Robin Hood robs from the rich, gives to the poor!
Chiang Mai movies beginning Thursday, May 13, 2010
… through Wednesday, May 19
by Thomas Ohlson
Best Bets: Robin Hood. Ong-Bak 3.
Robin Hood rides again!
This is Issue Number 28 of Volume 5 of these listings.
Today is a holiday for government workers only, Royal Ploughing Ceremony / Farmer’s Day.
Now playing in Chiang Mai * = new this week
* Robin Hood: US/ UK, Action/ Drama – 140 mins – Ridley Scott's long-brewing visit to Sherwood's most famous forest makes it clear that this reboot isn’t Errol Flynn in green tights, but much more a gladiator, and bringing him to life is Russell Crowe – all grunting and scowling.It promises to be something of an origin story, finding historical context in the legend by telling of Hood's days as an archer in the service of King Richard, before he became a man in tights redistributing the crown's wealth. Early reviews: Generally favorable: 62/56 out of 100.
New York Times, A.O. Scott: A spectacle very much in the Ridley Scott tradition (Alien, Blade Runner, Gladiator, Black Hawk Down, and American Gangster). There are lots of swashes buckled, swords clanked and, just in case that doesn’t do the job, a shirtless and chiseled Mr. Crowe. With a romance between Big Hollywood Stars — Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett — and lavish medieval sets that were built, pillaged and burned down over the course of many months.
“Without realizing it we devised a story that is about the forming of Robin Hood, the beginning of the legend and how he came to be as opposed to what people already know,” said director Ridley Scott.
* The Bounty Hunter: US, Action/ Comedy – 110 mins – Gerard Butler plays a down-on-his-luck bounty hunter who gets his dream job when he is assigned to track down his bail-jumping ex-wife (Jennifer Aniston). Complications, as they say, ensue... Generally unfavorable reviews: 22/32 out of 100.
Rotten Tomatoes: Gerard Butler and Jennifer Aniston remain as attractive as ever, but The Bounty Hunter's formula script doesn't know what to do with them -- or the audience's attention.
Roger Ebert: I stared with glazed eyes at The Bounty Hunter. Here is a film with no need to exist.
* A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010): US, Horror/ Thriller – Freddy Krueger returns in this contemporary re-imagining of the horror classic. A group of suburban teenagers share one common bond: they are all being stalked by Freddy Krueger, a horribly disfigured killer who hunts them in their dreams. As long as they stay awake, they’re okay.Rated R in the US for strong bloody horror violence, disturbing images, terror, and language. 18+ in Thailand. Generally unfavorable reviews: 34/37 out of 100.
New York Times, A.O. Scott: Some of the early set pieces — the opening sequence in a diner, for example, or another that unfolds after one of the victims has dozed off in class — dispense their shocks inventively, but for the most part the movie traffics in overly familiar scare tactics, setting up predictable false alarms and telegraphing in advance just when Freddy will pop into the frame and utter one of his labored witticisms.
The filmmakers’ use of computer-generated effects doesn’t help much, and makes a few of the scenes that should be horrifying look silly. The cast — notably Rooney Mara and Kyle Gallner as Freddy’s longest-surviving prey — are reasonably adept at screaming, crying, looking sleepy and earnestly delivering expository information they glean from research on the Internet and at the local bookstore.
Much of what they uncover has to do with sleep deprivation, and A Nightmare on Elm Street is sufficiently effective to keep you awake for the duration of its running time.
* Ip Man 2 / Yip Man 2: Chung si chuen kei / ยิปมัน อาจารย์บรู๊ช ลี / 叶问: Hong Kong, Action/ Biography/ History – 108 mins – The second in a trilogy of semi-biographical martial arts films based on the life of Ip Man (1893-1972), a grandmaster of the martial art Wing Chun and the first person to teach Wing Chun openly. One of his students was Bruce Lee. The film focuses on events in Ip's life that took place in the city of Foshan during the Second Sino-Japanese War, as Ip Man grew up in a China torn by racial hatred, nationalistic strife, and warfare.This biopic from director Wilson Yip dramatizes Ip's life story. Thai-dubbed only, and only at Airport Plaza.
Asia News Net, Michael Cheang: First things first--the title Ip Man is pronounced as “Eep-Man”, not “I-P Man”, and it’s certainly not a movie about a superhero called Internet Protocol Man going around saving computers from spam.
