Posts Tagged ‘ Ito Ayumi ’

Review: BANDAGE (Kobayashi, 2010)

Japanese title: バンデージ

Director: Kobayashi Takeshi

Info: IMDb, AsianMediaWiki, Trailer

Rating: ★★★★

Being an Iwai Shunji-produced and co-written film, I was quick to pick up BANDAGE, hoping for something original and enjoyable.  I’m not sure how involved Iwai was with the film (I’m guessing not too much, though there are undoubtedly Iwai inspirations scattered throughout the film), but it mostly delivered on my hopes.

Casting Akanishi Jin as one of the leads was a smart move by director Kobayashi Takeshi.  He brings massive fan support to the movie, not to mention experience in the Japanese music industry.  Playing the lead singer of a rock band, Akanishi undoubtedly draws from personal experience (he’s a very popular member of the Johnny’s boy band KAT-TUN–actually, former member now; he decided to go solo using this film as a base) as he plays the carefree yet troubled character of Natsu.  His band, LANDS, is quickly gaining mass popularity but encounters problems–the band members just don’t completely gel.  A genius musician, Yukiya (Kora Kengo), and a brilliant composer, Arumi (Shibamoto Yuki), form the heart of the band with Natsu supposedly still remaining just because of his indie fan base.  It also helps that he can sing. Continue reading

Review: Be Sure To Share (ちゃんと伝える)

Be sure to share, be sure to share, be sure to share…

Rating: ★★★★★

In Short: Sion Sono’s Be Sure To Share is a touching and inspiring film about familial bonds and how important the little moments spent with loved ones are.  Superbly directed and acted, Be Sure To Share is, in my opinion, Sono’s best film.  It is poetic and beautiful, utilizing basic and classical cinematography in order to convey the thoughts and emotions of the characters.  If Ozu were still alive today, he would have made this film.

Be Sure To Share opens by showing parts of events explored more thoroughly later in the film, establishing the basic premise: a husband/father/teacher (played by Okuda Eiji) is hospitalized with stomach cancer.  His wife and son visit him every day.  Shiro, the son, struggles with his father’s illness as he has always seen him as a healthy, commanding presence.  As his father was his teacher and soccer coach in school, Shiro was never able to connect with him until he became hospitalized.  This newfound emotional connection between father and son translates into promises such as “let’s go fishing together after I get better”.  The situation is further complicated when Shiro discovers that he may also have stomach cancer, and that it could possibly be worse than his father’s.  The ensuing emotional struggle causes Shiro to question what love is and how important the little moments spent with loved ones truly are.  He often questions his longtime girlfriend, Yoko (played by Ito Ayumi), if she would stay with him if he had terminal cancer. Continue reading