Monday, 8 July 2013

One Million Yen and the Nigamushi Woman (2008)

The Girl with the really bad name;

Life is all Rosie and peachy or something like that

One Million yen girl was not what I was expecting in context, one million sounds to be referring to someone with wealth but the film notes from the beginning that yen is a different currency and that it is not as much money as you is might expect. So the film is not about a rich girl; the genre of the film can be describe as comedy, drama where the female protagonist is on a journey of self discovery and is has Elements of a off beat romance which also part of the comedy elements. The film reminds me of The Wizard of Oz narrative except it is less fantastical and the Dorthy character keeps reminding people she has a criminal record. Suzuko is accused from the beginning of stealing one million yen but her character from the beginning of the film appears to be palsied and the accusation seems ludicrous but never-the-less she gains a reputation in her town. So her adventure begins; the one million yen becomes a symbol to her own journey because she feels portrayed by the people around and she then wants to search for whatever meaning she can find. There is a scene where a group of girls who have no real knowledge or past with Suzuko and slander her with second hand gossip which Suzuko does take laying down. Suzuko seems to be stuck with her label throughout the film;she  Consistently reminds people of her shady past and is wary of people deceiving her. The reason that the film is like The Wizard of Oz is because like Dorthy , Suzuko goes on a journey and discovers that the there is no place like home ironically or that she can't run away from her problems anyway.  The film can be described as ironic and contradicting at time; Suzuko appears to be a strong figure to her brother, others perceive her as a criminal when in fact she is a character who is to giving to other. in the end both Suzuko and her brother learn from each other to overcome their struggles that they have to face in their home town.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

X Game (2010)

The film with more layers than an onion, Where the Good Guys are the Bad Guys and the the Bad Guys are really the Good Guys:

Monkey see Monkey do "It's all just a X Game"

X game appears to have a similar theme to Battle Royale at first glance, X Games is not disappointing and it is surprising to find the lack of interest on the internet for the film because the eleventh girl is impressed by the   diverse imagination of the overall plot. The narrative was well thought out to the point of the ending was not predictable; indeed the plot resembled Battle Royale but at the same time it resembled Ringu and had a aura of horror vs thriller. the plot tried to take the prospective of Mitsuko or  Sadako and tried to explain the reasoning behind the antagonist character. where as the film starts off very vague/ general in explanation, the film unfolds spectacularly and the viewer is intrigued by the behavior of the supposed villainous character . The villainous character has clear mental issues that are revealed to be triggered by being abused by the character which the audience assume to be innocent people at the beginning of the film. the difference with Battle Royale and X game is that Mitsuko is demonized as a character but Rikako Myojin has a explanation towards her behavior which the audience can sympathies towards even if She is cruel in her methods. The film was commenting about human nature , bullying more than Battle Royale did. To explain further Hideaki Kokubo seems like a innocent character through out the film , who has simplify towards Ritako Myoijin character but  he turns out to be as guilty as all the other characters that she punishes along the way; Like Battle Royale all of the character turn against each other in the end but unlike Battle Royale the plot has more drive and unlikely plot turns which the viewer is surprised to discover that Hideaki Kokubo's girlfriend is the psychotic girl ; but never-the-less the viewer has an more interesting ride on the prospective of the twist and turns of good versus evil as the plot thinned to reveal that people are far more complicated than being one dimensional characters.

Battle Royale and Ringu will always remain classical influential film but X Games deserves to classed as a contravention film because it keeps the viewer intrigued. Symbolism or imagery at the beginning of the film that makes no sense eventually becomes clear to the audience; There where some unnecessary moment though, with the mount to flashbacks going on in the film it seamed a little unnecessary for Tadashi Ishimatsu to explain the plot to Hideaki Kokubo and the film was a little sarcastic so it was hard to take it seriously at times because of the over acting. it is clear that all of the other character that are being punished along side Hideaki Kokubo don't care about one another and are getting a thrill out of the whole situation like they are attending a S&M party but Hideadi Kokubo takes to each situation like the hero. basically one of the main differences difference between Battle Royale and X Games is; the the plot in Battle Royale is here is the Good guys and here are the bad guys so it would makes sense that the good guys should win buy if you read the novel or manga you know that the story is far more complicated. on the other hand each character in the X Game has there positive and negative characteristics revealed so it depends on the prospective of the viewer to decide the morality of the whole situation. The ending of the film was a good chose but still Hideaki Kokubo's character still remained on the fence and His characteristics can only be described as stupid or oblivious .

Sunday, 26 May 2013

GS Wonderland (2008)

Cross dressing like it's a Shakespeare play And music like the Beatles, 

what more can you ask for ?

