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Unforgiven (2013)

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It’s nice to see some turn about being fair play in Lee Sang Il’s Japanese remake of Clint Eastwood’s 1992 cowboy eulogy, The Unforgiven, and in some historical sense it is in fact satisfyingly apt. The samurai period film and the American western have a long history of inter-relatedness, both thematically and as a matter of record. In 1954, inspired by the early films of American western directors like Howard Hawks and John Ford, Akira Kurosawa made what is … (read more)

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Negotiator Mashita Masayoshi (2005)

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Surprisingly perhaps, Negotiator Mashita Masayoshi is a good film. I say surprisingly, because I am of the long held and regularly confirmed opinion that Japanese action films don’t really know how to be truly good. Cult, yes. Cool and crazy and somewhat quirky, sure. But there’s either too much comedy, or not enough. Or they take themselves too seriously, or they wouldn’t know serious if it hit them with a stick, or the characters are too one-dimensional, or the acting … (read more)

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