‘Tampopo’ Gets a Delicious 4K Restoration

GameStop, Inc.

Tampopo

Nowadays, at least in the humble community of Southern California, there’s a noodle house on practically every corner. Ramen isn’t simply a noodle dish purchased at the supermarket by bachelors and starving students, it’s now widely seen as a delicacy with specialty shops crafting these soups with care. It is hard to imagine that the story of a little noodle house in Japan could be the inspiration for a movie and even harder to believe that it’s the inspiration for one of the most unique pieces of cinema ever to emerge from Japan, but Jûzô Itami’s Tampopo is all of those things. Tampopo is a vibrant, quirky piece of cinema that cooks up its delicious broth with tales of food and love intertwined with some madcap humor. Now Tampopo is the subject of a gorgeous 4K restoration from Janus Films and the Criterion Collection. While you certainly don’t want to miss the restoration of Tampopo, you certainly don’t want to see it on an empty stomach.

The central story of Jûzô Itami’s film centers round a ramen shop run by Tampopo (Nobuko Miyamoto), a single mother trying her best to run her modest noodle house. When two truckers, Gorô (Tsutomu Yamazaki) and Gun (Ken Watanabe), stop in for a meal on a rainy night, they’re unmoved by the ramen served by the struggling restauranteur. Gorô takes a liking to Tampopo and even takes up fisticuffs to defend her honor from the drunken contractor Pisuken (Rikiya Yasuoka), and later decides to help her turn her restaurant into a premiere ramen house. Along with Gun, Gorô assembles a team that will guide Tampopo into a master of noodle making, including the noodle-making master (Yoshi Katô), Shôhei (Kinzô Sakura), a chef currently working as a chauffeur, and even Pisuken. Before Tampopo can try to win over the public and her ruthless competitors, she must first prove her ramen to the team assembled to help her, and that’s not going to be easy.

But Tampopo doesn’t just follow its eponymous character and her struggles to master her craft. The film also goes off on amusing tangents starting with its opening scene where the Man in White Suit (Kôji Yakusho), as he’s known, breaks the fourth wall and talks to the audience about food, the movies, life and death – giving the audience a little appetizer as to all the themes the film will cover. The Man in White Suit and his mistress (Fukumi Kuroda) are the only characters that appear more than once, often blending sexuality with their consumption of various delicacies.

Among the more amusing tangents that Itami takes with his film includes a business lunch where each member the table orders the exact same thing with the lone exception of the group’s youngest member, whose deviation is galling break from Japanese business tradition. The young man ignores the under the table kicks from his superior as he orders, and when he’s finished the table is left with nothing but red faces. Another absurd little segment involves an elderly woman squashing various pieces of food across the aisles of a supermarket and the shopkeeper chasing her in vain to stop the damaging of his merchandise. The oddest of all the segments and the most darkly comedic involves an ailing wife, his family and doctor at her bedside as she lay on the verge of death. But the matriarch rises at the behest of her husband to cook dinner. Like a zombie chef, she prepares a meal for her family before dropping lifelessly to the ground. The family mourns and weeps over their recently departed mother while the father commands that the children enjoy the final meal she ever cooked.

As much as Tampopo is about life and love, with food operating as a universal connector between these two, it’s also as much about the movies. In its own special way, Tampopo is a western about ramen. Gorô and Gun ride into town, the former wearing a hat very similar to a cowboy hat. He rolls in a stranger and fights a brute before sticking around to make things right in his eyes. Upon completion, the hero rides off into the sunset. The only key difference being that Gorô isn’t training town folk to fight a nefarious robber baron, instead he’s helping someone tap into their palate as a means to gain self-sufficiency. But Gorô isn’t the Man with No Name. He doesn’t ride alone, and he relies on the assistance of numerous people to carry out his chivalrous mission.

Tampopo is as vibrant and delicious as it was 30 years ago when it debuted. Jûzô Itami’s film is given a lush restoration that brings its colors popping off the screen and never allows the eccentric personality of the movie to feel the least bit watered down. If there’s a gripe to be had about Tampopo, and a minor one at that, it would be that the sound of people slurping noodles might get a bit tiresome. This is a movie that is brimming with passion for life, love, movies, and food. It’s simply infectious, like that aroma that fills a home when a meal in on the verge of completion. Tampopo whets your appetite and leaves you hungry for more when it’s all over.

Tampopo opens October 28th at the Nuart Theater in Los Angeles and more theaters in following weeks.

Tampopo
  • Overall Score
5

Summary

A classic of Japanese cinema, Tampopo is an eccentric movie with a vibrant and unique construction that centers on the story of an underdog noodle house with side dishes that focus on life, death, love, movies, and food.

Anytime Costumes

Leave a Reply

Animation/Anime Interviews Animation/Anime News Animation/Anime Reviews Film/TV Interviews Film/TV News Film/TV Review
Sheep and Wolves: Pig Deal is Screening at Catalina Film Festival

Originally a Russian language animated feature and a sequel to the...

