Posts Tagged ‘Japanese Movie 2010’

MUTANT GIRLS SQUAD [SENTO SHOJO: CHI NO TEKKAMEN DENSETSU | 戦闘少女 血の鉄仮面伝説]

2010/12/29

http://www.sentoshojo.jp/

JAPAN 2010  Directed by: Noburo Iguchi, Yoshihiro Nishimura, Tak Sakaguchi Written by: Noburo Iguchi, Jun Tsugita  Produced by: Yoshinori Chiba, Gen Sato, Toshiki Kimura  Cinematography by: Shu G. Momose  Editing by: Yoshihiro Nishimura, Takeshi Wada  Music by: Kou Nakagawa, Takashi Nakagawa  Cast: Yumi Sugimoto, Yuko Takayama, Suzuka Morita, Tak Sakaguchi, Kentaro Shimazu, Asami, Chiharu Kawai, Maiko Ito, Kanji Tsuda, Naoto Takenaka, Cay Izumi

I wasn’t too impressed with Noburo Iguchi’s MACHINE GIRL a few years back, albeit it being one of the better of the never-ending Japanese low-budget gore movie productions. The only inventive aspect of MACHINE GIRL was the machine gun arm, and that idea looked better on Rose McGowan in Robert Rodriguez’ PLANET TERROR.

As for MUTANT GIRLS SQUAD, Mr. Iguchi and his fellow co-directors have taken a fairly different road: instead of relatively straight-forward action the movie features a blend of fantasy, horror and SciFi, as well as elements from mangas or the chanbara genre, resulting in a much more imaginative and creative movie.

The story about Rin, a high school student who on her 16th birthday finds out that she is a half-mutant and soon after finds herself in the middle of a war between mutants and anti-mutant soldiers, is of course a hotchpotch of motifs and ideas from various genres and well-known movies, yet MUTANT GIRLS SQUAD manages to fabricate a number of plot threads that kind of add up to a very good excuse for the mayhem that follows.

Most of the creativity, that shouldn’t be surprising, was invested into the characters, the action sequences and the weaponry. And this time they are getting ahead of Mr. Rodriguez: breasts boasting samurai swords, chain saws growing out of butts, phallic weapons of all kinds, genre fans most definitely get their money’s worth. All these ideas may not be new to Japanese cinema that has seen it all before this way or another, but it turns out that the accumulation of tasteless details has its appeal if you are one of the less easily offended moviegoers.

Whereas the production value, special effects quality and acting fluctuates, MUTANT GIRLS SQUAD is a good effort for a low-budget film overall and often manages to make more out of every Yen than comparable flicks. What it lacks, quite like all its peers, is a significance of any kind. MUTANT GIRLS SQUAD is pure fun, zero function. Putting it into context, I would wish for more than just visual thrills: unfortunately, the Japanese cyberpunk movement has not resulted in smarter horror flicks as its intellectual qualities have obviously never crossed over. But that’s probably too much to ask in the first place.

What is regrettable though is that there are more and more movies like MUTANT GIRLS SQUAD and less and less movies that understand how to bend genres and project meaning onto the silver screen. The Japanese B-splatter movie has become a commodity, and its sole currency is its entertainment value. With its popularity unbowed, and films like TETSUO: THE BULLET MAN disappointing many, it is not very likely that something truly surprising is going to come out of this genre any time soon. Until it does, MUTANT GIRLS SQUAD ranks fairly high among the brain-dead gore flicks.

J.


 

 

 

MADE IN JAPAN: POLICE DOG DREAM [KINAKO: MINARAI KEISATSUKEN NO MONOGATARI | きな子~見習い警察犬の物語~]

2010/08/30

http://www.kinako-movie.jp/

After HEARTY PAWS, K2 and of course HACHIKO movie versions now comes POLICE DOG DREAM: 18 year old Kyoko wants to become a police dog trainer. At the police dog training school she is supposed to take care of a puppy trainers consider too weak to become a police dog. Kyoko starts training Kinako though, and if any of you are surprised how this story ends, you’ll lose your god given right to watch movies for the rest of your lives. This true story (what else) is directed by Yoshinori Kobayashi and stars Kaho, Yasufumi Terawaki, Naho Toda, Yusuke Yamamoto, Kenichi Endo, Miyoko Asada, Mitsuru Hirata, Ryohei Hirota and Momoko Ona.

J.

MADE IN JAPAN: WATASHI NO YASASHIKUNAI SENPAI [私の優しくない先輩]

2010/07/25

http://www.senpai.info/

Love happens, or so, between high school student Yamako and her senior students as she moves to a small island in Kyushu. She falls for one of the students, but can’t reveal her love for him until she finally writes a love letter that sets things in motion and makes love work its truly mysterious ways.

Directed by Yutaka Yamamoto, starring Umika Kawashima, Satoshi Kanada, Jingri Irie, Kinyyo Kodama, Natsumi Ogawa, Nobuhiko Takada and Mei Nagano.

J.