Chris S.'s Profile - Rotten Tomatoes

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Rating History

Three Outlaw Samurai
16 months ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Shiba (Tetsuro Tanba) is a wandering samurai who's seen it all. He stumbles onto some peasants who have taken the magistrate's daughter hostage in hopes of ending the corruptive leadership that plagues their land. What begins as a spectator sport and a roof over his head for Shiba turns into him fully supporting the peasants and their cause. Two other samurai; Sakura (Isamu Nagato) another wanderer with a guilty conscience and Kikyo (Mikijiro Hira) a samurai who milks the magistrate for all he's worth eventually join up with Shiba. An epic duel to the death lies ahead for the three samurai as the magistrate will stop at nothing to get revenge.

Three Outlaw Samurai begins in simple yet extravagant fashion. We see Shiba take a few steps in the mud followed by an extremely loud music cue and the title card written in Japanese Kanji. Six seconds into this chanbara film and I already know I'm going to love it. The film buys its time though as the first half of the film is mostly very talkative and swords are drawn only briefly before lengthy discussions begin once again. The storytelling is a high point as loyalty and the overall cause for all of this mayhem are always both relevant to the events taking place on screen. The cinematography is also brilliant, especially since this is the debut of Hideo Gosha. The well-choreographed and intense swordplay sequences are always captured with the most precise camera placement.

Lighting and shadows also play a big part in how the film is presented visually. The one-shot sword fight in the two-story whore house is the best example of this. Right down to the drastic lighting on Kikyo's eyes before everything goes to hell, Three Outlaw Samurai is the type of film fans of samurai, foreign, and great cinema in general dream of. There's something completely gratifying about blood presented in black and white, as well. Maybe it's because it reminds me of the Crazy 88 fight The Bride has at the tea house in Kill Bill, but the crimson liquid almost seems more gratifying in grayscale at least when it comes to older and more legendary motion pictures.

The best exchange of dialogue comes when Sakura is running across a field to support Kikyo and Shiba in the final battle. Sakura yells, "Hey Shiba! I've done you wrong! I deserve to die! Kill Me!" In the heat of battle, Shiba merely replies, "I'm busy at the moment."

While Three Outlaw Samurai may seem a bit slow at first, your patience will be rewarded. You'll become attached to the characters of Sakon Shiba, Kyojuro Sakura, and Einosuke Kikyo, get absorbed in their cause, and understand their decisions. As the swordplay and action becomes more frequent, you'll realize how truly amazing this film really is. Three Outlaw Samurai is a beautiful, well-written, and just a fantastic experience overall that is for fans of Seven Samurai, Shogun Assassin, and The Last Samurai.

Mr. Nobody
Mr. Nobody (2013)
3 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Where do you begin with a film like Mr. Nobody? A film that is filled with superb acting, amazing cinematography, and a storyline so complex that it almost makes Christopher Nolan's latest seem like it isn't quite as fantastic as it actually is. With a film like this, it seems fitting to just go with your gut instinct and narrate whatever comes to mind.

Mr. Nobody is the ideal kind of film to own on Blu-ray. Its luscious, vibrant colors that leap off every frame of the film would only be enhanced to their maximum potential in a high-definition format. While Nemo leads you through the twists and turns of his life, what's shown to you in the meantime seems to tell a story of its very own. Everything feels unique from the way the film is edited down to the way the story unfolds. Mr. Nobody is something special and should be treated as such.

Have you ever felt like an actor has just been biding his or her time until a certain role comes along where they can display their full potential and talent? That's what Mr. Nobody is for Jared Leto. While Leto seemed to shine more often in films where his character relied heavily on drugs like in Requiem for a Dream and Lord of War, his most memorable moment on film was being axed to death by Patrick Bateman while "Hip To Be Square" by Huey Lewis and The News blared in the background in American Psycho. That is up until now. Jared Leto's portrayal as Nemo throughout this film is nothing short of amazing. Just the way he's able to peel away another layer to this one character in each of his memories is mesmerizing right down to the old version of himself that sounds like a cross between Kermit the Frog and Yoda. All of it worked so well.

Mr. Nobody is a complex visual spectacle that is both charming and thought provoking. Not many films can come along and make you think about its meaning long after the film is over. It doesn't lay all the answers out in front of you or maybe it does. It's the type of film that seems to be taken differently by everybody. How many films are released that not only make you question your life, but your entire existence? Maybe the ones that come along once in a lifetime. Is it the best movie ever? Probably not, but it deserves every bit as much as praise as Inception is getting right now (another film that was nothing short of amazing). It seems that the only flaw Mr. Nobody has is that it hasn't been released in the states yet and considering it went into production in 2007 and has been sitting finished on the shelf for quite some time this is something that should be rectified sooner rather than later.