Bunraku (2010) Poster

Bunraku (2010)

  • Rate: 6.1/10 total 6,815 votes 
  • Genre: Action | Drama | Fantasy
  • Release Date: 30 November 2011 (South Korea)
  • Runtime: 124 min
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Bunraku (2010)


Bunraku 2010tt1181795.jpg poster

  • IMDb page: Bunraku (2010)
  • Rate: 6.1/10 total 6,815 votes 
  • Genre: Action | Drama | Fantasy
  • Release Date: 30 November 2011 (South Korea)
  • Runtime: 124 min
  • Filming Location: MediaPro Studios, Bucharest, Romania
  • Budget: $25,000,000(estimated)
  • Director: Guy Moshe
  • Stars: Josh Hartnett, Demi Moore and Woody Harrelson
  • Original Music By: Terence Blanchard   
  • Soundtrack: Putting on the Blitz
  • Sound Mix: Dolby Digital
  • Plot Keyword: Revenge | Drifter | Electronic Cigarette | One Word Title | Japanese

Writing Credits By:

    (in alphabetical order)

  • Boaz Davidson  story
  • Guy Moshe  screenplay

Known Trivia

  • The title of the film is based on a 400-year-old form of Japanese puppet theater, a style of storytelling that uses 4-foot-tall puppets with highly detailed heads, each operated by several puppeteers who blend into the background wearing black robes and hoods.
  • Guy Moshe originally sold his script for Bunraku to a production company. When it became clear that the screenplay would not be turned into a film, he bought it back.
  • Guy Moshe managed to sign Woody Harrelson and Demi Moore onto Bunraku because both actors really liked Holly and responded immediately to the Bunraku script.
  • Bunraku is the first feature film produced by renowned production designer Alex McDowell, RDI. He originally met with Guy Moshe and producer Nava Levin in 2007 to consult with them on Bunraku. Moshe’s project was such an interesting and provocative blend of genres and techniques that McDowell got hooked and helped them to set up an innovative approach to pre-production that integrated pre-visualization, storytelling and design into a new fluid and low budget workspace for the creative team.
  • Snoot Entertainment’s Keith Calder decided to produce Bunraku because he has always loved films in the ‘no-name stranger coming to town and ending up in a bigger struggle’ genre. Bunraku was for him the opportunity to take this genre and spin it on its head and bring a unique and strong visual style to it.
  • Japanese artist Gackt Camui came to the attention of director Guy Moshe through his role in the television historic drama The Trusted Confidant, a year-long series produced by Japan Broadcasting Corporation. In this series, he portrayed a heroic warlord. Moshe went to Japan personally to entice Camui to join the cast for Bunraku.
  • According to Keith Calder, Bunraku is heavily influenced by the look and style of classic Hollywood musicals except that the singing and dancing are replaced with physical combat sequences that evoke Gene Kelly by way of Bloodsport.
  • David Torn was originally slated to compose the original score.
  • The characters ‘The Bartender’ and ‘Alexandra’ share matching tattoos on their necks near their left ears. Alexandra wears Yin, the dark side, night. While The Bartender wears Yang, the white side, light.
  • When the Drifter leaps onto the prison roof and attacks a guard, the Narrator says “Happy birthday, fucker.” This line is quoted from the song “The Gentle Art of Making Enemies” by the band Faith No More. Mike Patton, who plays the Narrator, is the lead singer of Faith No More.

Plot: The story of a a young man who has spent his life searching for revenge only to find himself up against a bigger challenge than he originally bargained for. Full summary »  »

Story: In a world with no guns, a mysterious drifter, a bartender and a young samurai plot revenge against a ruthless leader and his army of thugs, headed by nine diverse and deadly assassins.Written by Anonymous  


Synopsis: In a hyperreal, hyper-saturated, hyper-driven dystopia, guns are banned upon pain of death and the sword is now king.

Nicola the Woodcutter is the most powerful man east of the Atlantic, a shadowy crime boss who rules with an iron fist with the help of his lady Alexandra, a femme fatale with a secret past, and nine diverse assassins and the Red Gang, a force not to be trifled with. His right-hand man is Killer #2, a cold-hearted, smooth-talking, toe-tapping murderer dressed in red and wielding a deadly blade without remorse. The citizens live in fear of this pack of wolves, and wait for the hero who can overthrow the tyrant.

