There’s been a rather dirty word thrown around since Taken live up to its title and caught the imaginations of a wider audience, dadsploitation. Unfortunately, there are films that embody the zeitgeist of the word. Movies where clearly a studio is trying to cash in a trend and aiming it at what they believe to be the target audience of older men who fondle themselves to fantasies of saving a bus load of cheerleaders who fellate them for their efforts.
Thus we have I Am Wrath  starring the Travolta and his amazing technicolor hair. Someone kills his wife because she’s crunched the numbers on water safety and now she knows too much. Luckily for the premise of the movie, Travolta is an ex special forces who has loads of training and hunts down her killer for some revenge but mostly for fun. Considering he seems to be having a lot of fun for a guy freshly made a widower.
Tim then talks about Armed and Dangerous(1986) staring Eugene Levey and John Candy. They play a couple of guys who get fired from their day jobs and end up working together as security guards. This causes them to stumble into a plot by the company to steal merchandise and rip off other employees. It’s best watched while reminding yourself that it’s still better than Candy’s last film, Wagon’s East.
Weltall then talks about Precious Cargo. It’s back in the same cash-in vein as I Am Wrath. This time it’s Bruce Willis grumping his way around a green screen. It’s a heist style movie and, would you believe it, there are betrayals of trust? Shocking, we know. Next we’ll tell you that there are action scenes in which Willis suffers only a torn sleeve and a mild grimace of disappointment.
Back at the ranch, we’ve been farming manga reviews by hand just like our grandfathers did. Sure, you can find mass produced manga reviews for a little cheaper at those chain sites. But we feel you lose some of the care that our artisans refuse to compromise on.
Tim reviews Magikano. In it, we have our useless male protagonist who wants to get a perfect attendance award from school. That’s his major ambition and tells us that his personality is as exciting as plain oatmeal. Luckily a busty witch shows up to try and make him into a man and not the before photo in an ad for low testosterone. It manages to bump itself up to a Crackers.
Weltall then talks about City of Walls. A manga set in the now defunct Kowloon district in Hong Kong. There are people and slums, as Kowloon was known for, and they do stuff. For some reason there’s a dude who’s been working on a plane in his basement and dreams of flying it. How the hell our main characters are going to manage to get it to the ground, if not a rooftop, for this to happen is beyond us. Crackers for it all around.
There’s an old joke that when a horror series gets stale the producers will react in desperation and move it to the vastness of space(see Leprechaun 4 or Jason X). Some wonderfully drugged producer snorting coke through his fifth ruptured nostril decided to do away with the conceit of a series altogther. Why not just begin in space without all that mucking about. And that’s how we got Dracula 3000.
It stars Casper Van Dien as a Helsing descendant running a salvage ship. They run across a fifty year old abandoned transport which originated from the “Carpathian” system. So yes, Dracula decided to send himself priority mail across the galaxy to earth in the year 300X. Of course, he snacked on the staff and got it stranded. Watch a cast of five people fail in stopping a vampire and earth save through the accident of autopilot.
Tim then talks about Mom and Dad Save the Universe(1992). It stars Jon Lovitz as emperor Spengo. Spengo has a bit of a Mavin the Martian problem with earth and wants to blow it up. Before he does, he kidnaps two earthlings to woo the wife. If there’s anything good that came from this it’s that this bomb is the reason that Jon Lovitz left the cast of SNL permanently. That’s a pretty good value for fourteen million dollars.
Weltall then talks about a YouTube channel, Lindybeige. He’s primarily focused on history, weapons and whatever else strikes his fancy. At Weltall’s suggestion, Tim watched a couple videos after the show. He recommends that if you check it out, the pair of video about the katana are excellent starting points.
We’re back onto the comics this episode and we have managed to find some rather interesting ones. They’re both centered around alternate worlds and have some wonderfully nitpicky things to laugh at.
Tim starts us off with Jaryuu Tensei. The main character is from modern day Japan and, much like the spider manga from 357, he died and was reborn into fantasy world Tolkein-A27Q. And he’s a dragon who’s incredibly powerful. He gives himself a name late in the manga, just before buying a slave to fix her up and resell her. Yes, it runs on banana pants logic. In spite of all this it somehow gets a Borders.
Weltall reviews Mirror which may be both a webcomic and an OEL. There’s a “Mirror World” which magic is flourishing after being separated from our world. As always, it’s not just separated but held apart by a barrier which is starting to fail. Our main characters end up in the magic world and fight for reasons that are kind of baffling. If nothing else, the Batman-esque style written sound effects are hilsious. Still not enough to get it above a Burn It.
Given it’s rather weird source material and the era out joint review is based on, it’s not much of a surprise that Remo Williams(1985) doesn’t get much love. A movie based on a pulp novel series which is still ongoing for some unbeknownst reason. Our main character is trained in magic martial arts by a racist Korean master who is directed to do so by Wilford Brimely for reasons that only make sense in the film.
