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AICN Japan: Boku No Songoku; Killers; Robocon; 9 Souls; Battle Royal 2; Innocence; Owl; T 3

Father Geek here with ol' pigmon to post up for all of you a new edition of AICN's weekly column on what all is happening in the world of Japanese film. So with no more from me, here's pigmon and...

The AICN-Japan Report...


“T3” press conference was held in Tokyo with Arnorld Schwazenegger, Kristanna Loken and Jonathan Mostow in front of 1200 press at Park Hyatt Shinjuku on July 2.

Most of questions were boring.There was only one question from the press Was interesting,” How about “T4”,do you have any idea?,Jonathan Mostow answeres that “T3” will be opened this week on most of countries,and if fans demand,there will be “T4” and he has some idea. After the press conference,Arnold,Kristanna and Jonathan appeared at Ariake Arena for “T3” Japan premire with 6,000 scream fans.Next day only Arnold flew to Osaka ,for another premire at Universal Studio Japan.After finising all his activiy in Japan,Arnold headed to Iraq to visit American military camp for showing “T3 ” to all the soldiers!

* Actress Shinobu Otake received best actress award for “Owl” at the 25 th Moscow International Film Festival.This was third year in row for Japanese actress to get best actress award at this festival.

* Up coming Mamoru Oshii’s “Innocence:Kokaku kidotai 2”aka “Innocence:Ghosi in the shell”,some of Toho staff have seen one of the sequence.Nobody can’t express the word.One guys said,”You have never seen like this !and VFX,animation ,robot models are outstanding!.Shortly trailer will be on line soon.

* Advance ticket sales for “Pocket Monster:Advance Generation” has passed more than 0ne million ticket.

* “Tetugin 28 Gou(tell me,what is an English tilte?)” which was very popular both comics and TV series in 60’s will start produciton soon as live action movie.The final battle in the movie will be Testujin 28 Gou against Black Ox!Director is Shin Togashi(“Gomen”)and VFX supervior is Hajime Matsumoto(“Gamera” series).


"Battle Royale II" (Toei)directed by Kinji Fukasaku and Kenta Fukasaku:July 5th

This is a great battle movie! So far both audiences(at advance screening)and critics give positive opinion.Actually Kinji Fukasaku directs only one day of shooting but Kenta,a son of Kinji Fukasaku directs the rest of film and result turns to good .This time another whole class mates(submitted by Takeshi's daughter) are choosen to battle under new rule:kill Shuya who becomes terrosit after the first film within 3 days.Yes ,of course all students have neck choker with new feature.All the students ship to isolated island where Shuya and his company Wild Seven hide.The battle sequence is so similar to "Saving Private Ryan" but camera moves too much which makes us dizzy.After war begins ,film goes to end so fast.Takeshi Kitano and Sonny Chiba appears on flash backs.I don't go to more details on this film because,Toei is hard to bring this movie to the US now.This movie could be big hit on Japanese movies in this summer. www.BR-NEW.JP

"9 Souls"(Tohokushinsha)directed by Toshiaki Toyoda:July

This is funny road movie.9 inmates(including Yoshio Harada("Azumi")and Ryuhei Matsuda("Collage of Life") )succesfuly escape from the prison and steals the van to look for big money which is hidden in school yard.When they find the box and opens,money is not there.They find only crystal key.They continue journey to look for their past....This movie will appear many film festivals from now on.

"Robocon(Robot Contest)(Toho)directed by Tomoyuki Furumaya:September

Robot contest is well known competition among enginering high school student in Japan.Each school makes robot to participate competition.This movie focus on 4 student to challenge local Robot competition.Competition sequence is very interesting.They use 2 cameras so real time they could film.Each competition has 3 minitues and there are 3 spots and put box on each spot.If your robot put boxes 2 out of 3 spot,you win.You can put box as high as 8 horizontally. This movie carries good tradition of "Rocky" and "Karate Kid". You can get idea from this website.

"Killers"(Toho)directed by Mamoru Oshii and 4 other directors:June 14~27

"Kilers" has 5 short stories which are directed by 5 directors:Kazuhiro Kuchi,Hidemichi Okawa, Takanori Tsujimoto,Shuji Kawada and Mamoru Oshii.These short movies are about guns.".50 Woman" ,Mamoru Oshii ("Avalon" and "Ghost in the Shell")makes small budget and funny little movie.Beautiful lady(played by guy!) pulls big wooden box into the big building.Other side building is big hospital.She watches small TV which news is on.News tells that bad producer(played by Studio Ghibuli's Toshio Suzuki!) who earns 20 million dollers illegaly from the movie,is about leaving hospital.She opens the box and we see big gun.While she waits until producer comes out the hospital,just keep eating rice balls and pastries.Whenever she eats them,Oshii shows the brand of product,callories,and price She eats around 30 rice balls ans sandwiches,producer comes out the hospital and then shoot the head.He instantly kills.VFX is done by Koga who also done "Avalon".After viewing this movie,I run to Seven Eleven to get rice balls .This movie will be released on DVD in US near future.

