Sunday, July 10, 2011

Best. Samurai. Movie. Ever.

Having known about director Takashi Miike from stomach-churners like Audition (had to look away several times) and Ichi the Killer (too squeamish to even try watching it), I hesitated before renting his more recent 13 Assassins. Though the comparisons to Seven Samurai and other Kurosawa epics can't be avoided, 13 Assassins stands on its own as a thrilling, emotionally overpowering masterpiece of cinema. With a villain who makes Hannibal Lecter look like Mr. Rogers, and some delightful comic dialogue ("You Samurai are useless -- especially in large numbers!"), this film is, as the director says in the bonus-features interview, as much a drama as an action/adventure spectacle.

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