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The City of Lost Souls

18 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Teah, Michelle Reis, Kôji Kikkawa, Mitsuhiro Oikawa, Patricia Manterola
  • Directors: Takashi Miike
  • Writers: Ichiro Ryu, Seishu Hase
  • Producers: Hiroshi Yamamoto, Kazunari Hashiguchi, Toshiki Kimura, Tsutomu Tsuchikawa, Yasuyoshi Tokuma
  • Format: Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Tai Seng
  • DVD Release Date: December 4, 2001
  • Run Time: 102 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005RYA2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #390,468 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The City of Lost Souls" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Wheelchair Assassin on October 21, 2004
Format: DVD
It seems that when people in the know discuss Takashi Miike, it's not long before the name Quentin Tarantino comes up. That comparison is certainly not inapt, as Miike shares Tarantino's gift for showing viewers a world in which conventional notions of law and morality are virtually nonexistent. That said, "City of Lost Souls" is the work of a visual stylist who clearly stands on his own abilities. As one would expect from the guy who made the action classic "Dead or Alive," "City of Lost Souls" explores a dark underside of Japanese life filled with unsavory characters and violent happenings. Also like "Dead or Alive," the movie explores (though admittedly not in much depth) the interactions of different peoples in Japanese soceity, in this case the Japanese, the Chinese, and Brazilians. Perhaps most notable, though, is the presence of a high level of bizarre and even surreal elements that set Miike well apart from the action-movie pack. Of course, it's all filmed in Miike's skewed, frenetic style, which makes the movie distinctive enough on its own.

The plot, to the extent that one exists, centers around Mario and Kei, one of the more unlikely couples you'll see in a movie. Mario is a deadly Brazilian criminal who opens the movie by shooting up a bar in his home country; Kei is an absurdly gorgeous apprentice hairdresser who starts the movie on a bus waiting to be deported to her native China. That all changes, though, when Mario stages a dramatic rescue involving an assault rifle and a commandeered helicopter. While the relationsip of Kei and Mario clearly takes center stage here, it's equally clear early on that this is no ordinary love story.

It's after that rescue scene that things start to get a little complicated.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Henry Platte on March 15, 2004
Format: DVD
At the risk of sounding very pretentious, I think that some of the negative reviews miss the point of the film. First of all, I agree that the action sequences are excellent, but there is another dimension here. This is not a conventional action movie; it is about desperate, lonely people looking for a sense of place. They behave so recklessly not because of courage but out of desperation. Even Fushimi, one of the only main characters who is not an expatriate, is tortured by a sense of Japan's waning nationalism. Overall, I think it's an outstanding movie: stylish, smart and not entirely without depth. And the 'play ping-pong?' scene surely deserves a place in the modern cinema pantheon along with the laser scene in 'Goldfinger.'
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Paul Kath on June 25, 2004
Format: DVD
To me this would be the most overlooked Takashi Miike film. Or to say that's it's more overlooked of his region-1 DVD releases.
This film is nothing like i've ever seen done. It takes multiple languages/cultures and clashes them in a funny, violent and all around fun film. The characters are kinda cartoonish but they all have a dark edge to them. The lead man Mario (played by japanese-brazilian porno star Teah) barely speaks thoughout the film but he has some sorta superhuman edge to him. The story here is that Mario just got outta jail and his woman Kei is risking deportation so after crashing the deportation bus and killing a few people he gets Kei, not before they envelop a plan to rip off some coke from a yakuza/triad/russian mob connection. Yeah it's confusing but easy to follow. The soundtrack is awesome, with some punkish tunes to fit the mood and more mellow songs to fit that mood. It all works well. There is violence, and lots of it, a few quick but awesome shootouts and some bloodier goings on but not as brutal as other Miike films (DOA for one). The acting is good, but like I said it's a bit cartoonish and over-the-top at times. The ending is well.... A letdown in terms of quality. But this is still a great film, with lotsa style (a CG chicken cockfight for one term), humor (a midget, slapstick humor) and just plain fun.
Recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amanda on January 12, 2003
Format: DVD
I've been exploring the works of Miike since first stumbling upon "Audition" back when it hit the art house theater circuits over a year or so ago, and while that movie still seems to be his plot-driven-film climax, "City Of Lost Souls" has turned out to be the most entertaining and re-watchable Miike movie to come out of my viewings. Plot, violence, tenderness, action, it all seems quite balanced in this one, and the ending is something I never even saw coming, and was a wee bit angry at for a split-second, yet after thinking on it, I really could accept it. Overall, quite enjoyable and involving, my favorite Miike to date.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Brent Figiel on January 12, 2003
Format: DVD
Anyone familiar with the work of Japanese director Takishi Miike knows that his movies have a distinct tendency to take you off of the fence and force you to make a concrete decision: namely, "I dig this movie" or "I hate this movie." ("Audition" and "Visitor Q" being perfect examples.)
While many people would dismiss this as plotless, violent trash there are deeper themes afoot to those who care to look.
The plot itself is a convoluted mess about a monosyllibic Brazilian/Japanese thug named Mario (played with nihilistic cool by Teah) and his gorgeous Chinese lover, Kei (Michele Reis) who rob the Chinese mafia (led by the ping pong loving, effeminate gangster Ko) and the Yakuza (fronted by the brutish, ultra-violent kingpin, Fushimi) during a drug deal in order to get cash the flee the country with. Things go awry, as they're wont to do in these kinds of movies. Mayhem insues.
However, the real story isn't the story at all. It's pretty much a mashed up collage of violent imagery. There's also a massive absurdist streak (CGI cockfighting with the birds pulling off Matrix-style moves) and an evil sense of humor (one of Fushimi's poor victims gets beaten to a pulp, lit on fire and then run over with a car). The characters pose and posture, the dialogue is minimal, and the scenes are shot with a hyper-kinetic verve. Imagine Guy Ritchie's "Snatch" or Tarentino's "Pulp Fiction" on cheap drugs and you're off to a good start.
The movie breezes through 100 minutes like it was half of that and leaves you with an ending that will initially leave many people scratching their heads. "What was the point of that?" And perhaps that's the ultimate point.
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