Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category


Japan Cinema .net and the Art of Plagiarism

May 5, 2014

It was about three weeks ago that I was reading a review on Japan Cinema ( and said to myself “wow, this review really echoes my own opinions”. A moment later I realized exactly why it was so. Their reviewer, called Benjamin, had copied about 50% of his text from my review on my blog. As for the remaining 50%… let’s just say you could clearly see the reviewer has never seen the movie.

The review in question was Gun Woman, for which he copied his headline, first sentence, positives and negatives, and the entire last third of the review from my blog.

After realizing this, I sent Japan Cinema feedback. I assumed it had been the work of one unethical reviewer whose conduct had passed through their quality control. Two weeks later I had not received a reply, but instead Benjamin had posted another review, this time for the American movie Precious Find. That review was a compilation of bits and pieces from reviews by A.V. Club and several IMDb users.

I still believed it was just Mr. Benjamin who likes stealing other people’s reviews, until today I ran into their Profound Desires of the Gods review, posted four years ago by Japan Cinema’s top reviewer Marcello. This review was created by stealing from Electric Sheep Magazine, Cine Outsider, Game FAQ’s forum, and probably some other sources as well.

A few weeks ago the same guy, Marcello, reviewed the Hong Kong movie The White Storm.I don’t think even need to tell you how it was created by editing together several different IMDb user reviews.

On Japan Cinema’s About page they describe themselves as an engagingly written life style project. Engagingly written perhaps, but by who?

Of course I never received reply to the two emails I sent or the two review comments I left.

Well done Japan Cinema, well done.


KG: Karate Girl DVD

July 20, 2011

A brief look at the R2J Toei Deluxe Edition DVD release

Disc 1: Movie (DVD-9 / 4.94 KB)
Anamorphic Widescreen (progressive)
Japanese DD 5.1 (448 kbps)
91 min
+ Original trailers and teasers (5 min)
+ Bonus trailers and commercials (13 min)

Disc 2: Bonus Disc (DVD-5 / 4.13 GB)

– Behind the Scenes (53 min)
Billed as “Documentary”, this is almost an hour worth of behind the scenes footage from the action scenes, with optional commentary by producer / action director Fuyuhiko Nishi and action coordinator Misako Nagashima. Video footage of Richard Heselton standing on the roof with a helmet on his head while Takeda and Tobimatsu practice headkicks is worth seeing!

– 100 Karate Moves (6 min)
This is basically compiled stuff from the Behind the Scenes feature

– Exhibition Match (9 min)
Rina Takeda vs. Kazutoshi Yokoyama. Stage event match, performing one of the film’s action scenes live.

– Shinjuku Premiere: Part 1 (19 min)
This is standard premiere until special guest Mayumi Uchida of AKB 48 shows up. Being a karate skilled girl (she practiced Kyokushin karate, that is, Sonny Chiba karate!) she and Takeda take a few rounds of jan ken pon. The winner gets to kick the loser!

– Shinjuku Premiere: Part 2 (12 min)
Discussion after the film. Takeda, Naka, Tobimatsu, Heselton,Kimura and Nishi attend.

– Ready. Steady. Go! (4 min)
KG music video using footage mainly from Angel Rina idol DVD. This may be the best extra on the disc – let’s just say Angel Rina is gonna sell like hot cakes after people get to see this.

– Poster Gallery (2 pictures)
Cast and Crew Introduction (text screens)

Disc 3: CD
Ready. Steady. Go! single, with standard and remix versions of the song. The CD appears to be limited to first press, in other words, will go out of print if isn’t already

Stylish carboard sleeve and amaray case with different artwork

note: film review can be found here



April 23, 2011

I had an interesting morning a few days ago, finding out my blog had topped its previous traffic records… at 10 am. I’m both honored and a little bit embarrassed by this visibility. Thank you Sushi Typhoon, and ありがとうございました、西村さん。ヘルドライバーを見ることを楽しみにしています。

– ミッコ


Toei 1970’s Action Stills

July 30, 2010

Detonation: Violent Riders

Detonation: Violent Games

Season of Violence

Detonation: 750cc zoku

Hell’s Angels: Crimson Roar

Circuit no ookami

Violent Panic: The Big Crash


Perfect Tetsuo

May 26, 2010

Tetsuo: The First Cut (Japan, 1989 / 2010)

Just prior to the Japanese opening of the re-edited Tetsuo: The Bullet Man director Shinya Tsukamoto released a celebratory (cash in) version of the original black & white cyber punk classic. Hidden inside a book / dvd combo, titled Perfect Tetsuo, it contains a never before seen 77 minute cut of the film. That marks a total of 10 minutes of new footage in the salary man’s frenetic transformation into metal junk.

Tetsuo: The First Cut is mainly service for fans, a curiosity product without major practical value. As exciting news as extended Tetsuo might be, it is, in fact, a lesser cut than the one that hit theaters in 1989. A quick look reveals that rather than inserting many new scenes Tsukamoto has mainly extended existing ones. Examples would include additional factory shots before the opening title, the main character making a brief stop on the streets during his metro escape, and an extended video tape sequence. Detailed comparison of the differences shall be left for hardcore fans, though.

The problem is as follows. The theatrical cut was a showcase of visceral energy and pacing. This is what made the film a classic – even though Tsukamoto was basically following the path of his predecessor Sogo Ishii. The extended edition tones it down by a notch, and gives the viewer more breathing time. Rather than being more insane than ever, the new Tetsuo feels somehow more restrained. Even with pacing issues ignored, one can question whether these small glimpses of new footage really contribute anything of importance to the film.

Technical presentation is slightly problematic. The audio, which is one of Tetsuo’s major assets, is presented in clean mono that is, however, perhaps slightly lacking punch. The wonderful 5.1 remix found on the Italian Raro Video on the other hand rocks the walls out without replacing the original sound effects. In terms of video, the roles are reversed, however. If you thought Tetsuo was forever marred with compromise video presentation, think again. Here the film is presented with sharp transfer that comes with solid contrast levels. It blows Raro Video’s transfer out of the water like a DVD would put a VHS into shame. And rumors tell Raro Video was already superior to the English subtitled US and UK releases.

A more valuable than the re-edited film is the 160-page book that was, of course, intended as the main product. It comes with behind the scenes photos, storyboards, cast and director interviews, video release covers, special effects articles, and much more. All there Tetsuo movies have been given equal amount of exposure in the book’s black & white and color pages. Naturally, it’s all written in Japanese. For language impaired Iron Men Perfect Tetsuo’s book value is questionable. For Japanese reading fan it’s a purchase worth a consideration, although the 5460 yen price tag is a bit high indeed.

The set comes in a hardcover case that holds the book and the dvd. The dimensions are approximately 26 x 18 x 3 centimeters. The dvd is packed in a standard dvd case, rather than paper sleeve. Size considered, it would have been a nice gesture from the publisher to slip in a folded poster, but no luck here.