'Bunraku' Trailer

UDPATE: Because this isn't an official trailer, the producers of the film have been trying to get it removed from YouTube. At their request, we've pulled it and will re-post something when an official version is available.Bunraku looks like one hell of a weird beast. The film stars Josh Hartnett, Woody Harrelson, Demi Moore, Gackt, Ron Perlman, Kevin McKidd and more in something that looks like the love child of Takashi Miike and Frank Miller, if the two hooked up while watching the films of Seijun Suzuki. The trailer has finally landed, and there's a 50/50 chance you'll walk away from it a lot more confused or uncertain about the film than you might be already. Watch it after the break.

The first thing I noticed about this trailer was the style. That's impossible to ignore. The second thing was all the speeches. I don't know if everyone in the movie talks in monologues, but when we're sold a film based on a collection of pontificating weirdos, it's difficult to get too caught up. I'm hoping we're nearing the endpoint of the lineage of films based on nothing but style, because it is a shame to see a collection of actors wasted on what amounts to an animated series of comic book splash pages.

The film premiered as part of the Midnight Madness program at TIFF last year, and while Peter didn't see the whole thing, he didn't much care for what he did see, calling it,

...a super-stylized movie which is a combination of the western, samurai and noir film genres, based in a world where guns have been banished... On the surface, this is the type of film that readers of /Film should love, but it isn't something that I can rightfully recommend to everyone.I did not see the entire movie, so I can't rightfully review the whole movie. I will say that at almost two hours, it is overlong, and offers some cool style and ideas but little substance.

A mysterious drifter (Josh Hartnett) and an ardent young Japanese warrior on a mission both arrive in a town that is totally terrorized by outrageous and virulent criminals. Each obsessed with his separate mission; the two eventually join forces to bring down the corrupt and contemptuous reign of NICOLA, the awesomely evil "woodcutter." This classic tale is re-vitalized and re-imagined in an entirely fresh visual context, set in a unique world that mixes skewed reality with shadow-play fantasy, a place where even the landscape can betray you. Heroes triumph here only because the force of their will transforms and transcends both space and time. The world of BUNRAKU is past and present, fantasy and reality, Samurai and Western all combined. Resonating with any number of cultures, and showcasing a mind-blowing array of martial arts disciplines, Bunraku presents a totally fresh arena for breathtaking fight action.