Rusty Knife (Review)

Rusty Knife

aka 錆びたナイフ aka Sabita Naifu
Rusty Knife 錆びたナイフ
Written by Shintaro Ishihara
Directed by Toshio Masuda

Rusty Knife 錆びたナイフ
Yukihiko Tachibana (Yujiro Ishihara) is released from prison and trying to go straight, after spending time for killing the man who raped and murdered his girlfriend. But the crime of what happened to her still haunts him. Meanwhile, the cops look for witnesses to murders committed by the local yakuza boss, something Tachibana unwittingly became during his time as a thug. But when he and fellow witness Makoto Terada (Akira Kobayashi) get approached by the cops, they get pulled back into the underworld, and soon there will be a whole lot more murders as the yakuza moves to silence everyone and Tachibana discovers his girl was attacked by more people when she was killed.

The debut picture of future hitmaker Toshio Masuda, Rusty Knife weaves a believable web of police seeking justice through the courts, yakuza bribing and murdering their way clear, and the people caught in the middle. It’s only really handicapped by the too obvious reveal of who the real villain is, his character existing entirely to be a big reveal and contributing little else. The Nikkatsu action format still had a few kinks to work out, but the overall style is coming along nicely.
Rusty Knife 錆びたナイフ
Mie Kitahara clocks in another appearance alongside frequent costar and future husband Yujiro Ishihara as Keiko Nishida, a daughter of a politician who killed himself, until information comes to light that it was staged and he was murdered. Tachibana and Terada are two of the witnesses to the staging, but despite knowing Nishida, he doesn’t realize it was her father he saw being killed until much later. Unfortunately, she seems largely an extraneous character, only sharing a few scenes with Ishihara. While it is nice from a world building stand point, it becomes a negative ding in the film on the emotional front.
Rusty Knife 錆びたナイフ
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Posted by Tars Tarkas - May 18, 2015 at 7:27 am

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The Wrong Girl goes to the wrong channel — Lifetime!

The Wrong Girl Lifetime

Just because I’m left handed it doesn’t mean I’m the wrong girl!

You can tell Lifetime has a lot of faith in its latest original movie The Wrong Girl (aka Fatal Friends), because it hasn’t even bothered to release any promotional material besides a trailer. No pictures, no real information, and the link on the website doesn’t even point to the right place. But I have faith in The Wrong Girl, because someone has to. That’s what I do, step up when no one else will.

Sophia is the perfect 17-year-old girl. She studies hard, stays out of trouble, and is a promising pianist. The only problem is that she’s always been quiet and keeps to herself, so when she strikes up a friendship with Grace, the new girl in school, her parents are happy for her. Unfortunately it’s not long before Grace starts showing signs of being possessive. Then, when she tries to destroy Sophia’s family and seduce her would-be boyfriend, Sophia can’t help but wonder if she’s befriended the wrong girl. Now, Sophia must uncover Grace’s secret past and learn the truth about her new friend before it’s too late.

Lifetime continues to teach us that the only thing more dangerous than men are new girls at school.

The Wrong Girl stars Jamie Luner (Stranger in My Bed) as Ashley Allen, Kirsten Prout (Joy Ride 3) as Michelle, Sarah Grey (Embrace of the Vampire) as Sophia Allen, Nels Lennarson (Spooky Buddies) as Dylan Allen, Dominika Juillet (Dracano) as Hana, Alessandro Juliani (Battlestar Galactica) as Mr. Clark, and Nicole Muñoz (Chupacabra vs. the Alamo) as Allison. It is directed by Jason Bourque (Stonados) and written by the incredibly prolific Peter Sullivan (Chupacabra vs. the Alamo, Jersey Shore Shark Attack, every The Dog Who Saved… movie)

The Wrong Girl premieres Saturday, May 16, on Lifetime!

via Lifetime

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Posted by Tars Tarkas - May 15, 2015 at 11:16 pm

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I Am Waiting (Review)

I Am Waiting

aka 俺は待ってるぜ aka Ore wa matteru ze
I Am Waiting 俺は待ってるぜ
Written by Shintaro Ishihara
Directed by Koreyoshi Kurahara

