films seen
average score
Alive and kicking


The Pavillion Salamandre

Pavillion Sanshouo
2006 / 98m - Japan
The Pavillion Salamandre poster

It's definitely a difficult film to recommend.


2015 / 93m - Japan
Crime, Comedy
Rolling poster

A funny little crime comedy. In the beginning, you may be forgiven for thinking Rolling follows a more dramatic route, but it quickly dawns that we're dealing with a drier form of comedy here, hiding behind a light crime story. I really appreciated the film's quirkiness, but it was just a little too fleeting to make a big impression.

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Gondo is an ex-teacher, who got fired after people found out he was making videos in the girls' locker room. Years later he bumps into one of his old students. They hook up, and when they discover that one of his videos features a girl who is now famous, they come up with a plan to make some easy money.

The deliberate pacing, the odd plot twists, and the particular soundtrack give the film a very smooth and enjoyable vibe. The performances are solid, the cinematography on point, and the runtime appropriate. Rolling offers distinct entertainment and does so confidently, but it lack that little extra to make it truly special.

Vengeance Can Wait

Ranbô to Taiki
2010 / 97m - Japan
Drama, Comedy
Vengeance Can Wait poster

Pandora's Box

Pandora no Hako
2009 / 94m - Japan
Pandora's Box poster

Dynamite Graffiti

Suteki na Dainamaito Sukyandaru
2018 / 138m - Japan
Dynamite Graffiti poster

A pretty standard biopic. Not only are they quite easy to construe, but they're also the perfect excuse to chase a bit of marketable retro charm, something that will get all the film fans giddy. There's some decent drama here, but it does get a little tiresome after a while, especially after the film passed the 2-hour mark.

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Akira Suei had a rather traumatic youth, but he got his life back on track after meeting his first girlfriend. He trained himself to become a graphic artist, a career choice that would steer him to the world of erotic magazines. Later on, Akira would become the chief editor of one of Japan's most infamous erotic publications.

The film's a little slow to get going, but the performances are quite strong and Suei's origin story is interesting. His life story is just that though, and there are better films handling Japan's adult industry. It's all a little too by the numbers, but if you're looking for decent filler drama, it's not the worst choice.