Archive for the ‘FAIL Kimura’ category

Drama Review (Part 2): Tsuki no Koibito / Moon Lovers (Fuji TV, 2010)

October 27, 2010

Despicable He

by Ender’s Girl

[Read Part One of review]

In continuation of court case 11-13-1972: The People vs. Hazuki Rensuke

7.3 Rensuke vs. Maemi

Que horror, 8,834 words in Part 1 and nothing on Ninomiya Maemi (Shinohara Ryoko) beyond a few cursory mentions. But if my rant review has placed inordinate emphasis on the Rensuke-Xiu Mei arc so far, it’s only because THE DRAMA DID IT FIRST. (Drat you Asano Taeko!!! Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries!!!) Well dang it, OF COURSE I was Team Maemi since Day 1… no, make that Day -936. Weren’t most viewers? The only people I can think of who’d ship Rensuke and XiuMei are… the Taiwanese (lol), while the Rensuke+Yuzuki backers can only be high-maintenance teenage girls with weird father complexes (haha). So I think it’s safe to assume that TsukiKoi viewers in general were madly rooting for Maemi. I mean, duuuude… it’s Shinohara Ryoko.

So maybe Ryoko isn’t as young and smokin’ hawt in TsukiKoi as she was in — say, Anego (and understandably so; Anego was a corporate babe while rugged ol’ Maemi built cabinets for a living, duh). But even with the plaid shirts and distressed jeans, sturdy boots and funky jewelry, tossing back her disheveled hair and twirling that ubiquitous hammer, Shinohara Ryoko RAWKED the part. And I’m sure she’d be loath to admit it, but she’s kind of the… female Kimura (when he isn’t playing these horrid lust-filled men, that is): they’ve got the same casually sexy, “look-how-SO-NOT-uptight-I’m-being” flair about them, the same blow-your-socks-off charisma and screen presence. So yeah, Shinohara Ryoko and KimuTaku are probably more alike than they’d care to admit. But could these aforementioned qualities be what limit both Kimura and Ryoko as actors? Their mannerisms in speech and movement are so marked and readily recognizable that admittedly, not all character templates suit them to a convincing degree.

Click to read MOAR!!! MOAR!!!


Drama Review (Part 1): Tsuki no Koibito / Moon Lovers (Fuji TV, 2010)

October 17, 2010

The People vs. Hazuki Rensuke

by Ender’s Girl

The Cast:
Kimura Takuya, Shinohara Ryoko, Lin Chi Ling, Matsuda Shota, Kitagawa Keiko

In a Nutshell:
Follow the triumphs and travails of Hazuki Rensuke, Furniture Maker Extraordinaire, and the three gorgeous women hopelessly in love with him: Maemi his longtime BFF and colleague, Xiu Mei the ingenuous factory worker from Shanghai, and Yuzuki the bratty daughter of Rensuke’s biggest industry rival. Completing the love, um, pentagon is Rensuke’s calculating deputy Kazami, who may or may not have a few underhanded schemes of his own. But oh, oh — let’s NOT forget the REAL stars of the show!!! Brother Moon! — who watches over Rensuke from above! Sister Water Strider! — who alone can bring True Happiness! And the Four Little Coins of Kokoro! — who may look tinny and paltry, but when arranged in a cryptic geometric pattern, will unlock the secret to Life itself!!! All one needs is to — solve! the! riddle!!! What riddle? The riddle!!! Hey diddle diddle, the cat and the fiddle, the cow jumped over the MOON!!! The little dog laughed to see such sport, and the dish ran away with the spoon!!! Ahahahahahahahahaa

(SpoilLert: Eybreeting!)

Good Things Come to Those Who Wait… Really KimuTaku Really?

When it was announced in early 2010 that KimuTaku was all but set for a Spring renzoku ren’ai, his entire fandom collectively peed in their – our – pants. An overreaction perhaps? Far from it. For it truly was a cause for celebration, as we were fully, painfully aware that Kimura‘s choice of TV projects over the past several years showed a disturbing trend away from straight ren’ai. Pride was his last one in 2004, and since then his dramas have had love angles that were extraneous to the plot — if not altogether absent: a sports+kiddie dramedy with little romance (Engine, 2005); a serious ensemble drama with little romance (Karei naru Ichizoku, 2007); a hero-of-the-day dramedy with – you guessed it – little romance (Change, 2008); and a police procedural with zero – NO, make that NEGATIVE – romance (Mr. Brain, 2009).

