Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Near Greatness

Trailer:


____"Tokyo Zombie"(2005)
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Directed by:
Sakichi Satô
Starring:
Tadanobu Asano
Shô Aikawa

No tag lines for this one, why? well..I cant read Japanese. On the back of the movie its proclaimed as the Japanese Shaun Of The Dead, and it nearly is. I believe I first head of this from Rue Morgue magazine, then saw it on Netflix a few times. Later on I saw it and bought it for the ghastly price of $19.95. It looked interesting with a nice looking cover that really grabs you. Ive been wanting to see a new, good zombie comedy, and this looked pretty good to go with but I was kinda reluctant. I like Asian films, but because of the recent Tokyo Shock Films which are kinda like Troma to me. I like some of their films but most of them I just don't like at all. Though I would rather see the Toxic Avenger then Tokyo Gore Police. I decided to give it a shot and...Well, I'm kinda angry.
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First off the beginning is great, I love the dubbing and the look of the characters. Their silly, fun, and great characters. The voices are perfect for how they look and the voice actors of Fujio and Mitsuo are perfect. It was a interesting idea going with a Jiu Jitsu take on zombie fighting, worked well. The zombies looked pretty good, never really looked cheap. The way they come of being is a bit silly, but acceptable. Like Zombieland, the movie is very light, which is surprising for a zombie film. I would even say this is lighter then Zombieland. There is not a lot of guts and gore, except for a few scenes; and that's where the film peeves me a bit. Now, I hate CGI, especially when it comes to gore. I think its just lazy, and theres a certain scene near the middle of this where it pisses me off every time. Its during the zombie fights where one of the zombies punches a whole in a wrestler. The effect they went with looks horrible as its clearly fake looking. But, its not only fake looking but I would go as far as to say it looked plain ugly. The main reason I'm saying this is probably because of the fact I had recently watched the film Story Of Ricky which shows what a impaling by fist should look like! Besides that the film takes a bad turn by the middle and really slows down. Personally I think that was a bad idea to go about it. You lose one of the main characters and it loses its pacing and the feeling you have gained watching the main characters Fujio and Mitsuo. I would have just erased the whole zombie fights stuff and the stuff with the condos and the humans. Instead I would have kept it just being about Fujio, Mitsuo and Yoko(I believer her name in the movie is) wandering about trying to survive the zombie holocaust. But aside from all that the ending kinda brings it up again and it ends pretty good.
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Now lets get to the plot of this. The film follows Fujio and Mitsuo slackers and proud of it. They spend their day at, what I believe is a Warehouse practicing Jiu Jitsu. One day one of their superiors vents his anger out on Mitsuo and is killed by Fujio by accident. Our heroes decided to dump the body in Black Mount Fuji. Black Mount Fuji is a giant mountain of waste dumped by various people and company's that have formed a mountain so large it actually has snow at the peak. As you see in it, people are buried there, dead and alive. There the two come across Fujio's old teacher. The teacher burying the dead body of one of his students with his pants down, obviously he had molested him(and it pretty much says Fujio had also been molested) The flash back of it had my favorite quote which is (Paraphrasing)"Fro's are not allowed in my classroom!". Fujio then goes to town on the teacher with a shovel. Meanwhile the bodies of the people buried in Black Fuji have risen and want flesh! Soon the epidemic grows and Mitsuo watches a pretty strange news report about it. The doctor with the little puppet he pulls the head off of it probably one of my favorite characters in this. The film then goes into Fujio and Mitsuo trying to get to Russia to train in Jiu Jitsu. Along the way its revealed Mitsuo thinks he has Cancer. Thinks is the key word. The duo break up when Mitsuo is bitten while saving a girl(Who I believe) named Yoko. Mitsuo leaves and their wheels are taken. The film then goes ahead 5 years and this is when it really starts to go down hill. Its revealed that all the survivors have moved into a walled in area that is ruled upon by the rich, using the poor as slaves and entertainment. Zombie fights start up for entertainment, which is where we get to what happened to Fujio. He has become a rather unpopular zombie fighter and had a child with Yoko. This whole plot is just not that entertaining, mainly because it breaks the flow of the beginning and slows down way too much. The ending picks it up a bit but still doesn't do enough to save it. The more I think about it, the more I was disappointed about how it went about doing it. The soundtrack is great too, I would love to get it. I would see a sequel of this; especially after the ending. I like the characters and world, its just the film isn't as good as it could have been. Basically rent it; Unless its cheap, not worth spending big money on like I did.
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Overall:
Gore:2/5
Music:4/5
Zombies:3/5
Cheese:2/5
Screams:2/5
Best Scene: Any scene between Fujio and Mitsuo

4 Out Of 5
(Would have been a 4.5 if it wasn't for the middle.)
Poster:
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