Saturday, April 15, 2017

Movies on plane

As promised, I finally am able to set aside time to write about the movies that I watched on the few flights I took in the past month.
Golden Orchestra
Chizuru Koyama moved to a new town as a new teacher. She was inspired by a local orchestra but instead of joining the professional Umegaoka Philharmonic Orchestra, she ended up registering for the amateurish Umegaoka Symphonic Orchestra whose members consist of local elderly who are happy with their achievements when at practice they can play further than the previous practice. Despite wanting to quit, Chizuru ends up as the conductor as the original conductor fell ill and eventually Chizuru helps the Symphonic Orchestra to hold a performance at local concert hall.

The plot is not too different from any other music + comedy genre: unexpected help from a famed maestro right up to small gimmicks. With the original conductor always carries a screwdriver with a light (as his day job is an electrician), I could already tell that there would be black out during the concern and that screwdriver will be used as the conducting baton and the electricity would be back on during the climax of the piece. One thing fresh about this is that we began with a group of elderly who could not play properly but the movie is not about turning them into suddenly good players. They actually are able to play quite well in their younger days, just that nowadays, they are losing their skills or something along that line. With proper conducting and training, they could get their mojo back. The orchestra is able to recruit new and young members and that is how they get enough members to hold a performance. So it is not the usual "We leave this sinking orchestra and we shall return when it is showing a promise of resurrection" members.

Honestly the beginning is rather draggy and I was so tempted to just switch movies. I am glad I did not as the piece that they play for their performance is quite good. Can't recall the title or the tune now but it is one of the more recognised classical pieces. I will update with the title if I can even find it. Lol.
Gold Medal Man
Senichi Akita won a sprint race in a sports meet in elementary school. That first gold medal and the taste of victory drove him to join every other competitions (fish catching, shouting with loudest volume, drawing) and he came out number 1 in all. His luck did not continue as he went to secondary school and high school. Yet he never loses hope to be number 1 again as he grows into adulthood.

I am sort of cheated when I read the synopsis that began with "Senichi Akita was born in 1964 when the whole nation was excited with Tokyo hosting the olympics" as I was expecting that this was going to be an inspiring real life story of an athlete. Nope.. none of that is correct as the movie turns out to be just a random awful comedy which is not even funny. In fact, the plot gets repeated in the middle: after everything seems to be going down, Senichi gets a second chance when he is stranded and survived on an island using all the skills that earned him gold medals in his elementary school: catching fish, shouting loudly, drawing) but after a short stint as a popular motivator from his experience, things get worse again. Anyway, I think it is a waste of time to watch this.
Maki Eda is the typical career woman in an advertisement agency who hates vegetables out of anger for her father's decision to open a farm. After drinking too much, she ends up moving and sharing a place with Nagisa Katayama who is a strict vegetarian. Nagisa also happens to be gay so no hanky panky in the house. Nagisa helps Maki with all her vegetable issue: from working to create an advertisement for bitter gourd (wth -_-) and mending her relationship with her parents after she ran away from home/her father's farm while Maki helps Nagisa to overcome his guilt over his brother's death.

This is considered a romantic comedy but there is nothing romantic since Nagisa remains gay and Maki remains single and the comedy portion is only gay overtone slapsticks surrounding Nagisa. The plot is weak and while issues pertaining to Maki are settled, issues surrounding Nagisa remains unclear. Again, it is another movie that I think is a waste of time. In fact, most of the time, my eyes wondered to the screen of the passenger sitting diagonally in front of me who was watching Kimi no Na Wa.

I guess I am really running out of interesting Japanese movie to watch from in-flight entertainment system. Perhaps tomorrow I should just re-watch Fantastic Beasts.

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