Posts tagged "cool robots"

Pacific Rim

Pacific Rim

Pacific Rim Title
Story by Travis Beacham
Screenplay by Travis Beacham and Guillermo del Toro
Directed by Guillermo del Toro

An action packed ride from the first frames, Pacific Rim delivers the giant robots vs. giant monsters action promised, and crafts an entertaining flick around it. Del Toro provides a love letter to a genre he grew up loving, and succeeded in updating it technologically to craft something amazing. Almost every frame is a piece of art by itself. The design and look are outstanding, the jaegers (the giant robots) are banged up and realistic, and the kaiju are scarily beautiful yet deadly looking. Battles encompass multiple environments, from snowy seas of Alaska to the cityscapes of Hong Kong to the ocean floor.

Pacific Rim keeps its flow, the segments where the story is set up feel natural and are done in creative fashion. Following along, our minds are too busy to wander, bereft of distractions and eagerly anticipating the next monster brawl. And when the real action starts, boy does it start.

There are minor spoilers below, but nothing that isn’t in the trailers. But if you don’t want to know anything, just know that Pacific Rim is my favorite film I’ve seen this summer, and possibly 2013. It’s fun, fun, fun, heartfelt and not full of the gritty reluctant heroes that seem to be everywhere. There are giant monster, robots, and it’s awesome.
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Posted by Tars Tarkas - July 9, 2013 at 2:34 pm

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Buddha’s Palm (Part 2)

Buddha’s Palm (Part 2)

aka 如來神掌(二集) aka The Young Swordsman Lung Kim Fei Part 2 aka 如來神掌(下集大結局)

1964HKMDB Link
Written by Sze-To On
Story by Shangguan Hong
Directed by Ling Yun

Buddha's Palm
Buddha’s Palm Part 2, the adventure continues! When last we left our intrepid travelers, Lung Kim-fei had helped recover dragonroot to restore the sight of Suen. The first thing she sees when she regains her sight is his uniform, the same uniform as his sifu, Master Ku Hon-wan the Wicked God of Fiery Cloud and enemy of Suen. So she blasts Lung in the chest!
Buddha's Palm
This edition is unique in it is the only one of the Buddha’s Palm series that does not have the iconic opening credits sequence of Lung Kim-fei shooting palm blasts at a Buddha painting every ten seconds. But don’t fear, it will return for the next two parts of Buddha’s Palm. Part 2 finishes the story began in Part 1, while Parts 3 and 4 are their own story. Some of the monster costumes from the prior film return, along with a new surprise.
Buddha's Palm
Burdened by the story, there is less quest adventuring going on, and more of running and fighting adventuring. The next two chapters will attempt to balance the questing and the fighting, but for now we got a stream of action sequences. The plot is largely propelled by Suen’s anger, while Master Ku is given a moment to act all cocky like his character’s back story is supposed to be. But oddly enough, that saves the day. So the lesson is to be cocky, but explain yourself? Sure, whatever Buddha’s Palm!
Buddha's Palm

Lung Kim-fei (Walter Tso Tat-Wah) – This zero became a hero and got blasted in the chest for it! Luckily he’s saved by Kau Yuk-wah and his friends until things are set into motion and clans prepare to battle, unless Lung Kim-fei helps bring peace.
Kau Yuk-wah (Yu So-Chau) – Kung fu sister who falls for Lung Kim-fei and tries to save him. Spends part of the film racked with guilt when she thinks her sister died. Helps Lung rescue Luk Yu and then tries to help calm down the feuding clans.
Kau Yuk-kuen (Patricia Lam Fung) – Kau Yuk-wah’s younger sister who is believed killed early in the film, but is actually rescued by Master Ku and trained in the Buddha’s Palm Technique. Her being saved and welcomed helps calm the feud between Master Ku and Master Suen.
Master Ku Hon-wan (Ling Mung) – The Wicked God of Fiery Cloud, his sight was recently restored by Lung. Trains Kau Yuk-kuen in the Buddha’s Palm technique after Condor saves her.
Condor (Man in suit) – Master Ku Hon-wan’s magic condor who saves people all the time. And you can ride him!
But Ku (Ko Lo-Chuen) – The helmsman of the Cheung Lei Sect. Always announces himself via incredibly loud offscreen yelling. Helps rescue Lung and tries to calm the clan feuding that’s going on.
Luk Yu (Kwan Hoi-San) – Friend of the Kau sisters, a guy who gets kidnapped a lot and Lung Kim-fei keeps saving. Does he get kidnapped in this movie? Yes!
Suen Bik-ling (Yung Yuk-Yi) – Matriarch of the Kau’s clan. Was blinded in duel with Master Ku Hon-wan long ago, and just regained her sight. Wears a mask to hide her disfigured face. Is willing to start a war to get revenge on Master Ku.
Auyeung Ho (Siu Chung-Kwan) – A jerk guy who bullied Lung, but not he gets shown up by the kung fu trained Lung. So suck it, bully!
Auyeung Ho’s wife (???) – Auyeung Ho’s wife, she gets to watch her jerk husband be humiliated…again!

