Film Topics

Judge!

Jul 16, 2014

Judge!

by Mark Schilling

Director: Akira Nagai Language: Japanese (subtitled in English) Scripted by Yoshimitsu Sawamoto and directed by Akira Nagai — both insiders in Japan’s advertising business — “Judge!” stars Satoshi Tsumabuki as an entry-level adman drafted to impersonate his boss on a TV CM awards jury ...

Thor: The Dark World

Jul 16, 2014

Thor: The Dark World

by Kaori Shoji

Director: Alan Taylor Language: English Space-hottie Thor (Chris Hemsworth) drops in to see how his Earthling girlfriend, Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), is doing and winds up enmeshed in battle to protect her from dark elves who have been reactivated again, after having been dormant ...

Orgasm Inc.

Jul 16, 2014

Orgasm Inc.

by Giovanni Fazio

Director: Liz Canner Language: English There’s money to be made telling healthy people they’re sick. That’s the lesson you’ll walk away with from “Orgasm Inc.,” a documentary that looks at an attempt by Big Pharma to brand a new “disease” — female sexual dysfunction ...

Kaze Tachinu (The Wind Rises)

Jul 9, 2014

Kaze Tachinu (The Wind Rises)

by Mark Schilling

Director: Hayao Miyazaki Language: Japanese, German, Italian, French (subtitled in English) “Kaze Tachinu” (“The Wind Rises”) is Hayao Miyazaki’s last feature film (unless he comes out of retirement) and also one of his most personal. The film is about Jiro Horikoshi, the designer of ...

Gossip Girl

Jul 9, 2014

Gossip Girl

by Kaori Shoji

Director: Various Language: English The final season of “Gossip Girl” will be available this summer for fans of that endless loop of teenage romance, sex, intrigue and … Did I mention sex? This is a chance to wear out the pause button in various ...

Before Midnight

Jul 9, 2014

Before Midnight

by Giovanni Fazio

Director: Richard Linklater Language: English Director Richard Linklater and actors Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke have now completed a perfect trilogy: “Before Sunrise” (1995) capturing the heady rush of first love, “Before Sunset” (2004) sketching the second chance, and now “Before Midnight” showing romance ...

'Bilocation'

Jul 2, 2014

'Bilocation'

by Mark Schilling

Director: Mari Asato Language: Japanese (subtitled in English) In Mari Asato’s new shocker, a struggling artist (Asami Mizukawa) finds herself caught in a bizarre life-or-death battle with a double of herself, hived from her troubled psyche and bent on replacing the “original.” Asato constructs ...

'Downton Abbey'

Jul 2, 2014

'Downton Abbey'

by Kaori Shoji

Directors: Various Language: English Created by Julian Fellowes “Downton Abbey” finally comes to Japan. NHK is airing the first season and DVDs will be out on rental shelves starting Aug. 6. The intricacies of English aristocratic relationships unfold in the years following World War ...

'American Hustle'

Jul 2, 2014

'American Hustle'

by Giovanni Fazio

Director: David O. Russell Language: English Near the beginning of this deliciously funny 1970s caper flick, we see Christian Bale as a small-time hustler. Right off the bat, it shows us the commitment of Bale, who is physically transformed once again (with a big ...

'The East'

Jun 26, 2014

'The East'

by Giovanni Fazio

Director: Zal Batmanglij Language: English Brit Marling plays a corporate spy who goes deep undercover (i.e., Birkenstocks and no baths) with a shadowy eco-terrorist group. Her sympathies waver as she falls under the spell of the neo-Luddite group’s culty leader (Alexander Skarsgard), while continuing ...

'Snowpiercer'

Jun 26, 2014

'Snowpiercer'

by Kaori Shoji

Director: Bong Joon-ho Language: English, Korean (subtitled in Japanese) Survivors of a future ice age have boarded a train called “Snowpiercer,” which endlessly circles the globe fueled by a permanent engine designed by the train’s owner, Wilford (Ed Harris). A ruthless class system prevails ...

'Petal Dance'

Jun 26, 2014

'Petal Dance'

by Mark Schilling

Director: Hiroshi Ishikawa Language: Japanese (subtitled in English) In this 2013 drama two college friends (Sakura Ando and Aoi Miyazaki) enlist a young stranger (Shiori Kutsuna) to drive them north to visit a former classmate (Kazue Fukiishi) who attempted suicide. The ensuing action feels ...