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Japan UnderGround >> NAGURIMONO


10/16/05 9:26 AM
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hamu86
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Edited: 16-Oct-05
Member Since: 08/17/2004
Posts: 88
 
Has anybody seen this DSE-backed film yet? I managed to finish my weekend work by Sunday morning, hallelujah, and took in an afternoon screening with the wif. I'm reserving a fuller discussion for the blog, maybe, but I offer a few thoughts. This movie is of the nerds, for the nerds, and by the nerds, who were about nine strong in the movie theater, excluding ourselves. Fight scenes were fine, but the main reason why is because the filmmakers chose to have the combatants in two contests -- Sakuraba v. Rampage, Takayama v. Frye -- for the most part re-enact their real world battles. The third, between Wanderlei and a no-name chibikkotare, is hopelessly separated from reality given its predictable, fairy tale ending. The director's only stroke of genius was recognizing the fact that anybody shelling out the high Japanese ticket price for this thing was only in it for the fights anyway. Therefore the fights are cut and stretched out rather capably, interspliced with the necessary expository sequences withheld from the outset of the film. However, this requires yet another exercise in non-linear storytelling, something bound to confound those who were confused at times during "Pulp Fiction," let alone something like "Memento" (which, I fear, might include at least a plurality of the UG population). On to things that the viewer is not paying for. First, the script. It won't win any awards, but the story held together unexpectedly well. At the very least the fluff that bridges one action scene to the next is more plausible than that found in an average Shannon Tweed feature. Curiously, the content of the non-fighting scenes is so ultraviolent that I found myself craving the peace and solace of watching the fistfights. Second, the characters. Too many of them to begin with, and the only memorable one is a cheap rip-off of Nakadai Tatsuya's character from "Yojimbo." The memorable rip-off role is played by Jinnai Takanori wrestling with another bout of severe overacting. This guy is Jack Nicholson, Tom Cruise, and Christian Slater rolled into one. In the end, it was entertaining enough but probably not worth 1800 yen a head. A note of caution as well, since the Japanese language used in the film can be difficult at times. I'll go out on a limb and say it's better than the Mirko Cro Cop movie, which I have not yet seen. Actually, the highlight of our trip to the theater may have come in the form of one of the trailers, for "Tokyo Zombie," ostensibly the story of two guys who seek to defeat a multiplying army of zombies and who are armed with nothing more than Brazilian jiu-jitsu. George Romero meets "Brazilian Brawl," perhaps.
10/17/05 1:00 AM
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Opash
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Edited: 17-Oct-05
Member Since: 03/14/2002
Posts: 1973
Saw the trailers, but the peroid drama type setting (what it seemed like in the trailer) really bugs me, after watching all those lame Samurai TV shows featuring Ueto and co. Don't think a recreation of Takayama/Frye is enough to get me to the cinema (dude Cinema tickets are expensive where you go eh?) I'll wait for the DVD. BTW - Will keep my eyes peeled for Tokyo Zombie, now THAT sounds like a winner!
11/16/05 4:43 AM
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hamu86
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Edited: 16-Nov-05
Member Since: 08/17/2004
Posts: 89
Jiu-jitsu versus the zombies. I can't wait. http://sb.tsutaya.co.jp/WM/official/zombie/trailer_500k.asx

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