Eversky.org A Dose of Asian Pop Culture & Entertainment

27Jun/070

Ooku Fan MV

Artist: Rin'
Song: Sakura Sakura
Creator: zettaireality

26Jun/071

Love and Honor (2006)

Love and Honor

Japanese Title: 武士の一分 (Bushi no Ichibun, A Samurai's Honor)
Genre: Period, Drama, Romance, samurai
Starring: Kimura Takuya, Dan Rei, Bando Mitsugoro, Sasano Takashi, Ogata Ken
Screenwriter: Fujisawa Shuuhei
Director: Yamada Yoji
MPAA: R

Synopsis: Though he is low rank with modest means, young samurai Mimura Shinnojo (Kimura Takuya) has a fairly happy and stable life with his loving wife Kayo (Dan Rei). All this comes crashing down, however, when Shinnojo, as the lord's food taster, eats poisoned shellfish and becomes blind. Distressed by his inability to support the household, he turns violent and resentful, and even considers ending his own life to redeem his name. At the urging of unsympathetic relatives, Kayo seeks the assistance of captain Shimada Toya (Bando Mitsugoro), who uses his influence to help Shinnojo retain his income and rank. As the rumors begin to get louder, Shinnojo becomes increasingly troubled that he may be losing his wife and honor to another man.
Source: YesAsia

Rating: A+ (Masterpiece)
Rewatch Factor: Medium
Comment: Love and Honor is the third and final installment of Yamada Yoji's samurai trilogy based on the novels written by Fujisawa Shuuhei. However, Love and Honor stands alone from the other two as being the best of the trilogy. In the movie, Mimura struggles for honor in the face of many challenges: his blindness and the rumors about his wife. The movie's portrayal of this was superb. People shouldn't expect fighting scenes just because it involves samurai. After all, it is a drama and it does uphold that genre. I found myself crying in buckets at some parts of the movie, but that doesn't mean this movie is full of melodramatic silliness. The title "Love and Honor" fits the movie well because they are something that Mimura has to fight for in the end. The acting were especially wonderful and everybody were perfect in their role. People who watched the 80s samurai movies will recognize an old face, Ken Ogata. I didn't think there were anything lacking in this movie. It does take patience to watch it, however. I love everything about this movie and it is something that everyone will enjoy.

26Jun/072

Ooku (2006)

Ooku

A.K.A.: Oh-Oku - The Women of the Inner Palace
Japanese Title: 大奥
Genre: Period, Drama, Romance
Starring: Nakama Yukie, Igawa Haruka, Nishijima Hidetoshi, Oikawa Mitsuhiro
Screenwriter: Hayashi Tou
Director: Asano Taeko
MPAA: R

Synopsis: Set in 1713, during the reign of child Shogun, Tokugawa Ietsugu, Ooku addresses the scandals of the inner palace where the Shogun's wife and concubines reign. While men battle on the battlefield and in the courts for power, the women themselves also battle within their own chambers for power as well as love. Lady Gekoin, the previous Shogun's concubine and the current Shogun's mother, supposedly has an illicit affair with court advisor Lord Echizen. Lady Eijima, Lady Gekoin's closest friend, knows of this and keeps it a secret from Lady Gekoin's rival, Lady Teneiin, the late Shogun's widow. Things become more complicated as Lady Teneiin becomes aware of the affair and plans to trap Lady Eijima into confessing to Lady Gekoin's crime by hiring a Kabuki actor to seduce her.
Source: Eversky.org

Rating: A+ (Masterpiece)
Rewatch Factor: Medium
Comment: Ooku is a wonderful period movie about love and politics within the doors of the inner palace of the Tokugawa shogunate. Although the viewer is first introduced to the two main parties in the beginning of the movie, Lady Gekoin and Lady Teneiin, the true main character is in fact Lady Eijima played by Nakama Yukie. Nakama Yukie fits perfectly into her role as Lady Eijima, who is not only loyal but doesn't easily fall prey to traps. Throughout this movie, Lady Eijima learns two things that she has never experienced before: love and intimacy. The movie is more about her transformation as she ventures through the palace and outside the palace, although it does provide viewers an insight into the happenings of the inner palace.

I really enjoyed watching every bit of this movie, and I thought that it was simply beautiful. It's one of those movies where we have to pay attention to everything. The pace of the movie can seem slow for most people with a lot of conversations held throughout the movie, but I didn't think so at all. And people will surely appreciate the love that blossoms in this movie, and I'm not referring to the affair between Lady Gekoin and Lord Echizen. Everything was subtle, but I can feel that it was true love. Not to mention, the costumes and the scenery was simply magnificent.

