Saturday, December 21, 2013

Fantasia 2013 bits, part one

Rurouni Kenshin (Keishi Ohtomo, 2012)

For those new to the character, the film is the story of Kenshin, a samurai who, in penance for his past sins, dedicates his life to helping the innocent with a reverse-edge blade, a weapon that can never kill. I'm a huge fan of the anime series, and although it was loads of fun to experience this story again, the film suffers from several notable problems. Obviously conceived as a blockbuster, it never tries very hard to deviate from the original materiel or to bring anything to it. The direction is lazy at its best, and awkward at its worst, and the screenplay is by-the-numbers, trying to synthesize the season's plot into two hours. Although simplistic, watching the protagonists in action brings up in me a deep love of the series. I just wish it was left in the hands of a more capable director with stronger vision and mastery.


Confession of Murder (Byeong-gil Jeong, 2012)

After the statute of limitation on his murder ends, a young and handsome killer sells a book on his story and becomes an instant star, to the dismay of Choi, the detective that was assigned to the case who vows to find a way to bring him to justice. With such a high concept, Confession of Murder had the beginnings of a high-octane thriller / action blockbuster film. But, weighted by inconsistent characters and an incongruous plot, it quickly loses steam. By the time it gets to its big, final reveal, the movie has already lost all relevance.


It's me, It's me (Satoshi Miki, 2013)

Hitoshi's mundane life is turned upside down when he starts to meet clones of himself all around town and wonders what kind of lives he could've had. Directed by Satoshi Miki, the zany director behind and . It's unfair to compare all of Miki's films to Adrift in Tokyo but I've been desperate to see the genius of that film in the director's most recent work. In that respect, It's Me, It's Me unsurprisingly disappoints: too light to surpass classic comedies of the genre like Multiplicity (Harold Ramis, 1996); too whimsically scattered to retain our attention. I'd suggest you (re)watch Adrift in Tokyo instead.

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