Buddha's Palm
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Posted by Tars Tarkas - February 14, 2013 at 11:40 am

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aka ヤッターマン aka Yattāman

Screenplay by Masashi Sogo
Story by Tatsuo Yoshida
Directed by Takashi Miike

It’s posin’ time!

Yatterman is a big pile of dumb fun. Based on a cartoon show from back in the day (back in the Japan day) of 1977. Smart people (or people who know how to quickly Google things) will know that Yatterman was the second show in the Time Bokan Series, which is a group of cartoons from Tatsunoko Productions. The cartoons evolve and feature similar groups of heroes and villains. Yatterman was the longest running series, and has even sported a revival cartoon in 2008.

Yatterman is about two super-heroes who fight a variety of monsters/giant robots that are the work of the Doronbo Gang, baddies attempting to get the pieces of the Skull Stone together to awful things will happen…and also the Doronbo Gang gets rich. The hero is the teenage son of a toy store owner who has modified his dad’s toys into weapons to fight evil, and does so with his girlfriend. Yes, the concept is nuts, and that’s why we love it.

Subtext? What’s that?

Genre fans of Takashi Miike might be disappointed that there is no slicing of nipples, piano wire, or transexuals firing darts from their vaginas. But then, if that’s still all you expect from Miike by now, you really need to get out more. This isn’t 2001, people. Miike brings his usual over-the-top exuberance to Yatterman, this time translating it into the cartoony style that fits perfectly with the universe.

The Yatterman world is a ridiculous one, but also full of whimsy and wonder. Evil villains scheme and build giant robot machines, but are easily defeated. Characters are both stereotypical archetypes but also complex and developed personalities underneath.

The extra Ds are for a double dose of Doronbo!

Like all the best films, the villains are a thousand times more interesting than the heroes. Lady Doronjo is the hot girl who is evil, yet also hopelessly in love with her biggest nemesis. Tonzura aspires to be a wrestling champion and barely seems evil, while Boyacky is that guy who’s leering at you the entire bus ride. He’s also a mechanical genius and hopelessly in love with Lady Doronjo.

The entire film is packed with sexual innuendo. By innuendo, I mean totally blatant. Giant robots have breasts or what looks suspiciously like a giant wang (and all of these things fire things out of them) and there is a disturbing scene involving robot ants. Yatterman is one big pervert’s paradise.

Throughout the film, The Doronbo Gang embarks in a series of scams to acquire a large amount of money to build their mechanical creations in order to battle the Yatterman squad. Their methods are often genius, and all three of them could easily find legitimate employment and make buckets full of money, but they love the freedom of being able to do whatever they want, and also the dream of getting even richer and more powerful.

This is the best movie ever.

Because this film is weirdtacular and strange, it must be thoroughly examined and gets a full scale breakdown. Yatterman style!

