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Bunraku (2011)

Josh Hartnett , Woody Harrelson , Guy Moshe  |  R |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 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: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005F96URI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #53,535 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 18 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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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A meta-film about the art of movie production design November 28, 2011
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
[Review based on the theatrical release.] This is an fascinatingly stylized film that is as much about filmmaking itself as it is about its mythological, Joseph Campbell-esque plot. I was originally interested in it because of the involvement of Japanese singer/auteur Gackt, whose staged works I greatly admire. However, when I read the mainstream reviews, I went into the theater thinking than the film would be a disaster or even worse, a "so bad it's bad" bore.

Nothing could be further from the truth. I found the film engaging from beginning to end, with more visual information packed into the theatrically lit and staged frames than could possibly be absorbed in a single viewing. During the showing I didn't look at my watch once and I am not easily amused.

This film deserves to advance to "cult classic" status and is a film that deserves to be added to future film school curricula because of its success in using many of the devices of filmmaking and theater to create a visually consistent, entirely artificial world. I usually rent instead of buying, but this film is worth more than one watch, just to absorb more of the kaleidoscopic visuals.

If you love the "production design" aspect of filmmaking, this is a five-star movie. If you mostly care about story and a novel plotline, then call it 2 ˝ stars because there is little new in the plot. If you like a mythological story that is told in a way you have never seen before, then Bunraku is a solid four stars.
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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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
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 22 hours 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 12 days ago by Heather
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
good movie.
Published 17 days ago by Kevin D. Cashman
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great movie.
Published 29 days 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 1 month 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 1 month 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 1 month 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 2 months ago by CelesteEden
5.0 out of 5 stars I was not disappointed at all.
I love this movie. It was really good. Like someone else said, the first ten to fifteen minutes is kind of confusing but, ot starts to pick up and it gets a lot better. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Christine
5.0 out of 5 stars bunraku
Loved this movie. Very visually interesting. Kind of a cross between a kung fu movie and a western. Great characters, I would absolutely recommend it!
Published 5 months ago by helilisa
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