Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Cutey Honey

At my friend's monthly DVD-and-dinner party, we watched Cutey Honey, the live action movie based on a 1970s anime. Now, I've been avoiding Cutey Honey in any form for years, on account of the giggle and jiggle factor. However, the movie actually turned out to be fun. I won't lie and say it was a good movie, because it wasn't. But it was very entertaining.

The movie opened with what my friends and I dubbed "leg cam." Basically, the camera was positioned in the actress's lap, looking down her legs as she took a bubble bath. It would not be the last time we saw leg cam. During fight scenes or swinging in the park, the director apparently thought we occasionally needed to see the view from her crotch.

Underwear scenes and scanty costumes littered the movie at every turn, but it never crossed the line. Thus we were spared any actual nudity. Likewise, no sex.

The villains, costumes, and fight scenes were right on par with, say, Power Rangers. Occasionally, they splurged on low-quality CG special effects. At other times, typically during fights, they cut to choppy animation because apparently they couldn't budget for actual stunt performers. But for the opening credits and during flashbacks, they actually tried for a better quality of traditional animation.

Ah, the opening credits. The Cutey Honey theme is a J-pop classic. I've had a Euro-dance mix of it in my playlist for years.

But, oh dear, seeing the lyrics of that song subtitled was, shall we say, a bit traumatic. Ahem, "She's the popular girl with the big, bouncing boobs."

Oh. My. God.

I've been listening to WHAT for all these years? I can only hope that this song never came up on my random shuffle when I had Japanese friends over at my home. If it did, they were too polite to mention it . . .


Anyway, back to the movie. Opening theme, leg cam, and all that aside, it was a cute story about a superhero, a policewoman, and a plucky reporter against a bunch of really ugly, really over-the-top bad guys. At some point, I found myself thinking, "This kind of reminds me of Iczer One. Or maybe it's more like Iczer Three, what with the four lackeys serving the main villain and all. Anyway, it would definitely fit in the Iczer-verse." A few minutes later, one of my friends said, "Hey, this is just like Iczer One!" So perhaps the similarity was more than passing.

One of the lackey villains seemed, well, not exactly cool, but at least less uncool than the others. Until his personal string quartet showed up to provide music as he whipped out his microphone and guitar-shaped pitchfork/axe/spear/whatever to do battle. Goodbye, mote of cool.

At another point, we were "treated" to a long montage of Honey wandering the city, changing into a diverse array of ludicrous costumes. "Oh my Lord, she's having a music video," groaned one friend. Her husband described it as "follow the moping fashion victim."

There was a nice bit o' lesbian subtext, which I wasn't the only one to notice. That was a definite plus. No kisses, though, so that adds a minus. But neither woman ends up with a man, so there's another plus. So on the gay-o-meter, it tips slightly (but only slightly) to the queer.

Anyway, I should stop now. I can't quite say, "It was so bad it was good." But I'll say, "It was so bad it was hilarious," and leave it at that.

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