It is the biopic of one of the most celebrated martial arts grandmasters of recent times--Ip Man, grandmaster of Wing Chun.
Besides being a grandmaster of one of the most practiced martial arts styles in the world, Ip Man is also known as the teacher of a certain kung fu legend named Bruce Lee.
In view of that, who better to portray the man than a martial arts actor who was once hailed as the actor with the closest fighting style to that of the late Lee himself--Donnie Yen?
Gonin Movie Blog: Ip Man 2 seamlessly continues where Ip Man left off: IP Man and his family are moving to Hong Kong where he tries to open his new martial arts school. In the beginning the Ip’s have very little money and Ip Man virtually no students, but at least they are no longer harassed by the Japanese. Instead he and the other masters now have to fight the corrupt British administration: where Ip Man runs into trouble with the local big shots in the beginning and has to fight for his recognition as martial arts master with Sammo Hung, they are all united later when the British set up a boxing tournament to teach the Chinese a lesson. Their man called The Twister is a mean machine ready to kill and the question is who is going to stop him.
Ip Man 2 is a chronological continuation, with a lively portrayal of Hong Kong in the 40’s and Ip Man’s struggle as a teacher at a time right after the Sino-Chinese war. Once again Raymond Wong and Wilson Yip succeed in finding the perfect balance of martial arts movie, semi-biographical portrait, and historical drama.
With Sammo Hung joining the cast as a rival master Ip Man 2 is raising the bar of martial arts performances even higher: seeing Hung and Donnie Yen clash is nothing less than marvelous and is only exceeded by the showdown when they both fight The Twister. It’s quite bizarre to see western boxing mixed with Wing Chun though, but after a few minutes you’ll be nailed to your seat enjoying the show.
If you have expected Ip Man 2 focusing on the relationship between Ip Man and Bruce Lee you’ll have to wait; Raymond Wong obviously couldn’t finalize negotiations with Bruce Lee’s heirs and therefore (a very young) Bruce Lee enters the movie only in its very last scene, hinting at a possible third installment in the Ip Man series. ...
Once Raymond Wong realizes Ip Man 3 including the Bruce Lee story, and with part three then truly delivering the goods, I expect part two looking more like a transition between part one and part three. But until then Ip Man 2 is another highly entertaining to watch milestone of modern Hong Kong martial arts cinema.
* Furry Vengeance: US, Comedy/ Family – 92 mins – A real estate developer moves his family from Chicago to Oregon when his job calls for him to oversee the building of a major housing development. But once there he faces a unique group of protesters: local woodland creatures who don't want their homes disturbed. Generally unfavorable reviews: 25/25 out of 100.
Rotten Tomatoes: A thin premise stretched far beyond serviceable length, Furry Vengeance subjects Brendan Fraser -- and the audience -- to 92 minutes of abuse.
Birmingham Post, Graham Young: If you only take your children to see movies like Up ... they’ll think every film is going to be fantastic. That’s not very good training for the disappointments of life, so Furry Vengeance does have one purpose.
Arizona Republic, Bill Goodykoontz: A stupid, mean-spirited little movie that ranks down there with the worst in recent memory.
Ong-Bak 3 / องค์บาก 3: Thai, Action – 110 mins – Tony Jaa in the historical martial-arts conclusion of the two-part prequel to the Ong-Bak movie that made him a star in 2003.Rated 18+ in Thailand. Wise Kwai’s rating 3 out of 5: Just okay. [Wise Kwai is a Bangkok-based journalist who has an excellent blog on all things related to Thai movies. You can reach it at:
As for me, I object to the level of masochism displayed by Tony Jaa in this latest installment of “The Tony Jaa Psychodrama.” Not all of us in the audience can match in sadism what he displays in masochism. It really is too much. For a good half hour at the beginning he is tortured over and over until he’s lifeless, then revived and tortured some more, until his body is a broken, bleeding near-corpse. This is really alien to me, and I object to what he expects me as an audience member to put up with. We’re not all as sadistic as Jaa is masochistic.
It all seems so personal. I’m sure his tortures reflect the way he feels the critics have treated him, and the boss at the film studio that withheld the money to finish his last picture, Ong-Bak 2. I wouldn’t be surprised if the chief torturer bears a remarkable physical resemblance to the studio head.
When he finally recovers from the maulings and mutilation, and gets revenge, I feel like he’s fantasizing getting back at all his real-life perceived enemies.
