October 24, 2016
        Mel Gibson to be Honored with the Hollywood Director Award at the 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Michael Moore drops a surprise new film with "Michael Moore in TrumpLand"                Hollywood Contenders: New Oscar Predictions for October                Nicole Kidman, Hugh Grant, Naomie Harris, Lily Collins get Honors at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                "Manchester by the Sea" leads the Gotham Award nominations                Tom Ford, Marc Platt and Kenneth Lonergan to be Honored at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Tom Cruise is in his action hero comfort zone with "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back"                "Moonlight" could be A24's big Oscar horse this year                Ewan McGregor steps behind the camera with "American Pastoral"                Hollywood Contenders: A second crack at Golden Globe predictions for 2016                "The Accountant" seeks to help give Ben Affleck another blockbuster                85 countries will be competing for Best Foreign Language Feature nominations at the Oscars                Tom Hanks to receive Hollywood Actor Award for "Sully" @ Hollywood Film Awards                "Certain Women" showcases Laura Dern, Kristen Stewart, and Michelle Williams                Ben Affleck is perhaps Hollywood's biggest and most diverse superstar        

“Bunraku”, starring Josh Hartnett, Review

HollywoodNews.com: There is a certain danger to any movie that spends the first five minutes explicitly explaining why the picture looks and sounds as it does. In this case, we have to understand why the world of Bunraku looks like a hybrid between the 1960s Batman TV show and a blood-drenched martial arts drama. The film is certainly a case of style over substance, and the utter lack of substance may be fatal for some viewers. But the picture boasts a unique visual palatte and some interesting ideas. It also boasts at least two wonderful action sequences, creative in their design and accomplished in their execution, that makes the film almost worth watching. Bunraku is not quite a good film, but it is surely a bad one worth watching for those who know what they are getting into.

The plot is pretty cut-and-dried mix of the arch typical western (a stranger walks into a corrupt town and tries to clean it up) and the arch typical Asian martial arts drama (a young man is sent on a quest by his father to win honor for himself). The two would-be heroes in this case are played by Josh Hartnett and Gact, as The Drifter and Yoshi, the Jin Samurai respectively. Support or peril is offered in the form of Ron Pearlman, Woody Harrelson, and Demi Moore. The basic gimmick is that the continuing destruction of mankind has led to a ban on firearms as well as the disillusionment of any large-scale government, which gives way to a somewhat traditional gangster saga without any actual guns. None of this makes all that much sense, and the movie runs an obscenely long 124 minutes, but writer/director Guy Moshe is certainly attempting something a bit off the beaten path. The world is unlikely any we have seen onscreen before, and the idea that these stock legends continue to play out again and again even in the far future is a compelling one.

But putting aside any deeper meaning behind the colorful mayhem, the film is first-and-for most an action picture. And on that scale it is a relative success, with several solid action scenes, all of which are fluidly shot and coherently edited. Of note are two truly wonderful action beats, both during the second act of the picture. The first, around the 55 minute mark, is a brief one-take sequence where Hartnett defeats several enemies up and down the floors of a single building, which resembles something out of the video game Elevator Action (minus the guns of course). The other action scene of note is easier to describe, as it’s just a big fight scene set on a giant trampoline. This is something Brett Ratner flirted with at the climax of Rush Hour 3, but we get the full treatment this time around, with two foes doing mortal combat as they bounce up and down. The rest of the action scenes are never less than accomplished, but they are more traditional ‘one or two guys beat up a whole bunch of other guys in a relatively stationary environment’.

Photo by ARC Entertainment

To read more go to MENDELSON’S MEMOS

To see celebrity photo galleries click here

Follow Hollywood News on Twitter for up-to-date news information.

Hollywood News, Hollywood Awards, Awards,  Movies, News, Award News, Breaking News, Entertainment News, Movie News, Music News

About Scott Mendelson

Mendelson's Memos: The basics - 30 years old, married with one child, currently residing in Woodland Hills, CA. I am simply a longtime film critic and pundit of sorts, especially in the realm of box office. The main content will be film reviews, trailer reviews, essays, and box office analysis and comparison. I also syndicate myself at The Huffington Post and Open Salon. I will update as often as my schedule allows. Yes, I'm on Facebook/Twitter/LinkIn, so feel free to find me there. All comments are appreciated, just be civil and try to keep a level discourse, as I will make every effort to do the same. Read more at Mendelson's Memos:

Follow us

Breaking Hollywood News   


Leave a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.