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Friday, April 29, 2011

13 Assassins' Director Takashi Miike Goes Old School...!

Unlike the anodyne action sequences of such recent sword fighting fare as “Sucker Punch,” this movie wasn’t created in a computer; the violence in this film feels real and raw. Unlike the spastic battle scenes in “Battle: Los Angeles,” this film doesn't feel like the cameraman was being chased by a bear. Instead "13 Assassins" has the sweep and grandeur of an old-school Akira Kurosawa samurai movie -- only with more blood. A lot more blood.
Miike is something of a legend among cult film aficionados. The insanely prolific director--he released eight, count 'em eight, feature films in 2002--has made movies of just about every genre under the sun, from thriller, to horror, to family comedy, to musical. And in the case of his 2002 movie "Happiness of the Katakuris," he managed to roll all of the above genres into one delirious work.
Yet Miike's reputation abroad rests primarily on two supremely disturbing movies. "Audition" and "Ichi the Killer," in different ways, are unhinged, surreal, and spectacularly violent. For the Toronto Film Festival premiere of "Ichi," publicists handed out barf bags. And, as someone who was in the audience, they were used.
"You can count the number of stunt horses in Japan on your hand," he lamented. "The challenge was getting horses and getting people who could wrangle them, and then of course, training the actors to ride them."

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