UPDATE: 92 and counting…

We’re in the middle of our Late Night, Date Night movie marathon but I wanted to bring attention the fact that this blog is nearly over 100 written reviews. I’m elated that this project has turned into what it has, and cannot wait to see what other movies get added to the list. Of course the idea behind this blog was for me to have fun with Asian cinema. And I have, but I’ve also learned so much. Movies tell stories, sure–but they also convey some very heartfelt messages.

There is a new episode of SVRadio coming up on the latter half of April, and of course 2 more movies in our marathon! There may also be a special debut from Project Zion coming in the future as well. For those that don’t know, Project Zion Studios is OtaKast Radio Network’s special department that produces radio plays and dramas.

At any rate, I’m already looking forward to the month of May in terms of new movies to watch and review! Look for an upcoming post in the future, and I’d like to thank all 529 of my subscribers for sticking with me!

 

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Perfect Blue (1997)

2013 Monster Movie Marathon:-Movie #2
 
Words: Desmond Childs
 

Excuse me, who are you?

You, my friend, are a STAR! Thousands upon thousands of people, of all shapes, colors, and sizes-come to see YOU.  How does it feel to have those eyes on you? Sure, you’re part of the famous pop idol sensation, CHEM; but EVERYONE knows who the true star is. We want you to sing forever, Mima! The only thing we will ALLOW you to do….is sing….

“You’re the one who needs to wake-up!”

Perfect Blue plays like a suspense novel from start to finish. The musical score underlines the paranoia and creeping dread Mima begins to feel as the story rolls to its startling conclusion. There have been countless pop stars who have risen into the spotlight only to dim just as quickly, fading away into the past. One can only imagine the pain-staking effort those musicians and singers have put into transforming themselves into being relevant for as long as possible. Many of these “Idols” attempt to crossover into other mediums such as television or movies. Assuming the Idol is in good standing, this would only bring them a slew of other fans, right? What if there were fans who truly believed their favorite singers, belonged to them alone? What if there were people willing to do whatever it took to keep up the image of an idol, even if the idol themselves wanted to move on to bigger, and better things? These and many more aspects of being an Idol are looked at in Perfect Blue, albeit dialed up for full impact.

The most intriguing theme this film explores has to be Mima’s loss of innocence. One example that drives the movie, is her decision (however influenced or coerced she was) to become an actress. Her life as an idol, in comparison was safe. It had become second nature to Mima, who worked hard, remained humble, and appreciated the help she received along the way. As she undergoes her new career path, she becomes subjected to more adult themes. As part of a police procedural drama, she’s placed in scenes with mature situations that push her further away from her comfort zone. Will you do the rape scene, Mima? How well can you play the part of a serial killer? These are themes a pop star, who sung about love, perseverance and happiness struggle to adjust too. The overall tone darkens with this career change, and we begin to meet “adult” characters; cold, impatient, unpleasant, and some even seedy or suspicious. The loss of innocence is slowly building toward being complete, but it’s not in the healthy way many of us grow into adulthood. It’s all forced and pressed upon Mima, who desperately tries to process the changes around her and within. It’s a very well paced hunt of a story. How the responsibilities and possible dangers of adulthood stalk, hunt, and finally kill the innocence of a young actress.

I’m never going to deny the fact that I love Satoshi Kon movies. In fact, I champion them whenever possible. I feel that he was one of the best at injecting true terror, suspense, and anxiety into whatever he touched. His films were never just animated movies. They were live action films someone doused in hundreds of cans of beautifully imagined color, texture and atmosphere. Perfect Blue has those qualities too, although the character designs here are a little wonky to behold; they do a fair job portraying characters for what they are. Keep that in mind. Do not let your own eyes deceive you, when watching Perfect Blue.

Perfect Blue can be found on a number of sites. It didn’t surprise me when I looked on Amazon.com and saw someone actually trying to dump it off for 63 bones. Anyway, fear not! You can find the movie for far less, and still get a HUGE bang for your bucks. Fans of mysteries, thrillers, and Alfred Hitchcock will appreciate this suspense-thriller classic by the late, great Satoshi Kon.

A Tale of Two Sisters (2003)

“You mean you don’t already know!?”

words: desmond childs

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Two sisters returning home to their parents. But from where? The children are acting strange, both toward their step-mother and father. What happened to Janghwa and Hongryeon?

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Bad Guy (2001)

“Love!? Love!? There’s no loving a scumbag!”

words: Desmond Childs

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What is it about “bad boys” that make certain women go crazy? Is it because their “dangerous” or “exciting”? Or perhaps it’s the chance to get away from the “nice guys”. You know, the ones you get bored with and stash in your friend-zone? Well, listen: if the idea of your life being in danger appeals to you, I know just the guy

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Yes or No 2 (2012)

“How does she feel about you?”

words: Desmond Childs

“…and how do you feel about her?”

Is there anybody out there that can distinguish between “being in love” or “being infatuated”? I’m sure we’ve all had our various experiences with both, and generally speaking it’s all a little too mushy and sensitive for me to go into, personally. However, I will admit (gun to head ^_^), Continue reading

Paradise (2005)

“You’re useless!”

Words: Desmond Childs

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Have you ever wondered how well you would cope with a series of unfortunate events. Would you crumble under pressure? Would death be a welcome release? What about your character? Your integrity? If you were stranded on a desert island with someone, would they trust you enough to co-exist? And there is always the matter of their character. You could never really know whether you’re hold up with a killer. Could you?

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