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Hirokazu Koreeda’s Sandome no Satsujin selected for 74th Venice International Film Festival

Sandome no Satsujin (The Third Murder), starring Masaharu Fukuyama, has been selected for competition at the 74th Venice International Film Festival. Directed by Hirokazu Koreeda, Fukuyama co-stars with Koji Yakusho and Suzu Hirose. The film opens September 9 in Japan.

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Terrace House – Season 1 (Series Review)

Terrace House – Boys and Girls in the City Season 1 – Part 1 Review by David Cirone Terrace House, now streaming in the U.S. on Netflix, is the Japanese “Real World”-style reality show watered-down to be as polite and PG as possible. Absent are the sensational, over-the-top, media-career-minded personalities we’re accustomed to on U.S. …

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Hanzawa Naoki – Episode 4 (Review)

Hanzawa Naoki Episode 4 Review by David Cirone After his temporary victory at the surprise on-site inspection, Hanzawa (Masato Sakai) finds himself on borrowed time as bank manager Asano (Kanji Ishimaru) moves forward with his plan to get Hanzawa transferred out of the bank as punishment for the bank’s losses.

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Midnight Diner: Tokyo Stories (trailer)

Preview trailer for Midnight Diner: Tokyo Stories, based on the Shinya Shokudo manga series by Yaro Abe, which won the 55th Shogakukan Manga Award.

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Hanzawa Naoki – Episode 3 (Review)

Hanzawa Naoki Episode 3 Review by David Cirone Even though Hanzawa failed to grab Higashida’s property, the determined banker is causing too much trouble for his scheming superiors, and they order a surprise three-day inspection to keep him off balance and prevent any more surprise moves. Led by Tokyo Chuo Bank’s Deputy Manager Ogiso (still …

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Kasha (Review)

Kasha Review by David Cirone Kasha, based on the mystery novel by Miyuki Miyabe, is a disappointingly flat adaptation, packed with thematic missteps and lacking both the heart and intrigue of the original story. Set in the early 90s, Kasha (superbly translated by Alfred Birnbaum in the U.S book version as All She Was Worth) …

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Hanzawa Naoki – Episode 2 (Review)

Hanzawa Naoki Episode 2 Review by David Cirone In the aftermath of Hanzawa’s face-off with the bank’s disciplinary committee, his superiors scramble to do damage control and put a swift end to Hanzawa’s unpredictable plan. Moreover, the longer they wait to put Hanzawa in his place, the more they’ll risk damage to their own fragile …

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Hibana (Spark) (Series Review)

Hibana (Spark) Series Review by David Cirone Netflix’s latest Japanese series Hibana (Spark) is a deeply-felt, intelligent character drama about the highs and lows of the “manzai” comedy world, viewed through the complex friendship of its two lead characters, the shy but driven Tokunaga (Kento Hayashi) and the abrasive wild man Kamiya (Kazuki Namioka). Based …

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