GAMES: Cards Against Humanity: Pretend You’re Xyzzy

Finally, an online Cards Against Humanity!


 movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link] Another Japanese gore flick with the word “Girl” in the title. This movie is very similar to The Machine Girl, except worse.

PEOPLE: Written and directed by 2 Japanese b-movie directors, the first of which served several roles [but not director or writer] in The Machine Girl. So of course there are similarities. The actors are Japan B-movie actors. The vampire girl is very, very beautiful, but in an unassuming way that you almost don’t notice. The Frankenstein girl is “cutesy high-maintenance girlie-girl” hot. Someone you’d take home, but not marry. So the casting of these 2 characters is at least done very well — they are arguably hotter than the 2 hot girls in The Machine Girl.

PLOT SUMMARY: Really, the whole plot is a huge contrivance made up in order to have a battle between VAMPIRE GIRL and MACHINE GIRL.

UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): [highlight for spoilers] Serial killer trades up boyfriends.

QUIRKS: Japanese B-grade gore, with an emphasis on vampirism and utterly ridiculous situations that make no sense. Apparently, this might be based on a manga. Ha!

VISUALS: It was very colorful. They sometimes used virtual sets — which were neat, even if they looked fake. There were way more hot girls and colorful costumes and different types of people in this movie (compared to The Machine Girl). And the racist club of Asians who made themselves look like racially-stereotypical black people was a sight none of us will ever forget (more on that below). The wrist cutting club was pretty awesome too. The visuals are a 7/10 — but not enough to save this movie.

Of course, the special effects were all really bad. Some things didn’t even make sense. Poor CGi blood, and poor spurting “analog” blood as well. This really reminded me, exactly, of The Machine Girl.

SOUNDTRACK: Weird out-of-place songs. It was more interesting than the soundtrack of The Machine Girl.

POLITICS: Racist humor apparently flies over much easier in Japan. The “black Asians” club was some of the most ridiculous shit I’ve ever seen. Especially when they started talking about Obama, and chanting “Yes we can!” over and over again in Engrish. Oh. My. God. That was so over-the-top. They’d be scared to be this funny in America, where you can wear any color on your face except black. Of course, this is merely an over-the-top depiction of the ridiculous-in-real-life Ganguro Japanese subculture. Just click the word to see pictures of these real life Japanese girls. Yup. They definitely need to be made fun of. To quote one IMDBer, it was the “most mindbogglingly racist thing that I’ve seen on film in the last 40 years that wasn’t a parody.” But of course, this movie is a parody of good movies, and they were a parody of Japanese Ganguro girls, so his statement might not be valid.

GOOD STUFF: It was funnier than last night’s movie too. i was originally thinking 7/10. The wrist cutting club was one of the funniest things I’ve seen in awhile.

BAD STUFF: So now vampires can walk in the sun, die from falling, and can control their own blood in a telekinetic manner? Who decided this? Well, I’ve always been one to preach that every vampire movie has different rules… But making swords out of your own blood and fighting with them is, to me, lamer than sparkling in the sun.

In general, this went for “shamelessly ridiculous”. We actually thought Machine Girl was shamelessly ridiculous, but it turns out that movie actually had shame. You wouldn’t know it until you watch this one, but this movie is like what Machine Girl would have been, had they not exercised artistic restraint. It’s quite amazing how this movie’s main function seems to be to make The Machine Girl look better in comparison.

The dialog is worse. The acting is worse. The writing is worse. The costumes are better, though. The film looks better, though. The best effects out of the 2 movies are in this one, even though they are bad in both. So you really gotta be prepared to be underwhelmed when watching this.

CONCLUSION: This movie beats Machine Girl in the categories of ridiculousness, bad acting, bad writing, and bad plot, but also beats it in the category of hot girls, “shit you never thought you’d see in your life”, colorful visual effects, racist humor, and shamelessness. I think this movie’s primary function is to watch after watching Machine Girl, just to see how much worse Machine Girl *could* have been, had they abandoned all shame and restraint. Either way, both movies are ridiculous gorefests full of laughs. This one is arguably more interesting, but not as good. That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.


Clint: Netflix: 3/5 stars. IMDB: 5.6/10 (a low 6). Though visually, I’d rate it 4/5 stars, 7/10. Too bad for the sake of Vampire Girl Vs. Frankenstein Girl that a movie is more than just how pretty its pictures are.

