Sukeban Fighter Misaki (Review)

Sukeban Fighter Misaki

Directed by Masayoshi Shiki
Sukeban Fighter Misaki

So this entry will require a bit of background, because Japan is weird. As you are probably aware of as you are an avid reader of TarsTarkas.NET and similar site that regularly go over the massive volume of cinema to be released from Japan. The vast majority of these films are low-budget direct to video affairs produced for a very limited audience. Thus, the videos usually cost close to $50 when first dropped, though they’ll soon end up as bargain basement packages as the parade of young actresses featured in the films rotates onwards. Many of the films are targeted at those who love low-budget action/crime/blood/gore films, and some of the select audiences are those who subscribe to specific fetishes. These range from harmless affairs like costumed chicks or fighting chicks, to more screwed up stuff that requires liberal use of the censor mosaic. As we like to pretend that we have a PG-13 rating here on TarsTarkas.NET, Sukeban Fighter Misaki falls strictly into the Fighting Schoolgirl genre. These affairs are basically involving tough schoolgirl fighters, secret agency people, evil masterminds, at least one evil schoolgirl, and a bunch of dudes in masks who will harass and capture the schoolgirl fighters.
Sukeban Fighter Misaki

Sukeban Fighter Misaki looks like it is one of a set of four films that were all made at the same time. Without having seen the other three, I am not sure what order they are intended to be watched in. The other three films are Sukeban Fighter Ayaka, Sukeban Fighter 2nd Intrigue, and Sukeban Fighter 2nd Struggle. I think it is produced by Zen Pictures, which is a production company that specializes in costume fighting women films. Their company website has literally hundreds of Power Rangers-ish films. They also have a sister company that does lots of horror stuff called Babel (the films are oddly called “New challenge movies”) You can also get a job doing voiceover work in the films for English dubs.

Sukeban Fighter Misaki

Misaki (Megumi Yamanaka) – Megumi Yamanaka was a gravure model that seemed to be in a lot of stuff circa 2006. Looks like she’s also in 2004’s New Zero Woman.
Ayaka (Kazuma Kawabata) – The student council president who works with some teachers to try to control the gang problem. The solution is to get Misaki to beat up all the gang. There is no info about Kazuma Kawabata anywhere and she seems to dropped off the face of the internet after these films.
Evil Girl (Eriko Matsumura) – Evil Girl is evil, hence her name. Also I didn’t catch her name, hence her name. She works for the evil boss and is evil. That’s all you need to know. Eriko Matsumura also dropped off the face of the internet after these films. I imagine she and Kazuma Kawabata are living in a shack somewhere in the desert, lifelong lovers, raising camels. Because…why not?

Sukeban Fighter Misaki
Continue reading

DTV sequel news – Road Trip 2, Mean Girls 2

DTV sequels coming up from Paramount’s Paramount Famous Productions (the company they made just to do DTV sequels) include Without a Paddle 2, Mean Girls 2, Road Trip 2: Beer Pong, Grease 3, The Naked Gun 4, and a new Bad News Bears (about soccer? WTF?)

The story of Road Trip 2: Beer Pong is it was originally a script entitled Beer Pong that was bought and presumably had the “Road Trip” portion added onto it. As long as it has an extended locker room sequence then I won’t call it an abomination, just stupid. Moviehole read some of the script:

the story sees a college student named Andy egged on by his rascally friends to stop worrying so much about his girlfriend back-home and start enjoying college life to the full. So he does. And meets a ‘Beer Pong’ model named Jenna. He becomes rather besotted.

Unfortunately, the girlfriend decides to transfer to Andy’s university so she can be closer to him – and on all days, the day he and his friends have decided to hit the road chasing Jenna and her model friends in their big-ass tour bus.

All that plus beer pong. American Pie Presents Band Camp director Steve Rash is helming, and it stars Preston Jones, Nestor Aaron Absera, Danny Pudi, Julianna Guill and Julia Levy-Boeken (with reported DJ Qualls cameo)

Naked Gun 4 has a great overview of the script up at AICN, so read that if you are curious.

No actual news on Mean Girls 2’s plot yet, but Paramount Famous Productions head Louis Feola said he wouldn’t make DTV sequels for Top Gun or The Godfather, so put down your pitchforks….for now!

(And don’t worry, American Pie 7 is coming out also, called American Pie: The Book of Love!)
The new Grease film is still only at the planning stages.
This is far too much DTV sequel news for me to stand, so we’ll end here.

Wargames 2: The Dead Code (Review)

Wargames 2: The Dead Code

Directed by Stuart Gillard

It’s War Games 2: The Dead Code, the latest DTV sequel of a movie that last hit theaters when most video renters were still in diapers. Thanks to the magic of constant reruns on TNT, USA, and HBO, everyone who is anyone has seen the original War Games over a billion times. Everyone learns that the only winning move is not to play, than Matthew Broderick changes his grades via computer, and that all programmers leave back doors. Now, War Games has been updated for the new millennium, with a girl computer, modern kids, and the War on Terror so in your face you won’t be able to sneeze. Join us as we encounter War Games 2: The Dead Code, and find out if your childhood has been raped, or merely felt up by your crazy uncle!

