Tagged Japan

Movie Review: Your Name. (2016)

The benefit of foreign cinema is that they tend to tell stories that shed a light on their own culture and tell stories a U.S. production would probably warp and bend into something more palatable for our sensibilities, losing that bit of cultural spark that elevated the material in the first place. The drawback is…

Movie Review: We Are X (2016)

At the point in which Yoshiki, musical ombudsman, drummer, keyboardist/pianist and main songwriter of the Xtremely popular X Japan (simply X in Japan, though not in Japanese, for this is no ideogram, but only an alphabetic, apathetic X), Xtremely so in their Pacific archipelago, mythical prophets in their own land . . . at the…

Movie Review: Silence (2016)

Christianity came to Western Japan in 1542 by way of Jesuit missionaries from Portugal who brought gunpowder and religion. They were welcomed mostly for the weapons they brought and their religion was allowed to be practiced openly. Christianity was banned, however, after reports circulated of missionary intolerance towards the Shinto and Buddhist religions, and there…

Movie Review: Railroad Tigers (2016)

When American audiences last saw our diminutive chopsocky champion, Jackie Chan, he was kicking butt and taking numbers alongside “Jackass” and “The Dukes of Hazzard” star Johnny Knoxville in the flaccid and forgettable 2016 voltage vehicle “Skiptrace.” Well, the sixty-something martial arts megastar has found yet another frenetic farce to strut his stuff as he…

Movie Review: Hacksaw Ridge (2016)

Lew Ayres, who starred in the classic 1931 anti-war film (and Best Picture Academy Award winner), “All Quiet on the Western Front,” was so affected by that movie, he became a conscientious objector and served as a medic in World War II (and was later to earn a Best Actor nomination for “Johnny Belinda”). Others…

Movie Review: After the Storm (2016)

Fear that your children may mimic your worst qualities is the driving force in Hirokazu Koreeda’s (“Our Little Sister”) After the Storm (Umi yori mo mada fukaku), a compassionate look at the struggles of a Japanese family. Its title derived from the lyrics of an old pop song, the film is set in Kiyose, a…

Movie Review: The Forest (2016)

In junior high school, my good friend Sara would show me “fast-forward” versions of films — she would sit me down and show me her favorite movies, speeding through the parts that were too drawn-out and inconsequential, with the purpose of getting to the good stuff faster. The Forest, the first mainstream horror movie of…

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