Tatsuya Mihashi

Tatsuya Mihashi

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Dolls Review


Terrible
This may not be the most boring film ever made, but it's probably safe to say it's a strain on the attention span. Only a director who enjoys some cult status, it seems to me, would attempt such a thing as using Japanese Bunraku puppets for a model of human behavior while carrying on tragic romances as though they're in some parallel universe. This 2002 film now hitting DVD bins is imagined by Takeshi Kitano (Zatoichi). For lovers of the exotic, the reflective, or the stubbornly abstruse, it may pay off. Apart from some stunning visuals, it didn't for me.

After a short prelude in which a Bunraku tragedy is staged as a framework for what is to follow, three intersecting human stories are told simultaneously in a tedious 114 minutes of mystification. In the first, Sawako and boyfriend Matsumoto (Miho Kanno and Hidetoshi Nishijima) walk along public pathways, tied together with a red rope. This is meant for protection and identifies the pair as "'Bound Beggars,' aimless vagabonds to the outside world but desperate to find something forgotten," (according to the promo description).

Continue reading: Dolls Review

Tora! Tora! Tora! Review


Good
Very interesting but rambling WWII drama about the invasion of Pearl Harbor. What makes Tora!! so interesting is that it is a joint U.S.-Japanese production, and the story is told from both sides of the fence. The Japanese obsession with fighting an honorable fight is made plain, as is the comedy of errors that led up to the U.S. inability to detect the attack until the bombs were dropping. The film is a very damning portrayal of the U.S. Navy and government altogether, and really gives you a respect for the Japanese, showing just how much worse Pearl Harbor could have been. A must-see for any war buff. Based on the book The Broken Seal.

Continue reading: Tora! Tora! Tora! Review

What's Up, Tiger Lily? Review


Good
It's too much to expect that people stay funny throughout their entire careers, but given the dearth of real humor in any of Woody Allen's recent offerings, it's almost depressing to watch a little gem like 1966's What's Up, Tiger Lily? and remember just how effortlessly goofy the guy could be. In this, his first (sort of) directorial outing, Allen had a great idea: Take a bad Japanese James Bond knock-off, remove the soundtrack, and add in his own dialogue without changing the actual film at all.

Viewers may be alarmed at first, as the film starts off with several minutes of the film playing with its non-subtitled Japanese dialogue intact. It's a fast-paced series of quick action scenes involving bad kung fu and a flamethrower and gives you the impression that even if one knew Japanese, it wouldn't be making much more sense. Then Allen himself shows up and describes what he has done to the film, playing it completely straight.

Continue reading: What's Up, Tiger Lily? Review

Tatsuya Mihashi

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Tatsuya Mihashi Movies

Tora! Tora! Tora! Movie Review

Tora! Tora! Tora! Movie Review

Very interesting but rambling WWII drama about the invasion of Pearl Harbor. What makes...

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