Jazz, film, and improvised culture.
Sake-Bomb: Have a Drink Cousin
a sake-brewing apprentice about to succeed his master, Naoto relates to the
potent potable on a deep level. It is
almost sacrilegious to ask him to drink a sake-bomb (the old sake shot
submerged in a beer). Nonetheless, he
acquits himself fairly well when he hits the California party scene with his
snarky cousin (better than the churlish vlogger, in fact). Eventually, everyone will learn a thing or
two in Junya Sakino’s extended family road comedy, Sake-Bomb (trailer
opens today in Los Angeles.
could not possibly be more earnest. When
agrees to take over his master’s brewery, he also follows the old man’s advice,
taking a week’s vacation to finish working through any lingering regrets he might
have in his personal life. His pursuit of Olivia, his long lost summer lover,
brings him to the Moritas’ apartment in Los Angeles.
is crashing there with his father, because he is unemployed and has just been
dumped by his girlfriend. He is not exactly keen to shuttle Naoto up to Petaluma
in hopes of finding the elusive Olivia, but his father insists. Naturally, they
first take a detour to a party in Irvine, so Sebastian can make a complete
clown of himself in front of his ex. At
least, they meet a few interesting types there, including Joslyn, the naughty
graphic novelist who catches Sebastian’s eye.
for pound, there might be more identity jokes in S-B than any other film this year, largely taking the form of
Sebastian’s video posts. He is angry
with Asian women who date white guys. He
is angry with white women who do not date Asian men. He is angry with white people who cannot
distinguish between Asian nationalities.
He is not too thrilled with the Chinese either, so buckle up. On one hand, some of this material pushes the
envelope of politeness. On the other
hand, it is pretty funny sometimes.
Sebastian, Eugene Kim never holds back on the attitude. He is almost too abrasive, considering the
audience obviously is supposed to embrace him during the third act. However, likability is not a problem for Gaku
Hamada, the popular Japanese star of Potechi (Chips), who subtly but surely conveys the strength of character beneath
Naoto’s naivety. Together, their over-the-top and understated personas play off
each other quite nicely. Future
star-in-the-making Jessika Van also scores in her scene as a friend of
Sebastian’s girlfriend, giving him what-for.
Yet, for a certain demographic, former porn star and California gubernatorial
candidate Mary Carey upstages everyone as, you know, a porn star.
never reinvents the buddy movie-wheel, but it
has an edge and a good deal of heart. Better than the typical Phillips and
Apatow grind ‘em outs, Sake-Bomb is
recommended for fans of slightly raucous but well-intentioned rom-coms when it opens
today (11/8) in Los Angeles at the Downtown Independent.
Labels: Gaku Hamada, Road Movies