Tag: Global Granary Film Review

Revenge Girl (Japanese Movie) Review & Summary

 

Film

Revenge Girl (Japanese Movie) Review & Summary

Revenge Girl poster

  • Aka: Ribenji Girl
  • Genre:  Romance, Revenge, Comedy
  • Dater Released: 2017
  • Origin: Japan; based on a novel of the same title written by Erika Yoshida & Tomohide Kiyoshi

Cast:

  • Mirei Kiritani as Miki Takahashi
  • Nobuyuki Suzuki as Toshiya Kadowaki
  • Sho Kiyohara as Suga Saito
  • Fumika Baba as Mariko Nakategawa
  • Shinya Owada as Shigeru Saito
  • Aimi Satsukawa as Rinko Momose
  • Aisa Takeuchi as Misaki Houseki
  • Yuki Saito as Nagiko Kisaragi

I would have not been able to watch nor review this film if not for Rjgman56, who translate Japanese dramas and films into English.  Thank you.

This film is a Mirei Kiritani movie.  She is one of my most favourite Japanese actresses.  She always gives her all in her roles.

Anyway this movie is very lightweight but there are some funny and memorable scenes.

The beginning is hilarious if rather truthful if beauty queens would only tell their honest truth before they attempt at world peace.

Mirei plays Miki Takahashi, who is intelligent, talented and very beautiful and she knows it.

She was once again crowned as Miss Campus at the prestigious Tokyo University after third consecutive wins.

During her victory speech, she said that she always know who was going to win because she is beautiful.  She then gave a sagely advice to the newbie contestants.  She told them that perhaps before entering a pageant they should look into the mirror.  Miaou!

With all her bravado, she accidentally fell right into the arm of Suga Saito and it was love at first sight.

A year on, Miki was now working for Bulgari and Saito has started a career in politics.

The Huntresses (South Korean Film Review & Summary)

Film

The Huntresses (South Korean Film Review & Summary)

 

The Huntresses poster

  • Genre: Historical Fiction, Adventure, Martial Arts, Action, Strong Females, Romance
  • Release Date: January 2014
  • Origin: Film, South Korea

Cast:

  • Ha Ji-won as Jin-ok
  • Kang Ye-won as Hong-dan
  • Son Ga-in as Ga-bi
  • Ko Chang-seok as Mu-myeong
  • Joo Sang-wook as Sa-hyeon
  • Song Sae-Byeok as Police Officer Song

 

I highly recommend this film as a lazy weekend treat.

It is enjoyable and fast paced.  There plenty of comic scenes and the girls are beautiful with different personalities, which you can choose your favourite from.  I have to say, I love the character of Ga-bi, she is feisty and does not carry much baggage, so she is just a gorgeous fighting machine.

Jin Ok, Hong Dan and Ga Bi are three beautiful women who all work as bounty hunters for Mu Myeong.

They take on jobs of hunting the most wanted and always get their men. The three women have their individual expertise.

Jin Ok is a sharpshooter and excellent with the yoyo as a weapon.  She is also a bit of an inventor and an engineer.

Hong Dan is a married lady but she is more comfortable throwing shuriken (Chinese stars) than doing household chores, which she leaves to her husband.

Ga-Bi is the youngest of the group.  She is upfront; what you see is what you get.  Her forte is in archery and explosives.

Their biggest mission was to retrieve a stauroscope before it lands into the hand of the Chinese.

While completing the mission, Jin Ok learned that her father was alive and the person, who had supposedly killed him was her childhood love, Sa Hyeon.  Though Sa Hyeon tried to kill/hurt her several times, in the end he saved her life and her father’s but died in doing so.

They did accomplish their mission and the grateful King rewarded them handsomely.

Really good film, never a boring moment.  Though I am not sure how Jin Ok survived after her father was ‘killed’ and her protector, Sa Hyeon, was taken by the evil Kim Ja Hun.

Kids on the Slope (Japanese Movie Review & Summary)

Film

Kids on the Slope (Japanese Movie Review & Summary)

Kids on the slope poster

  • Genre: Music, Friendship, Youth, Family, Romance, Bromance, Live Action
  • Release Date: 2018
  • Origin: Japan, based on Manga, Sakamichi no Apollon

Cast:

  • Yuri Chinen as Kaoru Nishimi
  • Nana Komatsu as Ritsuko Mukae
  • Taishi Nakagawa as Sentaro Kawabuchi
  • Dean Fujioka as Junichi Katsuragi
  • Erina Mano as Yurika Fukahori

 

Synopsis & Review

I just watched this film and found it really interesting with lovely jazz music.  This film is a live-action film of a manga.

