Posts tagged “Tokyo

Cutie Honey / Even More Root Canal Treatment…


Cutie Honey  -  Front DVD Cover  -  UK Release

Popular manga comic “Cutie Honey” is brought to life. Honey is an office worker who hides a secret.  Developed by her father, Honey has the ‘I System’ a necklace that allows her to transform into the super hero “Cutie Honey”.  The evil Claw Gang attempt to steal the necklace and “Cutie Honey” must use all of her superpowers to save the world from hate.  With plenty of eye candy and madcap villains, “Cutie Honey” is pure fun and truly wacky entertainment.

2004  –  Certificate: 12  –  Japan
Rating Details: Mildly sexualised posing
9.0 out of 10

It was back to the dentist for me again yesterday, to finish the root canal treatment on a tooth that was started in January.  For over 90 minutes my dentist drilled (as in I could see and smell clouds of smoke rising), filled and generally hacked about inside my tooth.  It’s actually really hard to lie still for that long on your back; (which is something that my many, many lovers could confirm).  Dentists’ chairs aren’t the most comfortable bits of furniture in the world and I was started to get a bit bored too.  There’s only so many times you can count the screws in a light-fitting before you realise that attempting yet another recount is probably not going to yield a more accurate total.  The ‘calming’ classical music playing on the CD kept skipping as well, which really started to bug me after a while.  The injection at the start was really weird.  I felt like it hadn’t really worked, as nothing seemed to go numb.  Normally you lose some of the sensation in the side of your face or lips, but this time I had none of that.  I was expecting the first touch of the drill to feel like it was boring into the centre of my brain or something, but actually it was fine.  Afterwards I had no sensation of the anaesthetic wearing off either. It was like I was just immune to the pain.  Maybe I’m a superhero, with the mental and physical power to control my body’s own pain reflexes?  (Nope, I don’t really believe that either.)  I was starting to think there must be more miles of canals in my tooth than in the whole of Birmingham, when the dentist finally declared she couldn’t do it.  Whatever’s blocking my root canal, it’s defeated the best that modern dentistry can provide.  (Perhaps I should give the Canal & River Trust or Inland Waterways Association a call?)  This was followed by a discussion about what I wanted to do about it.  I say ‘discussion’, but as I still had a mouth full of rubber dams and other weird stuff, I was limited to saying ur urggurggh, guhhh urgghhher; so it was a bit one-sided.  So now I’m the proud owner of a temporary filling, whilst we see how it settles down.  So it looks like there might be a sequel to this horror sometime.  Can’t wait…  This film is about a superhero who has perfect teeth.

I loved this film.  I’ve no idea what demographic the makers were aiming it at, but it was great.  Like a Power Ranger on acid, Cutie Honey (and that must be the worst superhero name ever) deals with the Panther Claw Gang, one by one.  Based on a manga/anime character, the story is some nonsense about saving the world from hate.  As a movie it has many highlights.  The opening 15 minutes are as fun as any opening to any film ever.  It does calm down in the middle a little and the ending is a bit wimpy, but overall it’s an over-the-top mess of action and fun.  I was especially impressed with the Black Claw’s song and dance routine.  When I’m involved in a fight to the death, I always like to start with one of those too.   My copy came in a vivid pink, DVD case.  Don’t think I’ve got many of those.

We see Honey change into her superhero alter-ego a number of times, which comes with a bit of music that wouldn’t be out-of-place in the world’s worst game show.

The trailer is a shambles of colour, noise and imagery.  It’s great.

One cat, no chainsaws or decapitations.  A beautiful, ginger cat (with a brief speaking part), steals the whole first scene from an otherwise naked (except for bath bubbles) Eriko Sato.

Recommended for police officers, journalists and anyone with an uncle who can invent cool stuff.  Also recommended for criminal gangs that want to fill the world with hate, (you know who you are).  Good for fans of 60’s Batman; not good for fans of Nolan’s Batman.

Top badass moment?  Starring Eriko Sato (Japan’s top swimsuit model).  That’s badass.  Well that bad just about everywhere really.  (Note for ‘old people’: that’s “bad” as in good, not “bad” as in bad).  In any case, any film that carries the BBFC Insight “Mildly Sexualised Posing” has got to be worth watching.

Cutie Honey at IMDB (6.5 / 10)
Cutie Honey at Wikipedia
Cutie Honey trailer at YouTube

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Cyborg She / Rubbish MusicMagpie


Cyborg She  -  Front VDV Cover  -  Chinese ReleaseJiro (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.

Cyborg She at IMDB (7.0 / 10)
Cyborg She at Wikipedia
Cyborg She at YouTube


Organ: 1.5 Stars


Organ  -  Front DVD CoverThe Olympic Opening Ceremony in London was amazing.  I wasn’t even going to bother watching it, but then I thought it might be a bit interesting to see what they were going to do with some farm animals and all that grass in the middle of the stadium.  Six hours later, I realised I’d witnessed a modern-day miracle.  So many things could have gone wrong; all that technology, animals, kids, mechanics and volunteers, a recipe for disaster.  I ended up feeling I was watching England playing football and waiting for the inevitable failure that would leave the country ridiculed by the rest of the world for the next 1,000 years.  Actually I’ve no idea what the rest of the world really thought of it, but I think it was pretty spot on; it totally worked for me.  I loved the narrative that ran through it and it was great to hear three of my favourite 50 all-time songs (by OMD, the Jam and the Sex Pistols) used.  The part where the teams all parade around did go on for a bit, it was a little too like the voting section in the Eurovision Song Contest, which always seems never-ending.  Highlights were the team (and I forget which county it was) that came out in wellies so brightly coloured they’d not even be allowed into the Glastonbury Festival; the Queen fiddling with her nails whist the rest of the stadium went mental as the GB Team appeared, (well I guess if you’ve just jumped out of a helicopter and parachuted into the stadium with a famous fictional character, your nails might get a bit messed up); a realisation that I’ve never even heard of half of the countries in the world, (which all seem to be volcanic atolls in the Pacific somewhere, not that it’ll matter once they all disappear under the waves thanks to Global Warming, courtesy of the rest of us); David Beckman just being himself; and the countries that had woman athletes competing for the first time, (2012, has it really taken this long)?  Danny Boyle is a god.  The whole thing was great.  Unlike this movie…

