6.4/10
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Judge! (2014)

Jajji! (original title)
After taking the blame for another disastrous advertising campaign, Ota Kiichiro is asked by his arrogant boss Otaki Ichiro to take his place as a judge at the world's biggest advertising ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Kiichiro Ota
...
Hikari Ota
Etsushi Toyokawa ...
Ichiro Otaki
Kyôka Suzuki ...
Haruka Kizawa
...
Kagami
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Morio Agata
Yoshiyoshi Arakawa
...
Chairman Jack
Denden
Tokio Emoto
Kenta Hamano
...
Harada
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After taking the blame for another disastrous advertising campaign, Ota Kiichiro is asked by his arrogant boss Otaki Ichiro to take his place as a judge at the world's biggest advertising competition in Los Angeles. Written by Jiilo_Kim

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11 January 2014 (Japan)  »

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Judge!  »

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2.35 : 1
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User Reviews

 
" I have come here to eat the most delicious food in the world."
29 March 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The South China Morning Post review of this film says "Judge is lowbrow, but funny." At first viewing this is true; with its strong visual gags and the fact that, if one does not understand Japanese, subtitles have to be "digested." On second viewing the film dialog reveals clever word play based on the protagonist's real-life inability to speak English.

I wonder if the need to view it twice to understand the word play is the weakness of the film? Hardly any viewer sees a film twice, but this film needs repeat viewing to understand the relationship between the protagonist's garbled English and the food ad subject matter. The fact that it was scripted and directed by advertising talents likely caused this problem. Movies are seen once. TV commercials are seen umpteen times in which a subsequent "discovery" by the viewer leads to deeper understanding of and interest in the ad. Ads need to continually engage the viewer upon each repeat viewing, with the viewer seeing something he/she had not seen in the first quick 30-second viewing. It was not a Japanese box office hit, considering the all-star casting, as it should have been because the script required a fuller understanding of both the word play and the English language. I see many J-films where the script writer labors over every line/detail but these likely "go over the head' of most viewers. Only on repeat viewings and analysis, as done for Ozu film classics, do these get noticed.

The film is a joint Shochiku-Fuji TV collaboration that is supposed to be a series of comedies. I suppose a hapless ad manager could become a modern-day Tora-san, but charming humor needs to come across in the first viewing.

The film's casting and acting level of non-Japanese actors is high compared with other Japan-produced films, likely due to the film's advertising origins with international standards. The Japanese cast is wonderful beginning with Satoshi Tsumabuki showing us his wide variety of spot-on facial expressions that won him his star audition way back in 1997 and his current status as a top commercial model. Keiko Kitagawa, Etsushi Toyokawa, Lily Franky, Kyoka Suzuki and Yoshiyoshi Arakawa all shine in their roles; reaffirming the Japan tradition of star ensemble comedy. Run time is short for this entertaining Japanese film, meaning you can watch it twice!


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