|[#1] Touch, Touch
Mitsuru Adachi's "Touch".
If you were a secondary school student in the 1980s in HK, you must have heard of this landmark manga. The story of Minami, Tatsuya and Katsuya is now a legend. The hope, fears, pain, laughter and romance of the characters were so vivid and so real. The story did reach out and 'touch' you ... right in the heart. And its emotions live on even today ... even amongst those students of 1980s who are adults today.
My own views on dreams and courtship were influenced by Adachi's work when I was a teen. Now I am happily married and about to become a parent, yet those sweet innocent images still warm my heart. When this live-action version of "Touch" was announced I was immediately attracted. But I was also sceptical. Could any 110 minute movie ever do justice to the original manga, or even the TV series ? After all, the TV series alone spanned over 100 episodes !
To my relief, this movie was actually quite good. All the actors were fresh and likeable. Although they did not have enough opportunity in one movie to develop fully their characters' personalities, they still did a reasonable job of representing what M, T and K would be like in the 21st century. The script also packs most of the familiar story in without seming to rush things. Yes, there were some compromises. The baseball was mercilessly chopped out - but the focus was correctly placed instead on the romance. Some supporting characters had their significance reduced to almost nothing (like Niita and Kotaro) - but others played a very memorable and refreshing part (like Harada). All-in-all, the balance was about right.
What I really liked was the fact that the story was brought up-to-date from the 1980s to the 2000s. It just goes to show how timeless Adachi's original story was. But this movie manages to be fun for youngsters as well as beautifully nostalgic for old-timers like me. The update of the original "Touch" TV song was a surprise and simply a wonderful touch reminding us of the origins of the show as well as pointing to its future longevity.
As a DVD, the Region 3 disc is OK with average to above average picture quality for a HK disc. The sound is decent but not exciting. It says DTS-ES, but the overall sound is pretty bland (though not bad). The most disappointing thing (as with almost all Region 3 discs) is the lack of special features. Only a series of trailers plus a behind-the-scenes B roll with no commentary. Given the history and legend of "Touch", you could have expected much much more: what about the "Making Of" documentary, the manga-to-movie feature, the Adachi interview, and so on ?
|[#2] Touch, Touch
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