There’s another kind of torture in the film: tortured metaphysical reasoning! He and his favorite monk scratch their heads trying to come up with some way to nullify his bad karma. Eventually, they make a statue of Buddha in the form of Jaa. Then they bake it and chip away at it, and low and behold there’s a statue of Jaa/Buddha, with a cruel gash in the forehead.
Then the ancient monk gives out with ancient words of Buddhist wisdom: “Be aware, then let go.” What nonsense! No wonder cruel Asian regimes encourage the practice of Buddhism! It pacifies the populace.
Aside from the Buddhist nonsense and the torture, the picture is fascinating. Jaa is a true artist, and has expanded the form of the martial arts film in unforeseen ways, incorporating not only many strands of martial arts disciplines, but also many strands of Thai culture, and its dances and rituals and meditational poses. He again incorporates traditional palace dance forms into this film, probably to the dismay of action junkies. He is endlessly inventive, and brings unsurpassed energy, athleticism, and zeal to his projects. And the films, which always have their surreal qualities, are exceptional works of art. He is a treasure to be valued highly.
He’s working out his own inner demons through his art, especially his revenge fantasies for all his own real-life real or imagined slights, but that’s what artists do.
Wise Kwai: Under duress two years ago to show his magnum-opus martial-arts epic, what Thatchakorn "Tony Jaa" Yeerum gave us with Ong-Bak 2 was an unfinished movie.He's finally found an ending to his story of the ancient warrior Tien battling evil warlords as well as his inner demons.
Ong-Bak 3 (องค์บาก3) picks right up from the cliffhanger ending of 2008’s film, with Tien held captive by the warlord Jom Rachan (Saranyu Wongkrajang). He's beaten, brutalized, and tortured in Jom Rachan's 13 prescribed ways. Just don't try to count those ways.
Tien miraculously recovers but must fight two or three more battles before he can achieve inner peace. The action, which incorporates an elephant herd, is stupendous as always. However, it also feels perfunctory, rushed, and -- sad to say this about the sight of a man swinging around on elephant tusks -- even routine. But at least there’s an ending.
Buddha, Jesus, Neo, Luke Skywalker, and
Bruce Lee all wrapped up into one.
Tony, who writes, directs, produces, action-choreographs and stars, does everything he probably wanted to achieve in the first movie but ran out of time and money.
There is more attention given to the martial-arts discipline of nattayuth, which combines meditation techniques and traditional khon dancing with mixed martial arts. This means more scenes of Tien meditating and practicing his dancing.
Supporting characters who only played small roles in Ong-Bak 2 have significantly expanded parts here.In fact, it's "Dan" Chupong Changprung who pretty well steals the show playing the villain Bhuti Sangkha. The mysterious crow-like fighter only turned up for a little bit in Ong-Bak 2, but he's a major character here, and "Diew" Chupong shows that he has the range to play a bad guy. He's awesome. Draped in a black cloak and covered in tattoos that give him supernatural powers, he's much like the evil emperor in Star Wars, feeding on fear, anger, and hate.
There has to be a Jedi master to counter that Sith lord and in Ong-Bak 3 it's Phra Bua. Portrayed by veteran actor Nirut Sirijanya, he has the demeanor of Alec Guinness' Obi-Wan Kenobi and the pointy ears and bald head of Yoda. Phra Bua was seen in Ong-Bak 2, mentoring the boy Tien, teaching the nobleman's son about dance and spiritual matters. Here, he's become a monk, transformed by deep meditations that put him in touch with the evil incantations of Bhuti Sangkha, which are causing much suffering in the realm.
... With the exception of Dan Chupong, all these supporting characters mean action fans are going find plenty to be bothered about in Ong-Bak 3. More meditation and dancing. They are things that are close to Tony's heart and nice to see if you are into Thai culture. But Westerner fanboys are going to hit fast forward. ...
Tien's biggest fight it seems is with himself. He walks to the cliff edge, not to admire the magnificent day-for-night view of the Dangrek Mountain plateau, but to throw himself off because he's in so much pain, is sad because he lost his stepfather (Sorapong Chatree) and is ashamed he lost the battle.
"Meditate," the monk Phra Bua advises. Yeah, thanks for that Phra Bua.