One night, a mysterious drifter walks into the Horseless Horseman Saloon of the local insurgent bartender and desires two things: a shot of whisky and to kill Nicola. Soon, another stranger enters the bar, a samurai named Yoshi. Yoshi wants to avenge his father by taking back a talisman that Nicola stole from his clan. Armed with crossed destinies and incredible fighting skills and guided by the wisdom of the bartender, the two eventually join forces to bring down the corrupt and contemptuous reign of Nicola and set out on a journey, breaking bones and cracking heads in search for Nicola.

In an amalgam of samurai film, spaghetti western and chop socky and using a stylish blend of neo-noir, German expressionism and Russian futurism, characters in the world of Bunraku spin and ricochet against a backdrop that resembles a pop-up-book made of origami, ever-changing and whirring like a steam driven Victorian theatre set. It is a universe driven by pugilistic force, delivered in a brash style of amazing physical combat sequences.


FullCast & Crew

Produced By:

  • Ram Bergman known as producer
  • Keith Calder known as producer
  • Nava Levin known as producer
  • Albertino Matalon known as co-producer
  • David Matalon known as executive producer
  • Alex McDowell known as co-producer
  • Rick Nathanson known as line producer
  • Dane Allan Smith known as co-producer
  • Jessica Wu known as producer
  • Matthew G. Zamias known as co-producer

FullCast & Crew:

  • Josh Hartnett known as The Drifter
  • Gackt known as Yoshi (as Gackt Camui)
  • Woody Harrelson known as The Bartender
  • Ron Perlman known as Nicola
  • Kevin McKidd known as Killer No. 2
  • Demi Moore known as Alexandra
  • Shun Sugata known as Uncle
  • Emily Kaiho known as Momoko
  • Jordi Mollà known as Valentine
  • Mike Patton known as The Narrator (voice)
  • Shahar Sorek known as Killer No. 3 / Mirror Drifter
  • Fernando Chien known as Killer No. 4
  • Yoshio Iizuka known as Killer No.5
  • Kofi Yiadom known as Killer No. 6
  • Aaron Toney known as Killer No. 7
  • Razvan Gheorghiu known as Killer No. 8
  • Holland Diaz known as Killer No. 9
  • Florian Ciprian known as Killer No. 10
  • Andrei Araditz known as Croupier
  • Chris Brewster known as Punk Leader
  • Neil D'Monte known as The Pianist
  • Mark Ivanir known as Eddie
  • Alin Panc known as Card Dealer
  • Gabi Rauta known as Nicola's Assistant Casino
  • Vali Rupita known as Gregor
  • Gabriel Spahiu known as Boris Patz
  • Larnell Stovall known as Red Army Commander
  • Maria-Antoaneta Tudor known as Brass Knuckle Girl
  • Wong Di Jr. known as Host
  • George Ivascu known as Cab Driver
  • Linca Manolache known as Prostitute
  • Ciprian Dumitrascu known as Bouncer 1
  • Doru Firica known as Bouncer 2
  • Bogdan Uritescu known as Mob Office Supervisor
  • Andreea Paduraru known as Female Assistant
  • Constantin Barbulescu known as Absinthe Den Owner
  • Luminita Stoianovici known as Absinthe Den Waitress
  • Cezara Dafinescu known as Lady
  • Nicolae Predica known as Casino Employee
  • Marcel Iures known as Chief of Police
  • Dorin Zaharia known as Ivan
  • Theodor Danetti known as General
  • Oliver Toderita known as Lowlife #1
  • Zoltan Butuc known as Lowlife #2
  • Samuel Vauramo known as Bully 1
  • Marius Florian known as Bully 2
  • Razvan Calin known as Bully 3
  • Emil Hostina known as Follower #1
  • Bogdan Voda known as Follower #2
  • Ion Lupu known as Deputy Mayor
  • Thayr Harris known as League Member
  • Maxim Esterkin known as Nicola Thug #1
  • Gabi Burlacu known as Mobster (uncredited)
  • Andreea Carp known as Manicure Girl (uncredited)
  • Dominic Geraghty known as The Investigator (uncredited)
  • Uri Mossinsohn known as Cards Room Spy (uncredited)
  • Oana Radu known as Sexy Secretary (uncredited)
  • Irina Saulescu known as Alexandra's Mistress (uncredited)



