Tuesday, May 24, 2011

"Kaiji" returns with a sequel and Yuskue Iseya running the gambling joint

by Chris MaGee

Okay, everyone knows that I am the world's biggest party pooper when it comes to remakes, especially Hollywood remakes of Japanese films, and the recent spate of Japanese remakes of classic films. I guess that would mean nearly all remakes. Wow, I really am a party pooper! I will say one thing though, that might surprise quite a few readers out there... I'd rather watch a decent remake of a classic film any day than watch a sequel to a really terrible movie. Case in point: the recently announced sequel to Toho's 2009 live-action adaptation of Nobuyuki Fukumoto's gambling manga "Kaiji". If any of you checked out my best and worst picks over at Midnight Eye for 2010 you'll know that I voted the Toya Sato thriller as the worst of the year... and I meant it. How you can construct a film around various game scenarios from what seems like free downloads for Windows and performances that basically involve screaming and weeping is beyond me, but then again, who am I to pass judgment? The first "Kaiji" raked in $24,248,943.00 US at the Japanese box office, so of course there will be a sequel, right?

According to Tokyograph the sequel to "Kaiji" will reunite Tatsuya Fujiwara, as the titular lead, Yuriko Yoshitaka and Teruyuki Kagawa. With this film Kaiji finds himself in debt again and back gambling for his life in another underground casino, one managed by actor Yusuke Iseya and one frequented by a master pachinko player named Numa. Now, you'd think that after all the trauma and screaming in the last film that Kaiji would have kicked his gambling habit, but it seems like he hasn't. Maybe this new film would have been a bit more interesting had it revolved around Kaiji sitting through x-amount of Gambling Anonymous meetings. I'm just sayin'.

Well, I'll let the hate messages fly in the comments, right up until "Kaiji 2" lands in Japanese theatres on November 5th. Thanks to Comic Natalie for the above promo still.

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