Virgin Snow (Korean-Japanese Movie 2007)

Synopsis:

Min moves to Japan following his professor father. One day at a local shrine, he meets a beautiful, long-haired Japanese girl with innocent eyes. Her name is Nanae, and she is an aspiring painter. Min falls for her at first sight. He longs for her but soon learns that Nanae attends the same school to which Min has just transferred.

Min befriends Nanae, and despite the cultural and language barriers, they become fast friends, taking in the famous sites of Kyoto. Their feelings for each other grow, and on a visit to a ceramic store, Nanae promises some day to paint Min’s portrait on the pottery that is made by him. Min continues to learn the craft from his father, and he comes to realize that he has to put all of his heart, the kind of love he feels for Nanae, into making the pottery for it not to crack.

Because of his grandmother’s sudden illness, Min has to return to Korea to be with her. He cannot get in touch with Nanae, and he becomes anxious. After his grandmother regains her health, he hurries back to Japan to look for Nanae, but she is nowhere to be found. Have his true feelings for Nanae not reached her? Why has Nanae disappeared without a word?

Excerpted from: AsianWiki

Words from Me:

I can’t say I loved it but I am not saying I hate it, it was an average kind of film for me. I was probably just expecting so much from it since both main actors are my favorite but the story line was a typical one and there wasn’t anything special or surprising about it. The fact that there was so much hype for the movie prior to it’s screening, it was a bit of let down when I finally saw it and there wasn’t much of the feels aspect in it.

Despite having Lee Jun Ki and Aoi Miyazaki who are both top a rated Korean actor and Japanese actress as the main leads, the movie still didn’t make it into my must watch and recommended movies.

The story was more in the line of innocent love, or love at first sight and has many sweet moments. A girl would love to be treated like how Jun Ki treated Aoi here. It was just so sweet… but then again the character build up was slow (although amazingly it doesn’t have too many draggy moments as I have expected it to be) and the whole story lacked heart clenching moments as it could have been. It really had so much potential, so I wonder what the writer was thinking because the directing and cinematography was beautiful and I had not thing to complain about that. Maybe because this was a Korean-Japanese collaboration, the expectations were high and the pressure was heavy for the writer and producers.

As for the music, it was well done as both Japanese and Korean musicians incorporated their musical scores through out the film and it had a great outcome. It’s one of the things that perked me up. Then add the cinematography in it, the movie became bearable. The colorful views and touches in clothes, back drops and even the things that they hold… it was a pleasure to watch. Seeing Korea and Japan in one movie was breathtaking, making me want to travel there even more.

Ao to Shiro de Mizuiro (Japanese Movie 2001)

Synopsis: 

Uchiyama Kaede (Miyazaki Aoi) and Shiina Kasumi (Aoi Yuu) used to be best friends. Now in high school, Kasumi grew more popular than Kaede, which has led her to continually bully her ex-best friend. One day after school, Kaede meets Kishida Takumi (Oguri Shun), a bike thief who’s especially talented in picking locks. She asks him for a favour: if he could possibly open the key to the school roof. Meanwhile, the arrival of a new teacher (Konishi Manami) seems to bring changes to the school.

Excerpted from: Drama Wiki

Words from Me:

The film was short, simple and has a lot in it. Although I didn’t understand 75% of what they’re talking about, I was able to get the gist of the whole movie. What I love about it is that it doesn’t need much words for me to understand what was really happening on screen. Still, I would really love to see this with subs! It was a good watch especially for teenagers who are having troubles in school and bullying.

The film shows two unlikely characters meeting and helping each other in the most critical circumstances. The storyline is quite heavy as the theme is about bullying and suicide. In a place where a person feels isolated and hurt, despair usually creeps in and when that happens, the mind can make a person think irrationally. The ending was pretty much special for me and I personally think it was directed well. The last scene kind of gives you a glimpse of a drastic change due to a decision that was made.

Since this is a fairly old movie, the main characters Miyazaki Aoi, Oguri Shun and Aoi Yu wer still young and looked like they were still in their teens. Even though they were young, that doesn’t mean they did not portray their characters well, because they were good that dialogues weren’t that much important.

That’s all I could say about this movie because if I talk some more about it, I’ll just probably blurt out some spoilers, so I’d rather have people checking it out instead.

 

Brass Knuckle Boys (Japanese Movie 2009)

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Synopsis:

A step away from losing her job, record company employee Kanna comes across an awesome punk rock band called Shonen Merikensack on the Internet, and sets out to sign them. With her job on the line, she discovers too late that the video she saw is actually an old clip from the 80s, and the members – bassist Akio, guitarist Haruo, drummer Young, and vocalist Jimmy – are now all down-on-luck middle-aged fogies. As buzz for the mystery band grows, Kanna’s record company, still in the dark about the truth, decide to launch a concert tour for Shonen Merikensack, and they want Kanna to be the band’s manager!

Excerpted from: MyDramalist

Words from Me:

Crazy, noisy, garbled music and a bunch of Pure PUNK ROCK middle aged men enthusiast. It was a funny movie nonetheless. Aoi Miyazaki’s acting was over the top and it was my first time to see her like that. I have always imagined her as a melodramatic person even in other movies.

The scenes moved back and forth from each of the band member’s past, namely the Brass Knuckle Kids. It showed how the band members evolved to the kind of person they are at the present. Watching this film made me think what punk really is about. Like during the Sex Pistols’ era along with their bassist Sid Vicious who were known as the Punk rock gods during the 80’s, I feel that their music was raw and more turbulent than current punk music. Today’s punk is more on what most people call emo side. Songs made out of love and heartbreak instead of controversies, internal affairs and other issues of real life.

Anyway, back to the movie, it also had its broken plots and what nots in between when Kana’s character goes out of hand but the ending surely got me smiling then staring blankly at the screen after the ending scene because… I’ll leave that up to whoever would want to watch this!

Music wise… as I have already mentioned above it was terribly noisy. Horrible if they include the shouting. Then there’s the kicking, slapping and knocking faces in between scenes which I’m not really fond of because I am not a fan of too much violence. So for a supposedly music endowed comedy movie with lots of sub plots, this almost made me stop watching. STILL! It was an OKAY film at the end.