J-Film Review Database

About how I rate films: I am a critical thinker but I don’t pretend to be capable of critically evaluating a film without subjective opinion. I do, however, have a background and continuing interest in analyzing films so I try to bring some of that to the table. Most of what factors into my ratings is personal enjoyment. Other factors include originality, quality of the film (cinematography, music, acting, directing, etc), and the film’s impact on me. I try to keep my feeling about certain actors/actresses/directors out of the picture, but sometimes I’m just obsessed and can’t help it.  I’ve seen a lot of good films, you’ll see a lot of four and five stars.  This is because they ARE good films; since most of the films I’ve seen are via DVD or some outlet online, I’ve been able to look around and choose which films I’d like to watch based on recommendations (especially the older ones).  I’ve also seen my fair share of bad films, and you’ll see that continue to grow as I watch more, particularly as I attempt to keep up with the newest releases.

Key:

★★★★★: Great films that I fully recommend.

★★★★: Good films, may have minor problems.

★★★: Middle-of-the-line.

★★: Generally bad films, did not enjoy them much for one reason or another.

: Failure.

—–

2010

Yuriko’s Aroma (ユリ子のアロマ) — Yoshida — ★★★★ (Full Review)

BANDAGE (バンデージ) — Kobayashi — ★★★★ (Full Review)

2009

Fish Story (フィッシュストーリー) — Nakamura — ★★★★★ (Full Review)

Be Sure To Share (ちゃんと伝える) — Sono — ★★★★★ (Full Review)

Kakera (カケラ) — Ando — ★★★★½ (Full Review)

Love Exposure (愛のむきだし): ★★★★½

Dear Doctor (ディア・ドクター): ★★★★½

Villon’s Wife (ヴィヨンの妻): ★★★★

Air Doll (空気人形) — Koreeda — ★★★★ (Full Review)

Halfway (ハルフウェイ): ★★★

Crows Zero 2 (クローズ ZERO 2): ★★★

April Bride (余命1ヶ月の花嫁): ★★½

Heaven’s Door (IMDb link): ★★½

Goemon (IMDb): ★★½

Rise Up (ライズアップ) — Nakajima — ★★ (Full Review)

8000 Miles (SR サイタマノラッパー): ★★

Go Find a Psychic! (曲がれ!スプーン): ★★

I Give My First Love To You (僕の初恋をキミに捧ぐ): ★½

Kafoo: Waiting for Happiness (カフーを待ちわびて):

2008

Departures (おくりびと) — Takita — ★★★★★ (Write-up)

Tokyo Sonata (トウキョソンナタ) — Kurosawa — ★★★★★ (Write-up)

The Magic Hour (ザ・マジックアワー) — Mitani — ★★★★½

Orochi (おろち) — Tsuruta — ★★★★½

Still Walking (あるいてもあるいても): ★★★★½

One Million Yen and the Nigamushi Woman (百万円と苦虫女): ★★★★

Fine, Totally Fine (全然大丈夫): ★★★½

All Around Us (ぐるりのこと): ★★★½

Kabei: Our Mother (母べえ): ★★★½

Achilles and the Tortoise (アキレスと亀): ★★★

Suspect X (容疑者Xの献身): ★★★

Ain’t No Tomorrows (俺たちに明日はないッス) — ★★★ (Full Review)

Threads of Destiny (赤い糸): ★★★

Tokyo! (IMDb link): ★★★

Nobody to Watch Over Me (誰も守ってくれない): ★★½

Cyborg Girl (我的機械人女友): ★★½

Shaolin Girl (少林少女): ★★

Tokyo Boy (東京少年): ★★

The Shonen Merikensack (少年メリケンサック): ★½

Boys Over Flowers Final (花より男子F (ファイナル)):

The Black Swindler (クロサギ AKA. Kurosagi):

Kids (IMDb):

2007

5 Centimeters per Second (秒速5センチメートル) — Shinkai — ★★★★★ (Write-up)

Little DJ-A Tale of a Little Love- (Little DJ〜小さな恋の物語) — Nagata — ★★★★★ (Write-up)

Welcome to the Quiet Room (クワイエットルームにようこそ) — Matsuo — ★★★★★ (Write-up)

Always – Sunset on Third Street 2 (ALWAYS 続・三丁目の夕日) — Yamazaki — ★★★★★ (Write-up)