Chiaki Kuriyama film have a subconscious expectation that Her character will die at some point in the film but GS wonderland had a interesting perspective of the music industry in  the 1960's. The appeal to the film at first glance is the glamorous life styles of bands in Japan in the 60's who happen to look like the Beatles and various other bands of the time and Chiaki Kuriyama cross dressing was a element that was amusing in it own way.The film is commenting on the struggles behind the glamour of the music industry and Miku Ohno (Chaiki Kuriyama) keeps becoming the main focus of the film because of the struggle in the music industry as a woman. The irony is that Miku Ohno is clearly a woman because even dressed as a man Chiaki Kuriyama is quite feminine but despite this the narrative demonstrate the alternative prospect of hardcore fans but raises many questions about femininity and masculinity. The advertising in the film from the photographs and the costumes to the vinyl-records where all thought out; What makes the film complete is the band rivalry which ends up being their own undoing. The costumes where impressive but at the same time because at times they where a little bit feminine which was pushing the concept of Miku's cross dressing skills in many different directions. The Boy's in Band are overwhelmed by the fame that they receive which is aimed at Chiaki Kuriyama's character, it becomes clear through out the film that the is popular because of Miku so when their secret is uncovered it is Miku is the one who benefits in the music industry in the long-term but the other member seem to love their passion for music when they have stardom. The film explores many issues of fame/ fortune that surround bands which includes the negative sides too and it also reflects on the the issue of women's rights of the time because Miku is desperate to make it big in the music industry so She is willing to do anything to achieve Her goal. Like Miku achieving Her solo career; this narrative turn is something that real Bands seem to do like Dianna Ross and the Supreme or Bob Marley and the Wailers. The interaction between Miku's and Her fans was hilarious, Miku's fans where overwhelming  and Miku's facial expression just made their reaction's even more comical but this fandom reflect on the fandom of the time ( bands like the Beatles) and even fandom to this present day.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Train Man: Densha Otoko (2005)

So.......Train man is your username ???

Train are Awesome :)

Train man (Takayuki Yamada, Gantz and Battle League Horumo) is a Nerd love story which from what was advertised involved a nerd call Train man who looks unconventional for a character; He has long hair and wears what can only can be described as train spotting clothing but the disappointing fact was within a short length of time the Train Man transformed His look to a more conventional appearance. Which the whole film was suppose to be looking beyond a persons appearance: The film is about the over whelming feeling of living in a big city and explores some of the diverse, crazy and wonderful characters who inhabit the city. Now there are Train in the film but from the title You would expect there to be more Trains involved in the plot sin-as-how Tokyo like any other city has lots of Trains and calling your self the train man is as useful someone trying to get drunk of coke-cola because anyone can be called the Train man. Despite the film being a romantic and despite being the hero that saves Hermes( Miki Nakatani, Ring And Memories of Matsuko) from the drunken passenger t the beginning of the film; The Train man is the weaker character and Hermes  almost becomes like a mothering figure toward the Train Man. Despite the Train Man's transformation, He still remains the unconventional character who relays upon other to approach Hermes but because of his lack of confidence , he is unaware that Hermes really likes hims and ends up failing epic-ally at everything He does because He is not being Himself. The film is ironically charming because despite The Train Man Transforming Himself to become more appealing to Hermes and appear more Socially acceptable; it becomes clear at the end that Hermes liked The Train Man from the beginning. Despite the ending being a classic happy ending , it still seems unexpected because the narrative doesn't seem to be pushed, the plot takes unexpected turns and the audience can see the Train man's struggle. The over plot seems realistic, The characters all have their imperfection like the Train man so the other Character relate to Him and in the end they learn from Him that Miracles can happen like a money tree or Miki Nakatani following a Nerd on a train. Happen's everyday :)

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Chasing world (2008)

The emptiest hospital in the whole world,

There is a whole lot of chasing and running in this film (ironic hey)

When the characters Tsubasa Sato is introduced , The Anime/ Manga Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle's is something that the name resembles which is ironic seen as how the narrative is essentially about the main character who transports into an alternative reality.The narrative drives Tsubasa to save the original world by saving the people from the alternative world but as the story progresses the original world seem less important to the narrative and Tsubasa seems to prefer the alternate reality where His sister is more active. In the original world, Tsubasa's sister is in hospital but there does'n appear to be any other patients in the ward that are seen and the doctor that is caring for His sister is so clearly a pervert that He may as well announce by wearing a signs around His neck because He is not being discreet about it. In both reality's you have the media which reflect on current event but both reality seem to be disinterested in sense to the strange evens that are occurring ; in the original reality you have mysterious deaths or suicide which there are no indication to investigations regard these events but that wouldn't follow the narrative. The narrative is not meant to be questioned like a dream within a dream ( inception) or playing a video game; the view understands that their are the heroes and villain's but there is no need to question the why and where's to the story-line in fact when the story is explained it make less and less have men who are dressed up as monsters, who are going around killing people for a game; there is a reporter who keeps turning up and she is more interested in capturing all the story rather than help the victims . Basically the narrative goes in loops and circles, it starts out looking like suicide circle vs fight club, then it turns into the matrix vs battle royale, or it could be described as being like spirited away vs the girl who leapt through time with some stars wars costumes added ( there where allot of concepts that didn't connect that where floating around).

