I saw this movie a few years ago as a late night movie on TV. The movie stars Mari Atsumi who was regarded as one of the first "porno" actress in Japan, but what she shows in this movie is less than what teen idols show on TV today. The movie is a very light comedy about a rich grandma (Chouko Iida), her lascivious son (Junzaburo Ban), and a misogynistic grandson (Keizo Kawasaki) buying off a bride school, and their involvement with the pretty clerk who works at the school (Mari Atsumi). There is not much more to the story, but it was fun to see the above mentioned actors and comedians whom were popular then, and they were funnier than I had expected. The movie was nostalgic for me.
Cameron Diaz doesn't even show effort to act, but she is good as herself, and lightens up the movie.
Jay Chou as Kato is excellent, and saves this movie.
But the true savior of this movie is by the splendid (well, maybe not that much considering his ability) and effortless acting of Christoph Waltz for his accurate portrayal of Chudnofsky. There were a lot of good movies that would have been better if the villain was played by a skilled actor. The Green Hornet is an average movie but was fun because the villain's character was evil yet funny and interesting.
I saw this movie in both the original English and the Japanese dubbed version. As for this movie only, the Japanese version was better, which never was the case for all movies that I had seen. The original English dialogs were a little too violent and annoying, however the "Japanese dub-over artists" were very skilled to make this movie fun.
Finally, the true main character of this movie is the Black Beauty(s). They were beautiful! I read an article about the making of this movie that 29 Imperials, model years '65 and '66 were used、and only 3 are left in shape. The movie showed great action using the cars, but still, mottainai!!
Aibo is about a gifted, former elite detective who was disliked by the upper levels of the police organization (he is too smart) and given a position with no active work to do. He is teamed by a friendly and athletic but a little clumsy detective, and together they solve all kinds of difficult crimes. Heard of such story somewhere? Maybe, but the scenario is solid and good (most of the time), and the directors are again, most of the time, good. Seiji Izumi, the director of the gekijo-ban, is one of the main directors of the TV series. And the best part is due to Yutaka Mizutani's peculiar but believable acting (Ukyou Sugishita, the smart detective) and Yasufumi Terawaki's jocular performance (Kaoru Kameyama, Ukyou's partner), which makes this show quite impressive. These two are real actors who can really act, which cannot be seen in most of the recent TV shows in Japan with idol-like stars who cannot act properly. The co-stars (like Ittoku Kishibe, Sawa Suzuki) are also very good, and some other co-stars, who may not be famous, are real actors from stage and theaters.
Aibo gekijo-ban was made with the same cast and staff of the TV version, and with some big name guest stars. The story starts with a bomb threat to a politician and other murder cases with identical clues left at the crime scenes, which leads to a bomb threat at the Tokyo big city marathon. Ukyou and Kaoru investigate the case on their own as usual, and finds out the sad background of this crime. This is actually the whole plot of this movie, and this was on the television commercials of this movie on the TV Asahi network (one of the sponsor of the show), shown like almost every 30 minutes between the commercial breaks during April and May. The movie was good in terms of Mizutani's excellent acting, and to see a higher cost involved. But the plot was already revealed by seeing the commercials (that is why I did not check the spoiler mark), and there were much better and complicated scenarios for the TV versions. With a 10/10 for the best stories of the TV series, I will give this gekijo-ban an 8/10.
I saw this movie about a week ago as a late night movie on TV. The movie stars Mari Atsumi who was regarded as one of the first "porno" actress in Japan, but what she shows in this movie is less than what teen idols show on TV today. The movie is a very light comedy about a rich grandma (Chouko Iida), her lascivious son (Junzaburo Ban), and a misogynistic grandson (Keizo Kawasaki) buying off a bride school, and their involvement with the pretty clerk who works at the school (Mari Atsumi). There is not much more to the story, but it was fun to see the above mentioned actors and comedians whom were popular then, and they were funnier than I had expected. The movie was nostalgic for me.
This brought me good memories of Mr. Adams. As a kid about ten years old at that time, my father (who was the USA representative for Toho and manager of the Toho La Brea Theatre) and I went to the LA airport to see him off. He was going to Japan to take this movie. He was very friendly and relaxed, he was with his wife and his little boy, he looked very happy and energetic. I remember asking him, Mr. Adams, how are fight scenes taken in movies? He replied with a nice big smile and with a fighting gesture, we really fight and punch! Gasshou! meaning I join my palms together for Mr. Adams and for my late father.