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Assassination Classroom
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Nov 24, 2016
Nov 24, 2016
  • Overall 7.5
  • Story 7.0
  • Acting/Cast 7.5
  • Music 7.5
  • Rewatch Value 7.0
Well, just got through watching the incredibly zany Yamada Ryosuke movie “Assassination Classroom ”(Ansatsu Kyoshitsu), a movie about a class of misfit students that are recruited by the government to kill their teacher, an alien creature posing as an instructor who tells them that if they cannot successfully kill him before the end of the semester, he will destroy the earth...

Yeah, the film was just about as silly as it sounds, read more but there was one BIG perk of watching it- throughout the show, they kept introducing new government assassins posing as transfer teachers and students, and among them was an extremely hot and sexy bombshell named “ Irina Jelavic”, played by pretty Jiyoung, she late of K-pop group KARA!

Damn, gotta say, when I first began watching Assassination Classroom, I didn’t even recognize her- the blonde wig was an obvious throw-off, but additionally Jiyoung was probably the last actress I expected to see here…
I guess I shouldn’t have been TOO surprised, though, since she played another little hottie in the equally crazy monster-in-the-classroom drama JIGOKU SENSEI NUBE! Mmmm, She’s been lookin’ HELLA fine!!!
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Still Walking
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Nov 24, 2016
Nov 24, 2016
  • Overall 10
  • Story 10
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 10
  • Rewatch Value 10
This was one of those laid-back “absorb the atmosphere” kind of flicks, ones that take the time to show random things like an old man walking down a hill or a train clicking across the scenery…and it reminded me not just a little of the terrific Hiroshi Abe/Tomoko Yamaguchi drama “Going My Home”: Same story of a city resident going back to visit his relations in a small old-fashioned town, and once read more there, sitting back and taking in the slowed down pace on the town. Heck, they even got YOU to play his younger sister in both of them!

Yui and Abe’s acting skills are impeccable and the way they play off each other is captivating! Actually, everyone was really great, such natural and organic scenes which were composed mostly of dialog, GREAT dialog which grew and simmered like real conversations… so realistic, at times if seemed like I was watching a hidden camera video recording of some family’s life!

Watching this has really reinforced my Yui Natsukawa love, man…she was so doggone pretty and delicate in this one, not at all like the tough realist Natsumi Hayakawa (her character in Kekkon Dekinai Otoko), but both really great characters. And of course, no matter who she plays, her characters always have those signature dimples, and in fact, there's a scene where Mother (played excellently by the awesome Kiki Kirin) even comments, "Oh, you have cute dimples!" LOLOL

PS. Was really cool to realize the line “Aruitemo, Aruitemo” used as the title of this movie came from none other than the immensely gorgeous Japan chanteuse Ayumi Ishida’s song “Blue Light Yokohama”, how cool is THAT!!!
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Vampire in Love
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Nov 24, 2016
Nov 24, 2016
  • Overall 4.0
  • Story 3.5
  • Acting/Cast 8.0
  • Music 5.0
  • Rewatch Value 2.0
Checked out the 2010 Mirei Kiritani movie “Koisuru Vampire” because a tale of a teenage girl vampire brought up without human interaction who meets and falls in love with a mortal boy and makes it her mission to find him again in the real world sounded like it would yield some interesting story-lines...

Somehow though, once Kiira (Mirei) hooks up with the boy as a teenager, the show turned into a drama read more about a girl who uses all her love to convince the boy that his singing and guitar playing is awesome and he can win a talent show, if only he'd believe in himself. Yeah, they managed to stick a generic, clichéd storyline into this movie, just like they did with The Girl Who Leapt Thru Time. I mean, they DID eventually get around to the whole “vampire” thing at the end, but by then I almost didn’t care, LOL.

Plus Points for Mirei’s super-cuteness, but I gotta tell you, for a vampire movie, a good 80% of this could have been just a regular teen romance flick! I guess that was the demographic they were going for? OK.
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Letters from Kanai Nirai
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Nov 24, 2016
Nov 24, 2016
  • Overall 9.0
  • Story 8.0
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 10
  • Rewatch Value 9.0
This was such a sweet movie (naturally, any movie that has Okinawa as the backdrop is going to be breezy and laid back) and I how even back in 2005 Aoi Yu was just completely enveloping herself in her roles- she is SO believable as Fuuki you really feel like you know her and are along with her on her journey.
I have to say that I pretty much guessed the plot read more of Letters from Kanai Nirai right away- a few years ago, there was a essay on NPR’s “This American Life” that told the true story of a correspondence between Mother and Daughter that was almost exactly what transpired in the movie...though that ended on a more bitter note than the Aoi Yu film which was filled with warmth and love.

