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JoJo no kimyô na bôken: Daiyamondo wa kudakenai - dai-isshô

Style over substance
First of all I am not familiar with the source material, so I can only judge the movie on its own. It is stylish and well made cinematographically and the opening act sets up an intriguing scene, but then it just falls flat. The characters don't really develop relationships and the story is totally superficial and boring. There is no deeper meaning to it whatsoever. It's like watching a bunch of kids play a computer game where they have their colorful avatars fight one another.

Tennen kokekkô

A nice escape from the modern world
A mellow, idyllic and quiet feel-good movie about a school in a secluded coastal village. There are no mobile phones and gaming consoles. The children are still playing outside, there is still a community and healthy family life. If you're looking for relaxation and a dose of wholesomeness with a little bit of romance on top, look no further. I enjoyed it.

Papa wa warumono chanpion

Nice movie even if you aren't into wrestling
I'm not really a fan of wrestling, so I wasn't sure if I would like it. But it's actually more of a family movie and the wrestling part is just the medium to tell a father-son relationship story. The characters are likeable and it's quite an endearing film with a lot of heart. You also learn to appreciate the immense physical strain that guys in the wrestling business are subjecting themselves to. Even if it's goofy and the fighting isn't real, you can't fake a jump from two meters back first onto the boards.

Ansatsu kyôshitsu

Stupid and cringe
I couldn't make it through this dumb pile of garbage. Had to turn it off during the first half. It was not fun, or interesting, or entertaining, it was just painful to watch. I was actually open to the basic premise though. The first 15 minutes when the scenario was set up, I thought "okay, weird, let's see where this is going..." - but it went downhill from there fast when they kept introducing even weirder and weirder new elements and characters out of the blue in a "deus ex machina" kind of way. Especially the characters were unbearable and just really gay.

If you don't want to give yourself an aneurysm, stay away.

Zoku Shinya shokudô

A bit boring. The first one was better.
I enjoyed the first one, but I found this one a bit boring. It's just as nice and wholesome (except for the two cross-dressing weirdos which also appeared in part one, what's up with those) but the characters and stories weren't as intriguing or relatable to me. Some of it felt a little bit too trivial. But that's a personal preference. Someone else might like it a lot.

Kyô mo iyagarase bentô

Nice movie about family and appreciating parents
For the first 20 minutes it was kind of annoying but then you start to understand where it's going with this weird idea and it becomes a decent movie about misunderstandings, rebellion and psychological walls between teenagers and their parents. There is a romance subplot which could have been explored a bit more, which would have rounded the whole thing off. But it's an okay movie.

Jokgoo wang

Light-hearted college comedy
It's a light-hearted college comedy with some romance elements. There is one really cringy love scene and I felt the balance between the silly humor and the romantic subplot was a bit off at times, but otherwise it's entertaining enough. Not bad, but only slightly above mediocre.

Aru yasashiki satsujinsha no kiroku

It's an interesting basic idea, but it was not enough to keep me captivated. I got bored rather quickly. Part of it was that pretty much the entire movie takes place in one room. This can work, but it has to make up for it with really great acting and some extra riveting dialogue and plot. Unfortunately, this one was just mediocre.


More sick demonization of the family
Just when you think the cultural programming coming out of Hollywood can't get any more sick and depraved, they one-up themselves again. I am not a religious person but the word most suited to describe this nihilistic soul poison being pumped into peoples' brains here is "satanic". It demonizes anything that is beautiful, natural and healthy. Marriage, children, the family. (The white family in particular.) It's just pure evil.


A bit of a mess
There are certainly quite a few funny individual scenes in this movie, but the overall story is not very good or captivating. It feels too random. This mafia guy suddenly receives a supernatural, spiritual gift and is supposed to become a shaman, but it's not really explained why and he is so goofy and kind of gay in this shaman role that he isn't believable as a gangster. And neither as a shaman actually. Maybe they should have pictured his gangster side more to bring out the contrast.

Not really bad, but not good either.

Koi wa ameagari no yô ni

Cute movie
It's a cute movie about a high school girl becoming infatuated with her 45 year-old boss at her part time waitress job. They develop an unusual friendship. It's perfectly innocent though and there isn't even a hint of anything indecent. The characters are very likeable and the movie is a wholesome, nice feel-good experience.

Pinku to gurê

Interesting drama, a bit confusing
A movie about two childhood friends getting into showbusiness at the same time, one being more successful than the other, which puts a strain on their relationship. This is only half of the story though, there are lots of other things going on but it's hard to talk about it without spoiling something. I did like the performances. But ultimately I found the story (or the moral of the story) a little bit confusing because I didn't quite get what motivated some of the main protagonists to some of their rather drastic actions.

Shigatsu wa kimi no uso

Cute romance movie
Quite a nice, wholesome and emotional little drama. The characters are likeable and there is a little bit of a love triangle situation going on. Classical music is an integral part of the film, which is always delightful and inspiring and the scenery is also quite beautiful. I'm thankful that at least Japan still makes movies that touch you and have a soul.

