7.0/10
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6 user 12 critic

Tales of the Unusual (2000)

Yonimo kimyô na monogatari - Eiga no tokubetsu hen (original title)
A four-part anthology in the spirit of The Twilight Zone, this film starts off with a group of commuters stranded at a train station in the rain, listening to stories told by one of the ... See full summary »

Writers:

Tomoko Aizawa ("The Marriage Simulator"), Ryôichi Kimizuka (segment) | 3 more credits »
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2 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Kazuyuki Aijima ... Manabe (segment "One Snowy Night") / Salaryman (segment "The Storyteller")
Izumi Inamori Izumi Inamori ... Chiharu Takajo (segment "The Marriage Simulator")
Renji Ishibashi ... Old Man (segment "Chess")
Takashi Kashiwabara ... Yuichi Tokunagi (segment "The Marriage Simulator")
Narumi Kayashima Narumi Kayashima ... (segment "The Marriage Simulator")
Masahiro Kômoto Masahiro Kômoto ... Seiichi Tomoda (segment "Chess")
Ikue Masudo Ikue Masudo ... (segment "The Marriage Simulator") (as Saya Takagi)
Akihiko Murata Akihiko Murata
Kiichi Nakai ... (segment "Samurai Cellular")
Hideyuki Nakayama Hideyuki Nakayama
Yukiko Okamoto Yukiko Okamoto ... Kumi Kato (segment "Chess")
Megumi Okina ... Karu (segment "Samurai Cellular")
Ren Osugi ... Yoshiaki Yamauchi (segment "One Snowy Night") (as Ren Ôsugi)
Kazuma Suzuki ... Takuro Yuki (segment "One Snowy Night")
Shinji Takeda Shinji Takeda ... Akira Kato (segment "Chess")
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Storyline

A four-part anthology in the spirit of The Twilight Zone, this film starts off with a group of commuters stranded at a train station in the rain, listening to stories told by one of the group. These include tales of a group stranded in the mountains and haunted by guilt over a death they inadvertantly caused, an emotionally broken chessmaster pressed into playing a real-life game for an eccentric millionaire, a wandering medieval samurai who finds a modern-day cell phone on the ground and a person on the other end asking questions about the past, and a young couple who agree to try a computer simulation of what their future as husband and wife would be like. Written by Jean-Marc Rocher <rocher@fiberbit.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

anthology | See All (1) »


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Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese | English | French

Release Date:

3 November 2000 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Tales of the Unusual See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Connections

References Lifeboat (1944) See more »

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User Reviews

 
North, South, East, West.
6 July 2006 | by rooprectSee all my reviews

I loved this film. Unlike most "Twilight Zone" movies which focus too heavily on spooky scares, this gives you the full buffet table. There are four shorts: (1) horror, (2) comedy, (3) psychological drama, (4) romance.

I read about this film on IMDb while researching the career of Momoru Hosi, who did the 3rd segment "Chess". Momuru Hosi is a talented new director who has only done one other movie, UNIVERSITY OF LAUGHS, which I recommend very highly. His contribution "Chess" is by far my favourite of the 4. It creates a very surreal atmosphere pleasing to the eye, and at the same time it tells a profound allegory of human life. Great musical score, too. This short alone is worth the price of admission.

The other 3 were also very well done with fine acting, creative plots and vivid cinematography. One thing I love about Japanese cinema is the vivid use of colours, perspective and graceful camera motion. (This is the opposite of American "reality TV" where everything is bleached and flat, and the camera operators seem to be on crack.)

In all, you've got quite a spectrum to choose from. But of course that means that if you're expecting only one genre, you'll be disappointed for the other 3/4. These 4 films were purposely selected to be as different from each other as possible, and that's exactly what you get.

I should also mention that there's a 5th short which is the "envelope" story through which the other 4 are told. This itself is not to be underestimated. You'll just love the storyteller (who is a cross between Rod Serling and a creepy yakuza), and his message, though brief, is a profound one in the end.


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