As we all know, the Dead Code is up up down down left right left right…no, wait, that’s the 40 lives code. The Dead Code is something new, and we’ll have to watch the film to get. Dammit! Our characters for this radio drama include:

Will Farmer (Matt Lanter) – Our main character whose name sounds super generic. Has a sick, chemical genius mom and a dead father. A compute whiz and hacker/phreaker. Able to seduce chess babes with but a single glance. Evades government security like he’s bin Laden.
Annie (Amanda Walsh) – A girl in chess club who becomes Will Farmer’s lover interest because she is a computer hacking pro. Excuse me while I don’t believe a word of that. Anyway, by the end of the film they are on their way to hacking each other’s naughty bits, and maybe Will will be lucky and find her backdoor password.
Dennis Nichols (Nicolas Wright) – Friend of Will Farmer, master of Stargate MMORPG, trash talker, hanger out in basements, and standard sidekick character.
Bill Carter (Chuck Shamata) – Head tech guy for the RIPLEY project, worried RIPLEY may have gone too far. Another old school hacker.
Kenneth Hassert (Colm Feore) – Horn-Rimmed Glasses. Arrogant guy in charge of the RIPLEY project. Spends most of the film being a jerk and talking down to generals and admirals he is supposed to be impressing for funding. Then suddenly becomes competent in the final section. Colm Feore was President Richard Adar on Battlestar Galactica, which means he should have experience with crazy machines armed with nuclear bombs. All this has happened before and will happen again.
Old Guy (Gary Reineke) – He is just an old guy, nothing to see here…
RIPLEY (Claudia Black)- The new computer is a girl. It is also crazier, more dangerous, and more intelligent. So, yeah, a girl. What does R.I.P.L.E.Y. stand for? Who cares, the film sure doesn’t care enough to tell us! The film used the Aliens and Talented Mr. Ripley jokes, so we will run the “Believe it or not!” joke down your throat until you beg for mercy.

So let’s get rockin’! In Afghanistan (home of Afghan blankets), the director is getting all stylish as jeeps jumping over dunes in slow-motion. The jeeps are driven by a bunch of Eurotrash gangsters and hookers meeting other Eurotrash gangsters who desire hookers, all of which are supposed to be the Taliban or something. They get bombed dead by an unmanned Predator drone. Shock and awe, indeed. If you take a close look at the missiles carried by the unmanned Predator drone, you will see it says “Inert”. I’ve never seen inert explosives explode so large before! We find out the bombing was ordered by RIPLEY, a girl computer! Believe it or not! Computers can’t be girls, so I choose not to believe.

Continue reading

Direct to Video News – Jaws Edition

Rumors are swirling that a DTV sequel to JAWS (!!!) is being considered. Supposedly, Jaws 5 will be made direct to your video store…or will it?

The Rumor:

… You reboot the franchise. Look at what Warners is doing with Superman and Batman and Sony are doing with Bond. It’s hardly comparable, being a fucking rubber shark monster, but what the hell. You forget that Jaws 3 and Jaws 4 were ever made. You bring Brody back. Only this time he’s totally fucking frazzled from the shock of what he’s gone through twenty odd years ago. He’s an old man, he’s alcholic and he’s fucking emotionally broke. His son’s live away, his wife’s dead and he’s about to be forcibly retired from Amity’s police department after decades. Then a shark comes back, starts doing it’s shit and Brody pulls himself together and decides that catching and killing the shark will be his salvation. They didn’t like this. They were all about the “It sounds dark!” “It sounds unmarketable in the avenue we’re considering!” They started talking to me about the straight-to-DVD market being for the teens and primarily young males/females and that they were wanting to focus more on that. One guy says “You know? Teens in peril? That sort of thing?” I reply “You mean like Jaws 2?” Another tells me that Schieder wouldn’t touch anything remotely linked to Jaws sequels. They said that back in the early 80s they nearly sued him because he was contracted to 2 sequels and he did one and refused the other and they got round it in the end by him letting them use his stuff in Jaws 4 but not having to pay him a dime! It doesn’t look likely for me. Then again my agent is telling me that I was 20th down the line from being offered it so it seems fucking nobody wants to touch it…

Sounds awful, right? This is another horror movie where the true horror is it’s existence.

Suddenly, the horror waned as soon as it cast its shadow…

Allow me to debunk. I dropped an email to David Linde to ask if this was true, and he said folks are confused: there’s an HD “Jaws” DVD on its way, but no “Jaws 5” straight-to-DVD.

And if you can’t believe Universal’s top brass, who can you believe?

Silent Bob (Kevin Smith) is good at being silent, and now is good at silencing odd rumors.

Unless the studio lied to him.

do do do do, do do do do…..

