August 14th, 2009 (01:14 pm)
current location: Takashi Miike overload
current song: Hakkou - ROSSO
The other night I was trying to stay up late to see this meteor shower; partly out of my own curiosity, party because I couldn't sleep, and partly because Jenny kept popping into my room to ask if I'd seen anything yet. She said she was going to set her alarm for 1am, as the best time to see the meteors was supposedly between 12 and 5am. She told me to wake her up if I saw anything.
It wouldn't be too difficult to stay up, seeing as I usually don't go to bed until after 1 anyway. I'm lucky enough to have a huge window, so I rolled up my blind, turned off the lights in my room, and started to wonder how I could entertain myself for the next couple of hours.
How about some horror movies?
As I'm sure most of you already know, I have a... slight obsession with the Crows Zero movies. For whatever reason, there's just something about them that I can't get enough of. I'd been thinking about how much I wanted to rewatch the both of them, although I've been trying to hold off since the only subbed version of Crows Zero II wandering out in the interwebz right now is incredibly low quality. BOO. If I'm going to watch Shun kick some ass, at least let me be able to see his face clearly.
Either way, the point of the story is that I've got Takashi Miike on the brain.
I've got a pile of his film titles stacked up in the back of my mind that I've been meaning to watch. Some for a couple of months, others (like Audition) for a couple of years. It wasn't until recently that I realized I've secretly become a Takashi Miike fanatic without even being conscious of it.
So anyway, thanks to Jenny and some meteors (that I never even saw, by the way), I've decided to overdose on Takashi Miike.
I'm writing responses (because they can hardly be called reviews), more for myself than anything else. If you read them, great. If not, well... the point of writing them was just so I had somewhere to talk about the films. When you watch something as strange/beautiful/nauseating as some of these, you want to talk about it. Er.... write about it. They're written in the same order as I've watched the films.
Spoilers are either left out, or UTC, just in case anyone here would actually like to watch the films and hasn't yet.
It has been years, and I really mean YEARS, that I've wanted to see this movie and just never have, for no particular reason.
So lets be honest here. The first half of the movie is actually, really... kind of boring. I mean, it is interesting. You feel bad for Aoyama, the widower who wasn't een sold on the idea of an audition for a wife in the first place. He seems honest about his good intentions with Asami, who seems not-quite-right for some reason that you can't seem to put your finger on. To me she seemed just a little bit too perfect, and a little bit too emotionless.
Halfway through the movie, Asami disappears and things get weird. A good weird, if slightly confusing. Usually during movies I'm not too squeamish about blood/gore, though Takashi seems to have a talent for sticking just the right things in his movies that make my skin crawl (more on that to come...) First off, the needles. I cannot stand needles. And I know, I know, I have tons 'o piercings. Trust me, they are not easy for me to get. I also bring friends (*coughcougDAREINcough*) so they can look at the needle for me when beadworld man tries to give it to me to look at :D
Either way... the needles is Aoyama's face freaked me the hell out.
( Though I'd have to say the thing that disturbed me the most in the movie was...Collapse )
(FYI that wasn't really a spoiler, but whatever. If you plant on watching the movie... much better if you watch it first without know what's going to happen ;)
Overall I thought it was pretty decent. It was definitely interesting; it messed with your mind a bit, and had some good gross-out scenes. A good intro into the world of Takashi Miike films.
ALSO: Asami halloween costume for me this year, y/y?
My reasoning for watching Imprint next was simple - because I happened to see the trailer on YouTube and it caught my attention straight away. Seriously, watch it (and ignore the stupid English voiceover please).
Before I say anything else, let me at least tell you that visually, the movie is absolutely beautiful to watch (in my own opinion). Regardless of everything else I'm about to criticize this movie for, keep in mind that I would watch it again in a heartbeat because of the visuals.
First off, the actor playing Christopher was pretty terrible. And I mean really, really terrible. I think he just got worse as the movie went on, though he really wasn't in the movie enough to bother me too much.
As I said before, Takashi seems to have a talent for putting things that really get me to squirm in his movies. In this one it was Komomo's torture scene. Needles under the fingernails and jammed into her gums so the wouldn't scar her body, followed by suspending her from the ceiling from her foot (which was also tied to one of her hands), during which she pisses herself.
Okay, now I read some of the comments about the movie from the site I was watching it on, and most people seemed to think it was too fake. The 15-20 seconds I saw looked real enough to be before I slapped a hand over my eyes and waited for that shit with her nails to be over. Maybe that was my own damn fault, leaving too much up to the imagination, and the scene wasn't as bad as I seem to think it was. But I'm not about to go back and watch that part again to find out. At least not anytime in the near future. I flip out if my own nail bends the wrong way a little bit, no fucking way am I going to watch that scene without getting a little uncomfortable.
( The one thing I just could not take seriously though...Collapse )
I won't say it was enough to ruin the movie for me, but I will say that I wish it had been kept out, or changed a bit.
ICHI THE KILLER
And I do love a good mind fuck.
The gore in this movie is so over the top, it's almost used as slapstick. I would have no idea what genre to even try to put this movie in. It's not really horror, but now really comedy, or drama, or anything else.
What I liked the most about his movie is that there is no clear or correct answer as to who is good, and who is bad. You feel sympathy, fear, and hatred towards most of the characters. Ichi at first seems to be a cold blooded killer, until you see him cowering under a blanket and crying, saying he doesn't want to kill anymore. Though pity for him doesn't last long as you find out he's turned on by rape. Jijii, the man controlling Ichi, is easy to hate, though his intention in making Ichi kill are basically good - he's "ridding the world of bullies" as he tells Ichi.
One character that I really liked (for whatever reason) was Kakihara. He's almost like a lost puppy, looking for his missing Yakuza boss Anjo, and trying to find something to give him pain now that Anjo's no longer around to abuse him. He's seen both torturing others (suspending a man from the ceiling with hooks in his back, then pouring hot oil on him), and himself (cutting off the tip of his tongue as repayment for torturing the man who turns out to be innocent).
I would love to recommend this film, but I know it's not for everyone. You definitely have to have a black sense of humor. So if you can handle the gore, the violence against women, and the twisted sense of humor without screaming, "This movie was made by pigs!!" Then I would absolutely tell you to drop everything and GO WATCH IT RIGHT NAO.
Fun Fact! The semen used in the opening scene of the movie is real! Thanks Wikipedia, I didn't need to know that!
Well, I'm all typed out for the moment. Part 2 soon to follow.
(4.6 Billion Years of Love, Izo, Visitor Q, The Bird People in China.....)