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Thread: 13 Assassins (Takashi Miike)

  1. #1
    cat people KK2.0's Avatar
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    13 Assassins (Takashi Miike)

    http://twitchfilm.net/news/2010/05/t...-assassins.php

    it looks pretty amazing imo, i've always wanted to watch Miike at the helm of a bigger movie.

  2. #2
    Social Retard Isaac's Avatar
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    I'm watching this tonight.

  3. #3
    Social Retard Isaac's Avatar
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    My feelings about this film are probably a bit tainted by my theater experience -- I've never seen an audience so into a foreign film before. I don't go to midnight showings, but I imagine they're a lot like this. The movie was scheduled to show twice during the Minneapolis film festival, and both shows were sold out. The movie did stop at one point because someone was suffering from heat stroke or some fucking thing, but it started up again soon after that. It's not the worst thing that's happened during a show in the years I've been going to this festival.

    Anyway, the movie. It begs comparison to Seven Samurai, being about a group of samurai on a mission which culminates in a lengthy battle in a town. This time, the mission is to assassinate one Lord Naritsugu, whose penchant for casual cruelty reminded me of Amon Goth of Schindler's List.

    One area where the film really does not compare favorably to Seven Samurai is in the characters. There is only one who really has any personality -a kind of wild man who lives in the forest, hunting animals for food and in love with a woman he can never have; he is the only non-Samurai character of the 13. The rest are difficult to distinguish from each other. This was not a problem I had with Seven Samurai. I also didn't get any sense of the characters living in the town at the end. How do they feel about their homes being completely destroyed?

    But the movie is still a riot. Most samurai movies these days are so maudlin and depressing. 13 Assassins does take itself seriously, but it is also fun and action-packed, and, considering its length (140 minutes), surprisingly fast-paced. The movie is worth seeing for the final battle, where the movie's flaws are forgotten amidst the old-fashioned violence.

  4. #4
    Ain't that just the way EyesWideOpen's Avatar
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    Just read what I think is the first review of the dvd/blu-ray release and it is indeed the US edited version of the film with 15 minutes removed. I was hoping for both versions to be included. It does include deleted scenes though.
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  5. #5
    Piss off, ghost! number8's Avatar
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    They were always going to put the edited cut because it wasn't Magnet's decision to release in theaters cut. From what I read, it was the original studio that sold a shorter version to international distributors, supposedly to jack up foreign sales of the DVD.
    Quote Quoting Donald Glover
    I was actually just reading about Matt Damon and he’s like, ‘There’s a culture of outrage.’ I’m like, ‘Well, they have a reason to be outraged.’ I think it’s a lot of dudes just being scared. They’re like, ‘What if I did something and I didn’t realize it?’ I’m like, ‘Deal with it.’
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    What is best in life? D_Davis's Avatar
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    I've watched it twice now, and I really can't imagine it being any longer. I don't know. It just feels so perfect as it is. Of course I'll wait to say for sure until I eventually see the longer cut, but it could be one of those times when the cuts are justified.

  7. #7
    pushing too many pencils Rowland's Avatar
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    I dunno, Tom Mes of Midnight Eye, one of the foremost authorities on all things Miike, has this to say about the international cut:

    "...lacks resonance due to the excision of two crucial scenes that go a long way toward rounding out the personalities of the eponymous 13. Both these scenes features sexual shenanigans and some of the aforementioned scatology, devices which Miike has used to great effect in defining characters in earlier films. As a result, many of the 13 assassins are reduced to roles akin to the red-shirted crew members on an episode of Star Trek. Their characters remain undefined so that their deaths rarely hit home as they should (and do in the full-length cut)."

    I really dug the international cut, so I have every intention of seeking out the full-length version.
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    Quote Quoting Donald Glover
    I was actually just reading about Matt Damon and he’s like, ‘There’s a culture of outrage.’ I’m like, ‘Well, they have a reason to be outraged.’ I think it’s a lot of dudes just being scared. They’re like, ‘What if I did something and I didn’t realize it?’ I’m like, ‘Deal with it.’
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  9. #9
    Replacing Luck Since 1984 Dukefrukem's Avatar
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    Anyone know of any Japanese releases of this? Amazon comes up with nothing.

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    Piss off, ghost! number8's Avatar
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    By the way, I also saw Ninja Kids!!! Now I just need to see Hara-kiri.
    Quote Quoting Donald Glover
    I was actually just reading about Matt Damon and he’s like, ‘There’s a culture of outrage.’ I’m like, ‘Well, they have a reason to be outraged.’ I think it’s a lot of dudes just being scared. They’re like, ‘What if I did something and I didn’t realize it?’ I’m like, ‘Deal with it.’
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    Piss off, ghost! number8's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Dukefrukem (view post)
    Anyone know of any Japanese releases of this? Amazon comes up with nothing.
    http://www.yesasia.com/us/13-assassi...0-en/info.html
    Quote Quoting Donald Glover
    I was actually just reading about Matt Damon and he’s like, ‘There’s a culture of outrage.’ I’m like, ‘Well, they have a reason to be outraged.’ I think it’s a lot of dudes just being scared. They’re like, ‘What if I did something and I didn’t realize it?’ I’m like, ‘Deal with it.’
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    Replacing Luck Since 1984 Dukefrukem's Avatar
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  13. #13
    What is best in life? D_Davis's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Rowland (view post)

