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Archive for August, 2010

Taking place between the 18th and 19th episode of the anime series, the 1st One Piece movie finds Luffy, Zoro, Usopp and Nami on the hunt for the treasure of the Great Gold Pirate Woonan but find that another pirate captain El Drago and his cronies also want it. The Going Merry crew must find a way to stop them from achieving their goal.

The first in the annually released One Piece movie series. It’s got a nice plot (OK so it’s just a stereotypical treasure chase story but it’s so entertaining) that’s full of excitement, comedy and character development that everybody expects from this superb anime series. The strength of this movie is by far the characters who are all very likeable!! It’s a goofy, silly and fun adventure anime that won’t disappoint.

I couldn’t find a trailer for the movie but thought the 2nd Japanese OP might suffice instead!

Sadako’s Rating: 4 stars out of 5

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A group of 5 street kids live and teach Muay Thai in a temple with their master. One of them has a heart problem and during an incident his condition worsens and is rushed to hospital. His only hope is a heart transplant. By sheer luck, one is found in a hospital many miles away and is due to be transported. But the hospital finds itself under attack from a terrorist group called the Tealaw Party who demands some concessions from the Thai government. With the hospital unable to transport the heart and unless it is safely transplanted into a patient’s body in 4 hours it will be deemed useless. The kids cannot stand by and watch their friend die so they take it upon themselves to go to the hospital, take on the terrorists and get the much needed heart. But can they survive taking on such a group who are armed with machine guns?

From the team behind Chocolate and Raging Phoenix comes this very good action movie. It might sound on paper like it’s a family movie and whilst at times it does act like one, you soon find out it’s not with people being shot at point blank range and plenty of swearing coming from the kids themselves! The child actors are so endearing with 2 of them displaying incredible martial arts ability. The action is short but great and as with all Thai movies such as this one is creative. The only downside is the poor acting by 1 Western actor – very cringeworthy and embarrasing I might add and the short running time of the movie. It only clocks in at 73 mins.

Overall though, I really enjoyed Power Kids and it entertained me a lot. It might not have the ‘wow’ factor that Tony Jaa and Jeeja Yanin movies have produced but it’s still a lot of fun. Definitely worth checking out.

Sadako’s Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

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Ex WWE wrestler and 7 foot giant Nathan Jones is Barney, a docile man who after a drunken night out finds his passport has been stolen in Pattaya, Thailand. He befriends two sisters who will help him find his passport. At their mothers restaurant they find that Barney goes crazy when he eats a spicy dish called ‘somtum’. He destroys the restaurant but vows that in order to make it up to them he’ll do whatever it takes to rebuild the restaurant. Meanwhile some bad guys get a precious diamond stolen by one of the sisters and want it back. The paths of Barney, the sisters and the bad guys are about to converge but who will come out of the melee intact?

What an incredible Thai comedy/action/martial arts movie this is. You don’t really need to watch it with subtitles as half of the dialogue is in English and the plot is easy to follow. It’s such a good light-hearted movie with some awesome fights throughout. The stand-out star has to be the pint sized girl Sasisa Jindamanee. I’ve no idea how old she is – maybe 14 or 15 years old but she is such a nimble martial artist and a joy to watch. She even gets involved in a Thai boxing match with an adult male in the movie. A new Thai action girl is born! I’d love to see her in a movie with Jeeja Yanin.

If you love Thai action movies, there’s no doubt you’ll enjoy this one. It’s awesome even if the final fight at the climax which sees a Lear-type jet being destroyed is rather far fetched!! Two thumbs up!

Sadako’s Rating: 4 stars out of 5

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Mezzo Forte (1998)

If you’ve ever seen Umetsu’s 2 other anime movies (Kite and Kite Liberator) then you’ll have a pretty good idea what Mezzo Forte is all about. The story concerns a trio of mercernaries with a female assassin Mikura that’s hired to do a job and kidnap a nasty baseball team owner. However, the job goes wrong and they find out that he’s been killed. The man’s psychotic and dangerous daughter believing that her father is still alive seeks out Mikura and her 2 compatriots with her own brand of twisted violence.

Mezzo Forte is an interesting ultraviolent anime that’s good enough to pass 55 mins of your time. The action is slick though a bit too far fetched at times such as Mikura kicking a man through a wall! The animation is pretty good too. Those that like Umetsu’s other work will want to check this out.

No trailer but I found this instead.

Sadako’s Rating: 3 stars out of 5

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Donnie Yen returns as Wing Chun grandmaster Yip Man. After the war he moves with his family to Hong Kong where he sets up a martial arts school. Initially no students turn up and life is difficult with no money coming to his family. Eventually though things pick up with many students joining after an endorsement from one of his followers. But rival schools start stirring up trouble and even worse the British has sent one of their top boxers called The Twister to challenge the Chinese to a boxing match. When one Chinese master dies at the Twister’s hands, Yip Man seeks retribution and to restore the honour of Chinese martial arts by challenging The Twister to a match in the ring. Can he beat a person that no-one else has managed to even put on the canvas?

An incredible sequel. Donnie Yen is excellent as Yip Man with Sammo Hung also wonderful in a supporting role as Master Hong. There’s an amazing exchange between Yen and Hung on a round table exchanging strikes and blows which is breathtaking to watch. The fight choreography throughout is awesome. It has a good and interesting plot. There’s even a epilogue which introduces Bruce Lee and how he became Yip Man’s student at 16 years old. A solid martial arts movie which is very enjoyable and entertaining.

Sadako’s Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

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Lalapipo (2009)

A bizarre but funny comedy which follows 6 different people who all end up in the Japanese sex industry with their stories all interweaving somehow. The stories are well paced and cleverly structured, never going on too long or offering normal conclusions or obvious endings. Lalapipo is a twisted, dark and offbeat comedy movie that’s for sure and it probably won’t appeal for everybody but I found it to be quite amusing. There’s some wacky surreal moments such as the green puppet which represents one man’s talking penis!!! The characters though a bit strange are made to be sympathetic to the viewers. Those that want to watch a comedy with a difference should give this movie a go.

Sadako’s Rating: 3 stars out of 5

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Appleseed Ex Machina (2007)

The third Appleseed movie centers on a new bioroid Tereus who is ordered to be Deunan’s new partner when Briareos is injured. The problem for Deunan is because they’ve used Briareos DNA to create Tereus, he looks the same as Briareos before much of his body was turned to machine. Humans and bioroids are turning violent and crazy thanks to a new multimedia device attached to the brain called Connexus. Deunan, Tereus and Briareos must stop the creators of the device.

This CGI anime looks fantastic – the next stage in anime perhaps? I’ve never seen such a gorgeous looking CGI movie since FF:The Spirits Within. There’s a fast and furious opening in which cyborg terrorists hold some hostages in a large church with a fantastic storming of the church by E.S.W.A.T forces. The movie has a complex and exciting storyline with many action sequences but maybe that’s due to John Woo as producer – you can see he had a hand in this production due to several trademark images of his e.g two handed gun battles and white doves! I thought Appleseed: Ex Machina was superb.

Sadako’s Rating: 4 stars out of 5

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