[EXPRESSO] Bullet Train (2022) | Assassins Pastiche Express

Better late than never, but as promised here it is, after months of waiting.

And honestly i don’t quite get its mixed reception (at least by the american or english speaking press as a whole)… well, i kinda do, but it’s not like it was deceptively advertised, at all.

Bullet Train it’s indeed the kind of movie you would expect to see from the director of Deadpool 2, just declined into a Tarantino-esque genre pastiche, throwing in deliberate cliches from yakuza movies as it all takes place during what starts as a normal voyage in one of Japan’s high velocity trains… aside from the protagonists being a collection of professional assassins/hitmen with a job to do while on the train, including a “recovering & recalcitrant” assassin (played by Brad Pitt) that would rather try to obtain some inner peace and signed up only to steal a briefcase from the train, but finds out everyone on board is after the very same thing…

The mesh of Deapool style comedy (minus the 4th wall brutalization) with the obviously Tarantino inspired style of dialogues (one of the assassins has a thing for profiling people via Thomas The Tank Engine comparisons, for example) and taste for ultraviolence so over the top it’s outright funny at times… works extremely well, as the narrative using flashbacks to quickly characterize the various assassins. Great cast too.

Sure, the humour at times it’s a bit too much “Deadpool-ish”, but it’s quite tolerable and i was honestly surprised by how funny the movie turned out to be, though i understand that the combo of direction and writing could result irritating to some. Still, i had a really good time with Bullet Train, not gonna lie to appease anyone or crap like that.

Dumb as hell, but a blast nonetheless.

Ninja Operation 5: Godfather The Master (1988) [REVIEW] | The Amaretto Ninjas

More from house of Ho…. and admittely Joseph Lai as well, who also directed and produced many of these, even if often Godfrey Ho was still involved in some way or co-directed, even if uncredited.

This one happens to be kinda of unknown compared to other flicks of the same “cut and paste” ilk by Ho, his associates and the company, and it doesn’t help i found it on Amazon Prime Video, simply called “Licensed To Terminate”, which made me waste 2 good hours in researching info, since it happens to be the subtitle for another Godfrey Ho ninja movie, Ninja Operation: Licensed To Terminate, better known as Ninja Operation 3: Licensed To Terminate, as evidently they distributed a good chunk of these by creating non-existing series out of similar films, like it happened for the Zombi non-series of italian zombie flicks made to cash into Night Of The Living Dead.

Doesn’t help the version of the movie streaming on Amazon Prime Video cuts out the title screen and all credits, while copy pastying the generic and non-descriptive summary of the other movie, that also just happens to be about ninjas AND “star” both Richard Harrison and Grant Temple, but no, the one we’re talking about it’s a different one, originally just called The Power Of Ninjitsu but better known as Ninja Operation 5: Godfather The Master.

Continua a leggere “Ninja Operation 5: Godfather The Master (1988) [REVIEW] | The Amaretto Ninjas”

[EXPRESSO] Homunculus (2021) | A Man In Your Head

Did you know they made a live-action adaptation of Hideo Yamamoto’s beloved cult manga … no, not Ichi The Killer, Homunculus, directed by Ju-On/The Grudge creator Takashi Shimizu, and it just released internationally at the end of april as a Netflix esclusive?

I didn’t, had to find out via good ol’ FreddyInSpace via twitter, and he himself didn’t notice earlier, because this is indeed one of the downsides of the “content machine” streaming service model.

Homunculus is about Susumu Nakoshi, an amnesiac and emotionally stunted clochard who decides to be the guinea pig for the rich medical student Manabu Ito, interested in experimenting to see if drilling the skull of a man could awaken otherwise unaccessible or dormant senses, as well as recoving memories or activate esp powers.

The experiment goes well, too well, as Susumu is now able to see – while covering his right eye – the titular homonculi, possibly physical manifestations of the human mind’s most intimate and recondite desires, traumas and symbolic projections of selves (a man split in two halves walking side by side, a sand girl, etc).

While it retains most elements from manga and for the first half it’s fairly faithful adaptation, halfway through it strays further and further, as things take a twist for the mundane, squandering the potential given by the source material on generic drama, making for less interesting characters and events. Even the borrowed odd visuals feel underwhelming or underused.

It’s not a bad movie or a complete failure, but it’s a really disappointing adaptation (especially because this could actually have worked in a live-action context), and worse, even taken on its own it’s just a movie unable to do or properly develop pretty much anything of substance in its 2 hours run, leading to a fittingly unsatisfactory ending.

Netflix’s Way of The Husband anime, with now marginally more animation than the manga

I just woke up today to clips of the Netflix anime adaptation of Way Of The Husband (set to release this 8th of April on the streaming service), that manga about a legendary yakuza conman who gives up the criminal world to be a full time husband and support his wife, cooking, cleaning, doing chores, but with the intensity and the untentional creepyness of settling grudges, cutting fingers, plotting murder, and all the comedic misunderstandings that such a premise can spun.

It has become a fan favourite and i gladly bought it when they brough the manga volumes here in Italy some months ago, it’s pretty funny….. but what the fuck is this adaptation? I couldn’t believe it, but yes, it was posted officially by the OnNetflix Twitter Account, i did more research just to rule out me hallucinating or something. I wasn’t.

Now i feel sorry for continuining to journal the disaster that still is the EX ARM Crunchyroll’s anime adaptation, at least it’s animated and not a motion comic of the manga panels. I can’t take that away of that dumpster fire.

I don’t plan in reviewing it, what’s the point of even watching since i can just read the manga again? But clearly i’m the fool, for expecting anime to be animated, despite the word meaning exactly that. Even worse, this is no accident, it’s the producer in the charge of the series…. well, not really liking 2D animation, to put it mildly, as he literally asked to make it look like the manga. In a way, this is worst than EX-ARM, here people knew what they were doing.

For the love of god, just read the manga, Way Of The Husband is frigging great and deserves WAY better (pun not intended) than a QueenBee’s style hack job. Or watch the short live-action TV drama series they made for it!