Film Topics

My Dad and Mr. Ito: No one can be daddy's girl forever

Oct 5, 2016

My Dad and Mr. Ito: No one can be daddy's girl forever

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The opening of Yuki Tanada’s new film “My Dad and Mr. Ito” promises a comedy of the quirky family variety. The 34-year-old Aya (Juri Ueno) and her 54-year-old lover (Lily Franky), whom she calls “Ito-san” (Mr. Ito), are living in age-inappropriate, tight-budgeted bliss when ...

'Genius': The wordsmith who shaped Wolfe

Oct 5, 2016

'Genius': The wordsmith who shaped Wolfe

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Once upon a time, the word “genius” made us think not the help counter in an Apple Store but of people of incredible intellect who accomplished amazing things and relied on nothing more than their brains and bare hands. This “Genius” transports us back ...

'Star Trek' lives on and prospers

Oct 5, 2016

'Star Trek' lives on and prospers

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In principle, it’s hard to dislike “Star Trek.” Each time the crew of the USS Enterprise venture into the great beyond, broadcasting their mantra of peace and intergalactic harmony, it’s a riposte to the iffy politics advocated by other movie franchises: they’re the United ...

'Harmonium': Dangerously good family drama

Sep 28, 2016

'Harmonium': Dangerously good family drama

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The films of Koji Fukada have long wrapped ambitious themes in deceptively unassuming genre packages. His 2011 international breakout “Hospitalite” (“Kantai”) begins as a quirky comedy but becomes a sharp-edged drama of deceptions and secrets. Last year’s “Sayonara” starts as an offbeat essay in ...

'Sully': Ditching the plane to save lives

Sep 28, 2016

'Sully': Ditching the plane to save lives

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For a while I thought Harrison Ford should run for U.S. president, but now I’m convinced Tom Hanks is the one, with Clint Eastwood as secretary of state. The two have teamed up for “Sully” (Eastwood directing and Hanks as the titular character), the ...

'Scoop!': Read all about it here

Sep 21, 2016

'Scoop!': Read all about it here

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Japanese weekly scandal magazines are pond scum, are they not? Dishing up grainy paparazzi photos of the famous and powerful, accompanied by wink-wink stories about improprieties and crimes — alleged or exposed — they appeal to the lowest common denominator, with their only raison ...

'Someone's Xylophone': Yoichi Higashi hits an unusual tone

Sep 14, 2016

'Someone's Xylophone': Yoichi Higashi hits an unusual tone

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Yoichi Higashi has made everything from commercial hits to festival favorites in his five-plus decades as a director, while taking up politically sensitive subjects and unpopular issues. His 1992 smash “The Bridge with No River” (“Hashi no Nai Kawa”) depicted the raw prejudice endured ...

'The BFG': With an emphasis on the friendly

Sep 14, 2016

'The BFG': With an emphasis on the friendly

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The Japanese have never really warmed to the stories of Roald Dahl, with the exception of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” Even then, they’re probably not thinking of Dahl, it’s more about Johnny Depp and the Wonka Chocolate bars sold at most high-end supermarkets ...