The three main actors, Komatsu, Chinen and Nakagawa gave a charismatic performance.

The story is being told by Kaoru Nishimi, who is now a doctor.

It all began in 1966.  He just transferred to a new school.  During the first day, a classmate was tasked to show him around and it was Ritsu.  He found her very pretty the first time he saw her but he started feeling claustrophobic and he needed a breath of fresh air.

He climbed into the rooftop but notice some hindrance to the entrance.  It was the prone body of Sentaro.

Kaoru was entranced at the handsome, rather battered face of Sentaro, a half-caste – half American, half Japanese boy with blond hair and very fair skin.

The first moment they met, they have clicked and became friends.

Sentaro took him to a music store, who Kaoru was excited to know was owned by Ritsu’s father.

The father had told them that they have someone special waiting in the studio below.  Sentaro was really excited as it was Jun, his idol, a student at Tokyo University who is proficient with the trumpet playing jazz music.

Jun on the trumpet and Sentaro playing the drums,  started to have a session.  Kaoru couldn’t help himself and started to play the piano as well.

The music bonded them all together including the sweet Ritsu.

After a church service, the three friends found themselves at the beach, where they saw a girl being harassed by boys.

Sentaro had just to rescue the girl as that is how he was.

When he saw the girl up close, he fell madly in love.  For days he was almost senseless in wonder.

They again met the girl in a club, where Kaoru noticed that she seemed familiar with Jun.

Anyway, Sentaro started being friendly with the girl, which Kaoru observed was making Ritsu rather upset.  She likes Sentaro herself even back from they were children.

One day while they were meeting for another session in the music room, Sentaro brought with him the girl, Yuri, which made everyone uneasy.  Ritsu couldn’t take it and run off, followed closely by Kaoru.

He found her crying.  He kissed her as he just couldn’t help himself.  Ritsu was so surprised she pushed him away and run off.

Poor Kaoru was also being made to feel unwanted at his current lodging with his auntie and family, who tells him to think about what he wants to do in university as they will be paying for his course as well as his lodging in Tokyo and would be a pretty penny.

He was so stressed that he went to Sentaro’s house.  He heard the happy commotion inside the house and a smiling Sentaro answered the door.

Karoru remarked that he envies Sentaro’s life.  He wishes he has somewhere to really belong to as well.

Sentaro took him aside and told him that his life is far from perfect.  He then recounted that he was ‘born’ in the Catholic church or at least his birth mother left him in the church steps when he was a baby.

He was later adopted by a childless couple but before long they had their own children and more or less does not have time for him.

He was also bullied by other children because he was different with his light coloured hair and half American features.  He did not know where he belongs.

Meanwhile Jun was packing his things when Yuri appeared.  She said that she was ready to go anywhere with him.

At that moment, Sentaro was on his way to Jun’s house.  He couldn’t believe it when he found Jun and Yuri all packed and going away together.

He was absolutely gutted.  He took out his frustration by fighting his schoolmates.

Kaoru stopped him.  He was asked by Sentaro if he knew about Jun and Yuri.  Kaoru was forced to admit to it.  Sentaro was now also upset with Kaoru for betraying their friendship.

The friendship was now fragmented.

Kaoru was playing cans in wires telephone with a girl in the neighbourhood.  The girl asked for advice about a boy who was always nasty to her and made her cry.

He said that he also made a girl he loves cry.  And then the voice at the other end was Ritsu.  She said that she was just surprised that is all.  It was her first kiss.  So they made up, friends again.

A singing concert at school mend their three friends fractured friendship.

They decided to take part in a church concert.  Sentaro and Ritsu are both religious and all excited about the event.  They decided to fetch Kaoru in their motorbike.

Ritsu confessed to Sentaro that her heart goes faster when she is with Kaoru… and then their motorbike was crashing into a car.

