Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Mutant Girls Squad (2010)


Interest Failing... Brain Freeze ! !

why you do this ??

Visually Mutant Girl Squad was what I expected and the film resembled Tokyo Gore Police at the beginning but soon toke another direction in the narrative structure. But the film seems to be the Japanese version of X-men, the mutants look less human and more mutant and even has a bit of Tentacle erotica inserted in there. Like the X-men, the mutants are rejected by society and are hunted down but unlike X-men the mutants are not glamorised at all. The narrative of the film was similar too other projects that  Yoshihiro Nishimura  has been involved with but it seemed to a little bit over crowded with ideas and concepts which over whelmed me, I think my main problem was that i was expecting the film to be like Tokyo Gore police or Vampire Girl vs Frankenstein Girl so when there was no real distinction between the main female protagonists, the story became overcrowded with concepts. The films concept would be if Buffy teamed up with the Charmed Sisters, which sounds like an awesome concept but if everyone of them wanted to be the chosen/ main character then that doesn't sound fun anymore.

Visually the movie was as interesting but the narrative structure was disappointing, this is after watching other films produced by Yoshihiro Nishimura and because I was looking forward to watching the film. our first character character Rin Nagisa starts out being very emo and there is an suggestion that she cuts herself (well this is produced by the guy who did the special effects in suicide circle). The film suggests that the monster inside her changes her personality but she was born with the mutation so explain that, like I said before about it being like X-men, being a mutant should not change your personality, unless they are suggestion that having more power changes people but the film really needed and excuse to go all kamikaze. Aki was the female that follows Rin around at the beginning, before Rin knows she is a mutant, it would appear that Aki and Rin have the same character structure. I think this is the main reason I lost interest, in Vampire Girl vs Frankenstein Girl, vampire girl is bubbly or a positive person and Frankenstein girl is a bitch or a disruptive person.What I found amusing about the film was octopus girl AKA Kae


The film seemed to build up but the final battle ended allot sooner than they have done in previous film, there was a character which looked like Astro boy and because he cut himself I call him Emo Astro Boy. But like I keep sing, it is worth watching because the visuals where interesting as usual and the only reason I was disappointed was because the story was far too complicated than what it needed to be. Also like all  of  Yoshihiro Nishimura 's it has a Gorey sense of humour, his films are not made to be taken seriously but as a bit of fun and he is like a Japanese Quintin Tarentino.

Monday, 25 June 2012

Rincos Restaurant (2009)


Method to the madness:

A whole pigs worth.

Kou Shibasaki has been allot of interesting film and play really complicated character's so is worth watching her film. Her characters are complex in the way that all of them have issues in one form or another, Kou Shibasaki chooses roles where the character is either social awkward or just diverse in the way they present themselves to society. Kou Shibasaki's character Noriko or Rinco appears to have a very unusual life from being a child and decides to leave her mother so that she can find some normality but things don't go to plan. Bad things happen to Rinco like her grandmother dies, Rinco loses her voice, she is forced to live her mother and their relationship is not a very loving one. Rinco goes on a journey to pursue the only dream she know; to open a restaurant. The story is a journey of self discovery, Kou Shibasaki's character is almost child like in her manner , the narrative uses allot of symbolism and is constructed like a fairytale.

The story depicts the importance of food, food is a great tradition which is an art form in itself and is use like a form of therapy for the spirit.  The whole narrative surrounds cooking because Rinco don't talk throughout the film and this leads to some really awkward or comical moments throughout the film because the audience knows why Rinco will not talk but none of the other characters do. Rinco's mother seemed very familiar to me so I looked up the actresses name on the Asian Wiki website to discover that Kimiko Yo was also in Ramen Girl.

Ramen Girl is a film that was released in 2008 , it is a Western interpretation of Japanese living and also stars Brittany Murphy. Both Ramen Girl and Rinco's Restaurant have similar themes that it is important the way you cook food because cooking is an art form that effect people on an emotional level.


Rinco's restaurant is more of Japanese interpretation of cooking through the method of tradition, The reason i did not recognise  Kimiko Yo at first is because Japanese actors or actresses do not play similar roles repeatability but try to challenge their acting abilities. The audience go on a journey with Rinco, which is to find her own voice and it most be a challenging role in itself to play a character that can not talk throughout the film up until the last second with out laughing. The narrative had like sub-plots going on but the story was between Rinco and her mother; I mention this because most film seem to have a romantic narrative between at least one of the main characters simply because most director feel like this is necessary even if it has nothing to do with the main plot point. There was a love element of the story but this only lasted about 20 minutes of the plot and did not interrupt with the main narrative. don't get me wrong, I don't mind a love story but if I have a chosen a film which has nothing to do with a love story and it turns into one; I just lose interest in the film.

