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Archive for July, 2014

Hentai Kamen (2013)

HK-Hentai-Kamen-2013

Kyosuke is a shy but kind teenager born of the union of a s&m loving mother and a masochist father (he was a police detective that was going to arrest her when they first met but she tied him up and he enjoyed the whipping she gave him!!). When a new female student Aiko joins his class at school, Kyosuke immediately starts to like her and they hit it off as friends. She in turn becomes the president of the school’s martial arts club that Kyosuke is a member (and not a very good one at that!). When Aiko is taken hostage at a bank by three gun wielding individuals, Kyosuke simply can’t stand by especially when they threaten to kill the girl he likes. He manages to get inside the building and thinks he must put on a mask if he wants to confront the hostage takers. He finds a pair of used panties and puts it on his face. Kyosuke finds a ‘pervert power’ (inherited from his mother’s side) from within which transforms him into Hentai Kamen (Masked Pervert). His bizarre look involves him wearing only white trainers, fishnet stockings, a pair of skimpy white underwear twisted into a mankini which barely hides his penis and testicles and used (they have to be used!) panties on his head! Nevertheless he manages to save the day and foil the bad guys. He vows to use his new superhero moniker for justice but there’s something that bothers him about his alter-ego and that is Aiko starts to like the perverted superhero. Kyosuke doesn’t want to admit that he is Hentai Kamen or she will think he’s a pervert. An evil karate club tries to take over Kyosuke’s school and whilst Hentai Kamen initially manages to defeat the individuals, the leader of the group sends in a mysterious teacher to aid him in his task by trying to steal Kyosuke’s beloved Aiko away from him as a fake masked pervert. Will Masked Pervert save the day?

This is a wacky and hilarious take on the superhero genre that only the Japanese could have invented – I mean where else but Japan could come up with a hero that wears practically next to nothing and who uses his genitals to combat the bad guys! I did think that this could have been one of those awful Japanese b-movies but thankfully it turned out to be funnier than I imagined it to be. It is also one of the most original superhero movies I’ve come across recently. It is based on a popular manga series from the early 90’s that I wasn’t really aware of. The description of the movie’s plot above should give you ample warning if you’re easily offended by this type of humour. The makers of the movie poke fun at Spiderman throughout the story from the mask used by Hentai Kamen to the bondage ropes that he uses to swing between buildings. I did a double take at the beginning when I thought I was going to see a familiar movie studio logo coming up but this is yet another joke directed at Marvel. The movie is a lot of fun to watch and I was giggling from start to finish.

hentai kamen power max

This is more than just a comedy superhero movie, it’s also a coming of age story about a boy trying to win the heart of the girl he likes but finds out that she’s more interested in his perverted alter-ego so he has to keep it a secret because he is afraid of what she would think if she discovered that Hentai Kamen is him! The way that Hentai Kamen defeats the bad guys is unusual (but hilarious) to say the least by using a deadly combination of sexual poses and thrusting his crotch into their faces through some high kicking aerial karate move. The villains he faces are all OTT characters such as the camp evil karate club leader Ogane Tamao who goes around with twin pigtails in his hair. I don’t know how actor Muro Tsuyoshi who plays Ogane managed to complete one scene where he thinks he is kissing Aiko as a ploy to defeat our hero but is seen to be kissing Hentai Kamen’s genitals several times (covered up in his underwear thankfully) instead. Ogane sends in a series of colourful assassins to try and defeat Hentai Kamen: Gay Guy, Very Serious Guy, Extremely Slim Guy and Cool Guy! Our hero meets his match though in the fake Hentai Kamen (disguised as a school teacher) who loves lifting women’s skirts up and manages to strip away Kyosuke’s power to transform by claiming he isn’t really a pervert at all. It’s up to Kyosuke to overcome his insecurities as a person and rediscover the power that can change him back into Hentai Kamen once more.

Yuichi Fukuda does a great job in directing a fresh superhero comedy that should manage to raise more than a smile on people’s faces if they view the movie in the right frame of mind. I was surprised to hear that popular male idol Shun Oguri helped out on the script. I did think the comedy would begin to run out of steam during the second half but it still delivers on the laughs right until the end and never gets tiring. Ryohei Suzuki performs really well as Kyosuke/Hentai Kamen considering he has to switch between two different personalities in the movie – the awkward teenager and the loud brash superhero. The young man has an impressive physique as Hentai Kamen (it really is him and not some body double). It should please some female viewers!! Fumika Shimizu who played a supporting role in the Kamen Rider Fourze series and spin-off movies is suitably cute as Aiko.

I really liked this highly amusing movie. It made me laugh a lot and the bizarre story and ridiculous characters made it a winner in my eyes. The movie most of all is entertaining so if you’re open-minded and into perverse humour this will be right up your street.

