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Archive for March 8th, 2010

In the Tokyo of the future, psychotic genetically mutated killers known as ‘Engineers’ whose bodies can morph into grotesque weapons are on the loose. They’re so dangerous that a special team of cops has been created to hunt down and kill them. Chief among the hunters is Ruka, a demure young lass with a penchant for cutting herself with a utility knife and slicing villains with her samurai sword.

But Ruka herself is being hunted by the Key Man, the mad scientist responsible for creating the Engineers. As Key Man’s creations run riot throughout the city, slaughtering prostitutes, gangsters and regular folks – Ruka’s investigation leads her to confront dark secrets about her own past—and a realisation that she may have more in common with the Key Man and the Engineers than with her police colleagues.

Hailed as the goriest film since Peter Jackson’s Braindead, this is probably the most bizarrest movie I’ve ever seen. It’s absolutely nuts with tons of the red stuff sprayed onscreen so better steer clear if you can’t stand the sight of limbs being cut and heads being split in two! I love how creative the movie makers are with the engineers. The commericials are so funny especially the Wrist Cutter G, Wii game and the kids playing football with a human head. Eihi Shiina is hot as Ruka, the engineer hunter. I absolutely loved this movie.

Sadako’s Rating: 4 out of 5

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Hansel & Gretel (2007)

A creepy Korean horror of a man coming across a house deep inside a forest after a car accident. But then he finds he can’t escape and is trapped with the 3 young children who live there.

A brilliantly atmospheric and mysterious tale filled with vivid colours and full of imagination. Well worth watching.

Sadako’s Rating: 3.5 out of 5

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Barefoot Gen (1983)

A harrowing and moving tale about the atomic bomb that’s dropped on Hiroshima as seen through the eyes of a 10 year old boy who loses the majority of his family and witnesses the terrible suffering that happened after the blast.

Barefoot Gen doesn’t hide itself from the horrors of the blast showing extremely graphic scenes. This movie delivers a very powerful anti-war stance and so it should, to make sure that nothing like this ever happens again. It’s an extremely sad story and I’m not ashamed to admit I wept through a couple of scenes. This should be seen by everyone.

Sadako’s Rating: 5 out of 5

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Appleseed (2005)

Growing out of the chaos of a global war, the city of Utopia is populated by humans and bioroids (artificial humans). On the surface, everything is harmonious, but tensions lurk. Into this seemingly perfect society comes a survivor of the wars, Deunan Knute, who carries a legacy that will turn out to be of critical importance to the future of humanity.

Very impressed with this anime movie which uses CG 3D animation. It just looks so stunning. Those that like their mecha will definitely love Appleseed and it has plenty of brilliant action sequences to keep you at the edge of your seat. With a pulsating soundtrack as well, anime fans should not pass up on this movie. Recommended.

Sadako’s Rating: 4.5 out of 5

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Tales From Earthsea (2006)

The balance of the world is shifting. Dragons, who normally inhabit the lands in the far west of Earthsea, avoiding contact with humans, have been seen in the lands of men, and this unusual behaviour leads the Archmage, Ged to set out in search of the source of this imbalance that is driving men mad, turning dragons into witless beasts, and causing livestock and crops to fail. On his journey he encounters the young Prince Arren who has fled his homeland, having committed a murder, pursued by a mysterious shadow. Ged seeks shelter with his old friend Tenar and her mysterious adopted daughter Therru and traces the disturbance to a wizard called Cob who terrified of death, seeks eternal life…

It might not be the best offering from Studio Ghibli but Miyazaki’s son Goro does well enough in his 1st feature. I enjoyed the complex and interesting storyline. The animation as per usual from Ghibli is top class.

Sadako’s Rating: 3.5 out of 5

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The first Black Angel movie has a fairly interesting plot of a woman out seeking revenge on the yakuza boss who killed her parents when she was young. The 2nd concerns a female assassin who’s ordered to do a hit when it all goes horribly wrong.