Kami no tsuki

A corrupt woman's journey towards self destruction
I didn't like this movie because the main character was not relatable or elicited any sympathy. She's just a bad person. Other reviewers were interpreting some feminist "women's liberation" message into this story and lauding her as some kind of heroine, because she betrays her husband and goes and "does what she wants". (Goes to show you again how toxic that ideology is.) All I see is a corrupt, stupid woman throwing away her life and her marriage for material goods and short term hedonistic pleasure with an underage boy two decades younger than her. It's also entirely predictable that she won't get away with it. At one point she is asked about children and if she's trying to have one. She doesn't answer. Maybe she or her husband can't have any, that would at least partially explain her nihilistic attitude and her self-destructive behavior.

Tantei wa bar ni iru

Okay but too long
It starts out very funny and entertaining, there are charismatic characters and appealing cinematography, but the movie loses steam about halfway through. There just wasn't enough tension, action, character development or intrigue in the story to keep me captivated. It just dragged on at a very slow pace. They should have cut off half an hour too.

I've seen worse though, so I'll probably check out part 2 as well.


Stupid movie
This is like a bad, low budget X-Files episode. Supernatural elements only work, if the rest of the story remains believable and doesn't defy all rationality and laws of the universe. But this movie is just absurd from start to finish. The plot is formulaic, there's lots of bad acting, the actions of the protagonists make no sense and the worst - none of the characters are relatable. You just don't care about any of them or what's going on.

Don't waste your time.

Katte ni furuetero

A mixed bag
The girl is stuck on her high school crush from ten years ago. She still dreams of him and constantly talks about him, but hasn't seen him since. A new guy comes along and wants to be her boyfriend, but she can't make up her mind whether to move on and give up her love for the man from the past or not. It's charming at first, but then it gets a bit annoying. First of all, her new love interest is such a goofy guy, it makes no sense that she even considers him, and they very clearly have zero chemistry too. The girl also has some serious manic-depressive episodes almost, to a point where you go from finding her quirky in a cute way to legitimately crazy. The ending is not satisfying either.

Matsugane ransha jiken

This movie feels very monotonous and didn't captivate me at all. None of the characters are interesting, relatable or likeable. The story is boring. It just drags on and on. Maybe I'm missing the low-key humor because it's so super low-key, but I think it's simply not good.

Rokuyon: Zenpen

Too much political drama, too little crime thriller
This review applies to parts 1 and 2.

First of all I want to preface that I have not found any good English subtitles for this movie, so I had to watch it with pretty much incomprehensible ones. Thankfully there are a few summaries of the book online, so I was able to piece together what was going on. That definitely diminished the experience a bit though.

Despite that I have to say, while the movie is very well done in terms of cinematography and acting, there was just too much focus on internal politics and infighting between the police department and the press and way too little focus on the actual crime story. At least for my taste. There is almost no detective work, like looking for evidence, questioning witnesses or chasing the killer. The movie does have some historical relevancy, but you'd have to be a Japan insider in order to understand and appreciate that. I just found it a bit boring unfortunately.

Eiga: minna! Esupâ da yo!

Bad and unfunny
I wouldn't mind the explicit sex humor if this totally absurd movie (which could only come out of Japan) was actually funny. I mean, it IS kind of funny in a sense that such a bizarre, crazy and stupid story even got made into a film. At times it reminds of a perhaps a bit overly creative porno with the sex scenes cut out. Maybe stoners would find it hilarious, but watching it sober it didn't make me laugh once. It's just bad.

Odoru daisosasen

Boring and dull
I liked the characters and the style, so I believe the setup really had potential. But unfortunately they didn't make much out of it. Another reviewer called it "directionless". I agree. It just meanders along without any suspense, the story is totally unexciting. There is some subtle humor but that's all.

I'll still check out the second part though, maybe I'll like it better. (Probably not.)

Oboreru naifu

Way too over the top
It starts out like a cute, wholesome little romance story with nice cinematography and scenery. The attraction between the girl and the guy are portrayed in this sweet, almost poetic dance of him drawing her in, then pushing her away, him teasing her and running away, making her chase after him. But then the drama becomes too unrealistic and just goes way over the top towards almost absurd territory.

In short, I enjoyed the first part but then it kind of fell apart a bit.

Linda Linda Linda

Nice but kind of boring
I don't actually have anything negative to say about this movie, but it didn't really captivate me. Like other reviewers have said, it's nice and warm and wholesome, and I do like other such school dramas. But something was missing. Maybe because none of the characters were really memorable, or it was just too mellow for my taste. I'd say check it out and see for yourself.

Ningyo densetsu

Too absurd
A fisherman is killed by greedy land developers because he stands in the way of their plans. His wife seeks total revenge. Sounds interesting in theory. And technically it is a well made film, with beautiful shots and nice music. But then you get one-dimensional, almost caricature-like villains who openly discuss their evil deed like total idiots and such utterly unrealistic violence, it's not believable in the slightest. This is where it turns from a rather athmospheric movie to something more reminiscent of a trashy exploitation flick. I enjoyed the beginning, but ended up not liking it at all.


Entertaining but somewhat unrefined
Korean movies have made a huge step forward in terms of quality after about 2010 or so. Not to say all movies before that are bad, but there are a lot of more unrefined works such as this one. It fluctuates between almost comically over the top fight scenes and trying to tell a serious story. This is where it falls apart a little bit. No matter how weighty the dialogues are and how grim the story is, you just can't take the characters seriously anymore. The action scenes feature a lot of stupid martial arts kicks and have a clear Chinese/Hong Kong influence (the places where the worst movies on earth come from).

But having said all of that, it's entertaining and it's fun so for a popcorn evening you could do worse.

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