I have just been back from Thailand’s sneak preview screening of the movie called 「日本沈没」 or "Sinking of Japan" at SFX Cinema Emporium. Thanks Pradt for calling me and popcornmag for a free ticket.
The English title of the movie has already said it all. The movie tells a fictional story of the sinking of Japan – literally. In fact, the movie is adapted from science fiction novel written by Sakyo Komatsu back in 1973. It was so popular that the story was told and retold many times as movies, graphic novels, television series and radio shows.
In this 2006 version of the movie, the opening is too long with lengthy scientific terms trying to explain and give the reason behind "the sinking of Japan." Moreover, the movie spends too much time introducing the main characters and establishing a dramatic plot. Even though this plot is too simple and too cliché, once the "sinking" of Japan begins half-way in the movie, you will see a stunning and eye-popping visual effect of the disasters. This might be considered as the best part of the movie as it’s what Japanese could do best even before the computer graphic era – looking back at those classic Godzilla‘s building destruction scenes where models were being used. The movie also features one of the most beautiful theme song called 「Keep Holding U」 – a duet performance by a Korean female singer SunMin and a veteran Japanese singer/song-writer Toshinobu Kubota in the name of 「SunMin thanX Kubota」.
All in all, the movie is enjoyable to watch if you like destruction and disaster movie. Some basic knowledge of Japanese geography is useful as you could understand the story better without relying too much on multiple-lines Thai/English/Japanese subtitle.
3 stars out of 5 – just the visual effect and the music is worth the ticket.
P.S. The movie will be screening exclusively in Thailand at SF Cinema franchise starting from November 23rd, 2006. You could visit the official website (in Japanese) at <http://www.nc06.jp>