Just announced, Hirokazu Koreeda's 'Like Father, Like Son' wins Cannes 2013 Grand Jury Prize! It will be another acclaim for the director known for his sensitive portrayals of the Japanese family in crisis. Previous movies Nobody Knows (2004 Main competition) and Air Doll (2009 "Un Certain Regard") also participated in Cannes, but this is his first Grand Jury Prix.

Synopsis: Ryota has earned everything he has by his hard work, and believes nothing can stop him from pursuing his perfect life and living as a winner. Then one day, he and his wife, Midori, get an unexpected phone call from the hospital. Their 6-year-old son, Keita, is not their son - the hospital gave them the wrong baby. Ryota is forced to make a life-changing decision, to choose between "nature" and "nurture". In the meanwhile, seeing Midori’s devotion to Keita even after learning his origin, and communicating with the rough yet caring family who raised his blood son for the last six years, Ryota also starts to question himself: has he really been a "father" all these years...

Handpicked to spearhead the new Crows Explode movie is newcomer (but already award winner) Masahiro Higashide. He is expected to continue the tradition set by such top actors Shun Oguri, Takayuki Yamada, and Haruma Miura, in what is considered one of the most successful movie franchise in Japan - the Crows Zero series.

Crows Explode

To be directed byToyoda Toshiaki, the new movie will continue the Crows saga, and begins when Shun Oguri's character graduates from the infamous Suzuran. Toshiaki, considered by Twitch as " something of the patron saint of disaffected youth." is no stranger to the portrayal of youth in movies. He cast Ryuhei Matsuda in one of the actor's earliest movies, Blue Spring. He also included Matsuda in Nine Souls, perhaps his most accomplished movie of all.

We are more than halfway with our 13 Modern Japanese Samurai movies list (see Part 1 and Part 2), when an idea to talk about a unique Hollywood remake seems inevitable and timely. Many Hollywood movie bloggers posted news and articles about the upcoming remake of Clint Eastwood's Unforgiven - this time, it's Japan who is doing the remake - unlike before when Hollywood gets inspiration from a lot of Japanese Samurai movies and use them to craft western action and drama films.

Unforgiven - Yurusarezaru Mono

Remarked Slate:

For years, Hollywood Westerns took inspiration from Japanese samurai films. Now one movie is taking the inspiration in the other direction: Japanese director Lee Sang-il has adapted Clint Eastwood’s 1992 Western masterpiece—and classic “guilty pulp” flick—Unforgiven into a Japanese-language samurai tale titled Yurusarezaru mono. [ read more ]

Twilight's Kristen Stewart acting and notoriety pale in comparison to Erika Sawajiri's. The fact that Sawajiri can act and Stewart can't is already quite obvious. After more than 5 years of haitus in appearing on the silver screen, Sawajiri is back with a vengeance in Helter Skelter.

Erika Sawajiri - Helter Skjelter

As top model and beauty icon, Sawajiri plays Ririko - an insecure, beauty obssesed young model who will sacrifice everything to maintain her pretty face and sexy body. Everything appears to be just fine until the multiple plastic surgeries take its toll on her mind and body.

The Cowards Who Looked Up to The Sky is supposed to be released across Japan on the 17th of this month, and it will mark a further step forward in the acting career of Kento Nagayama (Eita's younger brother). Shown recently at the Toronto International Film Festival, it garnered various reactions from the audience and generated mixed reviews.

The Cowards Who Looked To The Sky

Giovanna Fulvi relates:

Based on the award-winning novel of the same name, director Yuki Tanada's The Cowards Who Looked to the Sky is a boldly erotic yet movingly tender portrait of a group of damaged people — mothers, sons and lovers — whose intersecting stories yield both sorrow and a fragile, yet enduring, hope for a brighter future. Anzu (Tomoko Tabata) is a depressed housewife whose days are spent undergoing fertility treatments and enduring her mother-in-law's nagging and her husband's indifference. Channelling her dissatisfactions into rabid anime fandom, she attends a convention costumed as her favourite character. There, she meets a handsome high-school boy named Takumi (Kento Nagayama), whom she seduces (while still in her character's outfit). The two begin an affair, and the secret trysts with her young lover become Anzu's only escape from her grim reality. After a classmate confesses that she is in love with him, Takumi resolves to not see Anzu anymore — but he soon realizes that the attraction he feels for Anzu might very well be true love. He and Anzu resume their affair, but when one of their secret encounters is filmed and uploaded to the internet, the consequences for both could be disastrous. [ read more ]