Written by: Michael Den Boer on April 25th, 2009
Theatrical Release Date: Japan, 2007
Director: Daihachi Yoshida
Writer: Daihachi Yoshida
Cast: Eriko Sato, Aimi Satsukawa, Hiromi Nagasaku, Masatoshi Nagase, Seiji Nozoe, Shoichiro Tanigawa, Nobumichi Tosa, Kôichi Ueda, Hiroshi Yamamoto, Ryotaro Yonemura, Nahoko Yoshimoto, Koichiro Yuzawa
DVD released: May 11th, 2009
Approximate running time: 113 Minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Letterboxed Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo Japanese
Subtitles: English (Forced)
DVD Release: Third Window Films
Region Coding: Region 2 PAL (UK)
Retail Price: £14.99
Funuke: Show Some Love, You Losers!, is the directorial debut of Daihachi Yoshida, who also wrote the screenplay which was adapted from a novel written by Yukiko Motoya. The plot for Funuke: Show Some Love, You Losers!, explores the tumultuous relationships between three siblings who have just love their parents who were ran over by a truck as they tried to save a cat standing idle in the road. The bulk of the animosity within the family centers around the oldest daughter named Sumika who blames her failed career as an actress on her younger sister Kyomi. A few years before Kyomi an aspiring Manga artist used her family as inspirations and in the aftermath of its release her family blamed her gruesome depiction of their lives. At the heart of this film is Kyomi need for redemption and her subsequent awakening of her creative juices as she once again finds inspiration thanks to her dysfunctional family. Shinji is the oldest child and he reluctantly assumes the role of the patriarch of the family. Like Kyomi has been manipulated and victimized by Sumika, who he also shares a bizarre intimate bound with.
The plot covers a lot of ground in its just under two hour time length. Without a doubt the plot greatest strength is it well defined characters that are all given a satisfying arch. Another one of the plot’s strengths is the way in which the Kyomi assumes Sumika former dominate role in the family, while Sumika has now assumed Kyomi’s role. The rural countryside which the film takes place in is flawlessly exploited by director Daihachi Yoshida whose visual style never takes away from any of the characters journey’s. The use of Manga images in the film and the toning down of colors in flashback sequences are some of the film’s standout moments visually.
Everyone in the cast rises above and beyond in their respective roles. I honestly can’t imagine anyone else in any of the roles. The two standout performances come from Eriko Sato (Cutie Honey, A Slit-Mouthed Woman), in the role of Sumika and Aimi Satsukawa in the role of Kyomi. The film’s most surprising performance comes from Hiromi Nagasaku who is cast in the role of Shinji’s wife. She also has the film’s most memorable moment where she is taken to the hospital after she gets some Ramen noodle sauce in her eye. Another performance of note is Masatoshi Nagase restrained performance as Shinji. Some of Masatoshi Nagase other notable films include Gojoe: Spirit War Chronicle, Party 7, Electric Dragon 80.000 V, Pistol Opera and Suicide Club. Ultimately Funuke: Show Some Love, You Losers!, is a exceptional character driven drama that culminates with a deeply rewarding ending that perfectly ties everything together.
Third Window Films presents Funuke: Show Some Love, You Losers!, in a Letterboxed widescreen that preserves the films original aspect ratio. The colors look vivid, flesh tones look healthy and details look crisp throughout. Black levels are very strong and stable throughout. This transfer has not been flagged for progressive playback. There are no issues with blurring / ghosting. Overall while the transfer fares well despite being letterboxed and interlaced, still it would have looked even better if it was anamorphic enhanced and flagged for progressive playback.
This release comes with one audio option a Dolby Digital stereo mix in Japanese. The audio fares well all around as it is clean, clear, evenly balanced and at times robust. Non removable English subtitles have been included that are easy to read and error free.
Extras for this release are limited to trailers for titles currently or soon to be released on DVD from Third Window Films. The trailers are as follows, PTU, Kamikaze Girls, Friend, No Blood, No Tears, Fine, Totally Fine, Funuke: Show Some Love, You Losers!, Say Yes, Wild Card, Guns and Talks, Turtles are Surprisingly Fast Swimmers, The President’s Last Bang, Dasepo Naughty Girls, Peppermint Candy and Kick the Moon. Overall Funuke: Show Some Love, You Losers!, gets a sub par DVD release from Third Window films that leaves plenty of room for improvement.