Supporting Department

Makeup Department:
  • Lynda Armstrong known as hair designer
  • Lynda Armstrong known as makeup designer
  • Amy Byrne known as hair stylist
  • Amy Byrne known as makeup artist
  • Catalin Ciutu known as hair stylist
  • Gabi Cretan known as makeup artist
  • Andreea Dardea known as hair stylist
  • Andreea Dardea known as key makeup artist
  • Andreea Dumitrescu known as assistant hair stylist
  • Gabriela Gociu known as assistant makeup artist
  • Grigore Maria known as makeup artist
  • Balázs Novák known as makeup artist
  • Gabriella Németh known as hair stylist
  • Ada Radu known as assistant makeup artist
  • Alina Stefan known as assistant makeup artist
  • Cristina Temelie known as hair stylist

Art Department:

  • Mihai Alecsa known as construction coordinator
  • Daniel Alexandru known as sculptor
  • Oana Babes known as art department coordinator
  • Cristian Baluta known as property master
  • Aric Cheng known as set designer
  • Neil D'Monte known as storyboard artist
  • Sarbu Eusebiu known as scenic artist
  • Florin Gavrila known as scenic painter
  • Mark Goerner known as conceptual artist
  • Gabriel Higgins known as property master
  • Liviu Hoisan known as graphics coordinator
  • Arjuna Imel known as set designer
  • Tammy S. Lee known as set designer
  • Thomas Machan known as set designer
  • Liviu Marcu known as sculptor
  • Chad Owens known as set designer
  • Vlad Panaitescu known as set construction manager
  • Adrian Popa known as set decorator assistant
  • Anne Porter known as set designer
  • Raj Rihal known as concept artist
  • Serban Rotariu known as set designer
  • Geaniloni Sandru known as scenic painter
  • Adrian Ungureanu known as on-set painter
  • Nathaniel West known as concept artist




Production Companies:

  • Snoot Entertainment
  • Picturesque Films
  • Ram Bergman Productions

Other Companies:

  • Algous Studio  visual effects
  • All Deco International  set construction
  • Audiolink Radio Communications  walkie talkies
  • Central Casting Romania  extras casting
  • DDDecor  set construction
  • Dolby Laboratories  sound mix
  • Pivotal Post  Avid Editing Equipment Provided By
  • Reder & Feig  production legal counsel
  • ShowBiz Studios  studio


  • Indie Direct (2011) (USA) (theatrical)
  • XLrator Media (2011) (USA) (theatrical)
  • ARC Entertainment (II) (2011) (USA) (all media)
  • Arc Entertainment (2011) (USA) (DVD)
  • Arc Entertainment (2011) (USA) (DVD) (Blu-ray)
  • CatchPlay (2009) (Taiwan) (all media)
  • Central Partnership (2010) (Russia) (all media)
  • G2 Pictures (2011) (UK) (all media)
  • Icon Film Distribution (2011) (Australia) (DVD)
  • Icon Home Entertainment (2012) (Australia) (DVD)
  • Imagem Filmes (2009) (Brazil) (all media)
  • Midget Entertainment (2011) (Denmark) (all media)
  • Multivision Multimedia India (2010) (India) (all media)
  • Noble Entertainment (2011) (Sweden) (DVD)
  • Noble Entertainment (2011) (Sweden) (DVD) (Blu-ray)
  • Noori Pictures (2011) (South Korea) (all media)
  • Seven Sept (2011) (France) (DVD)
  • Splendid Film (2010) (Austria) (DVD)
  • Splendid Film (2010) (Germany) (DVD)
  • Splendid Film (2010) (Luxembourg) (DVD)
  • Splendid Film (2010) (Switzerland) (DVD) (geman-speaking region)
  • Splendid Film (2010) (Belgium) (DVD)
  • Splendid Film (2010) (Netherlands) (DVD)
  • Swen Entertainment (2011) (Mexico) (all media)
  • Toho Eiga Distribution Corp. (2012) (Japan) (all media)
  • TriPictures (2010) (Spain) (all media)
  • VVS Films (2011) (Canada) (all media)
  • Village Roadshow Greece S.A. (2010) (Greece) (all media)
  • Vinny Filmes (2012) (Brazil) (all media)
  • Warner Bros. (2012) (New Zealand) (DVD)



