Weatherwoman, A (Otenki-oneesan) (1996)

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Released 8-May-2013

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Trailer-Madman trailers x 3
Rating Rated R
Year Of Production 1996
Running Time 84:58
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Tomoaki Hosoyama
Studio
Distributor

Madman Entertainment
Starring Eisei Amamoto
Kiyomi Ito
Kiyoshi Koga
Kei Mizutani
Hiroshi Ôkôchi
Ren Osugi
Yasuyo Shiroshima
Takashi Sumida
Saori Taira
Ryûji Yamamoto
Case Amaray-Transparent-Dual
RPI ? Music Kunihiro Ida


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
Not 16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     When the usual TV weatherwoman is sick, Keiko (Kei Mizutani) takes over and flashes her panties at the end of the weather report. The station management is aghast, the Chairman supportive and the ratings go through the roof so Keiko gets the job, an executive suite at the station and all her whims met. Her weather reports get more outrageous, her panties more colourful, and her demands more outlandish, such as a line of half-naked men in the station corridor to applaud her after every show. But not everyone is happy with the situation including Michiko (Saori Taira), the previous weatherwoman who wants her old job back, and the Chairman’s daughter Kaori (Yasuyo Shirashima), who returns from Paris with ideas of her own. A conspiracy is put into place to trap and discredit Keiko, but when they succeed Keiko, with a bit of S & M, turns to the weather gods to get even and to get the job back.

     A Weatherwoman (Otenki-oneesan) is based upon the adult manga by Tetsu Adachi. It was written and directed by Tomoaki Hosoyama, who describes himself as the “Japanese John Waters”, whose other films include Lesbian Harem (1987) and A Weatherwoman Returns (1996) so he may have a point. A Weatherwoman sets out to be satirical, weird, wacky and erotic all at once and throws everything at the screen in rapid succession. The result is a hodgepodge. The film does make a point about the cult of personality on TV, and is meant to be funny although much of it comes across as off-colour. For example, A Weatherwoman starts with Keiko masturbating loudly on a rooftop while a man declares his love and devotion for her from the ground, then throws in some female nudity and girl on girl, a raft of S & M scenes with whips and leather gear, some glitzy song and dance numbers and ends with a contest between the two female “weather wizards” launching spells at each other before battling it out with a whip and sword.

     A Weatherwoman has acquired something of a cult reputation. A Weatherwoman started off in 1993 as a straight to video film then, because of success at various film festivals, it received a theatrical release in 1996 which was so profitable that a sequel was made by the same director but with a different actress as Keiko. I am a fan of crazy, off kilter Japanese cinema but to my mind the film has not aged well. What may have been risqué and drawn attention in 1993 is rather tame now so we are left with humour which is forced, and not particularly amusing, while any satire about the cult of instant personality fame is buried amid the S & M, simulated masturbation and occasional nudity. With everything thrown together as it is the tone of the film is very uneven, and just when one bit starts to build up some momentum, such as the surreal and glossy dance production number towards the end, it shifts to become something else entirely.

     The opening title of the film quotes a Japanese saying that, “nonsense comproses (sic) a life with love, fight, songs and orgasm”, which is where the film is obviously heading. But one could add that nonsense in film could still use a coherent tone, a script, and some decent acting. Given the reputation the film has acquired, I was expecting more from A Weatherwoman.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     A Weatherwoman is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, which is probably the original ratio, and is not 16x9 enhanced. It was a direct to video release.

     This is generally a soft print, especially in exteriors where the colours look quite faded. Interiors are better although during the glitzy dance numbers there was some colour bleed, especially the reds. Detail in internal close-ups is good. Skin tones are OK, but contrast does vary, blacks show a fair bit of grey and shadow detail can be indistinct. There is the occasional dirt mark, but nothing serious; otherwise artefacts were absent.

    English subtitles are in an easy to read yellow font and seemed to be timely and mistake free.

     A print that gets by.

Video Ratings Summary
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Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
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Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     There are two audio choices: a Japanese and an English Dolby Digital 2.0, both 192 Kbps surround encoded.

     The two audio tracks are quite similar, except that the Japanese dialogue seems to be recorded at a lower level compared to the music score. In both tracks the dialogue is audible and centred although the Japanese voice acting was more strident and over the top, which suited the film. The surrounds and rears are used for music and the occasional effect which, not surprisingly, lacked depth. I noticed no subwoofer use.

    Lip synchronisation for the Japanese language was occasionally out; for the English dub it was very approximate.

     The original score by Kunihiko Ida was loud, obvious and occasionally distracting.

     The audio was acceptable.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Madman Trailers

     Trailers for Volcano High (2:02), Versus (2:01) and Infernal Affairs (1:53).

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

     The Region 0 US release of A Weather Woman Collection with both films is listed for sale on Amazon.com for $US140! The previous US release of A Weatherwoman has DVD-ROM extras, but does not seem to be available. There is no UK Region 2 release listed at present. Our two disc Region 4 re-release of A Weatherwoman and A Weatherwoman Returns by Madman is the way to go.

Summary

     A Weatherwoman includes an attractive weatherwoman showing off her panties, masturbation, nudity, girl on girl, a raft of S & M plus some glitzy song and dance numbers. The film has become somewhat of a cult favourite; I think the film has not aged well but that may be just me.

     The video is average, the audio acceptable; there are no relevant extras.

     A Weatherwoman and A Weatherwoman Returns are released in a two DVD package by Madman. This is the same package that was released previously but if the films are of interest and you did not buy it previously you now have another chance.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Monday, July 15, 2013
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S580, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

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