Room Laundering / ルームロンダリング [Rumu Rondaringgu] (2018)
DIRECTOR & WRITER: Kenji Katagiri
WRITER: Tatsuya Umemoto
CAST: Elaiza Ikeda, Kaoru Mitsumune, Jo Odagiri, Kiyohiko Shibukawa
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Tomoo Ezaki
SOUND DESIGNER: Fumihiko Yanagiya
EDITOR: Mitsuo Nishio
Next screening: Sat July 21, 2018; 11:45 AM
When someone dies in a house or apartment, the landlord is obligated to tell prospective renters that a death occurred but luckily the law does not stipulate how many subsequent tenants need to be notified. Miko is a young reclusive woman who is paid to stay at places where deaths have occurred until a subsequent renter can be found. However, she is actually able to see the ghost of the recently deceased at each place, which proves rather irritating to her.
Okay that synopsis makes this movie sound depressing but while there are certainly sad moments and a dark opening sequence, it’s actually mostly a quirky comedy and sort of a coming of age story in the sense that Miko (Elaiza Ikeda) starts out as somebody who has shut herself away from almost all human contact but then gradually opens up and becomes more engaged with ghosts at first and then real people. Ikeda does a fine job as Miko starting out stone-faced and brooding then gradually becoming more radiant as she lets little smiles or laughs escape her until she willingly does both. Her character is given a very sad background, which feels almost too much. The story is definitely cloying and pushes the tearjerking scenes hard but for the most part it’s not too overdone (although that could be up for debate).
Continue reading “Room Laundering – film review – Fantasia 2018”
Tremble All You Want / 勝手にふるえてろ [Katte ni Furuetero] (2017)
DIRECTOR & WRITER: Akiko Ooku
CAST: Mayu Matsuoka, Daichi Watanabe, Anna Ishibashi, Takumi Kitamura
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Natsuyo Nakamura
SOUND DESIGNER: Hajime Komiya
COMPOSER: Masaki Takano
Next screening: Tue July 17, 2018; 3:00 PM
This romantic comedy focuses on a young, introverted adult woman who has harbored a 10 year crush on classmate she barely talked to back in her high school days. Despite her lack of social skills, she manages to build up the courage to find and pursue him while she is in turn pursued by an awkward coworker who has a crush on her.
Adapted from a novel (same name as the Japanese movie title) by Risa Wataya, this is the romcom for the invisible introvert. It is shown from the viewpoint of a young adult woman, Yoshika, (Mayu Matsuoka) who goes through a kaleidoscope of emotions throughout the story as she pursues her first and only love, Ichi (Takumi Kitamura), the name of the character but also meaning the number one in Japanese. She herself is also being pursued by a coworker that she refers to as Ni (Daichi Watanabe), the Japanese word meaning the number two. This number one and number two comes up again later on the phone in a humorous moment. The film has a fair number of funny bits sprinkled which build upon previous moments throughout its running time.
Continue reading “Tremble All You Want – film review – Fantasia 2018”
This year’s lineup features Ken Jeong headlining a gala. Then there’s half-Filipino Jo Koy with his Break the Mold tour.
Here’s a hilarious parody of Despacito where Mikey Bustos proclaims his love for speedos. Meanwhile, Europeans are wondering what the big deal is…
My Love Story!! / 俺物語!! / Ore Monogatari!! (2015)
Directed by Hayato Kawai
Screenplay by Akiko Nogi
Starring Ryohei Suzuki, Mei Nagano, Kentarō Sakaguchi
Review: The main character Takeo (Ryohei Suzuki) is a teenager but looks like an older, burly man. People are often scared of him because of his looks but he’s actually a kind, helpful person. His best friend, Suna (Kentaro Sakaguchi), looks like a pretty boy and attracts a lot of girls including the ones that Takeo likes. No girls have ever liked Takeo but one day while walking with Suna he saves a girl named Rinko (Mei Nagano) from a harasser. When she thanks him he instantly falls for her. The next day she finds Takeo with Suna near their school. She wants to show her appreciation further by sharing a cake with them.
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Just for Laughs is Montreal’s internationally acclaimed comedy festival. Zoofest is another comedy festival that’s newer which showcases upcoming talent. Here are some East Asian comics, I saw in the listings.
Steve Byrne, half Korean, half Irish, American comedian returns to Montreal with his own solo show (July 24) and as part of the Ethnic show (multiple shows until July 22).
Ali Wong is an American comedian who also returns to Montreal with a solo show (July 27).
Frank Truong is a mentalist & magician from France who is part of the French show Cabaret insolite (multiple shows until July 19) and also has a couple of free shows on (July 20, 21).
Joe Vu is a Canadian comedian who is part of the Homegrown Comics show (July 28).
Hentai Kamen 2: The Abnormal Crisis (2016)
Director: Yuichi Fukuda
Screenplay: Yuichi Fukuda
Cast: Ryohei Suzuki, Fumika Shimizu, Yuya Yagira, Muro Tsuyoshi, Nana Katase
The first movie is one of the funniest movies I’ve ever seen so living up to that would be a big challenge for this second film. Kyosuke aka Hentai Kamen (Ryohei Suzuki) defeated his arch-nemesis Tamao (Muro Tsuyoshi) in the first film but he’s not in a good situation at the beginning of this sequel. He still struggles with his pervert side and despite a promise to his girlfriend Aiko (Fumika Shimizu) he can’t help but fight crime as Hentai Kamen on occasion. His promise is tested even further when panties start disappearing en masse. Also, the new biology teacher (Ayame Misaki) has the hots for Kyosuke. With all these temptations, a rift occurs between Kyosuke & Aiko after a hilarious series of “it’s not what it looks like” situations.
Continue reading “Hentai Kamen 2: The Abnormal Crisis – review @ Fantasia 2016”
Too Young to Die! (2016)
Director: Kankuro Kudo
Screenplay: Kankuro Kudo
Cast: Tomoya Nagase, Ryunosuke Kamiki, Kenta Kiritani, Nana Seino, Aoi Morikaw
This is probably one of those movies that cannot really be reviewed. Either you hate it or you adore it for its total randomness and wacky sense of humor. It focuses on a 17 year old high school student (Ryunosuke Kamiki) who inconveniently dies in a bus crash with his classmates including a girl (Aoi Morikawa) he has a crush on. He never quite got the chance to tell his crush his feelings or so he thinks. Labeled a suicide he gets sent to hell where he argues that he didn’t kill himself and wants to go to heaven to see his crush. While going to heaven from hell is possible, apparently this has never happened before. What follows is too difficult to describe but you won’t want it to be spoiled anyway.
Continue reading “Too Young to Die! – review @ Fantasia 2016 [Recommended]”