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kitsuno
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 27, 2008 6:40 pm    Post subject: Death Trance Reply with quote


I just finished watching Death Trance, directed by Yuji Shimomura. The plot is pretty bare-boned: Essentially a super-human fighter steals a coffin from a temple that is supposed to allow the one who opens it to have his biggest desire granted. 4 Characters fight it out and steal it from eachother. That's basically the whole plot right there. Who are these four stolid warriors?

1. Totally pointless ronin with 80's hair. This pointless character is played by Steven Seagal's son Kentaro. The character does nothing to advance the plot (not that there is much of one to begin with), and Kentaro just plain lacks any of the screen presence or bad-ass charisma of his father.

2. Eternally hungry super human number one fighter. Played by Tak Sakaguchi - Sakaguchi makes up for all of Kentaro Seagal's faults as an actor with charisma and stage presence in spades. Well, as long as he doesn't open his mouth. He owns every scene he's in with a Mifune-like flair, but for some reason, all of his lines fall flat. His action scenes are lightning fast and rock-solid whereas Kentaro's one marginal scene is pretty weak in comparison.

3. Pale mysterious death angel lady. More of a plot device than a character, she sort of moves the plot along with the main protagonist:

4. Naive over his head junior priest. Tasked by the bishop of his destroyed temple with bringing back the coffin. He's the joe everyman in this crazy story of swordplay, blood, vampires, creepy little kids in kimonos, and kung-fu flying action.


Overall it wasn't that bad, but Kentaro Seagal was a particular disappointment. I rented this movie specifically to see if he inherited any of his father's screen presence or action skills. He disappoints in both areas. Tak Sakaguchi absolutely steals the show as the super human killing machine. I almost wonder if he actually studied Toshiro Mifune's swagger and bravado - he pulls it off brilliantly. Unfortunately he utterly lacks any power with his lines. Unlike Mifune, his voice definitely does not even come close to matching his swagger in this movie.

The locations and costumes were great, as was the washed out color most of the movie was filmed in, it gives it a dark and stylized look. All in all an OK popcorn movie with lots of katana, gun, and fist action, with some gunkata, capoeira, vampires, a motorcycle, and a bazooka thrown in for good measure.

Anyone seen this, or have comments?


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2008 12:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
I enjoyed this film for the pure popcorn action of it. As far as storyline goes, it was bland. This film is one of those guilty pleasures along with movies like Versus and just about anything that Tak Sakaguchi is in. I liked the style of the action and the over the top moves of Tak's character. Lycaena enjoyed the quasi-creepiness of the little girl in the movie.
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shikisoku
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I have the DVD.
The movie has no story it's just Tak Sakaguchi's action movie and I like Sakaguchi Just Kidding
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 8:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Unfortunately for Kentaro he inherited his fathers hairline as well as his acting ability. What was up with the motocross bike? Anyways, I agree with Sicklybug, this is a good movie for some silly entertainment while enjoying a beer or two and a bowl of popcorn.
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kitsuno
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 9:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Tornadoes28 wrote:
Unfortunately for Kentaro he inherited his fathers hairline as well as his acting ability. What was up with the motocross bike? Anyways, I agree with Sicklybug, this is a good movie for some silly entertainment while enjoying a beer or two and a bowl of popcorn.


"Aragami" was far, far better.
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Tornadoes28
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
kitsuno wrote:
Tornadoes28 wrote:
Unfortunately for Kentaro he inherited his fathers hairline as well as his acting ability. What was up with the motocross bike? Anyways, I agree with Sicklybug, this is a good movie for some silly entertainment while enjoying a beer or two and a bowl of popcorn.


"Aragami" was far, far better.


OK. I just added Aragami to my Netflix queue for next weekend so I will see how it compares.

How about Versus, another Tak Sakaguchi film? Have you seen that one?
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
This is the review I posted on IMBD.com about seven years ago for Versus:

"Fairly light on plot, but has some interesting characters (and good actors). What sets this apart from a pure B movie are the fight scenes, which are well done, in real close with what appear to be fast motion hand-held cameras, which makes the fights the best part. If anyone has time to kill, I'd recommend it. Just don't expect a storyline with any deep meaning."

Basically it's a total B movie.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 9:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I might be in the minority, but I thought Aragami was brilliant aside from the WTF ending, anyway. The set up, pace, and dialogue was perfect. If you are planning on Aragami, you have to put 2LDK in your queue too, since that is the counterpart to Aragami - and anyway, watching two chicks beat eachother to death with everyday household objects is just plain cool.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 1:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Tornadoes28 wrote:
How about Versus, another Tak Sakaguchi film? Have you seen that one?