Other Stuff

Special Effects:

  • Factory VFX
  • Proof
  • RotoFactory

Visual Effects by:

  • Dvir Ackerman known as previs supervisor
  • Renee Aldridge known as drs operator
  • Gerard Andal known as digital artist
  • Kyle Andal known as digital artist
  • Jason Arrieta known as digital compositor
  • Christian Aubert known as technical director
  • Matthew Beightol known as digital artist
  • Jason Bond known as visual effects artist
  • Jürgen Brunner known as texture artist
  • Alon Chitayat known as digital artist
  • Eric D. Christensen known as visual effects producer: Factory VFX
  • Craig Clark known as visual effects
  • Erin Clark known as digital artist
  • Rene Clark known as scanning & film recording artist
  • Tyler Cote known as compositor
  • Liz Crawford known as visual effects producer
  • Stuart Cripps known as digital compositor
  • Keith Croket known as visual effects assistant editor
  • Steven De Keninck known as in house development
  • Victor DiMichina known as visual effects producer
  • Geoff DuQuette known as digital artist
  • Craig Edwards known as visual effects artist: Origami Digital
  • B.J. Farmer known as post production coordinator
  • Wouter Gadeyne known as in house development
  • Jon Gourley known as visual effects artist: Origami Digital
  • Alexey Goussev known as visual effects supervisor: Algous Studio
  • Kristopher Gregg known as scanning & film recording artist
  • Chris Harding known as visual effects coordinator
  • Kyoko Hattori known as visual effects assistant
  • Daniel Hawley known as scanning & film recording artist
  • Jotham Herzon known as previsualization supervisor: Proof
  • Bryan M. Higgins known as digital rotoscoper
  • Timothy Hoffman known as senior lighting technical director
  • Holly Gregory Horter known as visual effects artist
  • Oliver Hotz known as visual effects supervisor
  • Carl Jacobson known as scanning & film recording artist
  • Dan Knight known as compositor
  • Kurt Lawson known as compositor
  • Randy Little known as digital compositor
  • Dimitri Loginowski known as visual effects artist
  • Alan Marques known as associate visual effects supervisor
  • Linda Marques known as visual effects assistant
  • Corbin Mehl known as digital compositor
  • Corbin Mehl known as title designer
  • Juan Melgoza known as digital effects supervisor
  • Peter Moc known as scanning & film recording artist
  • Travis Moore known as digital artist
  • Ricardo Nadu known as digital artist
  • Toby Newell known as compositor
  • Meghan L. Noble known as visual effects editor
  • Jordan Nounnan known as previsualization artist: Proof
  • Marlon Perez known as digital artist
  • Chris E. Peterson known as digital artist
  • Peter Pflaum known as digital artist: texture artist
  • Emanuel Rosario known as visual effects artist
  • Matthew A. Rubin known as visual effects producer: Origami Digital
  • Aldo Ruggiero known as compositor
  • Parker Sellers known as previsualization artist: Proof
  • Jay Shindell known as visual effects
  • Dane Allan Smith known as visual effects producer
  • Marcus Stokes known as visual effects
  • Ranko Tadic known as previsualization artist: Proof
  • Britton Taylor known as digital effects artist
  • Radley Teruel known as digital artist
  • Ed Thompson known as scanning & film recording artist
  • Emily Towers known as visual effects coordinator: Origami Digital
  • Micole Toyloy known as digital artist
  • Emily Goff Voorhies known as digital artist
  • Chris Wells known as visual effects artist
  • Shane Christopher Wicklund known as digital compositor: Origami Digital
  • Shannon Wiggins known as roto/paint lead
  • Will Wira known as digital artist
  • Christal Wolgamott known as digital production manager: Factory VFX [us]
  • Dione Wood known as visual effects producer: Pixel Magic
  • Vince Auletta known as digital artist (uncredited)
  • Michael Honrada known as digital artist (uncredited)

Release Date:

