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catalyst
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"Yakuza the movie" , posted Mon 15 Jan 01:52post reply

Hopefully this isn't a repost of any sort since I couldn't find anything on the topics of Yakuza, if it is my mistake.

Anyways, since I recently just got into Yakuza and waiting for part 2 of the game and happened to stumble upon the movie. Apparently checking on IGN its directed by the same guy who did Ichi the Killer, Takeshi Miike.

http://www.ryu-movie.com/index.html Enjoy






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simonbelmont
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"Re(1):Yakuza the movie" , posted Mon 15 Jan 03:42post reply

quote:
Hopefully this isn't a repost of any sort since I couldn't find anything on the topics of Yakuza, if it is my mistake.

Anyways, since I recently just got into Yakuza and waiting for part 2 of the game and happened to stumble upon the movie. Apparently checking on IGN its directed by the same guy who did Ichi the Killer, Takeshi Miike.

http://www.ryu-movie.com/index.html Enjoy


Nice. I'm not a huge fan of Japanese live action (frankly HK live action is far superior) but Takashi Miike is definitely something special. Did anyone catch his Masters of Horror episode "Imprint?" That's one of the most fucked up and disturbing movies I've seen in my life. And this is coming from a guy who watches Lucio Fulci and the love scene from "I Spit On Your Grave" while he eats dinner.





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"Re(2):Yakuza the movie" , posted Mon 15 Jan 05:43:post reply

quote:
Hopefully this isn't a repost of any sort since I couldn't find anything on the topics of Yakuza, if it is my mistake.

Anyways, since I recently just got into Yakuza and waiting for part 2 of the game and happened to stumble upon the movie. Apparently checking on IGN its directed by the same guy who did Ichi the Killer, Takeshi Miike.

http://www.ryu-movie.com/index.html Enjoy

Nice. I'm not a huge fan of Japanese live action (frankly HK live action is far superior) but Takashi Miike is definitely something special. Did anyone catch his Masters of Horror episode "Imprint?" That's one of the most fucked up and disturbing movies I've seen in my life. And this is coming from a guy who watches Lucio Fulci and the love scene from "I Spit On Your Grave" while he eats dinner.



i'd rather eat a bowl of cock - hi kikkoken!!! <3 bleh





[this message was edited by Oroch on Tue 16 Jan 01:24]

simonbelmont
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"Re(3):Yakuza the movie" , posted Mon 15 Jan 18:30post reply

quote:

i'd rather eat a bowl of cock - bleh


So you're a fan of "Mean Girls." To each his own.





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"Re(4):Yakuza the movie" , posted Sun 21 Jan 07:42post reply

I can't really picutre how Yakuza/Ryuu ga Gotoku would work as a movie since the draw of the game was the experience of swaggering around as a hard drinking, hard hitting tough guy and not the goofy story points.

A part of me wants to make a snide comment about game adaptations more often than not fall apart because the people making the films seem to forget that the plot of a game is a different creature than the plot of a movie. Another part, however, is wondering what happened to Japanese national cinema. Except for Miike punching out films every two weeks and the occasional Godzilla battle the pickings from Japanese movie houses have been mighty slim for the past 20-25 years.





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"Re(5):Yakuza the movie" , posted Sun 21 Jan 08:06post reply

I think people a long time ago had the idea that without the resources to compete with the likes of Hollywood, it would be better to focus on animation, and that it just stuck. With obvious exceptions of a few major, important directors like Kurosawa etc., it seems like the bulk of creative output happens to be animated, for better or for worse.





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BlueNocturne
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"Re(5):Yakuza the movie" , posted Sun 21 Jan 08:59post reply

I think this film has the potential to be faithful to the original feeling that was in the game. Especially knowing that the game's story was written by Hase Seishu, a Japanese novelist who specializes in yakuza stories. According to Wikipedia , Takashi Miike had directed the film versions of a couple Hase Seishu novels in the past.

