-MONTHLY VHS & DVD REVIEW-
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cast: Dankan, Takeshi Kitano, Tokie Hidari, Shoji Kobayashi, and Shinsuke Yamane
director: Takeshi Kitano
105 minutes (15) 1995
widescreen ratio 16:9
Artsmagic DVD Region 2 retail
reviewed by Mike Philbin
Yakuza hitmen, fantastical sexual content, and just a peck of pickled pepper...
As the ever-twitching Kitano himself confesses in the very severe
interrogation-come-interview as part of the extras on the Getting Any? - "I
fucking hate this cheap and nasty film, it's probably the worst thing I've ever done.
I will probably never make another film in Japan." Kitano would have loved that,
irreverence from his reviewer - irony.
Truth be told, Kitano is a real fan of this (early) movie. How many
of you know that despite his starring in numerous yakuza films as a gangster without
compassion a stone-cold killer, Kitano is one of Japan's most respected and shamelessly
irreverent comedians? Banned in the 1970s from all the major television networks for
appearing in the nude, there is no surprise that finally a film such as Getting Any?
would be made by this mad genius.
While Getting Any? (aka: Minnâ yatteruka!) is about
sex, it's not a sex film. It's not porn, at least. There is some sexual content but mostly
the sex is played for laughs. Asao (Dankan) needs to get laid but to do this in the Japan
of Kitano's youth (as he explains in great detail in his interview) you had to have a car.
Thus begins car farce after car farce where Asao is continuously ripped off by the car
dealer on his quest to find the perfect passion-wagon.
Asao decides to rob a bank to get more money, this time to buy a first
class flight ticket because in first class the airhostesses get 'em out and get it on! Or
so Asao convinces himself.
Then he gets into acting - actors always get head, right?
Then he is made invisible by a mad professor (played by Kitano himself)
and lots of patented Japanese bathhouse and 'love hotel' tomfoolery ensues.
Then he becomes a yakuza hitman.
He ends up romancing a giant turd - very odd.
Getting Any? is a mad, daft road movie of a film - it is evident
Kitano is a fan of western cinema and probably the early slapstick cinema like Charlie
Chaplin, the Keystone Kops and Buster Keaton. Unfortunately, the Japanese film industry
and Japanese society in-jokes diminish the appeal of the film to a western audience. Those
willing to invest some time in discovering what the hell chambara cinema is or who the hell
Zatoichi the blind swordsman is and those who have already enjoyed Kitano in his yakuza roles
will appreciate the irony, the self-deprecation and clowning around that is stuffed into this
He's one of their own, but even the Japanese don't understand their
resident joker; it seems - for example, when the film was released in Japan, nobody said
anything. There was just no critical response from the media about his film - maybe they
hoped it would sink without trace, so close does it get to the underlying stink of the
modern Japanese mentality.
The guy who plays Asao does an exemplary job of keeping his face straight
throughout the entire film. No mean feat in itself considering the subject matter. One classic
scene involving the 'test driving' of a car in a showroom (well, more a test-driving of the
secretary in the role of virtual car date) really sticks in the mind as wonderfully subversive
So, what's wrong with Kitano? Don't you get it? He's a comedian. Geddit?
It's a comedian's job to make you laugh, not to make you understand. Well, as a fan of the
comatose humour of American social commentator Steven Wright, I like my humour a little less
ribald than this. But I bet the French would love it - they go for slapstick in their humour
too, especially from their stage comedians.
As a westerner, you can love some of Kitano's other films but this one
will be just too anal, too out there for most westerners to digest. They'll end up going,
'Like what the fuck was that?' and this director deserves more than that. I really like
this film's irreverence and strangeness - it takes one into Twin Peaks territory but
as part of a cart wheeling knickers show of back-of-the-class mischief.
DVD extras: in-depth interview with Kitano, alternative sleeve designs,
filmography, theatrical trailer, stills gallery and artwork.