Poison Berry in my Brain Fantasia 2015 review [Recommended]   Leave a comment

Poison_Berry_in_My_BrainPoison Berry in my Brain (2015)
Director: Yuichi Sato
Screenplay: Tomoko Aizawa, Setona Mizushiro
Cast: Yoko Maki, Hidetoshi Nishijima, Yuki Furukawa, Songha, Yo Yoshida

I guess I could start this review by listing every brain related pun I can think of but instead I’ll just say that this is not only a funny film but possibly the most scientifically accurate portrayal of what happens in the brain. In particular what happens when one is in love. Based on a manga (Heartbroken Chocolatier), the story centers on Sakurai, a 30 year old woman who’s decisions are made by a five member committee that reside in her head. The members are Yoshida (The chairman, main speaker and initiator of meetings), Ishibashi (An optimistic man), Ikeda (A pessimistic woman), Hatoko (An impulsive child) and Kishi (The note-taker who retrieves past memories). Sakurai falls hard for Saotome, a much younger 23 year old man but soon another prospect arrives in nice guy, Ochi.

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Fantasia 2015 mini reviews   Leave a comment

Mini reviews of Deadman Inferno, Ryuzo and the Seven Henchman and Kung Fu Killer after the jump.

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Port of Call Fantasia 2015 review [Recommended]   Leave a comment

port-of-callPort of Call (2015)
Director: Philip Yung
Screenplay: Philip Yung
Cast: Aaron Kwok, Jessie Li, Elaine Jin, Michael Ning, Patrick Tam

This is a sad, depressing movie but also quite engaging. This should be no surprise since the film focuses on the grisly murder of a 16 year old girl who was chopped to bits. The crime is based on a real life murder from 2008. Detective Chong is a veteran detective who’s tasked to investigate the crime, there is no body but the large amounts of blood indicate a death. Finding the body would be difficult but then the killer turns himself in and proves that he is indeed the real killer by indicating where he dumped the body parts. But it does not end there as something about the case causes Detective Chong to investigate further despite his colleagues telling him to close the case. Various flashbacks occur throughout the film showing moments from both the victim and the killer’s pasts and eventually how they came to meet.

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Gangnam Blues Fantasia 2015 review [Recommended]   Leave a comment

gangnam-bluesGangnam Blues (2015)
Director: Yoo Ha
Screenplay: Yoo Ha
Cast: Lee Min-ho, Kim Rae-won, Jung Jin-young, Kim Ji-soo, Kim Seol-hyun

This is a sprawling crime story that centers around two childhood friends, Jong Dae and Yung Gi who are both orphans. After the house they are squatting in gets demolished while they’re still inside, they get recruited by a gangster to disrupt a political meeting. However a large fight ensues with other gangsters and in the confusion the friends are separated. Years later, Yung Gi is working for another gang while Jong Dae has been adopted by a former gang boss, Gil Su who runs a laundromat with his daughter. Jong Dae eventually gets involved in gang activities related to real estate and scamming farmers out of their land in an attempt to save enough money to pay off Gil Su’s debt. Jong Dae and Yung Gi do eventually reunite and decide to cooperate to attain a better life.

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Fantasia 2015 mini reviews   Leave a comment

Mini reviews of Crimson Whale, Office and La La La at Rock Bottom after the jump.

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Haemoo (Sea Fog) Fantasia 2015 review   Leave a comment

Sea-FogHaemoo (2014)
Director: Shim Sung-bo
Screenplay: Shim Sung-bo, Bong Joon-ho
Cast: Kim Yoon-seok, Park Yu-chun, Han Ye-ri, Moon Sung-keun, Kim Sang-ho

This film uses a real life event as the basis for its story. That event being the death of illegal Chinese Korean immigrants on a fishing vessel. We first get introduced to the crew of a ship and the financial troubles some of them have that force them to take an illegal smuggling job. When the immigrants they are trying to smuggle die due to a malfunction of the old ship, the members of the crew react in different ways leading to violent conflict.

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Love and Peace Fantasia 2015 review   Leave a comment

Love_PeaceLove and Peace (2015)
Director: Sion Sono
Screenplay: Sion Sono
Cast: Hiroki Hasegawa, Kumiko Aso, Toshiyuki Nishida, Kiyohiko Shibukawa, Eita Okuno

Sion Sono films are often highly anticipated by Japanese and genre film fans. He’s shown a lot of diversity in his works with lots of violence, lots of weird stuff and lots of surprises. Love and Peace is mostly the latter two and some of the weird stuff will be a total turn-off for some while a total turn-on for Sono fanatics or those who just love Japan’s sense of wacky weirdness.

The movie is about a loser named Ryoichi who dreams to be a musician but is stuck in a job as an office clerk where all his coworkers make fun of him, except for one woman whom Ryoichi likes. It gets even worse when he purchases a little turtle whom he treats very well, that is until he flushes him down the toilet. This somehow leads to Ryoichi beginning to realize his dreams to become a rock star musician (i.e. Asian David Bowie).

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