The ending was just right and I didn't feel like anything was missing at all. I really recommend this movie for people to watch. It'll provide you an insight to the minds and hearts of the women in the inner palace during the Tokugawa shogunate. It's a movie of politics, friendship, and love.

24Jun/070

Nightmare Detective (2006)

Nightmare Detective

Japanese Title: 悪夢探偵 (Akumu Tantei)
Genre: Horror, Mystery, Supernatural
Starring: Matsuda Ryuhei, Hitomi, Ando Masanobu, Osugi Ken
Screenwriter: Tsukamoto Shinya
Director: Tsukamoto Shinya
MPAA: R

Synopsis: Mysterious deaths burst out on scene in Tokyo with victims brutally injuring themselves till their death. An investigation lead the detectives to an unknown phone number starting with the number '0.' A witness tells the detectives that before one of the victims died, it seemed like he was having a nightmare. Detective Kirishima (hitomi) refused to believe that the deaths were simply suicide and contemplates that a killer who can manipulate people in their dreams is on the loose. While gathering information, Kirishima and her colleague Wakamiya (Ando Masanobu), stumbles upon one about Kagenuma, a man whom can enter people's dream. Now, they must seek out his help and find an end to the nightmare that plagues Tokyo.
Source: Eversky.org

Rating: A (Excellent)
Rewatch Factor: Medium
Comment: Nightmare Detective is a movie that is a refresher on the Japanese horror movie scene. More than just the usual hack-and-slash horror movies, it takes a different approach using the mystery behind dreams as its approach. The movie is not entirely about dreams, however, because it also focuses on the inner depths of human nature. Most of the characters in the movie have an inner-self that they hide from the outside world and watching their inner selves unfold is the most shocking.

The acting done by the cast is superb with Matsuda befitting the role of the nightmare detective, who is everything but happy. The nightmare detective is negative, antisocial, and suicidal to boot, and Matsuda plays his role well. His occasional scowls and negative comments can be rather humorous despite the movie being horror. Hitomi's role as Kirishima is only mediocre; she is neither good nor bad. Viewers probably won't be able to sympathize with her character much. The acting overall done by the actors and actresses is excellent though.

One of the downside of the movie is that some answers are left to be unanswered in the end. However, on further speculation, it seems that the director is planning on creating the sequel as well as a third installment to wrap things up, and hopefully answer all previous questions that are addressed in the first movie.

Overall, I enjoyed watching this movie. Viewers should be forewarned that there are rather gruesome scenes, but it's nothing that might give you 'nightmares.' This is one of the better movies in Japanese horror, and I'm definitely waiting for its sequel set to be released next year.

24Jun/070

The Myth (2005)

The Myth

Chinese Title: 神话 (Shenhua)
Genre: Drama, Period, Romance
Starring: Jackie Chan, Kim Hee Sun, Tony Leung
Screenwriter: Stanley Tong
Director: Stanley Tong
MPAA: R

Synopsis: Jack (Jackie Chan) often dreams that he is an ancient Qin dynasty General rescuing a princess from danger. At first, he thought that these were simply dreams from his imagination. However, on his expedition to India with his best friend Tony in order to find rare materials for research, he encountered a painting of the princess in his dream inside a tomb. He ultimately realizes that his dream may be real after all, and that his dreams might be fragments of his past life, and begins to find the answer behind those recurring dreams.
Source: Eversky.org

Rating: A (Excellent)
Rewatch Factor: Medium
Comment: The Myth is one of those rare epic films that ties past to present together so nicely. Throughout the film, the transition between present and past are done nicely. At first, the viewer may be taken aback at these sudden transitions, but the viewer will be able to follow through the movie with ease. The idea behind the movie is original in the sense that plays on real history and weaves a story from there. The fighting scenes were especially choreographed well, and that is one of the highlights of the movie. Viewers will find themselves appreciating the bit of romance portrayed in the movie, one that can never come to fruition however. The ending in the movie may seem like it's lacking since the beginning and the middle were so great, but if a person thinks about, the ending was suitable and reasonable for such a movie. There were also minor details in the movie that a person should be aware of because they simply add more to beauty of the movie and its epic storyline. I personally feel that this is an excellent movie with a suitable ending. My only warning for people who plans to watch this movie, is that the ending might not be what they expect it to be.

19Jun/070

House of Flying Daggers Fan MV

Artist: Tam Doan
Song: Mua Dong Hoa Trang
Creator: david08

19Jun/070

The Myth MV

Artists: Jackie Chan & Kim Hee Sun
Song: Endless Love

15Jun/070

Witch Yoo Hee MV

Artists: MC Jinri ft. HaHa
Song: Fate's Game

15Jun/070

Summer Scent MV

Artist: Jung In Ho
Song: Secret

15Jun/070

The Snow Queen MV

Artist: Kang Sung Min
Song: First Snow Love