REVIEW: TOP OF THE WORLD

 

CAST

Peter Weller (Robocop)
Dennis Hopper (Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2)
Tia Carrere (Wayne’s World)
David Alan Grier (Jumanji)
Joe Pantoliano (The Matrix)
Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (Mortal Kombat)
Peter Coyote (Sphere)
Martin Kove (The Karate Kid)
Ed Lauter (The Artist)

top-of-the-world_01In Las Vegas for a quicky divorce, a just-paroled ex-cop and his wife wander into the Top of the World Casino, run by the shady Charles Atlas. They win big, right as the casino is being robbed. The police believe their big win was a staged diversion, and the two of them become suspects. Over the course of the evening and next morning, the two attempt to escape to surrounded casino, and to prove their innocence, as well as to save their marriage.3a06eb652967c723cced5d8f718Not a terrible movie, but it’s kind of lacking. I would only recommend you watch it if nothing else better is playing on TV.

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REVIEW: TWINS

 

CAST

Arnold Schwarzenegger (Hercules In New York)
Danny DeVito (Batman Returns)
Kelly Preston (Jerry Maguire)
Chloe Webb (Sid and Nancy)
Bonnie Bartlett (Firefly)
Trey Wilson (Raising Arizona)
Marshall Bell (Starship Troopers)
David Carusco (CSI: Miami)
Maury Chaykin (Entrapment)
Tony Jay (Lois & Clark)
Tom McCleister (Million Dollar Baby)
Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (Mortal Kombat)
Sven-Ole Thorsen (Mallrats)
Heather Graham (The Hangover)

Julius Benedict and Vincent Benedict are fraternal twins, the result of a secret experiment carried out at a genetics laboratory to combine the DNA of six fathers to produce the perfect child. To the surprise of the scientists, the embryo split and twins were born. The mother, Mary Ann Benedict, was told that Julius died at birth, and not told about Vincent at all. Vincent was placed in an orphanage run by nuns in Los Angeles and believes his mother abandoned him. With no one but himself to rely on, Vincent escaped from the orphanage and became an indebted, small-time crook. Julius was raised on a South Pacific island by Professor Werner, where he engages in intense physical training and extensive study. Each twin is unaware of the other’s existence.On Julius’s 35th birthday, Julius discovers he has a twin brother. With Professor Werner’s blessing, Julius proceeds to the United States to find his brother. Julius discovers that Vincent lives in L.A. and eventually tracks him down in jail for unpaid parking tickets.Julius bails Vincent out, but Vincent does not believe his story and abandons him in a car park. Julius pursues Vincent to his workplace and finds him being beaten up by Morris Klane, a loan shark enforcer. Julius subdues Morris, earning Vincent’s trust and respect. He later meets Vincent’s girlfriend Linda Mason and enters a romantic relationship with her sister Marnie. Over dinner, Vincent shows Julius a document he stole from the orphanage that shows their mother is actually still alive, but believing that she abandoned him at birth, Vincent shows no interest in finding her. Julius tracks one of their six fathers to the address on the document. The father directs Julius to Mitchell Traven in New Mexico, the other professor who headed the experimentVincent steals a late-model Cadillac Sedan de Ville for his chop shop contact and finds a prototype fuel injector in the trunk that was to be delivered to an industrialist, Beetroot McKinley, in Houston, for five million dollars. Vincent decides to pose as the delivery man and deliver the fuel injector himself so he can collect the money and pay off his debts. He reluctantly allows Julius, Linda and Marnie to accompany him to New Mexico to find professor Traven. Mr. Webster, the real delivery man, begins pursuing Vincent. In New Mexico, Traven reveals the truth to the twins and directs them to Santa Fe, where their mother lives in an art colony. On the way to Santa Fe, the twins are accosted by the Klane brothers, but they fight them off for the last time. At the art colony in Santa Fe, a painter informs Julius and Vincent that their mother has died. They leave, unaware that the painter is in fact their mother, Mary Ann, who didn’t believe their story.Vincent bitterly heads to Houston alone to deliver the prototype to McKinley, leaving Julius and the girls behind in New Mexico for their safety. Julius chases after Vincent, and finds him seconds after the exchange with McKinley. Webster appears and kills McKinley, demanding the money from Vincent. Julius intercepts Webster in order for Vincent to escape, but Vincent returns and agrees to give Webster the money to save Julius. Webster decides to kill them anyway for seeing his face, but Vincent kills him by unloading a heavy chain onto his head and burying him. Julius and Vincent return both the prototype and $4 million (Vincent skimming $1 million), and use that along with the reward to start a consulting firm. Their publicity reaches the art colony and Mary Ann learns that her sons are alive. She violently confronts Traven for concealing the truth and tracks Julius and Vincent down to their workplace. Sometime later, Julius and Vincent marry the Mason sisters. Both marriages produce twin children, and the couples are last seen meeting their mother and Professor Werner on an outing.I’m a big Arnold fan so I enjoy most of his films and this is easily the best comedy he’s ever done. The movie is just hilarious and fun to watch Arnold and Devito make a good team.