    "...lacks resonance due to the excision of two crucial scenes that go a long way toward rounding out the personalities of the eponymous 13. Both these scenes features sexual shenanigans and some of the aforementioned scatology, devices which Miike has used to great effect in defining characters in earlier films. As a result, many of the 13 assassins are reduced to roles akin to the red-shirted crew members on an episode of Star Trek. Their characters remain undefined so that their deaths rarely hit home as they should (and do in the full-length cut)."
    Yeah, I've read this. I guess I never approached the film as a character study, and was never bothered once by how many of the characters are not flushed out. I think it's quite brilliant for this - all we really need to know is given in the title. They are 13 Assassins. They're hired killers hired to kill some dudes. And they do.

    I appreciate the film exactly for this reason. The film is economical. The villain is set up perfectly, and we are shown how evil he is. We want him to die. The plot then kicks into high gear, the team of killers is assembled, and the battle is on. It's great for how terse it all is.

  14. #14
    Piss off, ghost! number8's Avatar
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    Home media in Japan is a lot more expensive than in the US.
    Quote Quoting Donald Glover
    I was actually just reading about Matt Damon and he’s like, ‘There’s a culture of outrage.’ I’m like, ‘Well, they have a reason to be outraged.’ I think it’s a lot of dudes just being scared. They’re like, ‘What if I did something and I didn’t realize it?’ I’m like, ‘Deal with it.’
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    What is best in life? D_Davis's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting number8 (view post)
    Home media in Japan is a lot more expensive than in the US.
    Boy howdy!

  16. #16
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    I liked this while watching it. It hits the right notes for this kind of movie. Thinking about it afterwards, I like it a lot less.

    It's a strangely liner, bifurcated movie. First half, all talk. Second half, all action. And single minded throughout. Instead of Seven Samurai, this movie reminded me of the 47 faithful ronin "true story" folk tale, except Miike took the less interesting parts of that and pared it down to a simple action movie.

    Some of the dialogue threw me. You expect stuff shout duty and honor in a samurai pic. That's de rigeur. But the talk about justice, becoming a bandit, traveling to America, I just didn't buy. It sounds like words from a modern mouth, not someone speaking from mid 19th century Japan. It made the movie feel that much more inauthentic, the way Braveheart is inauthentic (and there's another movie that becomes decidedly less entertaining on subsequent views.)

    Miike could have built up some interesting contrasts, because the plot pits two honorable men against one another, and they're both forced to do despicable and dishonorable things. But instead he opts for more swords and more blood. Instead of exploring the questions around these characters, whether it's possible to be moral within an immoral system, Miike lights pigs on fire and photographs a kind of fog of war as it moves through a deserted country village.

    And that's a shame, because this could have been something with depth, instead of a glossy modern fix on concepts and action we've seen in 100 other pictures.

  17. #17
    Replacing Luck Since 1984 Dukefrukem's Avatar
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    Some interesting points from Irish; Hard to argue. I came into this thread to say how much I enjoyed but Irish's analyses has caused me to think twice. I like the talk / action aspect in the first and second halfs. The movie did a fantastic job getting me involved with the motive from the beginning, some very effective imagery. The three disturbing scenes had me hooked and thirsting for blood. But I agree wish Irish on his parallels with Braveheart . I will still give it a high grade.

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  18. #18
    Piss off, ghost! number8's Avatar
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    I dunno, I never saw any potential for any depth, myself, so I don't really feel it missed any opportunities. It seems like a strictly action movie to me. I mean, the bad guy is an over-the-top one-note monster, and one of the main heroes is a supernatural demon.
    Quote Quoting Donald Glover
    I was actually just reading about Matt Damon and he’s like, ‘There’s a culture of outrage.’ I’m like, ‘Well, they have a reason to be outraged.’ I think it’s a lot of dudes just being scared. They’re like, ‘What if I did something and I didn’t realize it?’ I’m like, ‘Deal with it.’
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  19. #19
    Replacing Luck Since 1984 Dukefrukem's Avatar
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    I want to see the extra 15 minutes. This has now gone up in price.

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  20. #20
    - - - - - Irish's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Dukefrukem (view post)
    Some interesting points from Irish; Hard to argue. I came into this thread to say how much I enjoyed but Irish's analyses has caused me to think twice. I like the talk / action aspect in the first and second halfs. The movie did a fantastic job getting me involved with the motive from the beginning, some very effective imagery. The three disturbing scenes had me hooked and thirsting for blood. But I agree wish Irish on his parallels with Braveheart . I will still give it a high grade.
    Wow, that's a helluva nice thing to say, Duke. Thanks!

  21. #21
    Ain't that just the way EyesWideOpen's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Dukefrukem (view post)
    I want to see the extra 15 minutes. This has now gone up in price.
    I'm pretty sure those 15 minutes are included as deleted scenes on the US release dvd/blu-ray.

    Edit: I just checked two reviews and both of them said they were.
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