Over the past several months, I've watch several genre films which I call Tokyo Shock, based on the fact that most come from the Tokyo Shock DVD label. They're generally categorized under gore or horror, or more specifically "Asian horror," but I like the Tokyo Shock moniker to group them together for the unique combination of styles that they contain.Continue reading "Tokyo Shock"
Every now and then, I get the urge to watch a movie every night of the week. Here's this week's:
I'd first heard about the movie Assault Girls (Asaruto gâruzu) [ IMDB ] from a couple of io9 articles last year. Out on 19 December in Japan but no sign of it here except for the two stylish and trashy trailers. Looks like a lightweight story of giggly girl adventure on Arrakis; lush yet throwaway. Twitchfilm has a comprehensive review describing it as, ultimately, a flick for fans only with (much) more style than substance. Still, I'll be looking for a copy in the future. At ~65 minutes, it's too short for a feature, but maybe Plaza Theater will pick it up for a double-feature with Oshii's Avalon [ IMDB ].
The first clip is an 8-minute segment featuring one of the main characters and pretty much defines style over substance--with a Japanese wtf at the end.The second is the official trailer:
Went to see The Hangover on Friday [ 3/5 | IMDB | Rotten Tomatoes ]. Enjoyable slapstick and a good end of week movie to veg out to. I fixed my laptop over the weekend. It had stopped displaying when I would hook it up to our Bravia and so there were no Netflix or AMC b-movies streamed over the last two weeks. Fix was a mix of FN-key toggling and NVIDIA config. As usual, I have no idea how it went wrong.
Upon its return, we finished watching the outrageous Tokyo Gore Police [ 4/5 | IMDB | Rotten Tomatoes ] from Netflix! Highly recommended bit of over the top that I'm sure, without even looking, Tarantino was indebted to when making Kill Bill. Japan has replaced the police force with a private force that hunts down mutant/fetishistic killers called Engineers. Hose-spurting dismemberments ensue. The DVD or soundtrack may be a future purchase. Also watched The Undead from AMC. It was an almost worthless Roger Corman flick. Two "doctors" hypnotize a prostitute in modern day to reveal her past lives. The bulk of the film was some scattered story of her unjustly accused of being a witch several hundred years prior. Most of AMC's b-movies have been very entertaining. Except for the D-cup hottie that played the head witch in the past, this was painful. Also on Netflix was Outsourced [ 3/5 | IMDB | Rotten Tomatoes ]. A nice enough comedy of an American manager sent to India to train his and his coworkers' replacements. I wanted to like it more, and it was OK, but there were some oddities (the romance was introduced abruptly, the characters were only moderately likable) that bothered me. Resolution was done well though.
[ updated 7 May 2011 ]
Went to the drive-in on Sunday to see Viva Las Vegas! (I don't expect anyone to believe this, but when I told one of my coworkers their reply was: what's that movie about?). TCM is showing movies at drive-ins throughout August for $1/carload. We ate fried chicken (fingers) and drank PB&B martinis (peanut butter and banana). The movie was basically a travel ad for Vegas and an exercise video with Ann-Margaret, but it was fun to cheer on the hero with the rest of the crowd.
Earlier this week, Trakovsky tweeted about The Auteurs movie web site. A good selection of classic, foreign, and independent cinema from $0 to $5 a viewing. My first film was Hong Kong director Wong Kar-Wai's Fallen Angels [ 4/5 | IMDB | Rotten Tomatoes ]. I put a quick review on their site; here it is:
First movie I've watched from this director.
More of a formalist study than a dramatic one. The individual scenes are composed as microcosms emphasizing a primary theme. People occupy the same space and yet never connect. Each character's actions and language (or lack) are almost undecipherable to those they wish to communicate with. Distance is emphasized by showing the actors through windows, mirrors, TV monitors, and even a decorative waterfall.
At times a bit too stylish-for-style's-sake, and some of the manic improvised scenes don't quite work, but overall a beautiful and funny film.
What they have in their catalog is wonderful; what they don't have is infuriating. I hope they get the rights to more.
Another couple of weeks of movie watching. From AMC's BMC site offering free streaming B movies:
Some fun stuff at the Plaza Theater on Ponce:
Also started the 26-episode anime series Gilgamesh last night while looking for something new on Netflix streaming. Four episodes in and relatively entertained.