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Friday, Nov. 25, 2005

Short takes: Nov. 26, 2005


"The Glamorous Life of Sachiko Hirai"

Director: Mitsuru Meike
Language: Japanese with English subtitles
Currently showing
[See Japan Times movie listings]

Imagine, if you will, Sachiko Hirai (Emi Kuroda), a soapland gyaru who specializes in sexy home-tutor role-playing, being in the wrong place at the wrong time and getting a bullet lodged in the frontal lobe of her brain. Now ponder this gunshot wound as it turns our heroine into a super-sexed, super-smart vixen who has an insatiable appetite for men of all ages and intellectual tomes (particularly the works of Noam Chomsky). Then think of our heroine being pursued by North Korean spies because she happens to possess a replica of George W. Bush's finger, the key to world destruction. While this might sound like a wicked political satire, it's actually more of a low-budget, no-taste affair designed to pleasure snickering soft-porn geeks. (Luke Wainwright)


"Four Brothers"

Director: John Singleton
Language: English
Currently showing
[See Japan Times movie listings]

Four brothers by adoption, Bobby (Mark Wahlberg), Angel (Tyrese Gibson), Jeremiah (Andre Benjamin) and Jack (Garrett Hedlund), are reunited in their hometown of Detroit when their mother is murdered during a holdup. As the four try to track down the killers, they find out there is more to the story than just random, petty violence.


"Freaks"

Director: Tod Browning
Language: English
Currently showing
[See Japan Times movie listings]

Made in 1932 by director Tod Browning, who was riding high on the success of "Dracula," the cult classic "Freaks" was quickly banned. Now digitally restored, it is the story of circus freaks -- midgets, pinheads, hermaphrodites, Siamese twins and a "human worm" -- who take revenge on a beautiful acrobat and jocklike strongman who try to grift one of them. One of cinema's earliest examples of misfits vs. straights where the outsiders come out on top, it resonated through counterculture into places like Bill Griffith's "Zippy The Pinhead" comics, The Ramones "Gabba Gabba Hey!" chants and David Lynch's film "Eraserhead." (Giovanni Fazio)


"Duma"

Director: Carroll Ballard
Language: English
Currently showing
[See Japan Times movie listings]

The story of a friendship between a young South African boy, Xan (Alexander Michaletos), and a cheetah that he rescues and names Duma. Despite the relationship that develops between Xan and Duma, when Duma starts to grow up and gets into a trouble in the city, it is time to release him. The Xan and Duma take a grueling journey across the desert to look for a place in the wild where Duma can live.


"Millions"

Director: Danny Boyle
Language: English
Currently showing
[See Japan Times movie listings]

With his latest film, director Danny Boyle ("Trainspotting," "Shallow Grave") demonstrates almost as much skill at creating a modern fairy tale as he does portraying the nitty-gritty in his previous films. When young brothers Damian (Alex Etel) and Anthony (Lewis McGibbon) are playing, they come across £230,000. As the British pound is about to be replaced by the new Euro in 12 days, the brothers must go through the money as quickly as possible. (Kaori Shoji)



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