Japanese movies

13 Dec

Hollywood has made remakes of many Japanese movies (and French, Korean, German etc ones as well. Did you know “Three Men And A Baby” was a French movie first? “We’re No Angels” was too. “The Lake House” and “The Departed” were originally Korean movies.).

Recently, I’ve heard that Hollywood will be making live-action movies based on the Japanese アニメ (cartoons) 「ルパン三世」 (“Lupin The 3rd“) and 「ドラゴンボール」 (“Dragon-ball“).


The fairly recent American movie “Speed Racer” is another live-action movie based on the Japanese アニメ (cartoon) 「マッハゴゴゴ」 (“Mach Go-Go-Go“).

And Keanu Reeves will star in a remake of 元禄忠臣蔵 (“47 Ronin“).
The original is a classic Japanese movie from the early 1940’s. It’s based on the true story of the forty-seven 浪人 (ronin*), (*浪人 (ronin) are samurai with no master), who seek the revenge of their master’s death.
The graves of the real 47 ronin are at 泉岳寺 (Sengakuji Temple) in 東京都港区 (Minato Ward, Tokyo).

Robert DeNiro has also starred in a movie titled “Ronin“.

Do you know the famous Japanese movie 「用心棒」 (“Yojinbo“)?
用心棒」 (“Yojinbo“) means “bodyguard”. It’s another movie about a 浪人 (ronin).
It’s about a 浪人 (ronin) who goes to a town where competing crime gangs are trying to take over the town. He “joins” each gang to help them eliminate the other…with the intention of having them kill off each other and thus saving the town.
He remains wild and mysterious to everyone in the town and never gives his real name.

用心棒」 (“Yojinbo“) was originally remade as the cowboy movie “A Fistful Of Dollars” starring Clint Eastwood as the “man with no name”, and again as the American gangster movie “Last Man Standing” starring Bruce Willis.
It was also given a nod in the movie “The Bodyguard” when Kevin Costner’s character takes Whitney Houston’s character to the movies on a date and they watched 「用心棒」 (“Yojinbo“).

Similarly to “A Fistful Of Dollars” cowboy version of the Japanese Samurai movie 「用心棒」 (“Yojinbo“), the American movie “The Magnificent Seven” is a remake of the Japanese movie 「七人の侍」 (“The Seven Samurai“) with cowboy gunfighters instead of samurai.

The Japanese horror movies 「リング」, 「呪怨」, and 「仄暗い水の底から」 have been remade as “The Ring“, “Grudge“, and “Dark Water“, respectively.

Of course, when Hollywood made “Godzilla” everyone knew that was based on the iconic Japanese 「ゴジラ」…but did you know that the American movie “Shall We Dance?” (starring Richard Gere and Jennifer Lopez) is a remake of the Japanese movie 「Shall We ダンス?」?

And then there are the American movies that aren’t remakes of Japanese movies, but Japan-inspired…such as: “Mr. Baseball“, “Gung-Ho“, “Lost In Translation“, “The Last Samurai“, “Memoirs Of A Geisha“, “Black Rain“, and “Blade Runner“.

I’m sure there are more that I’ve forgotten about…

On a different note…
An English charity called “Save The Children” voted Japan the world’s leader for children’s health, safety, nutrition and education!
I’ve always known that Japan is a good place to raise kids!

9 Responses to “Japanese movies”

  1. pongrocks April 7, 2010 at 5:35 am #

    I haven’t watched the live action Dragonball movie, but I heard it’s that not good. I think I will save my precious childhood memories and won’t ever watch it 😛

    I just watched the live action movie of the manga Initial D… Maybe you know it? But it’s not a Japanese production, I think it was produced in Hong Kong. One or two actors were really great, but other than that it was just average… And they changed 90% of the plot.

    But the live action movie trilogy of my all time favourite manga 20th Century Boys was quite good 😉


    • tokyo5 April 7, 2010 at 4:50 pm #

      Of those, I’ve only seen 「20世紀少年」 (“20th Century Boys“).


  2. Casey April 4, 2010 at 11:05 pm #

    The original version of “The Departed” was a Hong Kong movie. It wasn’t Korean.


    • tokyo5 April 5, 2010 at 1:38 am #

      Is that right? I stand corrected.


  3. tokyo5 January 17, 2009 at 7:49 pm #


    Are the stories different? I’ve never seen the Hollywood version.


  4. Eric January 17, 2009 at 7:45 pm #

    The Japanese version of the ring was scarier, but the story in the american version is better.


  5. tokyo5 January 17, 2009 at 4:32 pm #

    Did you watch the original Japanese movie 「リング」?

    Do you watch movies in Japanese?


  6. Tornadoes28 January 17, 2009 at 4:20 pm #

    I prefer Ringu versus The Ring. Sadako was pretty damn scary.


  7. tokyo5 December 13, 2008 at 11:00 am #

    I forgot to mention that the Japanese pop music queen “Ayumi Hamasaki” will sing the theme song for the Hollywood “Dragonball” movie.

    And there are excellent Japanese movies that haven’t been remade by Hollywood (yet).

    Such as:
    「ALWAYS 三丁目の夕日」、
    But those movies are all in Japanese.


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