It can be said that there are two different categories of “guilty pleasures”: the first category is the type of movie that is critically panned and generally considered a mediocre movie, but you just have fun with it. The second category is a movie that is poorly written, acted and directed, the effects are hoaky and poorly executed, and the entire movie is so laughably bad that it transcends its own negativity to become something that’s unintentionally brilliant. [b]Riki-Oh[/b] fits snugly into the second category, providing more laughs and unintentional hilarity than most comedies [i]intend[/i] to provide, and has some of the most outrageous gore ever committed to celluloid. Translation: it’s a great movie.
The story in [b]Riki-Oh[/b] is pretty much non-existent. Riki is a prisoner in the future where prisons are run by corporations who exploit the prisoners as free laborers. Some back story is thrown in through random flashbacks involving Riki avenging the death of his girlfriend (or is that his sister?), using the most lethal of martial arts techniques: breath control. Apparently if you have control of your breath, you can stop heart attacks, break through walls of reinforced steel, and have strikes so powerful that you can actually punch [i]through[/i] people. It’s quite a feat, to be sure, but the training sequences are what really convince the audience this could be real. Riki trains with his uncle in a graveyard, where they demolish all of the tombstones – you would think something like this would be frowned upon, but when you’re this badass you know no one is going to bother you about it.
One of the best parts of [b]Riki-Oh[/b] is its complete sincerity in what it’s doing. Siu-Wong Fan – who plays the titular character – has this look of complete seriousness throughout, as if he is trying to win some awards with an incredibly heartfelt performance in a sure-fire masterpiece of filmmaking. When profusely angered, he puts turns his face towards the sky and screams at the powers-that-be, before engaging in some of the most spectacular air-fu* ever created by mortal men. Surely if a certain invisible character from a novel by H.G. Wells were anywhere in the vicinity, he would have his ass handed to him.
*air-fu (verb); kung fu against an invisible opponent – derives from “air guitar”.
It’s impossible to discuss [b]Riki-Oh[/b] without comparing it to another hoaky, low-budget gorefest which is equally brilliant – Peter Jackson’s first feature length film, [b]Bad Taste[/b]. Both films make extensive use of homemade prosthetics and make-up effects, and both films use quick cuts between real actors and prosthetics or costumes to try and blend the real and fake elements together. All this really does is magnify how ridiculous the effects really are, and successfully makes both movies even more fun. Both films also feature a final confrontation with a monster that is so utterly ridiculous that it makes you wonder if the filmmakers were trying to create something completely outlandish, or if they were just completely insane. In the case of [b]Riki-Oh[/b], it may very well have been more of the latter.
Where [b]Riki-Oh[/b] gets its charm is in its pure sense of fun. How one could not have a great time watching this movie just doesn’t make any sense. The gore is so over the top and out there that it couldn’t even be considered disturbing or offensive, and the movie just makes so little sense and takes itself so seriously in doing so that it’s an absolute joy. It actually brings back memories of another film I recently reviewed called [b]Duel to the Death[/b], in which any plot or believability is completely abandoned for the sake of pure, unabashed fun. Whether this is what was actually intended by the filmmakers is beside the point, because that’s what it is.
How one can not love a movie in which people actually get [i]kicked[/i] in half just doesn’t make any sense. Nor does every minute you go without seeing this movie – it’s delightful.
[b]One False Move[/b]
A great thriller starring Billy Bob Thornton as one of the most vile characters I have seen in some time.
it does suffer a bit from "early 90s style", which I have to say I am not a fan of - not just the clothes, music and such, but the way it is actually shot is very reminiscent of the time, and I am just not a big fan.
However, the writing is great, and all the performances are as well.
I think Billy Bob Thornton has done some of his best work as a writer.
Even better the second time around...while [b]Batman Begins[/b] takes the cake as my favorite Nolan film (for obvious reasons), I have to say this comes damn close, and despite my own personal bias, it is the better film.
Nolan's films just keep getting better and better and I find him very exciting.
Knowing what is coming at the end does not ruin the effect at all - in fact, I felt it almost strengthened its impact.
Freaking awesome movie in the style of Scorsese's gangster glicks - but before them!
I don't know why but I feel like this is going to be one of those movies that I end up watching several times, and eventually becomes one of my favorites. I just got that feeling watching it like "this is going to be really, really sweet the next time I watch it".
Sweet, sweet, sweet comic book movie and an awesome animated movie. I really don't know why this is shown on Saturday mornings...it's pretty violent and "grown up" for kids. The animation is very cool, and the fights are well choreographed and drawn. I think it is really cool to do these type of movies animated, because you can do whatever you want and it won't look stupid (unless you are completely retarded).
I found [b]Gamera: Guardian of the Universe[/b] pretty disappointing.
It was mostly due to, in my opinion, very lame execution. The whole plotline about Gamera and Gyaos coming from Atlantis was really interesting, but the entire plotline of the movie was condensed into about 4 lines of dialogue, when the girl talks about how the Atlantean civilization had pollution, high UV levels, etc.
Anyways, I found Gyaos to be incredibly lame - it looked very fake.
Fortunately, this is generally considered the worst of the trilogy, so here's hoping that the other two rock the way the last two [b]Godzilla[/b] movies I've watched have.
This was just a helluva lot of fun. Probably one of my favorite (if not my favorite) giant monster movie I've seen. Just awesome, non-stop fun with great monster fights and an insane nuclear explosion.
A absolutely, without a doubt, adore this movie. It is such an incredible film from its technicalities to its stellar performances from every single person in the cast.
Melville was such a brilliant director...I can't wait to watch [b]Bob le Flambeur[/b].
I'm glad you liked it too, Jen...sorry it seemed like a bit of a disappointment :( I really feel like I built it up way too much.
[b]My Man Godfrey[/b]
A really sweet, charming romantic comedy. William Powell is hilarious with his wonderfully sarcastic charm and sense of humor, openly making fun of the members of the family right to their face without them even realizing it.
A great film with a great, perfect ending. Carole Lombard was also cute and a great pairing with Powell.