Monday, April 28, 2008

Review: 69

Alternative Titles: シクスティナイン, Sixty-nine
Genre: Romance
Release Date: Jul. 10, 2004

  • Tsumabuki Satoshi as Yazaki Kenichi
  • Masanobu Ando as Tadashi "Adama" Yamada
Ken, a high school student, hopes to catch a girl’s attention by creating a festival that would include film, theatre and rock music. After talking to the girl he has a crush on, he then develops his project into barricading the school. He gathers a group of students to help him out. However, his plan also catches the attention of the local media and the police.

After finding out about this movie, I watched a trailer of it and read some comments on various sites. I definitely thought this movie was going to be a hilarious ride, but it wasn’t as funny as I first hyped. In my opinion, 69 turned out to be the most random J-movie I’ve seen. First and foremost, the story is just off the charts. Some high school student wants to barricade his school to impress a girl. This movie was so random that I didn’t even know what was going on for most scenes. I didn’t know if I was too bored to enjoy or what, but this movie does have a lot of randomness to it. There are many scenes where you just don’t know what the main characters are trying to do. Its clear that they’re trying to barricade the school and start a festival, but for there are parts that seem they aren’t connected to the main story.

Also, another downside to the movie that I would like to mention is that one of the scenes is REALLY disgusting. The most disgusting scene in any J-movie, ever. If you decide to watch 69, make sure you’re not eating something or else you’ll barf it out.

On the flip side, there were some scenes that were absolutely hilarious. However, that’s the only good thing I can say about the movie.

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  • Some scenes were absolutely hilarious
  • Story is completely random
  • Didn’t understand what was going on for most of the movie
  • One of the scenes is really disgusting (don’t eat anything while watching this movie! (-_-‘)
The funny scenes definitely don’t offset my dislikes of 69. I would stay away from it at all costs.

Rating: 5/10

Friday, April 25, 2008

Review: Stand Up!!

Genre: Love, comedy
Episodes: 11
Broadcast: Jul. - Sept. 2003

  • Ninomiya Kazunari as Asai Shouhei
  • Yamashita Tomohisa as Iwasaki Kengo
  • Oguri Shun as Enami Kouji
  • Narimiya Hiroki as Udagawa Hayato
  • Suzuki Anne as Oowada Chie
Four friends are teased by their schoolmates as the only virgins in the entire school. When summer break begins, they go on a mission to end their virginity. During the break, one of their childhood friends named Chie, comes back to her four best friends after 11 years apart. However, Chie isn’t the beautiful girl they once knew 11 years ago. Despite seeing Chie again, the four buddies continue their mission. Shouhei gets a crush on his English teacher and tries to win her love. Kengo tries to convince his stubborn girlfriend to have sex with him. Soccer team captain, Kouji and the panties-loving Hayato, also continue their journey to get laid.

When I first found out about Stand Up!!, I realized that many people were saying that it’s like the American Pie of Japanese dramas. I agree that Stand Up!! and American Pie has some similarities, but after watching the entire series, Stand Up!! turns out to be very different. I have to emit that before watching the entire series, I really did think Stand Up!! was going to be very similar to American Pie. In other words, I thought that it would just be about a group of guys trying to get laid. After watching the series, I noticed it had some story elements about friendship and romance that provide plenty of drama to the series. The stuff about getting laid and other mature stuff provides tons of humour. In the end, Stand Up!! is a great mix of friendship, romance and humour.

The two most important things about Stand Up!! that made it an enjoyable drama was the humour and the characters. There’s always at least one funny scene in each episode and of course, there wouldn’t any humour without the huge line-up of funny and unique characters. The drama even portrays the whole community that is home to the main characters, including parents and fellow classmates. I especially like how there’s a couple of entertaining minor characters that make an appearance in every episode.

Another plus-side is the cast that plays the major characters. You can’t get a better all-star male cast than the one in Stand Up!!. Ninomiya Kazunari and Yamashita Tomohisa are from extremely popular boy bands Arashi and NEWS, respectively. Oguri Shun, Narimiya Hiroki, and Suzuki Anne are popular actors who you may remember from some popular dramas and movies. All of these actors do a exceptional job portraying their characters. I wasn’t overly disappointed with any of the acting by the major characters.

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Stand Up!! does deal with mature subjects, but there’s absolutely no full nudity from episodes 1 to 10. However, to my surprise, there was a flash of frontal nudity in the last episode. It came without warning and it was very awkward and definitely didn’t fit with in the series.

  • A lot more than just about getting laid
  • Good mix of humour, romance, drama
  • One of the funniest dramas I’ve seen
  • Good line-up of characters
  • Well-known cast
  • Minor characters that make appearances every episode
  • Wacky music fits well with some of the scenes
  • Story was a bit weak in the first two episodes
Stand Up!! has something for everyone, because of its mix of genres. I definitely recommend it to all drama fans, but since it does deal with mature subjects, I only recommend it to people over 16.

Rating: 9.5/10

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Back in Action~!

Hi readers,

As you know, I haven't posted for a while now (a little more than a month) because I've been quite busy with university exams. However, I recently finished my exams so stay tuned to The Keizou Journal as I now have four months of summer break! Expect many more posts for the weeks to come. (I'm actually working on three new posts as I post this message). Also, The Keizou Journal will be turning one year old on June 18, so I'll be trying to do something special. (^_^)v