A look a the lives of two sex workers in Tokyo: Rei, who works as an S&M dominatrix, and Ayumi, in the more straightforward profession of call girl. In addition to their working life, the ... See full summary »
This visually stunning erotic drama follows Hins (Adonis He), a young student who finds himself unexpectedly attracted to his handsome, outspoken male professor,Ming (Jackie Chow). Despite ... See full summary »
Tired of being treated poorly by men, four frustrated women devise a game of social conquest to reclaim their destinies. But each is soon challenged to face herself and her relationships while also battling a jealous psycho and sexist boss.
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This is the 1st Japanese Film to qualify for a Mat Award See more »
People tend to divide things into two categories, then they decide which group they belong to. It provides them with an identity and a sense of security.
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After all the end credits have rolled, we see the 5 people viewing the film-within-a-film standing/sitting uncomfortably in the waiting area, for a second or two. Nothing is said, then the screen goes dark, finally. See more »
A wonderful exploitation film for the 21st century!
Five minutes into R100, our main character is explaining to a tall woman in a trench coat what his favorite part of Beethoven's "Symphony No. 9," is. Mid-sentence, she stands up and delivers the man a roundhouse kick to the jaw. And from that moment on, the madness and manic energy of writer/director Hitoshi Matsumoto's (Symbol, Big Man Japan) latest film continues to pick up momentum, further spiraling outward into something truly unique and twisted. But let's compose ourselves and wind things back a bit.
R100 introduces us to department store salesman Takafumi Katayama, played with wide eyed longing by Nao Ohmori (Ichi the Killer). Katayama's wife has long been comatose and he takes care of their young son with help from the boy's grandfather on his mother's side. It's a loving family dynamic that exists in the shadow of the matriarch's impending death. Katayama visits his wife in the hospital daily, bringing her fresh flowers and making promises of the future, but he knows there isn't one. They all know.
And so, to help relieve the heartache and make him forget his woes, Katamaya joins a strange club known only as "Bondage." The rules of the club are simple: membership lasts one year in which various dominatrices will visit you at random and you must always be submissive and you may never cancel the contract during that year's span. As wonderful as all this sounds, things take a turn for the worse at the halfway point and Katamaya finds himself, as well as his family, in grave danger.
Matsumoto plants us into Katamaya's shoes for nearly the entire run of the film. We explore a Japan that is almost completely drained of color, save for the sickly jaundiced grays and yellows that cover everything. As dreary as that sounds, it makes for the perfect canvas for his parade of unique set pieces and characters to be introduced. We meet these otherworldly dominatrices (The Queen of Voices, The Saliva Queen, The GOBBLER!) one by one and the strangeness never feels alienating because Matsumoto's sense of humor is always present. It transcends any language and cultural barriers by just being outlandishly funny as well as consistently surprising. Without giving too much away, there exists a subplot that calls into question the film's very existence. It's funny and, again, surprising. You're always on your guard during R100, never knowing what will be the next logical step the people in this world take.
Building its foundation on the central ideas of David Fincher's The Game and Fight Club, R100 continues to string together ideas seen in western cinema, somehow resulting in a completely original piece of art. Roger Moore-era James Bond, Kill Bill and countless 70s kung-fu films make up the DNA of R100, but rather than coming off as derivative and lazy, it's clear that these nods are meant as a homage to the films that inspired a young, imaginative director to tell new and exciting stories. It's actually kind of sweet in its own deranged way.
This is a film you have to see to even begin to fully comprehend anything I can say about it. That said, it is also admittedly, "not for everyone." But if you have a passion for the bizarre and unexpected, this is certainly your movie. R100 manages to be shocking without insulting its audience's sensibilities. It's an exploitation film for the 21st century; a patchwork of ideas from every corner of western (and eastern) cinema made into a single, wonderfully told story of pleasure and grief. Also, there are dominatrices with guns.
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