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Archive for September 27th, 2010

Symbol (2009)

The 2nd movie by one half of the popular Japanese comedy duo Downtown. If you’re expecting Matsumoto’s 2nd movie to be like his first (Big Man Japan) then you’re in for a surprise as it’s completely different in tone but no less funny nevertheless. Symbol see-saws between two stories and is shown in three chapters which are labeled Education, Implementation and Future. There’s the story of an out-of-shape Mexican wrestler known as “Escargot Man” as he prepares for a title fight in some tiny dusty little village. And simultaneously, there’s the story being told of a Japanese man who awakes to find himself in a large, all white rectangular room with no doors or windows. How are these two stories linked together – well at first they don’t but just wait until the final third when both plots start to combine together in a very hilarious way.

Symbol is a very odd situational comedy. It’s silly yet artsy, thoughtful in parts, anarchic in its delivery and overall plain crazy. I have no idea what it was about though, its meaning or what it’s meant to symbolize. It defies attempts to categorize it. Very unique and entertaining throughout, even though the last fifteen minutes get really bizarre and kind of artsy. This movie is not to be missed. You will probably never see anything quite as weird and funny like this. I loved it. Hitoshi Matsumoto is a clever and intelligent comedian. Highly recommended.

Sadako’s Rating: 4 out of 5

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Cyber Ninja (1988)

It’s the near-future and the Dark Overlord’s Mechanical Army is attacking the Suwabeh Clan, trying to kidnap Princess Saki. In the heat of the battle, a man’s brother dies. This man’s body was taken by the villain Raimei and transformed into the Cyber Ninja. Years later, the Cyber Ninja’s memories are starting to resurface and he wants to stop Reimei’s plans. That plan, I should mention, is the spilling of Princess Saki’s blood which will bring Dark Overlord back to life!

Quite a decent tokusatsu movie which has an exciting mixture of Kurosawa samurai epics, TRON and the original Star Wars trilogy. Some of the special effects can look silly at times such the Mecha Ninja troops running at double-playback speed. I liked the concept of cyborgs and robots fighting with swords, wearing samurai armors, and knives shooting out from hands. Plus you have to admit that putting ammos into katanas is kind of cool. Not to mention different types of robotic ninjas. This movie isn’t for everybody but if you’re into Japanese tokusatsu then there’s much here to enjoy.

No trailer but here’s the first part of the movie

Sadako’s Rating: 3 out of 5

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