Retreat from the heat to the cinema this summer

Jun 30, 2016

Retreat from the heat to the cinema this summer

The summer blockbuster is dead — or at least, it has ceased to exist as a distinct entity. Four decades after “Jaws” set the template for mass-market Hollywood spectacle, the so-called event movie has expanded its turf so dramatically that July and August, once ...

'The Program': Stephen Frears cycles round the edges

Jun 29, 2016

'The Program': Stephen Frears cycles round the edges

From the NFL’s deflated footballs to the bribery allegations besmirching Tokyo’s Olympic bid, it can feel like the entire apparatus of professional sport has become hopelessly corrupt. But are the fans also complicit? In a memorable scene during “The Program,” a zippy account of ...

'Twisted Justice': Gangster black comedy is a shade off

Jun 22, 2016

'Twisted Justice': Gangster black comedy is a shade off

In 2003, a Hokkaido cop named Yoshiaki Inaba was sentenced to nine years in jail, on charges including drug use and possession with intent to supply. During his trial, the former police inspector revealed that his impressive career record had involved an unhealthy degree ...

There’s a real story behind the ‘Fake’ documentary

Jun 1, 2016

There’s a real story behind the ‘Fake’ documentary

Everybody loves a good scandal, and they don’t come much riper than the tale of Mamoru Samuragochi. The public unmasking of “Japan’s Beethoven” — a celebrated “deaf” composer who turned out to be neither completely deaf nor the main author of his work — ...

'Deadpool': Shooting off at the mouth and at the hip

Jun 1, 2016

'Deadpool': Shooting off at the mouth and at the hip

Living in Japan, you get accustomed to scrolling through a film’s release dates on IMDb, only to discover that it’s arriving here months behind the rest of the world. Such has been the case with “Deadpool,” which opened everywhere from the U.S. to the ...

Forget clubbing: Outdoor festivals offer a natural alternative

May 29, 2016

Forget clubbing: Outdoor festivals offer a natural alternative

When the revised adult entertainment business law comes into effect on June 23, bringing an end to Japan’s archaic ban on all-night dance parties, it will mark the end of what has been a challenging period for the nation’s nightclubs. But beyond the major ...