Big Man Japan...anyone seen it?

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Totally bizarre movie that really left an impression on me though it's been months since I have seen it. Can't figure out if it's good or bad. It's basically a fake documentary about a guy who has the power to transform into a giant and defeat the monsters that invade Tokyo. He's hitting middle age and is kind of "losing it". Basically the movie takes that concept and plays it as straight as possible, resulting in a ton of really, really dry humor and some really entertaining concepts. The monster battles were intense and in some parts really freaked me out. On the other hand, the intentionally droll style of the movie makes it seem twice as long as it actually is. Anyone else seen this??

frogbs, Tuesday, 15 March 2011 20:42 (eight years ago) link

Whoops, sorry, looks like that thread is on 77. Yeah, I've seen it. It's quite an unique movie, though it felt that maybe some of the cultural reference were lost for a non-Japanese viewer. For example, while I had a general idea what the ending of the movie was about, it must been funnier to a viewer who's grown up with the sort of TV series it parodied.

Tuomas, Tuesday, 15 March 2011 20:55 (eight years ago) link

And if you liked Big Man Japan, I'd definitely recommend Symbol, the next movie by the same director/actor guy. It's even weirder and more unique than BMJ, and less droll too. I don't want to say anything about the plot though, Symbol is one of those movies that are better the less you know about them beforehand.

Tuomas, Tuesday, 15 March 2011 20:57 (eight years ago) link

Can't find it on Amazon...I'm all for movies like that

Didn't really know what to make of the ending. My reaction was more, "oh shit, this was a comedy!?"

frogbs, Tuesday, 15 March 2011 21:08 (eight years ago) link

i love it, if the 77 thread didn't make that really obv

HOOStory is back. Fasten your steenbelts. (BIG HOOS aka the steendriver), Tuesday, 15 March 2011 21:10 (eight years ago) link

hmmm I can't find "Symbol" on DVD anywhere

how did you see it??

frogbs, Tuesday, 15 March 2011 21:15 (eight years ago) link

I saw it at a local film festival. It had English subtitles, so it must have had some distributor in the Europe or the US. Hopefully they'll release it on DVD some day.

Meanwhile, if you're into that sort of thing, you can find it as a torrent with what appears to be fan-made subtitles. They're decent enough though, and there's really not that much talk in Symbol. I rewatched the the fansubbed version with friends of mine who hadn't seen it before, and they had no problem following the plot.

Tuomas, Tuesday, 15 March 2011 21:20 (eight years ago) link

Symbol (and Big Man Japan too) is one of those films where you're like, "I don't know how this guy ever got the budget for this movie, but I'm glad he did!". It's not perfect, but it has one of the most unique central concepts I've ever seen in a movie - and I've seen lots of weird shit. Plus it's quite entertaining too! It doesn't come across as clearly in BMJ, but apparently Hitoshi Matsumoto is a well-known comedian in Japan, and the premise of Symbol gives him the opportunity to exert some funny physical comedy.

Tuomas, Tuesday, 15 March 2011 21:26 (eight years ago) link

I fell asleep during Big Man Japan but I enjoyed the parts I was awake to see.
But don't watch it expecting it to be non-stop wacky Kaiju battle.

Philip Nunez, Tuesday, 15 March 2011 21:36 (eight years ago) link

Yeah the US trailer really misrepresents the movie

frogbs, Tuesday, 15 March 2011 22:38 (eight years ago) link

idk i mean i saw it pre-big-us run at a small us theater and their DIY trailer was 'small subtle comedy + monster battle' which was pretty otm imo

HOOStory is back. Fasten your steenbelts. (BIG HOOS aka the steendriver), Tuesday, 15 March 2011 23:47 (eight years ago) link

two months pass...

OK I'm hearing rumours of a US remake...maybe it won't happen eh

Bass Solo (Matt #2), Monday, 6 June 2011 08:35 (eight years ago) link

let's hope not. fantastic movie.

banter panchali (Noodle Vague), Monday, 6 June 2011 08:49 (eight years ago) link

The central metaphor of Big Man representing a post-1989 deflation era Japan bloated with self-doubt, resignation to fate and an overbearing ally, simply couldn't make sense in any other country. What parallel could a Big Man America offer to the final battle with the impish North Korea/Kim Jong-Il monster?

Now, a sequel might be fun, with a BMA as an arrogant bully that hits flies with sledgehammers and swims the oceans to force others to fight the battles he starts might work, but I don't see the audience for it.

美国有很多丰富的傻瓜 (Sanpaku), Monday, 6 June 2011 13:31 (eight years ago) link

eight years pass...

Hitoshi Matsumoto's first three films - Big Man Japan, Symbol, Scabbard Samurai - are arguably among the best director/writer auteur triptychs that have ever been and will ever be. 2013's R100, which I watched a few nights back, is comparatively less spectacular though no less outrageous. Worth a watch but keep your expectations much more reasonable.

Symbol, on the other hand, is one of my favorite films of all time.

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Wednesday, 11 September 2019 19:46 (four days ago) link

I stuck my head in on the first ep of this and walked away somewhat confused, may need to try again
https://www.amazon.com/HITOSHI-MATSUMOTO-Presents-Documental-Season/dp/B07C63KLVV

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Wednesday, 11 September 2019 19:56 (four days ago) link

was gonna reply "Holy shit!! I have!!" then was reminded that I started this thread

frogbs, Wednesday, 11 September 2019 20:05 (four days ago) link

but have you seen scabbard samurai or symbol?

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Wednesday, 11 September 2019 20:15 (four days ago) link

nah...I looked for a Symbol DVD but couldn't find one at a decent price and then kinda forgot about it. maybe time to look again.

frogbs, Wednesday, 11 September 2019 20:41 (four days ago) link

or on the internets! First time i caught it was on mubi. It is - and i say this as somebody who absolutely loves big man japan - MUCH better than big man japan.
symbol is near impossible to explain in a pithy line but it is in essence a mediation on the nature of god with lots of cutaways to luche libre
scabbard samurai is an edo era slapstick take on Scheherazade

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Wednesday, 11 September 2019 21:20 (four days ago) link

Symbol is better watched without knowing too much about it, so don't read any synopses or reviews. It has a completely absurd premise, capped with one of the most ridiculously awesome endings I've ever seen in a movie. The fact the guy even got the budget to make it is a miracle.

Tuomas, Wednesday, 11 September 2019 21:33 (four days ago) link

And yeah, it's better than Big Man Japan.

Tuomas, Wednesday, 11 September 2019 21:35 (four days ago) link

holy shit I have!! I knew nothing about it going into a late showing at Toronto film festival. I laughed so hard that my now wife wanted to get up and sit someplace else. Classic.

maffew12, Wednesday, 11 September 2019 23:00 (four days ago) link

Symbol I now can't recall.... I'll have to try that again.

maffew12, Wednesday, 11 September 2019 23:01 (four days ago) link


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