The first movie is very bleak with brutality and violence in abundance here. If you like revenge themed movies you could do no worse than watch this. It’s certainly better than the second which is only average at best.

Sadako’s Rating: 3 out of 5 (Vol 1), 2.5 out of 5 (Vol 2)

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Izo is in the process of being crucified and speared during the Shogunate era when his rage propels him across time to present day Tokyo when he goes on a murderous rampage killing everyone he comes across!!

Typical Miike madness. It’s bizarre, off the wall and very violent. I’m confused as to what the message this film is trying to convey – I guess it must be something about humans and their need for conflict. It drags on for way too long and Miike tries something different with some weird experimental stuff. After a while the needless killings start to get boring and that damn guitarist starts to get on my nerves. I’ve never seen such an absurd movie as this before.

Sadako’s Rating: 2.5 out of 5

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The movie deals with an overweight girl named Aki who works as a theater projectionist. In her spare time, she’s completely insane and bloodily guts prostitutes with a knife. Simultaneously attracted to and envious of her pretty friend Ami – a TV reporter covering all the murders, Aki gets involved in a love triangle involving a young geek who sleeps with them both. As Aki gets more deranged and paranoid that Ami is going to get pregnant by the young geek, she takes matters into her hands. More blood is about to flow!!

Evil Dead Trap in name only. I didn’t think this was half as good as the first movie (review coming up soon) – doesn’t seem to have anything in common with it. Disappointed. For J-horror enthusiasts only otherwise steer clear.

Sadako’s Rating: 1.5 out of 5

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Cutie Honey (2004)

Thanks to the marvel of her father’s i-mode nano-technology, Honey Kisaragi is reborn but with no memory of her previous life. Although Honey has lost her memory, she’s gained the ability to transform into anyone she pleases, with her ultimate transformation being Cutie Honey, a super powerful, super-busty super-hero. Unfortunately, the wondrous technology that allowed Dr. Kisaragi to resurrect his dead daughter also lead to his own demise at the hands of the Panther Claw. A mysterious group of cultish villains that revere their leader, the immortal Sister Jill, the Panther Claw seek to use i-mode for their own purposes. In the year since her re-birth Honey has worked at integrating herself into society, but now Panther Claw is back and has kidnapped her uncle who carried on her father’s research. With the help of a mysterious reporter who knows too much, and a tough as nails cop, Honey sets out to rescue her uncle and save the world from Panther Claw.

This is a movie that shouldn’t be taken seriously at all. It’s wacky, very camp with plenty of fanservice thanks to Erika Sato as the heroine Honey Kisaragi. She is so hot! Then again the female police chief is gorgeous too. Cutie Honey comes across as a manga that’s come alive on screen with crazy action sequences and some musical interludes that come out of nowhere. Even the great Koda Kumi makes a cameo in the movie. I liked it.

Sadako’s Rating: 3.5 out of 5

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The story involves people who are infected with a fictional Type 4 strain of the SARS virus and turned into zombies. The outbreak is contained to one apartment building in Bangkok, and the Health Ministry is determined to keep it contained at all costs. But the building also happens to be the hideout for a gang that has kidnapped a teenage schoolgirl. She is to be rescued by a sword-wielding superhero crimefighter, who must not only contend with the criminals, but also the zombies in a race against the government’s plan to blow the building up.

Funny and silly Thai comedy zombie horror with a pisstake of Star Wars. Those who loved similar styled movies such as Braindead and the Evil Dead trilogy will no doubt lap this one up. I thought it was very entertaining and hilarious.

Sadako’s Rating: 3.5 out of 5

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Whisper Of The Heart (1995)

An excellent coming of age anime centering on a 14 year old girl Shizuku who is thinking about which direction to take in her future career. She also likes to read a lot but at the library she finds that the books she wants to borrow have all been taken out by one person – Amasawa Seiji. She’s determined to find out who this person really is. At school she meets a mysterious boy who seems to know everything about her, but she does not even know his name. This mystery leads Shizuku to a strange unconcious attraction to the young man. When Shizuku later finds out that this mystery boy has his whole future career all laid out, and has a plan to pursue it, Shizuku is more determined than ever, to find out what she’s good at.

