Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Killer KoalasOct. 23 2009
- Published on Amazon.com
This is one of the wierdest movies i have ever seen, but wierd in a good way. Seeing a koala go from the left to the right side of the screen and back made me think of Jaws. While it is very obvious that they use dummies for some scenes, they make it funny enough that it doesn't matter. The addition of a musical bit got me think "What the F***?" all the way through it. And the end was another one of those moments. Overall though, if your looking for a good campy psuedo-slasher or a movie that involves a giant koala, I recommend this movie.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Not as good as Calamari Wrestler, but still brings the weird.Aug. 8 2011
<em>The Calamari Wrestler</em> is cracked genius. It's a wonderful, wonderful movie, and I highly recommend it every change I get. A year later, Minoru Kawasaki followed up his bizarro masterpiece with <em>Executive Koala</em>, and while it doesn't have that same infectious sense of joy, it certainly strikes all the right notes to appeal to <em>Calamari Wrestler</em> fans. However, it also has a distinct odor of "we made this to capitalize on the appeal of <em>The Calamari Wrestler</em>!", and it feels rushed, those times when it doesn't feel unfinished.
The plot, which is very loosely based on a Philip K. Dick story (if I tell you which one, it'll give the game away), concerns a koala salaryman. This is the only thing odd about him, really (there are other human-sized talking animals in the film, but they aren't the norm, and it's obvious from the setting that, while a minority, they are accepted in the universe we are given), at least at the beginning of the film. He is a minor manager at a pickle company, but he's working on a big deal to branch out into kimchee, which could mean a heavy promotion. As a result, he works a lot of late nights and is under stress. When he meets with the kimchee folks, one of the company's representatives takes an interest in the koala, and challenges him to a sparring match. The koala (my apologies, I am not remembering names, and IMDB is failing me) proves to be surprisingly good at martial arts, and far more savage than his fawning salaryman demeanor would have us believe. There is more under the surface here, obviously...
Done well, this is a really good plot. (I know. This particular PKD story has been turned into a successful movie at least once before.) And there are enough hints of "done well" here that you can see how much fun this movie could have been, given a little more time and effort. The characters are decent, though not as well-drawn as one would hope, and the situations are interesting. There's some great comic relief from a local convenience store owner (is he a frog? A chameleon?) and some interesting office workplace dynamics. Then comes the Big Reveal(TM), and everything falls into place... until the climax, which is a huge letdown in every way it can possibly be. You might even be better off stopping your DVD player ten minutes before the movie ends. But up until then, it's quite a good little movie, though you will appreciate it far more if you are capable of looking through the wasted potential. *** ½
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
EXECUTIVE KOALANov. 15 2009
- Published on Amazon.com
Executive Koala is what happens when you mix a thriller, a slasher horror, a zany comedy, add in the spice of Asian storytelling sensibilties and top it all off by making the main character a man in a koala suit. Going into the film, I thought I had an idea what to expect but Executive Koala hits from all sides and is just so outlandishly bizarre I'm not quite sure what I sat through but I know I liked it.
What really sold the movie was that there's a strange seriousness to it, much like Minoru Kawasaki's previous anthropomorphic excursion The Calamari Wrestler. However, Calamari Wrestler kept more to a reality that was bent but at least didn't twist around on itself. Executive Koala shrugs off being restrained to any rationale whatsoever, but except for being spontaneously bombarded with a FANTASTIC musical number, everything remained deadpan, as if this was how the world really is and this how all movies really are.
The story is a dark, personal one focusing in on the koala in question, Tamura. In the wake of being accused of his girlfriend's murder, memories of his last love disappearing three years ago stir up and he realises there are gaps in his memory and he fears there is some dark secret lurking in those gaps. From there, we are taken on a twisting surreal ride as the boggling truths reveal themselves, leading to a completely incomprehensible but totally acceptable ending. And all of its mesmerizing and totally off the walls hilarious.
Executive Koala was a trip. If you read the premise and prepare yourself for a film that's well beyond the bounds of just a typical comedy and that's going to do things you could never expect, then this is certainly for you. If you're looking for some sort of Troma-esque comedy that's going to go straight down the line with its absurd premise, you'll probably be disappointed.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Best. Koala Slasher. Ever.March 22 2009
C. Christopher Blackshere
- Published on Amazon.com
This ain't Australia! Only from Japan could we get a 6ft. psyko-ala bear. This killer furball ain't playing around!
The cute cuddly dude's name is Tamura. He's your basic suit and tie business exec that has some serious 5 o'clock shadow. Beneath the grey fur he's a pretty nice normal guy. But one day his beautiful girlfriend turns up dead, and he is the chief suspect. Tamura is forced to enlist the help of his boss(a white rabbit) and a nearby convience store clerk(a frog).
This is of course some silly arthouse cinema, but it is often hilarious. These large hairy creatures are integrated pretty naturally into society, and nothing is ever explained. I'll admit, I was hoping to see some sweaty girl-on-koala action, but no such luck. Phooey! Plus the bloody carnage and campiness was much less than I expected, which was a tad dissappointing. Still there is some nice koala kung-fu fighting and good satire. Not bad.
FINAL GRADE 3.5 Stars, rounded up for originality.