18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 3 ˝ + Stars: The Sequel to "Suicide Club" is too Horrific to be a mere Melodrama and too Emotional to be Horror..
Sion Sono is a poetic director; his works often mystify, puzzle and bewilder his audiences. One thing no one can deny about this director is that his films are engaging with their uninhibited and visceral themes whether you like them or not. NORIKO'S DINNER TABLE is the long awaited sequel to Suicide Club (aka. Suicide Circle). I know, most folks are probably dreading a...
Published on June 2, 2008 by Woopak
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Constant yapping, but nothing is truly said.
I'm a pretty big fan of Sion Sono, with "Love Exposure" (2008), "Strange Circus" (2005), and "Hair Extensions" (2007) being amongst my personal favorites from his portfolio. Even his more recent exploitation-style films like "Cold Fish" (2010) and "Guilty of Romance" (2011) have enough to hold interest, despite their skittish foundations. "Noriko's Dinner Table" (2005)...
Published 19 months ago by Anticlimacus
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 3 ˝ + Stars: The Sequel to "Suicide Club" is too Horrific to be a mere Melodrama and too Emotional to be Horror..,
This review is from: Noriko's Dinner Table (DVD)Sion Sono is a poetic director; his works often mystify, puzzle and bewilder his audiences. One thing no one can deny about this director is that his films are engaging with their uninhibited and visceral themes whether you like them or not. NORIKO'S DINNER TABLE is the long awaited sequel to Suicide Club (aka. Suicide Circle). I know, most folks are probably dreading a sequel to the cult hit, but Sion Sono delivers, well, not exactly in the way you may expect. "Noriko's Dinner Table" is more a companion film to the first film than a solid sequel. Too visceral to be a melodrama, and at the same time too mild to be horror; just what is Sono's intentions with this film. Maybe to deepen its underlying enigma?
A 17-yr. old teenager named Noriko Shimabara (Kazue Fikiishi) leaves her tiny provincial town and moves to Tokyo to find an internet cult group called Haikyo.com There she meets up with the site's webmaster; a young pretty woman named Kumiko (Tsugumi) and loses herself in the unusual ways this cult group practices, which includes a very unique approach to prostitution and mass suicide. As Noriko grows closer to her new friends, her sister Yuka (Yuriko Yoshitaka) decides to follow her suit. Now, both sisters must decide if abandoning their old life is worth dying for...
Now, to cut to the chase; is "Noriko's Dinner Table" a better film than "Suicide Club"? Yes and no. Yes, The film is structured in a way as a melodrama would, slowly uncovering its mystery. The film is slow-paced and quite frankly the film really takes its time. Its sense of purpose may equally alienate some viewers as with its predecessor. The events of the film does bring the idea of an organization on a very personal level and it puzzles more than it entertains. However, it is also inferior on some levels; the film looks very constrained by a limited budget and looks a bit too simple when compared to Sono's other film "Strange Circus" when it comes to cinematography. The characters are indeed intriguing but it is very difficult to form an attachment to them. They are decently developed but for some reason, their puzzling purpose just didn't sell the idea to me, except maybe for the father. His goal is pretty straight-forward as they come, he wants to find his daughters. (it also does open a plot hole unfortunately)
The film has a very different storyline than "Suicide Club". It's timeline is parallel but at the same time it is also takes place after. The fragmented style of the proceedings are interesting with a narration of different points of view from its lead characters; Noriko, Yuka, Noriko, and Tetsuzo. These narratives attempt to explain to a degree just what is occurring but also serves to annoy at times that the film loses a lot of its effect and visual "punch". Seasoned watchers will not have any problems following its sequences and dialogue but those unadulterated to this style will no doubt be lost and (perhaps) be a little bored. In some ways this film may be a little more frustrating than Suicide Club, it doesn't really offer any explanations or closure but instead reinforces the mystery behind Sion Sono's first film and opens more questions.
