In 1844 Japan, young Lord Naritsugu (Inagaki) is such a sadist that he's about to end a long period of peace. And his merciless rampage of rape, torture and death goes unchallenged because he's the Shogun's half-brother. Shocked by where this is heading, top samurai Shinzaemon (Yakusho) assembles a team of 12 warriors to take him out. It's clearly a suicide mission. And they pick up a wild-eyed 13th colleague (Iseya) on the way to setting an elaborate trap for Naritsugu and his 200-strong entourage.
Continue reading: 13 Assassins Review
Despite a substantial oeuvre, Fukasaku movies could be hard to lay your hands on, sometimes even in Japan. Thanks to the efforts of Home Vision Entertainment, a sampling of Fukasaku's late '60s/early '70s social comedies has become available on DVD, among them 1968's Blackmail Is My Life.
Continue reading: Blackmail Is My Life Review
The problem, in post-war Hiroshima, is the power void, and the answer, for Hiroshima's petty criminals, is to organize. Shozo, who has unceremoniously dispatched an unarmed man at the film's outset, makes a blood pact in prison with a yakuza named Hiroshi Wakasugi (Tatsuo Umemiya). Once released, he joins his friends in organizing under boss Yamamori, only to find his sworn brother Hiroshi allied to a different gang. One gang crosses the other by rigging an election, and Hiroshi defects with tragic consequences. In the film's second half, Yamamori faces a mutiny within his own ranks until Shozo, again released from prison, brings the conflict to a head, setting the stage for the second film.
Continue reading: Battles Without Honor And Humanity Review
This year's Mercury Prize nominees features the best of British pop.
Situated in a scenic Cornish valley, the eleventh iteration of the Leopallooza Festival takes place near Bude in Cornwall from July 28th to July 30th.
Linkin Park have returned to America's Billboard Chart following the tragic suicide of their frontman Chester Bennington last week.