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Sukiyaki Western Django
BLU-RAY disk
12.05.2008 By: Sturdy
Sukiyaki Western Django order
Director:
Takashi Miike

Actors:
Hideaki Ito
Yusuke Iseya
Quentin Tarantino

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Two competing gangs battle in a small town for a treasure buried within the rocks. When a mysterious stranger strolls into town, the two sides compete for his services. Of course, he has ulterior motives with the goal to turn them on each other and rid the town of their cruelty.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
I had a friend that saw this in the theater and when he got out, he told me that if I ever watch it, I need to go in reminding myself that itís pure fun and not meant to be taken seriously. I couldnít give any better advice. If you take it as a fun, creative homage to the spaghetti westerns, you might actually get something out of it. If you go in expecting a serious, intense western/action film, youíre going to be seriously disappointed.

However, just because youíre not trying to make CITIZEN KANE, it doesnít mean you get a pass for every aspect of filmmaking. For the most part, Takashi Miike makes a visually pleasing film thatís creative enough to keep viewers entertained. Thereís enough slow-motion action and sword-slicing bullets to amuse audiences, but where the film struggles is with the dialogue. This is very strange to me since Quentin Tarantino actually appears in the film and heís known for his great dialogue. However, itís clear he didnít have as much influence as originally thought. Oh, and for those of you shying away because he ďstarsĒ in it, rest assured that he barely plays a part and isnít distracting at all. Slightly annoying, yes, but not distracting.

Even though itís clearly an action film, the movie would have been better served to have included more and longer action scenes. The ones we got seem to revolve around a particular gimmick (a guy getting a hole shot in him) and then didnít have anywhere to go. We needed more gunplay and martial arts to really keep the film rolling. We actually had some cool characters and I would have liked to see them in action more often.

The women also played a big part in the film, but their parts seemed a little forced and almost like they were an afterthought rather than a focus of the film. Miike has skills as a director and he shows them off here, but the action proved to be too tame and the dialogue was too rough to make this a cult classic or a must-own on home video.
THE EXTRAS
Deleted Scenes (14:28): A lot of these were just short snippets, but there were a couple of longer scenes. Theyíre okay, not much action or witty dialogue. Mostly, they wouldíve slowed down the pacing, so it was a good thing they were cut.

Making of Featurette (52:40): This is an all-inclusive featurette chronicling the making of the film. Everyone has a good time talking about the film and itís clear they were going for entertainment value and nothing else. Some of the humor gets lost in the translation, but if youíre a fan of the film, youíll like this. Oh, and Takashi Miike gives the same advice my friend gave me.

There are some Previews
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
This movie is not for everyone. Itís an experimental mix of samurai and spaghetti western films, so if you can already tell thatís not your thing, I wouldnít bother. Otherwise, go in with an open mind, looking for a fun film and I think you might be surprised.
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