Ame Agaru (Japan) (1999)

Shortly before his death in 1998, Akira Kurosawa completed a screenplay entitled Ame Agaru, based on a short story by Shugoro Yamamoto. Kurosawa passed on before he could bring this story to the screen, but one of his assistants, Takashi Koizumi, has directed a film adapted from the script, following as closely as possible the style of the master. This traditionally styled samurai story harkens back to Kurosawa’s best-known works, and features Shiro Mifune, the son of Toshiro Mifune, one of Kurosawa’s favorite actors, in a key role.

Ihei Misawa and his wife Tayo, stranded by rains at a country inn, bring a great deal of happiness to the other residents of the inn by means of Ihei’s generosity and good spirit. Ihei is a masterless samurai and fencing expert. Ihei comes to the attention of Lord Shigeaki, who hires him as fencing instructor for Lord Shigeaki’s men. But Ihei’s expertise causes friction and jealousy in Shigeaki’s castle and his future there comes into doubt.

Cast: Akira Terao, Yoshiko Miyazaki, Shiro Mifune, Fumi Dan, Hisashi Igawa, Hidetaka Yoshioka
Directed: Takashi Koizumi
Genre: Drama/Action/Historical
Also Known As: After the Rain, Après la pluie, When the Rain Lifts
Runtime: 91 min
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Subtitles: English

The Bird People In China (Japan) (1998)


A young Japanese salaryman is sent by his company to a remote Chinese village to evaluate precious Jade that is found there, but before he arrives meets the yakuza who was sent to tail him to protect his bosses interest in the company. When the men finally arrive their mission becomes sidetracked by their interest in a mysterious young village girl, her haunting English language song and the secret that makes men fly like birds.

Cast: Masahiro Motoki, Renji Ishibashi, Mako
Director: Takashi Miike
Genre: Adventure
Also Known As: Chûgoku no chôjin
Run Time: 1:58:28
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese

The Railroad (Korea) (2007)

The Railroad

Two wounded souls. One destination.

Park Heung Sik, director of The Twins and the critically acclaimed short film “A Day”, presents his sophomore feature, The Railroad. During its screening at the 11th Pusan Film Festival, the film was well received by both critics and audiences. Starring Kim Kang Woo (Beast and the Beauty) and Son Tae Young (Sad Movie), The Railroad is a meticulously choreographed psychological drama about the lives of two unrelated people and the circumstances that ultimately bring them together.

Man Soo (Kim Kang Woo) is a train conductor. Everyday he performs the same old routines, and gradually his days begin to feel as uneventful and predictable as the ongoing rotation of the wheels on his train. One day, his train gets caught in a messy accident involving a passenger’s suicide, and he is forced to take leave from work. He gets on the last train.

Hanna (Son Tae Young) is an attractive college instructor who is having an affair with a married professor. Her world is turned upside down when his wife confronts her. Abandoned and betrayed by her lover, Hanna is forced to face her own demons. She quits her job, and hops onto the last train. A train conductor and a college instructor seem to share nothing in common. But for Man Soo and Hanna, brought together by fate, finding solace in the companion of a stranger has never been better.

Cast: Son Tae-Young, Kim Gang-Woo, Baek Jong-Hak
Directed: Park Heung-Sik
Genre: Romance / Drama
Runtime: 107 minutes
Country: Korea
Language: Korean
Subtitles: English

The Red Shoes (2005) (Korean)


A mysterious pair of pink shoes found on a subway platform seems to bring a curse on the owner. Those that see them must have them and a grisly end awaits those that forcibly take them. A mother, who has just left her cheating husband, finds them and ghostly apparitions and strange occurrences follow her as she tries to make a go of it with her young daughter. A helpful decorator helps her solve the mystery and put the ghosts to rest. Or does he?

