Director: Takashi Miike
Stars: Takuya Kimura, Hana Sugisaki, Sôta Fukushi
Blade of the Immortal is a film based on Manga, directed by Takashi Miike. I recently picked this one up when I was scouring the Amazon Warehouse deals. This is a great place to look for DVD and BD films because you usually get good used deals as long as you have Prime shipping. I find it to be hit or miss, with the pricing to be inconsistent and sometimes a little unfair. You really have to look closely and often; but, if you do your research you can find some great deals. Just make sure you read the descriptions, minor cosmetic case damage isn’t a big deal; however, ex-library copies are practically worthless.
So now I will step off of my collecting tip soap box and talk about this film. It is a pretty recent release. It isn’t super cheap anywhere yet; but have no fear, it is awesome and totally worth a brand new Blu-ray purchase from Best Buy. This modern samurai epic has been released by Magnet Releasing. This company finds some pretty obscure stuff from all over the world. This may be a more mainstream release for them, but it could be an important one. This is because the film does great things for a genre that is quickly disappearing in this country. Despite the fact that most of our cinematic history came from the classics of Asian cinema, films of these types lack the respect they deserve from modern distributors.
This film focuses on a character blessed, or cursed, with immortality. After being given mystical healing powers, his quest for anonymity is quickly shattered when a young girl’s quest for revenge crosses his path. What ensues is some of fastest and goriest samurai action put on film in a very long time. Miike is an expert director who has always shot action with amazing precision and speed. Of course, this film, as with many other action films should not be recognized by director alone. In order to make a film like this, fight choreography and editing must be implemented with expert precision. I had so much fun with the action sequences in this film that I actually watched a bunch of the special features. I usually don’t get too into extra features, unless it’s in the Criterion Collection, but this film intrigued me from the start. So it was a great movie, and I got learn some stuff in the end too!
This is Takashi Miike’s 100th film. While the film doesn’t do a whole lot of new things in regard to plot, there are enough strange villains to create intrigue. Miike’s style and shooting technique brings the forest and mountains in this film to life. His creative techniques and special effects work create cool villains and gallons of gore. I know that fans of the Lady Snowblood and Lone Wolf and Cub films will love this movie. Fans of more modern Asian action films like Ninja Asssassin and The Assassin will also love this movie.