So cue the scenes of the bearded Tien meditating in caves, sitting cross-legged in babbling brooks and perfecting his new discipline of nattayuth. Cut to the Buddha image -- fans of 2003's Ong-Bak know which one -- then cut to Tien, back to the Buddha and back to Tien, the "chosen one.” Notice any symbolism? He's Buddha, Jesus, Neo, Luke Skywalker and Bruce Lee all wrapped up into one.
...things are set up for one final confrontation between Tien and Bhuti Sangkha. This should be the knock-down-drag-out fight to end them all, but it doesn't feel that way. Even with the elephant herd. But though there is an ending, finally, Ong-Bak 3 is an anti-climax. It doesn't have the tour-de-force epic feel of Ong-Bak 2 and comes off as a promise unfulfilled. In short, Ong-Bak 3 is not as much fun as Ong-Bak 2.
Wise Kwai’s complete review is fascinating and informative. You can read it in its entirety here, at
Gonin Movie Blog: After leaving the audience with unfinished business in 2008, Ong-Bak 3 aims to close the books and deliver a proper ending to the saga. Ong-Bak 3 begins with Tien’s martyrdom in captivity and unfortunately takes this very seriously: they are trying too hard to transform Tony Jaa into a literal martyr figure here. A blind man could see the references to Jesus Christ, but you might also find a fair share of Lord Buddha and others in Jaa’s portrayal of Tien. Ong-Bak 3 is anyway an amalgamation of Buddhism, black magic, western beliefs and other forms of spirituality, so it doesn’t really come as a surprise that also Christian motifs are used to dramatize Jaa’s role.
After the first thirty minutes or so I was close to write off Ong-Bak 3, but luckily I sat through all the beating and healing and meditating and the script not making sense whatsoever. Not that the Phra advising Tien to meditate and to follow his destiny as do-gooder is in any way original, or that his recovery having more to do with his mental health than his physical (obviously strongly influenced by Jaa’s own beliefs and practices) would be a surprise. Neither do the various plot points make us wonder (if so then only in disbelief).
I do not share the opinion of some other writers that Ong-Bak 3 is a technically accomplished film. It is most definitely not. The editing often doesn’t match, numerous times the visuals are lackluster, and the music more than once sounds like cheap library music. Aesthetically Ong-Bak 2 is superior, but otherwise it’s the heavily fluctuating quality Ong-Bak 3 has in common with the predecessors.
Some things do work out better though: a finer balance between story, character development and action, Tony Jaa’s improved acting skills, less wire-fu, and a more back-to-the-roots bone-breaking fighting style with numerous grim sequences, some outstanding set pieces, most notably a fight amongst an elephant herd, more emotional involvement of the audience (this time we actually care) and a good dose of never before seen elegance, thanks to a game-changing idea: to see the combatants as dancing partners. The final training sequences and the following showdown are beautifully choreographed, and even though they might not receive a warm reception by all die-hard martial arts fans, they are among the most outstanding moments of Ong-Bak 3.
Do read the complete review at the link above, or here:
Iron Man 2: US, Action/ Adventure/ Sci-Fi/ Thriller – 124 mins – Directed by Jon Favreau, starring Robert Downey Jr., Don Cheadle, Scarlett Johansson, Glwyneth Paltrow, and Mickey Rourke. It isn't quite the breath of fresh air that Iron Man was, but this sequel comes close with solid performances and an action-packed plot.Mixed or average reviews: 57/59 out of 100.
At Alliance Française on Fridays at 8 pm
The Alliance Française shows its series of French films in a small room in their building at 138 Charoen Prathet Road. The building is directly opposite Wat Chaimongkhon, near the Chedi Hotel. Tell your taxi "Samakhom Frangset" and/or "Wat Chaimongkhon."A contribution of 30 baht is requested; you pay outside at the information desk of the Alliance Française proper.
At Alliance Française on Friday, May 14, 8 pm: Le pacte des loups / Brotherhood of the Wolf (2001)by Christophe Gans – 142 mins – Action/ History/ Horror/ Mystery. English subtitles. Rated R in the US for strong violence and gore, and sexuality/nudity. Mixed or average reviews: 57/63 out of 100.
With Samuel Le Bihan, Mark Dacascos, Jean Yanne, Vincent Cassel, Émilie Dequenne, Monica Bellucci.