I Am Waiting 俺は待ってるぜ
Japan’s cinematic output in the 50s and 60s was astounding, and the quality of films from that period form a reputation that is hard to match. It is no wonder that huge swaths of them got festival coverage over the years, and many get released in the US under premium labels. Nikkatsu Studios produced a whole series of “borderless action” films (as a response to US and French film box office success) and is where Seijun Suzuki made his fantastic flicks, at least until he got fired after constant clashes with the studio head and Nikkatsu later turned into a roman porno factory. But those hundreds of films still exist, and are still awesome. And while many haven’t been seen outside of Japan in forever, the growing appreciation means more and more get releases over time. Hence, I Am Waiting popping up in 2009.
I Am Waiting 俺は待ってるぜ
I Am Waiting is a tale in two acts. Joji Shimaki (Yujiro Ishihara) meets a mysterious woman at the pier who calls herself Saeko (Mie Kitahara) – we find out later her name is Reiko. It’s clear she’s on the run from something traumatic, and we slowly learn that she is a cabaret singer at a yakuza club and one of the gang members got too frisky, so she bashed his head and ran, thinking him dead. Her dreams of being a singer soured after he vocal chords were ruined by an illness, and now she’s trapped in a contract at the yakuza nightclub. Her time with Joji helps her to briefly escape that life, working as his waitress and hanging out in town with Joji. But she’s recognized, and the yakuza come to reclaim her, until she finishes her contract. She spends the last half of the film again working in the nightclub, which Joji returns to occasionally as part of his story.

While the yakuza are confronting Joji, Joji gets a clue into his big mystery, the whereabouts of his brother. His brother was supposed to go to Brazil a year ago to buy land for a farm, but hasn’t contacted him since the boat left port, and Joji’s letters were returned. But one of the yakuza had a medallion that Joji’s bother carried, and the focus switches to Joji’s mystery as he works to unravel just what happened to his brother, and the culprits work to try to cover up their deeds.
I Am Waiting 俺は待ってるぜ
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Posted by Tars Tarkas - May 11, 2015 at 7:43 am

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Hallmark Channel likes you Just the Way You Are!

Just the way you are hallmark channel

Will you be my dead husband in Fuller House?

As we all know from romantic comedies, people who set up romances know the least about having stable romances in their lives. Thus Candace Cameron Bure’s character, who tries to reignite her marriage, except her husband is all about his job and not his family, which is really bad as Mother’s Day is approaching AND this is Hallmark Channel, the channel from the greeting card company that made you feel guilty about not buying your mom enough stuff on Mother’s Day. So you know things are going to go down!

When a professional matchmaker’s own marriage loses its spark, she seeks to recharge the relationship by asking her husband out on a blind date. As Mother’s Day approaches and their romance starts to rekindle, she wonders if her career-driven husband will finally learn to put his family’s needs before his job.

Dang it, Ian, get it together!!!

Just the Way You Are stars Candace Cameron Bure (Fuller House) as Jennie, Ty Olsson (Godzilla) as Ian, Farryn VanHumbeck (Big Eyes) as Kate, Natasha Calis (The Possession) as Chloe, and Kristine Cofsky (No Men Beyond This Point) as Donna. It’s directed by Kristoffer Tabori (High Plains Invaders) and written by Harvey Frost and Michael Murray

Just the Way You Are airs Saturday, May 9th on Hallmark Channel!

Photo via Hallmark/Bettina Strauss

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Posted by Tars Tarkas - May 8, 2015 at 11:17 pm

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To Catch a Yeti – New RiffTrax VOD!

There are some things you just can’t unsee. And Meat Loaf and a animatronic baby yeti hanging out is one of those things. Forget wondering who greenlighted this, because all you should be wondering is how quickly you can get away before your eyes spontaneously explode and then you get put on a terrorist watch list despite the fact you now have no eyes and can’t even watch lists. But at least you won’t be able to watch Meat Loaf and a mechanical yeti.

However, if you are one of the few brave souls who have built up a resistance to eye-explodingly bad movies and mechanical bigfeet and bigmeat palling around, then you should watch the new RiffTrax VOD To Catch a Yeti, but only with the powers of Mike, Kevin, and Bill backing you up. The rest of you, run like a bat out of hell, and also something something do anything for love, but I won’t do that something something.

