Sukiyaki Western Django
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Famed Japanese auteur Takashi Miike, best known for cult classics "Audition", "Ichi the Killer", and "The City of Lost Souls", redefines the spaghetti Western with SUKIYAKI WESTERN DJANGO, a tale written in blood. Two clans, Genji, the white clan led by Yoshitsune, and Heike, the red clan led by Kiyomori, battle for a legendary treasure hidden in a desolate mountain town. One day, a lone gunman, burdened with deep emotional scars but blessed with incredible shooting skills, drifts into town. Two clans try to woo the lone gunman to their sides, but he has ulterior motives. Dirty tricks, betrayal, desire and love collide as the situation erupts into a final, explosive showdown.
The prolific Takashi Miike co-wrote and directed this strikingly postmodern remake of Sergio Corbucci's 1966 Spaghetti Western, Django. The story is much the same, but the highly stylized fusion of Japanese gangsterism and operatic musings on the Western form makes for a wild and unexpected cult movie. Still, there is not much here beyond the film's relentlessly creative surface, making Sukiyaki a bit wearying. Feuding for centuries, the Genji and Heiki clans both arrive in a 19th century Nevada town, determined to find hidden treasure rumored to be there. In the midst of their fighting comes a solitary gunslinger (Hideaki Ito) courted by each clan to work for them. When he refuses, the cross-currents of betrayal and murder escalate, and hidden truths behind at least one tragedy, and the real identity of an unlikely shooter, come to the surface. The film's energy, dynamic camerawork and almost tongue-in-cheek performances are fun and admirable, and Miike has a fascinating sense of composition. The story gets a little soft just past the halfway point and Miike attempts to fill the void with exhausting new ways of filming bloody mayhem for its own sake. Quentin Tarantino has a small role as a mystery man with a link to these events. --Tom Keogh
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I thought this was a decent movie - nothing great, but nothing terrible. Overall I'd normally give it a 3.5/5 stars. Problem is - there are problems!
The Blu-Ray version cuts a bit over 20 minutes from the original cut - disappointing!
Video is a bit iffy - some scenes look GREAT, some are so highly-stylized that they're hard to judge (I'm a huge fan of saturation, fast cuts and cross processing, but this took it to a whole new level, even outdoing Domino [Blu-ray]. Overall I'd give it about a 4/5 because there is a lot of detail.. you just can't really tell in the stylized scenes.
Audio was good too - no DTS, but a nice mix.
Subtitles, which I usually don't care about, would have been great. The movie uses japanese actors speaking english so it's hard to understand at times -- the only subtitles included (for english at least) are "closed captions" that write out any sound effects on the screen for you.
The extras are pretty light, but whats on there is good - the Behind the Scenes runs nearly an hour.
I picked this up at a bargain, so I wasn't too disappointed. It was a fun movie that I might watch again sometimes. Pick it up at a discount and you might like it!
My only negative comment about this movie is Quentin Tarantino's appearance - totally unnecessary, and decreased my enjoyment of the movie overall.
Most recent customer reviews
Rating = ***
Director: Takashi Miike
Producers: Nobuyuki Tohya et al.Read more