Makoto Okada

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Dead Or Alive: Final Review


Good
Takashi Miike, at last, completes the Dead or Alive series with this ultra-bizarre installment of man vs. man violence. Now set in the midrange future, it's the typical slow-mo violence we've come to expect from Miike (and some of the gun battles are extremely impressive and archly funny), but Miike's obsession with perverted sex and urination may turn off more viewers than he normally does. The ending, which features a robot/alien/monster with a giant penis for a head, will certainly get you talking. Maybe not in a good way, though...

Dead Or Alive Review


Very Good
Here's the tagline for the first installment of Miike's highly regarded (and deeply disturbing) Dead or Alive trilogy: "WARNING: This motion picture contains explicit portrayals of violence; sex; violent sex; sexual violence; clowns and violent scenes of violent excess, which are definitely not suitable for all audiences." Never mind the clowns. This warning doesn't even get close to the truth. I'm talking about beastiality, scatalogical horrors, countless prostitutes, and geysers of blood. I'm not sure Dead or Alive is suitable for any audience. Miike, for what it's worth, does have a good yarn to spin here, about rival Chinese vs. Japanese gangs, a renegade cop who needs money for daughter's operation, and the intertwining of all of these. Miike's direction is a virtuoso performance of long shots and extreme close ups combined with swirling in-your-face action. And either he coaxed excellent drug-addled performances from his actors or he seriously doped them in real life -- either way, bravo.

Note: There's probably no point in seeing the R-rated version of this. Get the director's cut, which is unrated.

Continue reading: Dead Or Alive Review

Dead Or Alive 2: Birds Review


Good
Never mind that the whole of Japan (and possibly the world) was destroyed at the end of Dead or Alive, the stars are back for more bloodshed and willful destruction of property in the continuation of Takashi Miike's Japanese blood feud saga. In truth, the film shares little with its predecessor aside from the two stars, involving one gangster who tries to track down an enemy assassin, only to discover he's an old friend from his youth. DOA2 is a bit more cartoony and much less violent/gory/perverted than the original, but Miike's touch is still unmistakable.

Continue reading: Dead Or Alive 2: Birds Review

Makoto Okada

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