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Added by Ueno_Station54 on 29 Nov 2011 09:17
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The Films of Sion Sono

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People who added this item 139 Average listal rating (64 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.2
It has been around 7 years since I first saw "Noriko's Dinner Table" and it's also been about 7 years since it became my hands down favourite film of all time. 7 years is a long time and I've seen a lot movies in that time, a lot of fantastic films but not once has another film ever even come close to dethroning this beautiful, sentimental, twisted, family drama epic.

I had seen "Suicide Club" nearly a year prior and hated it but once I heard that there was a sequel and that it was called "Noriko's Dinner Table" of all things I couldn't help but be curious. I didn't know what to expect, and if you're expecting "Suicide Club 2" you've got a completely different thing coming.

The first thing that hit me was the music. Through out the entire film the music is peaceful and dreamy and really captures the small town feel of Toyokawa where the lead characters are from. Even during tense moments the music is always friendly and inviting which keeps a very consistent tone and makes the film instantly hypnotic.

The thing that will probably annoy people most about this film is the constant use of narration. Each chapter is following one character of this family and every chapter is almost entirely filled with the characters narrating everything. This definitely should be annoying but Sono's dialog has always worked for me for some reason.

The acting really impressed me. Many of the actors are playing characters who are acting as other characters and they're played in a way where you really notice that and you can see the layers each character has picked up over the course of the film.

"Noriko's Dinner Table" is 2.5 hours long and slow as molasses but in my opinion is better for it. This is a movie where it feels exactly as long as it is. I remember during my first viewing and being around 95 minutes in figuring the film would be nearly over and how overjoyed I was to find there was still another hour left.

Overall, it's a movie that shouldn't work on any level. It's long, slow, heavily narrated with subtitles and is billed as the sequel to an extremely violent cult film when it is sparsely violent but in the end it's a far more interesting and unique film for it. I think this is really the most genuine look at Sion Sono's style as a lot of his other films have carried this sentimentality and mood even if they're masked by some more wild elements.
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People who added this item 32 Average listal rating (12 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 6.9
Hazard (2005)
As mentioned in the "Noriko's Dinner Table" note, I love when Sion Sono makes something that feels sentimental and "Hazard" is another great example of this. "Hazard" achieves this mood by use of a friendship between the three main characters. Seems like a set up for some cliche bullshit and it probably is some cliche bullshit but somehow Sono always makes it work for me. His use of music and introspective dialog makes everything that could ring out as cliche really resonate with me. Besides being sentimental, the film is also pretty funny and this is mostly due to Jai West being fucking awesome all the time.
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People who added this item 86 Average listal rating (46 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.1
Himizu (2011)
Himizu is long, melodramatic and somewhat aimless and better for it. Even though it may not be the most memorable movie in his catalog, it is beautifully touching considering the subject matter. Very character driven and the characters are very interesting.
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People who added this item 370 Average listal rating (176 ratings) 8.4 IMDB Rating 8.1
"Love Exposure" is fucking crazy. It's pretty much a glorious mash-up of everything one could associate with Sion Sono. Over-the-top violence, sentimental moments, brash humor, Sion Sono pulled out all the stops in this 4-hour-rom-com-epic.
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People who added this item 139 Average listal rating (73 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.1
If you consider this a horror movie it's the best one I've ever seen. Beautiful and unique score and incredible sets make Strange Circus really pop. Amazing psychological horror flick.
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Brilliant in terms of concept and humor, "Why Don't You Play in Hell?" lives up to it's promise of being the perfect midnight movie.
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People who added this item 24 Average listal rating (15 ratings) 6.5 IMDB Rating 6.6
Kibô no kuni (2012)
Another little sentimental piece from Sion Sono that may be a bit over bearing with it's themes but touching and sweet nonetheless.
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People who added this item 29 Average listal rating (16 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 6.9
Very pleasant little drama. It doesn't necessarily stand out but it was great while it was on.
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People who added this item 15 Average listal rating (9 ratings) 6.2 IMDB Rating 6.6
Even though a lot of plot points really didn't go anywhere, Sion Sono's style always seems to win me over.
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Lots of highs and lows, Tokyo Tribe balances out to be an overall fun experience but the third act falls apart and it would have been nice if every rapper was actually good. Killer soundtrack and sets though.
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People who added this item 516 Average listal rating (300 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 6.6
Definitely superb in concept but it feels like there's a lot cut out of the film like the subplot with the nurses feels very unfinished. The message is great and I love that movie really has nothing to do with suicide. I wish the investigation scenes were more interesting though.
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People who added this item 124 Average listal rating (56 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 6.4
A fun little parody of generic J-horror films, "Exte: Hair Extensions" is pretty funny and has some nifty special effects.
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People who added this item 4 Average listal rating (16 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 6.5
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People who added this item 100 Average listal rating (58 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 6.8
This movie just kind of breezed past me without making much impact. Everything is just OK. I've only seen the 112 minute version mind you so perhaps there was something making "Guilty of Romance" worth while in the extra half-hour. The breasts were nice though.
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People who added this item 185 Average listal rating (115 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 7.1
Cold Fish (2010)
To do a proper review of this I'd have to watch it again. Since that's not happening here's what I recall. Extremely dull, repetitive plot. It's trying to be mean spirited but it winds up being no-spirited. This movie feels devoid of all emotion or even passion towards making it. This was made specifically for the "Sushi Typhoon" label and it really feels like Sono phoned it in on this one just making a bunch of mean things happen to impress the western audience but despite what people think about his films, they are always driven by love not hate and Cold Fish is completely void of that Sion Sono feel as a result.
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People who added this item 18 Average listal rating (8 ratings) 4.4 IMDB Rating 6.6
I Am Keiko (1997)
One thing this film does well is make you empathize with the character. It really makes you feel the way the character does. The only problem with that is that the character is the most bored human being ever. There is a scene where she counts the seconds for 3 straight minutes to a blank screen changing colours every second and the rest of the movie is just as tedious.
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Basically my opinion on Sion Sono's work. *being updated as to actually be interesting*

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Posted: 6 years, 8 months ago at Nov 29 14:27

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