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Cliff Martinez: composing through the chaos

Jan 11, 2017

Cliff Martinez: composing through the chaos

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So much movie music sounds like just that: movie music. It’s rare these days to come across a score with character that really makes you sit up and listen. One musician who consistently manages to pull that off is punk drummer-turned-composer Cliff Martinez, whose ...

'Dirty Grandpa' is quite a stinker

Jan 11, 2017

'Dirty Grandpa' is quite a stinker

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‘Dirty Grandpa.” The un-ironic title is like a spray-painted graffiti sign warning everyone to stay away from this sewage-swilling clogged cesspit masquerading as a movie. Woe betide anyone who catches this on an airplane, they may wind up using all the airsick bags in ...

'Nerve': For the watchers

Jan 4, 2017

'Nerve': For the watchers

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Japanese millennials aren’t interested in cars, sex or marriage according to economists and business magazines such as Toyo Keizai. Yawn — so, what else is new? Every night I go to sleep hoping to wake up to a world where people go on proper ...

'Our Meal for Tomorrow': Changing roles in romantic drama

Jan 4, 2017

'Our Meal for Tomorrow': Changing roles in romantic drama

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Gender-bending comedy certainly exists in Japanese films, though it may not be mainstream. In Yosuke Fujita’s “Fuku-chan of FukuFuku Flats” (“Fukufukuso no Fukuchan,” 2014), popular female TV comedian Miyuki Oshima starred as a male house painter who becomes allergic to the opposite sex after ...

From Japanese horror to American intrigue

Jan 4, 2017

From Japanese horror to American intrigue

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As a second-generation Japanese-American working in Hollywood, Shintaro Shimosawa stands out. Take his name for example, he prefers Shintaro over his given “American name,” Edward. “I just think Shintaro sounds really cool,” he tells The Japan Times during a recent promotional tour for his ...

'Tampopo' has blown back to our screens

| Jan 4, 2017

'Tampopo' has blown back to our screens

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Released in 1985, Juzo Itami’s “Tampopo” was famously a flop in Japan, but a hit abroad, especially in the United States, where it became the second-highest-earning Japanese film ever. This “noodle Western” about a rough-hewn truck driver (Tsutomu Yamazaki) who helps a spunky widow ...

Mount Meru: for those who like to aim high

Dec 28, 2016

Mount Meru: for those who like to aim high

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If Mount Everest is the iconic goddess of mountains, then Meru in the Indian Himalayas is the unattainable, unknowable bad-ass rock star, beckoning to a chosen few from an impossibly remote place high in the sky. Unlike Everest, Meru isn’t famed for its legendary ...

'Rogue One': On the Dark Side of reanimation

Dec 28, 2016

'Rogue One': On the Dark Side of reanimation

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How much do you want a new “Star Wars”? When J.J. Abrams’ “The Force Awakens” opened to enormous fanfare last December, it felt like watching a beloved rock band making its comeback tour after a long hiatus. Sure, the original members couldn’t quite muster ...