Carolyn: Netflix: 3/5 stars. IMDB: 5/10. “It had some slightly funny moments, and it was entertaining, but it was ridiculously over the top. And not in an especially good way like Troma movies, or even Machine Girl.”

The native public rating for this movie for IMDB is: 6.2/10 [Machine Girl got 6.0/10]

The native public rating for this movie for Netflix is: 3.0/5 stars [same as Machine Girl].
(Netflix‘s predicted rating for us was 3.2/5 stars, unlike the 3.9/5 prediction for Machine Girl. Netflix is smart!)

RECOMMENDATION: Watch this after watching The Machine Girl, just to see the “right” way and the “wrong” way to make a Japanese gore B-movie. Both movies are very interesting and hilarious, yet this one is clearly worse. I have no idea how this one managed to be rated as good as Machine Girl. It may be by virtue of the fact that it simply looks more modern [despite both movies coming out within a year or two of each other]. Apparently, you can enjoy with with the subtitled turned off as well. I think you’d get less out of it — but you’d also manage to escape some cheesy dialog.

SIMILAR MOVIES: The Machine Girl – a more serious, less ridiculous, less funny version of this movie. By the way, I never in a million years expected to use the adjectives “serious” and “less ridiculous” for Machine Girl. Never in a million years. Let alone 24 hours.

MOVIE QUOTE: Kenji Furano: “Dicing one’s daughter is true happiness!”

 movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link] A girl gets her arm replaced with a machine gun. That’s it. That’s enough to make me watch a movie, no matter how bad it may be. LET’S GO!

PEOPLE: Written & Directed by Noboru Iguchi, who has some 40 titles under his name. Quite a few with “Girl(s)” or “Boy(s)” in the title.

PLOT SUMMARY: In the land of the Yakuza, the one-armed woman is queen.

UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): [highlight for spoilers] Serial killer kills serial killers.

QUIRKS: So ridiculously campy, it’s almost like watching a bad comic book in movie form. Was this inspired by the character in Grindhouse who had a gun replacing her leg?

VISUALS: It was well shot, but then there were the CGI special effects. Bad CGI special effects. Even some of the non-CGI special effects were bad. Like, so bad they looked like they came out of a different decade than the film itself. I am hoping this was deliberate campiness for cheeziness’s sake. Still, I felt it detracted from things. At least in a Troma movie, things are consistently bad. But this was shot in high-def, with decent cinematography — looking like a 2000′s movie — but with effects that looked like 1980′s Troma movies effects. The blood is either analog “real” blood that spurts out like a sprinkler in an utterly ridiculous and unrealistic fashion, or it’s digital fake blood that’s rendered so poorly that the blood in the weightless ship-fight scene in Star Trek 6 (or was it Star Trek 5?) — a movie that came out ~10 yrs prior to this — actually looks good in comparison.

The 2 main female characters (Ami, Miki) were indeed quite hot.

MORALS: Non-violence doesn’t solve all problems. Sometimes, violence is the only solution. And sometimes — it is the best solution.

POLITICS: Yakuza seems to have too much power in Japan!

GOOD STUFF: Soo ridiculous, so much girl-fightin’ action. Utterly campy. Often in a good way. Ninjas with track suits? Yes. Lots of blade fights. Knives, scythes, swords, you name it. Lots of gunfire too.

Man, the bad guys are SUCH ASSHOLES in this movie. Needless assholes. This movie is really good at making you hate the bad guys… So that you enjoy seeing them meet their just desserts later.

BAD STUFF: The special effects and fights. They were so poor as to actually detract from a movie that is already obviously going for cheesy camp. That’s a big mistake.

They obviously don’t know how throwing stars (shurikens) work. In this movie, I referred to them as “tossing stars”. Really, it’s so unbelievably bad you have to see it.

The writing is bad. The dialog isn’t great, either.

Also: The ending. She doesn’t [highlight for spoilers] kill herself because something rustled in the bush? Really? That’s the worst “reason to live” I’ve ever seen in anything ever.

This is, most definitely, a very flawed film.

30 ROCK: Also, look for a clip of Machine Girl in the background of a bar in 30 Rock S3E13.

CONCLUSION: Despite its flaws, Carolyn & I still both “really liked” this movie, but not as much as most movies we “really like”. The cheesiness was cool, but then they over did it to the point of making it distracting and detracting. Still, it’s quite an awesome action movie for being SO UTTERLY RIDICULOUS. It’s like watching a bad comic book unfold in a Troma-esque way. The end also isn’t as good as the middle. The blood was ridiculously bad. All the effects were ridiculously bad. This seems to be an obvious tribute to the American Grindhouse-style movies of the 1970s — much like Machete (which was way way way better than this). That’s what saves it. Well, that and hot Japanese girls covered in blood.

