Kuime [Over Your Dead Body] (2014)

Director: Takashi Miike
Writer: Kikumi Yamagishi
Cast: Ko ShibasakiEbizô IchikawaHideaki ItôMiho Nakanishi
Part of: Viennale
[Review by cornholio.]

Actress Miyuki (Ko Shibasaki) and her much less famous boyfriend Kosuke (Ebizô Ichikawa) star in a play based on the story of Yotsuya Kaidan. The possessive love story of the play translates to their lives as well and soon the lines between the two become blurry.

Unfortunately I don’t know the original play and without that knowledge, the film was only partly understandable. Not only that, it’s only mildly interesting. Maybe if I had known it, I would have discovered subtleties that remained elusive for me and that could have made the film more interesting. But as is, I just thought it was pretty shallow.



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47 Ronin (2013)

47 Ronin
Director: Carl Rinsch
Writer: Chris Morgan, Hossein Amini
Based on: the history of the 47 Ronin (very loosely)
Cast: Hiroyuki Sanada, Keanu Reeves, Ko Shibasaki, Rinko Kikuchi, Tadanobu Asano, Min Tanaka, Jin Akanishi, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Rick Genest

Ôishi (Hiroyuki Sanada) is the head samurai of Lord Asano (Min Tanaka), so when Asano dies due to Lord Kira’s (Tadanobu Asano) use of magic through a witch (Rinko Kikuchi), Ôishi becomes ronin. Against Shogun Tsunayoshi’s (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa) express orders, Ôishi and the rest of the ronin decide to revenge their master. And for that they need the help of Kai (Keanu Reeves), a foundling who was taken in by Asano as a young boy who was always mistreated by the samurai but who has some incredible gifts. Kai agrees, mostly to save Mika (Ko Shibasaki), Asano’s daughter.

47 Ronin should have been a spectacle, close to I, Frankenstein in entertainment value and (lack of) intelligence. And while there were a few things that came close to spectacular and a few things that came close to pure stupidity, altogether it was pretty disappointing.


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