Ritsu was in a coma and Kaoru found Sentaro battered in a pew inside the church.  Sentaro was asking God why was he born?  Why does he bring misfortune to the people he knew.  He said that he should be taken rather than Ritsu.

Finally Kaoru was able to convince Sentaro to return to the hospital where Ritsu has woken up.  She said that she dreamt that she was with Sentaro who told her to get out of the dark.

When Kaoru went out to get Sentaro, he was no longer there but left his rosary by the door.

10 years later -1976?

Kaoru is a doctor in Tokyo.  One day two familiar faces came to see him.  Jun and a pregnant Yuri.  Yuri showed him a photo of a wedding of a friend.

Kaoru travelled back to the village and found that Ritsu is now a teacher.  He showed her the photo.  Now we see the photo.  Sentaro is now a priest.

Both Kaoru and Ritsu agreed to find Sentaro.

They found him easy enough because he was playing the piano for the children at the church.

He looks happy and at peace.  He asked Kaoru and Ritsu if they were there to get married.

It feels like all the years that had passed had vanished.

They ended up playing the piano and the drum.

It was quite a heartwarming film.  Loved it.

 

 

 

 

Goodnight (Chinese Film Review)

Film

Goodnight (Chinese Film Review)

Goodnight poster

  • Genre:  Hotel Management, Job, Family, Relationship, Romance
  • Release Date: 2016
  • Origin: China

Cast:

Leads

  • Dennis Oh as Nie Xuan
  • Jing Tang as XiaoXiao

Synopsis:

This is a pretty straight-forward film with a very simplistic ending for everyone.

Once upon a time in the life of XiaoXiao, back when she was little, she had a pet cat who was really a genie/fairy.

The cat announced to young XiaoXiao that he was leaving and as a goodbye gift, he would grant a wish she makes.

XiaoXiao easily said that she wanted to have more time and doesn’t want to sleep.  She wants to study and have some play-time afterwards and do other things as well.  For this young girl, there is not much time during the day!

The cat asked her if she wishes it forever.  The girl readily confirmed that it was.

From then own, the girl grew up insomniac, which affected her life, love life and job prospects.  She can’t keep the latter two.

As a result, she concentrated on acquiring more qualifications than what she needed.

She was in between love and work when she finally found the perfect job.  Become a hotel tester/reviewer.

She was very good at the job, she had all the time at night to review hotels.  She became known as Queen Untouchable amongst her peers.

A TASS group of luxury hotels was owned by Nie family, and there was currently a battle of supremacy between brothers to inherit the hotel chain.

The eldest was Nie Xuan, who was cold and exacting; he was made that way by his domineering father,  who sets him tasks, made him follow every rule strictly.

It was a different story for his other son, who was indulged and adored.  The younger son was therefore very affectionate towards his father but totally conniving and spoilt.  He wanted to manage the hotel himself, though he lacks commitment and diligence.

He instigated that a hotel reviewer visits their flagship hotel, which is managed competently by Nie Xuan, who was expecting that FORBES would include them to the list of best luxury hotels in the world.  A bad review would mean disqualification, which the younger brother was hoping and this would make their father hand the position of CEO to him in a plate.

The reviewer was XiaoXiao, who quickly found herself having so much in common with Nie Xuan, for a starter as both insomniacs.  They also both love their jobs and the hotel business.

Hotel Guide from a professional hotel tester:

  • A bellhop should notice a guest arrival within 3 seconds and give a welcoming smile.
  • In the reception area, no matter how busy they are they should give a warm eye contact with new visitors.
  • You should be able to haggle for a discount or some other deals.  (I have never thought of this especially in 5* hotels LOL)
  • Testing the automatic curtain management.
  • The hot water must reach the temperature within 15 seconds.
  • The height of the switches must be 1 metre.
  • Not a single hair must be on the carpet.
  • The security peephole must be 1.2 metres high.
  • The toilet must be 45 cm high
  • In the restaurant, you should be noticed within 3 seconds
  • The final test was how efficient the hotel cleaners.  You can be as messy as you like and expect that everything would be tidied after you.  (I would like to see that)

 

There are also side stories like a pop star/singer-songwriter called Lucas, who was so taciturn as his composing mojo had left him.

There was also a couple who have not had proper relationships for ages.  When the husband tried it with the wife, she laughed at him dismissively.  This made him call a young girlfriend to book herself into the same hotel as well.

