Decoupage has written 12 reviews for films rated ★★★ .

  • Sudden Rain

    Sudden Rain

    Another bland and tepid Naruse film. :/

  • The Idiot

    The Idiot

    Setsuko Hara, Toshiro Mifune, Masayuki Mori, and Yoshiko Kuga surely must have been the greatest cast in Japanese history? And yet The Idiot is a melodramatic failure.

    Kurosawa filming ice skating with torches = great great great

    Kurosawa filming people talking in a room = bad bad bad

  • Here's to the Young Lady

    Here's to the Young Lady

    Cheers to the Young Lady is a romantic comedy with no chemistry between the leads. Setsuko Hara seems as disinterested in shacking up with a man as in any of her Ozu work, and Shuji Sano is clearly just showing up to earn his paycheck.

  • A Woman in the Typhoon Area

    A Woman in the Typhoon Area

    Sexy Setsuko plays the gang bang girl in this Japanese pirate version of Key Largo. Not as good as you might expect but it's not unwatchable either. The other reviews are funny as hell.

  • The Ball at the Anjo House

    The Ball at the Anjo House

    Very underwhelmed by this, full of dreadful melodrama. Maybe three stars is too high, probably only getting that rating because it's a marquis Setsuko Hara film.

  • Wedding Day

    Wedding Day

    Bit of a reactionary film, Setsuko Hara married off on screen for the first of eleventy billion times in her career. She was known for playing western-style, so-called mogas or modern-era girls early in her career, but as those characters fell out of fashion in nationalistic wartime Japan at the end of the 1930s, her star persona was repatriated back home and Toho turned her into the ideal domestic Japanese actress, or ideal Kinema actress of Japan.

    Director Yasujiro Shimazu…

  • Throwing the Soul Away

    Throwing the Soul Away

    Setsuko Hara's earliest surviving film footage, partially missing and a rare find. The great actress debuted at age 15 in Nikkatsu's silent B youth dramas in the summer of 1935, and Throw The Soul was her third picture, basically a 1930s Japanese version of a Disney Channel movie.

    Setsuko doesn't have much to do here except smile and look cute, but she displays tremendous screen presence. Her famous smile is already evident, but it's more like the pure delightful expression…

  • Passing Fancy

    Passing Fancy

    Mediocre Ozu with a great title and beautiful father-son scene.

  • Woman of Tokyo

    Woman of Tokyo

    Yoshiko Okada = good. Ureo Egawa = bad. This is more of a warm-up for Dragnet Girl, Ozu refining his signature visual style in 1933. Narratively it's kind of whatever-- heavy handed in places but nice to see Ozu considering the plight of women in pre-war Imperial Japan.

  • That Night's Wife

    That Night's Wife

    Mediocre but not bad. Ozu's first attempt at serious drama, more significant for his relentless work on the continuity development, predating 12 Angry Men with almost the entire feature occurring in only one scene. Works well for awhile but perhaps too saccharine and drawn out. The most important thing to note here is that Ozu acquires his indoor spatial awareness power-up -- perhaps even accidentally -- which he puts away in his toolbox for now and then really brings to life with his post-war films.

  • Inuyasha the Movie: Affections Touching Across Time

    Inuyasha the Movie: Affections Touching Across Time

    ★★★

    Really cool opening credits sequence, great theme song (Affections Touching Across Time), then about an hour of kitchen sink storytelling before the movie finally gets good. Probably hard to get into unless you've watched the anime series, because the character introductions were not set up well-- for instance, Kagome tells the audience that Kikyo's story is "better off left for another time", and Sesshomaru's fight served no purpose except fan service and unnecessary exposition. Critical moments at the beginning of…

  • That Night's Wife

    That Night's Wife

    ★★★

    Good silent film with influences from German expressionism, until the ending at least. The ending just repeated over and over again. Ozu didn't know how to finish it. He dragged out the emotions several times. Each time you see the ending get repeated, you're tempted to roll your eyes.

    (see what I did there?)

    Emiko Yagumo really delivered a great performance. She was the star of the film.