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Monday, June 29, 2009 at 6:11 PM |  

Japan's answer to The Mighty Ducks, Smilers (a.k.a Smile - Seiya no Kiseki) is the second feature film from actor-turned-director Jinnai Takanori. Children's ice hockey and rock 'n' roll might not have too much in common, but Smilers is infused with the same misfit humor, zero-to-hero cheer, and universal appeal as Jinnai's previous film Rockers. Though hockey can't compare to baseball and soccer in popularity in Japan, the sport has found its dedicated fans, none the least Jinnai who spent eight years working on Smilers, from writing the story to eventually directing the film. Rising star Moriyama Mirai (Crying Out Love, In the Center of the World) leads the cast, along with Kato Rosa (Night Time Picnic, Catch a Wave) and a winning team of young actors.


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