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Archive for September, 2011

Fist Of The North Star (1986)

After a nuclear holocaust tears the world apart, mankind is forced to the harshness of not only the oppression of others who are much more powerful, but the dead earth which seems to be getting worse with every passing moment. But a saviour has risen from the ashes, a man who will defeat those who would torment the weak and make the world a livable place once more. A man named Kenshiro…..

Bone-crunching and ultra-violent Sci-fi action martial arts epic. It’s a big assault on the senses in stylish animation. There is a ton of extreme violence throughout the movie like exploding heads, people shredded apart and that kind of thing. This isn’t for the weak stomached or for kids, it’s a battering ram of a movie that hits you to the core. There’s a lot of muscle in this movie and all fighters look like there on steroids. but it’s done in such a way that you’ll never think the fighters are overpowered. You have to be a fan of cruel fighting and drama if you are interested in viewing this. The story is basically “get the girl and save the word” so don’t expect a mind bottling storyline but just a day’s life in a world that is on the edge of destruction. A classic anime in every sense of the word.

Sadako’s Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

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Goth (2008)

A madman is stalking the Tokyo suburbs, slaughtering young women and severing their hands before posing the corpses in places the police will easily discover them. With each new killing, teenage loner Morino (Rin Takanashi) and her outgoing pal Kamiyana (Kanata Hongo) grow increasingly fascinated by the morbid crimes. When Morino stumbles across what appears to be the killer’s journal, she and Kamiyama try to track his movement in order to get a look at the crime scenes before the police do. But the closer the two friends get to the killer, the greater the danger to their own life grows.

Surprisingly billed as one of the must-see horrors to come from Japan, this is a rather disappointing movie overall. It’s interesting mind you but there’s no real horror in this movie at all. You only get to see severed hands and that’s basically it. What makes this movie interesting is in it’s lead characters – 2 screwed up teenagers who admire the murderer for his artistic killings and try to think where the next body is going to turn up. There’s a rather good twist on the identity of the serial killer near the climax too. Kanata Hongo and Rin Takanashi make a good pairing as we delve into their twisted world of death. I suspect many could find this movie a little bit too slow and boring for their tastes considering nothing major as such happens. I found it rather intriguing and original.

Sadako’s Rating: 3 stars out of 5

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Outrage (2010)

In the Tokyo underworld, dominated by the Sanno-kai crime organization & ruled by Chairman Sekuichi, rival clans clash for dominance while temporary alliances and betrayals become indistinguishable. Kato, the underboss of the Sanno-kai group, warns regional crime boss Ikemoto about his increasingly friendly dealings with rival regional crime boss Murase. In order to appease Chairman Sekuichi’s suspicions of any type of planned coup, Ikemoto orders Otomo, a crime boss for the smaller Otomo group, to take action against the Murase group. What follows is a brutal game of retaliation as the three rival clans battle each other for control over territory.

Takeshi Kitano back to his very best. A very well-executed movie in terms of directing and acting, and it’s a decent watch for anyone who enjoys a good yakuza movie. However, there is nothing new on display. It blends in with the masses and masses of movies in its genre but that’s not a gripe or anything. Outrage is old-school Takeshi Kitano, a welcome return to his glory days, not that he ever left them behind. If you like the man, as an actor or director, then you won’t be disappointed by this movie, just as long as you are not expecting something new and different, that is.

Sadako’s Rating: 4 stars out of 5

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Future Cops (1993)

In the year 2043, the Future Cops (Andy Lau, Jacky Cheung, Simon Yam and Aaron Kwok) are hot on the tail of some villains, who want to free their boss Ken Lo Wai-Kwong. However, the bad guys (led by Ekin Cheng and Billy Chow) use a time machine and hightail it into the past to 1993. Their goal: to brainwash future judge Yu Tin-Hung, who will one day sentence their boss. They want to get him while he’s in high school, but can’t figure out who he is. The Future Cops decide to chase them into the past, but run into the same problem. If they can’t find Yu Tin-Hung, how can they help him? Best thing to do – disguise yourself as a teacher or a student so that you can get inside the school to find him. But the bad guys have exactly the same idea!

A very amusing HK parody of Street Fighter II, other video games and teen comedies. Upon first viewing you may find that your brain is short circuiting due to the bizarreness, but once you finish, you have to go back for more. Every turn in this movie leads to another sight gag, from Broom Man’s hair, big lips, edible furniture, age reducing syringes, live action Super Mario Brothers, and Dragonball’s Son Goku. It’s one of those slapstick comedies which you cannot help but laugh at it because of it’s OTT silliness. Each actor gives a great performance, well it is a comedy so there’s not much reason to flex the acting muscles in this one.

Perhaps you may have heard that this is a bad movie but believe me it’s not. If you’re in the mood for a really silly movie which will provide you with a lot of laughs and fun, Future Cops is just the tonic to make you smile. Recommended.

Sadako’s Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

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Bayside Shakedown 2 (2003)

Wangan Police Station detectives Aoshima and Sumire find themselves as part of a team investigating several CEO murders in their district along with a possible vampire who has bitten several women and a young family of pickpocketers.

The 2nd Bayside Shakedown movie gives us more inteference by the police higher-ups with local officers trying their best to do their work but coming up against a brick wall. This time the politics is about a women officer who has risen in the ranks and is trying to give a good impression to her superiors but all the while looking down and giving meaningful tasks to the Wangan force. Of course when things go wrong and Sergeant Sumire is shot, former Wangan officer Murai takes control to bring the story to a successful climax.

The same cast is back with a much bigger budget thanks to the success of the first movie! You can tell right off the start they spent a lot of money on this. It has the same style as the first with yet another awesome title intro and music score. I thought it was well crafted and much bigger than most Hollywood movies. The pace of the movie moves pretty fast. The story wasn’t completely mind blowing but it definitely had its moments and kept me focused all the way to the end.

I loved this movie with it’s likeable cast of characters, superb cinematography and a good story. It’s got a great combination of some comedy mixed with drama. If you liked the first movie or the drama series then you’ll definitely like this one.

Sadako’s Rating: 4 stars out of 5

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Ballistic Kiss (1998)

Donnie Yen plays Cat, a hitman-for-hire who regularly seeks solace with a radio talk show host on air. Listening over the airwaves is a cop named Carrie who finds herself hopelessly enthralled by this mystery man, even while she is part of an investigation to solve the murders that he commits. Complications arise when Cat’s old partner Wesley ends up being on the same payroll as his employer. The two had been partners on the police force in New York until Wesley set up Cat, leaving him in prison for six years.Now, Cat is out for revenge but his first target is Carrie, who happens to be friends with Wesley. He kidnaps her in the hopes of luring Wesley into a trap, but being the usual sort of cold-blooded type, Wesley is just as happy kill them both. Carrie eventually realizes that Cat and the radio talk show caller are the same and a budding romance develops. After Carrie’s roommate is kidnapped by Wesley, Cat confronts his former friend.

Ballistic Kiss is over-loaded with bullets but suffers from a thin plot. However, if it did not succeed in becoming a great movie, at least it was a good try. The movie is simply stylish. It has great visuals, every frame is masterfully shot, scene transitions are smooth, and the sound track is unusually good for a HK movie.

Donnie Yen directed, starred in the movie, and choreographed the action scenes. An ambitious filmmaker, he managed to give the movie a fresh look. It’s not a generic Hong Kong action movie, but one that cuts deeper into characters and disturbing emotions. It is a fine example of the Heroic Bloodshed genre and should be viewed by anyone remotely interested in the genre or Asian thrillers in general.

Sadako’s Rating: 3 stars out of 5

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This is the 2nd of 6 movies that came out during the mid to late 80’s. A drama series also came out at the same time. It’s a very funny comedy drama centering on 2 rival high school gangs who like nothing else than pound each other senseless, do some outrageous posturing, have stupid hairstyles and swagger around with exaggerated gaits. Welcome to Be-Bop High School! The plot what little there is of it is the 2 gangs chasing each other with weapons and such, making the girls swoon with their manliness and try and impress the local yakuza……and basically that’s about it!! It’s just fight, fight, fight!!

I really enjoyed this movie due to it being so over the top. It’s all quite ridiculous and very amusing. I was laughing through most of this movie. Every 10 mins or so there’s a skirmish of some sorts happening. The climax is incredibly funny where the 2 gangs literally destroy a cliffside beach diner to nothing during a massive brawl. Seriously there’s nothing left of it after these guys have trashed the place apart. You just know this movie is so OTT when characters survive being electrocuted and a vehicle full of thugs fighting drives off a cliff top only to miraculously land on a platform at sea where they just carry on scrapping as if nothing has happened! Judging on this movie alone, I will have to watch the other 5 movies to see if they’re just as entertaining as this one. If you want to disengage your brain and just watch an all out 90 min brawl then this movie is the one for you. Loved it.

No trailer or clip I’m afraid.

Sadako’s Rating: 4 stars out of 5

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