The Uchoten Hotel (Japanese) 2006


Aka: The Wow-Choten Hotel | Uchoten Hoteru
Year: 2006
Directed: Koki Mitani
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Runtime: 02:06
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Subtitles: English
Cast: Koji Yakusho, Takako Matsu, Koichi Sato, Shingo Katori, Ryoko Shinohara, Joe Odagiri, Kumiko Aso,
IMDB: Uchoten Hoteru

Synopsis / Plot

Koji Yakusho (familiar in the West for “Shall We Dance?”, Cannes-award winning, “The Eel” and the long-awaited “Memoirs of a Geisha”) leads the pack as one of a pair of mismatched and dueling Deputy Managers. His courteous and gentlemanly character is our guide through the ensuing tribulations as he tries to maintain calm and placate the increasingly oddball General Manager.

As if staff politics and preparations for the party alone were not enough to deal with, his professional headaches worsen when his ex-wife turns up on the arm of a renowned academic leading a convention of deer specialists. But before the night is out, this domestic issue will pale in comparison to other successive problems which threaten further catastrophe. Not only does a scandal-stricken politician hole up in the hotel pursued by the entire press corps but a famous crooner chooses this night to contemplate a highly-visible suicide.

In time-honored tradition, deception piles on top of misunderstanding as nine different layers of story are interwoven in a grand tapestry of the human condition. The audience is uniquely privy to the host of mistaken identities and inevitable subterfuge but just when it seems all might spin out of control, we feel the sure hand of a consummate playwright guiding us. All the threads are gathered and everything works out for the best. Even the ventriloquist’s fugitive duck plays a part in bringing about the final grand, redemption.

The Rebel (Vietnamese) 2006


Aka: Dragon Dynasty: The Rebel
Year: 2006
Directed: Truc ‘Charlie’ Nguyen
Genre: Action, Drama, Romance
Runtime: 01:43
Country: Vietnam
Language: Vietnamese/French
Subtitles: English/Spanish in seperate torrent
Cast: Johnny Nguyen, Thanh Van Ngo, Dustin Nguyen, Stephane Gauger
iMDB: The Rebel

Synopsis / Plot

1920s. Vietnam under colonial French ruling. Anti-French rebellions emerge all over the country to disrupt the foreign occupiers. In respond, the colonialist employed units of Vietnamese agents to track and destroy these rebels. The film follows the journey of LE VAN CUONG, a French cultured undercover elite. Although branded with a perfect track record, Cuong’s inner conscience is troubled by the sea of Vietnamese blood he had spilled to uphold a French washed ideal. Following an assassination of a high ranking French, Cuong is assigned to seek and kill the notorious leader of the resistance. Cuong encounters VO THANH THUY, a relentless revolutionary fighter and the daughter of the rebel leader. Cuong’s superior intends for him to use Thuy as a mean to get to her father but Cuong soon has feelings for her. Thuy’s patriotism ignites conflicts between Cuong’s consciousness and his cultured faith. Will Cuong discover his inner-self and find love or will he continue his mission?