Buy To Catch a Yeti today on!

To Catch a Yeti. To live a dream. To Meat a Loaf. Some things just seem too good to be true. Meat Loaf, in a movie about a bigfoot? But Meat Loaf isn’t playing the bigfoot? Might seem disappointing, until you find out Meat is instead playing the world’s greatest hunter, Big Jake Grizzly, and his prey is a yeti that’s 2 feet tall and makes the puppetry in Mac & Me look like high art. Even calling the yeti a puppet is really an exaggeration, since basically all it can do is sit still and whimper and blink. But that doesn’t stop it from doing some rad skateboard moves1, because hey, it’s the 90s!!! (1radical skateboard moves = someone dropped this stuffed animal disaster on a board and kicked it down a hill)

Against all notions of reason and good taste, a little girl is charmed by the creature and makes him her friend. But there’s also an evil little rich boy (who somehow manages to be even more detestable than the yeti and ‘Loaf COMBINED) who wants the hideous goggle-eyed creature for himself. It all leads to a thrilling hijinks-filled showdown in New York City…or at least, the best fake approximation of New York City to be found in a production so Canadian your screen will ooze maple syrup.

Maple syrup, Meat Loaf, a horrific puppet, and more things you’ll never want to eat again after To Catch a Yeti!

To Catch a Yeti RiffTrax

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Posted by Tars Tarkas - May 1, 2015 at 11:35 pm

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Murder She Baked brings the cookies to Hallmark Movies & Mysteries!

Murder she baked hallmark

Forget the murder mystery, there’s a cat in this movie! YES! Must-watch TV!

Murder She Baked: A Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder Mystery is the latest of the various Hallmark Movies & Mysteries series the network optioned and has now reached the small screen to delight us all with bakery-themed death and investigations. It’s the first of the book series written by Hannah Swensen.

Not only that, but there are even recipes from the movie on the Hallmark website, so you can bake while you watch to enhance your movie pleasure. Or rage about how your own cookies are better, like my cookies are.

Murder She Baked: A Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder Mystery stars Alison Sweeney, Cameron Mathison, Lisa Durupt, Toby Levins, Juliana Wimbles, and Barbara Niven. It is directed by Mark Jean (The Nine Lives of Christmas) and written by Donald Martin (Carnal Innocence).

This freshly baked new murder mystery introduces Hannah Swensen (Sweeney), a creative and bubbly baker extraordinaire in a sleepy town in Minnesota, where everyone knows each other and secrets don’t stay hidden for long. Hannah’s bakeshop, the Cookie Jar, is where much of the town’s gossip percolates along with the strong coffee. But after she finds her good friend and delivery driver shot dead in the alley behind her shop, Hannah’s idyllic world is turned upside down. Her brother-in-law and county deputy sheriff recruits Hannah to help him chase down the culprit, but newly appointed Detective Mike Kingston (Mathison) has other ideas on how to investigate. As Hannah gets close to the handsome detective, she also meets the town’s new resident dentist at the prodding of her matchmaking mother Delores (Niven), and is suddenly caught in an unexpected romantic mystery of her own. Then, as a surprising number of suspects emerge, and motives ranging from blackmail to extortion abound, Hannah is strategically placed in the investigation to hear all as she jumps in as detective. Packed with plot twists and red herrings, romantic entanglements and family shenanigans, this lighthearted Hannah Swensen crime solver will please the palate of any mystery fan.

“Murder She Baked: A Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder Mystery,” is a Brad Krevoy Television and Stephanie Germain Productions Production. Brad Krevoy, Stephanie Germain and Eric Jarboe are the executive producers. Mark Jean directs from a script written by Nancey Silvers. “Murder She Baked: A Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder Mystery,” is based on Joanne Fluke’s book Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder.

Murder She Baked: A Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder Mystery premieres Sunday, May 2 on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries! Hopefully the cat gets a lot of screen time.

Photo via Hallmark Press/Bettina Strauss

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Posted by Tars Tarkas -  at 10:36 pm

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