Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Bunraku (2011)

Rating: 5!

Bunraku is the B of the month!

The idea of this movie is summed up in Woody Harrelson's quote as The Bartender: "Gangbusters. A cowboy in a world without guns and samurai with no sword, team up to fight a common evil." Another way to get an idea for this movie is the other quote: "'An eye for an eye' and 'a tooth for a tooth', will forever make more grammatical balance than 'turning the other cheek.'"

Unfortunately, I feel that I have to defend the perfect rating that I have given this movie. I'll give you a small breakdown. Rotten Tomatoes has this movie at a 16% with a 3.2/10 average rating by critics. But the audience is at a 51% for with an average of a 64% rating. imdb.com gives a 6.1 rating on the 10 scale.

One critic from RT calls it, "completely pointless and utterly unwatchable..."

This stuns me. Not only did I watch all of it (on the edge of my seat I might add), but I was excited. I caught myself smiling at the movie. I think what makes Bunraku so terrifying to people is that it is different. And not just different but really different. If I could compare it to anything at all I would say that it was 1 part Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, 1 part Ninja Assassin, and 2 parts Repo: The Genetic Opera.

I had to look up what bunraku meant since it is never mentioned in the movie. A bunraku is a Japanese puppet theater dating back to the 1600s. This is completely understandable with the way the opening credits of the movie are portrayed.

Along with the opening credits being a puppet theater, the subtitles are in comic book format, and the set looks fake. But in the manner of most of it looking like paper. The narrating is cool, the characters are either silent and stoic or emotional and impatient, one of the major characters, Killer #2, gives the voice of Soap from the Modern Warfare games, and the setting is in a fantasy-future where guns are outlawed and bladed weapons once again rule. The movie is a complete genre-bender and I think that's why people are afraid of it. It is an Action, Drama, Fantasy, Revenge-filled Martial-Arts movie, that is portrayed as a live action puppet show.

I mentioned Woody Harrelson already, but the bad guy is Ron Perlman, and the female minor lead is Demi Moore. Gackt and Josh Hartnett round out the two main characters of Yoshi and The Drifter.

I probably have given the movie a lower score if it wasn't for the originality involved in this movie. The portrayal of the plot is spectacular and I don't think anyone should miss it. Even if a person doesn't like it, at least it wasn't the same action film with the same CGI that is so real that it doesn't seem to quite fit and the same generic plot line filled with different names and places.

I highly recommend this movie to anyone that likes to or wants to watch something different. Also if you are a fan of Repo: The Genetic Opera, I would check this out. If you haven't seen that movie, then add another one to your list.

ALSO: Check out the soundtrack. It sounds pretty awesome.
EDIT: There is apparently no soundtrack which is super sad. The ending credits is a song though which makes up a bit for it. It's called Putting on the Blitz by Mike Patton who just happens to be the narrator of the movie.

Case 39 is next in the C spot!


  1. Hello,

    What a great post! I think this is my new favorite blog! I will definitely be back to see what you dream up for the other letters, and am super excited to read your review of Hot Tub time Machine. I am a follower now.

    I am doing the A to Z Challenge as well. Take a peek at my blog too if you get a chance! I write humor. (Well, I make myself laugh, and sometimes that's enough.)


  2. Thanks for the great post! It's good to try new things and share that with others. I'm guessing that if we were Japanese, this would have made perfect sense right off the bat, but it seems the other reviewers you mentioned wouldn't agree. Oh well. You enjoyed it and that's enough.

    Like Mov, I'm in the A to Z Challenge. Hope to see you soon.

    1. I agree with you on the Japanese point of view. I almost liked not understand what it was beforehand. Even if a person knew what a bunraku was, if they have never seen one, this movie is still wonderful because of the cultural exposure set in a fantasy world.

      Also, I enjoy your blog. I am a college student and I like what you are doing for the challenge. Although, I am highly jealous that you have spring break (I'm assuming you are from your post) as mine was a month ago and I wish that I had another one.

      Thanks again!

  3. I tried to watch this 'cause GACKT was in it and OMG he's hot but I actually fell asleep trying xD

  4. Do you think this is something I would have liked to watch with you? I only ask because you know how much I adore Ninja Assassin and Repo lol. Perhaps we'll have to make a date night out of your future movies for the challenge:)

  5. I haven't seen this movie yet, but it has some of my favorite actors. Will have to add it to the list...

    I'm looking forward to your new rating schedule and am enjoying the A to Z Challenge with so many new bloggy friends!!

    ~~Paula of www.thetweenandme.com