Ugh.

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I thought I remembered this was a good movie. Bad 80’s music and bad 80’s hair and clothes and effects and acting and story and whatever. Even the bookend old-man-eating-razorblades story sucked.

Things I forgot: Angela’s not so bad until infected by demons, the black guy doesn’t die first (or even at all), the dialogue is terrible. There’s naked girls, though. The director later made Witchboard II and Pinocchio’s Revenge.

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Katy wouldn’t have liked it.

Katy didn’t see this one.

Fifth Bresson movie I’ve seen, and the one that tips the scales. I guess I like Bresson now. That’s so predictable of me.

IMDB says: “Michel takes up picking pockets as a hobby, and is arrested almost immediately, giving him the chance to reflect on the morality of crime. After his release, though, his mother dies, and he rejects the support of friends Jeanne and Jacques in favour of returning to pickpocketing (after taking lessons from an expert), because he realises that it’s the only way he can express himself.”

Good ending, with Michel in prison. A prequel to A Man Escaped? No, but I can dream. Felt really good to watch… but don’t know what to say. More later perhaps.

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I recognized Michael Rooker as monstrously morphing Grant Grant (the TV producer with the dirty handshake in Mallrats) but it took me forever to notice that good-cop lead actor Nathan Fillion was the guy from Serenity. Guess it might be time to watch those Firefly DVDs.

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Rooker gets an alien shot to the chest, impregnates a local girl with thousands of mind-controlling slugs, and morphs quickly into a room-sized ugly mess of alien. It’s up to Fillion, Rooker’s wife and a girl they pick up along the way to save the day. It’s a love story! Hilarious and wonderful throughout, gotta see again.

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Katy caught brief glimpses and seemed disturbed.

What is P-Net? Who or what is Lucy Monostone? How can a virus cause people to get bar codes on their eyeballs? How come some bar codes are black and some are red? What exactly went on with the detective’s wife and why? When was the detective changing personalities and why did it matter? Why do iMac computers appear prominently in every episode? And what exactly is the deal with the eyepatched snuff-film collector and what cult is he in and what does it have to do with anything else?

These are just some of the things I never figured out about this movie.

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Our MPD detective (above center) is both Amamiya Kazuhiko and Kobayashi Yosuke, and sometimes (?) also Nishizono Shinji. Played by Naoki Hosaka from Salaryman Kintaro. Not exactly a Miike regular, and in the interviews he said Miike barely spoke to him.

The police chief in this town is Sasayama (below, reading the source comic), played by Ren Osugi of at least ten other Miike films, six Kiyoshi Kurosawas, six Takeshi Kitanos, Twilight Samurai, and Uzumaki (he’s the dad who eats the spiral-rolls). Wow. Accordingly, he was my favorite actor in MPD Psycho.

Then we’ve got evil psychologist Isono Machi (Tomoko Nakajima of Parasite Eve), hilarious model-crafting young cop Manabe (Sadaharu Shiota), the detective’s wife Chizuko (Rieko Miura), eyepatch-bearing video collector Toguchi (Yoshinari Anan) and Sasayama’s wife or mistress or both, Mami[ko] (Fujiko, the slutty daughter in Visitor Q).

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Each episode has its own bizarre series of deaths – from a religious cult schoolgirl machine-gun killing to pregnant women’s babies being surgically replaced by telephones, to the ol’ skull-saw flower-in-the-brain (above) to spontaneous combustion. Each is somehow caused by ghostly killer Nishizono Shinji, who can pass from one person to the next through touch, telephone or internet. Everyone’s girlfriends and wives get killed, Machi turns bad, the whole police force turn their back on the cases and pretend Sasayama and Manabe don’t exist, we learn the terrible truth about Shinji and trans-gender rock star Lu-C Monostone (the terrible truth is probably not terribly important, but it’s summarized 17 minutes into the last episode if you want a refresher course later), the Gakuso Group and P-Net are mentioned from time to time, and all along, Kobayashi is turning into Amamiya and vice-versa but lead actor Naoki Hosaka’s face remains so blank that I can never tell when. Besides the iMacs, we get recurring scenes on a giant ferris wheel, black-and-white snippets of animation, regular appearances by the eyepatch guy, cool totally fake rain (sometimes glowing green, as seen below), and Lucy Monostone’s hit song “same blue sky in a strange new world”.