Aoi Yu, she’s still amazing me as always!
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Grasshopper
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Nov 24, 2016
Nov 24, 2016
  • Overall 8.0
  • Story 8.0
  • Acting/Cast 8.5
  • Music 8.0
  • Rewatch Value 8.0
There’s a war going on between the Contract Killers of Japan between an underground Mob Boss named Terahata , his son Junior, and all the various Crimelord Rivals.

Lots of great action scenes in this one and so many intriguing characters, and it becomes a madhouse of murder as each killer becomes either hunted or hunter, switching back and forth in an intricate game of cat-and-mouse til you aren't sure WHO to read more root for!

All this, Nanao, adorably cutesy Aimi Satsukawa as a ditsy former-student of Suzuki’s who gets accidentally involved with the whole brouhaha herself, and even a cameo with Kumiko Aso as the wife of one of the assassins!
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Nov 24, 2016
Nov 24, 2016
  • Overall 9.5
  • Story 7.0
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 8.0
  • Rewatch Value 9.5
This was a fairly “By The Numbers” tearjerker, but I love Keiko, and as usual, her acting lends to very likeable and believable characters…I was taken with Tsubasa from the moment I saw her. This film was heartbreaking for me not so much for its grand, tragic end, but more for the parts where you see Tsubasa going through her everyday life coping bravely with her handicap (doing her errands in her read more wheelchair, doing housework with the use of only her right arm), and the footage of her shortly after her accident when she was first going through the arduous and painful task of rehabilitation was harrowing and yet so admirable to watch.

Besides Keiko and Ryo Nishikido, Dakishimetai featured an all-star ensemble cast, including Eriko Sato and Aya Hirayama, albeit in minor roles.
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Judge!
1 people found this review helpful
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Nov 24, 2016
Nov 24, 2016
  • Overall 9.0
  • Story 9.0
  • Acting/Cast 9.5
  • Music 9.0
  • Rewatch Value 10
Have to say that after watching the morose and meandering Kitagawa Keiko/Fukada Kyoko psychological thriller “Roommate,” the other week, I’ve been dying to see Keiko in a more fun role, and here we have her in the wacky comedy “Judge!” along with Satoshi Tsumabuki as two CM agency employees playing husband and wife while attending the prestigious Santa Monica CM Grand Prix in America.

“Judge!” is clearly Satoshi Tsumabuki’s movie and Keiko read more has an admittedly lesser role in it, but every scene she’s in, she just lights up with that sassy energy of hers! Whenever a scene would play, I’d find myself delightfully rewinding her parts over and over- Man, I do love this girl so much! A good, fun movie to watch over the weekend!
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The Murder of Snow White
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Nov 24, 2016
Nov 24, 2016
  • Overall 9.0
  • Story 9.0
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 8.0
  • Rewatch Value 9.0
Watched 02 Oct, 2014
Just finished watching the movie The Snow White Murder Case (Shirayuki hime Satsujin Jiken), and what an awesome film it was! A true Murder Mystery proper, this movie tells the tale of two women, one shy and homely and the other beautiful and dazzling. They’ve worked together for the company that manufactures a popular “Snow White” Beauty Soap, and when the beautiful girl, Miki Noriko (played by pretty read more Nanao) is discovered dead, having been stabbed multiple times, killed and set ablaze, the case is dubbed the “Snow White” Murder by the press.

I was thoroughly entertained throughout this whole movie, and my GOSH was it stylishly directed! Every shot was done with a very artistic point of view, and the opening overhead scene of the beautiful Miki Noriko laying dying on the forest floor as her slowing pulse sends spurts of blood out of her gaping wounds is an artistic masterpiece worthy of Hitchcock himself!

And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention how chock-full of beautiful girls there are in this movie! Besides the aforementioned Inoue Mao, Renbutsu Misako, and Nanao, we’ve also got appearances by other fetching actresses, including Tanimura Mitsuki, Ono Erena, and the always scene-stealing Shihori Kanjiya! Ah yes, a flick DEFINITELY worth watching!!!

BTW, it always amazes me how much personality Mao Inoue exudes in her roles. No matter what she does, you always tend to find yourself liking her character, even it that character is the main subject of a brutal murder! What an actress!
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Why Don't You Play In Hell?
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Nov 24, 2016
Nov 24, 2016
  • Overall 7.0
  • Story 5.0
  • Acting/Cast 9.0
  • Music 8.5
  • Rewatch Value 7.0
The highly explosive and bloody Why Don’t You Play In Hell (Jigoku de Naze Warui), the supercharged tale of a former child-star mob daughter named Michiko caught between two rival mob families and a troop of amateur filmmakers, all of whom have one thing uniting them: to make the cinematic masterpiece that will stand the test of time! The movie starts out quirky and eccentric,(think Miki Satoshi) but slowly but surely as read more the film moves along, the movie gets weirder and weirder, til it cumulates in the most absolutely over-the-top looney tunes shoot out for the ages! A truly WTF movie if there ever was one!
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The Lightning Tree
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Nov 24, 2016
Nov 24, 2016
  • Overall 10
  • Story 9.0
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 9.0
  • Rewatch Value 10
Watched 29 Jan, 2014
Man, I have just finished watching the most awesomest movie! Years ago I saw a super fun episode of Kuwazu Girai featuring Okada Masaki and one of my very, very favorite actresses, Aoi Yu, who were at the time promoting a movie called Raiou (The Lightning Tree) and the couple was so much fun and seemed to get along so well that when I found the movie up read more for grabs, I downloaded it right away!

First thing I gotta say is MAN, this movie is NOTHING like what the synopses I’d been reading had indicated- far from a typical romance separation by class, Raiou took that basic premise and took a MAJOR left turn with it, turning the movie into one featuring not only romance but Action, Adventure, and Human Drama- Beyond the tale of a high class young nobleman falling in love with a peasant girl, we’ve got the male lead Narimichi (Okada Masaki) as a prince plagued by illnesses that not only make his sickly but prone to bouts of delirium as well, meeting Rai (Aoi Yu), a gruff wild-child raised in the mountains by the assassins who stole her away from her family when she was just a baby. Put these two together and you’ve got a whole new tale on an old tale!

And the second and probably most important thing about Raiou is the awesome acting, ESPECIALLY on the part of Aoi Yu, my GOSH can this chick ACT!!!! MAN, her scenes were always so gripping, emotional and intense- I have to say that by the end of the movie, I was just DRAINED! Man, NOBODY sells a character better than her, NOBODY! What will this girl do NEXT?!
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For Love's Sake
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Nov 24, 2016
Nov 24, 2016
  • Overall 8.0
  • Story 6.5
  • Acting/Cast 9.0
  • Music 10
  • Rewatch Value 8.0
Watched 27 Apr, 2013
I’ve just seen a J-movie that is such a mish-mash of genres that it's end result must be one of the most unusual amalgams ever! This movie has it all: Romance, Roughnecking, Triumph and Tragedy, and it’s all set to campily enthusiastic SONG AND DANCE!

For reals, when I sat down to watch AI TO MAKOTO (For Love's Sake), I was only in it for the sweet babe-ness read more of its main star Emi Takei, but as soon as I saw the opening scene where delinquent bad boy Makoto (played by Satoshi Tsumabuki) beats up a rival gang all the while singing and DANCING, I knew I was in for SOME movie! Seriously, this was the Jets fighting the Sharks all over again!

I have to say that this a pretty innovative flick, and though the songs seem to break out at the most inopportune times, some of them are in fact pretty catchy, it was a thrill to hear Emi Takei singing her sweet proclamation of love to Makoto, and I have special fondness for the dark, drawling, song “Dreams Bloom at Night” which rival-love-interest Yuki (Ono Ito) hypnotically purrs to Makoto to take him away from innocent Ai’s arms…

Ai To Makoto is really like a Manga brought to life, and with waltzing Gang Members, Angry Singing Parents and enemy students brawling at the drop of a hat, it’s sometimes hard to take things seriously! But just like Romeo and Juliet (which West Side Story was based on , of course), this story has the shadow of TRAGEDY looming all over it, and you just KNOW that our heroes and heroines will not come out of it unscathed…

