Hi! I'm quite fond on blogging lately...didn't I? Hoho~
It's the start of the end-of-the-term holiday...and most of the students are already going back to their hometown while I'm still stuck here in KAL...not like I really hate it...but I almost hate it when the internet connection broke down at the menara...I mean, come on, there are less people here now and I just thought that I can online and download as much as I could but then again the connection just simply gone...I'm lucky the connection is ok here under the hostel block...if not I'm damn sure I'll be working hard not to strangle/hit/cast some voodoo spell to some random passerby out of frustration...heh!
That makes me realize...I really cannot live without internet, huh? *sigh*
This evening, out of bored and tired after sorting up my locker, cleaning the clothes, tidying up the room, etc...I randomly pick up movies in my oh-so-many collection to watch...and found a Japanese live-action movies titled Crows Zero and it's sequel Crows Zero II...these film is based on a best-selling manga I never came across let alone read (but will do so after this) called Crows by Hiroshi Takahashi...mind you, I never heard of the mangaka either...but put that aside, both the movies is really good! Also, it doesn't hurt that Oguri Shun plays the main lead...^^
Let's start with the first film, Crows Zero.
Crows ZERO (クローズZERO, Kurōzu Zero?) is a film based on the comic book Crows by Hiroshi Takahashi. The film was directed by Takashi Miike, written by Shogo Muto and stars Oguri Shun and Yamada Takayuki. The movie was the untold story behind the characters in Suzuran, the most violence high school that have never been conquered by anyone else along its history. (Credits to Wikipedia as always..)
By HeijiHatsutori at 2009-11-20
The mega-hit comic, CROWS, about feuding high school tough guys, has sold over 32 million copies in its eight-plus years. This feature length movie version of "CROWS" depicts the never-before-told origins of the story as "Episode Zero".
The Suzuran Senior High School for Boys, nicknamed "The School of Crows", is the poorest achieving, most violent school in the country. The students are called "crows" and they band together in factions, battling each other for influence and power. But they all share a common goal ... one that has never been reached in the school's history: unification. No one faction has ever reigned supreme.
Oguri plays the role of Genji Takiya, a transfer student who attempts to take over Suzuran Boys High School and is mentored by old boy yakuza Katagiri (Kyosuke Yabe) as he faces off against rival Serizawa (Takayuki Yamada).(credits to moviexclusive.com) ^^
On my part, Crows Zero is a shonen-style movie; lots of fighting, lots of boys (there are what, 2-3 females only?), and very (I mean, very) charming in its own way. I'm not one that really into movies to notice the people behind the scenes but it dawns to me that the director is a highly prolific one in this field (yakuza, horror, thriller, violence-style films, he has directed over seventy theatrical, video, and television productions since his debut in 1991. In the years 2001 and 2002 alone, Miike is credited with directing fifteen productions. -thanks to wikipedia for all the info I gained) and although I never watched his more notable works, I'm satisfied and happy enough I watched this! I don't think I'll watch his other works though..horror (i.e, One Missed Call) and extremely violent (i.e, Ichi the Killer) films are not my cup of tea...maybe I'm not sadist enough...heh! Like yakuza stories though...
Anyway, back to Crows Zero, I have to say the plot is quite simple but interestingly not boring at all..might be because of the awesomesauce of the fighting scenes...the camera work is good and the realistic fight adds up to the charm. There are also some humor (my favorite is the damn bowling scene...I rewind that part twice!) and despite the fact that Genji is not one to talk much (why did I suddenly remembered Yukikaze's Lt. Rei Fukai? -note, Rei is worse, he hardly interacts at all) his expression just gives it away...I sincerely think that Oguri Shun portrays Genji well (he really did a good work...mind you I'm not being bias for the moment).
The supporting casts (I hardly recognize the faces so this might be the first time I saw them) are really good too! I like Tamayuki Yamada's Tamao Serizawa...he can be quite a cool and a dork guy at times...(remembering the bowling scene again) others are not disappointing either and overall I think the acting are really high-level...the characters are distinguishable either in personality or fashion...we can see that even though they are punk, blond hair, dreadlocks, wearing some flu-mask (this film was on 2007...mind you H1N1 are not yet existed) fights a lot and all, they can be a softies at heart...meaning they are after all, humans...and I think that part is portrayed very well by the characters...^^ One thing that is similar between the characters is smoking...I bet Genji is a darn hard smoker (I don't know in his real life)...you can lost count how much he smokes during the whole movie...
People, smoking is bad for your life...
For further understanding on the plot line, you can read the whole summary of the film at Wikipedia...I mean it, they put the whole plot line of the film...totally giving the story away! If you hate spoilers DON'T EVER SEARCH FOR THIS FILM ON WIKIPEDIA...don't say I don't warn you~
The soundtrack of the film is good though I never heard of the band (The Street Beats)...Kuroki Meisa (I've been wondering where did I saw her before, until I read on her profile that she is the main lead in Subaru...the movie where TVXQ sang one of the OSTs..haha!) the female lead also sang some song in some of the scenes...and I think it's quite good and fitting (the subtitle also include the translation of the lyric)...
Overall, if you're into a fist-fight style of movie, this will not fail you. Do watch this people! ^^
Due to the high popularity of the film, they put out a sequel, Crows Zero II, which picks up right where the first film ends...there are no info on this film on Wikipedia...probably because this film is a recent one (released 2009)...so I took the information on other sites...^^ Of course, the fighting is getting harder as the trouble gets more serious...
Adapted from the outrageous manga by Hiroshi Takahashi, this sequel to CROWS ZERO continues the story of Takiya Genji (Oguri Shun), the son of a powerful yakuza boss who had transferred to the gang-ridden Suzuran All-Boys High School with one goal in mind: unite the school's many, warring gangs under one banner, and prove to his father that he can handle the family business.
