Japon - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Japon Reviews

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August 14, 2014
Currently and for the past two years, this has been my choice for the worst movie that I've ever watched. There was just enough hope embedded in the "story" to keep me from ejecting the DVD and walking away shaking my head and cussing softly under my breath. I kept hoping that it would get better or develop into a real movie, but alas I was so wrong. Mother of Saddam Hussein, this was a horrible, horrible, horrible movie.. . and I watched every single second of it.

The lead character was impossible to like; he even despised himself (his only saving grace during the whole film). The shaking camera, repeatedly taking endless, tedious looks at grass and pavement and walls was an artsy effect that gave me a headache, over and over again. It kind of reminded me of the times I forget to turn off the video camera and walk around with it hanging from my neck recording my feet. Unlike the film Japon, my clumsy mistakes were never acclaimed to be cinematic magic.

I'm not some PETA wannabe, but there were some really graphic scenes featuring cruelty to animals that were just pointless and stupid. Come on, what is the point of choking a puppy, you ignorant shmendrik. If you wanted to choke something, you should've choked Mr. Reygadas, the man who directed this stinker. And the final scene with the defiled old woman with her stolen bricks being carried away by rail... that final, endless shot of the tracks leading up to the train wreck must have lasted 10 minutes, but it felt like a lifetime. By the time we finally arrived to the scene of the final carnage, I envied those lying dead among the spilled bricks.

Pappy Bob's pedestrian opinion: Worst movie of all time. It was pretentious, boring, cruel, pointless, and pretentious (I know, but it was sooooooooooo pretentious). I've already put a condition in my last will and testament forbidding the distribution of my final assets to any descendent who fails to swear an anti-Japon oath upon my demise.

August 2014 Update. This is still the worst movie that I've ever seen.
July 29, 2014
A very slow film where we follow a man walking around in a canyon of some sort. Gis destination is unknown, but his own suicide is certain. It's got an semi-artsy vibe with little dialogue and few real happenings. This makes it flat, naturally. It's not very interesting, but it got some nice features and details that makes it watchable the first hour or so. We get some great moments with rain and nature shots and that
is a highlight for the first half of the film. The rain stuff reminds me of the directors amazing "Stellet Licht" actually.

It keeps going, but it never get especially interesting. It's a film to observe and it probably need some time to sink in since it's hard to rate this film directly after seeing it. The director have some usage of original or special nude scenes, and I know that Reygadas has done that before.

Honest, deep, sad and sometimes dreamlike film. It's Dogme-like and artsy, pretty weird and an open mind is needed while watching this film. It felt long, and it's best discribed at boring, but it will stay with me as a whole. The closing shot is amazing and lift the film a whole lot as a total experience.

6 out of 10 pulque drinks.
½ July 24, 2014
The PC police are at work here. I was led astray by AO Scott (NY Times) and Manohla Dargis (LA Times). These two reviewers usually are very accurate in their movie reviews. This time I think the emperor wore no clothes. This is one of those Art Films that has very little story and leaves more questions than it answers. I found very little to recommend.

Our nameless hero travels to a remote Mexican village to shoot himself. We have no idea why. He stays a few days with an elderly widow. There are some vague references to Catholic Christianity. The widow has a name/nickname that references the figure of Christ. Our hero finds occasion to lay upon his bed in a Christ on the cross posture. The mountain scenery that was purported to be strikingly beautiful; was mostly dry and rocky. There were some distant valleys that appeared to be green farm fields.

The story moves at a glacial pace. Events take place. And, we have a not surprising ending.

This movie might appeal to Catholics, people with a fondness for Mexico, or those with an existential bent of mind. It was not for me.

I do not recommend it.
½ November 13, 2013
Japón es la historia de un hombre que está decidido a terminar con su vida, pero en el transcurso, durante el tiempo que pasa en un lejano pueblo, sufre una transformación y un redescubrimiento personal que lo harán cambiar de parecer. Es la muestra de que la esperanza existe. Es la muestra de que el arrepentimiento y la renovación son posibles. Con bellas imágenes (a pesar de tener una especie de filtro o un trabajo de corrección de color horripilante), interesantes secuencias y sin muchos diálogos, Reygadas demuestra el proceso de conversión y purificación de un hombre y el reencuentro de su amor por la vida. A pesar de contar con varios puntos a su favor, sobre todo en el aspecto ideológico y en su mensaje, posee varios aspectos perjudiciales, como el ritmo lento no muy bien empleado y la utilización de actores amateur que en varias ocasiones arruinan el flujo de la cinta y le restan credibilidad a lo que sucede en pantalla.
Es una película que podría parecer simple y poco profesional, sin embargo, es una cinta compleja y hasta simbólica que puede dar cabida a diversas interpretaciones.
No fue de mi completo agrado, pero este filme es definitivamente un trascendental paso para Carlos Reygadas.
½ July 11, 2013
Tedious and deliriously beautiful, though unfortunately not in equal measure. The first act is pretty compellingly weird, but it promises something that never really materialises; the narrative stops dead in its tracks once he moves in with the old lady and it never really recovers. Shows promise, though.
Super Reviewer
May 30, 2013
A terribly boring last journey to death. Frankly, I lacked patience with this film.
ElCochran90
Super Reviewer
December 31, 2012
A breathtaking masterpiece among those that perfectly and radically separate audiences: we, the immortal, from the mortal mainstream ones, hahaha!