  • Canada 11 September 2010 (Toronto International Film Festival)
  • USA 26 September 2010 (Fantastic Fest)
  • India 24 October 2010 (Mumbai International Film Festival)
  • Japan 27 October 2010 (Tokyo International Film Festival)
  • United Arab Emirates 17 December 2010 (Dubai International Film Festival)
  • Hong Kong 31 March 2011 (Hong Kong International Film Festival)
  • USA 9 April 2011 (ActionFest)
  • USA 3 July 2011 (AM²)
  • USA 29 July 2011 (Otakon)
  • USA 1 September 2011 (Video On Demand)
  • Russia 4 September 2011 (TV premiere)
  • Norway 14 September 2011 (DVD premiere)
  • Sweden 21 September 2011 (Lund Fantastisk Film Festival)
  • USA 22 September 2011 (Boston Film Festival)
  • USA 30 September 2011 (limited)
  • UK 10 October 2011 (DVD premiere)
  • Germany 14 October 2011 (DVD premiere)
  • Switzerland 20 October 2011 (German speaking region) (DVD premiere)
  • Sweden 26 October 2011 (DVD premiere)
  • Russia 27 October 2011 (DVD premiere)
  • Austria 28 October 2011 (DVD premiere)
  • Denmark 1 November 2011 (DVD premiere)
  • USA 1 November 2011 (DVD premiere)
  • Canada 15 November 2011 (DVD premiere)
  • South Korea 30 November 2011
  • France 1 December 2011 (DVD premiere)
  • Israel 8 December 2011
  • Netherlands 15 December 2011 (DVD premiere)
  • New Zealand 11 January 2012 (DVD premiere)
  • Australia 13 January 2012 (DVD premiere)
  • Japan 14 January 2012
  • Spain 20 January 2012
  • Argentina 18 February 2012 (TV premiere)
  • Kazakhstan 7 March 2012 (DVD premiere)

MPAA: Rated R for bloody violence and language



Filmography links and data courtesy of The Internet Movie Database

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Posted on March 29, 2012 by Harry in Movies | Tags: , , , .


  1. thijs_de_beste from Netherlands
    29 Mar 2012, 10:40 pm

    After seeing the relatively low rating on this movie I decided to justgive it a go without expecting too much.

    Boy was I wrong! One of the most compelling intros I've seen this year,with humor, fast paced storytelling and very, very stylishly done,what's not to like? Well: the story is fast but not so much original.The action is good but didn't quite blow me off my chair. WoodyHarrelson is fun, but this role seems to be typecast for him, don'texpect too much out of the ordinary. Harnett pretty much copies therole he had in Lucky number Slevin. Gackt makes his debut I think anddoes so convincingly.

    Should you see this movie? Yes! It's beautifully made, switches visualstyles, languages and mood a lot and does so convincingly. Just don'texpect to many surprises from the writing department. 8/10

  2. meddlecore from Canada
    29 Mar 2012, 10:40 pm

    Mortal Kombat meets The Warriors meets Clockwork Orange meets Kung FuHustle in this East meets West film.

    It's the future in "Little Westworld" (an ode to the amazing 1973 film)which is actually an "East-Meets-West-World", stylistically speaking.To prevent utter destruction by Men, guns have been outlawed andsociety has reverted to the sword….and, well… axes, hatchets, brassknuckles and extremely acrobatic Kung Fu. There is no longer anygovernment, Gangs rule an Ultraviolent Warrior Society where you mustKILL your way to the top. Little Westworld is controlled by Nicola theWoodcutter (Pearlman) and his Gang of Killers (of which there is ahierarchy of 10, himself being Killer #1). They keep order by havingtheir henchman- the Red Suits (led by Killer #2, played amazingly byKevin McKidd)- violently extort the general public, ruling by Fear.

    Enter our two lone wolf characters. The Man With No Name (Hartnett) andYoshi, the Jin Samurai (Gackt- who received more applause than all theother A-list actors at the TIFF Premiere). The Man is a vicious fighterknown for having the quickest hands in the west; whose strength andrage is exposed when he sniffs an unlit cigarette. He has no goals ordirection, he's just a drifter who wandered into town looking for agame of cards (gambling is banned by the way)- a lone man in a land ofultraviolent gangs. Yoshi is a young Samurai from the East who has beensent on "The Quest" by his father. His mission is to find and retrievea Dragon Amulet that represents great power for his family…and whilehe's at it…to become a man.

