ROBOGEISHA blu-ray review

USA Region A blu-ray

1080p Widescreen 1.78:1

Japanese: Dolby TrueHD 2.0

English: Dolby TrueHD 5.1

Subtitles: English

IMDB

 

MOVIE: 8

VIDEO QUALITY: 9

AUDIO QUALITY: 8.5

ENGLISH SUBTITLES: 10

EXTRAS: 3

 

What a surprise, RoboGeisha is a good film (good for a genre film with geishas that have machine gun breasts and ass swords)!

I can’t stand these recent crop of cheaply-made Japanese action films with a bunch of bad actors running around the forest trying to kill each other in the most demented way and with a non-existent screenplay – all with a cool trailer and packaged in a tempting looking blu-ray/dvd with an attractive looking Japanese actress on the cover. These films are just boring and disappointing with their overkill action.

Besides Takashi Miike (Dead or Alives, Ichi the Killer, The Great Yokai War), there are aren’t too many other good Japanese over-the-top action directors. There are Kitamura (Versus, Azumi) and Kiriya (Casshern, Goemon) whom are somewhat satisfying, but the rest seem to fall into the painfully amateurish genre even too amateurish for their over-the-top action genre. RoboGeisha’s director, Noboru Iguchi, who also did the highly entertaining The Machine Girl is now two for two with me (I haven’t seen any of his other films), but he’s nowhere at the same level as Takashi Miike yet.

I thought that the trailer would exactly represent the film – I had expected RoboGeisha to have a brief five-minute story and then the rest of the film would have non-stop action (such as Versus) showcasing millions of different killer geishas. Thankfully, that was not so, and there was surprisingly a well-developed story about two sisters, was well paced, and had great action. The special effects are cheesy but in a charming way (not in a bad Troma way). The director balances out the drama and humor perfectly in which the movie is similar to one of Sam Raimi’s comedy horror films (sort of like Army of Darkness or Drag Me To Hell). The characters are two-dimensional of course and the whole movie is just wacky, but there is order to this film’s wackiness. Thankfully, the movie ends when it is supposed to. I wonder if any other critics that gave this film bad reviews have watched all the other over-the-top action movies from Japan with awful young actors running around forests and having yo-yo’s popping out of their swords. I could understand finding more faults in this film if no one else has ever seen these other over-the-top ultra-violent action films, but I’m so used to crap coming out of Japan nowadays, RoboGeisha was extremely satisfying.

The blu-ray quality is excellent. Even though the Japanese soundtrack is only Dolby TrueHD 2.0, it’s a very active soundtrack and their certainly was subwoofer action. I didn’t watch the movie with the Dolby Tru 5.1 English because I don’t like dubs. The video quality was extremely solid as well too. The only extras are a whole bunch of trailers and a little mini movie, which is a continuation of the movie – it’s okay, but you can tell that the director was just having fun with the props and costumes (it had good special effects though).

RoboGeisha is a fun, over-the-top, ultra-violent action movie with a solid-enough story. I hate to say it, but it’s also one of the best geisha movies I’ve seen – better than Memoirs of a Geisha and better than Sakuran.

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