Mumon: The Land of Stealth
Like most Nakamura films, very amusing, but never quite masterpiece material. Mumon is fun, funny, well acted and it sports some pretty good action scenes. Yet it lacks something that makes it stand out. Great and enjoyable filler, but nothing more.
The Snow White Murder Case
See You Tomorrow, Everyone
The Foreign Duck, the Native Duck and God in a Coin Locker
The Magnificent Nine
Amusing tale about a village that comes up with an ingenious plan to lend money to its landlord in order to prosper again. Most of the film is spend getting the money needed to pull of the plan. There's little to dislike here, but it's not a very notable film and Nakamura only does the bare minimum in order to get the story told.
Kidan Piece of Darkness
A decent but slightly underwhelming horror anthology. Six respected directors tackle 10 horror stories, but with a setup like this there simply isn't enough variation in style and themes. There are no real weak entries, on the other hand far too few shorts that make an effort to stand out. Solid filler, but nothing more.
The Two in Tracksuits
A very pleasant but not so much notable little drama/comedy, the premise of the film makes it sound a little goofier than it actually is. A dad and his some go on a short retreat and dress up in their deceased grandmother's tracksuits, there they can come to their senses and oversee the choices they made in their lives.
It's a somewhat typical "crazy urban to slow rural" setup that is easy to turn into a leisurely drama, luckily Nakamura's execution is quite dry and comedic, so it doesn't get too serious or overly dramatic. On the other hand, the characters could've used a bit more fleshing out, because they remain quite stereotypical.
The actors do a solid job, but none of them really stands out. Nakamura makes good use of the setting to shoot some pretty pictures, though the cinematography itself is pretty basic. And the mix of comedy and drama works, but both genres don't really reinforce each other either. This was more than solid filler, but nothing too memorable.
Time traveling film for kids, but with a surprisingly level-headed twist at the end. Nakamura's made for TV fantasy is quite plain and pedestrian, not helped by some questionable performances, but as time passes it gets more and more intriguing.
Dark Tales of Japan
Worthy but flawed
A Boy and His Samurai
The Triumphant Return of General Rouge
A pretty tepid and uninspired hospital drama with light mystery elements. The plot is a little aimless and Nakamura's direction feels lazy, almost as if he was finishing up a temp TV project. Some decent performances and a little intrigue make the second half a bit easier to stomach, but this is one of Nakamura's poorer films.