Sunday, July 3, 2011

NYAFF: DB on A Boy and His Samurai, Duel to the Death and Karate Robo Zaborgar

A rainy day in New York made a day at the movies all that more okay. Actually the gray day matched my mood. Sad to say, that I'm all movied out. I had flirted with blowing the day off and staying home, but I changed my mind and went in...which was a good thing since two of the films were winners.

A Boy and His Samurai
Yoshihiro Nakamura hits one out of the park with easily one of the best films of the festival.

You know Nakamura from his films A Fish Story, Golden Slumber and A Foreign Duck A Native Duck and God. While not as complex, this is just as wonderful as those films and you really should see this when it plays tomorrow at 630.

The plot of the film has a a divorcee and her son coming upon a samurai who has been teleported to today from 1826. Through circumstance they end up taking him in and their lives are forever changed.

Its not what you think and it's oh so much better for it. Hollywood it's not. It is however the sort of film that had the audience cheering, applauding and sniffling at the various turns that the trio go through. It will make you feel wonderful.

I can't recommend this film enough. GO SEE THE FILM because this is the sort of film that is the reason that you go to film festivals.

It has one more screening July 4th at 630, make the effort.

Duel to the Death(1983)
I panicked when Marc from the NYAFF described the film since it sounded the film Ninja's Final Duel which is a film I hate. How many other films have giant ninjas made of little ninjas and flying ones as well? Apparently there are a couple.

The plot doesn't make a great deal of sense, it has something to do with the periodic battle between Japanese and Chinese swordsman, which is enough to get things rolling. The plot is complicated by the Japanese use of ninjas to steal Chinese martial arts secrets.

Simply put this film is an absolute blast. Unless you've seen this film before, odds are you've never seen anything like it. It's got great action, hysterically funny lines and an endless stream of WTF moments. Its the combination of the three that make thisa must see.

Come on where else where can you see a giant ninja made up of little ninjas including one who s a naked babe? She's so gorgeous that even a monk comments on it.

If you love action you need to see this film. It's not screening again at the festival but it is on DVD so find a copy- preferably widescreen.

I do have to say that it was great to see this with a, perhaps, three quarter full audience. It was what going to the movies is all about with laughter, applause and wild enthusiasm. Thank you NYAFF.

Karate-Robo Zarborgar
The latest from Sushi Typhoon and director Noboru Iguchi is ultimately a miss.

Based on a 1970's TV series about a man and his motorcycle that changes into a robot this film is wonderfully retro for it's first half. Daimon is a special police officer fighting the evil Sigma organization which is trying to destroy mankind and turn them all into cyborgs. As Daimon fights the baddies he falls in love with the chief hench woman, Miss Borg. Its a romance that throws everything sideways and sets up the second half.

During the first half I was having a blast. I was three years old again watching Ultraman at my Grandma's house. The first half had me smiling from ear to ear at how they managed to send up and pay homage to the old Japanese TV shows to near perfection (even to the point the plot is often kind of dumb).

If the film had ended with the first half it would have been a marvelous guilty pleasure. The trouble is that the film continues on with the story, picking things up 25 years later.


It's dull and boring.

Sure director Noboru Iguchi has made a career out of making films where anything can and will happen, but usually there is a sense of magic and wonder to it all. Here it's just one weak idea after a stupid one. the film genuinely collapse into a heap of not very good things.

I was wondering why the screening was rather empty, I mean almost every other Sushi Typhoon screening over the last year has always been packed. This was rather sparse, especially on a rainy day. I figured that the missing audience was going to be making a mistake... then I saw the film and I realized I was the one making a mistake.

You can miss this one...or at the very least wait for home video.

And with the end of Karate-Robo I headed home...

Not to worry there's more coming tomorrow with the Sundance fovorite Abraxas and Sell Out.

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