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Old 01.30.2011, 10:12 PM   #14081
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One thing I'd like to mention is that most yakuza films are DV now. Used to, they'd get theatrical releases and shit, but noiwadys, a STRAIGHT-UP hardcore yakuza film won't get you anywhere. So, the films I'm about to reccomend arent strictly, straight-up yakuza tales for the most part. But they are great.

And, yeah, SHARK SKIN MAN AND PEACH HIP GIRL is a damn good film of course.

But, yeah, I got some more...
 

PISTOL OPERA. Not a traditional yakuza film, it's about hitman/hitwomen fighting to be the # 1 assassin, moving their way up the yakuza ranks. The interesting thing about Japanese cinema like this and Gozu and such.. is how often you find yakuzas in different films. Here in America, you don't see gangster films (aside from the awful comedy MAFIA!... and Miller's Crossing is a bit unconventional, I guess) where the "gangsters" are in different types of movies. In Pistol Opera, you've got yakuzas fighting to be the # 1 assassin, in this surreal landscape, with explosive colors and shit. Just insane and awesome.


 

THE OUTRAGE... I mentioned it above, but I gotta say -- without any hesitation -- this is one of the finest and most engaging yakuza films ever made. Kitano is a master director, one of the best directors.. ever, and perhaps the most poetic and meditative director since Ozu (which is strange, since his films, thematically, couldn't be further from Ozu if he tried).

 

GLAMOROUS LIFE OF SACHIKO HANAI is a film with yakuza action, roleplay/cosplaying, George Bush, "pinku" (violent sex!), and it's just surreal, off the wall, and fucking hilarious.

 

YAKUZA IN LOVE - 1997. Very lonely, depressing, but moves fast. Bleak and awesome.
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Old 01.30.2011, 10:30 PM   #14082
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THE MISSION - Johnnie To is one of my favorite directors. He has made many yakuza movies.. if not yakuza, then films that have lots of violence, gangs, hitmen, and awesomeness. Some of his films are downright strange, but I'd say 90% of them are compelling and fun. FULLTIME KILLER is straight-up the best and by far the coolest action film since John Woo's "Killer" and "Hard Boilked" and "A Better Tomorrow". EXILED, VENGEANCE, ELECTION (which IS a hardcore yakuza film that strongly resmebles classic films in the genre, and really goes all out to explore the "dynamics", ie the inner workings, of the yakuz.. fascinating stuff), BREAKING NEWS (the first 8 minutes are down in one take, and it consists of LOTS of hardcore violence... definitely ranks up with the opening of SNAKES EYES and THE PLAYER, and.. uh.. all of ROPE and RUSSIAN ARK.. as the most mindblowing "single take shot" of all time), A HERO NEVER DIES, LONGEST NITE.. etc etc etc etc... all great. He has a filmography that is definitely worth exploring.

 

YOUNG YAKUZA - 2007! This is a DOCUMENTARY, and is shocking how much the notoriously-secretive yakuza left notoriously-polite people in notoriously-quiet Japan film. Great movie.

 

SPECIAL MIIKE AWARD - I mentioned Miike above, but lemme reiterate.. I've seen nearly 70 Miike films, last I checked, yet I'm not a big fan of him personally. I think he's kind of a hack. He doesn't write his own films, his movies are often sloppy, and I just flat-out don't like many of his movies. But you know what? I also happen to love quite a few of his films as well. Shock. Gasp! Yeah, IZO is my favorite, but that's a samurai film. Let me make a special mention of DEAD OR ALIVE 2. While in many many ways resembling Sonatine (one of Miike's favorite films -- he said Kitano is his favorite Japanese director next to Sogo Ishii), there is SO MUCH going on here that, well, it's definitely worth a watch. The opening and ending are pretty violent, but the middle has a lot of downtime.. very quiet, with the main yakuza toughguys putting on a child's play. This thing is just nutty, honestly. Miike's made lots of great yakuza films -- DEFINITELY his speciality, especially the BLACK SOCIETY TRILOGY (Ley Lines and Rainy Dog especially) and the 200 minute AGITATOR. DEADLY OUTLAW REKAH, FUDOH, CROWS ZERO, GUY FROM PARADISE, MAN IN WHITE, SABU, NEGOTIOTAR, the 185 minute FAMILY, GOZU (which is way too long and took me 4 watches to appreciate in any meaningful way), YAKUZA DEMON, and quite a few others are absolutely worth a look. DEAD OR ALIVE 1 is COMPLETELY different than the second one, btw, and is more of a quiet, slow, depressing little tale. DON'T WATCH DEAD OR ALIVE 3: FINAL THOUGH -- that is absolute garbage, and almsot seems purposely so (Miike has said he hates sequels.. even though he's made plenty of sequels by now). Most of Miike's films are skippable, and he only has a few that are great (BOX from 3 Extremes being another wonderful film), but DEAD OR ALIVE 2: BIRDS is absolutely one of the finest films ever made.