Sadako’s Rating: 4 stars out of 5

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Ju Dou (1990)

ju-dou 1990

Set in 1920’s China, the owner of a cloth dyeing mill Jinshan desperately wants a son and heir to carry on the family business as he is old. He marries pretty Ju Dou who becomes his third wife. His previous wives had failed to bear him a son and in his anger he tortured them to death. Unless Ju Dou can give him a son the same fate awaits her. Jinshan’s adopted nephew Tianqing works for his uncle at the mill and he takes a fancy to Ju Dou. He spies on her through a small peephole in the barn where she bathes. Ju Dou discovers the peephole and tries to cover it up but gradually she starts to seduce Tianqing as she knows that she won’t get any proper love and affection from Jinshan. At first he refuses to let her do anything but eventually his pent up sexual energy spills over and they begin a secret affair. Ju Dou becomes pregnant and Jinshan who doesn’t know anything about her secret affair is overjoyed when she has a son even though it’s really Tianqing’s child. Soon after Jinshan has a stroke and is paralysed from the waist down and the only way for him to move around is in a wheeled bucket. Ju Dou and Tianqing humiliate Jinshan by coming out and flounting their love in front of him. Jinshan is desperate for revenge and tries to kill the baby by setting fire to the couple’s apartment but he fails. As the child Tianbai grows up, he refers to Jinshan as his father and Tianqing as his brother. This naturally makes Jinshan very happy as he makes Tianbai turn against his real parents. Ju Dou wants Tianqing to murder his uncle but he refuses. How will this situation resolve itself?

This acclaimed melodramatic movie about a married woman’s forbidden affair was controversially banned in China soon after its release because it went against the country’s communism beliefs but the ban has since been lifted. What they didn’t like most of all about the story was the leading female character committing adultery and rebelling against her husband. In a country such as China where free speech isn’t advocated this was a big no-no and kudos to director Zhang Yimou for creating such a beautiful and artistic movie. It’s visually stunning especially the scenes which show the dye mill and the colourful sheets of cloth hanging from the ceiling.  The use of colours that Yimou employs is typical of his style that I’ve seen in previous movies. Not only does it enrich the movie considerably but there’s a symbolic meaning behind it as well. Even the background shot of mountains and rivers is incredible to see. The movie also paints a bleak picture of the life that peasants especially women went through during the 1920’s in China. The story plays out like a Chinese version of a Greek tragedy.

Ju Dou screenshot

It is obvious once the affair between Tianqing and Ju Dou begins that it is set on a path that will end in tragedy. None of the characters apart from Ju Dou deserve any sympathy from the viewer. Ju Dou is treated very badly by her husband so you can’t really blame her for looking elsewhere for affection. The reason that Jinshan is abusive to her is he knows he is impotent and cannot make Ju Dou conceive so he takes his anger out on her. Ju Dou’s lover Tianqing is a rather weak character who apart from turning on his uncle one time when he tries to kill his child is portrayed as being spineless and it is Ju Dou that is the stronger of the two in their relationship. Tianqing loathes his uncle a lot but stays loyal to him right to the end. The darkest character in the entire movie has to be the son of Tianqing and Ju Dou called Tianbai. This angry child grows up to despise both his parents and has more of an affinity with Jinshan (he calls him father) who has twisted his mind as a revenge tactic against them although that has consequences for himself later on in the story. One feature of this movie which really fascinated me was the funeral rites for Jinshan after he is killed. The long ritual has Tianqing and Ju Dou having to stop the coffin march 49 times on it’s journey to it’s final resting place by throwing their bodies in front of it. It’s rather ironic seeing the pair being forced to mourn for somebody they didn’t really care about and they are seen weeping and calling out Jinshan’s name but this is something they have to do as nobody in the village where they live must know about their extramarital affair.

Gong Li is fantastic as the title character – a woman born in poverty and sold to a rich man. She is beautiful as always (even though her role isn’t glamorous) and you can’t take your eyes away from her on the screen. This movie was her third collaboration with  Zhang Yimou. Li Wei is also very good as the nasty Jinshan. You’ll grow to hate the character from the very start and you won’t even feel sorry for him when he is forced to live his life in a primitive wheelchair bucket as a cripple. He grows even more desperate and despicable in this situation. Both Tianqing and Ju Dou have fun in showing off their affair in front of him knowing he can’t do much about it. To rub salt in his wounds, they even make love where they know he can hear them. However, the happiness that the pair have during this time doesn’t last long and more heartbreak awaits for them in the future.

Ju Dou is a brilliant movie and directed superbly by  Zhang Yimou. It looks great, the script is perfect and the acting by the entire cast is fantastic. I would definitely recommend this movie for fans of Chinese cinema. Recommended.

Sadako’s Rating: 4 stars out of 5

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It’s been a bit of a lean month for watching movies for myself lately what with all the sport that’s on the box, taking advantage of the fine weather and going up the mountains in Snowdonia and finally becoming addicted to Game of Thrones so there’s not a lot in this list.

There will be no updates on this site for the next 2 weeks either as I’ll be going away on holiday so without further ado here’s what I watched last month:

Ju Dou
Sadako’s Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Ju Dou

Lady In Black
Sadako’s Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Lady In Black

Shinsengumi: Band of Assassins
Sadako’s Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

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Friend
Sadako’s Rating: 4 stars out of 5

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Pale Flower
Sadako’s Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Pale Flower

Arcana
Sadako’s Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5

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Incident At Blood Pass
Sadako’s Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Incident at Blood Pass

Bloodstained Clan Honor
Sadako’s Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Bloodstained Clan Honor

Conflagration
Sadako’s Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Conflagration

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