spurious: (ひとつだけのhappiness)
just call me L. ([personal profile] spurious) wrote2008-03-26 10:48 pm
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JAPANESE MOVIE REVIEW POST

This is part two of our reviews post: j-movies. These are all live action, with one exception. As in the last post, rating icons are title-tagged for clarity.

Key:
/ we have rated the dramas on a scale of 0-5, using hearts. all or part of this is at least a little scary.
contains "adult themes". By this we usually mean rape, incest, or overrunning perviness. somebody is dying, a death occurs, or someone is in the hospital.
the subtitles available for this are bad, or there are no subs. Usually, this just provides more lolz. parts of this are unintentionally hilarious.
we wouldn't have watched this if one or more people we like weren't in it. contains adorable small children.
contains gayness, either overt or subtextual. we did not finish this, but feel qualified to offer our opinion on it anyway. Sometimes this only applies for one of us.
contains angst. contains crack, more than the usual alloted amount of jdrama crack.
romance is a major plot element. youth stories. You know how in jdramas characters are always saying "ah, youth!" Yeah.
this icon means that Laura slept through all or part of this. This doesn't necessarily mean it's bad, as Laura tends to fall asleep pretty easily, but it does denote a certain slowness or sleepy quality. this show is best viewed while drunk.
Laura: [livejournal.com profile] spurious Emily: [livejournal.com profile] happiestwhen


MOVIES

Akihabara@deep

Who knew giant chupa chup lollipops were integral to Akihabara@deep?
We had really high hopes for this, partly because we love the drama, and partly because Hiroki Narimiya is in it. Sadly, it didn't live up to our expectations at all. The villain in this becomes significantly more creepy and less lovable than he is in the series, which really hampered our enjoyment of the movie. It really lacks the lighthearted spirit of the series, and the whole thing feels almost gloomy.
Downloads

Battle Royale

"So today's lesson is, you kill each other."
This movie is based on a novel by the same name, set in a militaristic alternative Japan, where a class of high-schoolers are sent to an island and forced to kill each other in a bizarre war-game. We would give this movie a five if it weren't for the ending, which we felt went past unintentional lolz and into unnecessary ridiculousness. Fujiwara Tatsuya delivers an excellent performance (he was nominated for best actor in the japanese academy awards). This movie is incredibly controversial, partly because it's chock-full of excessive violence, and partly because there's an underlying political critique. If you're not squeamish about violence, though, we highly recommend it.
Ask, and we'll provide you with downloads.

Battle Royale II

A perfect example of the really bad sequel.
We absolutely loved the first film, so we had high hopes for this one, but it...totally fails to deliver. The violence is even more senseless, and the plot itself is so full of holes it's almost as though it was a participant in the game. The first movie stands on its own just fine, and this was really unnecessary. We ended up turning it off about halfway through.
Ask, and we'll provide you with downloads.

Boku wa Imouto ni Koi wo Suru

The title translates to "I'm in love with my sister."
This movie kind of drags, but it's quite good nonetheless. It's about a set of twins who have a relationship. We feel it really handles the issue of incest really well, and it's also very pretty. Matsujun's performance as the brother is really great, and there are also two actors from Prodai in it. We actually watched this unsubbed, but it has subtitles now. It's very pretty, featuring piggyback rides, angsty bike rides through a field, and scenes on the school roof.
Downloads

Boy's Love

Imagine a fic where Oshitari gives Taka-san a blowjob in a bathroom.
This was the first of Saito Takumi's three recent gay movies with fellow Tenimyu actors. It got a lot of hype in fandom before it came out, but it's really not very good. Watch this if you enjoy gay and eye candy, but don't expect much in the way of plot. Also, we have not watched this subbed, so that may have contributed to confusion about the plot.
Downloads

Colourful

This movie is about a lot of people who aren't Koki getting molested.
This is actually an animated film, but we're putting it here because we watched it with the expectation that it was actually a live action film that involved Koki getting tied up and molested by his brother. Unfortunately, that is a different Colourful (the Koki one is apparently impossible to find), and this one is basically a voyeuristic acid trip. Good thing that subject is also relevant to our interests! We aren't sure if there is supposed to be a plot or overarching message; it's a lot of vignettes about sad Japanese men trying to look up girls' skirts. For what it does, though, it does it well.
We've never found downloads. Netflix it if you really want to see it.

