The Fallen Angel (Japanese Movie 2010)

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Movie Rating: 8/10

~Synopsis~

“No Longer Human” tells the story of a young man who has felt since childhood utterly alien from others around him. Since that time he has learned to put on a face to hide his alienation. He feels incapable of belonging to the human society, especially so by society’s refusal to take him seriously. He then follows a descent into alcohol, drugs, & suicide …

Yozo Oba (Toma Ikuta) was born into a wealthy family in Tsugaru. As a child he practiced smiling to hide his true feelings and to get along with others. His classmate Dakeichi found out about Yozo’s eccentric behavior and told others about him. But Dakeichi also told Yozo a strange prediction about his life … that he will become popular with the ladies and draw beautiful pictures.

During Yozo’s high school years he moved to Tokyo. In Tokyo he meets Horiki (Yusuke Iseya), a guy six years older than him. Horiki is known for being a player and one day drags Yozo to the Blue Flower Bar run by Madame Ritsuko (Michiyo Ookusu). At the bar there is poet Chuya Nakahara (Go Morita) who proclaims “war is brown like the color of shit”. Yozo doesn’t say anything as he takes in the environment.

Yozo starts to drink more often and starts to live the fast life like Horiki. Like Dakeichi’s prediction, Yozo also becomes popular with the ladies and always has a woman next to him. But, Yozo starts to become sick of this lifestyle.

At a cafe, Yozo meets Hisako (Shinobu Terajima) a women who lets him drink without paying. Yozo senses that Hisako feels a heavy sense of loneliness like himself. One day Yozo and Hisako attempts to kill themselves out in the Sea of Kamakura. Hisako dies, but Yozo survives. His family then takes Yozo to a sanitarium.

Excerpted from: AsianMediaWiki

I have initially put this movie on hold, since I wasn’t really ready to handle a depressing film as per the initial summary I’ve read at Avistaz but I’m glad I finally got to watch it. The movie is mostly slow and has a really complex story line. Despite that, the portrayal of the actors was top of the line, it felt realistic and they have nailed each character with so much fervor it could actually affect the way you think of the movie.

Upon watching, I feel like the main character Yozo Oba has lived such a bleak existence. He had no sense of purpose and I felt bad for him as he trudged on with his life not knowing where to go, what exactly he wants to achieve or simply not knowing how to live in happiness. Near the end of the film though, there was a glimpse of a little fulfillment and joy in his desolate life, but it didn’t actually last long. Things simply happen and life was being a bitch to him.

Music wise, it was melancholic and enough to make the film into what its tone should be but it’s not something that has wowed me enough to remember it. I’m having second thoughts on re-watching it, probably I will in the far future if I wanted to re-analyze my own life if it has indeed become as depressing as Yozo Oba.

Overall, I would suggest that if someone would decide to check this movie out simply because Ikuta Toma is their bias, think again. It’s not romantic, it’s also devoid of anything funny because this film can sap the happiness out of you like it did for me and lastly it has a heavy atmosphere all throughout its run time. That said, I’m still recommending it because it happened in real life, it is a beautiful memoir and it has fantastic actors to back it up.

Photos are not mine. Credits to the owner.
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My Teacher (Japanese Movie 2017)

Synopsis:

Based on the manga series of the same name by Kawahara Kazune. Sophomore and representative of the archery club, Shimada Hibiki is a 17-year-old student who has never been in love. During her high school’s entrance ceremony she sees Kosaku Ito, her 26-year-old world history teacher, who is well known to be a stern and cold person. Hibiki, rescued by Ito after a minor incident, discovers that their teacher is actually compassionate towards others and starts to develop romantic feelings for him. Hibiki confesses, and her honest and young love begins to slowly melt Ito’s heart.

Excerpted from: MyDramalist

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Words from me:

I have ambivalent feelings about this movie.

I love Ikuta Toma but it feels like the whole movie lacks substance and is focused on the high school girl’s love towards her teacher. The manga probably would have been really good but the Movie adaptation wasn’t able to live up to the hype and simply felt like there was some sense of pedophilia in all of these even though the story tries to tell me that it’s supposed to be “pure love” between a man and a young woman. However, watching it all unfold still felt weird.

