69 (2004) Movie Review: Live Action Cartoon Doesn’t Know What it Wants to Be

Drinking Game

Take a Drink: whenever a teen does something stupid

Take a Drink: for erections

Take a Drink: for America love and/or hate

Take a Drink: for extreme corporal punishment

Take a Drink: for lying

Take a Drink: “festival”

Do a Shot: for blowjobs

Do a Shot: for the penis tinkle song

Community Review

How many beers do you recommend for this movie?
1 Beer! A Toast! Great Movie!2 Beers! Good Movie!3 Beers! Okay Movie!4 Beers! Mediocre Movie!5 Beers! Awful Movie!6-Pack! Bad movie! Do not be Sober!

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Movie Review

By: Henry J. Fromage (Five Beers) –

I wanted to watch this movie because I thought it was the Thai thriller 6ixtynin9, which by the way, is nigh on ungoogleable.  Anyway, that’s my excuse.

6ixtynin9

Nope, not this.

Instead, the movie I watched, 69, i s a Japanese dramedy based on Ryu Murakami’s acclaimed novel about a bunch of high-schoolers in 1969, full of vim, vigor, and really bad decision-making skills who are ready to protest Vietnam or American Military Bases if they think it’ll get girls to like them.  Their pranks and plans start to get out of control fast, though…

A Toast

Director Lee Sang-il is certainly full of visual ideas, tossing together different film grains and filters like a mad scientist to see what happens.  The effect, especially in romantic scenes when the editing takes a break and the scene is allowed to breath, can be quite beautiful.  I also dug the Bond meets (Saul) Bass opening credits, and some of the off the wall anime-inspired antics, like the Sato-esque homicidal gym teacher, are pretty funny.

Beer Two

This is basically a live-action anime cartoon, so your mileage may vary.

hummer_limosine

Even if that is your speed, 69 is pretty frantic and overblown.  Lee pushes past the tipping point style-wise too often, using cutesy touches like fast-forward that are more terrible Disney Channel kids show than theatrical release film.  Tone it down a bit, son.

Beer Three

Speaking of tone, 69‘s is all over the place.  Is this supposed to be a live-action anime, comedy, melodrama, social issues commentary?  You decide! (Because no one else involved in this film could).  The film might’ve survived the whiplash changes in tone if the actors could’ve sold it,  but, well… they couldn’t.  One might think the entire thing is an American Pie-type comedy, while the other is certain it’s high drama, and when they’re in the same scene together, it’s brutal.

Beer Four

The humor is juvenile and buffoony to excess.  Like, say, graphic slo-mo diarrhea on the principal’s desk, egregious boners, gay blowjobs, dog blowjobs…

national-lampoon-s-pledge-this-main-review

Hey, I just watched a film with the exact same jokes!

Beer Five

69 has zero emotional or dramatic stakes, so it’s vaguely insulting when it tries to get serious.  You just basically destroyed your school, and all you got was suspended.  Don’t try to pretend that this is anything else but unrealistic teenage wish fulfillment.  If 69 had just committed to that, it could’ve been somewhat fun, but instead it just comes off as an unfocused tale of a bunch of asshole teenagers causing trouble just because… it’s the 60s?  You know, the only character I identify with is the homicidal gym teacher…

69-gym-teacher

Not from 69, but you know he’d be after those menaces with a pistol in the sequel

Verdict

If you dig manga and/or anime, or are a fan of the original, much better novel, you might get something out of this.  I sure didn’t.

5Beers1

About Henry J. Fromage

Movieboozer is a humor website and drinking games are intended for entertainment purposes only, please drink responsibly.

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