japan tagged posts

Silence (2016)

silence-posterDirector: Martin Scorsese

Writer: Martin Scorsese & Jay Cocks (screenplay); Shûsaku Endô (novel)

Cast: Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver, Tadanobu Asano, Shin’ya Tsukamoto, Issei Ogata, Liam Neeson

Cert: 15

Running time: 161mins

Year: 2016



What’s the story: Two Portuguese priests journey to 17th century Japan to discover the whereabouts of a colleague who has reportedly renounced his religion. The two priests also attempt to spread Catholicism, but find danger in the ruling class attempting to drive foreign beliefs from the land, often violently.

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What’s the verdict: Even ignoring The Last Temptation of Christ, religion and chiefly Catholicism have loomed large in Scorsese’s work...

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Blu-Ray Review: Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams

akira-kurosawas-dreams-blu-ray-coverDirector: Akira Kurosawa

Writer: Akira Kurosawa

Cast: Mieko Harada, Hisashi Igawa, Martin Scorsese

Cert: PG

Running time: 119mins

Year: 2016

 


Film:
Extras: medium_5


What’s the story: Across eight vignettes, including fantastical tales of Japanese folklore and dark apocalyptic visions, director Akira Kurosawa reveals his dreams.

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What’s the verdict: Those who remember Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams release in 1990 but are only now catching up with the film itself are due for a pleasant surprise.

Originally met with a mixed response (it still holds a 55% Rotten Tomatoes rating), to modern eyes Dreams is a burst of sunshine through the current blizzard of smeary CGI pseudo-spectacle.

Split into eight separate stories, each introduced by a title and the legend “I had another dream…”, Kurosawa spir...

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Emperor

Emperor - Tommy Lee Jones, Matthew Fox, posterDirector: Peter Webber

Cast: Matthew Fox, Tommy Lee Jones, Eriko Hatsune

Cert: 12

Running time: 105mins

Year: 2013

The lowdown: Impressively mounted, old fashioned feeling take on the post-WW2 investigation into Japanese emperor Hirohito’s part in Japan’s war crimes. Lost’s Matthew Fox is the American General charged with uncovering the truth at the behest of boss General McArthur, played by a show-stealing Tommy Lee Jones. By no means the definitive account of America’s post war occupation, but as a polished “who decided it?”, this is a passable entry point into a fascinating period of Japanese/American history.

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The full verdict: The investigation into Hirohito’s war crimes complicity is a detective story worthy of Dashiell Hammett.

Secluded in his heavily guarded palace,...

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The Wolverine

Untitled-1Director: James Mangold

Cast: Hugh Jackman, Rila Fukushima, Tao Okamoto, Hal Yamanouchi, Svetlana Khodchenkova, Famke Janssen, Will Yun Lee

Cert: 12A

Running time: 126mins

Year: 2013

The lowdown: The Wolverine is back and this time he’s clawsome! Cinema’s favourite X-Man gets a second stab at his own movie and all involved are determined to make amends for the spectacularly dull, clumsily titled X-Men: Origins – Wolverine. Drawing inspiration from a classic 1980s Japan-set comic series has re-energised the character, and director James Mangold shoots the adventure as a gritty yakuza thriller. Jackman may be on his sixth outing as hirsute grumpy-boots Logan, but attacks the part with claws fully extended. Best superhero film of the summer, and who would have thought that?

The Wolverine - Jackman, holeThe Wolverine - Jackman, funeral

The full...

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