Tagged: Tadanobu Asano

Summary: The story of the Battle of Midway, told by the leaders and the sailors who fought it.

Year: 2020

Australian Cinema Release Date: 30th January 2020

Thailand Cinema Release Date: TBA

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: United States, Hong Kong, Canada, China

Director: Roland Emmerich

Screenwriter: Wes Tooke

Cast: Ellis Arch (Lofton Henderson), Tadanobu Asano (Tamon Yamaguchi), Tim Beckmann (Captain Rawlings), Jacob Blair (Hank Potter), Geoffrey Blake (John Ford), Cameron Brodeur (Sully Brown), Christie Brooke (Millicent McClusky), Brennan Brown (Joseph Rochefort), James Carpinello (William Brockman), Agostino Michael Cimino (Buzz Davis), Mikael Conde (Bill Miller), Darren Criss (Eugene Lindsey), Eric Davis (Miles Browning), Aaron Eckhart (Jimmy Doolittle), Luke Evans (Wade McClusky), Rachael Perrell Fosket (Dagne Layton), Dustin Geiger (Paul Crosley), Sarah Halford (Marie Pearce), Tyler Hall (William ‘Slim’ Townsend), Woody Harrelson (Chester M. Nimitz), David Hewlett (Husband Kimmel), James Hicks (Edwin Kroeger), Jason Lee Hoy (Pat Rooney), Hiromoto Ida (Prime Minister Tojo), Keenan Johnson (James Murray), Nick Jonas (Bruno Gaido), Luke Kleintank (Clarence Dickinson), Jun Kunimura (Chuichi Nagumo), Kenny Leu (Zhu Xuesan),  Russell Lewis (Frank O’Flaherty), Alexander Ludwig (Roy Pearce), Jake Manley (Willie West), Mandy Moore (Ann Best), Dennis Quaid (William ‘Bull’ Halsey), Mark Rolston (Ernest King), Madison Roukema (Barbara Best), Dean Schaller (Jack Mackeniz Jnr.), Nobuya Shimamoto (Kaku Tomeo), Peter Shinkoda (Genda Minoru), Hiroaki Shintani (Emperor Hirohito), Brandon Sklenar (George ‘Tex’ Gay), Ed Skrein (Dick Best), Etsushi Toyokawa (Isoroku Yamamoto), Jake Weber (Raymond Spruance), Patrick Wilson (Edwin Layton)

Running Time: 138 mins

Classification: M (Australia) TBC (Thailand)





Dave Griffiths Review:

If you aren’t aware of the various battles of World War II your first reaction to the trailer of Roland Emmerich’s (Godzilla) Midway is probably didn’t they already do a movie about Pearl Harbour? They did indeed, Michael Bay (Transformers) directed the very under-rated Pearl Harbour back in 2001, but while the attack on Pearl Harbour is shown in Midway it really is only a small part of the story that Emmerich is trying to tell here. Let’s just say that the Pearl Harbour attack is pretty much done and dusted in the first twenty minutes of the film.

Emmerich’s film almost feels like a ‘companion piece’ to Bay’s film. Here he focuses on the events that followed. We see Edwin T. Layton (Patrick Wilson – Insidious) an intelligence officer who actually predicated the attack on Pearl Harbour told to try and decipher what the Japanese are going to next, while Admiral Chester W Nimitz (Woody Harrelson – Natural Born Killers) is called in to orchestrate the counter-attack despite him calling it an ‘impossible situation.’

The film largely concentrates on the events after Pearl Harbour and follows pilots like Dick Best (Ed Skrein – Deadpool) and Wade McClusky (Luke Evans – Dracula Untold) as they prepare with the retaliation attacks that include The Battle Of Midway as a finale.

The biggest difference between Midway and Pearl Harbour is that while Bay went for a huge epic spectacular Emmerlich’s film feels more like a history lesson with a dramatised re-telling. The Japanese influence on the film is very easy to see. Not only do we get to see more of the story told from the Japanese side of the battles through the eyes of Commanders like Tamon Yamaguchi (Tadanobu Asano – Thor) and Isoroku Yamamoto (Etsushi Toyokawa – Love Letter) but a lot of the CGI and action sequences look a lot like you would expect to see in some of the Japanese action films that receive cinematic releases.

That style maybe a little off-putting for some audience members. You may find yourself wondering why a director who has movies like Independence Day and The Day After Tomorrow under his belt is serving up a film with fake CGI fire, but in the end that is a stylistic choice but it does further the feeling that the film is a historically correct re-telling rather than just there for entertainment.

Perhaps the biggest fault with the film though is that it tries to cram too much in. With some many characters introduced you really only get a chance to connect with a couple with the whole storyline involving the raid led by Jimmy Doolittle (Aaron Eckhart – The Dark Knight) feels rushed and brushed over when realistically it is interesting enough to have a movie of its own. Likewise Emmerlich quickly shows us John Ford (Geoffrey Blake Forrest Gump) shooting his film at Midway but then it just seems to disappear into thin air.

With that all aside though Midway is still very much a watchable movie. Screenwriter Wes Tooke’s (Colony) screenplay does allow the audience to get close to characters like Dick Best and Wade McClusky while Emmerlich’s knack for suspense really goes to the fore during the actual battle sequences. Here Emmerlich recreates that same feeling that we got from watching films like Flyboys and Top Gun as the focuses on the amazing dog-fights and death-defying dive bombing that many of the pilots found themselves involved in. This is very much a film where it is the action sequences in the finale that really saves it from becoming an average film.

