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DVD Review: Sukiyaki Western Django

DVD Review: Sukiyaki Western Django


Famed Japanese auteur Takashi Miike, best known for cult classics Audition, Ichi the Killer, and The City of Lost Souls, redefines the spaghetti Western with SUKIYAKI WESTERN DJANGO. This stunning cinematic combination of far east techniques meets wild west cliches charmed audiences at film festivals around the world including the Venice International Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, Seattle International Film Festival, San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival and New York Asian Film Festival. The film, which is co-written by Masa Nakamura and Takashi Miike, carries Miike’s infamous auteur stylistics of violence, melodrama and the breathtaking visuals that the cinematography evokes.

Two clans, the white and the red, battle for a legendary treasure hidden in a desolate mountain town. One day, a lone gunman, burdened with deep emotional scars but blessed with incredible shooting skills, drifts into town. Two clans try to woo the lone gunman to their side, but he has ulterior motives.

Dirty tricks, betrayal, desire and love collide as the situation erupts into a final, explosive showdown. Quentin Tarantino also stars.

Japanese director Takashi Miike, who made movies like Ichi the Killer and Audition, has a cult following overseas quite like Quentin Tarantino does in the States. Miike decided in Sukiyaki Western Django to combine the beauty of a martial arts movie and the rawness of a gritty western together to produce one killer samurai gun slinging good time.

Sukiyaki follows a very similar plot line as movies like The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly and Last Man Standing. It begins with a lone gunslinger wandering into a town that just so happens to have a feuding rivalry between two gangs known as “The Reds” and “The Whites.” Both sides are in search of a secret fortune that is rumored to be in the small shanty town. Lucky for the gunslinger, he’s for sale to the highest bidder. The only problem is that time is ticking down, and a weapon is on its way that both sides might not be able to handle. It’s a nitty-gritty race to the fortune, as blood pours, swords fly, and bullets are shot and sliced in half. Sit back and enjoy this one of a kind magnificent blend of a spaghetti western and martial arts film that will be sure to keep you thrilled.

I have been looking forward to this movie for over a year now and was not let down in the least. I am a big fan of Quentin Tarantino, and he has had an interest in this project for sometime. It was a nice treat to see him take part in the film, even for a cameo role. The cinematography wasn’t short of insane. It was raw, risky, and most importantly turbo-charged to keep your eyes focused. Even elements like the music and the color schemes put the icing on the cake for an awesome movie. Definitely take the time to watch this film if you have been a fan of westerns and/or martial arts films in the past. It will not disappoint, I promise you that.

Review by Charlie Giltenboth

Grade: B+
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