Jiro (Keisuke Koide) meets a mystery girl (Haruka Ayase) on his birthday! One year later, they meet again. It is a shock to Jiro as she confesses and turns out to be a cyborg from the future that Jiro has sent to him as a present! Getting along with this mischievous cyborg girl friend, Jiro falls in love but she has no feelings at all. All of a sudden a disastrous earthquake his Tokyo, the cyborg saves Jiro’s life by sacrificing herself and the ultimate mystery of cyborg is going to be revealed.
2008 – Certificate IIA – Japanese Film
8.5 out of 10
Because I’m a fairly stupid person I sometimes buy DVDs or BDs (Blu-ray discs) that I’ve already got a copy of. I also occasionally upgrade from a DVD copy of a film or TV series to a BD one, or buy an alternative version because it’s longer or uncut. This means I gradually accumulate a supply of discs I no longer want. I used to sell these on eBay, but mostly I can’t be bothered to anymore so just get rid of them via MusicMagpie instead. The latter doesn’t pay a lot, but it’s quick and easy to dispose of them this way. Sadly, its home collection service is, (from my first attempt to use the latter), entirely shit. I waited about at home from 8:00am to 8:00pm on the relevant day for someone to come and collect my parcel, but no one came. It’s not like I live in an invisible castle floating in the sky, stuck in a parallel reality and out of phase with the regular universe, protected by a high (electrified) fence, a pack of hungry attack dogs and a set of visitor traps that even Indiana Jones would think twice about tackling; I live in a flat with a clearly marked buzzer on the outside wall by the door. And in a rare bit of good, British urban design, there’s always space outside to park too, without fear of getting a ticket or being clamped. I e-mailed the company a couple of days ago to find out what the problem was, but I’ve yet to get a reply.
Despite it’s time-travelling, disaster, sci-fi, slapstick, action-movie clothing, this is really a romantic comedy, the sort where nothing else really has any real world consequences outside of the two main characters. Get caught in the middle of a restaurant shooting? Big Deal. Doing your Terminator ‘thing’ in the middle of a busy road junction? So what? Your capital city gets destroyed? Whatever. It’s another one of those movies that only Japan seems to be able to produce, where this eclectic mixture of genres not only works together but feels entirely normal. In a damming indictment of our screwed up, star gossip culture, our hero, the nice but exceedingly dull and boring student Jiro, has become a bit of a celebrity in the future. This is enough for someone to want to travel back in time and meet him. Or something like that anyway. The special effects are decent enough and the story is fun in its own way, but it’s a film that gets its kicks from frequently and suddenly changing its mood. The scene where they travel to Jiro’s home village is really rather touching. It also has a dance-off scene that’s pretty cool too. The ending is a bit of muddle, as if the writers were suddenly struggling with how to sort out all the loose ends, but it’s a fab and fun mash-up of a movie, full of little Terminator references and well worth watching. Haruka Ayase is very cute too; not at all like Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The soundtrack varies from forgettable to okay, with the use of some pop songs filling in the gaps. J-pop is an interesting beast…
The trailer isn’t bad, although it does underplay the ever-changing mood of the film. The use of some questionable music over the action probably doesn’t help; then again, maybe it’s very appropriate given the ‘atmospheric turbulence’ of the movie. For some reason, YouTube has cut the second line off the subtitles; it probably doesn’t make a lot of difference though.
Recommended for dull students, both geeks and nerds, cyborgs (and other artificial life forms) and teachers who like to throw bits of chalk about. (Does that still happen these days or is chalk now classed as an offensive weapon?)
1 cat, no chainsaws or decapitations. A body does get severed in two though.
Top badass moment? I’m not sure someone/something that’s programmed to be what’s basically badass can actually then do anything that should count here, which leaves us with wusey Jiro. Sadly the latter fails to do anything remotely badass for the entire movie, which leaves me with a bit of a constitutional crisis. I’ll need to consult a solicitor before I’m prepared to comment further. Raoul, Jiro’s pet cat (not the lizard), puts in a couple of excellent performances; his eating from the dish was especially nuanced and controlled.
Academy Award® nominee Viggo Mortensen leads an all-star cast including Guy Pearce, Academy Award® winners Robert Duvall and Charlize Theron and an incredible debut performance from Kodi Smit-McPhee. “The Road” is a thrilling and deeply moving tale of survival as a father and his young son journey across a barren, post apocalyptic America. Respectfully adapted from Cormac McCarthy’s hallowed novel, “The Road” boldly imagines a future in which men are pushed to the worst and the best that they are capable of; a future in which a father and his son are sustained by love.
2009 – Certificate: 15 – USA
Infrequent strong violence, language and gory images
It’s Sunday evening. Monday is Christmas Eve. Unlike most of my colleagues at work and indeed most other people everywhere else around these parts, I’ll be at my desk tomorrow, protecting the planet so the rest of you can enjoy the festive season, secure in the knowledge that the Earth is in safe hands. Scanning the skyline for environmental Armageddon and other unpleasant circumstances, I’ll be poised, like a coiled snake, ready to pounce at a moment’s notice, should someone send in an e-mail for any reason that’s needs answering. I’ve said this before and I’m sure I’ll say it again, but when I’m at work I really do feel like I’m one of the Avengers or part of the Justice League. This movie features a hero too.