Takada Gan/Gan-chan/Yatterman No. 1 (Sho Sakurai) – Takada Gan is the son of a toy store owner who builds his own mecha out of his father’s toys. Dresses up as Yatterman No. 1 to battle evil, and ropes his girlfriend along with him. Sho Sakurai is part of the male singing group Arashi
Kaminari Ai/Ai-chan/Yatterman No. 2 (Saki Fukuda) – Gan-chan’s girlfriend who goes and plays Yatterman with him as Yatterman No. 2. Becomes rather jealous of Takada Gan as other women begin to show interest in him.
Lady Doronjo (Kyoko Fukada) – Leader of the Doronbo Gang and sexy woman of desire of more than one main character. Wants to be rich, but also wants to settle down and get married. Leads her group’s search of the Skull Stones.
Boyacky (Katsuhisa Namase) – Doronbo Gang member who wears a big nose with big rabbit teeth. He builds all the mecha for the group. Is also a gigantic perv, probably the biggest pervert on the planet. Katsuhisa Namase specializes in playing characters who wear comical wigs, which I didn’t know was a thing.
Tonzura (Kendo Kobayashi) – Tough guy of the Doronbo Gang who wears a pig nose, because wearing animal noses are where it’s at these days. Dreams of becoming an amazing wrestler.
If you count all the skulls in this movie, you will unlock the secret number from the movie Pi!

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Posted by Tars Tarkas - January 6, 2013 at 11:23 pm

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Written by Shankar, Sujatha Rangarajan, Madhan Karky
Directed by Shankar

In 2010, Endhiran exploded onto the scene, focusing the world’s eyes onto the Tamil film industry for what may have been the first time. Of course, many of the eyes then left just as fast, but Endhiran did succeed in exposing people to something they would never watch otherwise and getting a lot of new fans for Indian cinema in general. Endhiran is the classic love triangle combined with father-son angst, resulting in the biggest Oedipus complex you ever did see. All neatly wrapped up in SciFi flavor, which helps give us some cool visuals and the most ridiculously awesome action sequences that fill the last half hour.
Endhiran was released simultaneously as the dubbed versions Robo in Telugu and Robot in Hindi, smashing records with ease. Rajinikanth is the superstar of Tamil cinema and is one of the most famous actors in India. It is hard to believe that he was 60 when Endhiran came out. He’s paired up with an equal in superstar statues, Aishwarya Rai, who is often cited as the most beautiful woman in the world.
Though the fantastic action shots are what gained the film exposure, Enthiran is about much more than that. Enthiran is a love story. A love story of both a couple (Vasi and Sana), and also a father and son love story between Vasi and his creation, Chitti. Vasi pours his whole being into his work, to the point of avoiding all contact outside of it. This rightfully ticks off Sana, who feels the jilted fiance. Despite creating what is arguably a life, Vasi also spends a good chunk of the film trying to make up to Sana for ignoring her all the time.

Vasi/Dr. K. Vaseekaran (Rajinikanth) – Brilliant scientists working on robotic AI, attempting to create a robot that he can sell to the military to save human lives. Vasi’s faults begin to manifest themselves as the robot Chitti experiences
Chitti Babu (Rajinikanth) – Robotic creation of Vasi, named by Vasi’s mom after what she would have called a hypothetical sibling of Vasi. Chitti starts out a a friendly robot eager to please, but as he learns more about humanity and is given emotions, there is a breakdown into chaos.
Sana (Aishwarya Rai) – Vasi’s long-suffering fiance, who puts up with him ignoring her while he’s engrossed in work. But she does have a line and Vasi blunders over it occasionally.
Dr. Bohra (Danny Denzongpa) – Vasi’s former mentor who is working on a competing robot project, thus he begins sabotaging Vasi’s creation without Vasi’s knowledge. Unlike Vasi’s noble goals, Dr. Bohra is creating robots to destroy.

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Posted by Tars Tarkas - December 24, 2012 at 3:18 pm

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Trip To Moon (Review)

Trip to Moon

aka Chand Par Chadayee

Written by Dr. P. Balakrishnan and T.R. Sundaram
Directed by T.P. Sundaram

Trip to Moon
How you boys like my new goldfish bowl?

Trip to Moon is another Dara Singh adventure, as the famous wrestler has become far too manly and powerful to be confined to foes just upon Earth, he has to search the stars for new enemies. Luckily the Moon and Mars both contain a sizeable amount of wrestlers and monsters for him to battle with, and then there is the little matter of the love of a Princess and adverting war between the Moon and Mars. As we get an experience that’s obviously heavily influenced by serials like Flash Gordon, the audience comes along for the ride in one of the few instances of Indian science fiction film. It’s also a bonus entry into the MOSS (Mysterious Order of the Skeleton Suit) Conspiracy Big Muscle Tussle, because I am awesome like that.

