Reviews written by registered user
|6 reviews in total|
This was my second Jade Leung film and it was like watching a completely
different Jade Leung from "Black Cat." She plays a tough as nails police
detective but also shows her feminine side. I'm now officially a Jade
The story is basically "Lethal Weapon" with a twist: Leung plays the Mel Gibson part. She plays a no-holds-barred HK cop whose husband was murdered on their wedding night, so she has no fear of death. She's enlisted to stop an illegal arms smuggling ring by the Singapore police and is teamed up with Honey (Anita Lee)who, at times, steals some scenes from Leung with her own beauty and fighting expertise. Leung tries to woo a young lawyer protecting the evil Gwailo gun smuggler but loses love again in a gun battle and takes the fight in a air-borne helicopter stunt-fest. While sensual in some scenes, the film skirts the Cat III brand because of no graphic nudity, but Leung is enough to fill the screen with her beauty and grace.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Usually when I watch a modern Japanese film and it opens with "A film by
so-and-so," I know that the film is going to have some kind of message
the director; he wants to shock or surprise me. This film just basically
grosses you out. The film begins with several undercover cops trying to
up one of the worst kind of 'black market' rings---human organs. However,
something goes wrong and some police are killed but the main criminals--a
doctor and his one-eyed sister--get away. The cop on the case is dismissed
from the force but is determined to find the perpetrators. The
doctor works by day at a local school and when he's not tending to a
kidnapped no-body who provides him with organs to sell, he is killing and
mutilating some of the female students. (If you're failing a class and
to pass, offer to sleep with the teacher)
But the title of the film doesn't necessarily point to the organ-selling plot; it turns out that the doctor and his sister were horribly abused by their mother (naturally) and he was left with some kind of enlarged and lethal "organ" (do I have to spell it out for you?) Not only that, he either imagines himself or in reality is suffering from some kind of malady which affects his entire body; all the characters wander into and out of madness that it is hard to tell. But, you don't care about any of the characters, so who cares anyways?
After the graphic, bloody climax it's hard to say what happens, but the final shot is of the doctor once again at work in another slaughterhouse.
Some modern Japanese films are, in my opinion, a cry for help from a society that is desperately bound by its increasing population and mounting garbage problem (i.e., recycling=re-use of human organs). But more than that, under the beauty of the kimono and self-demeaning customs, there is a rage and frustration that wants to come out and you can see it in such films as this. This is savage, brutal and sick film-making.
This film, literally titled, "Aliens Appear in Tokyo," was the first COLOR sci-fi film made in Japan. ("RODAN" would be the first giant monster film). The first part of the film is similar to "Day The Earth Stood Still" as the Pairans try to warn a scientist using a new kind of explosive he has developed. One of the assumes human form (copying the image of a famous singer)and tries to communicate with the humans. Later, the same aliens discover that a planet is on a collision course with Earth--and the only thing that can save humanity is to use the very explosive that they warned against! This takes the idea from "When Worlds Collide" as the earth goes through disasters as "Planet R" comes closer and closer. Finally the scientist is rescued from the Yakuza, and the wayward planet is destroyed. The film is a charming look at Japan, coming into its own following the Occupation after World War II.
This film is one of my favorites from Toho's "Golden Age" and one of the
three "space operas" directed by Ishiro Honda. A giant asteroid with a
magnetic field is growing by absorbing everything in its path...a path
puts it on a course to Earth. How will man survive? Easy---through the
conviction and determination of Japanese will-power and ingenuity, the
is pushed out of orbit after giant engines are built at the South Pole.
is it enough to get the Earth out of the path of Gorath?
One scene that most Americans have never seen is the appearance of MAGMA, a giant prehistoric walrus which was awakened by the heat generated at the South Pole by the massive engines. After some initial destruction, the monster is killed by beams fired from a VTOL vehicle (which would see a new life in the TV series, "Ultraman" as the "Jet Beetle.")
Kumi Mizuno shines as one of the female leads with a great bathtub scene when Akira Kubo comes knocking on her door.
This film was one of the few Japanese films in the 1960's to get a limited
theater run in "art houses" and caused some controversy over the scenes of
nudity and suggested lesbianism. But the film is minor gem in the world of
A woman and her daughter in law sell body armor in feudal Japan in order to survive in their small shack in the middle of a wheat field. However, the two women kill renegade soldiers by chasing them into a hidden pit lined with wooden spikes. Things go profitably until one solider escapes the plot but wins the heart of the younger woman. The older woman fears being left alone and tries to warn the girl from seeing the young man---to no avail. But one night, a solider wearing a monstrous mask is run into the pit and the older woman uses the mask to scare the girl back to their home. However, the woman is unable to remove the mask from her face...and when she does, her face is a bloody mess. The younger girl flees in terror, in the direction of the pit....
The film is wonderfully photographed---the wheat field literally glowing in the moonlight, much like the perspective camera shots from "I Walked With A Zombie" but much more crisp. Story-wise, everyone tries to justify their actions, which usually leads to traditional Japanese tragedy.
The film begins with a preface: (paraphrasing) "This film has been rated
"R"...so please sit back and enjoy it in total darkness." I have to admit
that this film is one of my guilty pleasures but not a tape to show at a
family gathering--even though the film deals with the idea of family
loyalty. Fudou, the teenage son of a tough Yakuza boss thwarts his
plans by assembling his own group of killers and assassins (some kids, a
pair of school girls and a huge guy name Aizone. Fudou is taking revenge
his father killing his older brother 10 years earlier because the sibling
was making things tough for all old Dad. Just as things were going well
young Fudou, his father--still unknowing as to who is working against
him--enlists the help of a bastard son he sired in Korea. Now Fudou and
gang is on the run.
A lot of traditional (Japanese) scenes are turned upside down; young children firing automatic pistols; complimentary coffee girls at gas stations giving away poison and Fudou conducting his empire by cell-phone during class.
One of the girls turns out to be a hermaphrodite---someone born with both sex organs--which is re-occurring theme in some Japanese films. She falls for a female school teacher which makes for an interesting love scene.
Reportedly, a dubbed and subtitled version will be available in the U.S. within the year.