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Giants and Toys

Director:  Yasuzo Masumura
Year Released:  1958
Rating:  2.0

Three candy companies - World, Giant and Apollo - compete with each other to dominate the caramel candy market (?): the main player, the struggling World Caramel, comes up with a marketing campaign centered around space suits and a bitchy model with grotesque teeth (!?). The condemnation of capitalist business practices is the obvious point here - and one I am sympathetic with - but the movie is both hyperactive and heavy-handed, lacking any kind of finesse and subtlety. It goes fully over-the-top when the characters start coughing up blood because of either guilt or being overworked - after one executive suggests following the Code of the Samurai in showing mercy towards a competitor in crisis, he's immediately screamed at, he starts coughing up a storm and dismisses himself from the room. Or maybe that gory sputum is actually a side effect from consuming too much of the company's product, in which case I can fully understand exactly why sales are so low.

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