Chîmu bachisuta no eikô (2008)

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Chîmu bachisuta no eikô: Directed by Yoshihiro Nakamura. With Yûko Takeuchi, Hiroshi Abe, Sei Hiraizumi, Haruka Igawa. Toho university hospital has established an outstanding coronary surgery team under the leadership of a up and coming, star, U.S. trained surgeon (Kiji Kikkawa) that specializes in the highly risky “Batista” procedure to shrink the size of enlarged hearts. Normally this procedure has only a 60% success rate, but “Team Batista” has achieved a run of 26 straight successes….when suddenly 3 patients in a row die on the operating table. Very disturbed, the lead surgeon requests an independent investigation. The hospital turns to Dr. Taguchi (Yoko Takeuchi) who is a specialist in psychosomatic disorders who is shocked to at the assignment because she knows nothing in particular about surgery. Assured, however, that this very lack of insider specialized knowledge is in fact the “objectivity” required, she diligently begins to investigate in her own polite, but persistent manner.

“If youu0026#39;re a fan of Japanese TV dramas and/or popular movies, the two main actors Hiroshi Abe and Yuko Takeuchi will be instantly recognizable, and will make you want to watch this. Which is good, because this is an actor-driven film. The weak, surgery-based thriller plot and the fast pacing by the director donu0026#39;t leave much to be desired. with that said, the two main actors working together give this film more than enough reason to watch.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThe actors donu0026#39;t have much room to stretch out in this film and show their full potential. Iu0026#39;m talking about all the actors. While I can point out the two main ones, the rest of the medical crew are all – mostly comedy-oriented, mind you – very talented. They appear in numerous TV dramas, and are good at holding up shows with the dumbest of plots. With Team Batista, you have an A-list team of Japanese actors who can all hold their own, but are herded together for this commercial film.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eFor the Japanese drama-and-movie uninitiated, this film will seem mildy entertaining. It doesnu0026#39;t hold up as a medical drama in any sense, as not much attention is paid to the medical stuff. Not that thatu0026#39;s a bad thing. Who wants to watch a bloody surgery, when it could be a harsh reality for a lot of us in the real world as we get older? Thereu0026#39;s not much comedy, either. Itu0026#39;s there, but itu0026#39;s tongue-in-cheek humor, not bust-a-gut laughing kind.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eSo whatu0026#39;s to like about this movie? Even though the actore donu0026#39;t shine much – the script and the direction donu0026#39;t give them much room to flex, as Iu0026#39;ve said before – this is one of those films that make you think, u0026quot;Wow! Theyu0026#39;re working together, I want to see their on screen chemistry!u0026quot; Abe Hiroshi really shines in TV dramas. u0026quot;Dragon Zakurau0026quot; comes to mind easily, though thatu0026#39;s probably something you wonu0026#39;t find easily on DVD. No matter. What littls acting he does in this film, he really shines. Itu0026#39;s just the tip of the iceberg for his real abilities, but have no doubt – heu0026#39;s one of the finest actors in Japan, period. He can take the lousiest script and make it feasible with his over-the-top abilities. He does a fine job in this as the harsh investigator.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eYuko Takeuchi is slightly different, as her downplayed role can be misunderstood as poor acting. If you can, take the time to find the movie u0026#39;Heavenu0026#39;s Bookstoreu0026#39; which should be widely available. She plays two roles in that film, showing a great range of her skills. When she plays the docile, politically-correct investigator in this film, it will seem very downplayed to one who doesnu0026#39;t know her from other films. But knowing how she plays her roles, her passive attitude in Batista really helps Abe Hiroshi shine when he makes his grand entrance.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eTeam Batista is a real treat for Japanese TV/Cinema regulars, just to see the team-up of Hiroshi and Takeuchi, surrounded by some great – though limited – performances of some lesser-known TV actors.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eIf you donu0026#39;t know any of the actors, pay attention to them, and not the story, and let that be a teaser to let you seek out their other film and TV performances.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThis is a solid, middle-of-the-road mainstream commercial film. I have the Japanese DVD because I love the actors, and donu0026#39;t regret picking it up. But I think you really need to see Takeuchiu0026#39;s performance in u0026#39;Heavenu0026#39;s Bookstoreu0026#39; to really appreciate Team Batista.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThis movie, while not great on its own, is definitely not a waste of time. A must-see for Japanese entertainment fans!”


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