Ah, but let us not bring the zany vibes down! The Verdict for Ai To Makoto: Highly Original movie with an insane amount of nuttiness. Camp Factor: High, Emi Takei Cuteness factor: Maximum! Cautiously Recommended Viewing!!!
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Nov 24, 2016
Nov 24, 2016
  • Overall 8.5
  • Story 4.0
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 6.0
  • Rewatch Value 9.0
Watched 14 Apr, 2013

So the other day over lunch, my friend was telling me about these weird clips that him and his friends watch on youtube at work from this Japanese Movie called FUNKY FOREST. He tried to describe the show to me, stories of deformed humans with weird powers, etc, which sounds positively cartoony to me. I ask, “Is it Animated?” He says no. “Is it like a Super-Hero type?” read more He says, “Dude, I just gotta send you the clip. It’s too weird to explain.”

That evening he sends me a clip and it’s of an old guy with extended boobs shooting milk at a girl trying to hit it with a tennis racket, then he starts pulling these alien pod things out of his shorts and begins throwing them at her which stick to her like leeches which are revealed to have humanoid features under their hide…. My mouth DROPPED open in a kind of a "WHAAAAAA!???" as I rubbed my eyes in disbelief at what I’d just seen! What da HELL was I WATCHING??? My friend said that it would be weird. WEIRD!? This is the most BIZARRE freakin’ thing I’ve ever seen in my life! Eccentric Individuals, Electronics with Orifices, Placated Fetal Creatures, Slimy Living Instruments, Secret Space Agents AND First Contact with an Alien Race, this was Japan's Cinematic ZENITH of Nuttiness!!!

And MAN, If I thought I couldn’t be more surprised by the movie’s absolute KRAZEENESS, I was even MORE surprised when I began scrolling through some of the other clips and saw actors I RECOGNIZED in it! And these weren’t unknown b-list actors either- these were some of best-known actors out there, like Rinko Kikuchi, Kaho, Fukushii Kazue, Kase Ryo and adorable Chizuru Ikewaki! What in the HECK were they doing here? Gads, that meant I HAD TO ACTUALLY SIT DOWN AND WATCH THE WHOLE MOVIE, if only to see what exactly the HELL they were DOING here!

Well, in the end, I’m STILL not sure if I ever figured out what was going on, but WOW, WHAT A FLICK!! Not only Did I get to see these actors in the wackiest situations ever, this movie actually introduced me to a bunch of new BABES to lust after, among them beauties like Ono Machiko (whom I’d actually just seen in JOKER Yuzurenai Sasokan), Takahashi Mariko (as a breathy sultry class student named Yoshiko), the adorable Nana Shimoda and Aoi Miura as hapless victims, and ESPECIALLY stunningly gorgeous Erika Nishikado as Notti, the dreamy, nature-lovin’ muse of Ryo Kase’s Extra-Terrestrial obsessed Takafumi!

Girls like this (and the aforementioned Ikewaki et al) were the primary force that made me stick around watching the movie even as the situations got stranger and STRANGER!! Though in any other movie that got THIS wacky I would have bailed, I just HAD to stick around for these girls...And stick around I did- and I GOTTA SAY, in the end, it was a good thing because Funky Forest turned out to be one of the most FREAKIN' FUNNIEST, INNOVATIVE, IMAGINATIVE, and CRACKY MOVIES OUT THERE!!!

I’m not even kidding- though some parts of the movie veered off into long, spacey drawn out intermissions (some musical and some literal, yes, LITERAL intermissions), some of the stories were downright HILARIOUS, especially faves like the “Babbling Hot-Springs Vixens” stories with Chizuru Ikewaki, Kazue Fukiishi and Machiko Ono as non-stop chattering salesladies taking a break at an onsen, where a good story is the goal and a tale with no point gets you a beatin’…

…and the OTHER arc I just DUG was the super FUN “Home Room!!!!!!!” stories where the students are charismatic, energetic and outspoken, and their teacher (played by Terajima Susumu in what may be the only non-Yakuza role I’ve ever seen him in) is the coolest instructor any Hall of Education ever had! Every day a student is invited to tell his or her tale in front of the class and the room reaction is never anything short of explosive!

