Hamada is seemingly a regular high school, junior student. He is indeed ordinary except he has a passion for righteousness and justice. His trait comes to the fore when he notices that his ... See full summary »
the film is about a man who owns a helmet which makes you reexperience your happiest moment of your live. the major in the town he lives wants to use him for his good but the man with the helmet has got other plans....
Hiroshi, Takeru and Tetsuo all live in the same city. Hiroshi is an unpopular idol singer and he feels a void in his life. He is placed under confinement by his fan Masako. Takeru believes ... See full summary »
The story of three pairs of characters involved one way or the other with the yakuza and a rigged boxing match and fleeing the thugs one way or the other. Filmed as a showcase of the ... See full summary »
(Japanese with English subtitles) Aboard the Japanese crab ship 'Kanikosen' equipped with a cannery facility, workers are forced to labor under pitiful conditions at minimum wages. Sick of ... See full summary »
A fantasy love story that drifts between this world and heaven. Chasuke (Ken'ichi Matsuyama) is in charge of making tea in heaven. He has feelings for a human woman named Yuri (Ito Ohno) ... See full summary »
Shuji and his older brother Shuichi live in a sad resort town that has a virtual wall in its middle. Looking to rise him above his surroundings Shuji meets and interacts with a priest with ... See full summary »
Well meaning intentions don't always pan out so well
I don't know why I delayed so long in writing this. Last February, Japan Society in NYC presented a Sabu film perspective and Trouble Man was the finale. The host (who did a very great job) informed us that they had spliced together the 2nd half of the series and put it together as a film. He gave a little background of the story and explained that we would start with the episode of the Hit-man (he is so hilarious!). As soon as it started, I felt myself sucked into the vortex of Sabuism.
The thing that's great about Sabu's films is that they are very off the wall, non traditional, very funny and even dark. Trouble Man is no exception and its non linearity really kept my attention. Despite missing the earlier episodes, it wasn't too hard to follow what was going on. There are characters a plenty in this one. Susumu Terajima has a minor role here, but he garners so much attention when he's in a scene. Sabu is very good at using Terajima-san's acting ability to full extent and it's really entertaining to watch (watch the Blessing Bell by Sabu for further proof). When his scenes would end, I really wanted more Terajima - this guy is the epitome of cool!!! He doesn't say much but when he does, it hits like buckshot from a sawed off shotgun.
Before the film, the host mentioned that Shigeaki Katô (who plays Trouble Man Kazuo Tokuda) is not a seasoned actor and is also part of a music group (boy band) in Japan. Sabu chose him for the lead role and I thought he did a really great job. It's so hard not to feel for Kazuo as you see all the hardships he goes through. However, his 'never give up' attitude is infectious and when Kazuo's story comes up, that's when things get really interesting. Shigeaki Katô shows a wide range of emotions which effectively impact certain scenes and keep the story going. Without giving away what happens, let's just say that he's the anchor to which the boats around him are tied.
What's great about Sabu is he isn't saying what's right or wrong or giving out morality lessons. In life, things happen for good and for bad. Maybe how we react and what we learn from these experiences is what counts. Take what you can from it. Apologies if I got too deep, but it actually took me several months until I finally realized how to word this. Keep in mind I still haven't seen this Trouble Man in its entirety (until I get it on DVD). Definitely recommended. And try to keep the theme song 'Be Funkey!' out of your head...its really tough!!
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