All of the following are linked to Japan in one way or another, and look damn good – can’t wait.
The most obvious one is Okuribito, or Departures – this is the Oscar winner for Best Foreign Film this year, and looks gorgeous. It will probably be as slow as any Japanese drama is, but I guess that’s the genre conventions.
The next is Shinjuku Incident, Jackie Chan’s new film about a clash of triads and yakuza in Tokyo. This looks like your more standard action fare, and obviously it’s Jackie. How could that not be awesome?
The third is Blood – The Last Vampire, another one of the current trend to remake anime in Hollywood (Akira, Ghost in the Shell, Dragonball, and Astroboy are all scheduled or coming out this year). Blood is probably the most visceral of the lot so far, and is probably the one I would’ve picked for a movie conversion first.
Finally, we have a tenuous connection of a Japanese actor (Rinko Kikuchi, of Babel fame) in The Brothers Bloom, which looks hilarious and awesome. Directed by the same guy who did Brick, starring Adrian Brody and Rachel Wiesz, this looks like possibly a sleeper hit or unexpected blockbuster, depending on how much it’s pushed by the studio.