films seen
average score
Alive and kicking
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Thermae Romae

Terumae Romae
2012 / 109m - Japan
Thermae Romae poster

Terumae Romae is a film that survives on the comic whims of Hiroshi Abe and the excellent premise cooked up by Yamazaki.

Thermae Romae II

Terumae Romae II
2014 / 113m - Japan
Thermae Romae II poster

While it's probably best Takeuchi stops the series here, this second film was anything but redundant.

Fly Me to the Saitama

Tonde Saitama
2019 / 106m - Japan
Comedy, Fantasy
Fly Me to the Saitama poster

Quirky and goofy comedy, set in a universe that offers an unparalleled mix of modern, historic, realistic and fantastic elements. The film looks rich and there are some solid laughs, but somehow the direction itself felt a little too timid. This film deserved a full-on Tetsuya Nakashima treatment, even so there's plenty of fun to be had here.

Tonight, at the Movies

Konya, Romansu Gekijo De
2018 / 109m - Japan
Fantasy, Romance
Tonight, at the Movies poster

A romance with fantastical touches that hopes to please fans of classic cinema. In the hands of Takashi Yamazaki this could've been great, but Takeuchi isn't the man for this kind of film. The romance is a little stale and the fantasy elements don't quite work. It's not a bad film, just a little boring and by the numbers.

Lupin's Daughter

2021 / 110m - Japan
Crime, Comedy
Lupin's Daughter poster

After directing the TV series, Takeuchi also takes on the movie version. It's a loose Lupin spin-off, though apart from the "famous family of thieves" there isn't a whole lot to connect it to its more infamous relative. Sadly, Takeuchi never manages to rise above the TV roots of the source material.

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Hana grows up in the L family, a family of notorious thieves. She'd prefer to have a normal life, but that's not in the cards for her. When a forgotten member of the family resurfaces, secrets from the past are sure to turn some heads. The family has to travel back in time in order to protect their lives.

The performances are quite poor and the direction feels rushed. It's a pretty lively and colorful film though, with some amusing ideas and memorable moments. I wish Takeuchi could've had more time or access to a bigger budget. This could've been a lot more fun if it hadn't felt so cheap.