Author Archives: philipbrasor

Review: Booksmart

This American teen comedy, focusing almost exclusively on the girls’ experience, is blessed with one of the best titles of recent memory. “Booksmart” implies a brain full of stuff derived from reading materials and outside sources rather than from experience. … Continue reading

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Media Mix, Aug. 16, 2020

Here’s this week’s Media Mix about recent cases of child molestation by school teachers and childcare professionals. As pointed out in the column, the crime of sexual abuse generally becomes more difficult to prove and prosecute when the victim is … Continue reading

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Review: The Divine Fury

Though Korean movies still find wider distribution in Japan than do movies from other countries outside of the U.S., some Korean movies have an easier time of it than others. The fact that this occult actioner features Park Seo-jun, who … Continue reading

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Media Mix, Aug. 2, 2020

Here’s this week’s Media Mix about the fall of the Japanese apparel industry as a result of the coronavirus crisis. As I mentioned, the industry was already failing even before the pandemic. The Big Three—Renown, Onward, and Sanyo Shokai—were struggling … Continue reading

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Review: Dead Souls

Like Joseph Heller and the Notorious B.I.G., Chinese director Wang Bing debuted with a work that was so overwhelming in its originality, scope, and message that anything he would produce subsequently was bound to be anticlimactic; but like those two … Continue reading

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Media Mix, July 26, 2020

Here’s this week’s Media Mix, which is about the Tokyo gubernatorial election earlier this month. Near the end, I mention a discussion between activist-writer Yasumichi Noma and journalist Koichi Yasuda on the web channel No Hate TV. The title of … Continue reading

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Eric Clapton, Budokan, Oct. 1997

Almost all of the music reviews I wrote for the Japan Times in the 90s and the movie reviews I wrote for the Asahi Shimbun during the same decade are not available on the Internet, so I will remedy that … Continue reading

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Media Mix, July 19, 2020

Here’s this week’s Media Mix about the new rules for plastic shopping bags. As I say in the column, the rules aren’t going to make a big practical difference since shopping bags only account for about 2 percent of all … Continue reading

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Review: The Gangster, the Cop, the Devil

Actor Ma Dong-seok has carved an eviable niche in South Korean cinema as a kind of all-round hybrid tough guy/sympathetic everyman, thanks mainly to his turn as the working class hero of Train to Busan. He’s also a rising star … Continue reading

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Media Mix, July 5, 2020

Here’s this week’s Media Mix, which is about the South Korean Netflix drama series Crash Landing on You. Two of the articles I cited in the column were written by women, who make up the bulk of the Japanese audience … Continue reading

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