Casting News + Scoop! [Sept 12-18] Odagiri Joe’s Ernesto + Spotlight on Suga Kenta + Romancing Tsuchiya Tao + Mrs. GREEN Apple’s ‘Poetry Angel’ video + Yoshizawa Ryo and his brand of ‘comedy’!

We’re more than halfway in September, with plenty of articles to celebrate Food month still, and the casting news keeps on coming! Third Window Film’s Love and Other Cults is a special viewing event with an upcoming review – just have to say Suga Kenta and Itoh Sairi deserve all the raves they get from critics and reviewers. We’ll have more of Suga Kenta later, and a definite top placement for Itoh at our upcoming Top 30 hottest Japanese actress list. 

We begin our casting buzz with Ernesto, starring Odagiri Joe, Nagayama Kento, and Juan Miguel Valero Acosta. Odagiri plays a Japanese-Bolivian citizen named Freddy Maemura Hurtado who travels to Cuba to study medicine. He meets Che Guevarra. Years later, he joins Guevarra’s army in Bolivia’s civil war and was nicknamed Ernesto Medico. Nagayama plays a news reporter.

Continue reading “Casting News + Scoop! [Sept 12-18] Odagiri Joe’s Ernesto + Spotlight on Suga Kenta + Romancing Tsuchiya Tao + Mrs. GREEN Apple’s ‘Poetry Angel’ video + Yoshizawa Ryo and his brand of ‘comedy’!”

Pumpkin and Mayonnaise – 南瓜とマヨネーズ [Live Action Coverage]

Stardust Pictures collaborates with Dias Police director Tominaga Masanori for the live-action adaptation of Nananan Kiriko’s manga ‘Pumpkin and Mayonnaise‘ –  南瓜とマヨネーズ, about an unemployed and aspiring musician whose girlfriend works as a club hostess unbeknownst to him. Upon his discovery, he searches for work while his girlfriend met an ex-lover, complications ensue. Taiga and Asami Usuda play the couple, while Odagiri Joe is the ex.

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What the Movie is all about: Miho and Sei are living together. She works at a boutique while he tries to make it as a songwriter and musician. Even though Miho still can’t forget about Hagio, her ex-lover, she is happy in her relationship with Sei. However, all is not well for the young couple. Struggling to make ends meet, Miho decides to take a second job as a bar hostess. As she becomes increasingly desperate for money, Miho eventually gives in to one of her client’s sexual advances. When Sei finds out about this he begins to distance himself from her. Things get even more complicated for Miho when Hagio suddenly reappears in her life.

Continue reading “Pumpkin and Mayonnaise – 南瓜とマヨネーズ [Live Action Coverage]”

Notwithstanding the unusual title, Her Love Boils Bathwater, is an intensely dramatic film, yet subtle in revealing the secrets of the Kono family. Bathwater is as much a family drama as it is a woman’s journey towards death and remembrance.

Nakano Ryota, the film’s director, maybe the future of Japanese cinema. After his first full-length film, Capturing Dad, Ryota offers Her Love Boils Bathwater with an all-star cast led by Miyazawa Rie, Sugisaki Hana, and Odagiri Joe. Continue reading “Her Love Boils Bathwater – ‘Yu o Wakasu Hodo no Atsui Ai’ [Movie Review]”

Does it matter if they cast the right actor on Live-action adaptations? A list of the best and worst casting choices! [Part 1 of 3 Parts]

Does it matter if the powerful production committees in Japan cast the right actors in our favorite manga, anime or light novels? The question appears either valid or invalid to fans since no one could do anything about it anyway, but still – what have we got to lose? 

 

It is equally relevant to say that – some of us – can also make accurate ‘predictions’ as in the case of Kento Yamazaki and Ryunosuke Kamiki grabbing some noted roles of late. I say it’s delightful since it only means ‘we get it!’ And the people in these committees do too! Though I question their choices most of the time. The fact remains that the members of these committees and not artists or filmmakers, but are businessman and they are tasked to make sure that the funds put into these films will earn them a reasonable ROI (return on investment).

Let me get back to that later.