 

TOO MANY WAYS TO BE NO. 1 - saved the best for last (of this post). The director is friends with Johnnie To and is a huge fan of Kitano, and it shows, with this nutso, existentialist Japanese yakuza drama. The DIRECTION is insane, with some truely twisted angles.. at one point, everything goes black and you just hear sounds... another point, the scene is lit by all the gunfire.. at two different points, the camera spins upside down -- once after a long tracking shot in which someone bumps into the camera and konkcs it over and the camera follows around characters feet upside down from them on out as bodies fall over... blood constantly gets on the camera too.. I don't think the camera EVER stops moving.. it's almost like RUN LOLA RUN in that respect, as it has some of the most kinetic energy of any movie ever.. oh man this movie fucking rules. Check it out ASAP!
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Old 01.30.2011, 10:43 PM   #14083
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MADE IN HONG KONG
Fruit Chan's 1997 masterpiece isn't a "True" yakuza film, but they certainly appear. It's mainlyt about a guy who ... I don't want to ruin it, but he basically interacts with different people, and eventually becomes violent, after failing to save a very sick girl's life. This is one of my favorite films and is depressing as hell.


 

AS TEARS GO BY and FALLEN ANGELS... when it comes to pure unadulterated energetic directing and skill, there's really no one better behind a camera than Wong Kar Wai. This guy knows how to hold a camera. This guy knows how to film people -- he has a very Godardian artsiness to his stuff at times, but his style is truely original in most ways. These films are both unconventional, narratively and otherwise, but I reccoemend both GREATLY.You won't see many films better than FALLEN ANGELS.

 

THE REVENGE - As many of you know, KIYOSHI KUROSAWA is one of the most successful directors in the world, and has made many modern masterpieces: CURE, CHARISMA, DOPLLEGANGER, TOKYO SONATA, BRIGHT FUTURE, etc etc etc. He actually started out making yakuza films, and THE RENVEGE -- while hard to find -- is pretty awesome. It's about a cop whose entire family (!) is murdered by the yakuza, so the cop gets revenge. It's stylish, action packed, and unconventionally filmed, with a great atmosphere.

 

TOKYO EYES - I love these mid-90's Japanese films, when all these shoot outs happened inside of arcades with kids dancing in DDR machines and people palying Virtua Fighter. This isn't the best film by any means, but it has a certain look and atmosphere that makes it compelling. It's short and energetic and very spontaneous, worth a look.

I'm alway son the lookout for yakuza films, and any new Asian films in general. All the best films of the past 40 years have come from Asia (TETSUO, PASTORAL, MAN WHO STOLE THE SUN, HAUSU, FUNERAL PROCESSION OF ROSES, THE CAT, RIKIOH, etc etc etc). I've always got my eye on this stuff, so if I find anything else I'll let you know.
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Old 01.30.2011, 11:10 PM   #14084
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You think I'd like Glamorous Life? That Godard/Trey Parker + Matt Stone comparison is enticing.
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Old 01.31.2011, 02:12 AM   #14085
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Miike rules in my books, and I've only seen Audition and Ichi the Killer.

I gotta watch The Outrage. Its awesome the Japanese Blu-ray comes with english subs. Now, just to buy it.


Watched Air Doll, fantastic film of the sex doll that comes to life and is given a heart, to become somewhat of a real life human being. Jumped on this one instantly because of the soundtrack, scored by World's End Girlfriend. Loved it.
 
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Old 01.31.2011, 03:28 AM   #14086
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Miike rules in many people's books because they've only seen Ichi and Audition. Hah. I watched Audition again recently and actually kinda liked it. There is this one cool camera movement when the main female character comes on the scene, where the camera walks all the way across the room and stops just as the main character begins his interrogation. That scene is awesome. There is a lot of loneliness and depression in the film which I enjoyed. I find the film quite average, though. As for ichi, I also recently watched that for the first time in about 8 years, and I still feel it's a bit cold and hard to watch -- not because of the gore, just because there's not much for me to latch onto, as a viewer. I hate all the characters, and the film actually feels a bit confusing and disjointed, like they were more concerned with throwing violence on the screen. Despite being Asano's most well known role, it's probably my least favorite.