When he got to her room, she breaks up with him because she finally realised that he was just too old for her.

The girl then tried to leave the hotel, only to run to her father, who was currently a fugitive from his debtors.

Nie Xuan was a victim of his brother’s sabotage.

Nie Xuan was told that the younger brother is now set to inherit from their father.  Nie Xuan had had enough and quit. XiaoXiao was there and she showed him that there is more to life than working all the time. She encourages him to relax.

Within a couple of days, his father was calling him back to return and will give him another chance.  He did some reorganisation and fired YangYa, his dad’s PA who was helping his younger brother to sabotage his work.

Toward the end of the film, he led XiaoXiao to a beautifully decorated room with guests wishing them a good engagement celebration.

The next day Nie Xuan found the red shoes with the ring he gave to  XiaoXiao in her vacated hotel room.

XiaoXiao then shown doing her job once again in another luxurious hotel somewhere in the world.

When she opened the paper, there was a photo of a pair of red shoes and she gave an enigmatic smile.

The End

 

 

The Witness (Chinese Film)

Film:  2015 Classic

The Witness (Chinese Film)

The Witness poster

  • Genre: Thriller, Crime, Serial Killer
  • Release Date: 2015
  • Origin: Based on a South Korean film called Blind which is also directed by Ahn Sang -Hoon

Cast:

  • Yang Mi as Lu Xiaoxing
  • Lu Han as Lin Chong
  • Wang Jingchun as Captain Lu
  • Zhu Yawen as Tang Zheng
  • Liu Ruilin as Liang Cong
  • Lai Yi as Jing Kuang
  • Li Xirui as Ya Nan
  • Xu Lingyue as Tang Qian

Synopsis:

The story is about a race against time to get a serial abductor, whose next victim is the blind Lu Xioaxing.  With the help of a young witness they must outwit and get away from the assailant.

I totally recommend this film, it has enough thrill, it has beautiful cast, the script is tight.

I have to admit though that Lu Han rather stole the film, he was so radiant.  I also have to mention Cong Cong.  I really shed a few tears when he died.  That was such a sad scene.

You might wonder who Cong Cong was as he is not mentioned in the cast list.  Well, Cong Cong was a guide dog, was a good and faithful companion to Xiaoxing (Yang Mi).

She’s blind after an accident involving her and her brother.

Three years ago, Xiaoxing was an up and coming rookie policewoman, who left her post unattended to go running off to her brother, who had been regularly banking off college to concentrate on his music, which by all account, he was getting rather successful with his band of followers.

Xiaoxing frogmarched her brother into the car and tied him up as he was unruly.

No matter how much he begged Xiaosing was having none of it.

Her frustrated brother started interfering with the accelerator until Xiaoxing lost control and bumped into a lorry.

Xiaoxing got thrown out of the car while her brother was left in the car which was about to fall a few metres down below.

He died she went blind.

TBC

 

 

Detective Dee: The Four Heavenly Kings (Chinese Film Review)

Film

Detective Dee: The Four Heavenly Kings (Chinese Film Review)

Detective Dee: The Four Heavenly Kings poster

  • Genre: Historical, Fiction, Fantasy, Action, Adventure, Martial Arts, CGI Galore
  • Release Date: July 2018
  • Film: China/Mandarin

Cast:

 

 

 

There are four great reasons to watch this film.  These reasons being the four heavyweights of handsomeness and manliness in Mark Chao, William Feng, Kenny Lin, and Ethan Juan.  They are big stars of Chinese films and television dramas.

There is also a big bonus.  There is an albino Kingkong.

Anyway, the story centers on the Dragon Taming Mace, which is an all-powerful sword/baton that can cut through pure evil.

In previous films, Detective Dee of the Bureau of Investigation had saved the Emperor countless times and as a reward, he gave the Dragon Taming Mace (DTM) to him, much to the displeasure of the ambitious and conniving Empress Wu.

The Empress instructed Yuchi, the palace’s military commander (?) to take back the DTM from Detective Dee, who happened to be a sworn brother of Yuchi.

Yuchi was perturbed, but he had to obey the Empress at all cost being a subject to the royal family.  The Empress did assure him that she will not harm Dee and his family.  She just wanted the DTM back.

She then told Yuchi to lead a band of sorcerers to get the DTM.

