Or, the-movie-I-only-watched-because-I-think-Gackt-is-hot-but-then-actually-ended-up-enjoying-so-much-that-I-went-out-and-bought-it-the-next-day-so-now-I-have-to-find-some-way-to-pay-the-co-pay-on-my-next-doctor's-visit-maybe-someone-will-take-pity-on-me? Maybe we should just call it by its real name, Bunraku.
Released in 2010/2011 and directed by Guy Moshe, Bunraku stars Josh Hartnett, Gackt (my first reason for watching the movie), and Woody Harrelson as the three heroes. A drifter, a samurai, and a bartender that stand up against The Woodsman (played by Ron Perlman who seems to be in everything these days).
This movie is a mishmosh of styles; pulling things from film noirs, westerns, samurai movies, and comic book movies. Bunraku isn't the first movie to do this, but it is one of the few that manages to do it successfully and doesn't come off as being horribly pretentious or just flat out trying too hard to be cool.
If movies were all teenagers in a high school, Bunraku would be the movie that could blend in with any of the little movie cliques. Well, maybe everyone except the Romantic Comedy cheerleaders. They wouldn't like Bunraku just because Bunraku was going around being popular without joining the cheerleader squad and might actually think that the cheerleading uniforms are ugly because we need better school colors. But Bunraku doesn't really think that, because Bunraku is too cool to care about such silly things as cheerleader uniforms, it needs to go out and raise the money to buy a really cool car. Or maybe to save kids with cancer.
Maybe it's not the smartest movie out there, and it's certainly not going to leave people trying to dissect the plot or leaving many mysteries behind, but it is very enjoyable. The plot isn't very deep. Mysterious strangers come to town (our heroes) and then get in fights with the bad guys that run the town. That's pretty much the entire plot minus a few details. Sometimes, though, a movie doesn't need any more plot than that. We can't all be vague enough in plot and details to leave people wondering about the deepness of our meaning or if maybe we just missed something as an audience or that maybe the movie really isn't that deep and because we want to feel smart as an audience we are projecting. I'm looking at you here Inception.
It could also be that I was just distracted by the style of the sets. The title itself comes from a style of Japanese puppet theater and the way this movie moves calls back to that. The way things are styled, the plot, the characters all could be translated into a movie done with puppets. Now I kind of want to see the Muppets take on this movie. Kermit could be the drifter!
This is a very colorful movie, in a sort of muted way. I know that doesn't really make sense, but it might after I attempt to explain myself. Blue is a very prominent color in this movie but it is a very vibrant blue. It's blue that you KNOW is blue. This isn't no blue that could sort of be purple if you squint it's motherfucking BLUE. There are other colors that make appearances too, and they all tend to follow this same badass, you better know what color I am cause I'm going to be right up in your face, baby.
Anyway, I do recommend this movie. Go watch it. NOW.