Tag Archives: yakuza

Black Rain (1989)

Director: Ridley Scott Starring: Michael Douglas, Andy Garcia, Ken Kakakura, Yusake Matsuda, Kate Capshaw, Tomisaburo Wakayama. USA. 2h 5m

Michael Douglas travels to Japan with a deadly crazy Yakuza criminal, accidently releases him to his gang but then proceeds to school the Japanese Police department!? Only in the 80’s would this have worked and only Ridley Scott would have been able to make it work so well.

It can’t be ignored that the film feels half homage to at least 3 of the greatest names in Japanese Cinema, as the two cultures class, , Ken Kakakura, Yusake Matsuda, and the badass Tomisaburo Wakayama, who play both good and evil characters throughout the film. Ken is the attentive Asst. Insp. Matsumoto, who spends his time chasing around a fiesty Douglas and Garcia, partly babysitting them and taking a lot of flak from them. There is one beautiful drunken scene in a karaoke bar when the three men finally let their guards down and realise they are on the same side but cultural differences and career prospects are all that are keeping them on slightly different paths throughout this cat and mouse chase. The legend who was the Lone Wolf and Zatiochi respectively is just a highly respected gangster but his inclusion in this stylistic movie can’t go unnoticed, and most heartbreakingly this would be the final film of cult classic actor Yusake Matsuda, who knowingly went into the project with a serious cancer diagnosis, and in order to be ferocious for his role, refused to take any medication, shortening his chances of recovering even more.

Continue reading Black Rain (1989)

Hatsukoi / First Love (2019)

Director: Takashi Miike Starring: Masataka Kubota, Nao Omori, Shota Sometani, Jun Murakami, Sansei Shiomi, Masaaki Uchno .Japan. 1h 48m

A strangely beautiful and violent thriller from cult classic director Miike, who, in recent years has slowed down and mellowed a little but swinging back with this sophisticated drama with slick fighting scenes and the odd touches of animation and quirkness really elevates an already brilliant story that’s acted out to perfection.

Miikes track record of outlandish movies really made a huge impact, and after a short stint of re rebooting iconic Japanese cinematic pieces such as Seven Samurai and Hara Kiri, his approach to bigger and bolder cinema has been fine tuned. This charming little piece follows Leo, an emerging boxer who is facing the darkest chapter of his life after he passes out in the ring and his doctor warns him that he might have a brain tumor. On his way home he rescues a screaming woman who’s being chased by an unknown man and the two catch feelings.

Continue reading Hatsukoi / First Love (2019)

Tokyo Horror Movies (2012)

Director: Kazuto Kodama
Starring:?.Japan. 1h 4m

This collection of unrelated creepy tales seems to have been a for runner for the popular V/H/S series (despite them being released in the same year) This Japanese collection just feels like a raw pre runner to the more polished American effort, but as per usual the raw unabridged versions always have that curious edge to them, and like time and time before, Japan finds a new way to creep out the cinematic world.

A team has painstakingly recovered and viewed a number of home\hand made movies accidentally capturing spooky events, but they don’t leave it there, they track down the stories behind each video trying to get to the bottom of the mystery. Continue reading Tokyo Horror Movies (2012)

Brother (2000)

Director: Takeshi Kitano.
Starring. Takeshi Kitano,Omar Epps,Claude Maki,Tetsuya Watari USA/Japan/France/UK. 1h 44m.

I’ll start my review by saying that I adore everything about this quirky film, even the bad bits, so buckle up for a fangirl review of what is commonly thought of as a bad movie.

It’s never easy when a foreign director attempts to break into different cinematic style, for me John Woo totally struggled with his western movies, Jean-Pierre Jeunet didn’t get much applause for Alien Resurrection but was made a god for any of his French movies, (it goes both ways) and Kitano seemed to have been lost in translation while still maintaining his signature cool style, and I think he made a wise choice in starring in the movie to try and hold on to whatever he could from his previous great titles. One of Kitano’s strong facets is that you can kinda link his character throughout his movies, growing and becoming tougher and cooler each time, if you thought he reached his peak, you’ll be mistaken he’ll level up forever. Continue reading Brother (2000)