    Seeking information, both men end up in a small bar (with a sort ofwestern/clockwork orange theme), of which is tended by Woody Harrelson-The Bartender, who has a knack for making Pop-Up books. After eachindividually beats down the biker gang that frequents the bar, theirpaths cross and the two lone wolves turn eyes toward each other. To gettheir issues with each other out of the way, The Bartender agrees tomoderate an epic atmospheric battle where the two warriorsstylistically beat the sh*t out of each other. (fight scene was a bitdrawn out for my taste)

    The plot develops as The Man is able to gain access to Nicola's weeklypoker game. Nicola plays in costume via video link, and despite beingcheated, The Man is able to knock out all the other players and obtaina significant chip advantage. Angered, Nicola demands to end the gameface to face…if The Man can continue to "beat the odds", that is…Subsequently, Yoshi's Uncle- who runs a sushi restaurant- is beingharassed by the Red Suits, and Yoshi's intervention puts him at oddswith Killer #2. Things happen, battles ensue, people die, and our twolone wolves realize that they have a common enemy and, thus, couldbenefit from each others' friendship.

    During the poker game, The Man realizes that Nicola has the Amulet thatYoshi seeks. The Man, on the other hand, simply wishes to end the gamehe started earlier. Throw The Bartender into the mix- as Nicola endedhis Warrior career and be-whored the love of his life, Alexandra (DemiMoore)- along with the soldiers of the Proletariat Peasant Uprising-who seek to overthrow Nicola's violent and oppressive rule (theirleader looks like Castro!)- and you have a force that is able to takeon even the Killers and their army of Red Suits.

    As the Peasants battle the Red Suits, our two warriors must slay theirway up the hierarchy in order to reach their ultimate matches, vsKiller #2 and Nicola himself. Will good triumph over evil in this epictale from the future? You'll have to watch it to find out, and trustme…you won't be disappointed.

    This is one of the most visually stunning and original films I've everseen. The opening animation (which gives us the back-story) uses CGIthat emulates paper cut-out stop motion in combination with Japanesestyle Bunraku origami puppeteers, and sets the stage for the aestheticatmosphere that will absorb the rest of the film. The backgroundscenery has an origami look and feel to it and, as the camera pans over"Little Westworld", the scenery "unfolds" as if it were popping up frompages opening in a pop-up book. Moshe cleverly plays with this ideawith The Bartender character. This has an absolutely amazing effect-I've never seen anything like it. It is definitely the atmosphere whichmakes this film so artistically incredible and visually consuming.

    Original, Engrossing Atmosphere, Mind Blowing Action, Wonderful Castingand Acting…all in all this is a pretty awesome film that CANNOT BEMISSED. A Cult Classic waiting to happen. 9 out 10.

  3. equazcion (equazcion@gmail.com) from NYC
    29 Mar 2012, 10:40 pm

    Bunraku is as difficult to describe as it is to pronounce. At its heartis a rather simple story of hero-strangers who roll into an oppressedtown to start trouble with the oppressors. That familiar plot line ispresented as an experimental piece of performance art that keeps youguessing as to whether or not the story will go quite as you'reexpecting.

    If I had to describe Bunraku's presentation, I'd have to liken it to alife-size pop-up comic book being read stylishly aloud on a live stage,though with the freedom of motion and effects afforded by the medium offilm.

    Bunraku's story seems to merely be a vessel to deliver the style andwritten nuggets the filmmaker seems much more eager to get off hischest. There isn't much depth of character beyond the pop-up cutoutsimmediately evident, but there are those bits of dialog and narrationthat resonate with some philosophical wisdom you might find in aninterpretation of a myth or legend.

    Assuming you get used to the style, don't mind the intentionallyshallow story, and don't feel the need to use the word "pretentious"that the combination of those two things plus a new filmmaker mightnormally conjure, you won't find much to hate about Bunraku. You'll bereasonably entertained by the constant action and colorful motion, andaside from some occasionally imperfect fight choreography, this is awell-made film.

