Akiko travels to Vladivostok Russia to meet Matsunaga who she first met in Tokyo and is unable to forget. Even though Akiko meets Matsunaga again, Matsunaga does not remember her. Matsunaga... See full summary »
Reiko, a prize-winning writer, moves to a quiet isolated house to finish up her new novel. One night she sees the man next door transporting an object wrapped in cloth. She finds out he is ... See full summary »
A seasoned detective is called in to rescue a politician held hostage by a lunatic. In a brief moment of uncertainty, he misses the chance for action. Leaving his job and family without ... See full summary »
A detective investigates a series of murders. A possible serial killer might be on a rampage, since they all are in the same vicinity and by the same method, but as the evidence points ... See full summary »
Two young guys work in a plant that manufactures oshibori (those moist hand-towels found in some Japanese restaurants). Their weird bond is based on uncontrollable rage--something neither ... See full summary »
The murder of Emili, a young girl, leaves the inhabitants of a small Japanese village in shock. The body of Emily is found by the four classmates with whom she was playing. The murder is ... See full summary »
I'm a big, big fan of Kiyoshi Kurosawa. He is currently the only director to have earned three 10/10 ratings from me. I loved "Cure" (1997), "Pulse" (2001), and "Charisma" (1999). His recent transition away from horror has also been quite successful, with quality works such as "Tokyo Sonata" (2008) and "Penance" (2012).
The premise of "Real" (2013) is outstanding. New technology allows a man to venture into the mind of his comatose wife. This stuff is right in Kiyoshi's wheelhouse. This director has a knack for taking an overarching philosophical or psychological theme and exploring it in interesting ways. However, I had trepidations after viewing the trailer, which seemed a bit cheesy and hokey.
It turns out that I was right to be worried. This film is dramatically limp, with a very messy and unfocused script that makes it very difficult to have a vested interest in the characters. I literally could not have cared less about the ending to this film. The dialogue is seemingly worthless. At its best it acts merely as dull exposition and at its worst it's just boring. Performances are fine, but the star-studded cast is wasted on this uninspired screenplay. Kiyoshi does contribute some very nice framing of camera shots, which helps to alleviate some of the suffering. I hope he rebounds for his next feature.
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