HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Sweat
Quiet Place Part II, A
Nobody
Prisoners of the Ghostland
Duel to the Death
Mandibles
Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands
Yakuza Princess
Djinn, The
New Order
Triggered
Claw
Original Cast Album: Company
Martyrs Lane
Paper Tigers, The
Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, The
Hall
ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt, The
Collini Case, The
Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard
Snake Girl and the Silver-Haired Witch, The
Superhost
Plan A
When I'm a Moth
Tigers Are Not Afraid
Misha and the Wolves
Yellow Cat
Shorta
Knocking
Bloodthirsty
When the Screaming Starts
Sweetie, You Won't Believe It
Lions Love
Demonic
Night Drive
Luca
Prospect
Toll, The
Last Bus, The
Purple Sea
   
 
Newest Articles
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
Too Much to Bear: Prophecy on Blu-ray
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
   
 
  Survive Style 5+ Fully Functional
Year: 2004
Director: Gen Sekiguchi
Stars: Tadanobu Asano, Ittoku Kishibe, Shihori Kanjiya, Kyôko Koizumi, Hiroshi Abe, Vinnie Jones, Yumi Asou, Reika Hashimoto, YosiYosi Arakawa, Sonny Chiba, Jai West, Yoshiyuki Morishita, Kanji Tsuda, Tomokaza Miura
Genre: WeirdoBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 2 votes)
Review: Aman (Tadanobu Asano) has murdered his wife and has brought the body into the forest around their house to bury it. He tells us that most people, like those of us watching this film, will never know what it's like to want to murder anyone as he digs the hole, drags the body into it, makes sure she's dead by beating it, and returns home in his car. The house is quiet, and he settles down in front of the television, staring blankly at the screen, until deciding he is thirsty and goes to the fridge in the kitchen. Taking out a carton of milk, he begins to drink when something catches his eye - he swings round and spits out a mouthful of milk. His wife is sitting, unscathed, at the table, staring at him.

And that's just the start of the first story. Survive Style 5+ is anything but normal, and with an opening like that you might be settling down for a horror movie, but this is all too eccentric to be easily fitted into one category. Written by Taku Tada for commercials director (and his partner in the advertising industry) Gen Sekiguchi, here making their debut film, there are, as the title suggests, five stories for our appraisal, all interlinked in various ways but mainly by the intervention of a British hitman (Vinnie Jones) who has been brought over to Japan for an assassination job. He has a catchphrase too, which is to angrily ask people, "What is your function in life?"

And he's usually not to happy at the answers he gets, either. The general image of Japanese popular culture in the West tends towards the wacky, and this film lives up to that impression; if hearing Sonny Chiba incredulously asking, "Mast-ah-bay-shun?!" tickles your funny bone then search this out. Another story sees a conventional family delighted that the father, Mr Kobayashi (Ittoku Kishibe), has secured valuable tickets to the show performed by a famed and extravagant hypnotist (Hiroshi Abe). We have already encountered this chap in a scene where he is in a post-lovemaking situation with advertising executive Yoko (Kyôko Koizumi), who keeps getting bizarre ideas for future advertising campaigns which she records on a little tape recorder - ideas such as the man who's fastest at sex being appropriate for selling internet providers.

Lastly, in the weakest tale there is a group of three petty criminals, two of whom are developing an amusingly homosexual attraction to each other. Survive Style 5+ could be classed as a comedy, as evinced by a scene where Mr Kobayashi is hypnotised into believing he is a bird only for the hitman to arrive on stage and kill the hypnotist before he can change him back, but there's a - slightly too vague - philosophical tone too, a sort of "you don't know what you've got till it's gone" theme for the returning wife story, for example. That plotline features the most action, with the wife (Reika Hashimoto) straight faced but vengeful, committing weird acts of violence against her husband such as letting her fists fly off her arms to punch him. Yet every section has its peculiar appeal, some of it laugh out loud funny, some reflective and poignant. The resolutions may not quite match what has gone before, but this is an engagingly odd, attractively bright work. Music by James Shimoji.

[The Manga Region 2 DVD looks and sounds great, and features a "making of" documentary, the trailer, and trailers from their catalogue.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3322 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Jason Cook
Darren Jones
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Andrew Pragasam
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: