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I didn't see the second one, but I liked the first film for its SPEED RACER spirit. I mean, c'mon, trying to get revenge on the racing team that killed your dad? All it lacked was a crazed cripple in a Jackson 5 cap clutching the remote control he's using to turn his sister's car into a human torpedo.

I liked that episode...

Okay, now that you've recommended it, I will see it, but the trailer I saw for it looked like a super Hollywoodized portrayal of Japan with lots of Chinese people cast in Japanese roles.

They're trying to trick us into thinking it's one of those Takashi Miike "multicultural Japan" films.

It seems like a movie that no one really wanted made, but I might end up seeing it once it comes out onto DVD. Just like Lost in Translation, actually. Sounds interesting if it tries a realistic portrayal of opinion on gaijin.

This comes after I watched the comedy duo 99 try to give foreigners a guided tour of Japanese women.

I dislike LOST IN TRANSLATION for the same reason I do THE DA VINCI CODE. They jack up the price at hotels where I like to stay. No doubt many fans of the Fairmont were pissed at Hitchcock over VERTIGO.

Hey Patrick, neat blog. I met you a while back at Las Meninas in Koenji. I agree, Fast & Furious looks like another Hollywood cookie-cutter fantasy of Japan, a la Memoirs of a Geisha or Last Samurai. But at least they seem to have gotten the police uniforms right in the shutoko scene. I found Lost in Translation to be unwatchable; take out the "wacky Japan" plot devices and there was little left to hang a story on.

In several ways, Tokyo Drift was way better than the previous two "Furious" movies, partly because it has real meat of a story without going overboard, a road battle worthy of a samurai duel, some social issues to deal with, some accuracy with the props and settings, actors who are actually more interesting than their souped-up cars, and one helluva supporting actor who has charisma to steal the show.

However, like what Mr. Abe says, my only two gripes is that in some places (especially the car park scenes) the film partly doesn't feels like Japan because there's so many Chinese extras (but they're available at little cost to the producers); and there are no city buses or 10-wheeler trucks (both of which are as cheaply available imports in automotive auction sites in the Philippines).

Anyway, Tokyo Drift has become one of the most replayed DVDs in my household. :)

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