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Executive Koala (Synapse Films) 
Written by: on October 25th, 2008

Theatrical Release Date: Japan, 2006
Director: Minoru Kawasaki
Writers: Minoru Kawasaki, Masazaku Migita
Cast: Lee Ho, Eiichi Kikuchi, Artur Kuroda, Hironobu Nomura, Hideki Saijo

DVD released: November 18th, 2008
Approximate running time: 86 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Rating: NR
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo Japanese
Subtitles: English
DVD Release: Synapse Films
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $24.95

Synopsis: A Koala named Tamura works for a pickle distribution company as a salaryman. Tamura’s proposed merger with a Korean company is put in jeopardy when his is accused of murdering his girlfriend Yoko. Thing’s become more complicated when it is discovered that Tamura’s wife disappeared three years before and has never been found. A young detective convinced of Tamura’s guilt starts to uncover several incidents from Tamura’s past that further add to his guilt. Did Tamura commits these heinous acts or is someone trying to set him up?

Executive Koala was co-written and directed by Minoru Kawasaki who’s other notable films include The Calamari Wrestler, The Rug Cop, The World Sinks except Japan and Guilala’s Counterattack: Lake Toya Summit Crisis.

To try and put this film into one genre is impossible. The film flawlessly mixes comedy, horror, drama and throws in some martial arts for good measure. The plot features many twists and turns that keep you on your toes while you try to make heads or tails of what is really going on.

Having a plot that revolves around a Koala as the lead character may seem like an unusual choice. That is until the story evolves and like the characters around the Tamura the Koala you tend to not look at him as a Koala but just another character in the story. Also as if a film with a Koala as its lead character is not strange enough there is a Rabbit and a Frog who are also inhabitants in this universe. In all of this madness it is impossible not to fall under this films spell. Ultimately Executive Koala is truly unique film that brilliantly mixes dark humor and carnage.

The DVD:

Synapse Films presents Executive Koala in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the film’s original aspect ratio. Overall this progressive flagged transfer has solid black levels, razor sharp detail and nicely saturated colors.

This release comes with one audio option a Dolby Digital stereo mix in Japanese. The audio mix is in great shape. Dialog is clear and easy to follow. Music and effects sound evenly balanced. Overall this audio mix sounds full and at times dynamic. Removable English subtitles that are easy to read and follow have been included.

Extras for this release include TV spot (17 seconds) and trailer (1:29) for Executive Koala. The main extra for this release is a “Making of” documentary (39:40) that includes footage from rehearsal, behind the scenes, costume fitting, the film’s premier and comments from the cast and director Minoru Kawasaki. All of the extras are presented in Japanese and English subtitles have been included. Overall Executive Koala gets a superb release from Synapse Film’s.

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