Friday, January 30, 2009

Sukiyaki Western Django (2007; Takashi Miike)

Two things need to be stated here in this little introduction. Firstly, I have always loved Takashi Miike. Secondly, I have always hated westerns.

(Quite the cliff hanger, eh?)

In a small desert (until the end) town, two rival gangs fight over the ownership of the land to prospect for gold. We are treated to a mysterious hero coming in to try and end the battle between the White's (pictured above) and the Red's (pictured below) before it reaches even more ridiculous proportions.

When I first heard about this project a while back, I thought the idea of Miike, one of the masters of shock cinema, creating a spaghetti western seemed a bit of a stretch. However, I have learned over the years never to judge Miike's works until you actually watch them. I was going to put off purchasing and reviewing this film until it's price dropped, but the lure of Tarantino in a Miike film was too much for me to handle so I caved.

From the very forced English dialogue coming from Japanese actors to the stereotyped western setting, every piece of this movie feels perfect. By every piece I mean almost every piece, I just thought the sentence would flow better if I used every instead of almost every. Anyway.

The colors vary from bright whites to muddy browns. The camera goes from corny (on purpose) western shoot-outs to beautiful "landscape" shots as I like to call them (couldn't think of a better word for set pieces that would get my point across). Every inch of this film is filled to the brim with the heart and spirit of a man (Miike) who loves his work (or in this case, someone elses terrible genre). His understanding of how to make the film was almost perfect (once again, stressing the almost as I will get to the negative in a bit).

Now when dealing with a film filled with stereotypes up the ass, it is hard to craft each concept without it feeling boring or forced. Miike almost pulled it all off, except for some of the love story parts. Some of them (one "romantic" scene near the end dealing with two people crawling comes to mind) just felt unneccesary to the completion of the story.

Score: 4.5/5

Notes: Tarantino, Forced English Dialogue

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