Must See: 13 ASSASSINS
I just read yet another 10 best films of 2010 blog, this time on Twitch, and 13 Assassins is top of the list again. God Dammit, why haven’t I watched this yet? I even have it and for some reason I’ve not viewed yet. I’m totally slipping is my only conclusion. Samurai epics are my fav and yet I’ve still not gotten around to it.
Here’s what the review over at twitch says about the flick:
1. 13 ASSASSINS
I love nothing more than an epically staged and classically told tale of honour, courage, retribution and redemption and there are few genres that can handle these themes more adeptly than that of the samurai film. On hearing that Miike Takeshi was mounting a remake of Kudo Eiichi’s 1963 film 13 ASSASSINS I was intrigued, if not immediately overwhelmed with excitement for the project. The prolific director of such cult favorites as AUDITION and ICHI THE KILLER had never really ventured into this genre before and his most recent output, dividing his time between the adolescent CROWS ZERO brawling flicks and teeth-gratingly obnoxious kids’ fare like YATTERMAN, had left me cold, to say the least. I could not be more pleased to discover therefore, that his version of 13 ASSASSINS not only shows a maturity and sense of the classical that his work has never even hinted at in the past, but that the film itself could be declared a classic of the genre and quite possibly the best samurai film since Yamada Yoji's THE TWILIGHT SAMURAI from 2002.
When the Shogun dies and it appears his psychotic brother is set to take over the kingdom, a number of high-level government officials secretly engineer an assassination attempt, for the greater good. The film spends nearly an hour gathering its players together for the mission ahead, including a number of old favourites such as the washed up, retiring warrior, the cock-sure young try-hard, the desperate impoverished samurai who has no choice if he is to put food on the table again, and fans of everything from Kurosawa’s SEVEN SAMURAI to Soderbergh OCEAN’S 11 will revel in witnessing these genre staples being adhered to so lovingly. The second half of the film, however, erupts into an orgy of orchestrated violence, as the assassins lay siege to the shogun and his hugely superior entourage as they pass through a small hillside town. Every character is given his moment to shine, and as the heroes inevitably begin to fall, Miike inspires genuine compassion from his audience, as well as dazzling them with an unstoppable barrage of wonderfully conceived set pieces. No other film in 2010 surprised or delighted me as much as this one, and for that it is officially my favorite film of the year.
Lonewolf and Cub. A Mighty Duo
Vagabond by Takehiko Inoue
SWORD DANCE AND SHADOWGRAPH.
Japanese film and stage actor Taichi Saotome battles some fierce shadows in this incredible live performance of “Dragon and Peony.”
Toshiro Mifune = The first legit bad ass.
Taken from Skottie Scott Website.
So here’s the plan: I’ll be producing a signed and numbered edition of 20 prints of the color image, sized 8” x 10” on fine art paper. $100 + $6 US ($15 international). E-MAIL and I’ll print and distribute the prints asap. These are already half-reserved, so drop me a line ASAP if you’d like one so we can get the funds into the right hands…the hands of the people that really need it.
Thanks so much if you decide you’d like to help, it’ll be nice to be able to get this money to the relief workers to help our friends abroad. Your $100 will be passed along to the Red Cross.
XombieDIRGE: I’ve already purchased one, so I thought I would pass it on and get the word out a little further if I can.