11 January 2003 | kurai_hisui
Attractive, but inconsistent
It was a beautiful film, visually, without a doubt. The choices of setting, camera angles, lighting, are all stunning. The rest of the movie is pretty inconsistent. The plot is interesting, but a bit predictable. Pacing alternates between some brilliantly timed scenes and long, dragging ones. The acting, in particular, feels like two movies got spliced together by accident. The Japanese segments are excellent (with one or two notable exceptions), and Yutaka Takenouchi plays his part perfectly. But I winced whenever someone starting speaking English. Merv (and I think you should lose two stars just for naming a character 'Merv') is like watching a infomercial host doing a bad Bill Clinton impression. He's so lifeless, it's funny. And Kelly Chen pauses so long between English lines, you'd think she was reading them phonetically from a TelePrompTer. And her character, Aoi, seemed particularly under-developed. All that said, it was a nice, and very pretty little romance. Worth renting for a quiet evening, but I wouldn't go searching for it on e-bay or anything.