Category Archives: Japanese Cinema

Legend of Dinosaurs and Monster Birds (1977)

There is a legend. A legend of a dinosaur who somehow escaped extinction and survived to this very day! And is living in a lake near Mt. Fuji in Japan! And now with the big Dragon Festival coming up to take advantage of his legend, he feels like a snack! But even with a few people mysteriously disappearing in and around the lake, few believe it to be the handiwork of the Loch Ness Monster’s bad ass cousin! But even the most ancient of killer beasts can get cocky and slip up! Continue reading

Battle Royale II (2003)

Those of you new to this Battle Royale stuff need to check out the first one. Not because it’s necessary to understand or enjoy the second (heck, I saw the first one and I still didn’t know what was happening in this one), but because it’s a whole lot better, or at least, it’s more focused. Plus, in the first one you get lots of Beat Takeshi, while we’re relegated to about ninety seconds of Beat in cameo-flashback mode here. Continue reading

Godzilla Against MechaGodzilla (2002)

Is the 26th time the charm for Godzilla? Experience had taught me not to expect a whole lot from this movie, especially since Godzilla was going to be hammering on his metal twin, Mechagodzilla. Three times previously, someone had the bright idea that all it would take to defeat him is a really big, clunky robot that other than looking slightly like Godzilla really had nothing going for it. Continue reading

A.Li.Ce (1999)

I’m not one of those 2-D snobs when it comes to my animation. I realize that there is a contingent of folks out there that bemoan the disappearance of the traditionally drawn “flat” animation and bitterly complain about how cartoons have lost something with the advent of computer generated images. Like anything else though, the old style animation was just as capable as producing crap as any art form. If you don’t believe me, then you never sat through Saturday morning cartoons during the 1980s. (With the exception of Thundarr the Barbarian of course.) Continue reading

9 Souls (2003)

This is the movie about nine guys who break out of prison that manages to be both funny and sad that we’ve all been waiting for!

It’s a bit of a dirty trick since you get lulled into the rollicking road trip aspect of the film following their exploits as they search for some buried treasure that the tenth guy in their cell (he didn’t get to go on their field trip for some reason) has clued them in on only to have the carpet pulled out from under us ever so slowly and deliberately as the movie’s second half unfolds. Continue reading

Blue Spring (2001)

Blue Spring is one of those movies where I kept waiting for something to happen that would shake things up and distinguish it from any number of other boring, brooding teen pics. Instead, the movie wanders around for the first hour like an uninspired delinquent ditching class without any plans, before finally settling on detailing the rivalry between former friends Kujo and Aoki and how Aoki just wanted Kujo’s attention.

Aoki clearly forgot that he, Kujo, and the rest of the senior class at the local all boys high school just don’t care about anything or anyone! Gawd Aoki! Try to remember your gimmick! Continue reading

Full Metal Yakuza (1997)

full-metal-yakuza-dvd-coverThe premise is simple enough: mobster doublecrossed by fellow mobsters gets killed, rebuilt as a cyborg and returns to wreak havoc on those responsible for his death. As director Takashi Miike (Audition, Sabu) notes in an interview contained on the DVD, it was really so simple a premise that it wasn’t conceived by a screenwriter, director, or even a money-grubbing producer, but by a property guy who worked at the studio! Continue reading

Virus (1980)

virus-1980-posterMeteor strike, nuclear war, zombie outbreak. All ways our world could end horribly where the dead are the lucky ones (as the various movie posters would undoubtedly exclaim). But there is another apocalypse we should add to the list. To the top of the list that is. Big budget foreign end of the world movie riddled with actors familiar from mainstream domestic film and TV cashing easy paychecks. Continue reading

Rainy Dog (1997)

RainyDogCoverYuji is one of those hitmen who exudes that sort of anti-hero attitude that somehow makes guys who murder other guys for a living seem to be someone we would want to look up to.

Kicked out of his gang, he still does some freelance work. He runs around Taiwan shooting people in his long, white trench coat and sunglasses. He comes home and watches video clips from Gamera movies on his computer. He doesn’t talk much and he has really good hair. He even has one of those quirky superstitions where he refuses to go out in the rain because his grandmother always told him that it was bad luck. Continue reading