However, several months after the events of CROWS ZERO, trouble brews again when thugs known as “The Army of Killers,” from rival high school Hosen Academy threaten Suzuran High aka the ‘School of Crows.’
The ruthless ‘Army of Killers’ is after the blood of an ex-leader of Suzuran High, who is just released from reformatory for killing the leader of Hosen H two years back. Desperate, the wanted man lays low by attempting to join the local Yakuza. A rejuvenated Hosen decides to revenge their former leader’s death on the entire Suzuran school instead, while in-fighting at an increasingly disunited Suzuran High makes them even more susceptible to the Hosen menace. Can Genji and the boys stave off this threat from their greatest rivals yet?
Directed by Takashi Miike, the internationally-prolific and highly controversial Japanese filmmaker, the live-action CROWS franchise is Miike’s most commercially successful work to date. CROWS ZERO II was released in Japan earlier this year with resounding success (the box office for its opening weekend was an astounding 145% of the first installment)! (Credits to moviexclusive.com -I got a feeling this site is conducted by fellow Malaysians...there are some Malay word used in the reviews (botak yakuza?) and common Malaysian slang (ah beng -though I'm expecting along to come. LOL) which gives off a somewhat...familiarity feeling?
Crows Zero II continues the life of Genji and his fellow GPS (Genji's Perfect Seiha -Seiha means something like Succession) member in his quest to conquer Suzuran...which is more that what he imagined...I watched this some time after I finished Crows Zero (I can't afford to stay in front of the laptop 4 hours non-stop on the day in my room alone...have to go and grab something to eat...haha~) and the hot ramen (to be specific it's actually just Maggi) just can't keep my eyes off from the screen after I start clicking the 'Play' button! haha~
By heijihatsutori at 2009-11-20
For those who do not watch the first film, you can still understand the sequel for there are some flashbacks and the plot is not too depending on the first film...but for those who watch the first film first (like me!) you can understand the plot and the interaction of the characters better...like Genji and the low-rank yakuza Ken...and some detailed insight on who the characters and their respective motivations...so if I'm to suggest, I'll be encouraging you to watch the first film first...^^
The plot line is if not at the same level, is somehow better (to me) than the first film as there are more characters and more complex story as this involves more people than just a fight for the throne of Suzuran...thus, making things more exciting! The character development is also increases especially for Takiya Genji. This sequel shows how Genji starts to be more rational in his way of doing things and be more mature...which is a good thing like a quote from the movie (I forgot who says this), 'You cannot win by strength alone...there is more to it to conquer Suzuran'...something like those lines...and the simplicity of the overall flow of the story makes it more appealing...you will never be confused (well, I don't after all) of the story and really can enjoy it to the max!
The fight scenes are more detailed and each character have their own limelight to show off their fighting style (especially during the last and the climax attack/fight in the story), which is very interesting to watch! The variations in camera technique, from fast-slow movement to focused up angle, adds the spice in the soup! Er...is that weird? Well I like my soto spicy after all...the latest try I put on 7 spoons of belacan...much to my friends fear...haha! It's very good though...and surprisingly I can handle it...ok enough with this off-topic!
The sound in this film is good, still using the same band like the first film...and I noticed there is another band...making it two but I don't know the name...from the credits it looks like what..Does? I have no idea...and it kinds of frustrating that this time the sub do not have the lyrics translation...but overall I think the j-rock bands must be a famous one, no? The songs are quite good after all..maybe I should download the OST? Nah~ to much time for that maybe...haha! But maybe I will..just maybe...
Crows Zero II is a must-watch if you already finished Crows Zero...I can guarantee that you will like it! I don't know whether there will be Crows Zero III or not after this (hope they will and focused on Haruma Miura's Bitou Tatsuya this time! He got a very cool haircut in here~ haha!) but if they do I'm soooo going to watch it! ^^
Again, believe me, people...this is going to worth your time! Do watch it, guys! ^^
It's raining now and internet connection just gone awry again...damnit! Why oh why the connection hates me?? What did I do~?
I really need to calm down...
That's it for now...do watch both film people! Ja ne~
Music for the day: Yamashita Tomohisa -MOLA (R-Midwest remix)
P/S: I've been listening to this song in repeat mode right after I downloaded the mp3...which is while I'm writing this post! Somehow the melody is addictive and I can't help but to sing along! The lyrics are fully in English and even without looking at the lyrics beforehand I can make out some lines...though I have to say the lyrics help a great deal...his English pronunciation can be quite confusing to me at times...heh!
Yamashita Tomohisa (more common by nickname Yama-P) is a member (if I'm not mistaken he's the leader) of the Johnny Entertainments talent group NEWs and this is his solo song...I come across some NEWs song and there are some that I like a lot but I can't quite figure out the other members of the group save for Yama-P...thanks for his activeness in acting dramas like Kurosagi and Nobuta no Produce to name a few...so you might find his face familiar somewhere...my friend is quite a fan of his actually...heh~
Do check out the Pv too! The setting is very cool and suite the song's atmosphere perfectly! He also dances...which gives some extra points...*wink*
You can check out the Pv (click the 'video' button) and of course, listen to the song altogether at my playlist below! ^^
He watches the dancing angel silently, too incoherent for words. His mind counting, 1, 2, 3...
1, 2, 3...
A pair of brown orb eyes meeting his. A smile, playful one tagging at the lips. His heart almost skips a beat.
1, 2, 3...
He blinks, once, twice, three times, he is still alone. Yet the smile is still hanging before his visions.
Like they do not have any other way.