2015 has been marked by more of the same as I wrote about and attended films and film festivals. I got work from magazines and other websites. I practiced Japanese. Business as usual. However there are some changes in terms of my future. I have the chance to go to Japan and that has been a goal I have had for a laughably long time but I have been too cowardly to pursue it until now but before that…
War is hell, as the saying goes, and no more so is that better demonstrated than in Fires on the Plain, a harrowing and horrifying story about a Japanese soldier’s efforts to survive the fall of the Philippines in the final days of the Second World War. From the first scene to the last it serves up a series of hellish vignettes of one man’s struggle against increasingly desperate odds, his plight made visceral and powerful by the director’s passion and experience.
I hope you guys had a good Christmas. I have had a lot of time off work recently and so I watched a lot of films including Howl’s Moving Castle, 100 Yen Love, Arrietty, and It’s a Wonderful Life. I also got lots of useful presents and I am now playing Fallout 4 over the rest of my winter holidays.
Only one post this year and that’s The Machine Girl (2008) which is a splatter film that is a lot of fun.
Over the summer months I reviewed Sushi Typhoon movies. This is the label responsible for many splatter films and was created to sell movies to westerners based on what Japanese filmmakers think will sell, namely extreme action, horror and all of the clichés that are conjured up when we think about Japan. Machine Girl is the perfect encapsulation of this and it isn’t even a Sushi Typhoon film! It doesn’t get any more Japanese than a schoolgirl fighting ninjas and yakuza with blood spraying everywhere. What makes our central protagonist a machine girl? The huge machine gun she totes in place of her left arm.
A week left until Christmas. The Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme has been announced and so I’ll get a preview of that done but for Anime UK News. Here I’ll try and close out the year with reviews of films, decent ones, not zombie trash like Stacy: Attack of the Schoolgirl Zombies(2008). Next year sees the release of the live-action adaptation of I Am a Heroand, as I mentioned during my report on the trailer earlier this week, I’m excited about it.
Subete ga F ni naru: The Perfect Insider ended and I have to say that it has become a strong contender for my anime of the year. I’m still waiting on that final episode of One-Punch Man to see if I change my mind. Blood Blockade Battlefront was fun but I still haven’t seen the last episode of that.
Stacy: Attack of the Schoolgirl Zombies (2008) is made by pink/horror film director Naoyuki Tomomatsu and it slots in between two other titles in his filmography, Vampire Girl vs Frankenstein Girl (2009) andZombie Self-Defence Force (2006) and it comes as I hit a wall reviewing bad horror movies. This one has ambitions of social commentary but it has a confusingly told story where the special effects overwhelm the message.
As a fan of the manga I Am a Hero I had been cautious in getting my hopes up for this one since the horror genre has been in the doldrums in Japan with a mixture of dumb low-budget, badly-made schlock and funny but low-budget badly-made schlock dominating the output (as I have been discovering over a long summer/autumn/winter of splatter films). When there is something other than monsters and zombies its pretty idol girls getting chased around by ghosts or psychos.
Zombie films in particular are pretty bad. The list of good Japanese zombie is a pretty short one as far as I’m concerned. Perhaps it’s a good thing that this is based on a best-selling manga and the approach to the film is to turn it into A-grade survival panic horror” movie as Anime News Network reports. Continue reading “I Am a Hero Live-Action Trailer”→
I had a productive week in terms of movie-watching with High Noon, Dracula, The Curse of Frankenstein, The Draughtsman’s Contract watched. I went and reviewed Ruined Heart (2014) as well.
I’ve got more overtime in work with the staff movie club – I won’t be able to watch the film but I will be earning money for next year when I have something special in store. I will be posting a review next week of a zombie films I have watched but there’s a trailer for I am a Hero which I want to post first. I will not be able to post as much as I once did because I want to practice Japanese and French.
The latest release from Third Window Films is Ruined Heart: Another Love Story Between a Criminal and a Whore. That long title should give an indication that the audience is going to be given a familiar tale of forbidden love with archetypal characters but the way it is shot and the use of songs makes the film different.
The year is coming to an end and the Christmas holidays are beginning. Big purchases are out of the way but I’ll be working lots of overtime to cover things including today. I am also collecting treasure for next year so this will be a regular thing. Not that this will stop me from watching films. This week, I watched Ruined Heart (2014) and Cast a Deadly Spell (1991) which features a very young Julianne Moore. I posted a review of High School Girl Rika Zombie Hunter (2008).