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Suicide Circle
15 people found this review helpful
Mar 11, 2012
Completed 0
Overall 6.0
Story 6.0
Acting/Cast 7.0
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 3.0
Side note: Suicide Club has a sequel. It’s called “Noriko’s Dinner Table” and is indispensable for understanding this movie and the story’s complexity.

Suicide Club is being described as a horror movie and while it does contain elements which justify the classification, it shocks with an irrational absurdness rather than by depicting nightmarish events.(Gore is present but not the central attraction.)

If I were asked to describe Suicide Club in three words it would be the following: creepy, chaotic and surreal.

The actors’ performances are convincing, but as locations are changed rapidly and attention is paid to multiple characters while none is detailedly introduced, a sole character’s portrayal is of no importance.

The music is generally appropriate, but surprisingly, positively contradictious at times.
Suicide Club also contains two full-length songs, one of them as bizarre as possible.

Why should you be watching this?
Although Suicide Club was promoted as a movie on its own, it leads to more questions than answers.
It’s part of a jigsaw and can be seen as the threshold to a ridiculously witty story which unravels in “Noriko’s Dinner Table”.
I highly recommend watching both movies, while Suicide Circle serves its purpose as a foundation, it does not fail to entertain.

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The Quiz Show 2
16 people found this review helpful
Jan 16, 2012
10 of 10 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 9.0
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 10
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 8.0
Once upon a time in dramaland in an innocent quiz show celebrities and commoners were striving for their personal dreams by doing a harmless questionnaire. But then- the show was promoted to being a live broadcast and the duck turned into a beast.

Every episode a contestant is interviewed and "incidentially" forced to reveal secrets which should never have seen the light of the day, the disclosures serve a different purpose that remain concealed for the first few episodes but slowly materialise.
The supposedly clever viewer is given baits as to the shape of the final puzzle and might be, just as me, sitting impatiently and waiting for the next clue. Thanksfully, the twists start to twist just in time to divert from the naturally repetitive nature of a quiz show and keep the spirits up.

The cast is well selected and the supposedly clever viewer can follow the little background stories of the crew. Some being more detailed and eleborated, some remaining on a superficially superficial level. The chemistry is superb and the ongoings appear real. The one bringing life to the story is Sakurai Sho, who impresses with a wax face, that seems capable of forming every expression as well as emotion. His ultra smirks might redden the cheeks of one or another old maiden.

The music is there. It usually suits the atmosphere but is neither disturbing nor outstanding, it simply suits its purpose.

Due to the twist plots (and Sakurai Sho's smirks) The Quiz Show 2 has a potential rewatch value. My humble myself thinks it could turn out to be interesting to observe the strings coming together from beginning to end while knowing the general outcome.

A clever, diverting suspense drama with an awesome cast, an intriguing story and Sakurai Sho. Highly recommended. :)

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Liar Game Reborn Special - Fukunaga VS Yokoya
14 people found this review helpful
Mar 31, 2012
1 of 1 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 7.0
Story 5.0
Acting/Cast 7.0
Music 10
Rewatch Value 1.0
Plot: The special “Fukunaga VS Yokoya” transmits the same surrealistic and mysterious vibes as its prequels due to the use of the original OST and setting.
The game itself is sufficient to mildly entertain you for an hour but it’s not up to Liar Game standards.

The main problem revolves around the question who’s going to take the lead now that Akiyama’s gone. In the first third of the special close attention is paid to Fukunaga, but later both protagonists are depicted the same, distant way, which let’s the question arise:
Why would I care?
With nobody to sympathise with left the tension drops quickly.

Actors/Characters: Yokoya doesn’t appear as mystical and especially reserved a character as in previous episodes as the entire special spotlights only upon him and Fukunaga.
Suzuki Kazuma acts well but keeps up a surreal feeling thanks to his unnatural white hair, x-ray eyes and choice of clothes.

Mushroom/Fukunaga is as crazy and cunning as ever and Kitamura Soichiro’s performance is satisfying.

Music: ¡Estupendo! The original Liar Game tracks are outstanding and magnetising as ever.

Rewatch value: None. Unless you are either having troubles following the story’s progress or enjoy watching the special from a different perspective.

To make it short: It’s an agreeable but unnecessary supplement that’s mildly entertaining but lacks the originality and cleverness of the original series starring Matsuda Shota.

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That Love Comes
14 people found this review helpful
Jan 18, 2012
12 of 12 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 4.0
Story 4.0
Acting/Cast 4.0
Music 4.0
Rewatch Value 1.0
Once upon a time in dramaland there was a little pond, very shallow and very smooth. Suddenly bubbles rose from the bottom, but they subsided even as you watched. And you walked on, while your memory of the little puddle faded.

That Love Comes isn't awful, nor bothersome or irritating, it's also not badly written, it's just plain.
Equation: Normal handsome, rich, young man versus courageous, but poor girl story minus dramatic scenes minus cuteness minus fluffy Taiwanese/Chinese craziness equals That Love Comes.
The usual up and downs occur, but so far beneath the surface of our pond that the surface is not even disturbed.

Joe Cheng's performance and likely (plus only) attraction of the drama is not one to start screaming in ecstasy, but it's not bad either. Li Fei Er, our little see rose swimming on the little pond with her comrades, stands out as she is the palest among all of them.

The Music flushes by like the light raining outdoors which helps you fall asleep and makes you feel comfortable - but the next day it's forgotten.

A rewatch value is basically non-existent. (Although it might be a good alternative for a sleeping pill.)

A drama, which is not bad, but not outstanding either, it will keep you entertained, but there is no depth and there are better versions of the same material.

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Noriko's Dinner Table
10 people found this review helpful
Mar 11, 2012
Completed 0
Overall 8.0
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 9.0
Side note: Noriko’s Dinner Table is a sequel to the movie “Suicide Club”, therefore it’s recommendable to watch latter first.

Noriko’s Dinner Table, opposed to its predecessor, is no horror movie, but a thriller. Its complex and witty story is unraveled slowly throughout the movie by having several people delineate their perspectives and contribute to a giant jigsaw.

Generally Noriko’s Dinner Table manages to reinvent itself multiple times and lets new questions arise while resolving past subjects.

Phenomena of today’s society, such as human coldness and sense of self, are being explicitly, sometimes indirectly, addressed. “Who are we?” “How do we behave towards other people?”

The actors are well chosen and substantiate a harmonious picture; their performances are convincing and earnest to the degree that it’s possible to sympathise.
The music is befitting, but not memorable.

Noriko’s Dinner Table has a high rewatch value, due to the way it’s being told, its complexity and occasional absurdness. (I stopped frequently, scribbled some notes and watched again.)

In case you are looking for a cleverly told, thought-provoking, engaging movie, which keeps you entertained- – it’s a movie definitely worth checking out. Nevertheless let me warn you: It does not fail to establish creepiness equivalent to “Suicide Club”.

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