 

REVIEW: BRIDGE OF DRAGONS

 

CAST

Dolph Lundgren (Masters of The Universe)
Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (Mortal Kombat)
Valerie Chow (Futuresport)
Gary Hudson  (Mutant X)
John Bennett (Eye of The Needle)
Scott L. Schwartz (Fire Down Below)

The tough and cold mercenary Warchild, is working for the man who took care of his war training and upbringing, the greedy General Ruechang. Ruechang is planning to take over the country by marrying Princess Halo. But Halo discovers that Ruechang killed her father to gain more power than he had working for the King, so she decides to run away. Warchild is the one who has to bring her back to Ruechang, but the one thing no one counted on happens…Warchild and Halo fall in love, and together they take on the forces of Ruechang.Tagawa returns as yet another baddie, facing off against Lundgren once again (he was also the antagonist of Showdown in Little Tokyo, 1991). You gotta love his “666” logo on his buildings and vehicles. But this time he, and all the other characters, are in a more tongue-in-cheek world, with really wacky sound effects and some silly humor. Bridge of Dragons is classic late-90’s Lundgren with a few unorthodox twists.

REVIEW: SHOWDOWN IN LITTLE TOKYO

CAST

Dolph Lundgren (Universal Soldier)
Brandon Lee (The Crow)
Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (Mortal Kombat)
Tia Carrere (Relic Hunter)
Toshirô Obata (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)

Los Angeles cop Chris Kenner (Dolph Lundgren) is an American who was raised in Japan. He is given a new partner, Johnny Murata (Brandon Lee), an American of partial Japanese descent. Kenner does not appreciate American culture, while Johnny does not much like Japanese culture. One thing they both enjoy are the martial arts, of which they are both experts. The two are assigned to L.A.’s Little Tokyo, where they break up some criminal activity in a Japanese restaurant, and an arrest is made. While Kenner and Johnny are questioning the suspect, Kenner loses his temper and rips the suspect’s shirt, and the tattoos that Kenner sees on the suspect remind Kenner of when he was 9 years old, a time when he witnessed his parents being killed by a member of the Yakuza. The tattoos are the trademark of the Iron Claw Yakuza clan. However, before Kenner or Murata can get any information out of the suspect, he kills himself in the interrogation room by breaking his own neckOn the other side of town, the leader of the Iron Claw, Yoshida (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa), kills the owner of a popular downtown nightclub called the Bonsai Club by crushing the owner, Tanaka (Philip Tan), in a car compactor. To celebrate “gaining” ownership of the Bonsai Club, Yoshida throws a party at his house with all of the club staff. One of the girls at the party, named Angel (Renee Griffin), is revealed to have warned Tanaka about Yoshida behind his back, and this infuriates Yoshida. Yoshida questions Angel about her loyalty, and she attempts to appease Yoshida by offering her body to him. Yoshida then drugs Angel and strips off her clothes, and then fondles her from behind before beheading her.When the coroner runs an analysis on Angel’s body, it is revealed that she was forced into ingesting a large amount of methamphetamines in her system which would have led to her death anyway. This discovery of drugs, together with the suspect having Yakuza tattoos, cause Kenner and Johnny to go to the Bonsai Club in search of information. There they meet lounge singer Minako Okeya (Tia Carrere), who was a good friend of Angel’s. Before they can get any useful information out of her, they are ambushed and taken to see the nightclub’s owner and Kenner recognizes Yoshida as the man who killed his parents. Yoshida is now a drug manufacturer using a local brewery as his distribution center. He uses smaller gangs such as the Hells Angels, Crips and Sureños to peddle the drugs for him, in return for a percentage of the profit.Kenner and Johnny escape from the nightclub. Later that night, Yoshida rapes and kidnaps Minako and vows to kill Kenner. Kenner and Johnny set out for Yoshida’s heavily guarded home, where they rescue Minako. His pride wounded, Yoshida sends his men out to get Minako back. He has Kenner and Johnny captured and tortured, but Kenner and Johnny manage to escape, leading to a protracted battle in which Kenner and Johnny emerge victorious.This film is funny, action packed and has a decent story, but we all know that the story is not the movies strong point, the action sequences are! They are well choreographed and Dolph and Brandon make for a very humorous team. Showdown in little Tokyo is pretty damn good and a lot of fun. I would strongly recommend it to any action movie fan.

