River (2023)
February 20, 2024 7:00 AM - Subscribe

[TRAILER] Mikoto (Riko Fujitani), a waitress at a Japanese Inn, is called back to work while standing outside along the Kibune River. Two minutes later, she finds herself in the same position facing the river. The clerk, waitresses, chefs, and guests all begin to feel something strange. Every 2 minutes, time rewinds and everyone returns to where they were, though their memories continue. Some want to get out of the loop, others want to stay, yet they all have issues they need to solve. Director Junta Yamaguchi and writer Makoto Ueda (who last paired on the positively delightful Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes) return with another two minute time loop comedy.

Also starring Manami Honjô, Gôta Ishida, Yoshimasa Kondô, Shiori Kubo, Masahiro Kuroki, Kohei Morooka, Munenori Nagano, Haruki Nakagawa, Yoshifumi Sakai, Saori, Masashi Suwa, Yûki Torigoe, Kazunari Tosa.

Directed and edited by Junta Yamaguchi. Written by Makoto Ueda. Produced by Takahiro Otsuki. Cinematography by Kazunari Kawagoe.

100% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.

Available for digital rental or purchase in the United States. JustWatch listing.
posted by DirtyOldTown (9 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Bullet points to know, without spoilers, since this is the top of the page and this one isn't well-known:
  1. The version we bought on Amazon has its subtitles go out of sync about halfway through and it's kind of a bummer. Maybe go with Apple?
  2. This is VERY gentle and light. The rating that popped up in the corner as we hit play was "7+"! There are a few moments of implied offscreen violence (including two suicides) but the film skates past them fast and remains very light.
  3. Although this is also a "two minute time loop" movie, this is emphatically not the same story/premise as Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes. The previous film's "time loop" was really about a TV that could see two minutes into the future. This is about the small main street in a Kyoto province town whose residents/guests all actually jump backward in time on a loop. It's not a remake. More like they decided to build an entirely new premise out of the same tagline.
  4. Other big differences: this is not presented as a "single shot." There is a (very) modest budget. Still not an FX blockbuster, but it isn't shot on iPhone either.
  5. Basically the entire cast of Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes returns in new roles.
  6. And finally, although this has (and deserves) a 100% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, I would like to remind you that this does not necessarily mean the critical consensus is that this is a 10/10 masterpiece. Rather, this is one of the cases where basically all of the reviews on RT agree that a film some degree of good.

posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:11 AM on February 20 [2 favorites]

I liked the first Two minutes, and just found a free copy of this online, so I’ll be watching it tonight. Thank you.
posted by growabrain at 8:07 AM on February 20

I really liked this, having not seen the earlier movie. It's very sweet and has a kind of homemade feeling, along with a healthy helping of classic Japanese themes about work and the role of individual goals in society. The Vaseline-lens cinematography bugged me at first, but it works for the feeling of the film and I grew to enjoy it. Highlights for me were the protagonist's date and the sweded-out practical effects in the last act when we get a sort of explanation of why all this is happening
posted by whir at 10:19 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]

BTW, I contacted Amazon about the out of sync subs. They tried to tell me "There was an error in the purchase" as if that makes any sense for streaming content. They canceled and refunded my original purchase, then had me try again on a new device. The subs are still out of sync. The error seems to be with the master file at Amazon.

posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:42 AM on February 21 [4 favorites]

There is a Terror Vision Blu Ray available for pre-order. I went ahead and ordered it.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:21 AM on February 21 [2 favorites]

Thanks for tip! I originally found out about Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes from you here, and loved it. I didn't think to see what else the director had been up to in the meantime.

This was also very charming. I downloaded a copy and, while my subtitles were in sync, they were clearly not professional. Lots of weird grammar and, some translated words were clearly incorrect, but everyone was still understandable. I loved how it moves from different styles and feelings to seemingly end on a "and everyone learned a lesson" note, only to have a very cute literal explanation. So light and fluffy in all the best ways.

I found it weird that she paused and took her sweet time going up the stairs every time, even when in a hurry, and it took me three loops to realize I'm a fool and she was taking off her sandals and had limited motion in her kimono.
posted by mrphancy at 10:59 AM on February 22 [1 favorite]

Found this film via DirtyOldTown's comment in the weekly free thread and watched it with my spouse. WE LOVED IT. So sweet and smart! Thank you so much for the recommendation!
posted by brainwane at 2:14 PM on February 22 [3 favorites]

FYI, for the, ahem, buccaneer-types, "River - Ribâ nagarenaide yo [2023 - Japan] sci fi" out on the high seas has accurately translated and synced subtitles.
posted by mrphancy at 5:22 PM on February 22 [2 favorites]

Every cut is a time skip. It's so fun! I wonder if they are going to make a third two minute time travel movie. I hope they do, but also I think I'm on board for anything else this team does.
posted by surlyben at 2:03 PM on March 15

« Older Book: Fluke: Or, I Know Why th...   |  Book: Wintersmith... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments