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Hiroyuki Sanada

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  • TV Picks: 'Helix,' 'Shakespeare,' 'Parks and Rec,' 'Greenville'

    TV Picks: 'Helix,' 'Shakespeare,' 'Parks and Rec,' 'Greenville'
    "Helix" (Syfy, Fridays). Ronald D. Moore, who rebooted "Battlestar Galactica" and brought the highland romantic fantasy "Outlander" to the TV screen, is an executive producer of and contributing writer to this well-wrought sci-fi suspense serial, now in its second season. It's what might be called variously derivative -- a scrap-yard machine whose component parts have included an isolated Arctic setting, an out-of-control super-virus, quasi-zombies, a shadowy corporate cabal and dangerous immortals. You know the drill. But the package is classy, even classical; the performances are good; and the attitude is just perverse enough for the show to be genuinely surprising and even shocking at times. This year, the aforementioned arctic laboratory having gone up in flames, the setting has shifted to a mysterious island, which, though non-tropical, brings with it thoughts of "Lost" -- an impression strengthened by the series' newly introduced dual timelines (the current season takes place now and 30 years from now), cult in a compound, things that go bump in the woods and the presence of Hiroyuki Sanada (temple master Dogen in "Lost" season 6). But unlike "Lost," it does not seem to be making itself up as it goes along, and though bits and pieces are held back for dramatic mystification and delayed gratification, the long arc, even from here, feels structurally sound and essentially straightforward. (The creative team includes "The Middleman" man -- and "Lost" writer-producer -- Javier Grillo-Marxuach, who has thought deeply about these things: See his much-circulated essay on "operational themes.") Once again, the CDC is on the case -- new season, new virus -- although former team leader Billy Campbell is pursuing a dark agenda of his own. (He knows things, presumably horrible things.) Icky, loopy fun.
  • Review: 'The Railway Man' ★★ 1/2

    Review: 'The Railway Man' ★&#9733 1/2
    The concept of manly grief leads into so many dark areas and cultural expectations — questions about how men are expected to bury their trauma long after the traumatizing event. Or else, how men are expected to examine it, reckon with it...

    Review: 'The Railway Man' deftly deals with war's emotional trauma

     Review: 'The Railway Man' deftly deals with war's emotional trauma
    An alternately delicate and brutal retelling of the memoir by former World War II British Army officer Eric Lomax, "The Railway Man" is an impressively crafted, skillfully acted, highly absorbing journey into a dark corner of world history. Colin...

    Nicole Kidman, Hiroyuki Sanada on History, Reconciliation at 'The Railway Man' Screening

    Nicole Kidman and Hiroyki Sanada joined producer Chris Brown for an intimate screening of "The Railway Man" Tuesday evening at the Soho House West Hollywood. While a shy Kidman kept her comments brief and simply thanked the audience for coming, she set...

    Maddison Brown to Co-Star With Nicole Kidman in 'Strangerland'

    Newcomer Maddison Brown has landed one of the lead roles opposite Nicole Kidman and Hugo Weaving in the drama "Strangerland." The Kim Farrant-directed also features Joseph Fiennes. Story follows a couple, played by Kidman and Fiennes, whose lives...