FUNKY FOREST~THE FIRST CONTACT, or, rather, it’s original Japanese Title Naisu No Mori is an abstract Alien + UFO Speculation Movie of sorts, and that’s about as coherent a synopsis as you’re likely to get- for whatever the bigger story here, it’s for SURE that the ride of GETTING THERE is far more integral to THIS ship than any silly thing like a COHERENT PLOT!! A fun, FUN Movie!!!
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Thermae Romae
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Nov 24, 2016
Nov 24, 2016
  • Overall 10
  • Story 10
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 8.0
  • Rewatch Value 10
I'll tell you one thing- they really did a good casting job in Thermae Romae, specifically, if you’re going to have Japanese Man playing a Roman, Hiroshi Abe, with his strong features, makes an excellent choice! His calling the Japanese People he meets members of a strange “Flat-Faced” race had me howling with laughter! And of course, if you’re going to have a girl playing both a Roman beauty AND a modern-age read more dork, there’s no better choice than Aya Ueto! Ah, in the end, I have to say it was a most satisfying Flick!
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The Wings of the Kirin
1 people found this review helpful
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Nov 24, 2016
Nov 24, 2016
  • Overall 8.0
  • Story 8.0
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 9.0
  • Rewatch Value 8.0
Just finished watching the Hiroshi Abe movie KIRIN NO TSUBASA (The Wings of the Gryphon), a crime drama that I originally grabbed becasue I mistakenly thought it was a Yui Aragaki Movie. Aragaki IS in the movie, but she was more part of an (admittedly stellar) ensemble cast than a starring role, but it didn't even matter because I was captivated thoughout the movie anyway! If there's one thing that's been proven, read more when times are tough and things seem hopeless, Hiroshi Abe is THE MAN when it comes to cracking the cases and bringing the guilty to justice!

Strangely enough, though I really enjoyed Abe's crime drama SHINZANMONO, I had no IDEA that The Wings Of The Gryphon was a movie featuring the characters from it! I simply thought Hiroshi Abe , Junpei Mizubata, etc, wre playing stereotypical crime drama roles that I've seen them play a hundred times before! You would have thought the characters NAMES would have tipped me off, but honestly, I didn't remember what any of them were! LOL
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Helter Skelter
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Nov 24, 2016
Nov 24, 2016
  • Overall 6.0
  • Story 5.0
  • Acting/Cast 9.0
  • Music 9.0
  • Rewatch Value 4.0
I may be the most clueless moviegoer out there, but I swear that when I got the new Sawajiri Erika movie HELTER SKELTER, it was solely because I’d read that the movie starred her as a supermodel/actress/celebrity and figured I’d get to see Erika in some Pretty n Sexy outfits looking Hot as Hell…well, I got that, and MORE, as anyone who’s even briefly perused the reviews knows, never mind the pretty read more outfits-this is the movie where Erika went ALL OUT, burning a path of hotness that dubbed everything she’s done before as “tame’!

From the get go we see Erika duked out in the most salacious of outfits a la red garters and panties, and even as I was marveling at the sight, thinking she’d really upped the notch of sexiness, she was moving on to the next big “Heart Attack” moment for me, and the depravity didn’t stop there! By the time the movie had gone about halfway into the story, I has seen Erika in just about every imaginable sexy scenario, leaving me with an open mouth and glazed look on my face, thinking, “This girl sure knows how to generate a COMEBACK MOVIE!”

Like I said, I initially checked out this movie to see Erika as a model wearing model-type outfits, and I am happy to say that in that, they wildly succeded- every scene is chock full of Erika in tight flowery bikinis, lacy lingerie, svelte suits and sultry dresses. I was in screencapping heaven!

Sadly, as the movie’s story progressed, Helter Skelter began to be less a tale of the scary world of plastic surgery and more into a decidedly “sci-fi” genre flick (no “regular” plastic surgery here, there operations are executed with strange Orwellian methods with side effects that ring more Horror than Drama!) and by the time the backwards-walking midgets came out (for reals, yo.) I knew this movie had turned into a David Lynchian Psychedelic Trip and from there, my interest dwindled…

Too bad, the first half of the movie seemed to be grounded in a very realistic backdrop and I thought it was going to be a human drama study about the pressures celebrities have and the lengths they go through to stay in the public eye (I guess that is the message, in a twisted way), having Helter Skelter turn into another arthouse-y project just left me disappointed, and Sexy Sawajiri Erika aside, can’t say this show has much more that I’d go back for. Though I WILL be back for said Sexy Sawajiri Erika, you can best bet THAT!
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