Tag Archives: Japanese movies

Foreign Film Friday- The Ramen Girl


The Ramen Girl, Alica McKenna-Johnson, Forgein Films, Food porn
The Ramen Girl
If you want a see a fun, odd, noodle-ful movie, then The Ramen Girl just might be the flick for you. After losing her boyfriend and being stranded in Japan, Abby loses her sanity and becomes fixated on learning to make ramen, much to the displeasure of the local ramen chef she has decided will be the one to teach her.

I did have two issues with this movie. First, after a year of living in Japan, Abby still can’t speak or understand any Japanese, which I just didn’t believe and second, there wasn’t as much Japanese culture as I like in my foreign films, Abby really isolates herself and therefore us.

But I enjoyed it, and for those of you who have watched Tampopo, the first and best Noodle Western/food porn ever, keep your eyes open for a treat in The Ramen Girl.

Sushi Porn


Hubby and I just watched Jiro Dreams of Sushi, and I now feel like everything I have ever eaten is the equivalent of McDonald’s compared to what Jiro serves at his sushi restaurant.

Watching this has made me realize that perfect is something to strive for, not something to reach. If Jiro can feel that his sushi, rice, a slice of fish, and some sauce can be improved upon, than certainly the things I do in my life can be improved upon. I can always strive to do better, to learn more, to hone my skills, my craft, my intention, and my focus.

I am a vegetarian, but there is something so vibrant and seemingly nurturing and nutritious about raw fish: the color, the transparent shine. I don’t know, maybe it’s just Jiro’s sushi which looks this way, but I now want to go out and have sushi. Maybe someday I’ll even go to Japan, making my reservation at least a month in advance, and eat a meal at Jiro’s. I mean they start at 30,000 yen and can be more, depending on what is fresh and good that day. BTW that is $294.

Are you like Jiro always striving to be better to learn more? Do you love what you do and give your all to you work your passion?

Are you a sushi fan? What should I try first?

Assassins, Blind Swordsmen, and Peasants.


Domo Arrigato for joining me on this tour of Shogun Japan. For our last adventure I’m offering up three movies for your viewing pleasure.

13 Assassins

The beginning of 13 Assassins shows us how evil our bad guy is, and because it’s shogun Japan there is the rape- we see him dragging her off and see her clutching her robe to her afterwards not the actual act. So our bad guy is a bastard and we want him dead, but he is the brother of the Shogun.
This is where Bushido comes in because he needs to go down, but Bushido must be maintained. Again you don’t follow Bushido you pretend to follow it and are a backstabbing ass or you are Bushido’s bitch.
We see several times where samurai stand by and do nothing while innocents are hurt because they cannot go against the man they vowed to follow.
However they do manage to find a way around it, and plan a battle. This group of 12 samurai and one crazy mountain man get their ninja on and seriously the big battle at the end is awesome. What these men are able to do is amazing!
Also there is a bit near the end that makes me believe Joss Whedon has seen this movie as Captain Hammer has a similar experience. Come back and let me know if you find it 🙂
If you enjoy Shogun Japan and insane sword fights watch this movie.



The story of the blind swordsman is a classic in Japan. It’s such a popular story Rudger Howard even made a version of the story called Blind Fury.
What makes this one different is the swordsman is a girl. It’s beautifully filmed and we get to see many different parts of life as she searches for her teacher.
While on her journey she meets a master swordsman who can’t draw his swords, gets kidnapped, slices many people into pieces, and falls in love.
People who meet her are changed, by her music and her sword. It’s a wonderful story with some fun Japanese drama. Of course there is rape, it is more graphic then in the other movie. I couldn’t find a trailer with sub-titles, sorry.





It’s a wonderful story, where we get to see how the peasants lived. Not being beaten down by the higher ups but the day to day life of cleaning, working, cooking, and laughing.
Our hero Soza is torn, has sworn vengeance for his father’s murder. Being a samurai his honor is at stake and he must complete his mission, but the longer he lives amoung the peasants the harder it becomes for him to stay focused on his mission.
Even though these people live in poverty this is the only movie that makes me want to live in Shogun Japan. The characters are so fun and quirky.
There is forgiveness, redemption, letting go, a love story, and deciding between Bushido, honor, and life.




I hope you enjoyed our Armchair Adventures. Please let me know where else you would like to visits, modern or a historic period. Is there anything else you would like to have on your Armchair Adventure?

High Kick Girl


So this high school Japanese girl has managed to become a great marital artist, yet in all of her training has missed the spiritual lessons of Karate. Anyway her teacher refuses to give her a black belt. In her desire to prove her strength, she makes a stupid (she is a teenager) choice and winds up in a gang.

You need a buddy to laugh and heckle at the movie with you, it will make this more fun. The martial arts is okay. The sensei is the best, but unfortunately he doesn’t fight until the end. However, you can watch Japanese girls in school girl uniforms fighting if that’s your thing.

If you’re a fan of Asian martial arts movies, I say go for it. Expect cheesiness and a predictable plot, but there are some fun martial arts, classic Karate philosophy, and girls in short pleated skirts.

Castle in the Sky


I have another Hayao Miyazaki movie for you. Yes that should be enough for you to run out and get this movie, but if not I’ll prattle on. This is a great movie, beautifully animated, a fun excited story with chases and mystery, and fun Miyazaki steampunk going on.
If that’s not enough o tempt you, Cloris Leachman does the voice of the airship pirate captain, and of course she fabulous. There is also the voice talents of James Van Der Beek, Mandy Patinkin, Andy Dick, Mark Hamill, and Anna Paquin.
This is a fun movie for the whole family and one I enjoy enough to own.