The film is somewhat similar to Sono's "Strange Circus". Both films deal with the idea of identity and individualism. Not everything or everyone is as they first seem to be. This film shows us the personal idea of the cult, from Noriko's goal of discovering her own identity and the denial of some truths. The film gives us the idea that all people are actors in a play, that more or less people either succeed or fail in their roles in life. Another theme it explores is the failure of reaching out to your love ones. "Lions and Sheeps" are expressed as the philosophy behind the cycle of life.
Now don't get the wrong idea that this film focuses more on philosophy and melodrama. The film does represent a lot of shocking ideas and quite disturbing to the core. Members of the group would fulfill their roles at the cost of their very lives. Noriko was present as an observer when the 54 schoolgirls jumped off the railway as part of her "training". Kumiko is the most intriguing character since she remains so cold but at the same time, so capable of expressing emotion in a very subtle way. It was a very interesting sight when she allowed an "actress" get stabbed to death for the satisfaction of one reliving a lost opportunity.
In its own way, "Noriko's Dinner Table" has all the potential to be a better film than "Suicide Circle". It's more personal approach to certain themes about family and its lasting effect on youngsters, the influence of technology and failure of communication. Hidden from all its motifs and darkness is a very effective portrayal of intense human drama. You might say that this sequel (of sorts) is the heart and soul of Suicide Circle. It is a harder film to comprehend than its predecessor, and despite its faults, it will encourage the viewer to take another look-see.
Don't expect the film to have the same style as "Suicide Club" or you will be very disappointed. The film just enlarges the context of the first film; it widens its mythology and reinforces its mystery.
RECOMMENDED! Timidly...[3 ˝ + Stars]
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Family for Rent,
This review is from: Noriko's Dinner Table (2 Disc) (DVD)Poignant,
Any one of these words can be used to describe this unforgettable piece of film.
The sequel to "Suicide Club", while not even remotely as graphic,
actually manages to outdo it's predecessor in every other regard;
plot, character development, tension, atmosphere, settings, and all around humanity.
This movie does skip around quite a bit more though,
but not so much that it becomes distracting.
And unlike the original, the conclusion of this flick won't leave you scratching your head.
You'll definitely be discussing it, but not out of confusion.
To say the least, Sion Sono is quickly becoming the best horror director to emerge from Japan in recent years.
In this sequel of sorts, we get a closer view into the mysterious Suicide Circle.
We learn more of its convoluted philosophies,
and meet a few more members, specifically Ueno Station 54.
The film follows her history, as well as the members of one particular family,
A tragic-hero of a father, and his 2 runaway daughters,
who inadvertently stumble upon a unique division of the Suicide Club.
The mass suicides of the last film,
(62 high school girls simultaneously jumping in front of a subway car, etc.)
left a lot of families with holes in their lives.
This division of the club temporarily fills those holes, but for a fee.
Essentially you can rent 1 or multiple family members for a limited time,
and do to them anything you would regularly do to your normal family.
Naturally this leads to some pretty bizarre scenes.
With each passing film, I get closer and closer to believing that Sion Sono is the premier Japanese horror director to watch. (My apologies to any Miike fans)
Yeah I said it. (Better than Miike!!! .....well except for "Imprint" which is a personal favorite)
Suicide Club, Strange Circus, and now this!!!
I can't wait for his next film "Exte: Hair Extensions" to release.
As silly as it sounds I know it's going to be that good.
Takashi Miike, eat your heart out!!!
MORAL OF THE STORY:
For the right price, water is just as thick as blood.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What a lovely dinner table..,
This review is from: Noriko's Dinner Table (DVD)This is the sequel to suicide club:
A girl named Noriko runs away from her home and goes to Tokyo to meet a girl she was chatting with
online. She gets involved in the cult group thats involved with a very unique form of prositution called "family renting" and mass suicides. Noriko's sister also gets sucked into the group and their father trys to find them. It's a very interesting film about family and finding who you are. It's gets better each time you watch it, though it's long so i always enjoy the first 3 chapters of the film. When it gets to the father in the last chapter, it drage but it's still good. Also, this is not a horror film, it's a drama.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning sequel to an amazing movie,
This review is from: Noriko's Dinner Table (2 Disc) (DVD)This film is possibly better than its predecessor, Suicide Circle, although it is hard to say.
