Pistol Opera

Director: Seijun Suzuki
Year Released: 2001
Rating: 2.5

It's gotten to the point where I've seen so many of Suzuki's films that I can't expect anything out of them other than pretty pictures, and that's precisely all this film has to offer. Branded to Kill's plot is rehashed once again, but with the males replaced with a good deal of stern, empowered femme fatales. Tries - at the last minute - to get into nationalist issues and Japanese pride (Mishima's ghost is invoked), but making believe it's more than just violent art for violent art's sake is supremely presumptuous. The "freak" showdown between the two major females is probably one of the great sequences in cinema - I'm not kidding - and on the whole I'd say it's even more visually stunning than Matthew Barney's Cremaster 3, which should keep aesthetically acute film fans reeling in delight.