Feature 9.5
Video 8.0
Audio  
Special Features 3.0
Total 9.0
Distributor: Fox
Running Time: 106 minutes
Classification: M15+
Reviewer:
Tory Favro

9.0


Japanese Story

Feature: Japanese Story is a new take on old fashioned Japanese love stories. Beautifully shot in the Australian Pilbara 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.

Centered around 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!

Video: 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 Biographies
  • Photo Gallery
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Four other trailers from Palace Films





 
 



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