Cosmic Rescue

The Japanese version of Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century.
This movie stars Morita Go, Okada Junichi, and Miyake Ken, of V6. It's about the three of them working on a spaceship, and for what it is, it's absolutely wonderful. It's one of those inspirational do-your-best, stick it to the man kind of stories, which we really love, and all of the boys are really great in it. Miyake Ken's acting improves exponentially when he's with other members of V6.
Downloads

Death Note I

Ohno gets a Death Note.
This is the first of two live action adaptations of Death Note, and you'll probably want to watch the second one right after you watch this. It stars Fujiwara Tatsuya as Light, Matsuyama Kenichi as L, and Toda Erika as Misa. Fujiwara Tatsuya really reminds Laura of Ohno, which made his casting as Light a little difficult to get used to; however, he really does pull the role off convincingly, despite the fact that his eyes don't glow red like Light's do in the anime. If you've read/watched Death Note, be warned that this deviates pretty strongly from that in some points. The ending of this movie is also kind of ridiculous. However, there are great performances across the board, and it's a pretty decent adaptation. It might be a bit hard to follow if you are not familiar with Death Note.
Downloads

Death Note II

Ohno's adventures continue.
This movie focuses more on the canon we know and love, thus the higher rating. Matsuyama Kenichi does an amazing job as L, somehow managing to bring to life a character we thought could never be portrayed by an actual human being. The ending is definitely different from the manga/anime, and there are certainly problems with it, but all in all it's quite satisfying. It feels like a total triumph of justice.

Densha Otoko

Half of this movie takes place on Japan's version of 4chan.
This is a wonderfully unconventional love story about an otaku who meets a woman on the train. It's really sweet, the acting is superb, and it's really well-paced. We think the main character is someone that fandomers especially can relate to, what with the whole nerdy internet-subculture thing. The movie leaves you feeling really uplifted and happy with the world.
For some reason we can't find downloads for this, but if someone wants it Emily can upload.

The Great Happiness Space: Tales of an Osaka Love Thief

Don't watch this expecting flying rose petals.
This is a documentary, filmed in Osaka, about Host Clubs. While all of the hosts are quite attractive, this isn't about the eye candy because it's really depressing. It's a bleak and honest look at the culture of host clubs that will open your eyes to the world beyond Ouran. Sadly, it did not actually curb our desire to go to a host club, but it definitely made us think. If you're at all interested in Japanese culture, we highly recommend this fascinating look at a subset of human relationships.
Downloads

Happy! (1 & 2)

Junno growing taller is the best thing to happen in these movies.
This is a set of TV movies featuring Junno and tennis. The plot is incredibly frustrating and also kind of tangential, and the ends of each movie are so unsatisfying you will want to scream. However, Junno is really adorable as the romantic lead. Unless you're a big Junno fan, don't watch this: it's pretty disappointing.
Downloads (Happy 1 only; we can't find 2 at the moment)

Hard Luck Hero

See the same illegal Thai boxing match over and over...and over.
This movie features all of V6 in an incredibly convoluted story centering around a boxing match and culminating in a car crash. The way it's structured seems to be trying for artsy or "experimental", but it mostly makes it really boring and frustrating. This movie has a lot of untapped potential, which really annoyed us while watching. However, there is a really great scene between Morita Go and Miyake Ken, who happen to be our V6 otp.
Downloads

Hold Up Down

Aka Surfing on Jesus.
This is another V6 movie, with the same director as Hard Luck Hero, but this movie is infinitely better-crafted. It also features car crashes, insane coincidences, and interweaving plots, but to much more success. The first 2/3 are tightly-wound, totally absurd, comedic gold, but after that it goes into a really bizarre homage to the Shining. After that, it picks back up the awesome. This movie features Okada dressed as a homeless person and being frozen and also mistaken for Jesus. Out of all the V6 things we've reviewed, we think this one is most suitable for people who are not actually fans: it's an entertaining movie on its own.
Downloads

Imagine

Pants guy's broken wings...
This is Hiroki Narimiya's self-directed short film. We think it's really revealing about what kind of person he is. There's no real plot; it's a series of really pretty short scenes of him doing random stuff in a really artsy and strange way. It involves wings, body paint, and him in a bathtub. For a while, Emily had a 60+ icon set from this film. It's really entertaining.
Downloads

Itsuka no Kimi e

In this movie we ship Saito with himself.
This, in our opinion, is the best of Saito's gay movies. However, it's also the only one we watched with subs, so that might contribute to our preference. The plot of this one is definitely most appealing to us, and it has a really interesting plot twist. Also, this has a happier ending than a lot of gay movies do. There are a lot of elements to the plot that we really enjoy, including wee drukenness, playing with kittens, photography, and Saito in extraordinarily tight pants.
Downloads

Ju-on (The Grudge)

Spend some time with our little friend.
We figured we should watch this movie, since everyone talks about it. We found it not as scary as we expected, but there were still a lot of really terror-inducing moments. The little boy (who we nicknamed our little friend) is fucking frightening and may live in our room. Parts of it can be really hilarious if you get past the creep factor. We don't really remember the plot; it's your standard ghost in the house type of story.
Ask, and we'll provide you with downloads.