  4. kamikaze_al from Russia
    29 Mar 2012, 10:40 pm

    I must say at least to all the viewers who expect something else fromthis movie, you really need to understand what Bunraku is. It's a oneword title. That itself tells you what to expect from the movie. Withthe amazing star-cast, each one does justice to his little role withease. The script is not demanding so the acting is sombre in accordancewith the characters. I really did not know what to expect from thismovie and truthfully had to look up the meaning of Bunraku in the endof the film. I was awed with the direction, it takes some reallyamazing talent to put a script like this on film and gt it interesting.For every penny worth, if I were 10 yeas old, I'd love the movie, I'm35 now and love it even more. Starting from Pac-Man up to Afro Samuraiand from the Wild west to Shichinin no samurai, the Script Writer andDirector have left no stone unturned. The movie is very veryaesthetically pleasing in context to the title. I remember as kids whenwe had the pop-up story books, I couldn't have imagined anything betterthan this movie in my head. The movie may not be for everyone…… Butfor people who can appreciate the difference from run of the millanimation and Tarantino like action, here a movie worth watching a fewtimes.

  5. metalheadgamergirl from Canada
    29 Mar 2012, 10:40 pm

    I had been waiting for this film for some time. As a fan of GACKT, Ihad heard about this film from his fan-base, and was pleasantlysurprised when I also read about the inclusion of Woody Harrelson andRon Perlman.

    Today, I was finally able to see the film, and was startled to see thatit was everything I had expected.

    The film is decidedly strange, with vivid backdrops reminiscent of theJapanese puppet theater from which it is named. The papery textures aresomehow rich and colorful, yet feel as natural as the real world aftera short time watching. However, this is more than a paper cut-outworld- it has strong elements of impressionism and film noir, with ahealthy dash of old-school Western lying on top.

    The fight scenes are quite spectacular. They are wonderfullychoreographed, and the actors all play their parts in them quitenaturally, with distinct styles. GACKT has some background in martialarts, and it is easy to see as he fights- he has a certain grace andprecision, while Hartnett is a brawling powerhouse of Western dimenovels.

    In terms of acting, I was impressed. I was expecting GACKT especiallyto be awkward, considering his stage personas in music have been veryover-the-top and theatrical (not only as a solo act, where he portrayshimself as a vampire, but in his past project Malice Mizer where he wasknown to dress as a woman in true "Visual Kei" style), but in this hewas relatively understated, with only a few small distracting moments.His eyes do seem to be a sore point in this- either he is squinting orstaring wide-eyed at everything around him. At first it is distracting,but after some time it becomes easier to ignore as one of Yoshi'spersonality traits and not the actor's. His English is very good, muchimproved from his earlier film, Moon Child, where it was barelyrecognizable.

    Josh Hartnett, not usually a favorite of mine, seems to have found hiscalling. His wanderer character seems to fit him like a glove, and theobvious delight he takes in his cigarettes feels very natural and notas contrived as it could with another actor. His secretive, quietdemeanor does not feel forced, and he seems entirely comfortable in therole of Western hero.

    Ron Perlman is just excellent as always. His portrayal of the enigmaticWoodcutter gives the clichéd "bad guy" a new life, with complexitiesunder simple evil. His self-destructive and somehow magneticpersonality is engrossing, and he never for a moment feels fake, evenwhen delivering lines that would seem overdone with another actor.Perlman's natural gift of lending weight to his words is no lessspectacular here.

    And of course, Woody Harrelson. Ah, Woody. He plays his witty bartenderwith a mysterious past with such charisma that it is hard to believe heisn't real. He has a dry humor, which you can catch from time to timein random, wry smiles. He positively glows in every scene. Even whenthere are fights going on all around him, he remains the center ofattention, for good reason. Woody Harrelson gets better with everyproject he does.

    Demi Moore has a part in this, but she is out of her element and feelsforced. She comes across as an angsty yet uninteresting character. Ifshe had been flashed out, her circumstances could have been a sellingpoint, but there simply wasn't enough. Hers was a character that wasunnecessary, and a waste of Demi's talent.

    In terms of plot, this is nothing unusual. It is a reinvention andblending of so many genres that it is barely its own entity, yetsomehow it does it in a fresh way that feels familiar, but not stale.

    The last point I will make has to do with run time. This is a longfilm, with many little subplots. Some of these subplots could have beencut entirely, such as the Alexandra (Demi Moore) story, and some of thefleshing out of the "Killers", who never seem to have more than fiveminutes of screen time anyway, aside from the fascinating and well-played Number 2. I truly believe that this movie should have beencleaned up and condensed, removing approximately twenty to thirtyminutes of unneeded dialogue, to make it more tolerable to a wideraudience. Some people would certainly get bored or frustrated with someof the needless time.

