As an avid samurai flick lover (Kurosawa have my babies!) I am rampantly ashamed to admit that I have not yet seen Takashi Miike’s 13 Assassins. It is in fact sitting in my DVD tray waiting to amaze me with all of its awesome. Miike is one of my favorite directors when he’s on (and one of my least favorite when he’s off) and evidently he’s completely on in 13 Assassins. That’s also why I was so excited for Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai, for which a new trailer is above.
The original masterpiece by Masaki Kobayashi is both stirring and a prime example of great Japanese cinema, but early word out of festivals is that Mikke’s version isn’t quite up to snuff and is in fact a bit slow. However, watching the original compared to today’s cinema it comes off incredibly slow as well despite the fact that it’s fantastically paced if you have an attention span. My hope is that this is the case for Hara-Kiri as well. Maybe Miike took a cue for the old Japanese film masters and didn’t rush the subject. That style doesn’t jive with more modern audiences, but it can make for one hell of a great film.