The trailer is really quite deceptive (and actually not very good), as it seems to suggest this is some sort of action film. It does have moments, but overwhelmingly it’s slow, quiet and thoughtful, with most of the action involving hiding rather than fighting. I have to admit to having a soft spot for post apocalyptic movies; I think they probably reflect my life in some ways. However, this is possibly the best film I’ve seen for the first time this year. It has few weaknesses. It’s heartbreakingly sad. As you watch an ordinary, decent guy trying to protect his wife and young son from everyone and everything, the hopelessness it presents will pretty well jump out of the screen, sit down and embrace you; eww, gross. With so many superheroes and action-heroes routinely overcoming impossible odds in films, it’s easy to forget that most of us aren’t actually like that and there’s a limit to what we can do. Seeing The Man (none of the characters’ names are ever given) slowly give up more and more of himself and his humanity is depressing beyond words and what few happy moments there are (and “happy” has to be taken to mean better relative to everything else), are quickly crushed. The scene with the wallet and wedding ring is a real killer and the ending will make you want to cry; it did me. The scene when they catch up with the guy who’s stolen their belongings is pretty shattering too. The photography is great. I watched it on a Blu-ray disc and really gets across the whole look and feel of the landscape; everything dead, everything smashed up, looted, burnt out, destroyed, colourless. The whole time it’s damp, cold and miserable, the sun hardly shines and it rains, a lot. (Actually that’s not unlike the view from my lounge window recently, what with the weather and all the fly-tipping around the rubbish bins.) The acting is top draw stuff too. The two main characters spend most of their time sleeping, looking for food, trying to keep warm and walking. This doesn’t sound very interesting, but the script is so good that you’ll want to celebrate whenever they get a bit of luck. The only thing that lets it down slightly is the ending, which has a rather big “why didn’t they” moment. I actually wanted to get something to eat whilst I was watching it, but I felt so bad for the characters that I didn’t; I needed to empathise with their hunger, (although I did draw the line at soaking myself in the shower, opening all the windows and rolling around in the dirt outside in the dark). This is a bleak movie; it offers a few moments of hope, but it’s overwhelmingly a wrist-slasher. It’s also a must-see film. I’m going to buy the book it’s based on.
Recommend for anyone with emotions. Probably not a great film for Christmas Day viewing; or Lieutenant Commander Data.
No cats, chainsaws or decapitations.
Top badass moment? Like Batman, he’s not perfect and he doesn’t have any superpowers, but The Man’s single-minded devotion to protecting his son is pure Badass. Yes, that’s badass with a capital B.
Yet another disaster has devastated Cactus World. I was in my bedroom a couple of days ago when all of a sudden I felt the Earth move, but not in a good way. A crashing sound in the lounge followed by an ominous rumbling similar to how I imagine the Gates of Hell would sound if being opened (without the support of a can of WD40), is not a good thing to hear. I quickly switched on the TV to my favourite Cactus World news channel, CW1 News, to try to find out what had happened.
A few weeks ago, the Easter Cactus in Cactus World produced The Flower. In fact I wrote about it here, it being such a once-in-a-lifetime event and all that. Well news was soon coming in of a disaster of cactusclysmic proportions. (Did you like how I altered cataclysmic to put cactus in it?) Obviously overtaxed by its recent efforts, the pot holding the Easter Cactus had become detached from the ceiling of Cactus World and plummeted to earth. Emergency services were quickly dispatched, but the pot had fallen into one of the most inaccessible places in Cactus World, behind a speaker and a lamp in the corner of the room, which hampered initial efforts to reach it. When they finally arrived at the incident zone, the rescuers were met with the sight of the pot, upright, but with most of its soil missing. More critically, there was no sign of the Easter Cactus anywhere, although some mangled sections of it stem were spotted lying about. However, satellites supporting what was quickly becoming a full-scale emergency, quickly spotted that the Easter Cactus had been entirely separated from its pot and was hanging precariously from the top of the speaker. Once found, highly trained paraplantmedics were quickly airlifted to the incident zone, but had to carry out a full pot transplant at the scene. It seems too early to tell what the long-term consequences of this are, but in the immediate aftermath, estimates from people who’ve visited the scene have described the horrific sight of seeing around 30% of the Easter Cactus having been ripped from the main body of the plant and parts of it lying around all over the place. Experts are suggesting that there will now be a glut of baby Easter Cactus plants for Cactus World to share with its neighbours and friends over the next six months.
Despite this disaster, officials has expressed relief that the pot actually landed the right way up. The gully into which it fell is heavily crisscrossed by power lines and other services that support about 75% of Cactus World’s entertainment industry. A large amount of dirty water and soil in this area could have devastated TV, music, DVD, Blu-ray and cable services for weeks, had it got into what are technically known as “the wrong places”. Given the incident zone’s inhospitable and inaccessible location, along with ongoing concerns about the safety of the area due to dirty wet soil and anyone nearby getting understandably depressed about the mess and the damage to the Easter Cactus, cleanup teams have not yet been dispatched to sort out the mess and it remains officially off-limits to visitors.
To try to reassure the general public, the authorities have issued a single picture of the Easter Cactus, resting peacefully after its pot transplant.
Right now I’m listening to “3 Minute Hero” by Sonic Boom Six.