Friday, May 01, 2009

Summer movies in Japan

Hello All -

Well it seems to start earlier and earlier each year - the coming of the summer movie season.

When Sony started releasing the Spider-Man films during the first week of May, it started a trend of kicking off the summer "blockbuster" movie slate even earlier than the standard Memorial Day weekend start of decades past.

So this weekend in America you get the first big popcorn muncher of the season - "X-Men Origins: Wolverine."

When does this movie come out at theaters in Japan you may ask...

August 22nd! That's right, almost 4 months later! Which means, in this year when I'll be going home to San Diego in late July, I will miss seeing this movie on the big screen. It won't still be playing in America when I get home and it won't have opened here in Japan before I leave. Sucks! In fact, based on the internet buzz and reviews I'm seeing today, the movie will most likely be out on DVD back in the States by late August.

This happened last year with another big comic based movie (that actually turned out to be very, very good - unlike what I'm hearing about Wolverine) - "Iron Man" came out in May last year and didn't open here in Japan until September! I could have bought the DVD from Amazon in America and watched it before having a chance to see it on the big screen here. But I waited and I'm glad I did, as it was a great big-screen movie. (And I bought the DVD too)

I fare better with most of the rest of the summer fare I really want to see, with the exception of the latest from Pixar - "Up."
It opens around Memorial Day weekend (May 29th) in America, but doesn't open here until December 19th - the Japanese market is holding it back as a Winter holiday movie here. So I'll miss it on the big screen as well.
Same thing happend with "Wall-E" last year - but with that one they also only released it to the big screen here in my area dubbed in Japanese so I waited to see it on DVD so I could watch it in English.

Other summer movies I'm looking forward to this year include:

Star Trek - opens May 29th here in Japan

Terminator Salvation (T4) - opens about three weeks after America (21 May) here in Japan on June 13th

Transformers 2 - Revenge (as it's called here) - opens in Japan on June 20th
This movie actually opens a few days before it opens in America on June 24th. Which is interesting since the first film did well here, but not Pirates of the Carribean well. Heck, I may have to go see it and make a vlog about it and spoil it for everyone in the States for a change. LOL

Harry Potter 6 - opens July 15th (same day as in the States). This franchise is immensely popular here, so I'm not surprised we don't have to wait for this one.

Another July opening here is Monsters v Aliens, an animated 3D film that looks like a lot of fun. It opened in March in the States. Luckily, the amazing new movie theater in my area has a nice 3D theater within its 10 screens, so I can see it in 3D.

As for more adult fare - it can be hit or miss. Something like Angels and Demons will open at about the same time, but something like "Knocked Up" from a few years ago won't even be released here on the big screen - comedies don't play well here. Dramas depend entirely on who the star is - if it's got Brad Pitt or Johnny Depp, then it gets released here.

Something like Land of the Lost - which has Will Ferrell - a big star in America but no big deal here - and is based on an old American TV show - doesn't even have a Japanese release date listed on the IMDB. Since it comes out in June in America, it's another one I'll probably miss on the big screen.

OK - well, it's a big holiday week coming up here next week - 4 holidays in a row known as Golden Week - but not much is playing at the local theater for me to go see. I saw Clint Eastwood's Gran Torino last week (it just opened here) and I don't think there is much else coming until Angels and Demons in mid May. (Unless you count 17 Again - which is getting a timely release here as Zac Efron has become popular here due to the strong DVD rentals of the High School Musical franchise here and the fact that the Disney channel is a popular cable channel here)

Right now, I'm most excited about Star Trek and the new Terminator - can't wait to see both!


No comments: