From left to right: Shusuke Kaneko, Toshio Miike, and Hajime Matsumoto. Photo by Brett Homenick.
Today, I had the good fortune of attending a screening of the Toho thriller Cross Fire (2000), which was also attended by no fewer than three major guests. I hadn't see Cross Fire since the early 2000s, so I was glad to approach the film with a fresh perspective.
Toshio Miike. Photo by Brett Homenick.
I wasn't a fan of the film when I first it around 2002, and I have to admit that my opinion hasn't changed much. That's not to say that it's a bad film, but I still find the bad guys too over-the-top and the main character (Junko Aoki) not all that sympathetic. I also felt the movie was a bit too long for the material. That said, I'm glad I saw it again, and there's no better way to experience it than in 35mm.
The guest list was quite impressive. Toshio Miike is a veteran SFX art director and production designer who's worked on: Gunhed (1989), Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah (1991), Zeiram (1991), Godzilla vs. Mothra (1992), Gamera: Guardian of the Universe (1995), Gamera 2 (1996), Gamera 3 (1999), GMK (2001), Godzilla against Mechagodzilla (2002), Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. (2003), Godzilla: Final Wars (2004), and Shin Godzilla (2016).
Hajime Matsumoto. Photo by Brett Homenick.
It was my first time to meet Hajime Matsumoto, who has enjoyed a varied career as both a screenwriter and a VFX specialist. His screenwriting credits includes co-writing Zeiram, Zeiram 2 (1994), and Moon over Tao: Makaraga (1997) with director Keita Amemiya. His VFX credits include Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah, Gamera: Guardian of the Universe, Gamera 2, Gamera 3, Cross Fire, GMK, and Godzilla against Mechagodzilla.
I have to admit that I didn't realize until Matsumoto-san told me so that he had co-written Zeiram (or any other films with Keita Amemiya) until he told me so. As a big fan of those movies, I was very pleasantly surprised.
Shusuke Kaneko. Photo by Brett Homenick.
Last (but not least) was the film's director, Shusuke Kaneko, whom I'm pretty sure at this point needs no introduction. If you're not familiar with his credits by now, I'd highly suggest using the Google machine yo familiarize yourself.
And that's a wrap! What a fun day it was. It's always impressive to be in the same room with so much Toho (and Daiei) history. Many thanks to all who made it possible!