The film is about life and death; the character life their life's in their own crazy little ways, there are no normal personalities in the film and Rinco's mother is an extraordinary character who chooses to have a pet pig and all the neighbours talk about her. This is the reason that Rinco is so quite, she just wants to have a normal life but the thing is that she does not know what that entails because she has had a very unusual upbringing. Rinco is left by herself in the end because the pig gets eaten for her mother wedding feast and her mother then dies. the ironing is that Rinco finally finds her voice when there is no one else to talk to and she discovers that her mother did care about her even though she is not show is. There are allot of philosophical messages in the film, which in themselves are a question on life and questions on peoples interpretation on life.

Friday, 8 June 2012

Gothic and Lolita Psycho (2010)


Too Much Bible, Not Enough Psycho

Are you People Crazy ??

After looking through the Gothic and Lolita bible and watching film that Yoshihiro Nishimura's various titles. I came across Lolita and Gothic Psycho, which is a film that is not directed by Yoshihiro Nishimura but still he is involved with the visual effects. So when I came to watch the film , I was surprised at how disappointed I was at the how the film was portrayed and this is not because it was a bad film. In fact it was a good film but not the best film I have ever watched and I loved the costumes. The main problem I had with the film was the theme of the film itself , for it seemed not quite Japanese enough and the concept ran around Christianity which contradicted itself with themes of murder or revenge.  I honestly thought the film would have run on a simple theme like in Tokyo Gore Police or Helldriver but when I think of Lolita, Christianity does not come to mind because Christianity is a westernised concept. When I heard of the film, I had the concepts that had read in the Gothic and Lolita bible in mind but it was very Eastern concept of Victorian clothing.

 Like on the trailer that I watched for the film, the fight scene's where in fact interesting to watch and lasted a reasonable amount of time because our heroine didn't instantly win her fights but did so with style. Their where some Character , who where our heroine enemies but was very interesting in the way they dressed and acted. Like the Geisha at the beginning of the film had an amazing weapon the was designed in the shade of a skull and one thing that struck me about the film was its lack of Gore. I am not saying that the film had not blood but compared to other film's that Yoshihiro Nishimura has been involved with; it seems too sutle.

The felt like it had a number of different narratives or concepts running at the same time . As much as I liked the artist sides of the film and the Lolita girl, her motivation was a little vague because I had no idea that vicars where O.K with murder or even suggested it to the daughters. Also some scene's seemed to drag a little, like the one involving the Kamikaze gang which was apparent that they was going to lose but refused to give up.The Kamikaze gang where more of a street dancing club than a martial artists and the film turned into a dance movie for a while.

The movie did have some really good moment, but my favourite has to be when Lady Elle appeared and i know she is a one of Gothic Lolita's enemies. Still though Gothic Lolita was a very none descript character, even thought the audience understands the reasoning behind the characters persona was because of the mother's death, it was refreshing to have any emotion and we got crazy from Lady Elle. In the fight scene between Gothic Lolita and Lady Elle, Lady Elle is basically winning with out trying and the scene is very sarcastic and because the film is a contradiction i am hoping that sarcasm is a tool that runs through the whole film.  The only disappointing thing is Lady Elle's death even though it is predictable and it's not like i wanted Gothic Lolita to die but it felt like a new team was forming like the Justice League.

Another ironic thing that happens is her dad dies, even though her main mission is to seek revenge for her mothers death, she is the main cause of her fathers death and so the circle is complete. In the end , she turns into a demon type creature and the starts feel completely different like walking into a Buffy the Vampire Slayer scene. The make-up was interesting but after watching the film for that long time, the sense of this scene did not really fit and even though I saw the cover before watching the film. I was expecting to see the demon or creature before the end of the film and felt like it was added it plot twist on at the end. although the demon did make more sense than the christian storyline;

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Liar Game: Final Stage (2010)

Your Doing It Wrong....

 It's called Liar Game

I discovered Liar Games after being impressed by Erika Toda's performance in Death Note as Misa, Liar Games seems to follow a similar theme's to Death Note and these are few but it could explain the reasoning behind Erika Toda's interest in the role. Liar Game is a movie that originated from a Manga like Death Note or Kaiji, along side many other Japanese movies which have been inspired by other media based products like Literature or even Painting. Liar Game seamed interesting because it has the charm of a reality show, where the contestants show realist emotions toward the main objective which is the money and I would describe the as being like Battle Royale because as much as the film is about competition. It is not about Killing, it is film about mistrust but it is not a film about survival and the being with Battle Royale is that allot of film that have any form of competition are always described to be like Battle Royale. Liar Game is more like Kaiji than it is Battle Royale but instead of card games the constants play with apples for money. There are Gold , Silver and Red apples that the contents have to choose to win the game. the winning apple is the one the most people choose but there are various rules that apply to the game. These extra rules make it harder for the contestants to trust each other and they become engrossed with idea of making lots of money so their makes it harder for them to cooperate.

