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Bunraku (2011)

Josh Hartnett , Woody Harrelson , Guy Moshe  |  R |  DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Josh Hartnett, Woody Harrelson, GACKT, Kevin McKidd, Ron Perlman
  • Directors: Guy Moshe
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Arc Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: November 1, 2011
  • Run Time: 124 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005F96URI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #62,868 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

A mysterious drifter (Josh Hartnett) and a young Japanese Warrior Yoshi (Gackt) both arrive in a town that has been terrorized by outrageous and virulent criminals. Each is obsessed with his seperate mission, and guided by the wisdom of The Bartender (Woody Harrelson) at the Horseless Horseman Saloon, the two eventually join forces to bring down the corrupt and contemptuous reign of Nicola (Ron Perlman), the awesomely evil woodcutter and his lady Alexandra (Demi Moore), a femme fatale with a secret past.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
This appears to be another take on genre-crossing in a genre-style movie. Previous examples include the wildly successful Sin City movies, popular western splices like The Good The Bad and The Weird and The Warrior's Way, and the stillborn Sucker Punch. But all these movies were well-advertised and wide theatrical releases (in Asia, at least, for The Good The Bad and The Weird). Should I approach this lack of advertising as a snake's rattle and keep my expectations low? When I stumbled across this I thought "This movie features Josh Hartnett, Demi Moore, Ron Perlman, Woody Harrelson and Kevin McKidd, and I had never heard of it or saw a trailer. How does that happen? Is this a weird little gem waiting to be discovered, or an utter Sucker Punch tragedy?"

The opening credits are cleverly presented during an animated story background. The style was much like that of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One or Hellboy 2: The Golden Army. When moviemakers really care about a movie, they make an effort to have the opening credits "affect" the viewer somehow. Even if it's only music over a black screen, moods are set and pace is foreshadowed. I've commented on the great opening credits of The Good The Bad and The Weird, and that movie was awesome. This made for a promising start.

In this perhaps futuristic world guns have somehow been banned, making way for a resurgence in swordsmanship and a feudal yakuza-esque gang culture. A young, Doc Holidayish brawler (Hartnett) and a swordless samurai team up to exact their revenge against the ruthless king of the hill, "The Woodsman" (Perlman). To do so, they must kill their way through leagues of henchman and his nine right hand men, one of which is played by a sleek Kevin McKidd.

This film is VERY stylistic.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Amazing! October 6, 2011
Just your basic noir, German Expressionist, samurai comicbook-come-to-life kind of movie - but absolutely incredible. If there ever was a wall between live action and animated movies, it's gone now. Clever animated interludes separate each big sequence from the next, but the artwork stays on in the skies and backgrounds of the live action. Even the supposedly photographic sequences have been color-shifted and manipulated into brilliant hues and moody darks - eye-popping chromatics keep the viewer visually entertained to the end. Then, there are visual references to more classic films than I can hope to name, including an apparent reference to Dr. Strangelove on one motorcycle's license plate. But, if you're looking for action, wonderfully choreographed comedic fight scenes approach Jackie Chan's best.

Plot? Motivation? Characterization? Well, not so much, but let's not dwell on that. The visual spectacle makes this worthwhile.

-- wiredweird, reviewing the release to theaters
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
"Revenge is an act of style." When a man (Hartnett) bent on revenge come to a city he finds what he is looking for. He begins fighting his way through nine very different and very deadly assassins on his way to the one he want. This is another movie that really surprised me as to how good it was. Having never seen a preview or even really heard about it I had no idea what to expect. While the movie is not that original it takes from many different types of movies and blends them together in a very interesting and exciting way. Some aspects have been taken from "Scott Pilgrim vs The World", "Kill Bill" and "Sin City" just to name a few. This is more like "Sin City" then the others in the style that it uses and the "comic-booky" feel that it has. The fighting is great, and is refreshing to see an action movie that doesn't rely on guns to make it fun. The cast is great and the movie is very fun, very much worth your time. The only thing that bothered me is that it didn't need to be two hours long. They could have cut at least 15-20 min out and had it move at a more exciting pace. Other then that I really enjoyed this. Overall, a very entertaining way to spend your time and money. I give it a B.

Would I watch again? - I don't think so *Also try - Sin City & Tekken
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good start... August 30, 2012
This movie began its journey slowly, making it through production but having a time of getting distribution. When it finally did, the anticipation was high. It looked so good.

Unfortunately, the execution couldn't entirely live up to the anticipation. I won't say this is a bad movie. It was entertaining, had some nice lines and okay fight sequences. The real appeal is in watching the execution of a very eclectic and risky style of filmmaking. In attempting to pay homage while also reinterpreting the artistic and narrative style of bunraku puppetry, the filmmaker created an ambitious project. I've read complaints from viewers about the sparse, flat backgrounds of this film. I thought, given the style they attempt to emulate, they were wonderful. The pop-up book approach to transitions was executed with grace. The color palate of the film, while a bit too dichotomous for my tastes, is sharp and functional as it represents the two opposing forces (oppression and rebellion) and opposing styles of the main characters (old west and samurai).

While the inconsistent nods to classic American musical cinema puts some people off, I found it entertaining. I don't feel it was used in sufficient amounts though. It needed to be played up more, like Kung Fu Hustle, or down into a subtle nuance of Killer #2's fighting style. As it stands, it feels uneven, most likely due to its uneven application throught the film. It is either in your face or not there at all.

I enjoyed the acting, simplistic as it was. I don't believe that Josh Hartnett's approach to the cowboy needed a dynamic drama to him, nor did Ron Perlman's Woodcutter. I will say, however, that Woodcutter had my favorite scene in the film when he philosophizes about the need for a costume with Killer #2.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
One of the most entertaining action movies that I have seen in a long time.
Published 2 months ago by Arne Stokke
1.0 out of 5 stars Save your money & time
Visually interesting but that's where it ends. Not a single character is sympathetic. The concept is as paper thin as the papercraft to which Woody Harrellson perpetually alludes. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Ken Applebaum
5.0 out of 5 stars Graphic Novel comes life
I love this movie. It's like watching a Graphic Novel come to life. The sets are incredible and the acting is not campy. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Bargaineer
4.0 out of 5 stars An amazing Movie!
I didn't know what to expect. I didn't look into what it was about before getting it, I got it SOLEY based on the fact that Gackt is in it. I was not disappointed whatsoever! Read more
Published 3 months ago by Heather
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
good movie.
Published 3 months ago by Kevin Cashman
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great movie.
Published 3 months ago by Anthony Powell
4.0 out of 5 stars I wish I could give this movie *3 & 1/2* Stars...
But since I can not do that on Amazon, I figured what the heck and gave the movie *4* stars!!!
I thought the movie was unique in its presentation, on par with Sin City. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Robert Pylant
4.0 out of 5 stars Ambitious, flawed, ultimately entertaining
Genre bending films usually tilt on how well the genres are mixed: is it a muddle, or a tribute to every part? Read more
Published 4 months ago by RL
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome movie!
First off, the cast is marvelous (especially Gackt, how gorgeous is he?). Josh Hartnett and Gackt had wonderful chemistry together in this movie. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Marie Gibson
5.0 out of 5 stars Very cute movie
Rented this on a whim from redbox. It's done in a very unique style that is very reminiscent of the style of Japanese puppetry the film is named after. I liked it a lot. Read more
Published 4 months ago by CelesteEden
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