Blog Archives

Shield of Straw (2013)

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Shield of Straw is the closest thing to a Hollywood blockbuster that prolific director Takashi Miike has ever made. Working with a large budget, Miike has created something big, bold and at times beautiful. Unfortunately, like many Hollywood films, Shield of Straw also suffers from issues of implausibility and often it simply feels overblown.

When the granddaughter of a wealthy man is brutally assaulted and murdered, he offers one billion yen to anyone who kills the alleged perpetrator, a known … (read more)

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Ace Attorney (2012)

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Regular visitors to our website would know that we just love Takashi Miike. And why wouldn’t you? From his early crazy films like Ichi the Killer and Gozu, to commercial films like Crows Zero and Ninja Kids!!!, to the more recent critically acclaimed films like 13 Assassins and Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai, he has just proven himself to be one of the most prolific, imaginative and skillful directors working in the world today. Just how many … (read more)

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13 Assassins (2010)

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13 Assassins begins with a man committing seppuku. He preformed this act to bring attention to Lord Naritsugu a somewhat vile and sadistic man. This will not be the only bloody death before this tale ends.
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Yatterman (2009)

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Years ago, I saw Takashi Miike’s Gozu. When the film finished a certain reviewer behind me laughed for about a minute, then drew breath and exclaimed “What the f*ck was that all about?”

That’s Miike for you. And so welcome to Yatterman, a film that’s kind of like inserting that weird popping candy into your eyeballs. But not, as it happens, a WTF flick for the right reasons.

Yatterman was originally a ’70s anime on the telly that … (read more)

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Crows Zero (2007)

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Another round of violence has broken out at Suzuran Boys’ High School in Japan. The school has now been turned into a battlefield, and for its students, their peer groups have become armies and classmates are now comrades.‘ No, this is not the latest news headlines on Heroic News. It is actually the setting for Takashi Miike’s hit movie Crows Zero, also known as Crows: Episode 0.

Crows Zero tells the story of the students at … (read more)

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Gozu (2003)

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Takashi Miike is a controversial filmmaker, and Gozu is one of his most controversial films to date. It was banned from cinemas, and yet it was invited to the Cannes Film Festival. It was loved by many, but others were disgusted by it. So, how did I find the viewing experience? Well, let me try and explain.

The story begins with the killing of a ‘Yakuza attack dog’ (more like an innocent cute little puppy) by Ozaki, a member of … (read more)

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Sukiyaki Western Django (2007)

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It’s no accident the cowboy and the masterless samurai are cinematic characters practically interchangeable in their native landscapes. The settling of the Americas and the breakdown of the Japanese feudal society were both frontiers, delineations into the brutal unknown where the individual ruled with right of might and lived by wits alone. The cowboy and the ronin both are forbidding, potentially dangerous and almost unreservedly tragic icons of independence in their respective worlds.

It is astride both these worlds that … (read more)

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MPD Psycho (2000)

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Psst, hey! Yeah, you. No, don’t turn around. I know what you’re looking for. You don’t want that mindless action, or no romcom. That’s kid stuff. Tame. You want something different. Something that’ll do your head in. You’re a connnoisseur. I can spot ’em a mile away. Come with me, nice and easy like, and I’ll satisfy your craving. I got the goods, me. Just you trust me, sunshine, and I’ll give you what you want.

MPD Psycho is another … (read more)

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