"I can also see why Katsuhito Ishii hasn't made anything since; who'd be stupid enough to give him the cash?"
Party 7 (2000)
Director: Katsuhito Ishii
Writer: Katsuhito Ishii
Producer: Hilo Iizumi, Shunsuke Koga, Kazuto Takida
Cast: Masatoshi Nagase, Tadanobu Asano, Keisuke Horibe, Akemi Kobayashi, Yoshio Harada, Yoshinori Okada, Tatsuya Gasyuin, Ren Osugi
Running Time: 104 min.
Plot: "Do not see Joe909's review." - slaXor
SLAXOR'S REVIEW: Well, I
have yet to endure any wrong from Joe in the way of his reviews and do not to
expect to. That said I merely hope to give a second opinion. First off, I will
mention, though, that Joe does seem to know his stuff and do his homework as he
comments that this is Ishii's only other movie besides Sharkskinman. A quick
glance over at midnighteye.com shows
one of their highlighted latest reviews for A Taste of Tea which just happens to
be his next film. Anyways...on to the movie ;)
SLAXOR'S RATING: 8/10
JOE909'S REVIEW: Sharkskin Man & Peach Hip Girl, released in 1998, is one of my favorite Japanese movies. It's eccentric, fast-paced, filled with colorful characters, offbeat situations, and the occasional dash of bloody violence. Two years after that film, director Katsuhito Ishii released Party 7, still his only other film to date.
Party 7 is more of the same: it has great costumes, inventive situations, dialog that grips you from the start, and action through the roof. In fact, this movie was so great, I nearly orgasmed onto the screen. That Ishii was able to so successfully meet and exceed my every expectation, after having been so floored by Sharkskin Man, was beyond my wildestÉ
Okay, I can't do this anymore. This movie sucked. This movie SUCKED. This is one of the worst movies I have ever seen. Watching it, I realized I was feeling how a Tarantino-hater feels when he watches one of QT's movies. Party 7 is tedious, dull, and any other synonym for boring you can think of. And it commits the worst sin a so-called comedy film can make: it isn't funny.
There are only two good things about Party 7: sexy bitch Akemi Kobayashi, whose collagen-implanted lips beckon you from the DVD cover. She is quite hot. The other good thing is the opening credits sequence, which is adrenaline-soaked anime. It's a bit too self-reverential (like the rest of the movie) to be all THAT cool, however.
Party 7 is a great example of how too much money can ruin a director's vision. Sharkskin Man was edgy and vibrant, and other than the modest locations, you could barely tell it was shot on a low budget. Party 7 features elaborate sets, superhero garb that probably cost a fortune, and several special effects shots. But what it doesn't feature is a plot, good writing, or any meaning whatsoever. It's like something a junior high class would come up with.
The premise is fairly interesting: a known snooper (Tadanobu Asano) sneaks into his deceased father's hotel, only to find that an entire room has been set up for snooping on guests. This room is occupied by Captain Banana, an impressively-garbed and masked figure who was friends with the snooper's dad. Together Captain Banana and Asano monitor the events occurring in one of the rooms: a meeting between a gangster on the run, his ex-girlfriend (Kobayashi), and her nerdy but rich boyfriend.
And what these characters do is, they talk. No, I mean, they TALK. Endlessly. About nothing. On and on, while Banana and Asano watch them, carrying on their own endless, meaningless conversations. You might think I exaggerate, or that I have a bias against Japanese movies. But I tell you I do not lie. When I say this movie is mostly made up of characters you don't know, and never get to know, who talk on and on to each other about meaningless shit, I am telling you the whole truth. Again, the Tarantino comparison; but at least he knows to throw some action in, every once and a while.
I really don't want to spend too much time on this movie that has already wasted 100 minutes of my life. Suffice it to say, I checked online after being beaten down by this thing, and it appears that most others share my view. So luckily, I'm not alone. In fact, I think I read somewhere that this movie wasn't even theatrically-released in Japan, instead only appearing at film festivals. I can see why. I can also see why Katsuhito Ishii hasn't made anything since; who'd be stupid enough to give him the cash?
JOE909'S RATING: 2/10 (1 point for sexy bitch Akemi Kobayashi, who's got her shit TOGETHER!)