Combustible Celluloid
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With: Tsutomu Yamazaki, Nobuko Miyamoto, Koji Yakusho, Ken Watanabe, Rikiya Yasuoka
Written by: Juzo Itami
Directed by: Juzo Itami
MPAA Rating: NR
Language: Japanese, with English subtitles
Running Time: 114
Date: 11/18/2016

Tampopo (1985)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Using Their Noodle

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

This entertaining, light-hearted Japanese hit (a "ramen Western") was restored and re-released in 2016. It tells the story of a group of good folks who team up and try to turn a struggling noodle shop into something great; there are many attempts to get the broth just right. The movie takes its time, occasionally diverting into funny, strange little side stories, such as an erotic one about a gangster (Koji Yakusho) and his lover (Fukumi Kuroda). It's one of the greatest food movies of all time, taking time to appreciate the look and feel of the noodle soup (you can almost taste it)! Ken Watanabe co-stars. Juzo Itami died in 1997, rumored to have been the victim of foul play, possible revenge for having made an anti-Yakuza film.

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