Monday, July 24, 2006

Red Shadow

Here's some info on the movie "Red Shadow".

It is sort of a hybrid mix between "Samurai Fiction" and "Azumi" that takes place during the Sengoku period of Japanese history, sometime after the 1540s (because of guns and open trade with the west), and centers around ninja working for the "Togo" clan, which I suspect is a made up clan, although the Kyougoku and Rokkaku clans are probably based on the respective clans. The little ninja team consists of Takenaka Naoto who plays the head ninja - "Shirokage", then you have "Aokage", the goofy and slightly less intelligent ninja, "Akakage", the eventual leader of the ninja clan, and "star" of the movie, and "asuka" - the obligatory female ninja and love interest. Although one has to wonder why she didn't get a "shadow" name like the two guys... Different rules for female ninja, perhaps?

This isn't a "great" movie, but compared to a lot of the recent ninja movies and strange movies that try to be hip and cool (Like the absolutely horrible and painful to watch "Pistol Opera), this is actually pretty good. It has a better than average soundtrack, nutty slapstick humor, good action. Some minor drawbacks are no blood for all that hacking and slashing, and the tossed in romantic comedy aspects (which were actually "cute"), and misplaced drama - the comedy ebbs and flows - you go from brilliant scenese of slapstick comedy to relatively serious scenes, with the only transition being semi-comedic fight action. Overall, far better than averge, good cinematography, with just an overall cool style to it. It comes close to the style of "Samurai Fiction", but is no match. If you want a cool, stylistic movie with interesting characters and a great soundtrack, see "Samurai fiction". However, if you've already seen it, and want more, then try this one out. Hotei Tomoyasu unofficially reprises his role as the big bad ass samurai from "Samurai Fiction" in the first scene - the movie is worth a look for that scene and the "Ninja in the attic" scene alone.

Here are some other reasons you should go out and rent Red Shadow:

Ninja Babes!

Samurai Babes!

Slapstick comedy!

Historically accurate Ninja uniforms!

Hotei Tomoyasu!


Yes, Tanks!

Samurai Action!

Cool bad guys!

Takenaka Naoto!

More Ninja Babes!

Don't just take my word for it - I stumbled on this review, and took the liberty of posting an excerpt here:
If you’ve ever said to yourself, “Gosh, I wish they’d make a modern Ninja! movie with a kickass soundtrack, stylish directing, good-looking stars, lots of cool effects and scary villains to fight, and it should be the Japanese doing it since an American director would only fuck it up,” then Red Shadow is for you.

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