Clint: Netflix: 3.6/5 stars (“a low 4″). IMDB: 6.6/10 (“a low 7″).
Carolyn: Netflix: 3.6/5 stars. IMDB: 6/10.
TwoBeans: 27/40.
The native public rating for this movie is: IMDB: 6.0/10, Netflix: 3.0/5 stars (Netflix‘s predicted rating for us was 3.9/5 stars–nice job, Netflix!).

Neal D: “i watched this movie earlier this year, i loved it”

RECOMMENDATION: If you want ridiculous Japanese girl action, done in a grindhouse style — go for it. But be prepared to laugh at the bad special effects.

SIMILAR MOVIES: Look for the 22-minute “spinoff sequel”, Shyness Machine Girl aka The Hajirai Machine Girl (2009) (rated 5.6/10 on IMDB, vs 6.0/10 for this movie). It does not feature the same Machine Girl from this movie, except in flashback scenes.



SHYNESS MACHINE GIRL: Okay, we watched it the next day. It’s too short to warrant a separate blogpost review, so here’s our mini-review:

Wow. That was retarded. Just flat out retarded. And oh, everyone killed in the movie who appeared in this movie miraculously had an operation resurrecting them from their deaths in The Machine Girl. A butt-gun? Bullets that don’t leave any wounds? Embarrassment as a combat tactic? Eyes popping out? Again: A butt-gun?!?!? Basketballs and machine guns falling out of the sky? Tokyo Tower up her ass? What?!

Clint AND carolyn: Netflix: 2.4/5 stars (almost liked it, but ultimately didn’t). IMDB: 4/10.
Carolyn: Netflix: 2.4/5 stars. IMDB: 6/10.
The native public rating for this movie is: IMDB: 5.6/10.


 movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link] Gotta finish watching the rest of Todd Solondz‘s movies…

UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): [highlight for spoilers] Racist girl fucks teacher and cries rape; Rape-mothering maid kills family and children.

PEOPLE: Selma Blair with pretty blonde hair with pink highlights. Robert Wisdom (Alpha in Sex & Death 101). Mark Webber. John Goodman. The still-lovely-at-50 Julie Hagerty (Airplane 1-2, Malcolm In The Middle, Just Friends). Paul Giamatti in one of his dorkiest roles ever. Lupe Ontiveros (who we JUST saw in Dark Mirror). Conan O’Brien (cameo). A bit part by Mary Lynn Rajskub (Chloe from 24, The Larry Sanders Show, Human Giant, Dude Where’s My Car?, etc). Bit part by Xander Berkeley (George Mason from 24, Coldsteel from Gargoyles, the king from Year One, Tapeheads, Superman/Batman:Public Enemies).

James Van Der Beek’s parts were cut out. [discussion]

QUIRKS: The movie consists of 2 completely separate stories, dealing with interracial teacher-student text, racism, apathy, teenagers, homosexuality, family crises, writing, and filmmaking Both sub-movies involve people making their own creative works: Either writing fiction, or making a documentary film.

The IMDB forums are definitely insightful for this movie.

SOUNDTRACK: I really could have done without the Belle & Sebastian.

MORALS: If you’re looking for morals, you probably shouldn’t be watching Todd Solondz films.

BAD STUFF: The 2 stories don’t really interconnect, which makes this less of a movie in my mind. And it’s nihilistic to the point of making you wonder why Solondz bothered to make it into a movie. The points ARE in there — you just have to look for them. This isn’t really made for a “casual” moviegoer.

CONCLUSION: While definitely being more interesting than most movies, and making more discerning points… This still failed to really ‘wow’ me; it was kind of bleak and about nothingness, in a sense. It’s definitely an above-average film, but my favorite Todd Solondz movie is still Fear, Anxiety & Depression, followed by Happiness. (But I still haven’t seen Welcome To The Dollhouse.)

Clint: Netflix: 3/5 stars. IMDB: 7/10.
Carolyn: Netflix: 3/5 stars. IMDB: 7/10.
The native public rating for this movie is: IMDB: 6.7/10, Netflix: 3.1/5 stars (Netflix‘s predicted rating for us was 3.5/5 stars).

