Tanaka's gentle and loving approach and Terajima's superb portrayal of his character take you along on an amazing trip, full of endearing, funny and warm moments.
Monday is entertainment in the purest sense of the word.
Once it picks up steam it never falls back, propelling itself to an inevitable climax that left me perplexed and impressed.
It seems Tanaka is back where he belongs, after going through some rougher patches in the late 00's. Chasuke's Journey is visually stunning, well acted, original and most of all unique.
Bunny Drop is a lovely film with lots to smile about. Wonderfully acted, creatively visualized and aptly scored, you can't really go wrong with this one.
It was more than 10 years since I first watched this film and so I wasn't quite sure if it would still hold up after all this time.
The good stuff
Another quality Tanaka film. More in line with Bunny Drop, combining drama and comedy to great effect. Mr. Long also introduces some crime elements, though they are very limited. Well shot, perfectly acted, dramatically impeccable. It's not as unique as some of his other films, but well worth a watch.
Trademark Tanaka film. Drive is quirky and frivolous, not held back by rigid plot conventions and sporting a killer cast that knows how to deal with the dry comedy on display. The film has aged a little, but it still feels fresh and easygoing. Tanaka is one of Japan's hidden gems, Drive may not be his best film, but it's still better than most of its peers.
Dancing Mary is a superb blend of so many genres that it's nearly impossible to categorize. Fantasy, horror, crime, comedy and drama seamlessly mix together to tell a beautiful story about a long-lost romance that ended in tragedy. The cinematography is beautiful, the editing is excellent. Add a great score and a fine cast and you have another Tanaka masterpiece.
Kanikosen is a solid come-back for Tanaka. Visually impressive, boasting a superb setting and a strong cast.