Japanese Story is
a new take on old fashioned Japanese love stories. Beautifully shot in
desert. With a stack of awards under its belt, like Best Film, Best
Director, Best cinematography, and the list goes on. This movie was
always going to be a joy to watch.
Sandy Edwards (Toni Collette), a geologist who agrees to
Ďbaby-sití Hiromitsu (Gotaro Tsunashima) a Japanese businessman, through
the remote Pilbara
desert, hoping to close a big business deal. As they travel further into
the outback they not only get into a life and death situation (which as
we Australians know is all too easy to happen when traveling the desert)
that they begin to see what each other are made of. Itís only then that
we begin to see the makings of a loving couple.
Toni Collette is
absolutely superb in this Australian drama, and highly deserved of the
accolades she has received for the movie (3 awards for best actress). As
a matter of fact Iím happy to say that all the awards received for this
movie are totally justified. The music is hauntingly beautiful, and fits
the story perfectly, not to mention providing a stark contrast to
Australiaís harsh environment. And as Iíve already mentioned, the
cinematography is superb.
This is most certainly
the type of movie to stay with you for a long time after watching it. If
youíre a fan of artsy type movies, you will probably have already seen
it, but this can also be enjoyed (immensely) by the rest of us. Oh yeah,
look out for the plot twist too, itís unexpected to say the least!
Luckily the video is
very good on a movie so superbly shot. The colors are fantastic, showing
the barren, almost alien nature of the outback perfectly. There are some
early problems with the picture (such as aliasing and grain), but they
clear up fairly quickly; rarely do they lead to any distraction. It is
generally an absolute pleasure to watch, and after you get sucked into
the story, youíll forget about any problems anyway.
Audio: Again, itís essential
for a movie with an award winning soundtrack to have good audio. The
music really shines on this disc, being originally composed, but drawing
from traditional Japanese influences, itís haunting yet perfectly suited
to our outback environment. The voices are also nice and clear, but with
the main characters speaking different languages, body language is the
key. Surprisingly, there is a fair bit of use in the surrounds (mainly
for atmosphere as you can imagine), and even the subwoofer is not
totally left out. A rather impressive effort all round.
Extras: A pretty poor showing
for the extras, the biographies are the best, and thatís not saying
much. Thatís not to say they are poor, just that when a biography is the
highlight of the extras, itís slightly sad. You also get a short photo
gallery (8 photoís) and some trailers, the theatrical trailer for this,
and four other Palace Films releases (The Rage in Placid Lake, I'm With
Lucy, Facing Windows and Plots With a View).
Cast and Crew
Four other trailers
from Palace Films