Beautiful, moving and uplifting story by Studio Ghibli which gives a message that you shouldn’t give up on your dreams – no matter how difficult it may be. It also touches on friendship, family and romance. Animation as expected is superb. Sad to hear that the director Yoshifumi Kondo passed away after completing this movie, I would have loved to have seen what he would have come up with next. One of Ghibli’s best anime movies.

Sadako’s Rating: 5 out of 5

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Thirteen high school students find themselves trapped in their school after an exam and are to be the unwitting sacrifices in a grand scheme to resurrect Lucifer in a bid for world domination. As their number dwindles in gruesome manner, the survivors’ hope is pinned solely on the magic powers of the new transfer student – the teenage witch Misa Kuroi.

Quite an enjoyable Japanese teen horror based on a manga. This movie has it’s fair share of gore with some inventive deaths involved. All the actors do a great job as well, and considering that most of the cast had little-to-no acting work prior to this film, I was impressed. While the setting of the film was rather enclosed – taking place almost entirely in a school–it did give the movie a rather claustrophobic touch. Fans of wizardry and horror will love it. Well worth checking out.

Sadako’s Rating: 3.5 out of 5

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Paprika (2006)

In the near future, scientists have invented a device called the “DC Mini” which is used in psychotherapy for counselors to see people’s dreams. The head of the project starts to illegally use the invention on people outside her research facility by using her alter-ego “Paprika”, a persona she only uses in the dream world. Three prototype devices are stolen and start to be used against people in their dreams. By looking into one person’s dreams it is found that the theft was an inside job and more people inside the research facility are falling victim to the dream device. It’s up to Paprika to put an end to the madness but things only get worse with reality and the dream world starting to merge into one.

Paprika is a very imaginative anime movie with a stunning original storyline. The director Satoshi Kon does a remarkable job with Paprika and it’s full of eye catching animation. A definite must see for anime fans.

Sadako’s Rating: 4 out of 5

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The prequel follows Misa Kuroi, an ordinary school girl who is hunted by an evil witch and learns of her destiny as a protector against the dark forces.

It’s not as good as the first movie though it’s got some more gore in it. The first half was pretty good reminiscent of The Terminator in which an ancient demon is awakened and body jumps between some people in order to kill Misa who’s protected by an older man. Then it starts to get a little dull until it picks up once more towards the end. If you watched the 1st movie then you’re gonna want to watch this.

Sadako’s Rating: 2.5 out of 5

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Donnie Yen is Ip Man who was a real life famous martial arts master of Wing Chun in China during the 1930’s. The movie is a fictionalized account of Ip Man’s life. Ip Man is living in Foshan with his wife and son. Although he’s an expert in Wing Chun he doesn’t teach anybody, instead spending most of his time socializing with his friends and sparring with anyone who wants to get humiliated. He’s a ridiculously good martial artist but he doesn’t flaunt it, and is indeed one of the most well regarded people in the village. They like him even more when he beats up a group of thugs that come looking to challenge all the local martial arts masters. Soon after 1937 brings the Japanese invasion, and everyone’s starving and looking for work. Ip Man manages to get a job shoveling coal to feed his family, but soon finds another way to get some rice. It seems that a Japanese general is giving a bag of rice to anyone who can beat one of his black belts, and most of the Chinese workers are game for a try. It’s not until Ip Man sees that his friends are being killed that he decides to fight back for real, and people get brutalized.

What a fantastic movie this was with Donnie Yen on top form as the martial arts master of Wing Chun – Ip Man. This is the guy that eventually trained Bruce Lee. The incredible fight choreography is a joy to watch and is absolutely breathtaking. Has to be one of the best martial arts movies I’ve had the pleasure to see. Highly recommended.

Sadako’s Rating: 5 out of 5

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