Personally, I'd rather see Ryu ga Gotoku be turned into a decent television drama. Something to really flesh out the characters since I quite liked the cast and story in Ryu ga Gotoku. I havent played the sequel yet, so I have no idea how the story continued and more importantly, if it's up to par with the original. Speaking of the original, does anyone know how well(or badly) Yakuza sold in other regions?





makatiel
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"Re(5):Yakuza the movie" , posted Mon 22 Jan 12:26:post reply

quote:
I can't really picutre how Yakuza/Ryuu ga Gotoku would work as a movie since the draw of the game was the experience of swaggering around as a hard drinking, hard hitting tough guy and not the goofy story points.

A part of me wants to make a snide comment about game adaptations more often than not fall apart because the people making the films seem to forget that the plot of a game is a different creature than the plot of a movie. Another part, however, is wondering what happened to Japanese national cinema. Except for Miike punching out films every two weeks and the occasional Godzilla battle the pickings from Japanese movie houses have been mighty slim for the past 20-25 years.



I think you're forgetting about the Japanese horror movie boom we experienced a few years back.

Also, there have been quite a few decent samurai movies if I remember correctly... Twilight Samurai and that other movie by the same guy, Beat Takeshi's Zatoichi was fine, if pointless (as always). I'm sure there are others.

Edit: Just thought of another Japanese movie I enjoyed recently: Always: 3 chome no yuuhi. My wife also liked The Yutenji Hotel (I think that's the name). Those were fun. Actually there are a bunch of Japanese movies that have come out. It feels like there are more and more recently. Shinobi was silly but cool. Sekai no Chuushin ni Ai wo Sakebu did well in the theaters but I thought it was terrible (especially compared to the TV series). Udon was bad too. What about Sengoku vs. Jieitai? Hahahaha. I also remember a few sort of big budget movies like Nihon Chinbotsu (big budget dakke?), Dragonhead, Devilman, a few others. And Dororo is coming out in theaters soon too. Anyway as far as I know, Japanese cinema is booming. I guess much of it doesn't make it off the island though.





[this message was edited by makatiel on Mon 22 Jan 12:37]

Ishmael
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"OT movie stuff" , posted Tue 23 Jan 06:00post reply

quote:
I think you're forgetting about the Japanese horror movie boom we experienced a few years back.

Also, there have been quite a few decent samurai movies if I remember correctly... Twilight Samurai and that other movie by the same guy, Beat Takeshi's Zatoichi was fine, if pointless (as always). I'm sure there are others.

Edit: Just thought of another Japanese movie I enjoyed recently: Always: 3 chome no yuuhi. My wife also liked The Yutenji Hotel (I think that's the name). Those were fun. Actually there are a bunch of Japanese movies that have come out. It feels like there are more and more recently. Shinobi was silly but cool. Sekai no Chuushin ni Ai wo Sakebu did well in the theaters but I thought it was terrible (especially compared to the TV series). Udon was bad too. What about Sengoku vs. Jieitai? Hahahaha. I also remember a few sort of big budget movies like Nihon Chinbotsu (big budget dakke?), Dragonhead, Devilman, a few others. And Dororo is coming out in theaters soon too. Anyway as far as I know, Japanese cinema is booming. I guess much of it doesn't make it off the island though.



Believe me, I would love to be proven wrong about the state of Japanese cinema. Part of the problem is, like you said, that only the most simple, easy to market items are making the jump across the water. That sort of attitude does nothing to help my view of their current national cinema since a little of Ryuhei Kitamura's spazzy nonsense goes a long ways. Thanks for noting some titles that haven't made it to my part of the world yet.

I've always suspected I'm missing something by not seeing Kiyoshi Kurosawa's stuff on the big screen since a lot can get lost when a movie is stuffed onto a television screen. But even with that I do wonder if the J horror boom will be remembered more for the stylistic quirks and trappings it brought to the genre instead of any of the work of the people who created the films. That spate of movies featuring long haired dead girls felt to me as quickly punched out as those karate movies from the 1970's. Hmm, both of those movie fads prominently featured Hiroyuki Sanada. Odd how that worked out.





catalyst
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"Re(1):OT movie stuff" , posted Tue 23 Jan 14:18post reply

Since were off topic a bit, anyone happen to remember that Sonny Chiba movie Shogun's Ninja?