As for Miike's top 5, I'd say: 1. IZO, 2. DEAD OR ALIVE 2, 3. BLACK SOCIETY TRILOGY (3 films, true, but they're 3 of his best), 4. VISITOR Q, and 5. FUDOH. With HAPPINESS OF THE KATAKURIS being up there as well. It's interesting, I recently rewatched FUDOH and was BLOWN AWAY by it... for those who've seen HOSTEL 2, Eli Roth ripped off the "soccer kids playing soccer with a decapitated head" from it. Also..

SPOILER

isn't it neat how the film ends right as the two main characterrs are about to fight? What a great cop out ending!

END SPOILER


Miike is a competent director-for-hire. He's been involved in some interesting projects though.

Air Doll was one of the best Japanese films of 2009, definitely.
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Old 01.31.2011, 04:07 AM   #14087
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Wow thanks. I'm starting to wonder if there are more yakuza films than there are yakuza! Haha.

I'll start with The Outrage and work my way back from there.

Thanks Atsonic and Dr Eugene. I'd rep you both if I could.
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Old 01.31.2011, 05:02 AM   #14088
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the mechanic - 8/10

Caught the remake in theaters and thought it was a fun, competent action film, with Jason Statham playing the same role he always gets. If you get a chance to catch the 6/10 remake on television sometime, check it out, it's not on bad at all honestly. Not much to it, but I appreciate it not being too cheesy; when they kill a bad guy and the bad guy says "fuck you", they don't say "TIME TO WASH OUT THAT MOUTH SOAP.. MADE OF LEAD." or something fucking ridiculous. So there's that.

ANYWAY, decided to download the original. And it's damn good! It's action less, pretty much, for the first half. There's this great part where a woman kills herself in front of an uncaring Bronson. Really entertaining film.
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Old 01.31.2011, 11:16 AM   #14089
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deflinus

 

Arrghhahahaha!! That movie, years ago since last!



Thanks for that reminder.. O totally gotta see it again soon!
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Old 01.31.2011, 02:10 PM   #14090
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Old 01.31.2011, 02:51 PM   #14091
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Last week I laid in my bed in complete darkness with my $160 Sennheisers headphones, and I listened to the whole disc 1 of the Esper Edition of the Blade Runner soundtrack by Vangelis. Pure bliss. Blush Response favourite track hands down. Got to watch the movie again in full 1080p.
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Old 01.31.2011, 02:51 PM   #14092
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watched kick-ass.

i liked it, but could have been better.

the insistent voiceover about shit that we should be able to see instead of being told was annoying.

the beginning was also annoying, with the dude's over the top pathetic life.

but starting when hit girl comes in and says "ok cunts, let's see what you can do now", it got really funny.
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Old 01.31.2011, 03:43 PM   #14093
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Yeah, the thing is, KICK-ASS was by far the worst character. HIT GIRL was funny as hell and actually really awesome; I don't know a single person who didn't think she wasn't the main character already, really.
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Old 01.31.2011, 04:13 PM   #14094
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atsonicpark
Yeah, the thing is, KICK-ASS was by far the worst character. HIT GIRL was funny as hell and actually really awesome; I don't know a single person who didn't think she wasn't the main character already, really.

Absolutely. Hit Girl is to Kick-Ass what Bill the Butcher is to Gangs of New York
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Old 02.01.2011, 12:26 AM   #14095
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JUNO - 5/10

I've seen htis before but .. this is one of two movies I want to recut. You know those "recut movies" they upload to btjunkie and myspleen and shit? I want to recut BRINGING OUT THE DEAD... you know how Scorsese has that horrible habit of not having original scores, and instead, overstuffing his films with Rolling Stones and shit, songs that don't fit the atmosphere of his films. BRINGING OUT THE DEAD would be a masterpiece with a better soundtrack. There are a FEW moments of ghostly piano/haunting drone/super low strings on the score that sound incredible,m but most of the movie is dominated by classic rock shit. So, I want to recut the movie, and in the scenes where there's classic rock and no dialogue, I would replace the rock with drone. I'd also take out some of the scenes with classic rock playing in the background. I'd take out a few moments, like with Marc Anthony's luantic character, who is annoying yet soemhow gets more screentime than just about anybody else. I'd also insert even more music, change the look of the film a bit so it's a bit more decayed and nasty looking. It'd be a lot superior.

