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The City of Lost Souls (Hyôryuu-gai) [Import USA Zone 1]
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Description du produit
Explosive and stylish, this turbo-charged thriller from Audition director Miike Takashi is an all-out assault on the senses. Set in Rio, Okinawa and Tokyo's notorious Shinjuku district, the film takes a journey deep into the seedy underside of Japan's gangland culture.
Un brasiliano tosto e vendicativo fa scappare la sua ragazza dal furgone che la sta trasportando in prigione. Insieme tenteranno poi il colpo della vita: rubare una borsa piena di soldi a due mafiosi durante uno scambio di droga. Ma qualcosa va storto.Vendetta, azione, sparatorie e ironia: il marchio di fabbrica di Miike è ben presente in questo b-movie sospeso tra dramma e fumetto --Ce texte fait référence à une édition épuisée ou non disponible de ce titre.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com
While many people would dismiss this as plotless, violent trash there are deeper themes afoot to those who care to look.
The plot itself is a convoluted mess about a monosyllibic Brazilian/Japanese thug named Mario (played with nihilistic cool by Teah) and his gorgeous Chinese lover, Kei (Michele Reis) who rob the Chinese mafia (led by the ping pong loving, effeminate gangster Ko) and the Yakuza (fronted by the brutish, ultra-violent kingpin, Fushimi) during a drug deal in order to get cash the flee the country with. Things go awry, as they're wont to do in these kinds of movies. Mayhem insues.
However, the real story isn't the story at all. It's pretty much a mashed up collage of violent imagery. There's also a massive absurdist streak (CGI cockfighting with the birds pulling off Matrix-style moves) and an evil sense of humor (one of Fushimi's poor victims gets beaten to a pulp, lit on fire and then run over with a car). The characters pose and posture, the dialogue is minimal, and the scenes are shot with a hyper-kinetic verve. Imagine Guy Ritchie's "Snatch" or Tarentino's "Pulp Fiction" on cheap drugs and you're off to a good start.
The movie breezes through 100 minutes like it was half of that and leaves you with an ending that will initially leave many people scratching their heads. "What was the point of that?" And perhaps that's the ultimate point. The characters are all greedy, nihilistic, violent and essentially unlikable, with the exception of little blind orphen, Carla, who Miike shoots like she was a broken doll and the fiery (and I mean that literally) Chinese beauty Kei who spends most of the movie following Mario from violent confrontation to violent confrontation. We're not really supposed to like these people. They all live up to the movie's title. Empty save for their violence and penchant for posing in the coolest possible manner. We watch the film like we watch a car wreck. The violence is so slick and stylish that it's impossible to take seriously.
Perhaps that's Miike's greatest accomplishment with this picture: he takes a hyper violent mess and makes it not only watchable, but fascinating in it's effortless brutality and leaves you with something to talk about with your friends once the credits roll.
Definately not for the faint of heart. This movie makes "Robocop" look like "Steel Magnolias."
An odd couple; a Brazilian-Japanese, Mario (Teah) and a Chinese hairdresser, Kei (beauteous Michele Reis), unintentionally begins a downward spiral into hell. When Kei is about to be deported by Japanese authorities, Mario saves her in a daring rescue. Mario then hides her in Japan's Brazilian quarter until they can secure passports so they can escape Japan. They'll need money to do so, and they decide to steal money from the Yakuza but instead ends up selling cocaine. Now, with Ko (Mitsuhiro Oikawa) and Fushimi (Koji Kikkawa) hot on their trail, the two lovers embark on a nightmarish adventure....
Despite the film's romantic undertone, Miike never sacrifices his usual entries of blood, dark comedy and bizarre visuals that made him famous. "City of Lost Souls" may not be as shocking as Miike's "Dead Or Alive" and "Fudoh" but it is entertaining enough in its own unique way. The film has a very simple plot, but the film's style and exaggerated manga-comic-book inspired sequences provides its entertainment value. The film also has its share of bizarre sequences, a cock-fight with chickens on steroids, hints of bestiality, and oddball characters that is the trademark of Japanese cinema. The film is very fast-paced and moves very quickly with the introduction of its characters. Surrealism is blended with its comic book-like sequences and it is definitely NOT your usual mediocre action film.
Although, the background of Mario and Kei's relationship is underdeveloped which makes it rather difficult to form an attachment to them, the film overloads your brain with its imagery and characters. The film looks very cool and makes up for its simple premise. The characters are interesting enough and the dialogue is indeed "quippy" enough. "It's a miracle--God is definitely Brazilian.." are some of the film's humorous dialogue as quoted by a weird Brazilian radio commentator. Of course, it is no surprise that Miike would have Kei abused and beaten, Asian cinema isn't at all too kind with its treatment of women onscreen. It is rather mild compared to Miike's other films though. Surprisingly, the film has no sex or female nudity on display--they are hinted at but never shown on camera.
The most interesting characters I thought were Lucia (sexy Patricia Manterola) and the little girl, Carla. They weren't as developed as Ko or Fushimi but I rather thought they served as the film's spirit and our lovers' conscience. The other supporting characters themselves represented different cultures in a common nation. There are subtle amounts of social commentary that no "race" or person is perfect, that each one relies on the other. One's own sense of honor and dignity is what one should cling to.
The film has its stylish doses of gunplay that has the flair of "bullet ballet". The helter-skelter gunfights have the heavy doses of style with the Miike splattering blood effects. There are also some displays of the Brazilian Martial Art Capoeira but this idea didn't really fully develop. The film is also multi-lingual: Japanese, Portuguese, Mandarin and Russian is spoken in its proceedings. This is a good approach as it does emulate the idea of a "melting pot" of ethnicity in Japan.
"City of Lost Souls" is not your usual action film and definitely NOT for everybody. However, those two chickens fighting in a fight arena may be worth the price of the dvd. Imagine two chickens on steroids moving as Morpheus and Neo would in "The Matrix". Takashi Miike's film borders on being odd and bizarre and this film is no different. The great imagery and camerawork is definitely the film's strength and further cements his position as a "master of movement". (it is odd that America sees Miike more as a "master of horror") Takashi Miike is a maestro of cinema but truth be told, his movies are more than most people can manage to understand and see.
Recommended for fans of Japanese cinema. [3 ½ Stars]