REVIEW: THE PHANTOM

CAST

Billy Zane (The Scorpion King 3)
Treat Williams (Hair)
Kristy Swanson (Buffy: The Vampire Slayer)
Catherine Zeta-Jones (Entrapment)
James Remar (Gotham)
Patrick McGoohan (Braveheart)
Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (Mortal Kombat)
Bill Smitrovich (Air Force One)
Jon Tenney (Legion)

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In the early 16th century, a young boy helplessly witnesses his father’s death at the hands of Kabai Sengh, the ruthless leader of the Sengh brotherhood who attacked their ship. The boy jumps overboard and is washed ashore on an island called Bengalla where he is found by tribesmen who take him to their village. There he is given the Skull Ring and swears to devote his life to the destruction of piracy, greed, cruelty and injustice. In adulthood, he adopts the identity of “The Phantom”, a masked avenger. The role of The Phantom is passed on from father to son through centuries, leading people to believe in a single, immortal figure and accordingly nickname him “The Ghost Who Walks” and “The Man Who Never Dies”.the-phantom13

In 1938, Kit Walker (Billy Zane), the 21st Phantom, finds a man named Quill (James Remar) leading a mercenary group in the jungle. The group is searching for one of the Skulls of Touganda, which grants its owner a tremendous destructive power. The Phantom saves the native boy they had kidnapped to be their guide and captures Quill’s men, leaving them to be picked up by the jungle patrol while their leader escapes. Quill—revealed as a member of the Sengh Brotherhood, and the man who killed Kit’s father (Patrick McGoohan)— flees with the Skull and returns to the United States.the_phantom_sala-catehrine-zeta-jones

In New York City, Kit’s ex-girlfriend from college, Diana Palmer (Kristy Swanson), is a frequent traveler whose uncle, Dave Palmer (Bill Smitrovich), is the famous owner of the “World Tribune” newspaper. The paper has been investigating power-hungry business man Xander Drax (Treat Williams), a shady character with a reputation for having dealings with criminals. Mr. Palmer has managed to uncover that Drax is connected to a mysterious spider web symbol, which he traces back to the Bengalla Jungle. He sends Diana to investigate, and en route, her airplane is hijacked by female air pirates employed by Drax and led by the femme fatale Sala (Catherine Zeta-Jones). Diana is kidnapped and taken to their base on the waterfront in Bengalla. Having been informed of Diana’s kidnapping by the Jungle Patrol’s captain Phillip Horton (Robert Coleby), the Phantom rescues Diana and escapes from Quill and his men to his headquarters, the Skull Cave (with the help of his white horse Hero, his pet wolf Devil, and his jungle friends the Rope People). There, Diana meets with Horton, where she is informed by the Phantom and Horton that she is involved with the Sengh Brotherhood. The Phantom tells Horton to use the Jungle Patrol to take care of Diana and return her to New York while he goes after the Brotherhood.thephantom199618_zpsd14f3d36

