Topics

'Sake Bomb'

May 22, 2014

'Sake Bomb'

by Kaori Shoji

On the one hand, I’m prepared to love this movie. Junya Sakino, director of “Sake Bomb,” gets it, as they say. He is one of a growing breed of Japanese filmmakers who studied in the U.S. and are now working there. “Sake Bomb” — ...

'Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom'

May 22, 2014

'Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom'

by Giovanni Fazio

The Great Man theory of history has long been a controversial one: is history shaped by exceptional men who enact change through sheer force of will, or is it the result of larger forces, like class, economics and technological progress? Cinema is an art ...

'The Bay'

May 22, 2014

'The Bay'

by Kaori Shoji

Found footage becomes a different animal under the direction of a major-league director like Barry Levinson (“Rain Man” and “Diner”). “The Bay” is plenty scary but this isn’t your usual found footage horror fare; it’s a faux documentary carrying a very real eco-message. Released ...

'Last Vegas'

May 22, 2014

'Last Vegas'

by Giovanni Fazio

“Last Vegas” is about as clever as the pun of its title. It’s a geriatric riff on “The Hangover” that features four Oscar-winning actors playing to type. Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman and Kevin Kline play old neighborhood buddies from New York ...

'Red 2 (Japan title: Red Returns)'

May 22, 2014

'Red 2 (Japan title: Red Returns)'

by Kaori Shoji

Director: Dean Parisot Language: English, Russian, French (subtitles in English) It’s Bruce Willis centerstage-and-won’t-budge, which is great for Willis lovers like myself (don’t judge me, please). Willis is a retired CIA agent who gets his team of old-timers together, including John Malkovich, Helen Mirren ...

'The Killing of a Chinese Bookie'

May 22, 2014

'The Killing of a Chinese Bookie'

by Giovanni Fazio

Director: John Cassavetes Language: English John Cassavetes is often regarded as the godfather of American indie filmmaking. His stuff can often be as frustrating as it is rewarding, but when it works, it soars. “Faces”, “Shadows”, “A Woman Under the Influence”, “Opening Night” and ...

Short-film festival holds Tokyo edition

May 15, 2014

Short-film festival holds Tokyo edition

by Cameron Allan Mckean

Short-film fever is hitting Tokyo this month, with festivals planned in arty-nooks and cinema-crannies across the capital. But not all short-film festivals are created equal — the good ones are both cleverly curated and take daring approaches in how they screen films. The Future ...

Time to get over the 'shock' of aging actresses

May 15, 2014

Time to get over the 'shock' of aging actresses

by Kaori Shoji

“Americans can be strange about aging,” said French actress Jeanne Moreau, in a brief interview she gave me back in 2005. She was then at the tail end of her 70s and had just co-starred with French heartthrob Melvil Poupaud in “Le Temps Qui ...

'Wood Job!'

May 15, 2014

'Wood Job!'

by Mark Schilling

Shinobu Yaguchi has become a consistent hit maker by following a simple formula: generate laughs from the stumbles and mistakes of heroes learning a new job, art or sport. This formula usually results in audience cheers and tears when triumph finally arrives after many ...

'Winter's Tale'

May 15, 2014

'Winter's Tale'

by Kaori Shoji

There’s something Shakespearean about “Winter’s Tale.” Perhaps it’s the way everyone talks in British or Irish accents, faked or genuine; or how the emotions seem to fester in the depths of a hot caldron; or the grandiose gestures and sweeping statements that are often ...