The Battery (バッテリー) — ★★★★½

How to Become Myself (あしたの私のつくり方) — ★★★★½

Say Hello For Me (そのときは彼によろしく): ★★★★

Campaign (選挙): ★★★★

Talk Talk Talk (しゃべれどもしゃべれども): ★★★★

Adrift in Tokyo (転々): ★★★★

This World of Ours (俺たちの世界): ★★★★

Tokyo Serendipity (恋するマドリ): ★★★½

Sad Vacation (サッド ヴァケイション): ★★★½

Shindo (神童): ★★★½

The Foreign Duck, The Native Duck, and God in a Coin Locker (アヒルと鴨のコインロッカー): ★★★½

Switching – Goodbye Me (転校生 -さよなら あなた-): ★★★

Evangelion: 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone (ヱヴァンゲリヲン新劇場版: 序): ★★★

My Sister, My Love (僕は妹に恋をする): ★★★

Dororo (どろろ): ★★★

Funuke Show Some Love, You Losers! (腑抜けども、悲しみの愛を見せろ): ★★★

A Gentle Breeze in the Village (天然コケッコー): ★★★

Sky of Love (恋空): ★★★

The Graduates (檸檬のころ AKA Lemon no Koro): ★★★

Into the Faraway Sky (遠くの空に消えた): ★★★

Don’t Laugh at My Romance (人のセックスを笑うな): ★★★

Maiko Haaaan!!! (舞妓 Haaaan!!!): ★★½

Calling You (きみにしか聞こえない): ★★½

Sukiyaki Western Django (スキヤキ・ウエスタン ジャンゴ): ★★

Virgin Snow (初雪の恋~ヴァージン・スノー): ★★

Closed Note (クローズド・ノート): ★★

Dear Friends (ディア フレンズ ): ★½

The Haunted Samurai (憑神): ★½

Byakkotai (白虎隊):

Sundome (すんドめ):

2006

The Letters (手紙 AKA Tegami) — Shono — ★★★★★ (Write-up)

Scars of the Sun or Sun Scarred (太陽の傷) — Miike — ★★★★★ (Write-up)

Memories of Tomorrow (明日の記憶) — Tsutsumi — ★★★★★ (Write-up)

Letters from Iwo Jima (硫黄島からの手紙) — Eastwood — ★★★★★ (Write-up)

Hula Girls (フラガール) — Lee — ★★★★½

Tears for You (涙そうそう): ★★★★½

I Just Didn’t Do It (それでもボクはやってない): ★★★★½

Heavenly Forest (ただ、君を愛してる): ★★★★

Love on Sunday (恋する日曜日): ★★★★

The Matsugane Potshot Affair (松ヶ根乱射事件): ★★★½

Shikyu no Kioku (子宮の記憶 ここにあなたがいる): ★★★½

Love My Life (ラブマイライフ): ★★★

Honey and Clover (ハチミツとクローバー): ★★★

Sugar and Spice: Fuumi Zekka (シュガー&スパイス ~風味絶佳~): ★★★

Rainbow Song (虹の女神): ★★★

A Song to the Sun (タイヨウのうた AKA Taiyou no Uta): ★★

Tokyo Friends: The Movie (東京フレンズ): ★½

Island of Light (ゴーヤーちゃんぷるー): ★½

Angel’s Egg (天使の卵): ★½

Nana 2 (ナナ2):

Yuuki (ユウキ):

2005

Always–Sunset on Third Street (ALWAYS 三丁目の夕日) — Yamazaki — ★★★★★ (Write-up)

Linda Linda Linda (リンダ リンダ リンダ) — Yamashita — ★★★★★ (Write-up)

Noriko’s Dinner Table (紀子の食卓) — Sono — ★★★★½

Summer Time Machine Blues (サマータイムマシン・ブルース) — ★★★★½

Nana (ナナ): ★★★★

Su-ki-da (好きだ、): ★★★

Spring Snow (春の雪): ★★

Bashing (バッシング) : ★★

Shining Boy and Little Randy (星になった少年): ★½

2004

Be With You (いま、会いにゆきます) — Doi — ★★★★★ (Write-up)

Hana and Alice (花とアリス) — Iwai — ★★★★★ (Write-up)