Back in New York, Kit, now dressed as his civilian self, meets with Mr. Palmer at the Tribune building and once again meets with Diana, who has mixed feelings about him since his sudden disappearance several years before. Diana’s would-be suitor Jimmy Wells (Jon Tenney) mentions he had seen one of the skulls in the Museum of Natural History. Kit and Diana hurry there and are captured by Drax and his men, who steal the second Skull from Kit and unite it with the first, revealing the location of the third Skull on an uncharted island known as the Devil’s Vortex on the Yellow Sea. Kit sees his father’s old skull belt buckled around Quill’s waist and realizes that he is his father’s killer. He manages to escape from him and his henchmen and, as the Phantom, evades the police outside the museum (Drax is allied with New York’s corrupt police commissioner, who Mr. Palmer had informed of Diana’s trip). Meanwhile, Sala flies Drax, Quill and Diana (Drax’s “Phantom insurance” after Sala reveals that Diane is his girlfriend) to the Devil’s Vortex, not knowing that the Phantom has managed to hitch a ride on one of the plane’s landing pontoons.thephantomOn the island, Drax meets with the pirate Kabai Sengh (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa), a descendant of the Brotherhood’s original leader, who possesses the third Skull. Sengh warns Drax of the existence of a “Fourth Skull”, which controls the power of the other three. The Phantom appears and battles both men, with Kabai Sengh killed by his own pool of sharks, as Diana and Sala cooperate to defeat the other villains. Drax unites the three Skulls and turns them against the Phantom, inadvertently killing Quill in the process. The Phantom uses the Fourth Skull—his own ring—to overcome the others and destroy both them and Drax in a powerful explosion. As the island is destroyed, the Phantom narrowly escapes with Diana and Sala. In Bengalla once again, Diana reveals to the Phantom she has figured out his secret and his double-identity. Kit removes his mask, telling her that he is only allowed to reveal all of his secrets to one person, the woman he intends to marry, but she leaves again for New York. Kit’s father laments his son’s failure to pursue Diana, but states that she will return to the Phantom’s jungle, and to Kit, one day.thephantom199622_zps86cd1744

This movie captures the true spirit of the original Phantom comics. Everything is done right. The time period, the fighting styles, the characterisations, and the whole look of the film are perfect. If you have ever read a Phantom comic and enjoyed it, then see this movie and you’ll not be disappointed.

REVIEW: TEEN TITANS: TROUBLE IN TOKYO

CAST (VOICES)

Scott Menville (Full House)
Hynden Walch (Justice League War)
Khary Payton (The Walking Dead)
Tara Strong (Batman: The Killing Joke)
Greg Cipes (Anger Management)
Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (Mortal Kombat)
Keone Young (Men In Black 3)
Robert Ito (Black Sunday)

7c729ccb6000d2c5a180d8a53eb014b2Jump City is attacked by a Japanese ninja called Saico-Tek. The Teen Titans manage to capture him, having their tower damaged in the process. Under interrogation, Saico-Tek reveals the identity of the one who sent him – Brushogun – then he ruptures the room’s fire extinguisher system and mysteriously vanishes. Subsequently, the Titans head to Tokyo, Japan, to search for his master. Upon arriving Tokyo, after overcoming the language barrier (Starfire kisses a Japanese boy and learns how to speak Japanese, much to Robin’s shock and jealousy) and fighting a Gorgo-like giant reptile, the Titans meet Tokyo’s own supernatural defense force – the Tokyo Troopers – led by Commander Uehara Daizo. He shows the Titans around the Tokyo Troopers headquarters, and when Robin questions him on Brushogun, Daizo claims that Brushogun is nothing more than an urban legend.cbr-thorlokibloodbrothersclip118-1024x577Left with no villains to pursue, the Titans can do nothing else than to enjoy Tokyo as tourists. Beast Boy follows a girl around and is eventually lured to a karaoke bar, while Cyborg goes to an “all-you-can-eat” restaurant. Raven searches for book stores to read and incidentally finds a book describing the origins of Brushogun. Robin and Starfire explore Tokyo, then while sitting on Tokyo Tower they finally start to express their feelings for each other. They are about to share a kiss together, when suddenly Robin starts to focus on Brushogun again, and tells Starfire that they are heroes and can’t be anything more. Upset, Starfire flies away with tears in her eyes.Investigating alone, Robin is attacked once again by Saico-Tek and they get into a violent fight, which ends with Robin pummeling the ninja into the ground. When Saico-Tek does not rise, the crowd watching believes Robin has killed him. Despite his protestations of innocence, Robin is apprehended by Daizo. Elsewhere, Beast Boy and Cyborg are being chased by Beast Boy’s fangirls from the karaoke bar (because they’re infatuated with his performance) and the chefs from the restaurant (because Cyborg’s bottomless appetite aroused their ire). Starfire, alone by herself, when a little girl manages to help her overcome her depression as she finally realizes that Robin does in fact have feelings for her.thor_loki_bloodbrothers_preview_01

