Eiga Geijutsu Best Ten 2000/Inugami

Brown Don the8thsamurai
Mon Jan 8 09:21:21 EST 2001

>Here is the fun part, the worst ten:
>1) Whiteout (Wakamatsu Setsuro)
>2) Space Travelers (Motohiro Katsuyuki)
>3) Another Heaven (Iida Joji)
>3) Dora-Heita (Ichikawa Kon)
>5) Jigo-sai Gakko IV (Yamada Yoji)
>6) Tsuki (Kimizuka Sho)
>7) Ame agaru (Koizumi Joji)
>7) Sakuya yokaiden (Haraguchi Tomoo)
>7) Hasen no Marisu (Isaka Satoshi)

Funny, I saw Whiteout in a packed theatre in Osaka and quite enjoyed it.  
It defied my expectations of being some sub-Die Hard rip off, and ended up 
being a good enjoyable action flick.  Some corny bits dragged it down, but 
it was hardly the worst thing I've seen this year.  Actually, I've just 
finished watching Space Travellers on video and I thought it was worse by 
far.  It has the feel of a by-the-numbers TV drama with higher production 
values, with as much depth and unpredictability of your average episode of 
The Love Boat.  Bummer ending too.  
Of the others mentioned, Dora Heita was dead boring, a waste of the acting 
talent involved, and the staleness of the whole exercise was proof that it 
should have been made a long, long time ago.  Ame Agaru was a very 
leisurely exercise, but not a dead loss I thought, while Sakuya Yokaiden 
suffered from some dodgy ideas in the script and conceptualisation 
department and had a very amateurish pantomime feel to it.  There do seem 
to be some glaring omissions from the list though - idol group Morning 
Musume's "Pinch Runner" and manzai duo Kokoriko's baseball movie being some 
obvious ones.
Saddest of all, I haven't had a chance to see most of the films mentioned, 
mostly because Osaka seems to be very poorly served as far as cinemas go 
(for such a large prefecture).  With the exceptions of about two or three 
boutique movie theatres who show art-house and smaller Japanese fare, the 
rest is all multiplex fodder, which leaves one with the last resort of 
hopping on a train to the Minami Kaikan in Kyoto or elsewhere in Kansai.  
Shame the art-house multiplex concept hasn't really taken off here yet.   

To Stephen - no doubt you know more about Harada than I do, as I've never 
even heard of "Pistolero", but there's an interview with him about Inugami 
in the late January edition of Kinema Junpo.  It's being packaged together 
with "Otogirisou" in the latest Kadokawa Shoten horror double feature.  A 
very sexy looking thriller with an oedipal streak (going by the 
trailer)starring Yuki Amami and Atsuro Watanabe, and is based on the novel 
by Sakahigashi(?) Masako, the author of "Shikoku", another Kadokawa horror 
from a few years back.  The Japanese homepage, with trailers, can be found 
Doesn't seem like a logical progression for Harada to go from Jubaku to a 
Kadokawa horror flick, but he has manage to recruit some above-average 
acting talent.  It opens on roadshow release on the 27th of January.
Don Brown.
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