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Action & Adventure, Art House & International and Westerns movie directed by Takashi Miike

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Visually inventive, blissful filmmaking - as crazy as the original Django

  • Jul 5, 2009
A lone gunman rides into a small mining town, where two competing clans are searching for a legendary treasure. If you hadn't seen the original "spaghetti western(s)" this Japanese noodle version riffs off of, then you might be forgiven for thinking it was just plain loopy and incoherent. But if you've seen Sergio Corbucci's Django (which is truly insane, but in a cool way), or even A Fistful of Dollars or the Japanese samurai flick Yojimbo that were inspirations for this attempt to tie the Spaghetti Western back to its Japanese samurai roots, you'd see that this is not so strange. In Django, Franco Nero is a silent type who shows up, dragging a mysterious coffin through the muddy streets, in a town ravaged by bandits. The locals hope beyond hope he can help them out, but he's clearly got his own plans. The basic plot here is along the same lines, but Miike pulls out all the stops with the visuals. A cameo by Quentin Tarantino is a bit of a distraction, and so is the decision to have all the characters speak a bad English that sounds like they're reading poorly translated subtitles - though that recalls the fact that for most Italian films of the era it was standard practice to have an international cast speaking their own language, and the dialogue would be dubbed (badly) for subsequent distribution. Still, the whole is so visually stunning (beautiful's not quite the word, for that you should look at Wong Kar-Wai's Ashes of Time Redux) and the gunplay and situations so inventive, and allusions so abundant and unexpected and clever (e.g. Tarantino's anachronistic nod to the anime classic Akira) that such minor distractions are forgivable and as a whole this is highly recommended for lovers of extreme and arty cinema, for lovers of Westerns and samurai flicks, and for anyone who knows how exciting and unpredictable Takashi Miike can be in his prolific career.

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December 02, 2010
This was such a fun flick, great review.
More Sukiyaki Western Django reviews
review by . December 23, 2010
posted in ASIANatomy
      SUKIYAKI WESTERN DJANGO      Takashi Miike is one of my all time favorite filmmakers and for good reason I think, he makes highly entertaining films. Whether they are pure genius classics or just straight fun and entertaining I have enjoyed them all, from the all time classic "Audition" all the way to this one and beyond. Add in that my favorite filmmaker Quentin Tarantino is in this insanely fun flick and it makes for a great time. Taking …
Quick Tip by . December 23, 2010
posted in ASIANatomy
This may not be the best movie ever made but it is a runner for most fun for sure, any movie with a scene were one man can catch a sword before it slices into his head and the next man can't [hilarious scene] is great in my book.
review by . February 15, 2009
posted in ASIANatomy
Takashi Miike's Genre-Busting POPCORN Extravaganza!!
      SUKIYAKI WESTERN DJANGO (2007) is Takashi Miike's spin on the Asian Western. While it may not be a wholly original idea, video games have experimented on this mixing of genres such as "Western Samurai", Eiichi Kudo's Fort of Death (1969) and the nearest attempt at an Asian western is Hong Kong's "Peace Hotel"; Miike's version is worth the buzz and the hype. The film exudes coolness and is surprisingly entertaining, it is a fitting tribute to Spaghetti …
About the reviewer
Nathan Andersen ()
Ranked #68
I teach philosophy at Eckerd College, in Saint Petersburg, Florida.      I run an award-winning International Cinema series in Tampa Bay (www.eckerd.edu/ic), and am co-director of … more
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About this movie


Two clans the white genji clan led by yoshitsune and the red heike clan led by kiyomori battle for a legendary treasure in a desolate mountain town. One day a lone gunman drifts into town. Two clans try to woo the lone gunman to their side but he has ulterior motives. Studio: First Look Home Entertain Release Date: 11/11/2008 Run time: 98 minutes Rating: R

The prolific Takashi Miike co-wrote and directed this strikingly postmodern remake of Sergio Corbucci's 1966 Spaghetti Western,Django. The story is much the same, but the highly stylized fusion of Japanese gangsterism and operatic musings on the Western form makes for a wild and unexpected cult movie. Still, there is not much here beyond the film's relentlessly creative surface, makingSukiyakia bit wearying. Feuding for centuries, the Genji and Heiki clans both arrive in a 19th century Nevada town, determined to find hidden treasure rumored to be there. In the midst of their fighting comes a solitary gunslinger (Hideaki Ito) courted by each clan to work for them. When he refuses, the cross-currents of betrayal and murder escalate, and hidden truths behind at least one tragedy, and the real identity of an unlikely shooter, come to the surface. The film's energy, dynamic camerawork and almost tongue-in-cheek performances are fun and admirable, and Miike has a fascinating sense of composition. The story gets a little soft just past the halfway point and Miike attempts to fill the void with exhausting new ways of ...
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Director: Takashi Miike
Genre: Foreign
DVD Release Date: November 11, 2008
Runtime: 98 minutes
Studio: First Look Pictures
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