• The Four Roughnecks

    The Four Roughnecks

    ★★★½

    The film delivers exactly what the title and the poster promise: four young rascals united by a deep friendship look for a way to make easy money and get in trouble... it's mostly a goofy comedy and I was surprised to see how good Yusaku Matsuda is in such a setting...well worth a watch for fans of Matsuda and Nikkatsu completists

  • The Joe Spinell Story

    The Joe Spinell Story

    ★★★★

    Spinell was one of a kind. A good and generous man, no matter how decadent his appearance was over the years he was blessed with a natural magnetism: the screen loved him and he loved the screen and -like all italians- his mother...the documentary explores all this in a great way. Recommended. Look for it on YouTube.

  • Truck Rascals in Fever Heat

    Truck Rascals in Fever Heat

    ★★★★

    One of my favourite in the series. It moves at fantastic pace and as usual it's crowded with secondary characters and subplots but Suzuki artistry never let the proceedings slide towards total confusion/chaos. P.S: The slap to Chieko Matsubara could have been possible only in Showa Japan...

  • New Female Prisoner Scorpion: Special Cellblock X

    New Female Prisoner Scorpion: Special Cellblock X

    ★★★

    Pretty standard fare compared to the earlier films in the series... this is straightforward action...gone are the visual experiment Ito used to film...taken as a single episode it has the substance of a Tv-movie which of course is thin but not meaning it is a bad flick.

  • Without Complaint

    Without Complaint

    ★★★★

    A thriller-comedy that makes good use of its two protagonists acting talents. Quite good, it deserves to be more known.

  • Play It Cool

    Play It Cool

    ★★★½

    I am less enthusiastic about the film than other reviewers here. I found it badly lit, slightly confusing in the central section and Mari Atsumi acting always over the top (this could be ok for a 1970 melodrama but today it looks and sounds pretty dated). Still, thanks to a fine script, represents a worthy entry in Daiei princess' own 3-years-long stellar filmography.

  • Ken San

    Ken San

    ★★★★½

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Sober but passionate...just like the actor it focuses on.

    ...P.S. cool to hear Martin Scorsese saying Ken watched "Raging Bull" 6 times in a theather so he and De Niro gave him the gloves from the film.

  • Invitation from the Beach

    Invitation from the Beach

    ★★★

    A Koichi Saito film starring Ruriko Asaoka and Reiko Oshida and set in hawaii -on paper- would be unmissable... but beside a well executed twist unfortunately the film fails to live up the expectations. I would save just Ruriko Asaoka nice performance and the melancholic soundtrack with Isao Kimura 's english being the lowest point I've ever heard in a major motion picture...

  • The Long Darkness

    The Long Darkness

    ★★★½

    Traditional, contemplative love story that is also shot in a conservative manner (except for the zooms). Linear, calm and yet haunting in its psychological traits. Good.

  • Truckstar Goes to Hokkaido

    Truckstar Goes to Hokkaido

    ★★★★

    The expected mix of slapstick comedy, goofy action and melodrama is in full force in this 3rd chapter and by then Suzuki and Sugawara made it work like a swiss watch! Fast paced with many memorable sequences... I'll just mention the "bridge scene" which predates the one similar in "Sorcerer" (Friedkin) by one year... all in all, the kind of movie you would bring a (young adult) nephew to the cinema for a hell of a good time!

  • Too Young To Die

    Too Young To Die

    ★★★★

    Awesome first 15 minutes. Then a single-room drama ensues: it's very well shot but it's the ending the greatest quality of this little seen gem.

  • Malibu Beach

    Malibu Beach

    ★★★

    A so-so example of the formula of youth-themed comedies produced by Crown International. All feel very bland and uninspired ...plus the scarcely lit sets by night don't help...Stick with Van Nuys Boulevard or The Van for better entries in the genre...