Archive for March, 2011

After the group suicide of four people, journalists Yuu and Rie investigate the reasons behind an endless cycle of suicides, blamed on an infamous Suicide Manual, hidden in a tag-less DVD disk. Said manual is shot in an infomercial fashion, with examples of the best methods to kill yourself and demonstrations by real people. When investigating further, Yuu and Rie find out that in Buddhist beliefs, when a person kills himself, he or she is sent to a certain hell, from which they induce other people to commit suicide. But is this what is really happening?

After a promising start, this movie goes flat quite quickly as a journalist and his assistant try to investigate a spate of deaths linked to a DVD containing ways on how to committ suicide hosted by a female in black named Rikki. It doesn’t help that the plot changes halfway through to following Yuu’s gradual downward spiral into wanting to kill himself. It gets really confusing near the end and I didn’t have a clue what was really going on. It does have one or two great scenes but it wasn’t enough. This movie could have had some potential but it was just too tedious and there was a lack of direction in where they wanted to take this story. I’m afraid I cannot recommend this movie in any shape or form.
Sadako’s Rating: 1.5 stars out of 5

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Another great movie starring the fantastic Meiko Kaji. In this one Kaji is Nami who’s released from jail after murdering a Yakuza boss and starts a job as a hostess in a club in Ginza. It’s not too long, however, that the Owada clan start making moves on the hostess club by squeezing some pressure on the female owner to sell up. One thing leads to another and the result is one of Nami’s male friends being gunned down in cold blood. With her fury at boiling point, Nami and the murdered man’s brother head to the Owada clan’s hideout to unleash hell on them!

Don’t expect anything along the lines of the Scorpio or Lady Snowblood movies in this one. There’s a slow steady build-up that something is about to kick-off but the violence is kept to a minimum until the climax. It doesn’t matter to me, I just enjoy seeing Meiko Kaji kick some ass (something she does very well I might add!). I expect those expecting tons of blood being sprayed from the onset will become bored quickly. Kaji as always delivers a magnificent performance. For fans of Meiko Kaji like myself, this is brilliant and worth checking out.

Sadako’s Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

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The setting is World War II. Japan launches the Yamato, the largest battleship in the world, to lead the Japanese fleet. The mission gets complicated when the Yamato mistakes a huge undersea monster for an enemy destroyer and accidentally kills its offspring. The monster, Reigo, wants revenge and starts attacking the fleet. But if anything can stop it, the Yamato can…

This is a very low budget kaiju movie from a fan of the genre and it clearly shows. The first thing you notice is the truly awful CGI effects, probably one of the worst examples in a movie I’ve ever seen. It just looks cheap as hell. The creature looks great but again it is let down by the crappy CGI. Awful acting by the entire cast. The attack sequences by Reigo aren’t very good either. Mercifully, this movie only runs to 80 mins which is just as well as I don’t think I could have fathomed taking any more punishment from watching it. If you can take this movie as it is, you might enjoy it but those expecting a big budget kaiju spectacular are going to be dismayed. Had this movie been done with proper CGI, I’m sure it would have been great.
I can’t find a trailer.
Sadako’s Rating: 1 star out of 5

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AV actress Rio plays Azusa, the older sister of a girl named Megumi who has committed suicide under mysterious circumstances. After some investigating, she discovers Megumi was driven to suicide by a man named Kuni and his “enboku” plan to humiliate teenage girls and drive them away from prostitution by any means necessary. She had dismissed what she had heard about Kuni as urban legend, but the horrific stories about girls being forced to don signs and be branded with phrases like “female pig” were apparently all true. In fact, Megumi’s corpse has been branded with that very phrase; she thinks Kuni is the one responsible. Azusa swears revenge, and with the help of 3 of Megumi’s fellow classmates she starts tracking him down.

This is the 3rd in the Stop The Bitch Campaign movies following the other two released in 2001 and 2005. Wasted nearly an hour and a half watching this boring movie. I expected some kind of action as our heroine Megumi and her 4 schoolgirl associates go around kicking the crap out of men who are preying on young girls for sex and branding them with a hot iron but apart from some gore near the climax it’s just plain dull. There’s not really that much else you can say about this movie except keep clear of it. Garbage.

Sadako’s Rating: 1.5 stars out of 5

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Zoro goes missing, as the Straw Hat’s restock. On their search for him, Sanji follows Maya, a girl of the island, to a village. There, Zoro appears, accompanied by a group of marines. Zoro wields his sword against Sanji and takes three jewel balls from Maya. Luffy stumbles upon a training center of the local navy division. There, he encounters Saga, the leader of the center and owner of the Seven Star Sword, who made Zoro take the balls to revive that swords slumbering power. Luffy fights him, but falls from a cliff. The Seven Stars Sword was that, which had ruined the country of Asuka with its cursed power a long time ago and had therefore been sealed. But with a night of a red full moon, that occurs only once every hundred years, the jewel balls in his possession, and Zoro on his side, only the remaining Straw Hats stand in Saga’s way to reviving the swords true power.

Plenty of One Piece fans dislike this movie for the fact that Zoro betrays the Going Merry crew at the sight of his old friend, takes Sanji down during a fight and is quite happy to join a sinister and evil plot. Granted, it may seem out of place to the rest of the series but doen’t affect the overall storyline of the anime. See this as only a side-story. Zoro’s unusual behaviour makes a welcome change and needs to be enjoyed for what it is. It’s the only time you see Zoro and Sanji have a proper fight. An excellent and exciting addition to the One Piece movie franchise.

I can’t find a trailer but did find this:

Sadako’s Rating: 4 stars out of 5

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Rampo Noir (2005)

Four short films, based on stories by Japanese mystery writer Rampo Edogawa, explore dark themes of obsession, sex and death. In “Mars Canal,” a naked man wanders alone through a swamp recalling a former lover. “Mirror Hell” follows a serial killer with a fixation on hand mirrors. “Caterpillar” centers on a crippled veteran, his sadistic wife and their unhealthy relationship. And in “Crawling Bugs,” a chauffeur plots to seduce a starlet.

Starring art-house regular Tadanobu Asano as almost different characters spanning across the shorts, this movie, to put it mildly, should excite art-house lovers since it stars one of their idols, but everyone else, unless you have spare capacity for the bizarre, would likely want to steer clear of this. For omnibus movies, you’d come to expect varying standards and levels of enjoyment, and this one is no different. I did enjoy the 2nd short called “Mirror Hell”. The other 3 shorts were just plain too weird for my taste and I got bored. There’s more visual style than solid substance here in driving the movie. I’d only recommend this to people that are into their art-house movies and have a long attention span as this movie drags on for over 2 hours.

Sadako’s Rating: 2 stars out of 5

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Teketeke 2 (2009)

The vengeful spirit Teketeke continues her bloody rampage. This time a group of schoolgirls are to be her victims.

Teketeke 2 begins with a recap of the 1st movie before finding the only survivor to escape Teketeke finally succumb to her inevitable death at the hands of the vengeful spirit. The sequel revolves around a schoolgirl named Reiko who has never had many friends, however things only get worse for her after an altercation with Erica, one of the popular girls at school. Soon, Reiko’s only friend Natsuki begins to notice that she is behaving strangely. It seems that the girls who are her enemies soon find themselves dead – completely dismembered. What is the connection between Reiko and the legend of TekeTeke? Natsuki must unravel this mystery and discover the truth before it’s too late. This is a definite marked improvement on the 1st movie with more bodies sliced in half and gore. I loved the neat little twist right at the end. Adequate acting and the cast is beautiful. I really enjoyed this movie.

Sadako’s Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

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