I want to say its bad [seriously I do!] though to me it was mildly amusing with the jazz music playing at the most inappropriate at times and horrible horrible horrible yet hilarious kung fu. God why did I take kung fu..a year of my life wasted. Though I liked Sonny Chiba in the movie.





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"Re(2):OT movie stuff" , posted Tue 23 Jan 21:10:post reply

quote:
Except for Miike punching out films every two weeks and the occasional Godzilla battle the pickings from Japanese movie houses have been mighty slim for the past 20-25 years.



I think Japan has always remained pretty "relevant" as far as Cinema goes. Alot of Miike's films are pretty fantastic. Even if they stink there's usually at least something interesting and worth watching in them. Same with Kitano, and that guy that did "Twighlight Samurai" and "The Hidden Blade." I think Japanese directors continue to make good films every year.

Of course, if you're comparing them to 70s Japanese cinema (which i presume by your sig), then i can understand why everything recent seems so bland. I mean, movies like Female Convict Scorpion, or Zero Woman or School of the Holy Beast are just so utterly fantastic to look at that films are still catching up to them today. I don't know why, but the movies produced during that period just have the coolest colors and shot composition and music and mood in the world.





[this message was edited by nobinobita on Tue 23 Jan 21:11]

nobinobita
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"Re(6):Yakuza the movie" , posted Tue 23 Jan 21:49post reply

quote:
Beat Takeshi's Zatoichi was fine, if pointless (as always). I'm sure there are others.


I disagree, I think Kitano's Zatoichi had a very coherent theme and point. At the risk of sounding like a pompous jerk I will explain myself.

Spoilers about the movie follow:


Spoiler (Highlight to view) -

I think the movie dealt mostly with the concept of masks, as in hiding your true self and your intentions.

Most of the characters in the film were in disguise. Zatoichi the incredible swordsman travels as a blind masseuse, the Naruto sisters pretend to be musicians (one of them pretends to be a girl!), The Yakuza leaders hide as regular townsfolk. On top of that they hide that they were the murderers of the Naruto family.

When Tadonobu Asano faces the Ronin that ruined his life at his deathbed, the Ronin admits that he is a fake and has never even owned a real sword (as an aside, he defeated Asano by cheating with moves that would only work on a wooden sword, such as catching the blade in your hand)

The retarded fat guy dreams about being a Samurai and runs around in his funky Samurai getup every day.

Even the goofy guy with the gambling problem figures into this. At one point he tries on womens makeup and he also emulates Zatoichi when he tries to read the dice and when he tries to teach sword fighting. He's always looking to reinvent himself, but nothing seems to be a good fit (hence they are masks).

There's also alot of imagery supporting this theme, such as the frequent shots of the scarecrow. At one point, Zatoichi diverts from his path to put the scarecrow back in place. This puts him out of the path of the assassins that the Yakuza have sent for him (and they are disguised as monks). This is visually exemplery of how having a mask has saved his life.

Of course, you could talk fancy about masks for most any movie. But I think Zatoichi at least, really sticks with its theme and lets it play out.

Zatoichi isn't even blind, but actually feigns it to trick his enemies. By hiding his true self, he is able to build up a persona capable of surviving his difficult lifestyle. The tradeoff is that he can never let anyone know who he really is and he never gets a real break.

Everyone in the film that wears a mask is miserable. Zatoichi isn't exactly a happy camper. Tadonobu Asano's character leads a sad life because he's lost his identity as a Samurai. All the bad guys are found out and killed. The Naruto sisters were forced into a life of pain and deception in order to avenge their parents.

With vengence being realised however, they can return to their natural selves (as shown by the weird morph during the dance when they turn back into kids for a shot).

Zatoichi on the other hand is still left wandering from town to town getting into fights. I think that's why he trips up at the end and comments on how "he can't really see at all" because the townsfolk are all better off, but he's back to exactly where he started.

So uh... I felt the film had a very coherent point. Masks are useful, but ultimately they ultimately wear you down and it's better to just be yourself.

Of course, you can get that same message from any teen movie, but most teen movies aren't as beautifully shot and choreographed and violent.