Showrunners Moshe Zonder & Dana Eden Discuss Tehran on Apple TV+

Showrunners Moshe Zonder (Fauda, Loners) & Dana Eden  (Yom Haem, Magpie)...

‘Sweet Pain’ Picks Up Distribution – Trailer

Sweetwater Pictures, Aved Productions and Bruise Productions are pleased to announce...

Event News Event Reviews
Martin Kove to be Honored at Catalina Island Film Festival

Great Scott! It’s Barry Bostwick shows Martin Kove no mercy in...

New Mutants Drive In
The New Mutants Drive In @ The Rose Bowl

The New Mutants Drive In at The Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California...

Ruth Connell of Supernatural Talks to us About Her Virutual Q&A This Weekend

Scottish born actress, Ruth Connell who played Rowena MacLeod on the...

Enabled Gaming Gaming News Gaming Reviews
8.5/10
Marvel United Review – Marvel Minis Pack Major Fun

Marvel United Review – The partnership of Marvel, CMON Games, and...

Skapp
Skapp Turns Your Phone into a Skateboard

Skapp is a skateboard app that turns your phone into a...

TMNT: Mutant Madness
TMNT: Mutant Madness is Available Now!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT): Mutant Madness is available now on iOS...

Comic Creator Interviews Comic/Graphic Novel News Comic/Graphic Novel Reviews Manga News Manga Reviews Novel/Novella Author Interviews Novel/Novella News Novel/Novella Reviews
Leadership Lessons From the Cockpit
Commander Guy Snodgrass Discusses His New Book ‘Topgun’s Top 10: Leadership Lessons From the Cockpit’

Flying ace and Topgun pilot, instructor and all around man’s man,...

IDW Names New Publisher & Announces Executive Promotions

From IDW Publishing – San Diego / Los Angeles, CA (September...

John Ridley’s Batman Miniseries

DC confirms John Ridley’s Batman Miniseries coming January 2021 featuring art...

Apparel/Personal Maintenance News Apparel/Personal Maintenance Reviews Entertainment Product News Entertainment Product Reviews Food/Beverage Reviews Hardware News Hardware Reviews Mystery Box News Mystery Box Reviews
Wireless Charging Grip
Powercast Wireless Charging Grip for Joy-Cons

Powercast releases over-the-air Wireless Charging Grip for Nintendo Joy-Con Controllers on Amazon...

NCOSE
NCOSE Interview – How to Stop Child Grooming?

How to stop grooming in toys? NCOSE Interview with Jake Roberson,...

Legends Ultimate Arcade
Legends Ultimate Arcade Machine is Back!

The Legends Ultimate Arcade Machine is back with wider availability and...

Automotives Football MMA, Kick Boxing & Boxing Professional Wrestling
Baseball Bugs Bunny
Baseball Bugs Bunny Giveaway!

Good afternoon Nation! In celebration of the 80th Anniversary of Bugs...

Baseball Bugs Bunny
S. Preston Discusses His Minimalist Baseball Bugs MLB Artwork

S. Preston, a nationally known illustrator, is melding sports and classic...

Ric Flair Talks Some Career Highlights, Charlotte’s Recovery and Celebrity Slots

Wooo, you have no idea how eager I was to conduct...

Adult Continuity Comics on the Can Cultural Junk Drawer Future Comic Rock Stars Is That Racist? Revisiting the Reviled THAT'S NOT ROTTEN! The B-Reel The Cantina Scene This Week in Crowdfunding What the HELL Did I just...?
Fantoy Comics Presents: Harry Potter and Endgame (kinda)

Something strange may be going on at the Wizarding school.

Fantoy Comics Presents: Harry Potter and New Horizons – Endgame??

The portal was left unguarded for an hour and a half!...

Adult Continuity Presents Issue #22 This ain’t Fallout XXX

Now this could be a commentary about the travel time experienced...

Gaming Uncensored Toon-In-Talk
Episode 38: Hamid Rahmanian

Join Whitney Grace as she speaks with artist Hamid Rahmanian, who...

No Preview
Toon-In Talk Episode 37: Niki Smith

Whitney Grace interviews graphic novel writer and artist Niki Smith about...

Toon-In Talk Episode 36: Rob Paulsen

Rob Paulsen takes some time from his busy voice acting schedule...

Music Interviews Music News Music Reviews
Noelle Scaggs of Fitz and the Tantrums Talks ‘Concerts in Your Car’

Performing on Saturday, August 29, 2020 at the Ventura County Fairgrounds,...

Persian Singer and International Sensation Shab is ready to take on the American Music Scene

This interview was very personal to me as Shab has a...

New Single ‘Aqua’ from ‘The SpongeBob Move: Sponge On the Run Debuts Today!

From Paramount Animation – LOS ANGELES, CA (July 9th, 2020) –...