It had been six long years since KimuTaku – or at least, a variant of his persona, lol – last gave his heart and soul to a woman, six long years since he fell hard and deep for someone, six long years since he kissed — and… er, did that other stuff as well — with a passion that consumed his soul. (Rargh.) The fans were feeling restless – they had been for quite some time. Cauliflower-haired schoolteachers turned prime ministers were NOT exactly the stuff of female fantasy; and most definitely neither were forensic nutjobs who skipped their way through crime scenes while munching on bananas. Go back to the basics, Captain, the fans implored while tinkering morosely with their dilapidated pianofortes and drawing dusty circles on their glass love apples. Go back to your ren’ai roots, make us fall in love with you all over again. Please do a straightforward romantic drama this time, you’ve tried everything else anyway.

And perhaps the television gods took pity on their — our — miserable romance-starved selves, because Fuji TV finally dispelled all the hearsay and conjecture being bandied about – like the rumor that Kimura’s next project would be an adaptation of Victor Hugo’s “Les Miserables,” or yet another one that predicted a Hero Season 2 (AS IF!!!). So it was announced that Kimura’s newest Getsu-9 drama for the Spring 2010 slate would be a renzoku ren’ai entitled Tsuki no Koibito / Moon Lovers. A ren’ai. A REN’AI, the fans exulted. Halleloooyah chance! The KimuTaku Love Train was finally back on track, finally up and running since its unceremonious derailment years ago. This was gonna be special, a return to form for the Dorama King himself. If anyone knows how to do his renzoku ren’ai with both eyes closed, it’s this guy. The drought was over, let the Love Rain fall upon the land once more.

Click to read MOAR!!! MOAR!!!

Film Review: I Come with the Rain (2008)

March 15, 2010

I Come with the… PAIN!!!

by Ender’s Girl


The Cast:
Josh Hartnett, Lee Byung-hun, Kimura Takuya, Shawn Yue, Trần Nữ Yên Khê, Elias Koteas

Written and directed by Tran Anh Hung / Central Films, 2008

In a Nutshell:
Kline, an ex-L.A. cop turned PI, is hired by a reclusive Asian tycoon to track down his missing son Shitao. While on assignment, a fresh lead takes Kline from the mountain hinterlands of the southern Philippines to the backstreets and fringes of Hong Kong, where he seeks the help of Meng Zi, an old acquaintance from his law enforcement days. But the tortuous trail that leads to the elusive Shitao unexpectedly intersects with three other characters: the sadistic crime boss Dong-po, his heroin-addicted girlfriend Lili, and the dead serial killer Hasford, who continues to haunt the already fraying Kline through dreams of his gruesome murders.

(SpoilLert: There Will Be Blood!!!)

They say that pain is beauty, and beauty pain… or something like that. Such is the central thesis of French-Vietnamese auteur Tran Anh Hung’s latest art house oeuvre, the psychological thriller I Come with the Rain. This dualism between pain and beauty is not lost on the viewer as the first scene unfolds: a flashback showing then detective Kline’s (Josh Hartnett) final face-off with Hasford (Elias Koteas), the serial killer and self-styled artist he has overzealously hunted (and studied) for 27 months. Surrounded by Hasford’s grotesque installation sculptures — made even more grotesque by the fact that he uses, um, actual body parts of his victims, eew — Kline gets bludgeoned, then bitten by a lugubrious Hasford, who views his macabre “masterpieces” as objects of artistic — and even spiritual — fervor.


Suffering as a religious experience, creating beauty from butchery, the agony and the ecstasy of living in this world — these are the main themes that I Come with the Rain gorges on, then later spews up on the viewer with as much subtlety and finesse as the hammer blows that the crime boss Dong-po (Lee Byung-hun) rains on a henchman who has failed him at one point in the story. The path that this film takes you on is a veritable via dolorosa where every turn, every corner is an exercise in the glorification of Pain in all its incarnations — the pain of dismembering victims for a psycho-artist’s portfolio, the pain of drug addiction and withdrawal, the pain of manifesting spontaneous lacerations and other stigmata while absorbing the suffering of others, the pain of a mind still tormented by grisly memories of the past. But as a viewer you wonder which is a more excruciating experience: the traumatic throes the main characters undergo, or having to sit through all 115 minutes while battling apathy and insensibility. Hasford tells Kline at the start of the story: “Jesus is in agony… till the end of the world.” Um, I beg to disagree. It’s the viewer who’s in mind-numbing agony until the end of this film — and how! (Lol)

Enter the Wheel of Torture! Click to read MOAR!!! MOAR!!!