The Mayor of Tokyo announces Robin’s arrest and orders that the other Teen Titans must either turn themselves in or leave Tokyo at once. Starfire calls the other Titans for emergency. They are about to regroup when Brushogun sends out his minions to destroy each of the Titans. Cyborg is beset by a giant yellow robot who keeps trying to eat him. Beast Boy is attacked by a pink cat girl who turns out to be the girl he was following earlier. Raven is pursued by a ghostly figure in a graveyard, and Starfire is assailed by a small blue robot boy in the sky. Robin is transferred, but during the ride a slip of paper bearing the name “Brushogun” fits into the armored car carrying him and explodes, freeing him. Now on the run, Robin co-opts the identity of a Shinjuku mugger to collect information that Brushogun is in fact real. He is eventually found by the Tokyo Troopers, which leads to a car chase. Robin is surrounded front to back when Starfire comes to his rescue. Starfire takes Robin to a shrine hideout, where they try to kiss again when suddenly Cyborg, Raven, and Beast Boy, who have come back safely, barge in on them.thor_loki_bloodbrothers_preview_03

As Raven relates from the book she found, Brushogun was an artist who dreamed of bringing his beloved drawings to life using Japanese dark magic. The spell ultimately turned against the young artist, and he was transformed into Tokyo’s first super villain, Brushogun, a being of paper and ink – capable to bring any creation he could imagine to life – until he suddenly disappeared. With this knowledge, Robin deduces Brushogun’s hideout: the comic book publishing factory that they encountered earlier in the film. Breaking in, the Titans discover the withered form of Brushogun, trap-wired into a cursed printing press that taps into his powers to create the enemies the Titans have faced. He reveals that he had sent the first Saico-Tek to the Titans to lure them to Tokyo in order to stop the real culprit who had enslaved him: Daizo himself. Having used Brushogun’s power to create both his Tokyo Troopers and the monsters that they captured in order to gain a reputation as a hero.

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A battle ensues, culminating in Robin facing Daizo. With no options of escape left, Daizo hurls himself from a catwalk into the ink reservoir of the press, taking control of Brushogun’s magic and transforming himself into a giant, hulking mass of ink and machinery, with Brushogun at the center. As the other Titans battle the creatures Daizo hurls at them, Robin frees Brushogun. As the old man peacefully fades away in his arms into the afterlife, his powers disappear and Daizo is left defeated and exposed. With the battle concluded, Robin tries to explain his true feelings for Starfire, but getting the message, she silences him. The two romantically share their first real kiss as the other three Titans look on, with Cyborg stating, “Well, it’s about time”. Later on, with Robin’s name cleared, the Titans are awarded medals of honor by the mayor for their actions of unlocking the truth, and the inhabitants of Tokyo welcome their new heroes. Robin and Starfire are seen as a romantic couple, Cyborg earns his own “all-you-can-eat” meal, Beast Boy remains popular among the girls from the karaoke bar, and Raven has been made a mascot for Japanese confections. Robin remarks that even superheroes need a vacation once in a while, to which Beast Boy declares that he wants to go to Mexico on their next vacation. This prompts Raven to slap him on the back of the head (albeit offscreen).The end credits roll as each of the Titans sing their theme song.7ac3d0b87cd0f6efe59723f44ab2d202

This film is more than just a longer version of an episode. The plot is much more complex and thematic than you would find on television. The art is beautiful; the Tokyo backdrops are particularly pretty. This is a magnificent addition to the ‘Teen Titans’ franchise, and will definitely not disappoint fans of the series.

