Review: ‘Check It Out, Yo!’

Spunky performances, funky music and strong emotional chords combine in teen pic "Check It Out, Yo!" The story of three guys and a gal forming a rock band breezes along confidently making the most of its seaside Okinawa locale.

Spunky performances, funky music and strong emotional chords combine in teen pic “Check It Out, Yo!” The story of three guys and a gal forming a rock band breezes along confidently making the most of its seaside Okinawa locale. Helmer Rieko Myamoto’s debut notched up a tuneful $9 million locally in fall release but faces narrow marketing opportunities as a foreign language teen film. Nonetheless, fests with the right slots should check it out.

Uncool high schoolers Toru (Hayato Ichihara) and his two buddies decide rock stardom is the answer to their problems. However, Toru has an ulterior motive, to impress Nagisa (Ayumi Ito), a 25-year-old beauty. But, nice girl Yui (Mao Inoue) is secretly in love with Toru. Neatly embroidered with observations of young love’s awkward progress, film bursts with energy and good humor as the boys overcome parental disapproval and a disastrous debut to find their voice as a hip-hop act. Terrific soundtrack by fusion popsters Orange Range meshes delightfully with the colorful visual scheme and Miyamoto’s spot-on handling of bright young performers. Rest of tech work is just as polished.

Check It Out, Yo!

Japan

Production

A Toho release (in Japan) of a Toho, Fuji TV Network and S.D.P. production. (International sales: Pony Canyon, Tokyo.) Produced by Toru Ota. Executive producer, Chihiro Kameyama. Directed by Rieko Miyamoto. Screenplay, Takehiko Hata.

Crew

Camera (color), Kozo Shibasaki; editor, Yoshifumi Fukasawa; music, Orange Range; art director, Yasuyo Kawamura. Reviewed at Hawaii Film Festival (Eastern Showcase), Oct. 23, 2006. Running time: 117 MIN.

With

Hayato Ichihara, Mao Inoue, Tasuku Emoto, Yuta Hiraoka, Tetsuji Tamayama, Ayumi Ito, Konishiki.
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