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Recently seen movies #92

November 8, 2008

Dokaben (Japan, 1977) – 3/5

Norifumi Suzuki’s humour has never been very sophisticated. But this… is a landmark. Based on manga by Shinji Mizushima (who also makes a cameo appearance in the film) it’s a baseball – karate comedy with some ”drama” thrown in. The characters are most likely 1:1 copies of the manga heroes… it’s really the only logical explanation. Or how else do you explain a character who has a 10 inch flower in his mouth in every scene? Or a guy who wears baseball glove in his leg? Obviously not for everyone, but offers good laughs for those who enjoy Suzuki’s triple-swedish-o grade jokes. Those looking for slightly (only slightly) more substance and higher quality should check out his excellent Truck Yaro films from the same era (1975-1980).

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Tarao Bannai (Japan, 1978 ) – 3/5

Tarao Bannai ala Norifumi Suzuki is a dialogue loaded detective film that gets increasingly weird as the case becomes more complicated. Although the tempo is rather slow in the beginning, it will change later. Humour is plenty, and Suzuki has a couple of big surprises in his back pocket, including some Italian genre cinema borrowals. Akira Kobayashi and his numerous disguises play the lead. Toei’s no. 1 yakuza and karate villains Bin Amatsu and Masashi Ishibashi also appear, among many other stars.

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