Trip to Moon
Rise of the Moon of the Apes!

Trip to Moon has several mysteries surrounding it. Though it was released in 1967, one of the actors – S. Nazir who plays a kidnapped scientist in the beginning – died earlier. He’s even listed as deceased in the credits. Theories abound as to when Trip to Moon was actually filmed, with guesses ranging from 1963-1967 – though it is possible additional scenes were added later. So why did it take so long for Trip to Moon to hit Indian theaters, if that was the case? Was it more distribution problems similar to what drove producers to start making stunt films in the first place, or was there something else going on? Or are these rumors all untrue and just made up by people with websites? Perhaps if you know Dara Singh, you can ask him. Tell him TarsTarkas.NET sent you! Then he won’t punch you as hard for bothering him.

Trip to Moon
Only in India do you get crowd scenes with Devo and a herd of Phantoms from Krankor…

Much like his other films King Kong and Samson, although he’s given a character and backstory, Dara Singh is just Dara Singh. Much like how Arnold Schwarzenegger is Arnold in every movie, even if he is a robot or a believer in Free Mars. By now Dara is headlining films himself, no need for pretty boys to share the spotlight. He still has a comic relief guy, because you can’t escape their goofy grasps. Dara’s wrestling opponents are less billed than before, and though some make appearances, many are under layers of makeup or costumes playing various space monsters. There is a feeling in the air that Trip to Moon is using whatever costumes the studio had lying around for use, along with possibly monster costumes.

Trip to Moon
It’s lonely out in space on such a timeless flight

The opening credits are filled with what look like stock scifi paintings as the credits role. Despite the trappings, there are relatively few Indian science fiction films. Others known or suspected to be (besides mythologicals or super hero films) include Dara Singh’s other film Rocket Tarzan (1963), Wahan Ke Log (1967), Rocket Girl (1962), Flying Circus (1965 – though that just has a robot), Flying Man (1965), Miss Chaalbaaz (1961), Atom Bomb (1949, dir. Homi Wadia), Kalai Arasi (1963), and Aditya 369 (1991). Thank MBarnum of Pedro the Ape Bomb for some of these titles. The either missing of unavailable status of many of those films prevents a good overview of older Indian science fiction. The more modern films are better known – Koi Mil Gaya, Krrish, Love Story 2050, Da.One, Aa Dekhen Zara, Endhiran (a Kollywood joint) and Krrish 2. But those are entries for new dawns and new days.

Trip to Moon
I’ll be He-Man, and you’ll be Bee-rah, Princess of Honeypots!

Yes, this unsubtitled, badly encoded vcd just doesn’t want us to know what is going on. But here at TarsTarkas.NET, we don’t need no stinking subtitles!

Captain Anand (Dara Singh) – Space Captain Anand is the greatest fighter on three worlds, what with his kicking butts on Earth, the Moon, and Mars. John Carter needs to watch out! I thought from the context that Anand’s father was among the scientists kidnapped by the Moon, but he never shows up so who knows. For more Dara Singh, don’t forget to check out King Kong, Samson, and the Dara Singh Infernal Brains podcast
Princess Shimoga (C. Ratna) – The stunning Princess of the Moon, who quickly takes a shine to Captain Anand and his seriousness. Her costume looks like a flight attendant’s costume, which is sort of weird in itself. I could find no information about actress Ratna aka C. Ratna.
Bhagu (Master Bhagwan) – Comic relief buddy of Dara Singh, who is like Wayne Knight meets Abbott and Costello. is Anand’s paternal cousin. I originally guessed his name was Foruk, and kind of wish it still was. Bhagu has a double who is the assistant of the King of Mars, Isabel
Balti (Rajrani) – The kidnapping Moon girl that takes a shine to Bhagu, because annoying dumpy guys are irresistible to fabulous moon babes. It’s a fact, Jack! Her name as Balti is a guess (a bad one), and the actress being Rajrani is also a guess (though more of process of elimination.)
Simi (Padma Khanna) – The other space girl who accompanies Balti on her trips to kidnap people and other tasks. She doesn’t get to marry on of the two main castmembers, for reasons that will become apparent as you watch. Padma Khanna (here billed simply as Padma) is a Hindi and Bhojpuri actress who was mostly active in the 60s-80s. She has recently directed her own Bhojpuri film and runs a dance studio and produces stage shows in New York/New Jersey.
Barahatu the King of Mars (Anwar Hussain) – The evil King of Mars Barahatu totally wants to marry the Princess of the Moon Shimoga, but he’s old and gross and evil, so she snubs him. So he just kidnaps her, risking a war to try to make her marry him. That just annoys her even more.
Robot (man in suit) – This robot shows up suddenly and starts fighting captain Anand, until another robot randomly walks in and then the robots fight.
Space Rhinoceros (men in suit) – Mars also features dangerous Space Rhinoceroses that will totally attack innocent wrestlers who are chasing after kidnapped princesses nearby.
Trip to Moon
Things went ugly quickly when a robot played 7 aces during Fizzbin

