Yatterman (Yattâman) (2009)

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Released 12-Jan-2011

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action Adventure Main Menu Audio & Animation
Featurette-Making Of
Interviews-Cast & Crew
Trailer
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2009
Running Time 106:48
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (66:51) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Takashi Miike
Studio
Distributor
Nikkatsu
Madman Entertainment
Starring Shô Sakurai
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $29.95 Music Ikuro Fujiwara
Masaaki Jinbo


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None Japanese Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Japanese dts 5.1 (768Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     Yatterman is the ultimate film embodiment of the hyperactive Japanese entertainment stereotype. Director Japanese pulp auteur Takashi Miike has weaved a blur of bright colours, slapstick, robots and good old fashioned crazy into what can only be described as a live action cartoon. The film is a live action remake come parody of the late 70s anime of the same name and its predecessor Time Bokan that is pitched at a retro-loving adult audience (although not the adult audience the film's preposterous "Strong Sexual References" MA rating would suggest). Loosely tying together plot threads from the two, the film follows boyfriend and girlfriend crime fighting team Yatterman as they repeatedly save the world from the evil Dorombo gang, who comprise a smokin' hot lass in latex and leather leading a couple of what look like evil Super Mario Brothers as they attempt to find pieces of the "skull stone" (a magic time-travel-inducing skull shaped glowy rock) for a bloke with a giant skeleton head. Each camp commands an ever changing army of cutesy mecha-thingies and have no qualms about obliterating the surrounding landscape. To be honest, the plot doesn't make a great deal of sense beyond the skew-whiff internal logic that keeps the film moving but it is quite a lot of fun to watch regardless!

     The character, mecha and set design is brilliant, enough so to make the film worth a look regardless of any other qualities. The film employed the talents of notable character animator Katsuya Terada, who was also responsible for the designs in the wonderful Cutey Honey film of a few years back, to pull together these production design aspects together. Furthermore, the blend of physical effects and props is masterfully done and can only really be differentiated when the filmmakers want you to differentiate them to play it for laughs, such as when they throw in absurd digital explosions.

     Yatterman, a notable hit on home turf, deserves to become a cult hit in the west. It has all the ingredients to become a late-night favourite.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     The film is presented in its original 2.35:1 aspect ratio and is 16x9 enhanced. The video looks excellent. The image is sharp and clear. The colours are garishly bright and bold, just as they should be. There is a good level of detail in shadows. There is no sign of compression artefacts or film artefacts in the picture.

     The English subtitles are bold, easy to read and appear to be well timed.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     The film features a choice of Japanese Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kbps) or DTS 5.1 (756Kbps). Both tracks are of a high standard and well mixed. The dialogue is clear and easy to discern. The film features an appropriately schizophrenic mixture of electronic and orchestral score which sounds great in the mix. The surrounds are used frequently and in a hyperactive manner that fits the tone of the film. The subwoofer use is a little underwhelming by comparison, though nothing to complain about in the greater scheme of things.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Making Of Featurette (6:55)

     A brief "making of" that pretty much just cruises around a few of the sets and interviews cast and crew. Worth a look but pretty insubstantial.

Interviews (7:20)

     On-set interviews with the director and the main stars of the film (the Yatterman pair and the hot baddie). A non-event.

Trailer

     A theatrical trailer that adds nothing you wouldn't see in the film itself.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    Yatterman is not available in Region 1 at the time of writing.

Summary

     A flat out crazy, hyperactive, flat-out-bonkers live action parody of a classic cartoon that embodies just about every stereotype the west has of Japanese entertainment and largely in a good way.

     The video and audio presentation is excellent. The extras are negligible.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Adam Gould (Totally Biolicious!)
Monday, February 28, 2011
Review Equipment
DVDSony Playstation 3, using HDMI output
DisplayOptoma HD20 Projector. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderPioneer VSX2016AVS. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.
AmplificationPioneer VSX2016AVS
Speakers150W DTX front speakers, 100W centre and 4 surround/rear speakers, 12 inch PSB Image 6i powered sub

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