Film Topics

Ieji (Homeland)

Dec 24, 2014

Ieji (Homeland)

Director: Nao Kubota Language: Japanese (subtitled in English) Nao Kubota’s drama about a Fukushima family’s struggles in the aftermath of the 3/11 disaster stars Kenichi Matsuyama as a son who returns to farm the family land that is poisoned by radiation. Despite its elegiac, ...

Broken

Dec 24, 2014

Broken

by Giovanni Fazio

Director: Rufus Norris Language: English This straight-to-DVD release is better than expected. Theater director Rufus Norris makes his cinematic debut with “Broken,” which — unsurprisingly for a British film — takes a social-realist look at the lives of three very different families living around ...

Ju-on: Owari no Hajimari (Ju-on: The Beginning of the End)

Dec 17, 2014

Ju-on: Owari no Hajimari (Ju-on: The Beginning of the End)

by Mark Schilling

Director: Masayuki Ochiai Language: Japanese (subtitled in English) Horror veteran Masayuki Ochiai attempts to revive the moribund “Ju-on” (The Grudge) series with that genre flick perennial: the origin story. Model/actress Nozomi Sasaki gives good scream as the elementary school teacher investigating the mysterious absence ...

3 Days to Kill (Last Mission)

Dec 17, 2014

3 Days to Kill (Last Mission)

by Kaori Shoji

Director: McG Language: English, French, German (subtitled in English) Renner (Kevin Costner) is a CIA agent with cancer, desperate to reconnect with his estranged family (living in Paris) but equally hankering for a miracle drug that would extend his life. The deal is that ...

The Moon in the Gutter (Mizo no Naka no Tsuki)

Dec 17, 2014

The Moon in the Gutter (Mizo no Naka no Tsuki)

by Giovanni Fazio

Director: Jean-Jacques Beineix Language: French (subtitled in English) Jean-Jacques Beineix wowed the world with his 1981 debut “Diva,” but his 1983 follow-up, “The Moon in the Gutter,” bombed — rare was the review that didn’t use the word “pretentious.” Three decades on, it stands ...

Beautiful Noise

Dec 10, 2014

Beautiful Noise

by Giovanni Fazio

Director: Eric Green Language: English Shoegaze, that once-maligned genre of effects-laden wall-of-guitar music, finally gets its own documentary. “Beautiful Noise” focuses on three seminal 1980s bands — Cocteau Twins, The Jesus and Mary Chain and My Bloody Valentine — while tracing their influence down ...

Ai no Uzu (Love's Whirlpool)

Dec 10, 2014

Ai no Uzu (Love's Whirlpool)

by Mark Schilling

Director: Daisuke Miura Language: Japanese (subtitled in English) Daisuke Miura’s adaptation of his stage play about eight strangers who sign up for a sex party in Roppongi was rightly tagged with an R-18 rating e_SEmD there’s plenty of explicit sex — but the film, ...

Maleficent

Dec 10, 2014

Maleficent

by Kaori Shoji

Director: Robert Stromberg Language: English Angelina Jolie stars in the title role of this Disney makeover of “Sleeping Beauty.” Maleficent is a nice fairy goddess, but she is betrayed and doomed to a life of darkness. Seeking vengeance, she puts a curse on the ...

Homeland

Dec 3, 2014

Homeland

by Giovanni Fazio

Language: English Hulu.jp strengthens its roster with the welcome addition of Showtime series “Homeland,” now in its fourth season. “Homeland” focuses less on clock-ticking cliffhangers and more on psychologically complex characters and deep layers of paranoia and suspicion. Claire Danes, in the best performance ...

Kuroshitsuji (Black Butler)

Dec 3, 2014

Kuroshitsuji (Black Butler)

by Mark Schilling

Directors: Kentaro Otani, Keiichi Sato Language: Japanese (subtitled in English) Based on Yana Toboso’s best-selling manga, this Kentaro Otani fantasy/action film stars Hiro Mizushima as a demon who becomes a butler to the cheeky teenage heir (Ayame Goriki) to a toy-company fortune. Suave, but ...

Modern Family

Dec 3, 2014

Modern Family

by Kaori Shoji

Language: English This Emmy Award-winning TV series, now in its sixth season, is available for viewing on hulu.jp. Ed O’Neill stars as Jay Pritchett, the head of a diverse and sprawling family whose members have minds of their own and attitudes to match. It’s ...