And here the story really progress.

The film is fast paced with plenty of action.  The CGI is great.

Towards 3/4 of the film, an albino Kingkong appears as the protector of Master Yuan Ce, who has the power to ‘melt’ an evil heart.

Detective Dee needed Master Yuan Ce’s intervention to interpret some sutras that would defeat those renegade magicians and sorcerers overthrowing the crown.

There was a scene, which I did find rather uncomfortable.  I have to warn those like me who suffers from trypophobia, the fear of clusters of small holes.  The holes in this film was from a giant golden hominid, who was covered in thousands of eyes.  When the eyeballs popped out I was literally covered in goosebumps. I had to look away from the film.  The CGI was so good.

I’m Underage, But not a Child (Japanese Movie Review)

Film

I’m Underage, But not a Child (Japanese Movie Review)

Official Movie Poster

  • Genre: Manga, Romance, Youth, School
  • Based on a Manga
  • Date Release: December 2017

Cast:

  • Nakajima Kento as Tsuruki Nao
  • Taira Yuna as Oriyama Karin
  • Chinen Yuri as Ebina ‘Rinrin’ Isuzu
  • Yamamoto Maika as Saaya Matsui
  • Murakami Shingo as Kuburaki

This movie is engaging.  All the characters are pleasant and the story and script are rather off the wall but watchable once you get used to it being zany!  LOL

The film itself is really good but without reading the manga version, you will be left with some unanswered questions, like why would loving affluent parents allow their pampered child to marry at 16?

Anyway, Karin was on the day of her first year in senior high school, which coincidentally is also her 16th birthday.

She was taken to school in their limo escorted by their butler, Kuburaki.  Along the way, they were stopped by another limo, whose passenger is Rinrin, Karin’s childhood best friend.  He gave her a bunch of flower for her birthday.

When they got to school, the girls were all excited about a prince playing football.

Karin was intrigued enough to follow the throng of girls.

With her ‘opera’ binoculars, she tried to find the prince.  She was really into it that she started walking towards the middle of the playing field.  She was stopped by a ball hitting her on the head and she fell in the arms of the handsomest  guy in school.  She found her prince.

Then came the night of her birthday.  There was a fairytale party.  Her parents then said that they have a present for her and the gift was a photo of the boy she is going to marry now that she is 16.

Karin at first was happy but realised the enormity of the gift.  She’s only 16 and not going to marry just yet but then again she saw the photo and it was her prince from school.

She changed her mind, she wanted to get married.

In the manga, it was explained more why the parents allow their pampered daughter to get married quite young.  The boy, Nao, is the son of their friends in college.  Back then, they were all very good friends.  In fact, Karin’s dad had a thing for Nao’s mum, but she chose a handsome and rich man, who became Nao’s father.  Karin’s father was a struggling student who then met his wife.    They all promised that they will marry their children when they reach 16.

Karin had a very quiet wedding day, only a few were there.  There were no wedding rings and not even the part of kissing the bride.  Nao explained to Karin that he wanted to keep their marriage secret so they can continue to go to school.

The newly married couple then were shown their new house, it was a hovel.  Surprisingly Karin took to it like a duck to water.  She was willing to learn and she learned new things very well.  Nao was a positive influence in her life.  And Nao found her refreshing with her childlike innocence.  She did not even mind that the marriage was a sham, in name only.

Like when she was confronted with an ex-girlfriend of Nao called Saaya at school.  Saaya told her that she must break up with Nao, who overheard their conversation.  Saaya told Karin that she broke up with Nao because she found out that he and his family were up to his neck in debt.  Nao will only be after her money.

Karin said that it was alright because her family has a lot of money, she then asked Saaya if she wanted some as well.

Saaya then asked if Karin likes him because he’s handsome.  Karin said that yes, she likes him because he is handsome and he likes her for her money and she made it sounds like it was the most natural thing in the world.

In the end, Saaya was overwhelmed with Karin’s childlike logic, which made Nao smile in the background with a new respect for Karin’s loyalty.

It was a cute story, with a minor sad part when Rinrin finally got to find out that Karin had married Nao.  He forced them to divorce.  He told Nao that he will announce to the world/school that Nao and Karin are married and this would mean expulsion from school.  Nao really married Karin because Karin’s family will pay Nao’s enormous debt, pay for his tuition and he will inherit the Oriyama’s group of companies as the son-in-law.