REVIEW: MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA

CAST

Zhang Ziyi (House of Flying Daggers)
Ken Watanabe (Batman Begins)
Michelle Yeoh (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon)
Gong Li (Hannibal Rising)
Samantha Futerman (21 & Over)
Mako (Conan The Barbarian)
Elizabeth Sung (Death Ring)
Kaori Momoi (Ghost In The Shell)
Ted Levine (The Silence of The Lambs)
Karl Yuen (Arrow)
Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (Showdown In Little Tokyo)
Minae Noji  (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Julia Ling (Chuck)

Chiyo Sakamoto (Suzuka Ohgo), a young girl from a poverty stricken fishing village, is sold along with her older sister Satsu (Samantha Futerman) into a life of servitude by her aging father (Mako). Chiyo is taken in by Mrs. Kayoko Nitta (Kaori Momoi), the Mother (proprietress) of a geisha house in Gion, one of the most prominent geisha districts in Kyoto, whereas Satsu is sold to a prostitution brothel. At the okiya, Chiyo meets another young girl named Pumpkin (Zoe Weizenbaum), the cranky Granny (Kotoko Kawamura), and the okiya’s only working geisha, Hatsumomo (Gong Li) who is famous for her breathtaking beauty. Chiyo soon discovers Hatsumomo is secretly a cruel and jealous woman that views Chiyo as a potential rival due to her striking bluish-gray eyes along with being a change in Mother’s future financial dependence. Hatsumomo then goes out of her way to deliberately make Chiyo’s new life miserable by having her take the blame for everything and intentionally withholding information to her sister’s whereabouts in the pleasure district. However, Auntie (Tsai Chin) is aware of this and warns Chiyo against trusting and angering Hatsumomo, given her history with the ill-manner geisha.Chiyo tracks down Satsu and makes plans to run away together. However, upon returning to the okiya she discovers Hatsumomo with her boyfriend, Koichi (Karl Yune), which is against the rules of the Geisha lifestyle. When they are caught, Hatsumomo attempts to twist the situation by accusing Chiyo of stealing. Chiyo denies this and informs Mother of what she saw in the shed. As a result, everyone is barred from leaving the okiya at night except to attend work engagements and this further increases Hatsumomo’s anger towards Chiyo. On the night of their planned escape, Chiyo attempts to sneak out but falls off the rooftop and is seriously injured. As punishment for dishonoring the okiya, Mother tells Chiyo that she won’t invest any more money in her geisha training. She also informs Chiyo that both her parents (Mako and Elizabeth Sung) are dead. Chiyo misses her chance to flee and never sees Satsu again. She is also demoted from geisha training to working as a slave to pay off her increasing debts to Mother.One day, while crying on a riverbank, Chiyo is noticed by the Chairman (Ken Watanabe) and his geisha companions. He buys her a shaved ice dessert and gives her his handkerchief with some money in it. Inspired by his act of kindness, Chiyo resolves to become a geisha so that she may one day become a part of the Chairman’s life.Several years later, Pumpkin (Youki Kudoh) has begun her training as a maiko under Hatsumomo’s tutelage and Chiyo (Zhang Ziyi) is envious of it as she remains a maid under Mother. She is unexpectedly taken under the wing of Mameha (Michelle Yeoh), one of Gion’s most successful geisha and long time rival of Hatsumomo’s. Although initially reluctant, Mother is persuaded by Mameha to allow Chiyo to train as a geisha. Under Mameha’s tutelage, Chiyo becomes a maiko and takes the name of Sayuri. She grows in popularity and Hatsumomo grows desperate that she tries to ruin Sayuri’s reputation. Predicting this, Mamaeha takes her to a sumo wrestling match where Sayuri reintroduced to the Chairman, who seems unaware of her previous identity as Chiyo, as well as his business associate Nobu Toshikazu (Kōji Yakusho), who takes a liking to her and of whom Hatsumomo finds repulsive. Meanwhile, Mameha orchestrates a bidding war for Sayuri’s mizuage between two men: Nobu and Dr. Crab (Randall Duk Kim), which will make her a full geisha. Upon learning what Mameha has planned, Hatsumomo spreads cruel rumors that Sayuri had been deflowered to Dr. Crab. However, Sayuri is named the lead dancer for a popular performance, which angers Hatsumomo as she was hoping for Pumpkin to be named the lead.At the performance, she attracts the