Director: Takashi Miike
Year Released: 2007
Hyperactive Miike runs several Westerns - including Django, Yojimbo, Sanjuro and the Leone pictures - through his Maximalist Movie Lens, turning out an all-style, zero-substance, proudly immature concoction that's closer to Seijun Suzuki than … oh, John Ford. I feel bad about pooh-poohing something that looks this good - the color-coded wardrobes of the two warring factions, the Red and the White, look like they'd be fine on the runway, and Miike's sense of color and composition is marvelously inventive - but the script is what holds this back: that, and the characters reciting the English dialogue phonetically (which is distracting and not effective parody). Miike turns out so many different kinds of pictures in so many genres but I can't help but wonder what might happen if he slowed up and focused on one picture and one genre at a time (his ambition, in other words, is exceeding what talent he does have). I figure he could be (a.) trying the numbers game (the more movies you make, the better your chances of making a really good one) or (b.) trying to horde as much money as possible or even - and call me crazy - but actually (c.) trying to be his country's John Ford … though I'm positive Ford would have drawn the line at drowning John Wayne in a pool of excrement (as much fun as that might have been).