Nao really had no choice but to comply with Rinrin’s dictum.  After going on a date with Karin, he told her that he wanted a divorce.

But really by this time they are both genuinely in love with one another.

So Nao went to Rinrin to beg him to return Karin back to him.

Rinrin was not really a bad guy and though he is interested in Karin, whom he thought of marrying when they turned 18, knew deep down that Karin won’t do it and Karin is his very dear friend.

So he said to Nao to make Karin happy because if she’s not he was going to make Nao so sorry.

Five years on, Nao and Karin married once again with all the pomp and circumstance.

Really cute movie and the actress, Taira Yuna was just adorable throughout the film.

 

The 8-Year Engagement (Japanese Movie Review)

Film

The 8-Year Engagement (Japanese Movie Review)

8-nengoshi no Hanayome: Kiseki no Jitsuwa poster

  • Genre: Romance
  • Japanese Title: 8-nengoshi no Hanayome: Kiseki no Jitsuwa
  • Date Released:  December 2017
  • Based on a book about a real-life romance story of Hisashi Nakahara and Mai Nakahara.

Cast:

 


I have been waiting for this film like forever.  I love both the leads.  For their young age, they have consistently showed good acting.

The story also sounded really interesting.


This is a gentle melodrama, which has a happy ending.

Hisashi is a hardworking car mechanic.  He had been suffering from stomach ache but still got roped into going to a dinner party, where single available girls were also invited.

During the dinner, Hisashi appeared sullen due to his achy tummy.  One of the girls told him off for being aloof.  The girl was Mai.

Hisashi quickly explained to Mai that he was in pain, with the stomach ache.  Mai understood and they clicked immediately.

They started dating and really get on very well.  Mai introduced him to her parents who liked him as well.

He asked Mai to marry him and she happily agreed.  They quickly book their wedding for the 17th of March which was just a few months away.

Sadly their happiness was cut short as Mai started suffering from forgetfulness and paranoia.  Hisashi brought her to the hospital while she was having her ‘turn’.

She was then diagnosed with anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis, which is caused by a tumour growing on her ovary.

She ended up in a comatose state for a year and all this time, Hisashi remained devoted to her, visiting her in the hospital every single day.  Making vignettes of videos which he sent to her mobile for her to see when she wakes up.

Mai’s mother and father were told that Mai had to have an ovariectomy to cure her illness.  Hasashi agreed to the procedure.  He was told off my Mai’s mother, saying that he was not family and therefore doesn’t have any say.  He was also ordered to stop coming to the hospital to see Mai. They don’t want to ruin his life.  This part was so sad.  I ended up crying.  Takeru was so quietly sad at first and it was heartbreaking to watch.

Hasashi was in bits.  His life was Mai.  Against their order, he went back to see Mai again.

Mai’s mother warned him that she might be comatose forever, and asked if he was prepared for such a situation, in which he answered in the affirmative.

Mai’s mother then thank him sincerely and told him that her daughter found a good man.

Mai finally woke up after a year.

But she was different.  The doctor said that she was like an infant, she is reset to zero, born again.  She needed to be taught everything.

She started to remember everything except Hasashi.

Mai was desperate to remember Hasashi and even went on a rather dangerous mission of finding inspiration to remember.  She started complaining of pain in her head, which alarmed Hasashi.

Finally, Hasashi had to give up.  He thought he had to remove himself from Mai’s vicinity to give her some peace and quiet time.

After some more time, Mai was allowed to go home.  The first thing she found was her mobile phone.

She tried to start it, but she does not know the pass code.  She is back to her cheerful self once again.  She was in her wheelchair visiting places when she encountered the kindly wedding planner who recognised her immediately.in

The wedding planner asked her if she was ready to get married.  Mai found out that Hasashi kept their booking for March 17, paying each year for it.

Mai then tried the 0317 to unlock her mobile phone and it worked.  She then found more than 500 unread messages Hasashi, which were the videos he made.  This scene was so painfully beautiful, I cried so much.

Mai went to find Hasashi (he has been gone for more than a year), who was now working on an island.

Mai confessed to him that she still cannot remember him but she wants to fall in

 

 

 

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