Sunday, January 31, 2010

01-27-10: An Eastern Western

D: Takashi Miike. S: Hideaki Ito, Masanobu Ando, Quentin Tarantino.

I find it most interesting that this would be one of the most comprehensible Miike films I've ever seen.   His films always leave you scratching your head wondering what it was you just saw.  Perhaps it's the fact that he must adapt to the conventions of the western genre.

A gunslinger arrives in town and steps into the middle of a war between two rival clans.

There are flourishes of Miike's sense of humor found throughout.   However, there was one thing that took me out of the movie.  Quentin Tarantino.  I love Quentin but his presence just stopped the film.  I didn't see some bad-ass gunslinger, I only saw Quentin.  When I think of Mr. Brown or Richard Gecko, I see the characters more than Quentin.  Here it just feels like a cameo that a friend wanted to give to him.

The other draw back is that the film is Miike's first English language film.  All characters speak in English.  This is fine except for the fact that everyone has an accent that can make it difficult to understand what people are saying.  I can only imagine how frustrating it would have been seeing it in the theatre.  I had to turn on the English subtitles.

It's definitely a more conventional Miike film which is probably why it was a bit underwhelming.   It was interesting to see Miike's take on the western genre, it's too bad he didn't let himself go like he does in his other films.

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