attention of many men, including the Baron (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa) (Mameha’s danna), with her performance. When Dr. Crab congratulates Sayuri, she secretly convinces him to listen to a different opinion before taking the word of someone who lies. The Baron invites Sayuri to his estate for a sakura-viewing party, which Mameha is reluctant to let Sayuri attend but lets her go anyway. When the Baron presents a kimono to Sayuri in private at the party, he undresses her against her will in order to “take a look”, but does not go any further.Sayuri’s mizuage is won with a record-breaking bid of fifteen thousand yen. Mother, seeing Sayuri as a financial asset, names her as her adopted daughter and heiress to the okiya. This crushes Pumpkin, who was hoping that she would get adopted so she could have security in her old age, and enrages Hatsumomo. She is then told by Mother that she must give up her spacious room to Sayuri, which further outrages Hatsumomo who tried to remind her of her previous financial contribution. Mameha later tells Sayuri that the bid had ended up a contest between Dr. Crab and the Baron, Nobu having refused to partake in the bidding because it was against his principles. Mameha let it go to Dr. Crab because of her romantic feelings for the Baron, despite his bid being even higher. When returning home from the mizuage ceremony, Sayuri finds a drunken Hatsumomo in her room, where she has found the Chairman’s handkerchief. A fight ensues, during which a gas lantern is knocked over and ignites a fire and the okiya is partially destroyed by the flames. Hatsumomo is then kicked out of the okiya by Mother, her belongings given to Sayuri, and she is banished from Gion with her fate left unknown.Sayuri’s successful career is cut short by the outbreak of World War II. Sayuri and Mameha are separated, with Sayuri going to the hills to work for a kimono maker, an old friend of Nobu’s and Mameha going to a physician, the Chairman’s old friend. After the war, Sayuri is reunited with Nobu who needs her help with impressing an American Colonel (Ted Levine) who has the power to approve funding for the Chairman’s firm. Sayuri reunites with Mameha, who now makes a living renting rooms for the poor. Although she is reluctant to return to the geisha lifestyle after what she’s been through, she agrees to help impress Derricks. Sayuri is reacquainted with Pumpkin, who is now a flirty escort. Sayuri goes on a trip with Nobu, the Chairman, Mameha, Pumpkin, and the Americans to the Amami Islands.At Amami, the Colonel propositions Sayuri, but is rejected. Nobu witnesses the incident and confronts Sayuri. He finally confesses his feelings, telling her that he wants to become her danna. Knowing that entering into a relationship with Nobu will destroy any chance of her being with the Chairman, Sayuri is distraught and devises a plan. Mameha catches on to it and warns her against it because of the kindness Nobu shown her. She wants Sayuri to accept him as her danna and not end up like Hatsumomo did. She refuses and enlists Pumpkin’s help to have Nobu catch her seemingly being intimate with the Colonel. However, because of her secret resentment of Sayuri, Pumpkin brings the Chairman instead, having full knowledge of Sayuri’s feelings towards him. When Sayuri confronts her, Pumpkin coldly tells her that she did a lot of favors for her in the past and she stole her chances of being adopted by Mother. She hoped by having the Chairman see her with Derricks, he would be disgusted by Sayuri’s behavior and she would have to accept Nobu as her danna.A few days later, after returning to Gion, Sayuri receives a call to go to the teahouse. Sayuri expects to see Nobu, but instead the Chairman comes and finally reveals to her that he has known all along that she was the girl at the riverbank. He tells her that he had told Nobu about the affair after confronting Pumpkin for her behavior, effectively destroying Nobu’s affections for Sayuri and his desire to be her danna. He also reveals that he was responsible for sending Mameha to her so that she could fulfill her dreams of becoming a geisha. Sayuri finally reveals her love to the Chairman, and the film ends with their loving embrace and kiss and a stroll through the garden.

Memoirs of a Geisha does not submit all its secrets on first viewing; there are many layers of meaning and mystery to be seen again and again.