The Net 2.0 (Review)

The Net 2.0

Nikki Deloach as Hope Cassidy
Sebnem Dönmez as Roxelana
Demet Akbag as Dr. Kavak
Keegan Connor Tracy as Z.Z. Jackson
Neil Hopkins as James Haven
Güven Kirac as Osman
Directed by Charles Winkler

A rehash in the hashiest sense, The Net 2.0 is not only an inferior photocopy of the previous film’s plot, it ramps up the clichés to an exponential factor in reverse proportion to its shrinking in scope. In place of Sandra Bullock, we have Mickey Mouse Club alum Nikki Deloach (who went from a Mouseketeer dating N*SYNC’s JC to making DTV films in Turkey) as Hope Cassidy. That name wouldn’t be so bad if she didn’t keep repeating that Hope was all she has left (Following which we let loose more vomit than the sum printed on every Garbage Pail Kid sticker!) Being that the world was screaming for a sequel to The Net, to answer all those lingering questions left over from the TV series, such as “Are those Pi Symbol guys defeated?”, “Was that the movie that turned Dennis Miller from hilarious comedian to unfunny rightwing shill?” and “There was a TV series???” Instead of keeping the international conspiracy angle, this cheapened version also cheapens the plot, turning it into a simple robbery. This dropping of the conspiracy eliminates the only interesting angle of the original, while instead of an international supergroup the villains turn out to be just a pair of one-dimensional goons. WOOOoooOOOoOOOoOoOoOO! Fear the one-dimensional goons! They will erase your identity if you ever take a job in Turkey! Well, maybe you can get a job in a Cuneyt Arkin film, or the DTV Cocktail 2: Cock Harder!

Having never seen the TV series, I have no idea if it was cancelled in the middle of a plotline that this was originally intended to answer. Since 2.0 has zero connections story-wise, it was probably not greenlighted to finish any stories, but to jump onto the cash cow of DTV (Direct to Video) sequels that are now plaguing Blockbuster and Hollywood Video like locusts in Biblical Egypt. Movies like Single White Female 2: The Psycho, Species III, Wild Things 3: Diamonds in the Rough, and House of the Dead 2 pull in enough of a profit in video presales before they’re even released to make it worthwhile, so director turned producer Irwin Winkler placed his son in charge of direction (the original title was The Net 2.0: Nepotism) so they’d rake in all the dough, making the Winkler family even richer, and it’s not even Henry Winkler’s family. Can’t the Fonz catch a break? At least he was on Arrested Development.

With all the magic hacking power of the two villains, one wonders why they had to resort to this identity erasing as a frame-up for their robbery when they could put it to good use ripping off slightly smaller targets that would still make them rich enough to never have to work again. There are literally thousands of unsecured and easily accessible places to go, for people with that super power of hacking. The same super power of hacking that Matthew Broderick had in WarGames, or Wolverine possessed in Swordfish, these two idiots are using to goof around, and the heroine is even more super powered than them. Scary note on the WarGames reference, WarGames 2 has been greenlit for DTV! I’m sure it will be just as terrible as the title sounds.
Continue reading

Single White Female 2: The Psycho (Review)

Single White Female 2: The Psycho

Kristen Miller as Holly Parker
Allison Lange as Tess Kositch
Todd Babcock as David Kray
Brooke Burns as Jan Lambert
Kyme as Doctor

After watching the original Single White Female, all of America demanded the further adventures of Allie Jones. I myself joined in the furious letter-writing campaign. Thirteen years later, after many pitfalls, we get the fruit of our labors, and it is sweet fruit indeed. CORRECTION: No one demanded crap, and these fruits are as bitter as under ripe lemon Sweettarts. To aid America in receiving a gift no one wants are THREE(!) writers, including Ross Helford and Andy Hurst, who heaped Wild Things 2 and Wild Things 3 upon a warring nation. Following our observations on those two movies, i.e. they are just carbon copies, complete with all the imperfections not having the original produces, we regret to inform you that this is the exact same thing. They took the original story, and just switched actors, with the plot modified so slightly that they just replaced “gay neighbor” with “slutty friend.” That takes about 3 seconds with Microsoft Word, so these guys sure earned their paychecks. They also managed to take out some of the defining moments of the original film, like almost all the nudity (except some extras at a sex club) and no one is stabbed in the eye with a high heeled shoe. How can you make a sequel with no shoe stabbing? That’s like making a Free Willy movie with no whale. As for the actors, they’re made up of such wonderful places as She Spies, USA High, Baywatch, and amazingly Band of Brothers. Well, sometimes people just gotta slum. And what slumming they are doing.

We start out with a title screen that looks like it was made with MS Paint. You know how Paint makes text boxes with white backgrounds? Yep. Just use the spray-paint tool to make yourself a “2” and it’s all set. No expense is spared in the execution of this fine cinematic masterwork. “The Psycho” is in it’s own box, suggesting they were coming up with different titles and “The Psycho” was the best they could do. Well, DUH! What’s next, Planet of the Apes 2: Apes? Better titles: Single White Female 2: Psycho Harder, Single White Female 2: Electric Psycholoo, or even better Single White Female 2: Electric SFW!

Continue reading