Versus was an excuse to commit a ton of fight scenes onto film and it grasped for a plot to tie them together. It's just eye candy on a very low budget.
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 27, 2010 9:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
OK. Just finished watching Aragami. It was somewhat boring but also had a couple of parts that had me laughing. It had me laughing pretty good when the Aragami announced that he was Miyamoto Musashi. And since Aragami was serving French wine and the Russian vodka to his guest, I expected him to pull out some Tennessee whiskey as well but that didn't happen. And the ending scene had me chuckling as well when the guy pulled out shotgun.
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 27, 2010 10:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I'm currently in the middle of watching Samurai School, Taka Sakaguchi's newer film, and first foray as director. Not bad so far, typical Sakaguchi fight scenes, but he has yet to display that Mifune-esque charisma he had in Death Trance.

And, I thought Aragami was great, but it being pretty dialogue-heavy, I don't think the subtitles really did it justice.
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2010 6:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
kitsuno wrote:
I'm currently in the middle of watching Samurai School, Taka Sakaguchi's newer film, and first foray as director. Not bad so far, typical Sakaguchi fight scenes, but he has yet to display that Mifune-esque charisma he had in Death Trance.

And, I thought Aragami was great, but it being pretty dialogue-heavy, I don't think the subtitles really did it justice.


Yes, it was very dialogue-heavy. That's why I thought it was a bit boring and the fact that the entire movie takes place in that small temple room. It was not a bad movie.

Hmm, not sure what to make of Samurai School. Just watched the trailer at Nippon Cinema. Looks like it might be interesting.

http://www.nipponcinema.com/trailers/be-a-man-samurai-school/
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I finished Samurai School tonight, and although I took notes and was going to do a full on review, the movie just isn't that good. So I don't know if I can find enough good to say about it to even warrant a review.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 1:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
kitsuno wrote:
So I don't know if I can find enough good to say about it to even warrant a review.


Maybe our new pal can write it for you Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing .
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 4:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Tatsunoshi wrote:
kitsuno wrote:
So I don't know if I can find enough good to say about it to even warrant a review.


Maybe our new pal can write it for you Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing .


There's a lot of mystery going on here on the forum. What's up?
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 7:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
kitsuno wrote:
I finished Samurai School tonight, and although I took notes and was going to do a full on review, the movie just isn't that good. So I don't know if I can find enough good to say about it to even warrant a review.


Appears to be a bunch of Hijikata cosplayers swinging bad wallhangers, um . . . badly. Rolling Eyes

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 12:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Tornadoes28 wrote:
Tatsunoshi wrote:
kitsuno wrote:
So I don't know if I can find enough good to say about it to even warrant a review.


Maybe our new pal can write it for you Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing .


There's a lot of mystery going on here on the forum. What's up?
My, aren't you quite the bouncy dog? If we could tell you (and everybody else) we would have done so already!!! Evil or Very Mad You will see soon enough. So, go back to tending to your fields and paying your taxes (in rice) or you will have trouble with the new shugo.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 1:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Obenjo Kusanosuke wrote:
Tornadoes28 wrote:
Tatsunoshi wrote:
kitsuno wrote:
So I don't know if I can find enough good to say about it to even warrant a review.


Maybe our new pal can write it for you Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing .


There's a lot of mystery going on here on the forum. What's up?
My, aren't you quite the bouncy dog? If we could tell you (and everybody else) we would have done so already!!! Evil or Very Mad You will see soon enough. So, go back to tending to your fields and paying your taxes (in rice) or you will have trouble with the new shugo.


Yes sir. Anyways, your statement tells me all I need to know.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 2:15 pm    Post subject: DEATH TRANCE Reply with quote
Too the topic at hand ,Is it not great when you are expecting to watch a pile of crap and lo and behold ,its not as bad as you heard/read or seen much worse and that was the case with this .
Its pretty decent save for the ending or rather lack off and i too was curious to see Kenta but like Katsu's son in what we used to call Zatoichi 89 he was a let down ,speaking of dad i heard a while back he had to leave Japan as he got into trouble over some "kiddie fiddlin".
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 4:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
[quote="Tornadoes28"][quote="Obenjo Kusanosuke"]
Tornadoes28 wrote:


Yes sir. Anyways, your statement tells me all I need to know.


NOTHING is official yet, so there isn't much to say. If anything will be happening, I'll be making an announcement in the next few days. If we get to Saturday without an big announcements, you can rest assured that nothing happened.
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