Blog Archives

Dead End Run (2003)

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Ishii Sogo is what I would call a Rorschach director: he makes films that are often as incomprehensible as those ink blots used in psychological testing, but which can tell a great deal about you by your reaction to them. It follows that Ishii’s films are not enjoyed by everyone, and can be lauded as ‘excellent fun’ or condemned as ‘weird and boring’.

As described in the synopsis, each sequence begins with a chase down an alley. After a little … (read more)

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Bright Future (2003)

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Everyone needs a goal in life, and that of Mamoru (played by the very tasty Asano Tadanobu) is to adapt his red medusa jellyfish to fresh water and set it free. A lovely goal, except for the fact that the things are highly poisonous, and he wants to liberate his in the waterways of Tokyo.

But despite what the director says, this is not a monster film. There are no giant red jellyfish lurching out of the canals to menace … (read more)

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Zatoichi (2003)

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I am not a critic. I am a reviewer.

(It’s a line I’ve nicked off an article Steven Grant (an American comic book writer) once wrote in one of his forums. It being applicable, I thought I’d use it for myself.)

So why the distinction and why now? Well, the thing with being a reviewer is that all I really do is fulfil a consumer role — I basically recommend whether something is worth seeing or not. I’m not really … (read more)

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Taboo (Gohatto) (1999)

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There are two main reasons you might want to watch Taboo:

  • You enjoy watching some sword-wielding samurai action;
  • You like looking at beautiful young Japanese men.
  • On both those counts, Taboo is bound to satisfy. The samurai swordplay has the plenitude of droopy pants, flashing blades, and stern-faced shouting that one requires of a samurai flick, while the two young leads are, and I shall put it mildly in order not to be confined to quarters for a week, … (read more)

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