Thursday, February 21, 2013

Dead Sushi (2012)

Dead Sushi (Japan, 2012) - Color, Director(s): Noboru Iguchi
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Approx. 92 min.

Z-rating: 4 out of 5 stars for zany Japanese craziness

Cheese Factor: 5 out of 5 stars for one of the most bizarre plots I've heard in awhile

"Dafuq did I just watch?!?" is the only question going through my mind at the moment as I reflect on this movie that I had been DYING to see. Noboru Iguchi, director of other Japanese movie madness such as Machine Girl and Zombie Ass: Toilet of the Dead, is at it again with this movie about an outbreak of killer sushi. Be warned, this type of movie is NOT for everyone. I'm sure a lot of people won't get it and will just write it off as a bad movie.

I am not trying to call this a good movie by any means, I just don't think it's a particularly bad one. This movie is purposely cheesy (and sleazy!) with a ridiculous plot about killer sushi that spreads its infection much like a zombie virus. The ridiculous part? This sushi can fly for some reason... whatever. If you're willing to ignore common sense and just accept that killer sushi can fly, this movie is actually a lot of fun. Really stupid fun, but fun nonetheless. Their creator is a vengeful research scientist that was wrongly jailed for a crime he did not commit. The story really revolves around a cute daughter of a sushi chef who happens to working the night that killer sushi attacks the restaurant. In addition to knowing all about sushi, she also seems to be well-versed in martial arts. To make a long story short, the vengeful research scientist unleashes the killer sushi on a night where the girl happens to be working as a waitress before injecting himself and turning into a giant killer fish. Yes, it's one of those types of movies. 

Nudity: There's only one scene with nudity that I can remember. The boss of the company is running from the killer fish and hides in a women's shower. A girl comes in and proceeds to bathe while completely oblivious to his presence. Another great scene that I can remember is where a piece of killer sushi was in the process of eating a chick's tongue out of her mouth, a guy is just standing there deciding whether or not he should cop a feel since she's probably going to be dead soon. I'm sure every guy has pondered this scenario at least once in their lifetime. 

Gore: A lot of it was CGI gore, which means most of it is poorly done. The scenes that did have practical effects were alright. Not particularly convincing, but you don't watch these kinds of movies for their special effects anyway! I was a little surprised to find that this movie wasn't overly gory. Considering the director and the potential for over-the-top gore with a story about killer sushi, I was surprised the gore factor is so low in this one!

Awesome: Definitely!!! But only if you're into this type of movie. As I said before, this movie will probably be lost on most people and probably be written off as "too weird" or "bad", which really sucks because this movie is a lot of fun. People who enjoy this type of bizarro film will no doubt find it funny. My biggest complaint was that I wasn't prepared for how much CGI was actually going to be in this movie. I feel like the bad CGI will be the biggest reason for people to write this film off as a bad movie. Sure, it's low-budget garbage, but it's still fun!!! I mean, the girl busts out sushi nunchaku at the end of the movie, were you expecting a great drama? For a silly movie, the choreography was decent and really stylishly filmed. (Better than ANY fight scenes from Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy)

The zombie sub-plot kinda reminds me of Stacy: Attack of the Schoolgirl Zombies but the whole movie kinda reminded me of Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl overall. I would recommend this movie if you're a fan of movies like Sukeban Boy, RoboGeisha, or Tokyo Gore Police. Definitely made me hungry for some sushi afterwards!!!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Paranormal Activity 4 (2012)

Paranormal Activity 4 (USA, 2012) - Color, Director(s): Henry Joost & Ariel Schulman
MPAA Rating: R
[UK: 15]
Approx. 88 min.

Z-rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Cheese Factor: 2 out of 5 stars

This movie was pretty creepy. Now, when I say creepy, I don't mean that the movie was scary. I mean that I felt creepy watching it. I'm sure it doesn't help that I'm a guy, watching a 16 year old girl through what feels like a webcam while she sleeps. There's plenty of shots from the ground where you're just staring at her feet (for you foot fetishists out there!) and there's even a scene where she's in a towel like she just got out of the shower. How are you NOT supposed to feel like a peeping tom when you watch this movie?! I already reviewed the other Paranormal Activity movies for Halloween last year and I have to say that I really enjoyed watching them back-to-back. In fact, I dedicated the first week of October to found footage films and I might've played out the genre a little bit. This movie follows the exact same formula that the other films had without really bringing anything new to the table.

