Starring: Tsuyoshi Kusanagi, Kou Shibasaki, Etsushi Toyokawa, Mao Daichi
Director: Shinji Higuchi
Studio: Fantom Entertainment
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About This DVD
The new disaster epic "Nippon Chinbotsu" (The Sinking of Japan) exploits one of those simple but brilliant ideas that has hacks everywhere slapping their foreheads with envy. The kernel -- Japan is mortally threatened by a powerful force seemingly beyond human control -- is that of dozens of monster and disaster pics, but in his eponymous 1973 novel, Sakyo Komatsu took it one step further: He imagined Japan, not stomped by giant lizards, but literally sinking as a collision of two tectonic plates causes the one supporting the archipelago to buckle under. The result is not only new oceanfront property, but a hellbroth of earthquakes and volcanos that kill millions and force the evacuation of the entire country.
"Nippon Chinbotsu," which plugged into ancient and well-founded fears about the fragility of the natural order here ("as solid as the ground you walk on" is not a Japanese saying), became a monster bestseller. Not long after the novel's publication in March, 1973, Toho cranked out a "Nippon Chinbotsu" movie, spending a then-stupendous Y500 million. Released in time for the New Year's season, it grossed Y4 billion on 6.5 million admissions, the sort of numbers that put even Godzilla -- another Toho property -- in the shade. (Like the first Godzilla movie it was later released in the US in a butchered version, called "Tidal Wave," with a famous Hollywood face -- Lorne Green as the US president -- inserted into the story.)
Much has changed in the three decades since, but not, Toho hopes, audience fascination with the subject matter. Thus a new big-budget remake, delivering the sort of CG effects impossible in 1973 (but all too familiar from Hollywood). Given the current uproar over global warming, a more topical take might be "The Flooding of Japan," but Toho is not one to mess with a proven formula, so the pseudo science of the original mostly stays.
One addition is a more assertive central female character -- a rescue worker played by Kou Shibasaki. Also the interminable meeting scenes of the original have been mercifully trimmed. Instead, director Shinji Higuchi ("Lorelei") explains much of the scientific mumbo-jumbo using captioned images and a presentation by a briefly glimpsed US expert that even a grade schooler.
|Audio Format:||DD 5.1, DD 2.0, DTS 5.1|
|Video Format:||Widescreen 2.35:1 (Anamorphic)|
Initial Press Only Limited Edition comes with Photo Booklet
- Making of
- Making of VFX
- Special Effects
- Deleted Scenes
- Premiere Scenes
- Music Video
- Sinking Analysis
Availability: Usually ships in 5~10 business days.