Monday, August 18, 2008

The Hidden Blade (2004)

A very slow moving movie. If you want a typical hack and slash samurai movie, this one is not it.

I do not know why the title of the movie poster says, "The Hidden Blade" and below it the Chinese/Japanese character for "love". I think "honour" would be a better choice.

Anyway, this is definitely not my kind of movie. Story line is predictable and boring! Had to fast-forward certain scenes... but acting is good though.

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Sunday, August 3, 2008

Hideo Gosha's Hitokiri

Hitokiri is a disturbing (at least to me) movie released in 1968 by Hideo Gosha. It was subsequently released in 1970 as Tenchu (Heaven's Punishment) in the US.

Takechi Hanpei lead the Tosa Samurais against the Shogunate.

Some of the main characters of the movie, Tanaka Shinbei and Okada Izō, were based on actual Japanese historic figures, with the latter being the main protagonist.

Hitori literally means "assassins or killer" in English and these characters were based on the exploit of the famous Four Hitokiri of the Bakumatsu.

In the movie, the main character, Okada Izō, is potrayed as a faithful dog that does the bidding of the master until he realised that the master has turned against him.

The first ever rebellious words uttered by Okada Izō against his master, Takechi Hanpei .

The movie invoked pity for the central character when it was revealed that he seek to win the heart of an aristocrat woman by killing as many people as possible for the "Tosa cause", thus his blinding loyalty to Takechi Hanpei.

Okada Izō gets his redemption and revenge.

In the beginning, it took me a while to get use to the way this movie was presented. As the story unfolded, one start to understand the madness. Understanding a little bit of the Japanese history does help to put things in perspective. All in all, it was an enjoyable movie... :-)

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Friday, August 1, 2008

HBO's True Blood

Recently, I saw a preview of True Blood, a new HBO series that is set to release on September 9 this year. In True Blood, vampires come out of hiding and are living among the humans, and are fighting for equal rights and affirmative actions.

The promotion poster for HBO's True Blood series.

The main cast, Vampire Bill (Stephen Moyer) and Sookie (Anna Paquin) the telepath.

The premise for the vampires to come out of hiding and living among the humans is due to the new Japanese invention, Tru Blood (a substitute for human blood), supposedly enabling the vampires to live without preying on their once upon a time food source, the humans.

Tru Blood advertisements.

Vampire equal rights posters

I can imagine the many varied and interesting story lines and possible directions for the series to take.

News Report of vampires.

Trublood - Suck it Up! advertisements.

Chinese vampire appeals for peace.

According to news sources, a "rough version of the pilot has been released/leaked online." I cannot imagine that the leak is not part of its viral marketing campaign strategy that True Blood is now well known for through the states... :-)

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