    Overall, this film is a great watch. If you are a film buff, you'llfind lots of fun little references and jokes. There is something herefor everyone if you give it a fair chance.


  6. dogmannut from United States
    29 Mar 2012, 10:40 pm

    Its like a hint of sin city and clockwork orange and done verytastefully with believable characters. Bunraku comes from a type ofpuppetry from japan and the movie was based off that with a unique takeand I would not say that it fully reminds of something that has beendone before. The plot is very well done if you pay attention and theattention to detail is key. The artistry of the movie was fantasticbecause I have never seen it introduced as it was done in this film andif you are looking for a lot of violence without it being overly gory.This movie pretty much had it all. There are essentially 4 things Ilook for in every movie and here's what this has. 1)Story that hasnever been done before. 2)Great artistry 3)Good acting(believable butdid not get lost in the character) 4)Contains love, action (a lot ofit) and drama

  7. Allan McGowan from Canada
    29 Mar 2012, 10:40 pm

    This stylized action film can best be described as an orgy of thefollowing films: part Sin City, part Batman (Adam West era), part DickTracy, part The Quick and the Dead, and part Enter the Dragon. Squirtsome Cirque du Soleil in there and the resulting love child of allthese films is "Bunraku". That's really all I can say. Watch it andtell me if I'm wrong. There are parts of this film that areextraordinary, namely the animation, while other segments (orappendages?) are atrocious. It all makes sense in a mad scientist kindof way, where this creature of a film was cooked up in Dr.Frankenstein's Laboratory School of Film, Dance, and Animation. It'sludicrous, but very entertaining. I give it 7 full test-tubes of filmDNA out of 10!

  8. Maleplatypus from Croatia
    29 Mar 2012, 10:40 pm

    What a pleasant surprise! So many symbols, details and colors. Thismovie is, like it says in the summary – moving pictures. Of course, thecomparison with Sin City is inevitable, but this is different.Original. Poetry of composing colorful images. And yet, it still lookslike a comic book brought to life. Or a theater of shadows. Or puppets(which is what Bunraku is all about, as a traditional Japanesetheater). Everything made of drawings, cardboard and wood, except forsome vehicles (Europeans will feel some nostalgia seeing old Fiat 600and Reanault R8 Gordini) and swords. Surreal and yet very much close towhat we imagine as real. Cast is excellent, as well as direction,editing, music and camera. Why not 10 stars then? There are sometheatrical element I thing are not adequate for the whole composition.But you don't have to be so picky. Watch it and enjoy the art of makingmovies as moving pictures.

  9. (idontlike2registerso@ignoremail.com) from United Kingdom
    29 Mar 2012, 10:40 pm

    It was very entertaining, not in any way boring, easy, pure watchablepleasure. 9/10 all thumbs up.

    After few weeks watched it second time with my girl friend – and it wasno less interesting and entertaining and pleasurable to watch as firsttime (for both of us). It is a pure audiovisual entertainment art show.

    There is no point in trying to write about what this movie is. Thepoint is not about "what", but about "how" everything is presented. Itis a show for the pleasure of public (audience) and for the sake of theshow.

    P.S. Those who search for deep meaning in text (story), or somesuperior pro fight scenes – please go look sports TV or read someMartin Heidegger book. This movie is to entertain, not to give you alessons, show sports or point to a meaning of life.

  10. Ciberbakuz from Portugal
    29 Mar 2012, 10:40 pm

    I really can't understand why those bad reviews about this movie, thiswas a great entertainment, never been bored for 2 hours. This couldjust have been directed by Tarantino, nobody would have noticed andeveryone would loved it. The story is imaginative, i mean this is notjust the story of a a young man who has spent his life searching forrevenge like stated in the plot line. (i will not spoil but thebeginning says it all). Also the acting is great, every role iscarefully, naturally and so damn well interpreted. Demi Moore was a bitunlucky about that not very interesting character, and in my humbleopinion like stated before kind of a waste of Demi's talent. Anyway iwould even say theatrical, with Kevin McKidd's performance. If i couldchoose a mix of films to describe this one i would say: Sin City + KillBill + A Clockwork Orange + Dark City …all with a nice perfume of oldjapan vs wide west western.


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