47 Ronin (2013)

47 Ronin
Director: Carl Rinsch
Writer: Chris Morgan, Hossein Amini
Based on: the history of the 47 Ronin (very loosely)
Cast: Hiroyuki Sanada, Keanu Reeves, Ko Shibasaki, Rinko Kikuchi, Tadanobu Asano, Min Tanaka, Jin Akanishi, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Rick Genest

Ôishi (Hiroyuki Sanada) is the head samurai of Lord Asano (Min Tanaka), so when Asano dies due to Lord Kira’s (Tadanobu Asano) use of magic through a witch (Rinko Kikuchi), Ôishi becomes ronin. Against Shogun Tsunayoshi’s (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa) express orders, Ôishi and the rest of the ronin decide to revenge their master. And for that they need the help of Kai (Keanu Reeves), a foundling who was taken in by Asano as a young boy who was always mistreated by the samurai but who has some incredible gifts. Kai agrees, mostly to save Mika (Ko Shibasaki), Asano’s daughter.

47 Ronin should have been a spectacle, close to I, Frankenstein in entertainment value and (lack of) intelligence. And while there were a few things that came close to spectacular and a few things that came close to pure stupidity, altogether it was pretty disappointing.


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Pacific Rim (2013)

Pacific Rim
Director: Guillermo del Toro
Writer: Guillermo del Toro, Travis Beacham
Cast: Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Day, Burn GormanMax MartiniRobert Kazinsky, Ron Perlman, Diego Klattenhoff

In the future huge monsters – kaijus – have started to rise from the sea. To defend themselves humanity has developed huge robots – jaegers – that have to be piloted by two people at the same time, for which they need a certain neurological compatibility. One of these pilots is Raleigh (Charlie Hunnam), who lost his co-pilot and brother and has since retired. But he gets re-recruited by Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba) who plans a last ditch effort to keep the monsters at bay before the jaeger program is disbanded.

I was disappointed by Pacific Rim. With all the positive reviews and buzz the movie gathered (and Guillermo del Toro at the helm), I’m afraid that my expectations were just way too high.



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The Brothers Bloom (2008)

The Brothers Bloom
Director: Rian Johnson
Writer: Rian Johnson
Cast: Adrien Brody, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel Weisz, Rinko Kikuchi, Robbie Coltrane, Maximilian Schell

Stephen (Mark Ruffalo) and Bloom (Adrien Brody) are broterhs and con artists. They are working together with Bang Bang (Rinko Kikuchi) and have successfully pulled off quite a few heists already. But Bloom has grown weary of their work. He quits, only to be hauled back in by Stephen for one last job. Their target: Penelope (Rachel Weisz), incredibly rich, very weird and beautiful. Even though it goes against his instincts, Bloom agrees to go along with it as he’s intrigued by Penelope. But things keep twisting and turn out quite differently than originally planned.

The Brothers Bloom is fun and especially with Penelope they created such a wonderful character that you can’t help but love it all. It’s a really nice, entertaining film.


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Noruwei no mori [Norwegian Wood] (2010)

Noruwei no mori
Director: Anh Hung Tran
Writer: Anh Hung Tran
Based on: Haruki Murakami‘s novel
Cast: Ken’ichi Matsuyama, Rinko Kikuchi, Kiko Mizuhara, Reika Kirishima, Tetsuji Tamayama, Eriko Hatsune

Toru (Ken’ichi Matsuyama) just started university in Tokyo when he runs into Naoko (Rinko Kikuchi). Naoko used to be Toru’s best friend Kizuki’s (Kengo Kôra) girlfriend but after Kizuki committed suicide, they fell out of touch. Toru and Naoko start hanging out, then sleep together but afterwards, Naoko disappears. After a bit Toru finds out that Naoko is staying at a sanatorium. While she is gone, he meets Midori (Kiko Mizuhara) who is pretty much everything Naoko is not. Even though Toru is completely devoted to Naoko, his friendship with Midori deepens.

This movie did not work, neither as a film of its own, nor as an adaptation of the novel. It was way too long and disjointed. At least the cast was mostly fine and the cinematography nice.

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