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Posts Tagged ‘Family’

A touching movie of a family forced to flee their home in the mountains and leave their Akita dog Mari and her 3 pups after a devastating earthquake. If you thought Lassie was clever you haven’t seen Mari yet. Based on a true story. An incredible tale of survival against the odds. Get those hankies at the ready for the emotional climax. If you love dog movies then this comes highly recommended.

Sadako’s Rating: 3.5 out of 5

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We’re back in 1959 again in the company of the residents of Third Street with the construction of Tokyo Tower now completed. A new temporary member to the Suzuki clan, Junnosuke’s father still trying to grasp him away from the hands of his guardian the novelist Chagawa and young Ruko finding romance are just some of the many storylines in this awesome sequel which is bursting with nostalgia. The characters are still as endearing as they were in the first. Love the Godzilla dream sequence at the start – that was so cool. Two thumbs up.

Sadako’s Rating: 5 out of 5

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Post war Tokyo – 1958. A time of change and hope for the future as we follow the lives of the residents of Third Street (a working class area) over the span of 12 months set amongst the backdrop of Tokyo Tower being constructed. A simpler time with the most exciting thing happening for the residents being a new TV in one house in which everybody crowds around or having a fridge.

I absolutely loved this movie, it gives you such a feel good factor at the end. It’s a must see. Stunning sets to recreate that period of time. For me, the child Junnosuke’s tale is incredibly heartwarming. It’s a bit of a tearjerker. A pleasure as always to see Maki Horikita given that she’s such a great actress. Don’t miss out on this movie.

Sadako’s Rating: 5 out of 5

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10 Promises To My Dog (2008)

A really good heartwarming but sad story of a teenage girl Akari who gets a female golden retriever whom she christens Socks. The story chronicles Socks’ story from playful puppy to faithful companion who sticks with Akari through thick and thin until the inevitable happens when Socks grows old and passes away.

If you’ve seen Marley & Me or the Japanese dog movie Quill you’ll know how this movie finishes. By the end I was sobbing my eyes out – it’s that kind of movie that touches you, even more so if you’ve got a pet dog. It’s a reminder that dogs are members of the family and you should treasure the time you have with them and your family before it’s too late.

Sadako’s Rating: 4 out of 5

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Fireflies:River Of Light (2004)

A great family movie about a rookie teacher and his class of kids who embark on a project to bring back fireflies to a river. The kids learn about looking after the environment, teamwork and watch as the fireflies grow, mature and eventually fly on a warm Summer’s night.

Risako from the Japanese idol group Berryz Koubou plays the main child character Hikari in this movie and she looks so young. She’s all grown up now of course. This movie has got a wonderful ending which gives a warm glow in the heart. Thoroughly enjoyed it.

No trailer but a nice OPV with scenes from the movie

Sadako’s Rating: 4 out of 5

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The movie begins in 1973 when Gamera dies fighting a group of his arch nemesis Gyaos. In the present day Toru, a young boy, is dealing with the death of his mother a year before. The boy notices an odd red light on an island in the harbour. Swimming over to investigate Toru finds a glowing red stone and an egg from which hatches a tiny turtle. Toru names the turtle Toto, then takes it home as a pet. He is forced to hide Toto as his father won’t allow a pet. To Toru’s amazement Toto begins it grow rapidly and in a few days is almost as big as Toru himself. More amazing is the fact that Toto can fly. Meanwhile there are reports of missing ships in the sea. No one is sure what’s going on. Whats going on is a giant monster (Zedus) from under the sea has begun to develop a taste for human flesh and he soon comes ashore where there are plenty of people to feed upon. Will Toto be able to grow fast enough to save his friend Toru?

At it’s heart this is a kids film and completely different from the trilogy of Gamera movies that came out in the 90’s where it was more of a serious and darker tone. I still like this kaiju flick though. Very surprised at the liberal amount of blood – human and monster considering that the target audience was specifically kids. The movie also serves as a nice introduction to those that might not have seen or heard about Gamera before – chronicling his past very briefly and also his rebirth. The story might drag a little bit and you’re just waiting until a monster comes and start smashing things up. The action short though it is – is definitely worth waiting for. The special effects are superb especially for the monster Zedus who’s like a huge lizard with spikes all over his body.

With Godzilla now officially in semi-retirement, it’s been left for Gamera to pick up the baton for kaiju movies. Unfortunately Gamera The Brave bombed big style in Japan but I’m still hoping that new movies will be made in the future. I’m sure hardcore kaiju fans were left sorely disappointed by this effort – minimal fight sequences between the creatures and a storyline involving too many children. But hopefully with Gamera now a fully fledged adult the studios can produce something a bit more dark again. My dream would be to see Godzilla take on Gamera but it’s unlikely that scenario will ever happen. Those that were expecting something like the 90’s Gamera movie trilogy will be left wanting.

Sadako’s Rating: 3 out of 5

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Young lad Tadashi and his mother move to his senile grandfather’s place in the country after his parents divorce. During a local shrine festival, Tadashi is bitten on the head by somebody in traditional dragon costume. As this has happened, Tadashi is given the prestigious title of Kirin Rider – a person who’s the local protector of peace and justice. Folklore stories state that the Kirin Rider should climb a local mountain to claim a sword guarded by the Great Goblin. Strange things are happening in Japan as children are snatched from their homes by unknown beings and soon enough robotic monsters made from the metal junk that people have thrown away start attacking human beings. A note from his grandfather saying he’s on Goblin Mountain makes Tadashi attempt to conquer his fears and rescue him. But it’s all a trick and soon enough on the mountain he sees a couple of weird and wonderful creatures in front of his eyes which includes a kappa, the beautiful river princess Kawahime and the man who was leading the dragon costume at the shrine festival. He explains that the creatures are all yokai (beings who live amongst humans but never let themselves be seen). They come in all shapes and sizes – humanlike or otherwise. Tadashi was specifically chosen to be the Kirin Rider as the yokai need his help. The evil Lord Kato and his henchwoman Agi are planning to invade the human world and destroy mankind by using all the rage of the world that have been collected. If Tadashi and the good yokai don’t stop him, Kato could become the ruler of Earth. Will Tadashi fulfill his destiny as the Kirin Rider and defeat Lord Kato?

The Great Yokai War totally blew me away in all departments – from the wonderful story to the awesome special effects to the superb design of the yokai creatures. It’s just a joy to look at. This excellent fantasy movie was directed by the maverick Takashi Miike and for him this was quite a tame one considering he’s more akin to using gore and horror. A totally inspired choice for a director. The person to garner my attention in this movie and the main reason I watched this was for the alluring Chiaki Kuriyama, probably the greatest villianness to ever appear on the big screen. She’s absolutely mesmerising in this movie as the sadistic dressed in white Agi. Watch for the totally surreal sequence when she punches the shit out of Sunesokuri (who’s a sock puppet). If you’re interested in Japanese folklore then you’re gonna love The Great Yokai War. As a family movie I think the kids will enjoy it just to see the monsters and yokai on display – they might not like the subtitles though. Just sit back and prepare to be entertained.

Sadako’s Rating: 4 out of 5

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