Audience, have any of you watched Sin City or Ultraviolet? Frank Miller's illustrations and the special effects made Sin City a visual masterpiece; and the incredible actors added layer upon layer of depth. In the case of Ultraviolet Milla Jovovich is a virtually indestructible warrior that performs death-defying stunts in the most miraculous bluish-purple stage lighting. It was purported to be a technological gift to moviegoers and instead it felt like we all had lost our Christmas bonuses. Now we have two prime examples with which to contrast Bunraku.
Bunraku is visually scintillating. The use of filters, lenses and color screens produces the effect of surreality and beauty. Unfortunately, the plot scheme is vapid and insipid. The two leading men, Drifter (Hartnett) and Yoshi (Gackt), are hunting for revenge. Their nemeses or targets are the world's most lethal killers, Killer #2 (Kevin McKidd) and Nicola (not to be confused with Ricola, played by Ron Perlman). Half of the movie involves watching the killers slice and dice and flay weaker opponents. Nothing could possibly look more hyperbolized and ridiculous than their phonier-than-thou stunts. Yoshi is a spiritualist and a traditionalist, and Drifter talks in a guttural voice that will drive people insane with annoyance. Their greatest ally is a bartender (played by Harrelson). His presence makes me wonder if this while movie is Harrelson's acid trip and somehow a scientist captured it on DVD for the world to be mesmerized by.
Folks, aside from the distinctive lighting (a poor attempt indeed to sell a film), there is more shit than Shinola in this picture. Hartnett has regressed ten years and seems incapable of doing anything other than his patented lame stare at the camera and muttering words in a harsh/throaty manner. Perlman is the same character in nearly every movie and 9/10 are straight to DVD releases, are studios getting the point yet? Harrelson is neither funny nor cool, and in fact, one of my friends thought he was Jason Statham. Must be the baldness. Gackt is a Japanese singer and pianist, neither of which affords him significant skills wielding a sword. I am tempted to offer a reward for anyone that can watch this entire movie straight through without falling asleep or smashing the remote. Bunraku is more like BunPoopo, it looks and feels like refuse.
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