What is also good to see during Midway is the fact that some under-rated stars really do get a chance to shine here. Ed Skrein and Luke Evans are amazing here, there is real chemistry to their love-hate relationship on the screen and as you watch the film you find yourself wishing that both men got more roles where they are the leading men. Woody Harrelson and Dennis Quaid (The Day After Tomorrow) are both at their brilliant bests while Patrick Wilson often steals the scenes that he is at he portrays a man shattered by the events of Pearl Harbour but then given a chance of redemption. Again his character is another that deserves a film of its own.

Midway seems to be a movie that is better suited for the serious movie lover who will enjoy a movie that is more about historically correct then it is being there for entertainment. The film does explore all the ins and out of the Battle Of Midway but may leave you feeling like you do want to know more about some of the characters involved. Certainly worth seeing though for its dog-fight scenes alone.



Average Subculture Rating:



IMDB Rating:  Midway (2019) on IMDb


Other Subculture Entertainment Midway Reviews: N/A


47 Ronin

Summary: An 18th century set story centered on a band of samurai who set out to avenge the death of their master.

Year: 2014

Australian Cinema Release Date: 16th January, 2014

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Carl Rinsch

Screenwriter: Chris Morgan, Hossein Amini, Walter Hamada

Cast: Jin Akanishi (Chikara), Tadanobu Asano (Lord Kira), Daniel Barber (Teen Kai), Ron Bottitta (Narrator), Masayuki Deai (Isogai), Masayyoshi Haneda (Yasuno), Rinko Kikuchi (Witch), Natsuki Kunimoto (Riku), Aria Maekawa (Teen Mika), Yuriri Naka (Iku), Shu Nakakima (Horibe), Keanu Reeves (Kai), Hiroyuki Sanada (Oishi), Manato Sekiguchi (Young Oishi), Ko Shibasaki (Mika), Hiroshi Sogabe (Hazama), Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (Shogun Tsunayoshi), Min Tanaka (Lord Asano), Hiroshi Yamada (Hara), Takato Yonemoto (Basho)

Runtime: 119 mins



David Griffiths:

Sometimes when you read other people’s reviews you wonder if they have seen the same film as you. There have been some reviewers that have savaged director Carl Rinsch’s debut feature film “47 Ronin.” These savage reviews have sunk the film and to date it has only made back $36 million of the $175 million it cost to make.

After viewing the film it’s hard to work out why the critic’s claws were out so hastily. Sure this film isn’t a masterpiece but it’s certainly not the dog you would expect from reading some of the early reviews. In fact if you have a bit of a love for Asian cinema you would certainly describe this film as passable.

Based loosely (and I should say very loosely) on a Japanese legend “47 Ronin” centres around Kai (Keanue Reeves) a half breed demon cross human who serves his Lord Asano (Min Tanaka) with as much bravery and honor as the other samurais but is never accepted by them. In fact many, including the leader Oishi (Hiroyuki Sanad), despise and do not trust him. The only person who shows any kindness towards Kai is the beautiful princess Mika (Ko Shibasak) who has romantic feelings for him.

The whole land whoever finds itself in upheaval after the evil Lord Kira (Tadanobu Asano) and his concubine witch act out a plot that sees Lord Asano put to death by a Shogun who has been blinded by the treachery. Soon, despite warnings not to, Oishi decides to avenge the death of his Lord in order to free the people and rescue Mika. But the only way to do that is to put his feelings aside and work with Kai.

As far as story and action goes the film works. A lot of the violence that you would normally expect in a samurai film has been toned down to give the film a lower classification but there is never a point during the film when you feel yourself getting bored or getting angry. In fact the story does draw you in, you like Kai (despite the fact that he never manages to crack a smile during the film) and as a result you want to see him achieve his goals. In a lot of ways “47 Ronin” is your traditional guy-needs-to-kill-the-evil-to-get-the-girl story, and that is a form of storytelling that has served writers well for thousands of years now.

Despite its entertainment value though there is one glaring thing that holds back “47 Ronin” completely – and that is the fact that it has been so Americanised. It seems strange when you think that this story is a Japanese legend that a white American actor has the lead, so when you dig a little deeper into the legend you find out that the character of Kai was not the lead in the original legend, that role actually went to Oishi. It does seem a little disrespectful to change a culturial story just so an American actor can be cast in the film. Some reviewers may have thought that the fantasy element of the film dragged it down, that’s not the fact though, the only thing that does that is the lame attempt to Americanise the film.

Speaking of that American lead Keanu Reeves doesn’t do a lot wrong. Sure he’s no Tom Cruise in “The Last Samurai” but he has his pouts and angry looks down to a tee, while his dishevelled look makes him look a lot like former Australian tennis player Pat Rafter. While Reeves was good he is out heroed by Hiroyuki Sanada who backs up his recent great performance in “The Railway Man” with a good action hero performance. He is certainly a lot better than some of the Asian actors who struggle to match the skills of their leads.

“47 Ronin” may have its odd clichéd moments and of course doesn’t look as good as a Peter Jackson epic but this is still a decent action film that certainly won’t disappoint those that like a good samurai film.


Average Subculture Rating (out of 5): Stars(2.5)

IMDB Rating:  47 Ronin (2013) on IMDb

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘47 Ronin′: Please check The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #65 for our full 47 Ronin review.