End of Spoiler



I apologize in hindsite for the long posts. I just needed a break from school and somehow it's very relaxing for me to discuss stuff like this.





nobinobita
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"Re(2):OT movie stuff" , posted Tue 23 Jan 21:58post reply

quote:
Though I liked Sonny Chiba in the movie.



That's because he's AWESOME in ANY movie! If you've decided that you infact DID enjoy Shogun's Ninja, then by all means please watch GI Samurai!

http://www.amazon.com/G-I-Samurai-Sonny-Chiba-Collection/dp/B0002ZYE0K

It's a movie about a battalion from the modern Japanese Defense Force being transported back in time where they end up fighting hoards of Samurai. It's basically 2+ hours of Samurai vs modern military.

Unlike most movies with a gimmickly setups, this one is every bit as great as it sounds.

The topic is treated with utter seriousness. The fights are alot of fun to watch and Sonny Chiba is so charismatic that he makes it all seem believable.





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"Re(3):OT movie stuff" , posted Wed 24 Jan 05:56post reply

I also suspect part of my problem is that with previous generations of film the passage of time has done a fairly good job of seperating the good from the bad. Because I don't have that sort of filter for current movies I end up watching more malarky than I otherwise would.

I'm not sure I would fully recommend Shogun's Ninja but the film is so it's own thing that it has to at least be respected. Any movie that sounds like it was scored by Weather Report and has ninjas that make funky sound effects as they burrow underground can't be all bad. Besides, Sonny Chiba can make even the worst of films passable. It's Sonny Chiba's world, the rest of us just live in it.

While I'm rambling on this topic, I might as well note that I wish there was more scholarly, organized discussion and critiques in English of those crazy 1970's Japanese films. Yes, they may not be in the same league as more esteemed previous generation of directors such as Kurosawa, Mizoguchi and others who show up in Janus film collections. But there was such a restless, creative energy bristling in so many of those movies that they should be looked at as more than second rate curiosities.





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"Chiba for teh win!" , posted Wed 24 Jan 10:15post reply

While I think Shogun's Ninja was utter crap (despite, or perhaps thanks to, its puzzling music score), and while I do believe that Japanese cinema is pretty much in good shape nowadays, I must totally agree with you on your recommendation of GI Samurai.

My favourite part is when Sonny fights Takeda Shingen man-to-man, shots him on the leg and then proceeds to decapitate him. Heck, I wish I had a screenshot of that so I could make a signature! If you look for the definition of AWESOMENESS on a Japanese encyclopedia, surely it has the pic of a grinning Sonny Chiba, blood-covered GI uniform, brandishing Shingen's head to illustrate the concept.

About how great Japanese 70's cinema was, well, I have yet to get deeper into that kind of stuff, and surely Japanese cinema scene nowadays can't live up to its glorious predecessors (throw in Kurosawa, Mizoguchi and Co. here as well)... but given the resources they have and the fierce competition China and HK (not to mention Hollywood!) exerts, I think they still produce a pretty decent amount of interesting movies every year. And I mean "interesting" for a brorad range of audiences: you have Miike's bizarreness; you have your share of Hollywoodesque, high-budget movies like The Shrinking of Japan; you have war movies; wuxia-wanabees; some pretty decent jidaigeki like Yoji Yamada's trilogy (have to watch Bushi no Ichibun yet, but I'm sure it will be as gorgeous as the other ones); cheesy old-style, if somewhat updated, chanbara flicks (Azumi, anyone?)... Even kaijuu eiga is not dead yet! And of course you have Kitano out there, who likes to swing his magic wand every now and then.

And I'm only speaking about the genres/kind of movies that attract me. If you're into comedies or dramas, I'm sure you can dig out interesting things as well. Maybe 80% of today's production is crap, but same could be said of all relig... ehr, uhm, cinematographies around the world.

Aaaah, I think I'm going to watch Fuurin Kazan only to enjoy Sonny Chiba's appearances! I'll have to bear with that plastic-faced Gackt playing Kagetora, tough, which won't be an easy feat. But somehow, I know I'm gonna like better GI Samurai's version of Kawanakajima battle anyway...






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nobinobita
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"Re(4):OT movie stuff" , posted Wed 24 Jan 22:52post reply

quote:
But there was such a restless, creative energy bristling in so many of those movies that they should be looked at as more than second rate curiosities.