This is mom, but still such a pervy voyeur shot!!!

The plot of this movie follows the events that take place after Paranormal Activity 2, where Katie comes and abducts the baby at the very end of the movie then walks out the front door. Fast forward a couple years and they're moving in next door to a new family. The family consists of two estranged parents on the verge of a divorce, a hottie blonde daughter, and a young son. The hottie teenage daughter is played by Kathryn Newton, who looks like she'd be one of the popular girls in high school. Katie also claims to not be feeling well and asks the family to watch her "son" since the two boys get along so well. The daughter chats with her boyfriend through webcams and because he "accidentally" recorded her sleeping all night, they start to notice weird things happening around the house since the new neighbors moved in.

The only "scary" scene I could find

The rest of it plays out pretty much like the usual Paranormal Activity formula, the demon starts by knocking small things over like books and stuff. Then slowly graduates to bigger and stranger occurrences until it's too late to do anything about it. I think that a fourth movie of the EXACT same formula is a little dull. They could've tried to surprise us with something new, seeing as one of the tagline for this movie was "All the Activity has led up to this". I was expecting something epic to happen in this one. This movie plays out kinda like both 2nd and 3rd story put together. The only thing that was somewhat new was how the movie centered around the teenage daughter mostly. She's the one that notices the strange events taking place and she's the one that has her boyfriend set up the cameras in the house to record everything. Also, a lot of this movie seems to be about watching her. If I didn't know any better, this was the start of Paranormal Activity porn parody. "There's a demon in my house, quick, record me sleeping in my underwear!" (Fuck me, right?) I mean, look at these posters!!!

Someone should change the title to "Brazzers"

Nudity: None, that would've turned this whole movie into a porno. Not to mention the fact that the main girl is underage and it would've been highly illegal, the whole movie already felt like some sort of strange voyeur cam porno.

He's probably considering coping a feel...

Gore: Sadly, none. Some gore probably would've helped this franchise seeing as they really needed to do something to break away from the same tired old formula. I'm not completely against movies that follow a formula, I was a big fan of the Friday the 13th movies where teenagers will get naked and have sex before getting murdered in brutal fashion. That's all in fun, so it's okay if the plot is a little mindless. This franchise can't just keep following the exact same formula every movie because it's a found footage film. Found footage films always have to start off with at least a half hour of watching someone's "home movies" before anything really happens. Well, seeing as this is the fourth film in this series, we already know what's going to happen. So show it to us already!!!

At least they tied in the story somewhere in the middle of this

Awesome: Pretty awesome, but not very. Was nice to have a pretty young lady to look at for a change (no offense to Molly Ephraim who plays Ali in Paranormal 2) but the plot is really getting played out. No matter how you cut it, they should've done more with this one to really surprise the audience. That's not to say this was a bad movie, you'd probably enjoy this one if you enjoyed the other ones. Sometimes, people are looking for the same formula in a movie because it feels familiar and is the whole reason they fell in love with the series to begin with. I can only speak for myself when I say that I wish they did more with this fourth one because that would've escalated the franchise as a whole. First one introduces the franchise, second one escalates it with a bigger family, third one goes back and explains the origins, and the fourth one comes back to present day and really pushes the envelope. Due to the fact that they didn't take a chances and totally played it safe with this film, I doubt there would be as much buzz for the Paranormal Activity 5. Oh, you know they're going to make number 5. I gave this movie a higher score because I did like the other movies and I didn't want people to think I hated this movie. Overall, I liked it about as much as I liked the others, but I think this franchise is past it's peak and it'll be all downhill from here. What I didn't get was the night that the boy went into her room and she floated into the air, did she just forget to watch the video the next day? Seems like she was completely unaware that it happened. Also, it doesn't help that the Paranormal Activity trailers tend to lie and have scenes that aren't in the movie.