I grew up in an age of Mom & Pop Video Shops. I witnessed the battle between VHS and Beta. I’ve cried over the loss of drive-in movie theaters. I remember the fledgling first steps of HBO. I saw the rise and fall of the Laser Disc. The sound of a dial-up modem makes me cringe as hard as the first time I heard it. I have scoffed at those that said Netflix was a “fad”. And now I live in an age where kids don’t have to wake up at 5am on Saturday morning for their cartoons – they have a whole of them 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Anyone with an Internet connection can jump a bit torrent and download more movies than I’ve ever seen. Now factor in that there’s really no age limit. Gone are the boundaries set by parents and the MPAA. The Video Nasties are only a click away, and so is hardcore … whatever.
In an age of ever changing technology it is the youth that will embrace it the quickest and learn to manipulate it the quickest as well. They’re not curing cancer or launching rockets, they’re going after entertainment. So I pose this question to parents and adults: How much is too much? Blood, sex, gore, violence. These are the things you see more and more in just the news, let alone on the silver screen. Realistically there is no way to put a lid on the access to content with today’s youth. It can be policed and regulated to various degrees, but they’re younger, faster, smarter, and they get bored quicker too. So I suggest we try one thing we as a society should have done far earlier; listen.
I would like to introduce my nephew Seth. He is going to be 13 in 2012. He likes anime, pizza, and reading. I asked him to give his opinion on the films he sees and to develop his own voice through writing while improving those same writing skills. I try to be as positive as an influence as I can be for my nephew, a role model even. I try to introduce him to classic cinema as well as low brow genre film fare. I try to look after him with care, but sometimes you gotta (insert bumper sticker slogan about raising children here).
I hope Seth’s work will offer a look into a small fraction of today’s America and entertainment. I hope he has fun sharing. I hope you enjoy it.
– Zach S.
So, my first review is on the Japanese flick Meatball Machine. It was kind of weird and it had its moments that made me go “what-the-f***-is-going-on”. I don’t know Japanese and now I’m reading sub-titles for 90 minutes. Much of this film reminded of other home-made horror like Cloverfield, The Blair Witch Project, and the Paranormal Activity Trilogy. It’s the grittiness and feel of a hand-held camera that seem to try and suck in the audience.
The directors Yudai Yamaguchi and Jun`ichi Yamamoto did a very good job directing. The actors did a very good job with the main characters. The story was one of those movies where you have to pay attention to like 2012 to know what is going on. The action sometimes gets in way of the story and the other way around too.
The visual effects were so good. The parasites that turned the characters into machine things look like fleshy talking arrow heads. The weapons they turn the people into were so weird looking. The rubber body suits must be unbelievably uncomfortable; it must be irritating to hear your skin rub up against latex rubber.
The plot to Meatball Machine is these aliens come to our planet either from the depths of the oceans or falling from the sky and they need our bodies to fight each other. Factory worker Yogi (Issei Takahashi) goes on his lunch break and notices pretty Sachiko (Aboda Kawai) who he wants to talk to but his stuck up co-workers come and rain on his parade. Later that night Yogi encounters one of the aliens, hurt and laying lifeless. Not knowing what it is, he brings it home with him and puts it in the closet. The alien in the closet thanks to Captain Dumb @$$ attacks Sachiko and turns her into one of those badass machines. I’m just going to sum up the rest of this. (SPOILERS) Yogi becomes a machine, well sorta half of one, and has a fight to the death with Sachiko. Yogi grows a big chest cannon and kills Sachiko and realizes he can’t be without the girl who he fell in love with who is also someone he just met.
If you can get past its silliness and over the top moments of gore and transformation, Meatball Machine is actually pretty good. The directing, lighting, effects, visual effects, and acting, it’s actually a flick worth watching. So, on the official Seth movie/flick scale I give it a 7.5/10.
Stay tuned for my next review coming soon.