal and extremely funny in places. It is very confusing, with constant flash-backs, but not knowing the original series was not a serious hindrance to enjoying it. It was fast-paced and enjoyable, although the baseball game in the final section dragged on a bit.
The film lasts 132 minutes and I obtained my Region 1 DVD from Amazon.com. The subtitles are good. (At the start of the film, I was concerned as the English subtitles appeared on top of burnt-in Japanese subtitles which did not appear to make much sense. But then the camera pulled back to reveal the characters were watching a Korean TV drama and the burnt-in subtitles stopped.)
I bought the film as Chiaki Kuriyama is my favourite actress but, unfortunately, she only provides a very brief cameo. She plays a very tough army trainer (Yes, really!!!) in a military camp and is absolutely brilliant in her few minutes of screen time.
If I was asked to choose something it was similar in tone to, I would say the old Australian TV series: 'Round the Twist'.
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