The story starts out when Noriko, a nerdy young girl, leaves home to live with some friends she met on the internet. Her new friends are mysterious and dangerous. They run a service where lonely people can "rent" a family for a short amount of time. Noriko joins the business,playing increasingly dangerous parts for strange and bizarre people. The events in this movie took place before, during, and after the events in Suicide Club, and show some possibilities of what caused the suicides.
This movie explorres the same theories as Suicide Club, those of being connected to oneself and of losing your own identity. It is, what I saw as a "darker" version of Suicide Club, exploring how people get disconnected rather than how they can connect.
overall an amazing movie.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A visual Audio Book,
This review is from: Noriko's Dinner Table (DVD)To be honest I bought this movie for one reason, the cover had a girl standing next to a wall covered in blood. Simple as that. If you are like me and also buying this movie because of the cover, I'd recommended rethinking your choice. This cover is nothing more then a fantastic exploitation cover.
This film is amazing, it is not a horror movie at all, and it's not even that bloody in the strictest sense. There are only two scenes with blood and if you've seen any Japanese movie you'll know that mean a lot of it. But the film isn't about the body count as in Battle Royale: Director's Cut (Collector's Edition) or Ichi the Killer (Unrated Edition) it's about the disconnection of family. And what people will do to have that connection again.
Without giving away one of the oddest parts of the film I'll only say. The core of the film is about the family. And what makes the family unit. Is it the blood connection or emotional bonds between the family members?
This being so, this film is long 2 and half hours long but complete captivating. It feels like an audio book with visuals at some points, with relentless dialogs and images always flashing and happening. I find myself so absorbed in the scenes and characters and not waiting for the next action scene to come. Which never really comes anyways, so, luckily I wasn't waiting for it or I'd be one disappointed person.
Either way this film isn't for everyone. I'm really not sure who it's for, but if you like surrealism, David Lynch, Tetsuo: The Iron Man, and Suicide Club (Suicide Circle) than there's a good chance you'll be interested in this film. If you do not like the listed above, then I'd say don't watch it. It will feel like a waste of time.
For me I find this movie to be a deep study of the family unit. And what makes my family connect.
4.0 out of 5 stars The Out-Laws.,
This review is from: Noriko's Dinner Table (DVD)Noriko no Shokutaku (Noriko's Dinner Table) (Shion Sono, 2005)
Shion Sono casts another jaundiced eye over moe culture (for those unfamiliar, think “highly-specialized teen subculture, specifically appealing to girls, that emphasizes cuteness/adorableness) in this loose prequel to Suicide Club, but in Noriko's Dinner Table, rather than looking at an entire subculture, Sono gets uncomfortably personal with his tale of the annihilation of identity.
Plot: Noriko (One Missed Call's Kazue Fukiishi), a disenchanted high school student, becomes obsessed with the Internet message board that the suicide club used in the original film, and befriends Ueno Station 54 (Screwed's Tsugumi), its mysterious operator. Soon, she runs away from home, meeting Ueno Staion 54—whose real name is (or is not) Kumiko—in the flesh. Kumiko believes that identity is fluid—that you can be, in essence, anyone you want to be—and she re-christens Noriko as Mitsuko. The two of them go off on a series of absurd adventures, portraying others at will, and life is fine until Noriko's younger sister Yuka (Snakes and Earrings' Yukito Yoshitaka in her screen debut) follows her, falls under Kumiko's influence, and is similarly rechristened Yoko. Their father Tetsuzo (Audition's Ken Mitsuishi), a disgraced journalist, goes looking for the girls, and discovers Kumiko and the business she operates with Mitsuko and Yoko, and decides to try and get them back, no matter what the cost.
