Going to the cinema in Tokyo this month? Our writer has rounded up some of the options from the latest releases, whether you are interested in horror, documentary or comedy. Clint Eastwood, Jennifer Laurence and even Q-Tip make appearances.
Hick (released Nov 24)
Since first coming to our attention as a foul-mouthed super hero in 2010’s Kick Ass – who can forget the controversy surrounding the word most people certainly wouldn’t want their Mother to hear them say – young actress Chloe Grace-Moretz (pictured on the right, above) has been hard at work, appearing in such films as Oscar winner Hugo and the recent Tim Burton movie Dark Shadows.
In Hick, the 15 year old plays Luli, a young girl who runs away from her alcoholic parents to hitchhike from her hometown of Nebraska towards the bright lights and promise of Las Vegas, taking with her just her birthday present: a revolver. Along the way the young girl runs into several undesirable people with questionable motives as a drama of drugs, abuse and violence plays out.
The coming of age comedy-drama is based on a novel of the same name by Andrea Portas and co-stars Blake Lively (above, left), Eddie Redmayne and Alec Baldwin.
Trouble With the Curve (Nov 23)
Clint Eastwood stars in his latest big screen outing – just his third as an actor in the last decade – now on general release after it appeared as the official closing film at the Tokyo International Film Festival last month. The film is directed by Eastwood protege Robert Lorenz, who allows the star to relax into the role of ageing baseball scout Gus, who is tasked with travelling across the country to look at a young player amid doubts that have crept in about his abilities.
It all sounds fairly formulaic but when, against his wishes, his lawyer daughter Mickey (Amy Adams) accompanies him on the journey, giving the bad tempered scout chance to reconnect with her after having had little to do with her as she was growing up, things get a little more interesting. Their relationship is fun to watch and Adams has won a lot of praise for getting the best out of the main man as her character risks her career for his.
Justin Timberlake also turns up to join the party, as a hot-shot Boston Red Sox scout Gus knows very well from his playing days and John Goodman helps with some of the comic aspects of the film which, even for non-sports fans, is definitely worth a watch.
House at the End of the Street (Nov 17)
House at the end of the Street stars up-and-coming actress and star of last month’s The Hunger Games, Jennifer Laurence. The plot – a dream house in a quaint town coupled with a rather grisly murder – might make for a late halloween hit with fans of thriller rather than horror.
Laurence’s character Elissa makes the move with her newly divorced mother into a house where the next door neighbours have been murdered by their own daughter. When Elissa makes friends with the surviving brother of the murderess, dark secrets and wicked twists await. The film also stars young actor Max Thieriot, who may be familiar if you caught the film Yellow at last month’s Tokyo International Film Festival.
Beats, Rhymes and Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest (Nov 3)
Music fans and hip-hop heads wont want to miss Beats Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest, a documentary charting the seminal group’s career from their formation in 1985 to their last days together.
The film has been made by actor and Tribe’ fan Michael Rapaport, who followed the group on a come-back tour in 2008, 10 years after the release of their final album. Taking a look not only at the music but at the relationships and in-fighting which led to the group falling apart, the film has won quite a bit of praise.
It features some of the biggest names in the genre talking about the influence and inspiration of one of the most artistically relevant hip-hop groups of all time.
Woody Allen: A Documentary (Nov 10)
Woody Allen is an icon of cinema having written, directed and starred in such classics as Annie Hall and Manhattan but the celebrated filmmaker had always been notoriously private.
Woody Allen: A Documentary charts the life and work of the writer, director and comedian, giving a window into his life after enjoying unparalleled access to the man and the people who know him.
Filmmaker Robert Weide, Emmy Award winning producer of TV series Curb Your Enthusiasm, worked with the Allen over an entire year, getting to know the man and his creative process and interviewing family, friends and a vast array of actors who have worked under him to produce an in-depth biography of a prolific artist.
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (Nov 1)
This is not a horror movie but an action/adventure with a vampiric twist. It comes in the wake of the current trend for ‘mashup’ fiction: novels and comics which blend classic literature or historical characters with a supernatural element.
Perhaps the most famous example of the ‘new’ genre was Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, a reworking of the Jane Austin classic, the author of which, Seth Grahame-Smith, wrote the novel on which this film is based. Hoping to do better than last years largely unsuccessful Cowboys vs. Aliens, this is the tale of the 16th President of the United States who, unbeknown to the history books, lives a secret parallel life as hunter of the undead.
Benjamin Walker stars as the iconic President who as a boy witnesses the murder of his mother at the hands – and teeth – of a vampire and grows up studying law by day and hunting bloodsuckers by night. When Abe eventually becomes President, he learns that vampires have sided with the Confederacy in the civil war and must be stopped.
Written by Christopher O’Keeffe