Blog Archives

Azumi (2003)

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Ryuhei Kitamura. He’s no Kurosawa, but if his name isn’t household in another year or so, this reviewer will be forced to reconsider the definition of ‘hot’. He’s got all the bloody panache of a sword-wielding Sam Raimi, he’s a pop cult poster boy, and the best thing about him, all that talent and he’s not afraid to use it.

And he isn’t apologetic about it either.

Based on a 25-part manga series, Azumi, as Kitamura’s first truly mainstream … (read more)

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Versus (2000)

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Ryuhei Kitamura’s Versus is a frenetic, low budget, deliberately B-grade mix of some of the coolest movie madness you are ever likely to see. Passionate about films of the 70’s and 80’s, like Dawn of the Dead, Evil Dead and Mad Max, and influenced by filmmakers such as James Cameron, John Carpenter and Sam Raimi, Kitamura is not only a walking advertisement, but an outspoken advocate for the Hollywood pre-CG action film. Which accounts a lot for the … (read more)

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Godzilla: Final Wars (2004)

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Many scale models of many cities died to make this film.

This grand finale of the long-running Godzilla series is directed by Kitamura (Azumi, Aragami, Versus). So you know not to expect a stuffy, self-important film like the recent Hollywood remake, which took itself far too seriously. No, Kitamura is a man with a robust sense of humour, and he’s made a movie that pokes fun at every cliche of every science fiction and monster movie … (read more)

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Aragami (2003)

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Aragami is absolutely vintage Kitamura. A small cast (of three, unless you count one who dies about two minutes into the film). An unfolding mystery. And a couple of surprise twists which will jolt a surprised laugh out of you.

This and 2LDK were made as part of a friendly competition between directors, and of course being a Kitamura fan I like this one best. It’s odd, though, because not much really happens. There’s talking, eating, fighting, more talking, more … (read more)

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