1996  –  Certificate: 18  –  Japan

This movie is mostly rubbish.  In fact it’s possibly the worst film I’ve watched this year, (so far). It makes little sense, it’s hard to follow what’s going on and the picture quality is crap.  The special effects vary from okay to laughable and the rubbish acting has made me believe I would probably have a star-studded future on the stage, should I choose this path.  The characters appear to behave almost entirely randomly; (did they use a dice to select which line goes where in the script)?  I was glad I read the overview on the DVD cover, or I’d have been more lost than Jeremy Clarkson working as a fund-raiser for Sustrans.  Even the yucky parts are mostly rendered ineffective by the murky, dingy and colourless picture.  In its favour, it does however boast quite a high body count and it marginally improves during its second half.  Then again, we’re not exactly starting from the top of the entertainment mountain here; actually having your organs removed would provide a step up in quality of life from watching it being done to others in this film.  Oh God, I’m sitting here realising just how bad it was.  I’m sure there’s a decent film lurking in there somewhere, but sadly it remained elusive.  Not Japan’s finest moment.

No cats, no decapitations and no chainsaws.  But there are quite a number of missing organs and limbs.

Recommend for any guys who want a cowardly way to dump their girlfriends.  Just invite her around to watch this.  She will quickly come to the duel conclusion that you are both sick in the head (but not in a good way) and have no idea of what constitutes a good film for an evening of romance and passion.  Problem solved.

Top badass moment?  This film features a guy searching for his missing brother and having to deal with an organised crime syndicate along the way, so I imagine there’s a badass moment somewhere in it.  It’s just that I didn’t manage to spot it anywhere.

Organ at IMDB (5.2)


All Night Long: 2.5 Stars


All Night Long Collection  -  Front DVD CoverI seem to have developed some sort of repetitive strain injury in my left shoulder and arm.  For the past five weeks they’ve been sore, but there’s no sign of any swelling and the pain tends to move about from day to day.  I’ve actually lost a lot of the strength in my arm too, as a result of trying not to use it too much.  In fact I’m going to go and see the doctor in the next week or two if it doesn’t improve. I always though as a conservationist, that one day I’d be shot by poachers, angry at my preventing them from harvesting elephant tusks, freeze to death whilst heroically planting one too many trees up a frozen mountain somewhere, or be poisoned by the ultra-rare and ultra-venomous bunga-woonga jungle snake that I was fighting to protect from extinction; (I made that name up by the way as a sort of plot contrivance to keep things moving here, so don’t bother Googling it).  Sadly I seemed to have been ‘taken out’ by driving to too many meetings and writing too many e-mails.  I guess this makes me a bit of a geek; but without the ‘clever attribute’; or the looks for that matter.

1992   –  Certificate: Not Rated  –  Japan

This is another slightly bonkers Japanese film and the first in a loosely connected trilogy with the overall tagline “human beings are garbage”.  Nice.  Despite this, it’s more of a thriller than a horror, with a little comedy and romance thrown in too.  The story sort of makes sense, but there’re plenty of blatant “but what about the…” moments in it too.  Three young guys become friends after witnessing a random murder at a level crossing.  They decide to hold a party, (well doesn’t everyone after witnessing a bloody, multiple stabbing of a schoolgirl)?  They all try to find a woman to take to the party to impress the others, but only one manages to find someone; of the other two, one ends up handcuffed to fence by a prostitute (well I think she was one anyway) and the other gets so nervous that he’s sick on his would-be date, which rather puts her off going with him for some reason.  Anyway, the lucky guy is on his way to the party with his date when they get attacked by a gang and of course she ends up dead.  Well the new friends all get together to track down the baddies, which results in some suitably nasty shotgun action and some general all-around unpleasantness.  The best/worst things to watch out for are the rather bizarre, entirely over-the-top maniacal laughter that most of the characters seemed to insist on emitting when they’re doing something particularly, em, maniacal; and the guy who plays the young geek (he’s the one that was sick on his date-to-be), who really does look and act like everyone’s idea of a Japanese geek.  Great stuff.  The music, when used, is surprisingly effective too.  In a technical sense, my DVD of this film was pretty awful.  The picture quality wasn’t very good (very over-exposed and washed out) and the sound was even worse.  Not only was it mono, but the centre of the sound-stage was located somewhere near my birthday cards, rather than in the centre of the TV screen.  (The cards, all three of them, which even after nearly three weeks I’ve still got displayed, are located somewhere off to the left of the telly.)  It’s surely not asking too much for the sound to seem vaguely focused near the picture, rather than adjacent to a cruel reminder of how many friends I don’t have?

Recommended for would-be-geeks who want to see the real deal in action; plus anyone who collects recordings of horror-movie laugher; I guess there aren’t a lot of the latter.

No cats and no decapitations.

Top badass moment?  It has to be the guy in the car at the end, complete with maniacal laughter and Proclaimers style glasses.  Weedy geeks fighting back is always badass.  The moral being, never push a geek, because in movies they’ll always kick your ass in the end.

All Night Long at IMDB