Posted on Wednesday, August 30th, 2017 by Jacob Hall
In Hollywood, we call a filmmaker prolific if they make one movie every few years. But Takashi Miike laughs in the face of even the speediest directors – he’s releasing two movies in 2017 alone. And a TV series. And has directed 15 movies since 2011. He’s a machine.
And his newest film, Blade of the Immortal, is a jaw-dropping milestone. This live-action adaptation of the Japanese manga series by Hiroaki Samura is Miike’s 100th movie. If the bloody new red band trailer is any indication, he hasn’t lost any of the insane and darkly comedic nerve that has defined his career so far.
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I rarely start reviews with first-person prose, but for JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable, an exception must be made. Why? Because I’ve attended midnight screenings of Tommy Wiseau’s The Room with tamer audiences. Welcome to the Fantasia International Film Festival, where a Japanese manga adaptation can pack an auditorium full of French Canadian superfans.
When JoJo first struts into focus, pompadour-on-steroids cut and all, audience members lost their collective cool, like The Beatles just touched down on American soil for the first time. Diehard “JOficionados” (Copyright) spiked an energy that can be neither bottled nor explained, as they were harder than any diamond for glam-rock JoJo. And his mousy new friend. And white hat Michael Jackson impersonator. And Water Golem (whose actual name is Aqua Necklace).
Now imagine myself – an outsider to the manga’s cult fame – who dashed from airport to theater after a three-hour-plus flight delay. Was it all just a malnourished exhaustion hallucination? That’s how it felt, and even as you read these words, I struggle to grasp what entered my eyeballs that night.
But I’m going to try.
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Posted on Friday, October 30th, 2015 by Jacob Hall
Takashi Miike tends to pump out two to three movies a year, rotating between action, horror, and exercises into total, depraved insanity without blinking. He is a mad man and his work veers from sublime to awful on a case-by-case basis. Then again, anyone who works as often as he does is allowed to have a stinker every now and again.
That brings us to the trailer for one of his newer movies (he’s made four movies since its Japanese release in 2014), Over Your Dead Body. A return to the slowly paced, deeply creepy horror that made him an international sensation with Audition, the film isn’t going to be for everyone. For Miike aficionados and for fans of genuinely unsettling horror, however, it’s a strange little treat.
Watch the Over Your Dead Body trailer below.
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Yakuza Apocalypse: The Great War Of The Underworld is one of a few recent films from prolific Japanese director Takashi Miike. It looks like the sort of thing that will go over well for those who’ve loved Sion Sono’s recent movies like Tokyo Tribe and Why Don’t You Play in Hell.
Like the latter film from Sono, this movie is a bizarre gangster tale with what seems to be a heavy dose of comedy, and even a vampire. Mayan Ruhian, who played Mad Dog in The Raid and a totally different character in The Raid 2, is even on board to add a little extra energy. The film premieres in the Cannes Directors’ Fortnight next month, but you can see a Yakuza Apocalypse trailer now. Read More »
Someone wants to produce an English-language Audition remake. The 1997 Ryu Murakami novel was turned into a 1999 thriller by director Takashi Miike. The film became notorious at festivals, and quickly aroused the interest of cult audiences in the US. In the story, a widower uses a staged audition process — ostensibly for a television show — to find a new girlfriend. The woman he chooses, however, has some really serious problems, and things get weird.
No, really. Things get really weird. Audition has two or three impossible-to-forget sequences, at least one of which stands among the more messed-up things I’ve seen in a movie. How will the US version fare? Read more below. Read More »
Posted on Tuesday, January 21st, 2014 by Angie Han
Takashi Miike and Tom Hardy‘s The Outsider seemed to be coming along at a decent clip. The yakuza flick was first announced last summer, then got a big boost in the fall when Worldview Entertainment signed on to finance and produce. Alas, now it’s suffered a nasty blow.
Hardy has just departed the project, and Miike has followed suit. Producers are currently scrambling to find replacements for the director and star, but production will be delayed at the very least. More details after the jump.
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Briefly: Announced a few months ago, The Outsider, a Yakuza film starring Tom Hardy and directed by Takashi Miike (13 Assassins, Ichi the Killer, Audition), just got a shot of financial adrenaline. The movie now has significant funding from Worldview Entertainment, likely thanks to the fact that such a film starring Hardy is a guaranteed distribution sale.
The Outside will shoot early next year in Japan, and will feature Hardy as “a former G.I. in post-WWII Japan who joins a Yakuza crime family.” The script is by Andrew Baldwin (the Logan’s Run remake) based on a story concept from John Linson (Sons of Anarchy). After making The Outsider, Hardy will dive into the Elton John biopic Rocketman, after which hopefully he’ll have to do promotional rounds for the new Mad Max movie, Fury Road. We also have his one-man movie, Locke, to look forward to. [Variety]
Trailers are an under-appreciated art form insofar that many times they’re seen as vehicles for showing footage, explaining films away, or showing their hand about what moviegoers can expect. Foreign, domestic, independent, big budget: What better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising? This week we get excited about a typewriter, hunt down a killer for a little dough, feel dirty looking at the screen, watch some cops cry and watch a play in action. Read More »
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Takashi Miike is one of the most prolific major filmmakers alive, and that leads to the fact that he’s one of the spottiest. When one churns out stories the way Miike does, not every one is going to be great work. But every once in a while he makes a stunner like Thirteen Assassins, or a whackadoo wonder like Gozu or Visitor Q, and then I’m hooked again.
So here’s the first footage from Lesson of the Evil, an adaptation of the novel of the same name that was originally serialized in Japan starting in 2008. The teaser makes the situation pretty clear, even for those who don’t understand Japanese without subtitles: there is a good-looking, popular teacher who also happens to be insane. Teacher-on-student violence ensues, and it looks like a happy ending might be right out of the question.
Watch the trailer, which seems to deliberately invoke Battle Royale, after the break. Read More »
Japanese director Takashi Miike is among the most prolific directors working today, and has held that distinction for many years. With that prolific work habit comes a rather spotty track record, and for every great Miike film there are a couple middling efforts and often one really bad one.
So which one is Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai? The film is Miike’s second period samurai remake in recent years, following his truly excellent 13 Assassins. The latter movie is one of Miike’s best, so there were pretty heavy expectations on this remake of Masaki Kobayashi’s 1962 film Harakiri. But reviews out of the film’s first appearance on the festival circuit weren’t great. Was the chilly reception thanks to over-inflated expectations in the wake of 13 Assassins, or is Hara-Kiri just one of Miike’s middling efforts?
The movie was Miike’s first in 3D, and the trailer is rather nice-looking, especially in some of the duel sequences. Check it out below. Read More »