Reygadas, in the tradition of Tarkovsky, admits that his arguments are way too complex and pretentious regarding the general perception. Nevertheless, he has tremendous guts, because, just like Tsai Ming-liang, he dares to show life through an avant-garde scope and the resulting branches are tremendous and hard-to-digest meditations on life.

Japón is the perfect modern essay on society's alienation and existentialist escapisms. What is the real solution today for the one that does not find his/her place? Nothingness. Oblivion. Once or twice, even the most opulent, have been there, and once we get out of that realm, there's a temptation that pushes us to go back.

All in all, Reygadas is not transmitting his message to modern generations; he is waiting for the next ones to appreciate it. That's what a genius does, and that's why geniuses are never recognized in their respective eras.

97/100
½ May 28, 2011
The only thing this movie does well is showing animals being treated like shit. What a piece of garbage...
½ October 2, 2010
"Carlos Reygadas' Japón is heavily influenced by Andrei Tarkovsky's naturalistic style; but, falters in an effort to straddle the fence between different worlds." Martin G. Wood. That was exactly what i thought while watching.
½ September 13, 2010
Señor Reygadas, your name might be cool to me, and you may have made some esoteric avant garde work in the future, but Japan has the stench of "Tarkovsky fanboy" and you've wasted my time with your amateurism and questionable sex fetishes. Next you'll be filming lesbian interracial midgets, I bet.
August 15, 2010
cool movie. a little long and pretentious but visually pretty incredible. if you told me this was made in 1976 i'd have believed it. way better than his other movie "battle in heaven" which i found very tedious.
March 17, 2010
LETTERBOX. Casi acaba siendo la suma de sus partes, algunas de las cuales son geniales y otras, afectadas. De todos modos, el talento de Reygadas es real y su visión logra evocar la desolación de sus paisajes, tanto exteriores como interiores. / Almost ends up being the sum of its parts, some of which are genial and others, affected. Still, Reygadas' talent is real and his vision effectively evokes the desolation of its landscapes, both external and internal.
½ March 13, 2010
filme fuerte,opera prima de una gran proeza del cine nacional,en la que un hombre decide abandonar la capital para poner fin a su vida en un pequeño pueblo donde es desconocido,viaje que se vuelve toda una travesia existencialista el la que sentira de nuevo el despertar de algunos deseos mundanos de los que se habia olvidado,de una magistral arte y direccion nos presenta una pelicula llena de simbolismos orientales y tomas largas de una belleza impresindible,obligada como referente del cine nacional actual.
March 12, 2010
good. in a way. also as needless as a louis vuitton handbag. it's sophisticated excess with questionable fashion value. in other words, if you like it, it's purely for the sake of saying you liked it. i think i'll say i do for the sake of conversation. there are images here that i'll hold in my head forever and poetic moments that ring absolutely true but like gallo's 'the brown bunny' the film feels like a minor arthouse murmur from the heart. challenging pop art you hang on your wall like a terry richardson polaroid photograph.
jimbotender
Super Reviewer
March 2, 2010
Nothingness is the path to victory and in any constant public reactions,this would be the doomsday of most motion pictures.I will admit that Reygadas uses no script whatsoever,but why should i erase his ability to project a serene environment in a hostile manner?
½ November 29, 2009
Mexico's finest.

Stellet Licht must be one of the most interesting films of the decade. That's why I wanted to see his debut, and what a delight it turned out to be. Carlos Reygadas is a unique voice in contemporary cinema.

The meditation (the pace of the film is really slow) on human nature depicted in a beautiful mountain range, delivers an enthralling and moving art house film glued to the retina for a long time.
½ September 29, 2009
This movie is a self indulgent waste of time. Can't believe it has so great reviews. Probably people don't know the language but the acting and (very few) lines are extremely bad.
½ August 14, 2009
I rushed for this one as soon as Battle in Heaven went to the top of my provisional list. There are many typical over-eager first-time director moves, but overall Reygadas nails it. I've traipsed off by myself to some rural pueblito to get drunk and be self important on more than one occasion, and he definitely nails it. There are of course the Tarkovsky influenced camera moves (completely abandoned in Battle in Heaven), but Reygadas films a reality outside of himself while Tarkovsky films self-interiors. The 15 minute disintegration into documentary near the end of the film is extraordinary and took steel balls from a first-time director. The dude literally interrupts his own narrative climax to a show a bunch of drunk mexican extras bitching about their maltreatment in the making of the film. I've never seen anything like it. I just hope Reygadas doesn't abandon Mexico like most of his other New Mexican Cinema comprades have.
June 30, 2009
As ugly as Silent Light was beautiful. The animal cruelty scenes were really apalling and disturbing.
June 15, 2009
Buen propuesta de cine. El nombre abstraé muchos simbolismos en el film.
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