Uh, back to Juno....JENNIFER GARNER IS THE CREEPIEST FUCKING PERSON ALIVE!!!!!!!! It's proven in this fucking film. I want to recut this to make it a horror film. Just make the film weird reaction shots of her, reacting to shit Juno is doing, and have voiceovers of her saying "I CAN'T WAIT TO BE A MOTHER. I WAS BORN TO DO IT" in a low voice. I'll take out all the shitty pop music and make the shit droney as hell. I'll mainly focus on the negative moemnts in the film.. the stepmom smarting off to the nurse... Juno going "sonic youth SUCK, they're just NOISE!" After that, there'll be complete silence for about 30 seconds with just negative reaction shots from all the characters. I'll just make the whole film a lot darker, more mediative, and quieter./


...anyway.

Yeah, this film is "witty" and "hip" and "cutesy", everyone treating Juno good because she was pregnant, instead of smacking that bitch around. That's what would happen in real life -- "Watch your smartass mouth you idiot! You've ruined your life!" Also, Jennifer Garner's crazy ass would be locked up in real life. Her pedophile husband would be, too, though.

Creepy film. Michael Cera is horrible. God he is horrible. Which makes SCOTT PILGRIm all the more amazing, I love that fucking movie but jesus. That movie and Superbad both rock, but everything else kinda sucks, and he's ALWAYS horrible. Nick and Norah, Year One, Youth in Revolt, all shit shit shit. He sucks. What the hell?

 

mean girls 2 - ?!/10

Caught about 25 minutes of this on ABC. What I saw was about a 0/10. Strangely, the principle returned from the first one. What I saw was absolute garbage, big shock eh?

 

the maxx - 10/10

I guess I never realized how similiar XAVIER: RENEGADE ANGEL was to THE MAXX in parts. Both shows/movies feature a beast with undisclosed powers (though he is definitely powerful) wandering around, mainly deserted.. uh.. deserts,,, helping people but not really knowing how to, and usually creating distress for everyone they involve with, meanwhile caught in an existential crisis. Both shows are dark as hell, though Xavier is a lot more purposely funny.. though both shows are satirical and bizarre.

THE MAXX... like The Head, aeon Flux, some of Liquid TV/CArtoon Sushi, The Brothers Grunt, Ren and Stimpy, Rocko, and all those other cartoons MTV used to show.. is downright mindbending (also see: mindblowing). Subversive. To think that this was a mainstream show, that was promoted heavily and reviewed (favourably, btw) everywhere? Wow. I mean, nowadays, this wouldn't even air, anywhere, I don't even think adult swim would cover it since it's not "comedic" enough.

Anyway, if you want to see genius art and animation and don't mind a rushed ending (setting up a new season that never happened)), get this thrill a minute film.

 

Yeah.
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Old 02.01.2011, 01:27 AM   #14096
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Really liked this, another great bloody Coen Bros. film
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Old 02.01.2011, 07:15 AM   #14097
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this is mostly directed to atsonicpark, derek and every person who wishes to chip in as well.
this month, the jerusalem cinemateque is doing a jon jost retrospective. i was wondering which of these i should see the most, i have yet to se anything by him and only know him through your endless praises. i probably will not have time to see all of these films, so which are the best?
-All the vermeers in new york (Jost is going to be present at this screening)
-speaking directly
-last chants for a slow dance
-rembrant laughing
-sure fire
-the bed you sleep in
-oui non
-homecoming
-la lunga ombra
-swimming in nebraska
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Old 02.01.2011, 07:56 AM   #14098
Derek
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Go to the one Jost is present at!

Otherwise, The Bed You Sleep In is definitely the one to see though I like all of the movies there that I've seen. Also, if you have time, see Speaking Directly.
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Old 02.01.2011, 08:23 AM   #14099
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Old 02.01.2011, 09:31 AM   #14100
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HOLY FUCK!

I'd go to the one Jost is present at, but of those films, the top 5 is definitely:

1. bed you sleep in
2. sure fire
3. last chants
4. speaking directly
5. homecoming

Though I'd be JEALOUS AS HELL of you if you see SWIMMING IN NEBRASKA, his newest film, which is supposedly absolutely insane (he spent 2 years editing it, the footage I've seen is just INSANE, like thousands of videos a minute in some shots).

WHAT AN OPPORTUNITY!

Quote:
Originally Posted by fugazifan
this is mostly directed to atsonicpark, derek and every person who wishes to chip in as well.
this month, the jerusalem cinemateque is doing a jon jost retrospective. i was wondering which of these i should see the most, i have yet to se anything by him and only know him through your endless praises. i probably will not have time to see all of these films, so which are the best?
-All the vermeers in new york (Jost is going to be present at this screening)
-speaking directly
-last chants for a slow dance
-rembrant laughing
-sure fire
-the bed you sleep in
-oui non
-homecoming
-la lunga ombra
-swimming in nebraska
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