Tsuyoshi Ujiki

Tsuyoshi Ujiki

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Cure Review


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In and around Tokyo, a series of unrelated murders have an eerie common characteristic: the victims, killed by those well-known to them, are each branded by an X carved into their torso just below the throat. The killers are all unknown to one another and the detail has not been publicized. The only characteristic that the killers share, besides an irreconcilable remorse, is a vague confusion about what took place in the moments leading up to the murder.

The killings haunt detective Takabi (Koji Yakusho), not least because he worries about the safety of his wife, a disturbed woman who is prone to become disoriented and lost when out of the home. The first half of the 1997 thriller Cure, directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa (no relation) and now available stateside on DVD, details the crimes themselves, revealing the true culprit in the killings and showing the ways in which this murderous cipher gets inside his subjects' heads. The second half is about the detective, and about his struggle to keep the villain out of his own head.

Continue reading: Cure Review

Full Metal Yakuza Review


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It's the flipside of RoboCop in every way: The hero's a cyborg, but everything else is twisted: Instead of a cop, he's a street thug. Instead of a slick Hollywood movie, it's a direct-to-video flick made on the cheap. And instead of taking place in Detroit, Full Metal Yakuza hails, as we'd expect, from Japan.

Takashi Miike is unapologetic about ripping off Robo, but at least he's got a sense of humor about it. Never mind electricity: This flick's hero eats metal for energy. And our underground designer puts efforts into ensuring that the yakuza has the world's longest schlong (no one should be left unsatisfied by the full metal yakuza!), which appears pixilated every time it's on camera.

Continue reading: Full Metal Yakuza Review

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