“Before We Vanish” (2017, 2 hours and 9 minutes), directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa, is now playing at the Regal LA Live Stadium 14, 1000 W. Olympic Blvd. in Los Angeles.
Known in Japan as “Sanpo Suru Shinryakusha,” the film is co-written by Kurosawa (“Tokyo Sonata,” “Pulse,” “The Cure”) and Sachiko Tanaka, based on a play by Tomohiro Maekawa.
Illustrator Narumi (Masami Nagasawa, nominee for Japan Academy Prize for best actress in a lead role) finds that her estranged husband Shinji (Ryuhei Matsuda) is a changed person with little recollection of the past and lacking basic social skills. To Narumi this presents a chance for them to start over, despite a weird incident in which Shinji gives her sister Asumi (Atsuko Maeda) a mini-breakdown just by poking her with his finger.
Meanwhile, Akira (Yuri Tsunematsu), a teenage schoolgirl living in a quiet suburb, vanishes after viciously slaughtering her entire family. A journalist named Sakurai (Hiroki Hasegawa) comes across the scene and is approached by a young man named Amano (Mahiro Takasugi), who wants to team up to search for Akira.
Sakurai agrees, but doesn’t realize that Amano is one of three aliens (along with Akira and Shinji) who have traveled to Earth in preparation for a mass invasion, during which the aliens will take possession of human bodies.
In Japanese with English subtitles. Showtimes: 12, 3:15, 6:30 and 9:45 p.m. through Wednesday, Feb. 7, with 11:40 p.m. screenings on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 2 and 3. Tickets are $13 for seniors and military (daily) and students (Monday through Thursday); $17 general (Monday through Thursday); $17.50 general (Friday through Sunday); $14 for matinees (weekdays before 5:30 p.m., weekends before 2 p.m.). For more information, call (213) 763-6071 or visit www.lalive.com/movies.