what’s your major malfunction

Survive Style 5+Sometimes, things don’t turn out how you expect… Be them acts of violence or unfamiliar movies. This was one of those. I bought it on a whim and was quiet pleasantly surprised. Though it is certainly not for everyone.

Imagine that you kill your wife, bury her in the woods and then head on home to your excessively and ridiculously stylish home, you may expect some odd things to be in your future. The chances that one of those odd things might be finding your wife at home, alive and ready to fill the kitchen table with some gratuitous cooking for you? At that, you might be so shocked that you’d spit out your milk! And she may be rather mad, too.

If the next day you kill and bury her again… And she comes back again, would you try again yourself? Or would you call in a professional? These are some of the questions brought mind in the wondrously great and terrifyingly stylish Japanese action/comedy Survive Style 5+. Filled with explosive style, great visuals, a British hit man, a hypnotist, a lame gang of burgler’s, a man who thinks he is a bird and, our hero, good old Tadanobu Asano who just can’t get his wife to stay underground… It is a fun, chaotic and controlled mess of flash and action.


Survive Style 5+


From Asano and his troubles with his wife, we are plopped into a number of other exciting scenarios… 1) The very angry hitman (gleefully played by Vinnie Jones, veteran of some Guy Ritchie crime films) and his translator-sidekick as they go about their killing business. He is recently arrived in Japan on assignment, but due to his anger level, he is also always ready to kill anyone else who gets in his face… And he is always flexible if more work may come up.


Survive Style 5+


2) The pop sensation hypnotist who is an arrogant pain in the ass, a bad Las Vegas style nightmare and hosts a ludicrous show… And who is having issues with the terribly lame advertising executive who he is sleeping with. He is an obnoxious bore and she records all sorts of terrible advertisement ideas on a little tape recorder and then vividly imagines them for our viewing pleasure.


Survive Style 5+


3) The family of a regular salaryman who manages to get some fateful tickets to the hypnotists show, much to the delight of his children. Oh yes, and the gang of idiotic burgler’s. We follow all of their groups plot lines until, of course, they all come together in generally violent connections. And lead up to a most unexpected connection made at the end.


Survive Style 5+


The baby was entranced by most of it, and in the 3ish years since I last watched this film, it hasn’t lost any of its luster. A sadly overlooked Japanese film, that I ordered soley because it starred Tadanobu Asano, this Survive Style 5+ is a strange creature and is fantastically wonderful and fun, as only something so ridiculous can be.


La Vie En RoseWe also watched La Vie en Rose. A great biopic on Edith Piaf. I am only peripherally familiar with her, as I have heard some of her songs and a know her photograph, so this story was all news to me. And what news it was! A great and richly told story of tragedy, tragedy, tragedy, great fame and success and then more tragedy. Abandoned by her parents at a young age to be raised by harlots, reunited with her father to be raised on the circus circuit, then on the streets. And then from the streets onto: chance discovery, fame, murderous scandal, the death of a lover and then a sad death herself at 47 years old. A short life filled with substance abuse problems and feelings of loneliness. The film is very good. Well written and acted, it looks very nice and it comes across as quite believable. The story itself was quite good, and the lead actress did a very good job, though Piaf is not a sympathetic character past her childhood years. She is a loud, drunken soul who never lingers far from belligerence or depression.

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