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Lana Turner and Johnny were sweethearts--until the day in 1958 when the screen queen's daughter, Cheryl, stabbed the hot-tempered gangland figure before he could make an exit from her mom's Beverly Hills bedroom.
Just as Clint Eastwood's star-making spaghetti Western A Fistful of Dollars was inspired by Akira Kurosawa's Yojimbo, Japanese-Korean filmmaker Sang-il Lee (Villain) has decided to reinterpret Eastwood's Oscar®-winning Unforgiven as a Japanese period film. Set in the late 1800s, after the fall of Shogunate Japan, onetime assassin Jubee Kamata (Oscar® nominee Ken Watanabe -- Inception, The Last Samurai) lives in seclusion on a small farm. But when the new government begins harassing the local populace, Jubee is forced to break the promise he made to his dead wife and take up the sword once more. Written by
Yes - this film has some stunning visuals, but the pace is very slow, the characters are annoying and somewhat ridiculous at times (constantly acting like idiots), and the main character, Jubei, wallows in self-pity for the entire movie, which makes you wish he would just hurry up and die because he is beyond irritating.
Such a shame that this remake isn't as good as other Japanese films (Crouching Tiger, House of F Daggers, etc). I really wanted to turn it off so many times in the last hour of the film because the pitiful characters were like fingernails down a chalk board, but I continued to the end and was quite relieved when it was over.
Don't waste your time with this film, but if you do, just watch it on mute with something covering the subtitles at the bottom of the screen. Then you can enjoy the visuals, which is the only thing this film has going for it.
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