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I didn’t love the movie… didn’t even like it as much as I thought I would… but definitely not bad, worth watching. Makes for good rainy-day viewing. Would maybe like to see again and figure out the MPD side of things. Cheap, made-for-TV looking video lots of times, but Miike always manages to make the best of his low production values. The non-MPD cops’ scenes have a lot of humor, and Chief Sasayama ends up as a really well-defined character by the end, more so than anyone else.

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Katy didn’t watch this one. Katy would not have liked it.

Katy and I and fifty gay men enjoyed the new JC Mitchell movie. Two guys in a long term relationship, one of whom is a suicidal iMovie-filmmaker, open up by allowing a third guy into the relationship. Oh, and a neighbor is stalking the suicidal guy and wait, they go to a club called shortbus and recommend their family psychological counselor go too (even though she’s really bad at her job and doesn’t help them) and she has crazy nutty supersex with her bf but no orgasms and there’s an ex-mayor of New York and a runaway goth girl with a made-up name. Plot summary is useless really. It’s a party of a movie… sad and awful but mostly fun(ny) and exciting. Great singalong parade of a finale.

Not nearly the same kind of look and feel as Hedwig… not glossy or shiny or anything. Appropriate, though, since that kind of approach wouldn’t have worked. All the interweaving characters and stories run together very well. Not everyone gets a full story arc – some are more developed than others… and good, because everyone’s lives don’t work themselves out during the few-week timespan of a movie. Felt more real than Little Children, unfortunately.

Katy didn’t watch this one. I don’t know if she would’ve liked it. I guess if she likes children and good photography, it’s a sure thing. Also, Jerri and Jimmy and I liked it, so it has proven widespread appeal among the 25-35 urban-hipster set.

Travelling movie show comes to town with Frankenstein, and two impressionable young girls watch it. Ana and Isabel have spooky eyes and active fantasy lives, but not as visually crazily active as in Heavenly Creatures. The younger (Ana) runs away, gives her father’s coat and some food to a criminal (who is later discovered and killed), eats hallucinogenic mushrooms, dreams her father as Frankenstein, and is eventually found and brought home. She’s been tricked and lied to and condescended to and has grown and gained a healthy distrust of authority. Apparently there’s a lot of political commentary about Spain in here.

Herzog’s oddball version of Nosferatu/Dracula. Renfield is Harker’s boss (was he always?). Some good scenery in the journey to Transylvania. Nobody in Dracula’s castle except the man himself. After the deadly boat ride, the rats and plague take over the city, ending with a wonderful fancy breakfast in the middle of the square. Mina Harker tricks the Count into staying in her room past dawn, then an otherwise useless Dr. Van Helsing finally uses the stake (offscreen) then is arrested, after which Jonathan Harker, not destroyed or freed from his curse by the death of the count, escapes presumably back to the castle. The last five minutes or so are amazingly great.

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We watched the German version… guess I don’t have the English version anymore. Katy didn’t like it.

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Cameraman Masuoka (played by Shinya Tsukamoto, director of Tokyo Fist, Tetsuo & Haze!) is obsessed with fear. He catches a guy looking terrified in the subway stabbing himself in the eye, and Masuoka is off on a goofy adventure to find out what scared the old man to death. On his way home, he’s often annoyed by a kooky neighbor claiming to be his wife, ranting about how their daughter is missing. Masuoka can’t be bothered with this – he needs to explore the magical subterranean wonderland beneath the city, where he evades monsters long enough to find and rescue a young naked woman, who he brings home. The woman doesn’t respond to much, acts like an animal, etc. Still being harassed by the kooky neighbor, Masuoka finds a way to kill her without being detected. He probably has sex with the young woman too – if he does explicitly, I’ve blocked it out already. Either way, she of course turns out to be his daughter, and of course he murdered his wife and there you go.

The movie is shaky and ugly and lo-fi and annoying all of the time, often being filtered through our protagonist’s unsteady videocams. Except when the guy goes underground and finds his daughter – really nice looking few minutes in there. Not so bad overall I guess. From the director of all seven Ju-On The Grudge movies.

Katy didn’t watch this one. Katy wouldn’t have liked it one bit!