In 1760’s France, the Chevalier de Fronsac and his Iroquois friend Mani are sent by King Louis the 15th to the Gevaudan province to investigate the killings of hundreds by a mysterious beast. Based on the true story of the Beast of the Gévaudan that terrorized France in the mid-18th century, the film aims to tell first and explain afterwards...
– Alliance description
There actually was a Beast of Gévaudan (La Bête du Gévaudan) which was a real wolf-like creature that prowled the Auvergne and South Dordogne regions of France during the years 1764 to 1767, killing about 100 people, often in bizarre circumstances, and was never caught. All the primary characters, except the Native American Mani, actually existed and lived during reign of King Louis XV.
Le Pacte des loups plays like a better, more coherent, more frightening version of Sleepy Hollow, with the representative from the major city (Samuel le Bihan) and his Iroquois Indian blood brother (Dacascos) sent to investigate the gruesome goings-on, and gradually finding out there's far more than meets the eye – although unlike Sleepy Hollow, which went overboard with the decapitations, the murders here are kept to a minimum in the early going, where most of the details are kept to our imaginations (although we do see the beast attacking two of its female victims).
The movie takes its time setting the pace and mood, and slipping in a few clues to the resolution. (One hint: watch out for the gun.) Once all the main characters have been introduced, and once past the halfway point, the movie really starts to deliver.
Some consider this to be among the classiest horror/adventure films of all time.
At Alliance Française on Friday, May21, 8 pm: Le Grand bleu / The Big Blue (1988) by Luc Besson – 132 mins – Drama/Romance. English subtitles. Rated R in the US for sexuality and language. Generally negative reviews: 35 out of 100.
With Rosanna Arquette, Jean-Marc Barr, Jean Reno, Paul Shenar, Sergio Castellitto.
Enzo and Jacques have known each other for a long time. Their friendship started in their childhood days in the Mediterranean. They were not real friends in these days, but there was something they both loved and used to do the whole day long: diving. One day Jacques' father, who was a diver too, dies in the Mediterranean Sea. After that incident Enzo and Jacques lose contact...
– Alliance description
Big Blue, with its gorgeous underwater sequences, its exotic ocean-side settings in Greece and Sicily, and its transcendent 1980s electronic score, is director Luc Besson's "baby,” combining romantic comedy with a deep spiritual quest. Turns unforgettably dark and mysterious at its conclusion.
At Film Space on Saturdays at 7 pm
May is “The Month of Surreal” at Film Space.
Film Space is to the right and in the back of the CMU Art Museum, in the Media Arts and Design building across from the ballet school. Showings are in a classroom on the second floor or on the roof, weather permitting. A contribution is requested in the donation box at the entrance – you should leave at least 20 baht. Well worth supporting.
At Film Space Saturday, May 15, 7 pm: Asujaak / The Sperm (2007) by Taweewat Wantha – 93 mins – Thai, Comedy/ Sci-Fi. A teenage rock musician masturbates gleefully and often. Way too often. One night, flying sperm escape and impregnate local women. The babies grow into an army of little creatures with the teen's head -- and libido. Generally utterly ignored by Thai critics and audiences when it appeared in 2007, it actually has a lot going for it, and is a hilarious send up of Thai society. But it seems no Thai girl wanted to be seen going to a movie with “sperm” in the title, so the film horribly bombed.
Wise Kwai: I thought The Sperm was raucously funny, and made some compelling observations about society, celebrity, and Bangkok culture. With a bit more going on than meets the eye, and there's a lot of stuff meeting the eye, mind you, it's a wonderfully entertaining film.
Putthipong "Leo Putt" Sriwat stars as a struggling young rock musician named Sutin. In his sleep, he always dreams of situations that almost put him in sexual contact with Thailand's sweetheart model-actress, La-mai (Pimpaporn Leenutapong). Just as he's ready to consummate the relationship, he wakes up.
But Sutin makes contact with La-mai for real when he's shopping and reaches for the winning bottle of Addict deodorant, which earns his band a place in the One Tambon, One Band (OTOB) competition. The prize is presented by none other than La-mai. Not wanting to blow a chance to actually have sex with the girl of his dreams, he crudely propositions her. But he's actually awake, and this is actually happening, and it's caught on live television.