Foreign Film Friday- Howl’s Moving Castle


Howl’s Moving Castle

I love everything I have seen by Hayao Miyazaki he is an amazing direction, animator, and writer. Howl’s Movie Castle is an adaptation of the book by Dianna Wynne Jones, which is a wonderful book and is the first in the series. If you haven’t read them you should, they are lovely rich stories.

The movie is different from the book, but no less amazing. Think of it as fan fiction and you’ll be fine 🙂 The artistry of the anime makes this movie with watching, the story will make you fall in love. I watch this movie, along with the other Miyazaki’s I own, several times a year. The voice talents of Christian Bale, Minnie Driver, Lauren Bacall, Blythe Danner, and Billy Crystal bring extra enjoyment to this movie.
A great movie for the whole family!

Noodle Western/ Food Porn



I’m not sure how to describe Tempopo- It’s a Japanese film. With an odd Western (as in wild west) feel to it. But it’s not a sushi western. The film really is about food. Yes, relationships develop and characters grow- a bit- some of them- but the focus of the movie is on food.

We follow a woman and her journey to make the best ramen noodles in order to support her and her son. She gets help from a truck driver, and he takes her to seek out many other people in their quest for the ultimate bowl of ramen. I highly recommend having noodles after the film, you’ll want them.

There are also little vignettes. A group will walk by our main characters and suddenly we are following them. Some of the vignettes are funny, some sad, one was sexy and then disturbing.

There doesn’t seem to be a point except to show how people feel about food. The movie ends with a baby nursing.
I liked Tempopo it was fun and I’m glad I watched it. I might even watch it again some day, but it is definitely an odd movie. It is not safe for kids to watch as there is nudity, and sex play with food- so personally I wouldn’t watch it with teenagers because I don’t want to explain kinks yet- or possibly ever.

If you love food, and odd Japanese films, get yourself some ramen and enjoy Tempopo.

Foreign Film Friday


I have three very different horror movies for you to pick from today. I hope you find one you like, and make sure to tell me if you ever watch any of the movies I post here. I’d love to know if you enjoyed it.

Kibakichi is a Japanese movie about demons and a samurai werewolf. The fight scenes have everything you want in a cheesy Japanese movie: swords, wire work, cheesy sound effects , and spurting blood. The bummer- the movie is long and the fight scenes are at the beginning and end, leaving a large chunk of plot and backstory in the middle- it’s good, interesting, and beautifully shot but I was expecting more action in a horror movie. BUT the ‘bad guys’ are dressed like Goth/matrix/samurai and are super cool. Leather/vinyl coats, long pony tails, and the whole badass vibe going on.
This is a fun movie, not a great one, however both my husband and I got interesting story ideas watching this movie. So go watch it. Have fun. And be inspired. There is so much urban fantasy/paranormal out there right now, this movie can give you a fresh look and unique ideas for your story ideas.
This movie is great IF you like bad camoy horror movies- other wise try one of my other picks for today.
Here’s the trailer

Cold Prey is an AWESOME horror movie. Five friends go snowboarding for spring break- it’s a Norwegian movie- something happens (I won’t give it away) and they have to take refuge in an abandoned hotel where there is a psycho waiting for them.
This film is well acted. The woman are intelligent and they never do the high pitched horror movie scream. The one thing they do wrong is important to the plot so it can be forgiven. I jumped at several place. They built the tension really well and didn’t throw something at you at every opportunity.
This is a great slasher flick, if you liked the original Friday the 13th and Halloween then you will like Cold Prey.

Thirst is a Korean vampire movie. It’s unique in that the focus is more on human nature then the horror aspect of being a vampire. Kang-ho Song, is the lead playing a priest who volunteers for a drug test and winds up as a vampire. Chang-wook Park directs. I will pick up movies by either of these people.
It’s a dark creepy movie, not for children and you might want to watch it first before deciding if you want your teen to see it. There are some very disturbing scenes.

Want more foreign films? Go check out Subtitled Online

Foreign Film Friday


It took me reading other people’s posts to realize that it’s October and people were doing Halloween themed blogs. So of course I had to join because there are some really great scary foreign films out there. I’ve already done: The Host and Dead Snow, both excellent foreign horror movies and if you haven’t seen them you need to. For the month of October I’ll be reviewing two foreign horror movies for you all to enjoy.  I’ll even try and mix up the countries because it would be too easy for me to stick with Asian horror movies, they make some creepy stuff.

So today I have two very different offerings for you Ringu and Black Sheep.

Ringu is the original Japanese movie of The Ring. The American version is scary- the Japanese one is scarier. The filming is amazing, the acting far better then the American one, and something about the unfamiliar culture, environment, and plot steps makes the Japanese one ever scarier. Grab you favorite person or pet and huddle in for Ringu.

The next horror movie is a classic creature horror movie Australian film Black Sheep. It’s baaadddd (sorry I couldn’t help myself) but it’s bad in a good fun way. I don’t remember being scared, but I was grossed out and I laughed a lot. There might have been one or two creatures jumping out of know where which made me jump. It’s a must see for creature horror movie fans.

What’s your favorite campy creature film?