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Downrange (2017)

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Like so many Asian directorial superstars before him (mostly in genre films), Kitamura Ryuhei has kind of gone Hollywood — or at he’s least tried to. In his defence, he’s doing better than most. Not quite as well as Oscar-winner Ang Lee, but not yet reduced to hired gun on B-grade schlock à la Ringo Lam (sad trombone sound). Still best known for Versus and Godzilla: Final Wars, Kitamura’s third English-language film (after Midnight Meat Train and No One (read more)

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Lupin III (2014)

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Art thief adventure series Lupin III and frenetic cult director Ryuhei Kitamura (Godzilla: Final WarsVersus) seems like it could be a match made in heaven. Kitamura is known for his energetic, reality defying, somewhat gaggy but exceedingly enjoyable action movies, and Lupin is known for his energetic, law-enforcement defying, seemingly impossible but somehow charming art heists. The combination in this 2014 live action movie makes for a moderately fun crime thriller that is never too serious … (read more)

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Alive (2002)

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After the refreshingly b-grade brilliance of Versus, I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who wondered just what director Ryuhei Kitamura would do next, and whether he wasn’t merely a flash in the pan filmmaker. Released two years after Versus, Alive, Kitamura’s second feature length film, is a sci-fi thriller based on a seinen (guy’s) manga series by Tsutomu Takahashi, and it proves one thing at least resoundingly, or perhaps two – Kitamura is no one-hit-wonder, and … (read more)

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