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Posted by Tars Tarkas - February 26, 2012 at 11:43 pm

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Erotibot (Review)


aka Karei naru erogami-ke no ichizoku: Shinsô reijô wa denki shitsuji no yume o miru ka aka The Great Ero-gami Family – Do Sheltered Young Ladies Dream of Electric Butlers? aka 華麗なるエロ神家の一族

Directed by Naoyuki Tomomatsu

Erotibot is the story of a girl and her robots, and also a cautionary tale of why you should never share an inheritance.

Erotibot is one of the scores of direct to video junk Japan films each year. It probably wouldn’t even leave the land of the rising sun were it not for the presence of Asami Sugiura and Maria Ozawa in the cast. As Asami Suguira gained fame in the West after appearing in many of the Noboru Iguchi ultragore films, and Maria Ozawa is one of the most downloaded AV stars, overseas sales are assured.

Despite the “star” power, Erotibot isn’t really a star vehicle for either of them. It also doesn’t fit well into the genre Asami Sugiura is known for. And while Maria Ozawa is well known for being a most prolific star of pornography ranging for normal to beyond frakked up, her more serious acting turns are not that well known. Besides appearing in the most recent batch of Kekko Kamen flicks, she’s also popped up in a horror movie or three. But that’s about it. Erotibot is not exactly a feather for her cap, if you know what I mean. It’s interesting (sort of), but it isn’t good.

Sukekiyo (???) – Sukekiyo is your average goofy robot butler who daydreams about his mistress loving him. Is fiercely loyal to Tamayo. The only waterproof robot. Android 0.3.
Suketomo (???) – Suketomo is the perfect robot butler who does everything right and shows up Sukekiyo at every chance he can get, including banging Tamayo. But he gets reprogrammed and goes evil. Just like your Macbook Pro will next week! Android 0.1.
Suketake (???) – A silent robot with beastlike strength and a crazy head. The least developed of the three robots. Android 0.2.
Tamayo (Mahiro Aine) – Tamayo is the illegitimate daughter of a rich businessman who keeps her isolated from the rest of society and is given robot servants. This has made her curious about sex, which the internet cannot answer. She must have the parental controls still active or something…. Mahiro Aine enjoys playing piano, eating strawberry shortcake, and having sex on film for money.
Tsukiyo (Maria Ozawa) – The legitimate granddaughter of the rich businessman who is upset that she won’t be getting any money. So it’s time for murder. MURDER!!!! Also murder. A crazed psychopath who likes handsome guys. Maria Ozawa exploded onto the AV world several years ago and became one of the most obsessed over stars.
Azami (Asami Sugiura) – The imaginatively-named sidekick to Tsukiyo who accompanies her on her quest to claim the inheritance. Asami is the former AV star who has appeared in many spaltter films and gained a cult following in the US. She’s been on TarsTarkas.NET in The Machine Girl, RoboGeisha, Mutant Girls Squad, Gothic & Lolita Psycho, and Horny House of Horror

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Posted by Tars Tarkas - October 8, 2011 at 9:47 pm

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