Weltall briefly discusses the youtube channel of Officer 401 and recommends anyone looking for police stories seeks it out. Then he delves into The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness. This is a documentary about Studio Ghibli. Weltall highly recommends it whether you are a fan of their films or just curious to see how an animation studio runs.
Tim then discusses Trailer Park Boys. It’s a Canadian show centering around the hapless members of a trailer park. They’re often focused on attempting to make a lot of money by selling drugs without getting caught. These shenanigans run them afoul of the law and other members of the park. Tim says it’s funny and has a lot of true to life elements within.
Are we back on schedule yet? Maybe we need a Manga Mussolini to help us get the episodes released on time. Or maybe it’d go just as bad as the Duce and not actually fix anything but we could claim it victory when it gets sorted out naturally.
Tim reviews Aiki. It’s a fighting manga where our main character is some sort of master martial artist. He gets recruited to help train a girl at a school where people fight for control of the school, as only happen within anime/manga. They attempt to bribe him with sex, not titillation but actual boning. It’s amazing to see a character who wants to screw not be chastised by other characters for being a “pervert”. It earns itself a Crackers for breaking some of the more obnoxious tropes.
Weltall then revisits Hatsukoi Zombie. Though it scored low last time, something compelled him to keep going. It turns out that it improves quite a bit with character development. The story also develops as it’s revealed that the idealized ghost loves actually interfere with the real world and people. With those factors in play it gets a brand new rating, climbing up to Crackers.
You might remember on the last Popcorn Pulse were we did a movie where a talented actor tackles a script with semi-philosophical ideas in a bleak future. Someone looked at that and said “I like the movie, but what if we took all that shit out and kept the sport?” Thus we were given the remake, Rollerball , wherein a bland actor stands in for James Caan and Jean Reno is wasted like a condom dispenser in Utah. It takes place in modern day and it’s only takeaway message is the director should be kept away from a smart phones for fear exposure to a camera will cause him to remake something else.
Tim then talks about a Spanish film, Fermat’s Room. This seems to end up on a lot of lists along with Saw and The Exam. It’s about four mathematicians who end up trapped in a room because they get invited to dinner far out in the woods and are told to leave their cellphones behind. This only works because, presumably, Spain doesn’t import horror films. If they did, they’d know meeting someone you’ve never met in the woods and leaving your only means of communication is a surefire way to become cannibal soup stock.
Weltall then takes a moment to talk up the Armored Skeptic channel on Youtube. He’s a skeptic who tackles all sorts of varied subjects from flat Earthers to hippies without hesitation and applies logic to it. He’s also Canadian and pronounces process like the beginning of professional and the latter part of excess which we find unreasonably humorous.
Like a negligent father with weekend visitation rights, we get around to manga this week. Tim talks about Hajime no Ippo which is yet another sports manga. To boot, this one is about boxing and draws some comparisons, initially, to Green Boy. It differs quite a bit in that it has training methods that came from rejected Naruto chapters. This drops it down to a Crackers, held from a lower score by the characters.
Weltall then gets into Hatsukoi Zombie. Which the English title should be Ghost of Boners Past. Our protagonist is the usual neglected manga waif who was, in theory, born to two parents and not torn from the thigh of Zeus. After getting hit in the head with a baseball, he can see the idealized version of love that himself and his classmates have. His happens to be a shapely girl of his childhood crush who happens to transfer to his school and be a boy. It is saved form the flames by a few moments of humor, earning a Borders.
Let’s take a little trip back in time. Back when people were groovy, mustaches were bushy and we took a chance on Abba. That’s right, we’re back in the seventies and reviewing Rollerball(1975). This is probably a movie you’ve never heard of except to mock the panned remake from the early two thousands.
This is a shame because it’s a big idea science fiction film. This is not without its shortcomings of course. Being as it’s a “dystopian” future, everything is mega-corporations. Also, there aren’t countries because of this. James Caan at least gives it his all as he fights back doing the one thing he can, play Rollerball.
Weltall then talks about Battle Los Angeles. It’s the Aaron Eckart vehicle where aliens invade earth for water. For some reason, it reads more like a military recruiting tape than a movie about an alien invasion. Everyone not in a uniform dies horribly and even some of those that are. Oh, and Michelle Rodriguez survives because of course she does.
Tim then talks about Das Boot(1981). It’s more of a miniseries than a movie about a German U-Boat crew. It’s hard to imagine that a film maker would try and succeed in getting an audience to sympathize with German soldiers during World War II. That this succeeds so well is no small miracle.
The phrase light novel conjurers up awful images around here at Manga Pulse. While we normally stick to mangas, we haven’t been above reading translated novels for review. This usually ends in headaches as they’re poorly plotted and translated with less than three quarters ass but more than one third. Continue reading Manga Pulse 357: Nani Fury→
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