RECOMMENDATION: Todd Solondz enhtusiasts should check this out. MAKE SURE TO GET THE UNRATED VERSION.

SIMILAR MOVIES: Todd Solondz movies. Actually, Gregg Araki films kind of remind me of what Todd Solondz films would be like, if they were a bit more fun.

MOVIE QUOTE: Mr. Scott: “I don’t know about what happened… because once you start writing, it ALL becomes fiction.”

FRIENDS’ RATINGS: Eric M & Christie loved it. Glen really liked it. Ian liked it. Benj was not interested in it (I think he would have maybe liked it). (more…)

 movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link]

PEOPLE: Starring Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz. Just like Vanilla Sky.

We also recognized Viola Davis, but I’m not sure from where. Sure, we’ve seen Traffic, Kate & Leopold, and most of Solaris (so awful I aborted, a 1 in 400 movie occurrence) — but I wouldn’t think she’d be memorable from those.

PLOT SUMMARY: Clueless car-loving blonde bumps into Tom Cruise, and suddenly her life is in danger from a global conspiracy. Wait — is this the real life story of Katie Holmes? (No, not really.)

UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): [highlight for spoilers] Taxpayer money fails to kill innocent civilian.

QUIRKS: Over-the-top, ridiculous action. Cartoonily ridiculous. Think Crank / Shoot ‘Em Up / Wanted ridiculousness levels. This is an action-romance-comedy.

This movie passed through 7 different writers and several sets of stars before finally morphing into what it ultimately became.

VISUALS: Fights!

MORALS: Nope, not really. Surviving a government conspiracy is simply a roll of the dice. No real morals here.

POLITICS: Government corruption kills innocents.

GOOD STUFF: The action/romance angle is funny, and a refreshing when compared to romantic comedies that have no gunfights.

BAD STUFF: It’s a romantic comedy in disguise. But I’ve long thought that shitty genres mixed with good genres produce watchable films. It’s why I don’t mind the Twilight movies. They’re certainly better than shitty teen romances without vampires and werewolves. And this is certainly better than shitty Tom Cruise / Cameron Diaz romance movies without vast, ridiculous government conspiracies.

The action is ridiculous. People survive situations they’d never survive in real place. Suspension of disbelief is required; this is one of the “cartoony aspects” of the movie.

Carolyn: “Why are they having a moment right now?!?”
Clint: “Becuase the pacing of a formulaic movie requires that this happens now.”
Carolyn: “Oh. Right.”

CONCLUSION: For mindless ridiculous action combined with a paper-thin romance story and predictable pacing… This was still entertaining. Call it king of the turds; we still both liked it despite it’s vapidness. Ridiculous cartoony action is fun. Michael Bay probably could have made this better, haha.

Clint: Netflix: 3/5 stars. IMDB: 7/10. Met my expectations rather precisely.
Carolyn: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 7/10. Exceeded her expectations.
The native public rating for this movie is: IMDB: 6.5/10, Netflix: 3.7/5 stars (Netflix‘s predicted rating for us was 3.8/5 stars).

RECOMMENDATION: This could be a good compromise movie between a husband who wants some cartoony action, and a wife who wants a romance story about a scientologist and a girl who gets cum in her hair.

SIMILAR MOVIES: There’s a level of ridiculous action, like in the movie Crank, or the movie Wanted, or the movie Shoot ‘Em Up. But I’d say, out of the three, that it’s most like Shoot ‘Em Up, but if it was done as a romance-action instead of a gun-loving action.

MOVIE QUOTE: “Don’t worry. I’ve got it.”

COINCIDENCES: Two videos within a week featuring a howto on how to escape someone grabbing you from behind. The other was The Boondocks episode where the black guy who acts white conquers his fear of going to jail and getting anally raped, and uses the same move to escape his captors.

OTHER REVIEWS: Outlaw Vern’s review captures a lot of the flaws in this movie.


MUSIC: METAL: DEATHS: GWAR frontman Dave Brockie — aka ‘Oderus Urungus’ — found dead in Richmond, Va., home: police

First Peter Steele, now this.

Nothing to remind you that you’ve entered middle age like having all your bands slowly drop dead.

I guess if Holliston is renewed, they won’t have Oderus on every episode either.

I guess these GWAR songs I’m learning for future concerts… Will only ever be heard inside my house?

This sucks.


 movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link]

PEOPLE: Same director as Toy Story 2 (but not 1). Same writers as Toy Story 1-3. With Tom Hanks as Woody. Tim Allen as Buzz Lightyear (a shame–I prefer Patrick Warburton from the show). Joan Cusack (High Fidelity) as Jessie. Ned Beatty (Homicide:Life On The Street, Replikator, Superman 1-2) as Lotso. Don Rickles and Estelle Harris (George Costanza’s mom in Seinfeld) as Mr. & Mrs. Potato Head. Jodi Benson (Tula in the Pirates Of Darkwater, Ariel in The Little Mermaid) and Michael Keaton as Barbie and Ken. Wallace Shawn (“INCONCEIVABLE!” from The Princess Bride, Heaven Help Us) as Rex. John Ratzenberger (Cliff from Cheers) as Hamm the pig. John Morris continued playing Andy, which is weird because it’s the only named character he’s ever played in a movie. Mr. Pricklepants is played by Timothy DaltonN (The King’s Whore, James Bond). Also with Whoopi Goldberg (and nobody noticed or cared!).

UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): [highlight for spoilers] Shitty toys finally get thrown away…then tortured.

QUIRKS: A sequel in the same vein as the last 2 Toy Story movies. Highest grossing animated movie of all time, breaking $1B.

VISUALS: Amazing Pixar animation, as always. Some scenes were damn near photo realistic. How long until CGI becomes indistinguishable from photo realism? And what will they do then–purposely mar it up a bit in order to keep it from looking “too” real? WISH WE’D SEEN THIS IN 3-D! They had to recreate all their models from scratch, though this was only a result of the fact that they were unable to edit the original 1995 models due to technical glitches. Haha.

WILHELM SCREAM: Yup! We missed it, too :/

SOUNDTRACK: Not remarkable.

MORALS: Sometimes duty is better than taking the easy way out. This becomes even more apparent when you find out the easy way out is actually the hard way out :)

GOOD STUFF: First time I ever gave a shit about Barbie’s love for Ken. It was actually really awesome in the movie. “It’s like we’re… made for each other.” Hah! So obvious, yet so great to see that animated.

Best Mr. Potato Head scene in any movie ever.

Heart. So… much… heart… it hurts. It HURTS.

But above all: It was fun. And interesting. And entertaining. All the things one would expect from a Pixar A-movie. And yet, even still, it surpassed my expectations.

BAD STUFF: Nothing! I mean, everyone already knows their prejudices with this movie: Kid animated film. I don’t think there’s anything really bad here.

CONCLUSION: I’m pretty sure this was better than Toy Story 2, which I barely remember, but wrote a one-word summary for in 2004: “Strong”. WTF does that mean? Anyway, I think this was more than just “strong”. This was pretty awesome. More toys (302 characters in this film), more action, and now dealing with the hard process of getting rid of one’s toys.

Clint: Netflix: 5/5 stars. IMDB: 8.6/10 (a low 9).
Carolyn: Netflix: 4.6/5 stars. IMDB: 8.6/10 (a low 9).

The native public rating for this movie is: IMDB: 8.8/10 (18th highest-rated movie ever, though I would expect this number to go down in the future).
Netflix: 4.5/5 stars (Netflix‘s predicted rating for us was 4.4/5 stars–slightly lower. Which is a decent prediction, really.).

RECOMMENDATION: If you liked the first 2 Toy Story movies, you can’t miss this one! It’s better than Toy Story 2, I think!

SIMILAR MOVIES: Toy Story 1-2.


Andy: Now Woody, he’s been my pal for as long as I can remember. He’s brave, like a cowboy should be. And kind, and smart. But the thing that makes Woody special, is he’ll never give up on you… ever. He’ll be there for you, no matter what.

Barbie: Authority should derive from the consent of the governed, not from threat of force!


Dad loved it – gave all 3 movies in the trilogy 5/5 stars.
Kenneth Huey: “Some amazing moments towards the end, quite moving.”
Mistar Sistar says: “Littal iDRMRSR rilly dug this flick, too. He was 5 when the first one came out. Still one of his obsessive fave series!”
Normal Jean really enjoyed it.


Outlaw Vern’s review, funny as usual. This is the best review of this movie! Go read this now!!

Armond White hated it!

Sexism and stereotypes?

It’s about the apocalypse!



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