It’s impossible not to compare Takashi Miike’s samurai action picture “13 Assassins” with Akira Kurosawa’s legendary “Seven Samurai” It’s clear throughout the film that Miike pays his respects to what is arguably the best samurai film of all time. However, it is just as clear that Miike is more interested in making his own film and respectfully stepping out from under “Seven Samurai’s” shadow. He accomplishes this and despite a few flaws, “13 Assassins” is one of the best entries in the genre in years and belongs up there with best. It’s an incredibly memorable film that boasts one of the most impressive climactic action scenes in cinematic history, but what really makes it stand out is that it doesn’t forget to make us care about the characters involved in it.
Simply put, Akira Kurosawa is the best-known Japanese director of all-time. His influence and prestige is known to most people with even the smallest interest in film. Even if you have no prior knowledge of him, chances are your favourite director is influenced by him in some way. His films have an impeccable quality about them that it feels like each of his films is infused with the soul of Japan. Kurosawa’s rise to fame occurred during the Second World War, but only until 1950 when Rashomon released did he gain exposure to the rest of the world. Rashomon won “Best Foreign Film” at the Academy Awards that year and audiences were spell-bound by its non-linear narrative and how the plot was told from four different perspectives.
Even with a sluggish economy and a rising unemployment rate, consumers still rush out to their local malls on the day after Thanksgiving in order to get their Christmas shopping done and save a little money on the side. There have been some great videogame deals this year, and many people have taken advantage of them.
At a Glance: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is a fantastic RPG that improves on its predecessor in pretty much every way, even if the combat can sometimes be a bit weak.
The sun comes up over the horizon, lighting up the path ahead. I am on a journey to a small township and time is of the essence. A bandit appears and attacks me in order to kill me and take my valuable gear for his own. I slay the poor soul and take whatever I need from him. I’m tired from the battle and need medical help badly. I make a dash towards the township, now visible from the valley above on which I stand. As I run through the field, a large shadow floods the ground and a roar makes me tremble. I know what this means, and I may not make it into town alive. The beast spews fire at a group of nearby farmers, killing them instantly. It turns its attention to me; I do not survive this encounter. I reload my last save; No bandit, No Dragon, No death.
As is the nature of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
“Manos: The Hands of Fate” is a terrible film. In fact, it is such a uniquely terrible film that the first time I tried to watch it without the infamous “Mystery Science Theater 3000” commentary I felt like I was being mentally tortured. A lot of terrible films that have gained cult status are nearly unbearable to watch, but “Manos” is one of the few that is actually completely unbearable. What little redemption it gets from a few far out, unintentionally hilarious moments is slaughtered by the dreadfully slow pacing and the astounding amount of just nothing going on throughout most of the flick. So if it is so bad, why save it?
When I first heard there was a new Muppets film in the works, I admit I wasn’t too optimistic. I grew up with Jim Henson’s lovable puppets and they hold a special place in my heart. Therefore, reviving them in this day in age had me concerned that the film would never be able to capture the magic of their past adventures; sometimes things are better left alone. Well, I was wrong. This new Muppets film is everything you expect from a film starring Kermit, Miss Piggy, and the gang and they still have what it takes to put a big ol’ smile on your face. It’s clear that Jason Segel and the filmmakers behind this new adventure adore the Muppets and understand what makes them such a memorable part of so many childhoods. However, even if you never had a Kermit the Frog watch or don’t have a place on your DVD shelf for “The Muppet Show” box set, you’re likely to still have a good time, as this is a tale that is also very welcoming to new fans.