Sumo Do, Sumo Donít (Shiko funjatta) (1992)
|Year Of Production||1992|
|RSDL / Flipper||Dual Layered||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Masayuki Suo|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
Japanese Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0 mono (224Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.85:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
†††† Shuhei (Masahiro Motoki) needs to graduate from university, but both his attendance and marks have been poor. Professor Anayama (Akira Emoto) offers him a choice; if he wants to graduate he must join the university sumo club. Anayama in the past had been a sumo champion, but recently the university sumo club had fallen on hard times. It has only one member, Aoki (Naoto Takenaka) who had not won a bout in four years, and the club is at the bottom of the 3rd division. If they did not enter a team in the next contest the sumo club would be disbanded. Shuhei agrees; he needs to graduate but he also wants to impress Natsuko (Misa Shimizu), a female student with a keen interest in sumo. Together, Shuhei and Aoki recruit other team members; overweight, almost blind Tanaka (Hiromasa Taguchi), Shuheiís diminutive brother Haruo (Masaaki Takarai) and Englishman Smiley (Robert Hoffman) who wants to learn about Japanese culture but refuses to fight unless he can keep his black tights on! Along the way they are joined by fat girl Masako (Ritsuko Umemoto) as cook, cleaner and general help.
†††† Their first contests are embarrassing and humiliating as all team members are easily defeated. Former distinguished members of the university sumo club are appalled, and think it would be better to disband the club altogether, but Anayama keeps faith and gradually the team members start to regain some pride, and take sumo more seriously. But can they improve enough to be a genuine threat at the university area championships in 3 months time?
†††† Sumo Do Sumo Donít (Shiko funjatta) is a comedy written and directed by Masayuki Suo, better known for Shall We Dance (1996) which was remade in Hollywood staring Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon and Jennifer Lopez. Sumo Do Sumo Donít is a whimsical and amusing film of manners, rather than a riotous comedy, with plenty of quirky characters and funny situations. And while there are some swipes at ďtraditionĒ, sumo is an intensely serious sport in Japan so we should not expect the film to veer too far away from the predictable formula of a disparate bunch of no-hopers that come together, learn some life lessons and emerge as better individuals, on their way to the final contest.
†††† Sumo Do Sumo Donít is very good natured, with appealing actors, funny situations and an uplifting finale that adds up to an appealing and entertaining 99 minutes. You donít need to know anything about sumo to enjoy the film, although from what I could tell some of the humour, especially in the initial contests, related to the teamís ignorance of sumo rules, traditions and customs, so Iím sure that Japanese audiences would have more fun with the humour.
†††† Sumo Do Sumo Donít is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1, the original theatrical ratio, and is 16x9 enhanced.
†††† From the opening shots of the film, the brightness levels were too light using my normal settings. This affects sharpness, clarity and colours, which were pale and washed out. In some sequences where the light source was behind the actor, such as around 9:07 and later during the final sumo sequences, the actor become very blurry and indistinct. There were few night scenes, so blacks and shadow detail were not an issue.
†††† There were some small artefacts evident, but they were minor and not distracting.
†††† The English subtitles are in a yellow font. There is no obvious spelling or grammatical errors.
†††† Audio is a choice between Japanese Dolby Digital 5.1 at 448 Kbps and Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0 at 224 Kbps.
†††† In reality, there is not a lot for the sound system to do. Dialogue seemed clear but except for music there was little for the surrounds to do and the sub woofer was mostly silent. Effects and crowd noise (especially the cheerleaders) were present, but decidedly low key. With this type of film, however, this is not an issue.
†††† I did sample the Dolby Digital 2.0 track; it was a mono track and was, obviously, even less enveloping than the 5.1.
†††† The score by Yoshikazu Suo was sparingly used and is neither memorable nor disruptive.
†††† Lip synchronisation was fine, even when the foreigner Robert Hoffman was speaking Japanese.
|Surround Channel Use|
†††† Trailers for other films from Madman: Happy Holiday Plan (3:14), Still Walking (2:03), Maiko Haaaan!! (1:40) and Always Sunset on 3rd Street (2:15).
†††† There is a Region 3 HK 3 disc release of the films of Masayuki Suo which includes Fancy Dance (1989), Sumo Do Sumo Donít and Shall We Dance (1996). The Sumo Do Sumo Donít has only Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0 but includes interviews with actors Hiromasa Taguchi (11:24) and Naoto Takenaka (10:35). Both feature and extras have English subtitles. However, while there are stand alone versions of Shall We Dance in Region 1 and 2, I cannot currently find a single disc version of Sumo Do Sumo Donít so the Region 4 is what is available.
†††† Sumo Do Sumo Donít is a comedy written and directed by Masayuki Suo (Shall We Dance (1996)). It is a whimsical and amusing film of manners, rather than a riotous comedy, with plenty of quirky characters and funny situations, that adds up to an appealing and entertaining 99 minutes. .
†††† The video has an issue with brightness, the audio is underwhelming and a trailer is the only extra. However, there is nothing else around, so if you are a fan of the film or director Masayuki Suo this version will have to do.
|DVD||Sony BDP-S350, using HDMI output|
|Display||LG 42inch Hi-Def 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 Decoder||NAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.|
|Speakers||Studio Acoustics 5.1|