Embarrassed, he drowns his sorrows in whisky and soda. He suffers further indignities when his bandmates dose him with a generic Viagra drug from Chatuchak market and dump him in a short-time motel. Sutin comes to to find himself being serviced by an elderly prostitute – a rude awakening because he was again dreaming of La-mai. He runs from the room, but can't shake the protuberance from his trousers. In an alley, he spots a poster of La-mai and relieves his burden in front of it, not caring that his issuance has gone into the Bangkok sewer system.
Overnight, Sutin's seed spreads. Thousands of women are pregnant, and give birth the next day. All the babies grow abnormally fast, and they all seem obsessed with sex. And, they all look like Sutin.
Sutin is soon on the run from the police, but bigger problems come up, and not just his making up with La-mai.
The Sperm is a sharp satire on Thai pop culture and society – of fame and celebrity, brand-name products and the sexualisation of everything, even as being sexy is frowned upon. It's the kind of movie that deserves to be seen, for what it's trying to say, and for the comic performances by Leo Putt and Pimpaporn (who last starred in 2003's frankly sexual Sayew, another ignored gem).
There's the always-reliable Somlek Sakdikul as a scientist looking for a solution to the problem of Sutin's seed. And where Pimpaporn is the typical demure good Thai girl, the scientist has a daughter who embodies all the badness – of tight, short schoolgirl outfits, a too-short security guard uniform, and strings from a G-string bikini protruding from the tops of her low-riding Daisy Duke cut-off denim shorts. Wow! Dressed in a form-fitting catsuit, she leads a band of inflatable sex doll ninja warriors who save the day. She's not bad, she's just dressed that way.
The Sperm doesn't really fit the mould of Thai comedies, horror flicks and horror-comedies, even though it has all the required elements (yes, there's even a transvestite male character), and will probably barely register in the Thai pop culture consciousness.
The name itself is a turnoff. I suggested it to a few people, and the immediate response was disgusted looks, as if I was suggesting they see an X-rated film.
The Sperm, like Taweewat's previous film, SARS Wars, an over-the-top sci-fi satire that killed Film Bangkok with its extravagance, will likely be appreciated more overseas by cult-film crowds. Hopefully, The Sperm will seek out an audience that deserves it.
At Film Space Saturday, May 22, 7 pm: The First Contact / Naisu no mori / Funky Forest (2005) by Katsuhito Ishii – 150 mins – Japan, Comedy. Eschewing any form of conventional narrative in favor of a series of surreal sketches, this Japanese experimental comedy features a set of quirky and dysfunctional characters. Among them is the... Eschewing any form of conventional narrative in favor of a series of surreal sketches, this Japanese experimental comedy features a set of quirky and dysfunctional characters. Among them are the unlucky-in-love Guitar Brother, his compulsively dancing older sibling, and their younger relative, a chubby Caucasian addicted to junk food.
IMDb viewer: It's as if someone jacked a cable wire into a person's head while they were sleeping and watched the dreams on TV.
Film Journal International, Frank Lovece: Saying, "Oooh, the story unfolds the way a dream does!" is kind of a cop-out, since if nothing has to make sense, then nothing matters. And frankly, there ain't enough drugs on either side of the globe to make fun or palatable a medical exam featuring a guy with grotesquely extended, squirting nipples who pulls people-faced alien leach-thingies from his pants.
Variety, Dennis Harvey: The annals of strange just got thicker with the arrival of Funky Forest: The First Contact, a surreal sci-fi-musical-whatsit whose resistance to thematic or narrative logic renders viewers thoroughly -- but not unpleasantly -- bewildered for 2½ hours. Breathtakingly, often hilariously bizarre, it's nobody's idea of a commercial sureshot.
First team effort for writing-helming-editing trio of Katsuhito Ishii (Shark Skin Boy and Peach Hip Woman, Taste of Tea), TV commercial directors Shin'ichiro Miki and Anika aka Hajime Ishimine is a series of deadpan, oft-fantastical non sequiturs and goofy plot threads. Latter occasionally intersect, but scarcely hint at any game plan. Recurrent elements include idiot TV variety show-style comedy duo "The Mole Brothers"; three hapless "Unpopular With Women Brothers" who look unrelated; three pretty young women first identified as "Babbling Hot Spring Vixens"; a nerdy high school teacher-cum-DJ involved with his star student; and sitcom-style "Homeroom!!!" chapters from a Dadaist school life. Plus peppy choreographed dream sequences, unidentifiable puppet-or-CGI creatures, Cronenberg-style queasiness, and UFO visitations. Delirious, disarming film.