Swing Girls (スウィングガールズ) — Yaguchi — ★★★★½

Nobody Knows (誰も知らない) — Koreeda — ★★★★½

A Day on the Planet (きょうのできごと) — Yukisada — ★★★★½

The Place Promised in Our Early Days (雲のむこう、約束の場所): ★★★★

Cream Lemon (くりいむレモン): ★★★★

69-Sixty Nine (IMDb link): ★★★½

Crying Out Love, in the Center of the World (世界の中心で、愛をさけぶ): ★★★

Blood and Bones (血と骨): ★★★

Antenna (アンテナ): ★½

Gege (解夏): ★½

2003

Zatoichi (座頭市) — Kitano — ★★★★★ (Write-up)

Ramblers (リアリズムの宿) — Yamashita — ★★★★½

Josee, the Tiger and the Fish (ジョゼと虎と魚たち): ★★★★½

No One’s Ark (ばかのハコ船): ★★★★

Blue Light (青の炎): ★★★½

Bright Future (アカルイミライ): ★★★

Border Line (IMDb link): ★★★

Azumi (あずみ): ★★

2002

Laundry (ランドリー) — Mori — ★★★★★ (Write-up)

Ping Pong (ピンポン) — Sori — ★★★★★ (Write-up)

DRIVE (ドライブ) — SABU — ★★★★½

Dolls (ドールズ): ★★★½

Woman of Water (水の女): ★★½

2001

All About Lily Chou-Chou (リリイ・シュシュのすべて ) — Iwai — ★★★★★ (Write-up)

Waterboys (ウォーターボーイズ) — Yaguchi — ★★★★★ (Write-up)

Go! (IMDb link) — Yukisada — ★★★★★ (Write-up)

Blue Spring (青い春): ★★★★

Ichi the Killer (殺し屋1): ★★★½

Big Bang Love, Juvenile A (46億年の恋): ★★★

Tokyo Marigold (東京マリーゴールド): ★★½

2000

Battle Royale (バトル・ロワイアル) — Fukasaku — ★★★★★ (Write-up)

Brother (IMDb link) — Kitano — ★★★ (Write-up)

1999

Kikujiro no Natsu (菊次郎の夏) — Kitano — ★★★★★ (Write-up)

Audition (オーディション) — Miike — ★★★★½ (Write-up)

Taboo (御法度) — Oshima — ★★★½ (Write-up)

Hazy Life (どんてん生活) — Yamashita — ★★½ (Write-up)

1998

April Story (四月物語) — Iwai — ★★★★½ (Write-up)

1997

Fireworks/Hana-bi (はなび) — Kitano — ★★★★★ (Write-up)

Princess Mononoke (もののけ姫) — Miyazaki — ★★★★★ (Write-up)

1996

Kids Return (キッズ・リターン) — Kitano — ★★★★★ (Write-up)

Picnic (ピクニック) — Iwai — ★★★★½ (Write-up)

Swallowtail Butterfly (スワロウテイル) — Iwai — ★★★½ (Write-up)

1995

Love Letter (情書) — Iwai — ★★★★½ (Write-up)

1994

Undo (IMDb link) — Iwai — ★★½ (Full Review)

1989

Violent Cop (その男、凶暴につき) — Kitano — ★★★★½ (Full Review)

—–The following are classic masterpieces that I don’t grade because they are before my time.  All are recommended unless noted otherwise.—–

Grave of the Fireflies (火垂るの墓) — Takahata — 1988

Revolt AKA Ran () — Kurosawa — 1985

Tampopo (タンポポ) — Itami — 1985 — Commentary

Family Game (家族ゲーム) — Morita — 1983 — Great Scenes

Merry Christmas, Mr Lawrence (戦場のメリークリスマス) — Oshima — 1983

In The Realm of the Senses (愛のコリーダ) — Oshima — 1976

Pigs and Battleships (豚と軍艦) — Imamura — 1961

Tokyo Story (東京物語) — Ozu — 1953 — Commentary

To Live AKA Ikiru (生きる) — Kurosawa — 1952

Rashomon (羅生門) — Kurosawa — 1950

I Was Born, But… (大人の見る絵本 生れてはみたけれど) — Ozu — 1932

—–

  1. June 29th, 2010

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