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 »

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney is the first game in the very popular series of legal drama/thriller video games that was released as Gyakuten Saiban (Turnabout Trial) in Japan. Earlier this year we learned that wildly prolific genre-hopping director Takashi Miike has been at work on a film adaptation of the series, and just over a week ago we saw the first footage from that film.

Now we’ve got the trailer for Phoenix Wright. No English subtitles on this one, unfortunately, but fans of the game should quickly be able to see what’s going on, and even those new to the series will get the gist pretty fast. Read More »

The outrageously prolific director Takashi Miike is no stranger to remakes. Two of his recent films (13 Assassins and Hara-Kiri) are remakes, and he’s remade Kim Jee-woon’s The Quiet Family as The Happiness of the Katakuris, and Kinji Fukasaku’s Graveyard of Honor as a new film with the same name. But not so many Miike movies get remade. Perhaps it’s just that he works so fast that no one can settle on a target?

Looks like the first next remake of a Miike movie to come out of Hollywood might be Ninja Kids!!, the family film that has done well in Japan. (And which is an adaptation of a Japanese TV show about youngsters training in the ways of the ninja.) “A major production company” is reportedly in negotiations for the rights now. Read More »

After some heavier recent works — including 13 Assassins and Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai, both of which are currently making their rounds in the festival circuit — director Takashi Miike is displaying a much lighter side side in his latest film, Ninja Kids!!! The bright, bubbly kids’ flick is based on the long-running anime series Nintama Rantaro, which in turn was adapted from an even longer-running manga titled Rakudai Ninja Rantaro. Check out the very silly trailer after the jump. Read More »

Takashi Miike has two films in the press right now. His last film, 13 Assassins, a really excellent piece of work, and one of his best efforts, is playing VOD and in some theaters now. And Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai, his first 3D film, just premiered at Cannes. The reviews for the latter weren’t great, but the director, true to form, is already moving on to more projects. One is evidently going to be an adaptation of Capcom’s mega-hit Ace Attorney games for the Nintendo DS. Read More »

Takashi Miike is best known for his hyper-explicit button-pushing films like Ichi the Killer, Audition and Visitor Q, but he has dabbled in just about every possible film genre. Lately he’s been in ‘stately samurai’ mode. His film 13 Assassins has been available on iTunes for a few weeks and opens in some theaters today. (And is very, very good.)

His next, Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai is a 3D film, and will premiere at Cannes in just a couple weeks. The teaser trailer for that one is out now, and it looks just as good as 13 Assassins, if in a slightly different way. Read More »

Any day Takashi Miike releases a new film, it’s like a holiday. When it’s a film that has buzz like 13 Assassins, it’s heaven. Miike’s latest release is scheduled to hit theaters on April 29 and after gangbuster screenings at South by Southwest, Fantastic Fest and AFI Fest, among others, we’ve heard nothing but incredibly positive things. The reviews are the kind of raves that makes it seem like 13 Assassins ranks among Miike’s best: Ichi The Killer, Audition, Gozu and others. Check out the full trailer and new poster after the break. Read More »


Keeping up with the output of Japanese director Takashi Miike can be a difficult task. He’s slowed down somewhat in recent years, with only two films this year and two in 2009. But he’s still one of the most prodigious filmmakers alive, with a habit of burning like a wildfire through one feature project after another.

Now, just after 13 Assassins (his remake of a samurai picture from 1963) played to good notice at the Venice and Toronto Film Festivals, he’s booked another remake. This time Miike will turn his attention to a new version of the 1962 samurai classic Harakiri, and it will be his first film in 3D. Read More »


Takashi Miike, one of the most prolific directors in the world, has two new films for 2010. One has already been released in Japan: Zebraman 2, which provides a sequel to Miike’s charmingly oddball ‘superhero’ movie from 2004.

The other is 13 Assassins, a dead-serious samurai movie which seems to be a bit like The Dirty Dozen by way of Seven Samurai. Now there’s a full-length trailer to remind you of how capable Miike can be when he works on a grand scale. Read More »

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Quentin Tarantino in Takashi Miike's Sukiyaki Western Django

Our friends at SolaceinCinema have published the first photo of Quentin Tarantino in Takashi Miike’s (Ichi The Killer) Sukiyaki Western Django (aka Sushi Western). Tarantino is a friend of Japanese Director Takashi Miike, whom he asked to perform a cameo in Eli Roth’s Hostel. As a result of Miike doing so, Tarantino performed in the opening action sequence of Miike’s Django. Supposedly, Tarantino plays a “mysterious dude by the name of Ringo who appears at the beginning of the movie and fights with an unnamed Japanese cast member, who plays the lover of a female assassin disguised as a town dweller, to be portrayed by Momoi Kaori.”

I’m not a huge fan of Tarantino’s acting abilities, but I’m also not as appalled or annoyed by his acting attempts as most film geeks. I’ll be checking out this film this week at the Toronto Film Festival.