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Fish Story 
Written by: on July 22nd, 2010

Theatrical Release Date:
Japan, 2009
Director: Yoshihiro Nakamura
Writer: Tamio Hayashi
Cast: Vincent Giry, Gaku Hamada, Atsushi Itô, Kengo Kora, Mirai Moriyama, Nao Omori, Mikako Tabe

DVD released: July 26th, 2010
Approximate running time: 112 Minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Rating: 15 (UK)
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo Japanese
Subtitles: English
DVD Release: Third Window Films
Region Coding: Region 2 PAL (UK)
Retail Price: £14.99

Synopsis: Earth’s only chance for survival from a comet that will destroy the planet. Is a song that was written thirty five years ago by a punk rock band named Gekirin.

Fish Story was directed by Yoshihiro Nakamura, who notable credits as a screenwriter include Doing Time and Dark Water. The cinematographer on Fish Story was Takashi Komatsu, who’s other notable credits include Flower and Snake (2004), Flower and Snake 2 (2005) and Kenta Fukasaku’s Yo-Yo Girl Cop. The screenplay for Fish Story was adapted from a novel titled ‘Fisshu sutôrî’ that was written by Kotaro Isaka.

First off, it should be mentioned that the plot for this which is told via a non linear structure covers thirty five years and four separate stories which all intersect by the films finale. The bulk of the film revolves around a punk rock band named Gekirin and the final song which they recorded before being unceremoniously dropped from their record label. This song also serves as an anchor for the whole film and its intersecting stories. It is best not to reveal anything else about the story and the other characters which populate this story. Since these sub plots are almost stand alone stories unto themselves.

The tone of this film leans heavily towards tongue and cheek humor. Besides humor that film also does a great job mixing in various other genres like martial arts and melodrama. At just under two hours the film moves along quickly with no moment feeling overlong or unnecessary. Performance wise the entire cast are exceptional all around. With my favorite performance being Moriyama Mirai in role of a character who refers to himself as ‘champion of justice’. Ultimately Fish Story is a whimsical tale that quickly pulls you in and doesn’t miss a beat along the way.

The DVD:

Third Window Films presents Fish Story in a anamorphic widescreen that preserves the film’s original aspect ratio. This is a clean looking transfer that features nicely saturated colors, healthy looking flesh tones, strong black levels and details look sharp. There are no problems with compression or edge enhancement and the image remains stable throughout.

This release comes with one audio option, a Dolby Digital Stereo mix in Japanese. The audio sounds clean, clear and balanced throughout. Removable English subtitles that are error free and easy to read have been included.

Extras for this release include a trailer for the film (1 minute 58 seconds – anamorphic widescreen, in Japanese with English subtitles), a segment titled “Live at Tower Records – Shibuya 2009” (9 minutes 21 seconds – letterboxed widescreen, in Japanese with English subtitles) and a ‘Making of’ featurette (34 minutes 48 seconds – 4:3 full frame, in Japanese with English subtitles) which includes comments from the cast and crew about their various experiences working on this project. Also included with this release are trailers for other film’s also available on DVD from Third Window Films. Overall Fish Story gets a strong DVD release from Third Window Films.

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