10 items from 2015
Writer/ Director Takeshi Kitano returns to Japanese underworld with this juvenile Yakuza outing that replaces the brutality of his earlier work (Zatoichi, Brother, Sonatine) with blithe and bungled comedy. After opening with a colourful credit sequence, tiny sized letters exploding on a black backdrop, we are introduced to Ryuzo (Tatsuya Fuji): a doddery ex-Yakuza turned
The post Lff 2015: Ryuzo and His Seven Henchmen Review appeared first on HeyUGuys. »
- Daniel Goodwin
When dealing with exploitation cinema of the 1970s in the post-Tarantino era, there’s something of a heightened balance between “the thing” and “what the thing looks like.” The dichotomy was always there – the posters typically promised a good deal more than could be delivered on small budgets and quick schedules – but has since become even more grotesque now that celebrating such films has become an industry unto itself. Arrow Video has become a key player in this with their dozens (nearing hundreds) of Blu-ray editions celebrating the best, and a good deal of some of the lesser, genre films from decades past. Their new collection rounding up the films in the Stray Cat Rock series offers a little of each end of the spectrum. None are the sort of hyper-charged, riotous, nonstop-sex-and-carnage onslaughts that modern imitators revel in, but at its best, the series is a rather potent drug »
- Scott Nye
Before Toshiya Fujita shot the icon making Lady Snowblood films and Yasuharu Hasebe lensed Female Prisoner Scorpion: #701’s Grudge Son, each staring their ice cold action muse Meiko Kaji, they all teamed up at the famed Nikkatsu Studios just prior to its increased interest in the sexualized pink films on a quintet of psychedelic pop infused series of films produced under the banner title Stray Cat Rock. Bathed in pop tunes and shot, cut and performed with hyper-stylized fervor over the course of just two years from 1970-1971, the series, loosely connected by cast, crew and aesthetics alone, thrives in the clubbing circuit of underground street gangs while dabbling in every pop genre imaginable, from heist film to jailbreak picture with varying results.
Kicking off the series with wild-eyed ambition, Hasebe’s Delinquent Girl Boss sets the tone for the series with a complex yarn of girl power infused gang »
- Jordan M. Smith
The 19th Fantasia International Film Festival is right around the corner. Though the full lineup for the festival won't be unveiled until early next month, the second wave of Fantasia titles have been revealed and horror fans have a lot to look forward to.
Press Release: "Montreal, June 11, 2015 – The 19th edition of the Fantasia International Film Festival, presented by Ubisoft and Anchor Bay, will soon be stunning Montreal with three weeks of cinematic ingenuity from July 14 until August 4, 2015.
- Derek Anderson
The 19th edition of the Fantasia International Film Festival, presented by Ubisoft and Anchor Bay, will soon be stunning Montreal with three weeks of cinematic ingenuity from July 14 until August 4, 2015.
From The Official Press Release:
The International Premiere Of Takeshi Kitano’S Ryuzo And The Seven Henchmen Coming immediately after his Outrage saga, Takeshi Kitano’s hilarious crime story stars screen legend Tatsuya Fuji (In The Realm Of The Senses) as a retired yakuza who realizes that the only way to break the monotony of his daily life by reuniting with his old gang. This is a funny and heartfelt meditation on growing old that only the master of Japanese cinema could deliver. International Premiere
A Special Screening »
- BJ Colangelo
A little over one month away, the Fantasia Film Festival announced it’s second wave of titles this morning. Fantasia Film Festival holds a special place in the hearts of Sound on Sight and we could not be more excited for their upcoming edition which promises to be bigger and better than ever. Arguably the largest genre film festival in the world, Fantasia will run from July 14th to August 4th this year and feature a large number of world and international premieres. The full-lineup, including special events, will be announced on July 7th.
From the official press release, here are some titles we can now look forward to:
- Justine Smith
Stars: Akira Kobayashi, Jô Shishido, Hideaki Nitani, Tamio Kawachi, Eiji Gô, Tatsuya Fuji, Jirô Okazaki, Meiko Kaji, Shôki Fukae, Ryôji Hayama, Kaku Takashina | Written by Yoshihiro Ishimatsu, Keiji Kubota | Directed by Yasuharu Hasebe
There’s something about Japanese gangster movies, whether it be the Stray Cat Rock films or others like Massacre Gun. These movies are getting Arrow Video Blu-ray releases and as I review them I’m beginning to get a taste for the effortlessly cool style of not only the directors but also the actors, especially Jô Shishido. Retaliation is an excellent example of just why I am getting hooked.
Jiro (Akira Kobayashi) an ex-convict is released onto the streets after being in jail to find his gang all but disbanded with only the aging boss hanging in there on his sick-bed. Still loyal Jiro approaches the Hasama family for assistance. Hasama gives Jiro a job, to settle »
- Paul Metcalf
Arrow Video restores a rare title from director Yasuharu Hasebe with his sophomore directorial effort, Massacre Gun. A late 60’s yakuza narrative, the film displays Hasebe’s influence of American film noir, but defined by a striking amount of violence that makes it feel ahead of its time despite a familiar premise. Fans of genre icon Jo Shishido should be especially excited for this restoration, and it bodes well as a reconsideration for the work of Hasebe, a once prominent name that’s fallen into relative obscurity in cinematic conversations.
Ryuichi Shishido (Jo Shishido) is a mob hitman ordered to execute his lover. He follows through with the tasking but is visibly bothered by it, causing his younger brother, Saburo (Jiro Okazaki), an aspiring boxer, to directly challenge the dreaded mob boss Akazawa (Takashi Kanda). For his hubris, Saburo is badly beaten, leading his older brothers Ryuichi and Eiji (Tatsuya Fuji »
- Nicholas Bell
Gangster movies have always been popular, especially with the likes of The Godfather Trilogy and Goodfellas almost defining what we see as masterpieces of the genre. When we look to world cinema though, and especially Japan there are some movies that fans should look at to broaden their perspective. Massacre Gun (Minagoroshi no kenjû) is one of them which gets a release on Blu-ray from Arrow Video this week.
When hitman Kuroda (Jô Shishido) is ordered by his employers to kill the woman he loves he joins forces with his brothers Eiji (Tatsuya Fuji) and Saboruo (Jirô Okazaki) to gain revenge on the wrongs that have been done to them. As their power rises and the violence escalates Kuroda knows the inevitability is »
- Paul Metcalf
Mvd Entertainment Group continues to distribute Arrow Video in North America with a strong schedule of April 2015 releases receiving the deluxe treatment in video, audio, supplements and artwork:
"Blood and Black Lace" (Blu-ray / DVD), plus a Limited Edition Steelbook, follows "...the 'Cristiana Haute Couture' fashion house, a home to models, backstabbing, blackmail, drug deals and murder. This influential film by director Mario Bava, newly restored from the original camera negative, would have a huge effect on filmmakers as diverse as Dario Argento and Martin Scorsese..."
"Massacre Gun" on Blu-ray and DVD, stars Jo Shishido in a classic 'yakuza' action film directed by Yasuharu Hasebe, following
"...'Kuroda' (Shishido), a mob associate who turns on his employers after being forced to execute his lover. Joining forces with his similarly wronged brothers are hot-headed 'Eiji' (Tatsuya Fuji) and aspiring boxer 'SaburÃ´' (JirÃ´ Okazaki), as the trio escalate their retaliation to an all-out »
- Michael Stevens
10 items from 2015
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