Edison Chen

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attending a screening of Almost Perfect

Edison Chen Thursday 20th October 2011 attending a screening of Almost Perfect San Diego, California

The Grudge 2 Review


Grim
Low cost and high quality: Japan is king when it comes to assembly line production ethos and Grudge 2 director Takashi Shimizu takes that manufacturing approach in constructing this latest edition in the Grudge series. Block by block, shock by shock, he builds a movie that runs fine and looks slick. It's a solid product in terms of celluloid, but there is no soul, no artistry, in the merchandise. What went wrong? Enthusiasm. Shimizu seems to take pride only in the technical proficiency of his work. Actors be damned. Plot be damned. While there's nothing wrong with a really well-made but vacuous art-horror film (Dario Argento's entire canon fits this mold), there is no art in the Grudge 2, just cleverly staged shock shots stapled on to the other like the reels of skin in Sion Soto's Suicide Club (had to plug some good J-horror here somewhere.)

Perhaps this calculating demeanor is because Shimizu's essentially made the same film six times now. The first Ju-on in 2000. The second in 2000 as well. Then he did both of them again in 2003. Then the American remake in 2004. That makes Grudge 2 the sixth version of the same film made in only six years. (In between he made the similar Marebito and Rinne.) It's not surprising that the film feels mechanized, paint by numbers. Shimizu has either got it down so pat that he can operate on autopilot or he's just bored senseless.

Continue reading: The Grudge 2 Review

The Grudge 2 Review


Grim
Low cost and high quality: Japan is king when it comes to assembly line production ethos and Grudge 2 director Takashi Shimizu takes that manufacturing approach in constructing this latest edition in the Grudge series. Block by block, shock by shock, he builds a movie that runs fine and looks slick. It's a solid product in terms of celluloid, but there is no soul, no artistry, in the merchandise. What went wrong? Enthusiasm. Shimizu seems to take pride only in the technical proficiency of his work. Actors be damned. Plot be damned. While there's nothing wrong with a really well-made but vacuous art-horror film (Dario Argento's entire canon fits this mold), there is no art in the Grudge 2, just cleverly staged shock shots stapled on to the other like the reels of skin in Sion Soto's Suicide Club (had to plug some good J-horror here somewhere.)

Perhaps this calculating demeanor is because Shimizu's essentially made the same film six times now. The first Ju-on in 2000. The second in 2000 as well. Then he did both of them again in 2003. Then the American remake in 2004. That makes Grudge 2 the sixth version of the same film made in only six years. (In between he made the similar Marebito and Rinne.) It's not surprising that the film feels mechanized, paint by numbers. Shimizu has either got it down so pat that he can operate on autopilot or he's just bored senseless.

Continue reading: The Grudge 2 Review

Dead Or Alive 2: Birds Review


OK
Never mind that the whole of Japan (and possibly the world) was destroyed at the end of Dead or Alive, the stars are back for more bloodshed and willful destruction of property in the continuation of Takashi Miike's Japanese blood feud saga. In truth, the film shares little with its predecessor aside from the two stars, involving one gangster who tries to track down an enemy assassin, only to discover he's an old friend from his youth. DOA2 is a bit more cartoony and much less violent/gory/perverted than the original, but Miike's touch is still unmistakable.

Continue reading: Dead Or Alive 2: Birds Review

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