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Archive for January, 2010

964 Pinocchio (1991)

Pinocchio 964 is a cyborg sex slave who’s thrown out into the streets by his owner when he malfunctions (can’t get an erection!!). He befriends an insane homeless woman called Himiko who feels sorry for him. When the company that created Pinocchio 964 find out that he’s been dumped they decide to hunt him down.

Cyberpunk madness. I try and watch something different from the norm but this was just a load of garbage. Hardly any plot. Japanese cyberpunk movies usually don’t make any sense at all. If you’re perfectly happy with that perhaps you’ll like this one. It looks like something that David Lynch would make. There’s one disgusting 5 minute gross out sequence of a character vomiting and then writhing around and eating it and then 10 whole minutes of Pinocchio 964 in a straight jacket running around the streets of Tokyo screaming his head off. Looking at the startled general public is amusing. I’m sorry but this is just crap. Steer well clear of it.

Sadako’s Rating: 0.5 out of 5

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A highrise apartment block is haunted by a ghost. A man teaches the security guys of the building how to fight them.

Stephen Chow’s darkest comedy yet finds him as a mental patient/ghostbuster who dresses up like the assassin Leon and talks to his plant. Even Karen Mok who plays his love interest dresses like Natalie Portman’s character in the movie. It’s got all the usual ingredients that makes a good slapstick Stephen Chow comedy (movie parodies and general silliness) apart from the copious amount of blood on show. Apparently this is Stephen’s least popular movie in Hong Kong during the 90’s, the audiences there hated it. I can’t see why as it’s totally hilarious. The guy is so funny and I never failed to be entertained by him.

Sadako’s Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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Rinne (Reincarnation) – 2005

An old hotel long since closed because of a massacre which left 11 people dead is the setting for a producer’s new film based on the actual killings. As the cast comes down to shoot the movie, one of the actresses involved begins to get flashbacks of how the victims died and she starts seeing dead people around the hotel such as a little girl with a creepy looking doll. Is she the reincarnation of the last victim – a 6 year old girl stabbed to death by her father?

A very spooky movie which gives you the chills watching it. It’s an engaging, slow-burning, thought-provoking piece of supernatural horror and there are numerous shots and scenes in this film that are hard to forget. Those hoping that this is an orgy of blood and guts are going to be left disappointed. The ending is even more interesting and open to interpretation. I’d recommend this to anybody that’s maybe a little bored and tired from the usual cliche ridden Asian horror movies and wants to experience something different.

Sadako’s Rating: 4 out of 5

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Diary Of June (2005)

Two boys from the same class are dead – one is stabbed to death and the other seemingly committing suicide but both linked together when a capsule containing a note is found inside their bodies. The note is an extract from a diary with the person that wrote it saying he killed both of them. Two detectives are on the case and deduce that the killer must be somebody from the same class as the 2 dead boys but what they find is even more shocking.

Diary Of June is a sad and disturbing movie. It deals with social issues that students face at school and how one boy suffers terribly at the hands of bullies with nobody to turn to. It’ll make you sympathise with him when you see what he goes through. There’s a surprising twist at the end as well. Overall an interesting original thriller which delivers a powerful message.

Sadako’s Rating: 4 out of 5.

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Noroi (2005)

A male documentary filmmaker Kobayashi uncovers something strange and evil that is leaving dead bodies in it’s wake. It’s all starts when a woman claims to be hearing a baby’s cry in the neighbour’s house next door even though there’s no baby there. A bedraggled woman opens the door to the house but refuses to answer his questions only to slam the door in his face. Things get even more mysterious when the woman that first reported the baby’s cries and her daughter are both killed in a car accident. The woman next door and her son vanish from the house leaving a pile of dead pidgeons on the back porch. Kobayashi is determined to solve the mystery but has he bitten off more than he can chew? The trail leads to a small village and tales of an ancient demon known as Kagutaba.

This scared the shit out of me. A brilliant movie shot like a documentary and played out like a true story. High on atmosphere with a mood of dark foreboding seeping through the movie, Noroi manages to get under your skin and as the story pans out you’re left on the edge of your seat and biting your nails such is the tension that builds up to a very disturbing finale. It doesn’t have to rely on cheap scares to make you frightened. I’ve never been this scared watching a movie for a while so kudos to the filmmakers. I highly recommend this movie.

Sadako’s Rating: 5 stars out of 5.

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Akemi Tachibana (Meiko Kaji) is trying to keep the wishes of her dead father alive by not allowing her yakuza clan to continue to spill bloodshed. However a traitor within her clan is secretly dabbling with a rival in order to take control. Adding to her worries is a female swordswoman who Akemi accidentally blinded years ago and wants revenge for her brother who was killed.

Meiko Kaji in another classic movie from the 70’s. She is just totally mesmerising on screen. No wonder she’s a Japanese movie icon. I could watch her movies all day. This bizarre tale is part yakuza part horror that features a manic hunchback and a cat that likes to drink blood. If you’re a fan of Kaji’s work then you’ll definitely want to give this a go.

Sadako’s Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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A young woman in her 20’s called Taeko can’t seem to move on with her life, something inside is holding her back and she’s questioning what to do with herself. She decides to take a trip to the Japanese countryside to pick some berries with some distant relatives where she starts reminiscing about her childhood days when she was 10 years old and how events back in those days have shaped her life so far. She meets a man and they look like the ideal couple together but they’re both too shy to make the first move. He’s far too polite and she has insecurities that prevent her from falling in love. Will she finally break free from her past to make a go of it in the present?

I don’t know why this isn’t one of the most popular Ghibli movies as it’s just fantastic. Such a beautiful movie to make you think of your own childhood. I was thinking back to mine whilst watching this movie. What would the 10 year old me have made of what I am today? We’ve come to expect some kind of fantasy element with Ghibli’s output but this hasn’t got any. It’s the most realistic movie they’ve ever done. Very uplifting, touching and moving. Don’t forget to stick with the end credits for a truly wonderful ending. I was tearing up!! We might become adults and leave our childhood behind but the memories are always kept within our hearts. Highly recommended. A masterpiece if ever I saw one.

Sadako’s Rating: 5 out of 5.

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