Continue reading “Does it matter if they cast the right actor on Live-action adaptations? A list of the best and worst casting choices! [Part 1 of 3 Parts]”

Gassoh (Joint Burial) – 合葬 [Movie Review]

Gassoh tells the tale of three childhood friends who harbor different political and social leanings. The year is 1868, after 300 years of domination, The Tokugawa Shogunate has fallen. Yoshinobu Tokugawa, the last Shogun, has just been exiled to Mito. This historical political event was said to have started without bloodshed as the political leaders at that time agreed to a peaceful discussion (rather than war) to usher in the Meiji era. But as the movie’s narrator explained, humans are not so innocent creatures as discontent and rebellion soon ignited all over Japan.

We have 3 life-long friends – Kiwamu (Yuya Yagira), the fiery and loyal samurai who clings to the glory of the Shogunate; Masanosuke (Koji Seto) the adopted son of the House of Kasai who was forced to leave his home as a result of the death of his adopted father and Teijiro (Amane Okayama), the scholar among the three, who pursues Goku for breaking off his marriage to his younger sister (Mugi Kadowaki). 

Continue reading “Gassoh (Joint Burial) – 合葬 [Movie Review]”

100 Best Contemporary Japanese Movies – [1] Sway (Yureru- ゆれる) Joe Odagiri & Teruyuki Kagawa in acting duel!

Sway (Yureru) features three amazing Japanese talents (with Joe Odagiri in the lead) who excelled in this mystery-drama-thriller involving a love triangle that turned deadly, sibling rivalry and Japanese legalese.

What the Movie is all about: A murder investigation reveals a deep-rooted sibling rivalry in director Miwa Nishikawa’s brooding family drama. On the one-year anniversary of his mother’s death, Tokyo art and fashion photographer Takeru (Joe Odagiri) returns to his small hometown to pay his respects. But all is not well back home, and when Takeru’s authoritative father questions his sincerity, the frustrated son strikes back with accusations of violent conduct.

Though the situation is initially diffused by Takeru’s older brother Moniru (Teruyuki Kagawa), who stayed behind to run the family business, tensions once again start to run high when Takeru, Moniru, and lovely childhood friend Chieko (Yoko Maki) decide to celebrate their reunion by taking a hike in the wilderness. Tragedy strikes, however, when Takeru wanders off to photograph the landscape while Minoru and Chieko get into a heated argument on a suspension bridge. After rejecting Minoru’s advances, Cheiko falls to her death. Takeru saw nothing, and though Minoru claims responsibility for Chieko’s death the authorities still launch a full investigation.

With the evidence against Minoru mounting, it quickly becomes apparent that the older sibling is deeply resentful of the fact that he was forced to remain at home with his overbearing father as Takeru departed for Tokyo and began living the good life. Cheiko’s rejection was merely the last straw for Minoru, who subsequently rejects his brother’s help and places himself at the mercy of the powers that be. [ Narrative by Jason Buchanan ]

Why you should watch this movie: Joe Odagiri is in top form as he plays an arrogant art-fashion photographer who left the small town to settle in the big city. Leaving behind his family including his older brother played by Teruyuki Kagawa who was great playing the kind but insecure and volatile Minoru and his flame Cheiko (Yoko Maki who looks quite alluring).

The amazing on-screen chemistry between the actors with a good number of suspense and the dramatic scene which distinguishes the movie from a whole bunch of Japanese dramatic thrillers.

Continue reading “100 Best Contemporary Japanese Movies – [1] Sway (Yureru- ゆれる) Joe Odagiri & Teruyuki Kagawa in acting duel!”

Favorite Japanese Actors and their Fashion Style: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly! – (Part 1) – Joe Odagiri, Shota Matsuda & Gou Ayano

There are a lot of great (and not so great) actors in Japan with unique fashion styles. Some like to make fashion statements during shows and premiere nights, some are favorites of fashion magazine editors and are often on their cover. Some prefer to wear just shirt and jeans but still look cool, some can be more extravagant.

Let’s see… Joe Odagiri has a unique (and sometimes weird) fashion style – which somehow – match some of the characters he portrays in his movies (think: Adrift in Tokyo). Even in the family drama Tokyo Tower, he manages to look unique wearing colors not often identified with men and get away with it. But sometimes he looks a bit ridiculous! 

Continue reading “Favorite Japanese Actors and their Fashion Style: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly! – (Part 1) – Joe Odagiri, Shota Matsuda & Gou Ayano”

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