 Things that where good about the film, where the fact that the end was only the beginning, you where left questioning if all of what happened was a dream or not because no of the reality's made sense after all. Tsubasa was shocked to hear his sister speak but though-out the film he is filled with a desire to hear his sister speak because he feels abandoned and it is almost like he has given up on the world around him so it would make sense for him to make a world up for himself to escape to (even if that world has monsters in it).   The film does what is says on the tin, The characters are chased from the beginning to the end of the film and they are hunted down by monsters but the meaning behind the film was a little lost. The second film doesn't have the original cast in it though, but the first film had some interesting costumes in it though and the monsters alone are a good enough reason to watch the film. even if they have brilliant hunting still until they face the main characters where upon they become defective. 

Monday, 8 April 2013

Kamui : The Lone Ninja (2009)

Tales of a Awesome:

There are of symbolism and pretty pictures

Kamui is a Ninja searching for freedom but the whole film is iron in it's approach, The film switches to Manga imagery from time to time and it has a similar atmosphere to Dororo (2007) . The characters in the film are constantly changing as the situations in the film progress, we see Kamui when he is training with Kashiwabara but we are not told how told He is, Never-the-less Kamui and Kashiwabara even from the beginning have a different ideals. The first half of the film there is the most Ninja action where Kamui strides from tree to tree in a Feline, Kamui is a character with a complicated past so he is always on the move and when He meets a family that He becomes attached to. Even then He cannot escape His past, Now the confusing thing was that people in the film did question the fact there was a old man drawing pictures all the time, Kamui didn't until the end because the old man also has been seen around the enemy. Fudo is a Ninja/ Pirate, He tricks Kamui into believing that He is on His side by asking Him to join His clan and then turning against Him at the last second by killing Kamui's friends. Gonbei constantly seems drunk or on some kind of substance in the story-line,  He and Ayu (Anna Tsuchiya) are not involved a lot in the narrative but  they represent a different outlook to the society  Kamui lives in. lastly we have Yoshito, who is also a confusing character , He is in love Sayaka but when Her father tell's him to back-off, He thinks the solution to get with Sayaka is to get the father arrested ? Hanbei's wife is also a blast from Kamui's past , She is suspicious of Kamui throughout the film but eventually accepts Him but it is far too late by this stage. The film is filled with irony, Kamui's journey as a Ninja is endless or never-ending so His adventure with Hanbei's family is assumed to be one of many and He is constantly searching for freedom. You sympathies with Kamui , He can't escape His destiny as a Ninja and He seems to have a reputation that constantly hounds Him down ; You have a better understanding of Kamui by comparing Him to the world around Him.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Shock labyrinth (2009)

It's all Fun and Games:

it's a no Brainier

The films main narrative structure seems to be caught in a constant loop of cause and effect, how the characters cause instants to occur and how their action effect the overall picture.each characters blames themselves for their past which involves the disappearance of Yuri and their logic seems to be ever misunderstood or misread by their own logic because they are looking at their own lives through a child prospective. the reasoning behind the girl being left behind does not make sense and neither does the the reasoning for the children wondering in to the abandoned building which seems to have a alluring atmosphere. the camera work was interesting and with 3D movies being ever so more popular it is amazing to see japan also making movies in this way like there counterpart america. the director Takashi Shimizu also is responsible for the Tormented (Rabbit Horror 3D) 2011 and the Ring is being rebooted into 3D form. Shock Labyrinth is nothing like Ju-on because it is 3D film the imagery is crisp and clear but in Ju-on the camera work is a little grainy or like a handheld camera to get a more realistic effect. the symbolization of the rabbit is interesting because it reflects on the adults lost innocence and at the same time it is a entity that is feared greatly by the adult because it represents the mistakes that they have made. but the building that the children/adults are in is a place where time doesn't seem to follow in a natural order but instead the bleed into each other in an eternal loop. the film is not a Horror but instead it is like a dream that turns into a nightmare at the end; the building that they are in has many different statues that come to live and the question is it all real or a made up dream that one boy has to keep himself from feeling guilty. the monster or ghosts are like dolls and this reminds me of Doll Master (2004) with is a Korean film but the convection of dolls coming to life or human becoming dolls are similar. both films are about being abandoned, maybe Takeashi Shimizu was inspired by the Korean film, that would explain the whole concept of the dolls, the most interesting character in the film was Yuri accuser She was the cause of the situation but even she was a complicated character and her relevance was misunderstood. The dolls symbolize in a way the fragile state that Yuri is in,the film also refers to mental health issues that Ken has.