"Boku No Songoku"(Shochiku)directed by Akio Sugino,Fumihiro Yoshimura:July 12th

It was fun to watch the remake of 1960's "Songoku" which was made by new generation of animators from Tezuka produciton company.It is based on Osamu Tezuka's story ,this famous Chinese rock monkey will rock the world again.With lots of good CG effects,monsters looks more scarey than original.Kids and adult will love this movie.Check this


And The Leaders Are:
  • 1(NEW) Charlie’s Angels :Full Throttle
  • 2(1) The Matrix Reloaded
  • 3(2)The Core
  • 4(4)The Italian Job
  • 5(5) Spy Sorger

See ya at the movies!

Readers Talkback
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  • July 4, 2003, 12:53 p.m. CST

    Battle Royale was pure cheese

    by lemmdin

    It looked like an assignment made for a junior high school film class.

  • July 4, 2003, 3:02 p.m. CST

    stupid chinese remakes

    by lush

    Man, I cannot believe songoku was remade! How did this slip past me? I mean the original was such an inspirational yet light hearted take on the modern day conflicts with communism and the british cossak movement that a remake would be especially appropriate now! And with CG? YES! I wonder if they'll update the death slug to be middle eastern...

  • July 4, 2003, 3:12 p.m. CST

    Super Karate Monkey Death Car

    by Dr Morden

  • July 5, 2003, 1:51 a.m. CST

    Battle Royale is unbeaten king of films 2000-2003

    by watashiwadare

    If these br flics were released by big US studio with good rollout, they would pack em in!

  • July 5, 2003, 2:50 a.m. CST

    this guy is the BEST

    by 81666

    his engrish is fantanstic (i'm serious!!) put this guy on the bankroll man, i will read every article he writes!! hilarious!!

  • July 5, 2003, 3:28 a.m. CST

    Just to reinteirate...

    by Tofu

    Jurassic Park 3 was a pile of shit, Harry. And so are you.

  • July 5, 2003, 4:28 a.m. CST

    Pigmon, you rock.

    by Alcamaeon

    Keep up the good work, brother.

  • July 5, 2003, 8:20 a.m. CST

    Battle Royale is a classic!!

    by sanford and gun

    Battle Royale 2 will never meet that standard, but I'll take a look!! Hopefully the U.S. version wont be edited to death!!

  • July 5, 2003, 11:40 a.m. CST

    BR2 will not disappoint

    by Al Kusanagi

    Saw it today and it's fucking amazing. I've got a 7 page review of it in the can, waiting to pop up on a site I write for. The only minus is has going for it is Riki Takeuchi's ridiculous performance. I swear, he was trying to sabotage the movie or something.

  • July 5, 2003, 3:11 p.m. CST

    Waiting for Royale 2...but not really all too excited

    by RupertGiles

    I liked Battle Royale 1, i did. I wanted to love it and unfortunately i didn't. But i came damn close. The film just strays TOO damn far from the books' story. I mean, TOOOOOO far, to the point where the deaths are different, the characters are given different roles and even names/origins, and hell the reason the Program is put into effect is also completely different. Royale is a good film on its own merits but it comes nowhere close to the utter coolness of the book...if you haven't read it there is an english translation out it and wish that they would have made that instead.

  • July 5, 2003, 4:18 p.m. CST

    For more on Battle Royale II

    by themikejonas

    Go to

  • July 6, 2003, 3:56 a.m. CST

    the BR poster looks horrible!

    by Chthonico

    I saw this at the train station and the costumes look like a Japanese stage production of Spielberg's Hook. Nasty.

  • July 6, 2003, 8:33 a.m. CST

    Spoiler-filled BR2 review & synopsis

    by Al Kusanagi

    From yours truly over at

  • July 7, 2003, 1:57 p.m. CST


    by TheSith

    from Dark Horizons a Interview with Cameron about Alien 5 and Termiantor 3. "James Cameron recently talked with BBC1 and revealed he's very happy with how Terminator 3 ended up: "In one word : Great. There was a small part of me that hoped it wasn't good - but another part of me hope'd it succeeded. And it did. And I'm so glad it did. Jonathon's made a great movie. Arnold's in great form. I really like what he's done with it". If he had done it, would he have handled it differently: "Yes. That's only natural. I mightn't have structrued it the same, nor may I have ended it the same way - but coming in where he has, such a hard thing to do, and I give Jonathan points for it". This isn't a man whose going to whitewash his opinion either, take for example his reaction to "Alien 3" - "Hated it. Simple as that. I hated what they did.... I couldn't stand Alien 3 - how they could just go in there and kill off all these great characters we introduced in aliens, and the correlation between mother and daughter. It stunk, but hopefully I'll get a chance to rectify all that". You mean the talk about him being tied to "Alien 5" is true? "To an extent. yes. We're looking at doing another one. Something similiar to what we did with Aliens. A bunch of great characters, and of course Sigourney. I've even discussed the possibility of putting him [Arnold Schwarzenegger] into the Alien movie". Thanks to 'Ryan'."

  • July 8, 2003, 9:28 p.m. CST


    by Terrigen Mist

    I remember reading an article awhile back about laserdiscs and the extras they feature. And if I'm not mistaken T:2 had an alternate ending where John Connor becomes a senator.Just thought I'd drop that in the pot. T:3 still rocked I'm waiting for T:4. Ciao....