Liar Games follow many simple theme's, like the title itself is the title itself is the Liar Game but unfortunately not everyone one in the film understood the concept of the title and I could understand why the student of Battle Royale where confused to the rule of their game went they woke up but in Liar Game they know what the game is about or they should. After half an hour of Erika Toda's character repeatedly making the same mistakes and being fooled all over again ; I could feel myself palming my face. It was like everyone understood the game expect from her and all the other contestant throughout the film kept calling her stupid but still there was something pure about her character.

The character that appeared on the screen to present the contestants with their tasks reminded me of the doll from the Saw movies, except from this is not a movie about Death Games but still I feel that the director was inspired a little by the Saw movies just for that character alone.

The films main focus point was on Erika Toda's character, maybe because she was the only honest person their and childishly naive. But another reason this could have been because the audience is seeing the film from the prospective of Erika Toda's character (Nao Kanzaki), the other characters are behaving suspicious and the audience are constantly questioning Erika Toda's behaviour for we see how the other characters behave but still she maintains her naive perspective. in fact the only time she lies in the whole film is when she is basically told to and the only reason she does is to protect the other contestants. Despite the fact most of the people in the group have screwed her over;

The Game is base on the concept of the Garden of Eden and that concept itself depicts greed or just the concept of mistrust.

I know that Erika Toda's Character in Death Note ( Misa) was naive but her character in Liar Game was so past naive that it was too easy of the characters to use her and in fact she kind of encouraged them to take advantage of her. Hence why her character felt almost child like, it was a little disappointing even though the film was enjoyable to watch and her positive energy was refreshing. Still I was disappointed about how weak her character was and would have been interesting to see her stand her own ground because even though she did get everyone to work together in the end. it felt as if she could not manage with out the main male protagonist Akiyama Shinichi;

But saying that the concept of the film was awesome, the apple was an interesting choose of voting tool and concept of the Garden of Eden was something i have not seen before. The set that was use; was probably the only thing that we saw throughout the film but it was perfectly designed to the degree that you could believe it to be a real life television show. Liar Game is probably one of those films which have watch over again to make sure you have not missed anything out or just understand it better because there is so much going on in each scene.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Goshu the Cellist (1982)

If Music be the food of.....

Mr Raccoon, Mr Raccoon


Like any other Studio Ghibli fan I am interested in looking at older Ghibli films that are available out there , this seems more important because Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata  do seem to be producing as many animations them they where in the late 80's to early millennium .I don't want to go to to much about Ghibli or the producers because this is information that to can find out about on the Internet or even on the DVD box sets that you buy. But when I glanced at the cover of Goshu the Cellist it reminded me of the movie poster of the modern day movie Departures (2008). Well apart from the animal in the picture that is;

The animals that are in Goshu the Cellist remind me of all the animals that have ever been in Ghibli film, Pom Poko has raccoons in the film and in Goshu the Cellist there also is a raccoon that appears. It would seem that Ghibli have reused and improved upon old concepts such as Panda! Go Panda is a clear influence for there later film Totoro. The concept of Goshu the Cellist remind me of the scene in Whisper of the heart when the characters have a sing among but in most Ghibli film there have moment of the films where they reflect each other or a style that reminds the audience that they are watching a Ghibli Product.In the case of Departures, I do not think that the narrative of the film matches the same concept of Goshu the Cellist but what struck me was the imagery of the cello on the poster and this no simply just because there is a cello in the image like in Gostu the cellist but the whole image from colouring to composition is perfectly similar to Isao Takahata 's film.

Gostu the Cellist has a different prospective to the Departures because for one thing Goshu the Cellist is a Ghibli style film so  it looks on  a positive theme and Departure is not a negative movie but it deals with realistic themes through-out, like Death and lose.I was shocked at how long the time was, nearly 6 hours so i quickly looked on Youtube to compare the films further. But Gostu the Cellist follows a very simple narrative which simply is about a man who is learning to play the cello for his local orchestra but is struggling to play as well as anyone else. he goes on a magical journey and is taught to play his instrument by creatures of the forest and successfully learns to play his instrument by the end of the film.

What is interesting about the film is the fact that is about music and this before Studio Ghibli where in business so Joe Hisaishi who produces the Ghibli soundtrack in the most successful film was properly not involved at this time. What is even more ironic is the fact Joe Hisaishi produced a soundtrack for Departures;

It is interesting to see the concept that animal can teach us how to play music but saying that Ghibli always have had element of the nature playing in the background to remind us that the environment around us is important to mankind's existence. There are many Studio Ghibli films that have messages in , like Princess Mononoke where The humans abandon nature and become greedy to the point of almost destroying everything around them. also there is Pom Poko where the wildlife are at threat of being extinction because their habitat is being destroyed , so they choose to fight back but when that fails they are forced to adapt to survive and live as humans. The effects of Goshu's music is that when he plays bad music bad thing happen and when he plays good music gives him the power to heal animal. Basically he effects the environment around him;