It’s really sad that I have so many complaints with the script and story line, but setting those aside, I totally love the actors. I’ve been following Ikuta Toma’s work for quite some time now and this is probably one of the best characters that I’ve seen him in. I like the fact that his character was a total tsundere – this is a Japanese term that describes a person who is initially cold or hostile before gradually showing a warmer, friendlier side over time. Personally, I think this kind of character is perfect for him. Then there’s Hirose Suzu, the fact that she’s pretty even with short hair is kind of killing me. How can someone look so great even with short hair??? Besides that, I think her pairing up with Toma for this movie is the best choice. Despite the lackluster of the script, both actors look really great together. They are simply an eye candy to watch. As for the supporting characters, there’s nothing much to mention because even if they were not there, I think the drama between the main leads could still push forward.

There are no problems with the actors or their acting. I think they were really great, the problem lies solely from the script. For those who had read the manga, they would have probably understood the scene even without the dialogue, but for someone like me who had no idea about the original story, I had to second guess what the characters wanted to imply with what they were saying.

Cinematography wise, the scenes were really lovely. There was this overall sepia feel to it that makes the whole movie seem dreamlike. The OST wasn’t really that memorable for me despite the melancholic soft tones. I didn’t have the last song syndrome for it even during the important scenes. All in all, I wouldn’t recommend this movie for those who are looking a meaningful show to watch, but in case someone is looking for a movie to pass time with, this would be a nice film to check out.

Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure – Diamond is Unbreakable (Japanese Movie 2017)

Synopsis:

In the fictional town of Moriou, Josuke Higashikata is the illegitimate son of Joseph Joestar. He possesses a Stand (super power), called Crazy Diamond that allows him to restore or fix broken objects or animals.

Josuke and his friends go to war with other Stand users.

Excerpted from: My Dramalist

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Words from Me:

This movie needs to have a part 2 and I’m sure the producers definitely planned for it, or else that ominous last scene at the ending credits would mean nothing. I really really really hope it comes out real soon! I feel that the wait would be worth it though.

What I like about the movie was practically everything. Story line, characters, CGI and OST were great and constructed well. The story wasn’t something unique as it was sort of closely related to the movie “Ajin” which I previously watched. In this movie they had this thing called “Stand” which could be compared to Ajin’s “Ghost”, where in a secondary kind of spirit comes out of the body. The difference is that in Ajin, there’s no particular talent of characteristic, they’re just good in fighting. While here in this movie, a Stand is not simply a spirit good in fighting but also has its own characteristic such as being able to heal wounds, control water, teleport, etc. I like the idea of having all kinds of power meeting together and fighting one another, having their own advantage and disadvantage. This is where the CGI worked miracles because it enhanced the already seemingly high value of the movie.

Despite liking the story, it does feel a bit off since this is adapted from a manga and the makers made it with a thought that people already know about the original work, so there are bits and pieces of tiny loopholes in the back story of the characters in which I had to feel in with my own common sense and imagination. Aside that I have nothing else to complain about because I wasn’t bored watching it all. Whatever was happening on screen took me by surprise and made my heart jump every now and then.

Bizarre is the perfect word to describe the situation of the characters because that’s exactly what was happening in their lives. Yamazakis Kento portrayed Jojo so well that he became an appealing protagonist to have everyone revolve around with. I couldn’t imagine anyone else who can act the same way he did. I also like the fact that his character could heal people even though he could not heal himself. It is usually a good defense in a fight but never a great offense. With this kind of strength, how on earth is he able to survive in an actual battle? That’s why it’s better to watch this movie than take my word for it because the way that the screen writer have incorporated wit to a dense kind of person, has an unlimited supply of possibilities! Other special mention characters are Hirose Koichi and Okuyasu Nijimura who were acted by Kamiki Ryunosuke and Mackenyu. I wouldn’t want to tell more about them as it might spoil the movie but they are the characters I would have watched out aside from the main one. Yamada Takayuki as Angelo on the other hand was a notable villain in the first half of the show.

On a side note, the OST was perfect for the whole movie as it was loud and fast paced exactly like what was happening in the scenes. The only thing that made me feel bad was the way it had a cliff hanger ending, but at the same time I also knew that the film had a lot more to offer and what I just watched was simply the beginning of Jojo’s Bizzare Adventure.