Kiroii Namida

What the fuck are yellow tears anyway?
This movie features all of Arashi, in their most boring possible roles. We've only watched the first half hour, but it was seriously boring. It seemed like they were trying to be serious and mature, which just doesn't appeal to us at all. Also, they are not really looking their best in it. It's worth noting that we watched this expecting a pick-me-up because we were in a bad mood, and it did not provide that at all.
Downloads

Lovely Complex

"Yoroshi-QUEEN!"
We've never watched/read Lovely Complex, but we felt that this movie stands on its own perfectly well. It stars Teppei and Fujisawa Ema in a hilarious romance of a tall girl and short boy. It's very cracky, but the crack feels perfectly measured to the style, and it doesn't overwhelm at all. We really love this movie. It's set in Osaka, and the style is really infused with Kansai-ish comedy.
We can't find downloads for this, but we'll be really happy to upload it if anyone wants.

Nana

Something we enjoyed for the girls in it rather than just the guys.
Based on the manga of the same name, this is the story of two girls named Nana: one of them is an aspiring rock singer, the other is a meek country girl. They end up sharing an apartment, and also sharing a lot of femmeslash-y subtext. The plot is a little thin, and some of the supporting roles are not acted incredibly well, but it has Hiroki Narimiya and Matsuyama Kenichi (L in the Death Note movies), and Mika Nakashima is really hot as one of the Nanas. Also, the music is great. As long as you don't expect too much, this is enjoyable.
Downloads

One Missed Call

"...that's not my ringtone."
We were really annoyed that this movie scared us because the plot is thinner than...Kame. We only watched it because the previews for the Western version were so lolzy, and you probably don't want to watch it unless you really want a jumpy horror movie that doesn't require you to think much. Basically, it's about a cell-phone-ghost-killer, which should explain our rating well enough.
Ask, and we can provide you with downloads.

Oyayubi Sagashi

The title of this movie translates to "give me back my thumb."
In this movie, a group of friends are playing a superstitious game centered around this room, and one of them gets sucked into the room. Years later, Miyake Ken decides to confront the room and save the former love of his life, unleashing a series of "mysterious deaths." This movie is rather terrible. Miyake Ken's acting is as bad as it is in Neverland, and plotholes run rampant. If you want a lolzy horror ride, you may want to give this movie a try. This movie also features Matsuyama Kenichi in a supporting role that we're sure he'd like to forget.
Downloads

Pikanichi

"TOPLESS!"
This story centers around five boys, played by the five members of Arashi who live in a really insular Tokyo suburb. Coming from different backgrounds and different interests and personalities, these five band together with their enjoyment of retarded mischief and mutual quest to pick up girls. The hair and wardrobe are extremely questionable in some cases, and the storyline is above and beyond cracky, but it's a really fun, youthful story. Also, you get to see the members of Arashi watch porn together. This is a must-watch if you have any interest in Arashi: it's a good primer for what they are about.
Downloads

Prince of Tennis

This movie is mada mada.
Prince of Tennis, we think, really needs no introduction. We had really high expectations for this movie because the trailer was awesome (and had the great music of Yellow Cherry). The actual movie, however, totally failed to deliver. The plot changes they made were really unnecessary, and, we learned, magical anime tennis does not translate well into live action. Though it does have Shirota Yuu reprising his myu-role as Tezuka, the Hyotei actors didn't carry over, which means this film is sadly lacking in Saito Takumi. However, cinepuri's one redeeming quality was providing us with this.
Downloads

Sono Toki wa Kare ni Yoroshiku

Emily enjoys things where people have terminal illnesses.
Laura slept through this entire movie. Emily, however, really likes it. It features the actress who played Rei in Prodai and the actor who plays the lead in Densha Otoko as two of three childhood friends who grow up and grow apart, and one of them gets a terminal illness. It features a fort in the forest, running after trains, and a plant shop called "trash." (This is the only thing Laura remembers from the movie.) The acting is very good and the storyline is a pretty, bittersweet romance.
Downloads

Sukitomo

Everyone is in love with Saito, including us.
This is another of Saito Takumi's gay movies, which we watched unsubbed. This time he's gay with Fuji, aka Hiroki Aiba. In this story, Saito plays a boxer (lol), and both Aiba and his sister are in love with him, causing angsty tension. Exciting scenes include: sparklers on the beach and Aiba pretty much stalking Saito. We're actually not clear on the plot since we watched it unsubbed, and it's pretty slow and dialogue-heavy, but it's subbed now. Also, there's no actual gay payoff in the form of kissing/physical contact.
Downloads

Tokyo Tower

We learn, yet again, that Matsujun plays straight surprisingly well.
This is a movie about Okada Junichi and Matsujun getting naked and getting it on with older women. We feel that pretty much says it all. The plot is not all that engaging, and the subtitles lead to some lolz and some confusion (for example, we spent a large part of the second half thinking that Okada had killed himself). It's half-romance and half Matsujun being a playboy asshole, but the acting is very good and it's relatively entertaining.
Downloads

Again, we'd really love to hear your thoughts/discusssion and also recommendations for other movies we have not yet watched! :D

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