13 Assassins (Miike, 2010): Cinemas everywhere.
Sometimes there's a proper buzz about a movie and that was the case when this had a limited screening at the London Film Festival in the autumn. Now it has got a proper release and can be seen in all its glory at your local multiplex or arthouse as this is a genuine crossover film that will appeal to the widest audience. This has been garnering excellent reviews this week and here are a few to whet the appetite.
Here is critic David Jenkins review in Time Out:
'Likely to tan the high-concept hides of every Hollywood action flick this year, this majestically violent film from ultra-prolific Japanese maestro Takashi Miike is probably the closest modern cinema has come to Akira Kurosawa’s mud-and-blood-caked Samurai showdowns.
The first hour is a pure, slowburn tease. One plot strain demonstrates the outlandish barbarism of a feudal lord, while another has a select unit of fighters hatching a grand plan to take him down. The film is built as a long crescendo, opening at a level of considered, Zen-like reflection and ending with a prolonged cacophony of elaborate, town-wide annihilation.
There are occasional dashes of CGI for elements that couldn’t be staged for the camera (cue rampaging herds of burning bulls), but Miike’s film is all the more triumphant for offering elaborate, tangible sets, elegant period attire, hardboiled dialogue and rolling oceans of glorious, rosy red blood. Pure joy.'
Sight & Sound magazine hailed the film as worthy of Kurosawa. High praise indeed and you can read why in Christopher Huber's assessment via this link.
Here is the trailer.