I haven't seen anything close to Sono's complete output (IMDB lists thirty-five titles as I write this in January 2013), but of the Sono films I've seen, this was my favorite; it is the best-paced of the bunch, with the most intriguing storyline, and it's the only one where Sono's trademark absurdity felt like it was reined in in service to the story, rather than overwhelming it. Not to say it's a perfect movie—it's still probably half an hour longer than it needs to be, with a couple of subplots that weren't really necessary and a bit too much repetition as Kumiko and Mitsuko set up their business—but it's all exceptionally well-shot and well-acted, and it's a treat to watch as long as you can handle the outrageous amounts of gore that pop up in a few scenes. This is Sono at his best, wicked and witty at the same time. *** ˝
5.0 out of 5 stars this is a movie,
This review is from: Noriko's Dinner Table (DVD)so once me and my friend rented thsi movie
and see we went to holy wood to get doras fab couch fun party starring mammy god
but they didnt have it
so we got this
well so we popped it in and mammy god told me to becamethe nest holy pop star
so i did
thsi movei has holy magic powers to fill your rice bag for 50 times over next monday
pray to mammy god
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars how do you define horror?,
This review is from: Noriko's Dinner Table (DVD)Yet another film that doesn't match its box cover.
There is real horror, dread and shock in Noriko's Dinner Table. But it's far more psychological than visceral. I would not call this a "sequel to Suicide Club," and it's not the bloody nightmare its box cover might suggest. There is a fair amount of shocking graphic violence (which might be more shocking if you didn't see Suicide Club and weren't expecting it). But it's much more a disturbing psychological drama about family relations and addresses the sense of 'self' that is a theme in many good Japanese dramas.
I watched Suicide Club before this film, as was recommended (somewhere), but I don't think it's necessary. One film does not explain the other. It's almost as if the director took some basic elements that are present in Suicide Club (most notably the Web site and the train station) and created something entirely new; a better story with a more lasting impact.
So if you like dark, thought-provoking, psychological dramas that don't shy away from graphic violence and complexities, and that's your idea of horror, this is a great horror movie. In this instance, however, it seems too constraining to limit this to the horror genre, even though the Japanese do this genre better than anyone.
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing,
This review is from: Noriko's Dinner Table (DVD)Watching this film, I found that it was not what I expected. It's not like Suicide Club; there is much less gore and much more storyline, and the movie wraps itself up without leaving too many important questions unanswered, but its purpose is NOT to explain those left behind by Suicide Club. It simply takes place before, during, and after the events of Suicide Club.
It's a beautifully profound, thought-provoking movie with many important things to say about society and one's relationships with other humans and our families. The film is long but memorable and one-of-a-kind. I've never seen a movie that I could compare to this.
Although it's long, I wholeheartedly suggest that you see it.
12 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BRIMMING WITH IDEAS,
This review is from: Noriko's Dinner Table (DVD)This is the kind of film that will constantly unravel in your mind, long after you see it (its been two years and it's still etched in my brain from one viewing). It has the limitless potentiality of films like Mulholland dr., which are born anew every time you think you've picked something out of it. Sono crafts a multifarious and philosophically charged narrative that is at once complex and delicate, imbuing every component of the film's construction with a responsibility to help buoy its ideas; which incongruously bounce off of Buddhism, Taoism, challenging modern gender/familial roles, the hazard in identity subversion, etc.
In short, NORIKO'S DINNER TABLE is a work of utter confidence and brilliance that charts a course of greater human authenticity and dynamism than its predecessor SUICIDE CLUB. It is also far more ambitious in its scope and concern of modern personhood, urban disilusionment, and the fractured family hierarchy, though each film is comparatively enriched by the other.
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Noriko's Dinner Table by Sion Sono (DVD - 2008)