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The Cinematic Katzenjammer: Jan 2: Bunraku


Jan 2: Bunraku

"The story of a a young man who has spent his life searching for revenge only to find himself up against a bigger challenge than he originally bargained for."

   Bunraku is one hell of a mess, but still very entertaining. This movie is what would happen if Sin City, West Side Story, and Kung Fu Panda had a three-way and popped out a baby, with the romantic lighting of Legends of the Hidden Temple.
   The film follows the over-used idea where two strangers wander into town and team up to fight a common evil. This time, it's a "cowboy without a gun, and a samurai without a sword". 
   The fight scenes in Bunraku are very interesting, and at times well done, and at others, completely lackluster and boring. It's almost as though the fight choreographer had certain days off, and the rest of the crew put the scenes together. I do however have to give Josh Hartnett some credit for kicking quite the handful of ass. He almost channels Jack Sparrow with his  creepy and comical permanent drunkenness. 
   The samurai in the story is played by Gackt, a former Japanese boy band singer. His imdb page picture however, tells me he is some militant, punk-rock lesbian.


   One scene that stands out is where Hartnett fights through dozens of guards into a prison, all filmed in one take and using a set with multiple levels. It is very well done and if the rest of the film was shot just the same, the whole movie would be much better. Throw in Woody Harrleson, Demi Moore (who looks awful as some crime lord's "trophy wife") and the massive Ron Perlman (with dreads, or long dirty hair, or something) and you get a grab bag of a movie. I do not recommend watching this alone, at least not sober. 

Sight: The film has insanely elaborate sets with a style like that of old school musicals (but with blood!).
Sound: It has an underwhelming score, with hilarious, yet, very cheesy sound effects.
Skill: Not much acting is needed, just fists and feet do the talking. 
Script: There is an interesting voice-over narration but the script is severely lacking and the story is unoriginal and cliche.

Score: 5.5/10

Best Quote:
The Drifter: "That's pretty optimistic of you; worrying about your mustache when you should be worried about your head"

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