Movie of the Day – 13 Assassins

Takashi Miike is a lot of things, well actually one thing and that is the visceral director of some of the most insane and disturbing films to come out of the era of V-cinema and Japanese filmmaking.  A man who puts to film some depraved things like Visitor Q, Izo, Dead or Alive and Ichi The Killer.  If you have never seen any of his films, they are hard to watch but there is no denying the sheer boundaries that have been pushed by his filmmaking.  Titillating and thought provoking, his films have a unique style that I admire as a fan of film.  But seeing him take on more complicated projections and properties is something that can only lead to a certain cinematic style that Miike can bring.  Tackling a remake of the 1963 film of the same name is a tall order, but there is no denying that his intensity will be carefully transposed on the film that plays fast with a loose historical affiliation and one of the most intense third acts in film history.

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Movie of the Day – Drawing Restraint 9

Well, I wasn’t certain if I was going to honestly talk about this movie, much less dive into the abstract world of these visual, performance art movies.  Matthew Barney’s work is abstract, somewhat reflecting on his ego as an artist (again my opinion), grandiose, but truly captivating in this weird, enthralling way.  If you aren’t familiar with his work, check out the Cremaster Cycle, a series of his work that all blends together, each tied to one another with this over-arching theme.  It’s wonderful, weird, and certainly something to behold.  What got me to see this movie in particular is the soundtrack by Bjork and most notably the song Storm which is what plays in the trailer.  Combined with the imagery in the initial trailer and this haunting song, I had to see it.

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Movie of the Day – Hausu

I got to thank that Alamo Drafthouse KC for this wonderful piece of filmmaking.  Hausu or House, was part of their unique programming at the Drafthouse and since I am a slave to their theater, I just had to see a movie that was described to me as indescribable.  I went and I don’t know what the hell happened in that movie.  I am even watching the trailer again and again and I still am not certain what really went down.  I mean…wah?

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Movie of the Day – Versus

I seriously don’t know what to make of this movie other than it is all about zombie ass kicking.  I was first clued into this movie when a friend managed to get a bootleg copy of this film from the UK because it wasn’t available here in America.  I didn’t know what to expect and the story in the movie is something akin to a ridiculous level of disbelief and understanding.  Personally I didn’t care for the lack of story, but what interested me was the action and premise.  This is without a doubt, a coke binge of action, zombies, mobsters, gun play and sword fighting.

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Movie of the Day – 13 Assassins

Takashi Miike is a lot of things, well actually one thing and that is the visceral director of some of the most insane and disturbing films to come out of the era of V-cinema and Japanese filmmaking.  A man who puts to film some depraved things like Visitor Q, Izo, Dead or Alive and Ichi The Killer.  If you have never seen any of his films, they are hard to watch but there is no denying the sheer boundaries that have been pushed by his filmmaking.  Titillating and thought provoking, his films have a unique style that I admire as a fan of film.  But seeing him take on more complicated projections and properties is something that can only lead to a certain cinematic style that Miike can bring.  Tackling a remake of the 1963 film of the same name is a tall order, but there is no denying that his intensity will be carefully transposed on the film that plays fast with a loose historical affiliation and one of the most intense third acts in film history.

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Movie of the Day – Suicide Club

Seriously Japan, what the hell?  It never ceases to amaze me what sort of films come out of the Island of Japan.  Typically we usually get the fanfare of scary movies that deal with creepy pale women or children with hair covering their faces, though sometimes we do get a film that this both frightening not only because of the imagery, but because of the message it is trying to say.  Japan has always had this way with controversy and the film Suicide Club seems to court that controversy with a badge of honor.  Suicide Club takes a sledgehammer to your chest and gets you to pay attention, either with morbid curiosity or an analyzing eye of subtext, to a film that is screaming to be talked about.

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Documentary of the Day – The Cove

We have all seen or heard about the the whale conservationists that are out there stopping Japanese whalers from carrying on, what some see as, a barbaric tradition which has no valued outcome.  I am not one to be trumpeting the side of eco-conservationists or running out to join Greenpeace, but there is a bit of merit to be had with their cause, even if arrogance seems to prevalent amongst those that take part in the movement.  While the Japanese Whalers are under the limelight for their practices, a tradition that has been going on for decades has taken place without little upheaval.

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Movie of the Day – Lust, Caution

Time for sexy spy, thriller, Asian film, which I am certain that statement has filled some niche fetish out there, but I am talking about a classy sexy spy thriller.  Lust, Caution is another phenomenal from Ang Lee (Brokeback Mountain) that is both a historical, period piece and also a finely tuned spy thriller.  The film though is more so remembered for the controversy that it courted as it was rated NC-17 for explicit sex scenes.  Sadly this movie will be remembered for that fact rather than the beautiful acting and engaging story.  It’s weird that if you bring up this film, the sex scenes are probably the only thing that people will recall if they have heard of the movie.  What the fuck is the deal with people being hung up about a little acrobatic sex in movies?  Well I want to do this film justice and also talk about the sex scenes for some additional page views.

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Movie of the Day – Tokyo Zombie

I am at a loss for words with this movie.  It has zombies, which is a good thing, even if they are being bashed over the head (HA PUN) of the consumer public and then the typical wackiness that  is Japanese cinema.  If you combine the two items together, you just get a wacky Japanese zombie flick.  What sets it apart from the typical fast moving, ominous horde of the undead in movies, is that this is a just an offbeat comedy about two friends looking to save the country of Japan with the power of zombie killing jujitsu.  I know it sounds ridiculous that it is the fighting style tat Steven Seagal would use on a daily basis, but you got to hand it to Japan for taking the genre and making it weird.

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Movie of the Day – Tokyo Godfathers

While most of my holiday posts have been about the absurdity of Christmas, either from terrorists or being held hostage, I am not a Scrooge when it comes to Christmas movies.  I do have a soft spot for the holiday and I hope that today’s post proves that.  Christmas is about coming together, basking in the essence of life and joy and all the while being a family, whether with strangers or loved ones.  Tokyo Godfathers is one of more heartwarming tales of family and the unexpected gifts and ties that happen in our lives.  While not truly a Christmas movie, it holds true to the themes of the holiday and offers a compelling story that  has far more weight than the typical, formulaic Christmas movies that are out there.

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