Bunraku

Bunraku

Bunraku

2010. Directed by Guy Moshe.

"Revenge is an act of style."

Guy Moshe's action packed genre blender, Bunraku, is a truly unique vision to behold. An apocalyptic martial arts western, the film draws from various sources to produce a true mash up that drips with cool, so much so that it's lack of substance is happily forgotten.

A drifter shows up in town long after the nukes have dropped. He's got revenge on his mind. Meanwhile a futuristic samurai also arrives on a personal quest. They're brought together by The Bartender, an eternal font of wisdom and the trio set out to right all the wrongs and take down the bad guys once and for all.

The cast is absolutely amazing. Josh Hartnett, Woody Harrelson, Kevin McKidd, Ron Perlman, Demi Moore, and Gackt all have amazing roles in this pure popcorn delight. Harrelson is amazing, but Kevin McKidd steals the show as the eponymous Killer #2. The absolute commitment to the ridiculousness of the world is seen in McKidd in every scene he's in.

The cinematography and vibrant visuals are so strong that they overshadow the weakness of some of the fight choreography. Every scene is a cardboard caricature of the genre tableau being displayed and the viewer can't help but be drawn into the world.

The film's ultimate power is in the world it builds. It has it's own rules (that it doesn't break) and it's own culture. From the currency to the style of playing cards, Bunraku is alive from start to finish. The world feels synthetic and lived in at the time. This film is strictly gloss and just flat out fun to watch. It has it all: fedoras, blades, bloodshed, and brotherhood.

Bunraku is yet another perfect example of lesser known auteurs taking some chances and creating a truly unique film going experience.

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