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Re: Japanese Journals - The Modern Cult Directors.

PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2006 10:31 pm
by trevor826
Well you're way ahead of the game with your comments A, IMDB has next to no info on it. Sounds intriguing, though it could be quite a while before we get the chance to see it.

Thank's for your comments so far.

Cheers Trev.

Re: Japanese Journals - The Modern Cult Directors.

PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2006 9:46 pm
by A
Yes, i noticed that imdb doesn't have anything on it, though it is already supposed to come to Japanese theaters in March. Another example of imdb being unreliable on some films. I've already had this problem with some older films that still aren't listed in imdb.

Re: Japanese Journals - The Modern Cult Directors.

PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2006 3:50 pm
by wpqx
Full Metal Yakuza (1997) - Takashi Miike

Ah the good old ultra violent b-movie. To varying degrees these have been a staple of direct to video releases for the last couple of decades. At one point in time these movies actually thrived in theatrical showings. In Japan, the genre has always remained healthy, and helping to lead a new charge of quick, cheaply made and extremely gory films was Takashi Miike. His Full Metal Yakuza is a gangster version of Robocop with a sword, and I can somehow see that popping up on a movie poster.

The effects are cheap, crude, and often hilarious for these very reasons. With a title like Full Metal Yakuza, you can't really take it too seriously. There are constant dick references, even though members are of course pixilated. Size does seem to have an importance for the yakuza and nearly everyone else in the film. Even the mad scientist would be Frankenstein admits there's hardly a point in building a super being if he doesn't have the junk to match. Although one really wonders what good it would do a cyborg.

Nothing in the film is really grounded in reality. The politics of who killed who and why are completely irrelevant. Still the film does have a broader context for revenge than the utterly pointless yet equally violent Izo (2004). After all, if you were killed, wouldn't you want revenge? Sure his creator doesn't see the point, and wants his creation to be something of a super hero, but well we can't exactly rationalize against the crusade. Along the way a very pointless and comical love affair pops up between the cyborg and the mistress of a man he once killed as a human. Although no longer human, throughout the film, he struggles with an inability to surpress his emotions. This reliance on emotions serves as something of an achilles heel, and goes to prove a rather neanderthal point that in order to be a real man/hero, you can't have feelings.

You can't take a film like this seriously, and hopefully no one does. Its a fun, cheap, do-it-yourself type of film that rewards our childish id's with plenty of senseless violence. Sure there's no enlightening method behind the madness, but Miike the director makes enough use of various cinematic techniques to keep the film interesting through its ludicrous story.

Grade C

Re: Japanese Journals - The Modern Cult Directors.

PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2006 9:45 pm
by bamboomedia1
Masters of Horror: Imprint - Takashi Miike

Has anyone seen this? It was released the other day on DVD but I couldn't find it at the rental store. I'm kinda surprised that Showtime banned this movie. I thought that cable companies would pretty much show anything without the FCC breathing down their necks. Controversy aside, I think this might be good.

Re: Japanese Journals - The Modern Cult Directors.

PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2006 12:17 am
by wpqx
I watched Takeshis' (2005) today, and wow I'm not sure what the @#%$ I just watched. This movie was confusing as hell and I have no idea what it was about or what exactly happened.

Re: Japanese Journals - The Modern Cult Directors.

PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2006 1:25 am
by A
Seems like you're in good company. I haven't read anything but confusing accounts of this film.
But I'd love to watch it nevertheless. It's a new film by Takeshi Kitano. I mean how can I NOT watch this.
Maybe we will hear more (confusing) comments on it?

Re: Japanese Journals - The Modern Cult Directors.

PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2006 3:38 pm
by wpqx
I can't say its good or bad, just very, very perplexing. I'm sure someone else here has seen it.

Re: Japanese Journals - The Modern Cult Directors.

PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2006 7:54 pm
by wpqx
Silver (1999) - Takashi Miike

Low budget, late night smut at its finest, this film combines all the elements of a low grade B-picture into one nice bundle. Who watches late night exploitation films? Clearly the answer is men, so what would men like to see? How about wrestling, good, so why not take it a step up and try female wrestling? Ok now we need some ass whooping. Well since we already got the female wrestlers, why not a female ass kicker? Ok good, now we're cooking, but what good is a female action star, in a B-movie no less if she isn't well endowed with a gravity defying chest? Alright who do they get, Atsuko Sakuraba, that'll do just nicely. Alright well how about a little s & m, a dominatrix, and a lot of karate? Consider it a deal, and the film gets made.

With a seemingly atrocious screenplay and a very, very, very thin plot Miike takes it upon himself to make this film worth watching. As if he's apologizing to people who may be watching the film against their own free will. So with a bountiful supply of clever shots little gags and a lighting scheme that remains unique throughout, Miike graciously makes up for his bile material. Like any of his films they are usually disastrously flawed, but worth watching nonetheless. Silver is no different. Since it was made in his earlier days (1999), the film still has a Miike trying to prove himself.

The film is entertaining I must say. I had no idea exactly what was going on aside from the very basic woman seeks revenge plot. Throughout the film new characters were thrown into the mix, gangs, alliances and very little explanation as to who was who and what the hell they had to do with anything. The "love scene" was so pointless and went on so long that I literally found myself falling asleep. The lighting in that particular scheme was what can only be called a Shannon Tweed purple. Even the set up for the scene is laughable. Jun on her birthday, after killing the dominatrix Nancy is celebrating with a man who I don't honestly remember where he fit into the film because he doesn't pop up afterwards. Miike shoots a closeup of her face where she simply says "Make love to me". I nearly chuckled at how pointless it was. You can imagine a producer saying "We need a sex scene", and that was the ingenious solution to how to get it in there.

Like most of Miike's films (at least he several I've seen) this one is of course style over substance. Revenge plots are always thin, but unless you're Park Chan Wook, then avoid them entirely. This film has neither the budget, nor the script to make a grade A picture. I still have a good 4 Miike films in the to watch pile, so perhaps god willing one of his films may actually elevate itself above mere clever trickery.

Grade C+

Re: Japanese Journals - The Modern Cult Directors.

PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2007 8:30 pm
by justindeimen
Here's my take. Doesn't deviate much from A's and I enjoyed it immensely. Obviously influenced by the more artistically inclined European directors and could sense a Fassbinder tone and a Felliniesque hyper realism in others.

Re: Japanese Journals - The Modern Cult Directors.

PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2007 9:12 am
by hengcs
Big Bang Love, Juvenile A (2005 / Japan / Takashi Miike)

My take ...
Hey, initially I was full of hope, given that it is screened in one of our art film theatre, and it premiered in Berlin ... but becos i was too busy, i was unsure to watch or otherwise (cos some reviews on the web were less than positive) ... finally i gave it a try ... becos Japanese DVDs are way too expensive ...

My verdict is :
WOW ... it was better than i expected ... the experimental style was very interesting ... ... in particular ...
(i) the partial reality/partial stage like performance/set design ...
(ii) the repeating sequences of narrative
(iii) the initial dance ... what a pounding soundtrack ...
(iv) AND most impt of all, like most Japanese film ... the PHILOSOPHICAL aspect of it ... and that means, a second watch is usually necessary ...

AND if possible: a QUESTION and ANSWER session with the director would be better ... ... ha ha ha

Hi A, at the Berlin Film Festival, was there any interesting Q&A with the director?

Hi A and justin, what do you think is the significance of the butterfly? or any other worth discussing scene/things/style etc?

as usual, i am less than thrilled by the space and heaven depiction ... but becos of its experimental style, it was ok, not jarring ...

overall, do give it a chance ... recommended