There are some good books on the subject, mostly from the guys who used to write for Pulp at Viz. Look up people like Patrick Macias and Jason Thompson. They both take a pretty scholarly approach to the subject with genuine interest. And they were doing it way before it was cool to like this stuff.

Here's some books that i can personally recommend:

http://www.amazon.com/Fresh-Pulp-Dispatches-Japanese-1997-1999/dp/1569313717/sr=8-3/qid=1169646199/ref=pd_bbs_sr_3/105-9401446-6021227?ie=UTF8&s=books
Fresh Pulp: Good overview of Japanese films in general. This info was pure gold when it was first published.

http://www.amazon.com/TokyoScope-Japanese-Cult-Film-Companion/dp/1569316813/sr=8-8/qid=1169646199/ref=sr_1_8/105-9401446-6021227?ie=UTF8&s=books
Tokyoscope: much more specific and focused. Very informative.

http://www.amazon.com/Outlaw-Masters-Japanese-Chris-Desjardins/dp/1845110862/sr=8-11/qid=1169646199/ref=sr_1_11/105-9401446-6021227?ie=UTF8&s=books
I haven't read this one, but I heard it's good.

Also, check out KungFu Cult Cinema:
http://www.kfccinema.com/
They're not particularly scholarly or critical, but they have alot of enthusiasm which makes for a good read.





nobinobita
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"Re(1):Chiba for teh win!" , posted Wed 24 Jan 23:14post reply

quote:
If you look for the definition of AWESOMENESS on a Japanese encyclopedia, surely it has the pic of a grinning Sonny Chiba, blood-covered GI uniform, brandishing Shingen's head to illustrate the concept.


Oh HELL YEAH!!! That's got to be one of the best moments in Cinema history. That image pretty much sums up everything I liked about that movie (and Sonny Chiba in general).

I pretty much agree with everything you just said 100%.

Well, cept i kinda have a soft spot for Gackt. I admire his stark, masculine personality (which is why his image works for me) and how he's been able to stay in character for like a decade.

But yeah, the 20/80 rule pretty much applies to everything. Like Ishmael said, old movies only seem better because they've passed the test of time.

If you like current stuff and classic stuff (Kurosawa, Ozu etc), you really should look into
the 70s stuff. At the very least, the films are beautiful to look at. They have the most wonderful and vibrant colors. They're just on the brink of garishness, but they're scaled back enough to make them really easy on the eys.

At the same time, it's great to keep up with the films being produced today. It's nice to be able to relate to something current rather than to pine for the good old days.





Ishmael
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"Re(5):OT movie stuff" , posted Fri 26 Jan 05:10post reply

quote:
There are some good books on the subject, mostly from the guys who used to write for Pulp at Viz. Look up people like Patrick Macias and Jason Thompson. They both take a pretty scholarly approach to the subject with genuine interest. And they were doing it way before it was cool to like this stuff.

Here's some books that i can personally recommend:

http://www.amazon.com/Fresh-Pulp-Dispatches-Japanese-1997-1999/dp/1569313717/sr=8-3/qid=1169646199/ref=pd_bbs_sr_3/105-9401446-6021227?ie=UTF8&s=books
Fresh Pulp: Good overview of Japanese films in general. This info was pure gold when it was first published.

http://www.amazon.com/TokyoScope-Japanese-Cult-Film-Companion/dp/1569316813/sr=8-8/qid=1169646199/ref=sr_1_8/105-9401446-6021227?ie=UTF8&s=books
Tokyoscope: much more specific and focused. Very informative.

http://www.amazon.com/Outlaw-Masters-Japanese-Chris-Desjardins/dp/1845110862/sr=8-11/qid=1169646199/ref=sr_1_11/105-9401446-6021227?ie=UTF8&s=books
I haven't read this one, but I heard it's good.

Also, check out KungFu Cult Cinema:
http://www.kfccinema.com/
They're not particularly scholarly or critical, but they have alot of enthusiasm which makes for a good read.


Thanks for the recommendations, I'm certain one or two of those books will end up somewhere in the pile of my next Amazon order.