Cast: Kim Hye-su // Kim Seong-su \ Park Yeon-ah
Directed – Kim Yong-gyun
Writers – Hans Christian Andersen (fairy tale) // Kim Yong-gyun (screenplay)
Genre – Horror / Mystery / Thriller
Run Time – 103 min/109 min (uncut version)
Country – South Korea
Audio – Korean
Subtitles – English [Hardsubbed]
IMDB Links –

Freesia: Icy Tears (2007) (Japan)

During the Edo era, violent revenge was not only an acceptable practice, but an official one in which vendettas were authorized by the government. Freesia revives this concept of legal vendetta and brings it to a cold, contemporary Japan. Under the Vengeance Act, criminals receive official notice of their execution and face off in a designated area at a designated time with registered gun-wielding hitmen. Cool, silent, and impervious to pain, Kanou Hiroshi (Tamayama Tetsuji) just joined the Katsumi Vengeance Agency, and immediately establishes himself as an ace hitman with his sharp shooting and emotionless personality. Almost as cold is Higuchi (Tsugumi), who organizes the agency’s paperwork. She has some personal vendettas of her own to settle, amongst them against Higuchi’s acquaintance Toshio (Nishijima Hidetoshi). These three lonely people are haunted by a common memory, a military experiment years ago that forever changed their lives…

Based on the Matsumoto Jiro manga, Freesia is the latest film from director Kumakiri Kazuyoshi, who came to mainstream attention last year with Seishun Kinzoku Bat. Cool and riveting, the film represents a new stylistic venture for Kumakiri, who is known for his controversial topics and atypical stories. This beautifully shot film balances its sensational premise and slick visuals with calm direction and restrained acting, situating the gunplay and bloodshed against a compelling narrative. Leads Tamayama Tetsuji (Tegami, NANA), Nishijima Hidetoshi (Casshern, Sukida), and Tsugumi (Noriko no Shokutaku) bring inner life to their cold characters, letting unspoken wounds and repressed emotions linger hauntingly beneath the surface.

Cast: Tasuku Emoto // Shôji Kôkami \ Masaki Miura // Hidetoshi Nishijima
Directed – Kazuyoshi Kumakiri
Writers РJir̫ Matsumoto (comic) // Takashi Ujita (screenplay)
Genre – Action
Run Time – 103 min
Country – Japan
Audio – Japanese
Subtitles – English [.sub/.idx]
IMDB Links –

원더풀 라이프/Wonderful Life (2005) (Korea)

Han Seung-wan (Kim Jae Won) leaves for Singapore to surprise his girlfried on her birthday, and Jung Se-jin (Eugene) is on the same flight to say farewell to her deceased “first love” who died in Singapore. When literally bumping into each other at the airport, they accidentally take each other’s passports. They meet again and Seung-wan and Se-jin end up spending the day together. Se-jin knows about his girlfriend, who is two timing Seung-Wan with Min Do-Hyuk (Lee Ji Hoon). Partially to help Seung-Wan avoid from discovering the truth, Se-Jin spends the rest of her time with him. They both get drunk out of sadness of their loves, and end up sleeping together. Back in Korea, Se-jin discovers she is pregnant. She leaves to have the baby alone. A series of events happens for about a year, and Se-Jin’s clueless sister ends up spilling the secret to Seung-Wan at this engagement party, showing up with Han Shin-Bi (Jung Da Bin), his daughter, without Se-Jin. Seung-wan’s life is forced to face fatherhood and the anger of his two-timing girlfriend – Lee Chae-young (Han Eun Jung). Se-jin reappears as they are forced to marry by their respective families. Complicated love takes place, as Do-Hyuk starts to fall for Se-Jin, and so does Seung-Wan, though Se-Jin is more focused on her loving daughter, as something surprising happens to her. The rest of the story revolves around the family’s journey in learning to take responsibility, and learning to love each other.

Broadcasted – 07-Mar-2005 to 26-Apr-2005
Genre – Drama, Comedy, Romance
Directed – Lee Chang Han // Jo Soo Won
Writers – Jin Soo Wan
Country – South Korea
Audio – Korean
Quality -High
Subtitles – English [.srt]
Episode Run Time – 1 Hour 5 Minutes
Total Episodes – 16
Status – Completed [16/16]
Links –

Kim Jae Won as Han Seung-wan
Eugene as Jung Se-jin
Lee Ji Hoon as Min Do-hyun
Han Eun Jung as Lee Chae-young
Joo Hyun as Han Bum-soo (Seung-wan’s father)
Kim Hye Ok as Pyo Jae-kyung (Se-jin’s mother)
Choi Joon Yong as Han Seung-pil (Seung-wan’s older brother)
Yoon Hyun Sook as Baek Hyun-joo (Seung-pil’s wife)
Kim Hyo Jin as Jung Il-jin (Se-jin’s older sister)
Kim Seung Min as So Chang-myung (Seung-wan & Do-hyun’s flying academy classmate)
Jung Da Bin as Han Shin-bi (Seung-wan and Se-jin’s daughter)