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Go Find a Psychic! (2009)

Dreams can come true...

Esper's, Aliens and Time-travelers ??!

Go Find a psychic is a film which tries to explain unexplained Phoenicia's like UFO's and Esper's or psychic's. In the first instance of the film , our main character see's a UFO and the film questions her logic therefore after. Is Yone Sakurai delusion over a childish memories which may be misunderstood or did She really witness something unexplained? The whole film surrounds Yone's belief that She saw a UFO, other characters including reports, television crew or the general public are separated into two group, believers and none believer in the supernal. There was nothing over expressed throughout the film, the television sides to the film was set out like a really television set and the off set scene's where set out like everyday in japan so when the audience is introduced to the character with special abilities. there is no real dramatic pause or change in the narrative follow ( the characters are normal human beings who happen to have special powers). Kanda is the one who walks out of the street into the Esper bar but the thing which is a little confusing is if you don't want people to know you are a Esper why put a sign outside announcing it to the world ?? Kanda spend more time in  the film with the Espers than Yone does, She explore the city while Kanda fools the Espers into showing him their powers and the becoming a little bit trapped. Yone spends the day interviewing psychotic individual's who believe that they posses special powers ??? so by the time she arrives at the cafe she is already filled with a appointed feeling.  basically throughout the film Yone works really hard to find what she is looking g for and she proves to herself that the is more to life than what you can see. She follows Her dream of discovering the unexplained and she achieves her goal. The Espers want to not be discovered because they want simple lives but when the discover what it means to Yone their attitude change. the film end with a UFO visiting Japan :)

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Mitsuko Delivers (2011)

Just take the pickle for the love of Mitsuko ??

Everything is just really really cool...........

Mitsuko Delivers is full of drunk logic and awkward moments: the whole film is full of question and no answers; what does Mitsuko Delivers apart from a baby. the conclusion is a bunch of questions on society and peoples attitudes about pregnancy or even women on a whole. We see Mitsuko as a young girl and a pregnant adult so that that We gain an insight into why She is the person She has developed into. Mitsuko is not influenced By Her parent but instead a stranger whom She  Starts calling grandma, now the reason I mention that it is a film about society is that the characters are not be like or hated but instead there is a big difference in the strengths between characters. you have the individuals that run away from the problems and the individuals that stand and fight; Now Mitsuko is one of the characters that stands and fights for what She believes in until the end of the film when She goes into labor. The film show the strength of women whether they are young or old; the film also questions the generational gap throughout society and the difference in attitudes and Mitsuko's grandma teaches Her a lot about life which develops Mituko's overall character for the better. Basically Her grandma teaches Her not to runaway from her problems and stand and fight, The effects of Mitsuko's attitude benefit everyone for the better even though some individual seem psychotic at time the overall message is trying to portray a positiveness message. the film is not main stream, it is art-house, exploitation or even a feminist film; even though the main character is pregnant , it is not not about pregnancy but rather about life and death with the journey in-between. 

Life is what you make it, I am going to make it. No matter what it takes, we gonna take it.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Battle League Horumo (2009)

The Battles of the Thirteenth Girl still Continue:

Starting From the Beginning Once more with feeling.

Chiaki Kuriyama is an amazing Actress, appearing in films such as Battle Royale (of course), Kill Bill (2004), Azumi 2 (2005) and Exte (2007) but Her character in Battle League Horumo was usual because Fumi Kusunoki was a shy and reserved character. whereas Takako Chigusa in Battle Royale was a head strong character, who in the Novel and Manga is similar to  Mitsuko Souma because they are both misunderstood characters. Takayuki Yamada also is one of the cast member of Gantz and the whole cast of Battle League Horumo was an interesting combination of talent. The narrative itself from the perspective of the trailer was slightly different from what i was expecting and it was not until the ending when thing started to pick up. The film does go into detail to explain what Horumo is about so the view understands where the creature come from, it is also has a energetic theme running though the plot-line and  the audience are aware of all the subtle hints that are placed throughout the film which Akira Abe is unaware of. In the trailer Kyoko Sawara is portrayed as being a bit of a bitch but is the film She seem unaware of the impact that She made on other people, She did not spend much time in the film with Akira and there was no real communication between the two so the film was less about what the trailer indicated it was about. So the  film is about a group of teenager who join a cult so they can understand life better by battling with small creatures, they do so by preforming interactive dance and there is a big cloud god floating around; who exploded in a big ball of fire. Battle League Horumo is simply a off-the-wall comedy