Midnight Movie Madness “Karate -Robo Zaborgar”: a boy and his bike

Karate-Robo Zaborgar” – (114 mns, Japan, 2011 – NR)

As the saying goes, ‘first I was like OMG, then I LOL’d’… On this side of the ring, the good guys: Daimon and his motorcycle , the titular Zaborgar thingamajig. The Zaborgar thing transforms into a robot which fights bad guys and bad robots alike with karate. It’s also made from Daimon’s dead brother’s DNA, extracted and mechanized by Daimon’s Nobel Prize winning scientist dad.

If this wasn’t enough baggage, while training in karate years ago, Daimon witnessed the death of his father, who had been captured by the evil Sigma organization, trolling about in the sky aboard what looks like – well, a gigantic ass.

Thankfully, Daimon was spared the spectacle of his father’s humiliation (his word) at the hands of Dr. Akunomiya’s cyborg henchmen, who inflicted titty-twisters on the venerable scientist, before he leaped off the giant ass in the sky and got nuked in mid-air by a laser blast, exploding above Daimon’s karate class… Did I mention the professor used to breast-feed his sons..?

I know. At this point you might think an aspirin is in order but perhaps a stiff drink is more apropos. We still have to discuss the bad guys, the Samurai robot and the Diarrhea robot. That’s right: the Diarrhea robot, an ant spewing acid from both ends.  As for Samurai robot, he has giant lips designed to kiss politicians on the mouth, stealing their DNA. Their karate skills are no match for Zaborgar, but Miss Cyborg and her missile-launching bra is another matter. Why, she even manages to steal  Daimon’s heart (not literally)…

With Daimon’s loyalty tested by corrupt politicians he’s sworn to protect and his heart divided between Zaborgar and Miss Cyborg, which path will he take? To find out, let’s kill a few people and flash forward twenty-five years…

This is more than a revival of ’70s Japanese television, “Karate Robo Zaborgar” is a comedy  well off the beaten path, in the same vein as “Gentlemen Broncos“. “Karate Robo Zaborgar” pits high-school misfits (both the good and bad guys) against the true villains: lecherous, corrupt politicians, with slow-mo explosions, Bruce Lee moves and moos, ludicrous subtitles and very weird innuendos…

Karate Robo Zaborgar” gets five jellybeans….

5 beans
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Midnight Movie Madness : “the sound of noise”

The sound of noise” – (102 minutes, Sweden/France, 2010 – rated R)

Drummers Magnus (Magnus Borjeson) and his pal Sanna (Sanna Persson) are speeding along Swedish freeways in a van, when Sanna’s rythmic (erratic?) driving prompts a motorcycle cop to give chase, which all ends up looking like a terrorist plot after the crashed van is found at the German embassy’s gates and the tick-tock of the metronome on the dash sounds like a bomb to the cops.

Crazy?

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Midnight Movie Madness: “The fall” (2006)

The fall” – (117 minutes, India/USA, 2006 – rated R)

In a Los Angeles hospital of the 1920s, a 5 year old Romanian girl named Alexandria (Cantinca Untaru) is recovering from a broken arm she suffered picking up oranges with her migrant workers parents. Relieving the monotony of long days in this adult world is her accidental meeting of another patient, Roy Walker (Lee Pace), a young movie stuntman.

"The fall" title
Opening title

Roy is bedridden after performing a stunt he intended to impress the film’s female lead. The opening sequence of “the fall“, a gorgeous black and white montage using Beethoven’s 7th symphony, reveals what happened after Roy plunged off a railroad bridge on horseback into the river below, killing his horse and wrenching his back.

The fall iron horse
… And the Iron Horse

As it turns out, Roy is not only just as bored as Alexandria, he is contemplating suicide, the hopeless romantic…

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David Fincher’s “the girl with the dragon tattoo”

“The girl with the dragon tattoo” – (158 minutes, USA, 2011 – rated R)

The_Girl_with_the_Dragon_Tattoo_Poster

I wanted to like this. Great cast, great director, great story… But like Steven Spielberg, David Fincher hits it about as much as he misses, and the opening sequence of “the girl with the dragon tattoo” is the best part of the movie.

Steven Zaillian is credited as screenwriter for this adaptation and described on imdb as a veteran scrip doctor. Here, it appears the doctor killed the patient. You very seldom get a strong female character matched to a strong female lead as was the case with Salander and Noomi Rapace. To say this version adds nothing to the original Swedish film is true but incomplete: the character treatment of Lisbeth Salander amounts to character assassination, although at 158 minutes it’s more like a prolonged torture session.

SPOILER ALERT BELOW.

When Lisbeth rescues Blomqvist from the killer and chases after him,  she actually asks Blomqvist for his permission to kill the bad guy. In Fincher’s “girl with the dragon tattoo”, Lisbeth subordinates herself to Blomqvist, which is not just contrary to the source material (book and film), but bizarre…

The book’s original title, Män som hatar kvinnor, means “men who hate women”, and makes me wonder at the guys involved here. Too bad, so sad, avoid this stinker. This gets no beans.

0 beans

UPDATE BY Rudha-an

Here is the opening title sequence that Lastech mentioned. It’s the best part of the movie.

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Jacky and the rest of them…

Ah. The movies. And to dream of being more than what we are, or less, maybe even other…

Hugo” – (126 minutes, USA – PG)

I had really been looking forward to watching “Hugo” because Martin Scorsese is one of my favorite directors and his latest film competed directly with “the artist” at the last Academy Awards.

Both films express a passion for movies at a time when much of the public shuns theaters for at-home viewing, like us here at JBoD. I frankly can only think of two films in recent memory which passed the “windshield rule”: “we are what we are“, Terrence Malick’s “the tree of life“, perhaps even Lars Von Trier’s “Melancholia“.

On my daily commute, especially in the summer months, I get to enjoy both sunset and sunrise, a benefit of working nights. And so I got to wonder just how many films are really worth watching on anything larger than a car windscreen. By and large, especially with high definition TV, I feel most movies fail the test.

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Manic Monday and Good Advertising

I’ll be honest. I’m a Madison Avenue nightmare. Not only do I ignore most advertising, when I do pay attention I don’t bother to remember WHAT company was being advertised. Once in a while I surprise myself. I don’t jump to buy the product, but I pay attention. This advert from The Guardian, got my attention. It’s well done and smart. It stars the Big Bad Wolf and The Three Little Pigs.

Big Bad Worf and kitty


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Midnight Movie Madness: “we are what we are”

“We are what we are” – (90 minutes, Mexico, NR)

We are what we are” is largely about what it takes to keep a family together and that thing here isn’t love. “We are what we are” is a Mexican film written and directed by Jorge Michel Grau whose career so far shows promise, mostly documentaries centered on culture, the arts and education.

we are whar we are poster

It helps to know this as this work of fiction has strong sociological themes, rather specific to Hispanic culture, Mexican in particular.

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“MI-5” seasons 1 through 10: a rave!

The English do spy literature and film very well. This modern take on spookery (titled “spooks” over the pond) is probably one of their longest running television series ever and for good reason.

Killer cliff-hangers, excellent acting, absorbing stories inspired at times by headlines, and the occasional “offing” of one of the main protagonists. Did I meantion the excellent writing? An excerpt:

MI-5 Spooks

MI-5 Spooks


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“The walking dead” season 1 disc 1: a rant…

After everything written about the series, I decided to give it a shot thinking I’d burn feverishly through all the available episodes only to be left wanting more.

Well, I DIDN’T. If I’d been looking for a survival guide to the Z-Apocalypse this doesn’t look to be it. To the point: yes I’ve only watched the first four episodes. However, in this short span, we’re introduced to  Deputy Sheriff Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), who wakes up from a coma in a dilapidated Georgia hospital after having been shot. He finds the world turned upside down as hordes of cannibalistic living dead have overrun society.

But stop. How did he get shot? Well…

In flashback, we are introduced to Rick and his partner Shane Walsh (Jon Bernthal), making small talk in their squad car. Rick is the quiet, decent and sensitive guy while Shane’s the more mercurial single guy, a good ole’ boy and bit of a party animal.

Shane likes to pepper his girlfriend stories with the word “bitch” before asking Rick how things are with his wife. No, really: he did. The dialogue sounds like some nerdy teenager’s interpretation of what jocks talk like in locker rooms, and false notes pile up from there, like a horrid multiple car crash in the mist. Shane and Rick get a call to intercept a couple guys who stole a car and committed an assault with deadly weapon.

They peel rubber, hook up on a country road with other deputies from the neighboring county and set up a road block. Soon enough, the stolen car appears, chased by two more cop cars. Stolen car hits the nail strip and flips numerous times. This is where things go, once again, pear shaped. Bad guy number one gets out of the wreck and fires several shots at the (count them) EIGHT deputies before getting gunned down.

Bad guy number two even manages to fire some rounds, hitting Rick in his vest, knocking the wind out of him. After an inordinate amount of ammo puts him down, bad guy number three crawls out and nails Rick in the back where his vest wasn’t covering him. Why? Apparently because the Keystone deputies weren’t paying enough attention and can’t shoot accurately.

Rick wakes up in a hospital which by then is just a husk littered with broken glass and ripped out wiring. First thing anyone with any lick of sense would do in that situation is look for clothes, and shoes… So what does he do? He simply stumbles out barefoot across all of that, into sunlight, without looking like hamburger meat.

Eventually, Rick sets out on the road wearing his deputy’s uniform complete with hat. If a sense of practicality is what defines who would survive in a zombie apocalypse, Rick’s a goner. I got a sense that his character is given some room to evolve into a more hardened type as the series progresses, but there he goes by the grace of God, rather than skill, surviving all these encounters by sheer and unbelievable miracle.

I’ll just stop there… The list of fails is only longer and the column of wins only has a few “meh” items. I did want to like this, but damn…

zombie crossing


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