Some guys have all the luck, but high-schooler Kimihiro Watanuki is not one of those guys. Instead of being a chick magnet, as someone his age rightfully deserves to be, he’s a weirdness magnet. Supernatural beasties and bumps-in-the-night of all...By Serdar Yegulalp on 2008/06/23 22:36
Some guys have all the luck, but high-schooler Kimihiro Watanuki isnot one of those guys. Instead of being a chick magnet, as someone hisage rightfully deserves to be, he’s a weirdness magnet.Supernatural beasties and bumps-in-the-night of all stripes are drawnto him like moths to a fluorescent lighting fixture, and so for himeven a simple walk to school ends up being a marathon run crossed witha wrestling match. “Monster bait” is not what he had in mind when hefilled out his career choice questionnaire; he just wants to get rid ofthis affliction and go date girls like any other fellow his age.
Oneday he’s dealing with a worse-than-normal bit of spiritual molestationwhen he blunders across a house in the middle of the city that seems toward off whatever’s currently pestering him. It’s a shop of sorts, aplace where people can come to have their deepest desires fulfilled—butalways with a price, and inevitably with certain conditions attached.The shopkeeper, Yūko, is an armful: leggy, boozy, and flirty, with apropensity for outré fashions, a long good smoke and expensivespur-of-the-moment snacking. She gives Watanuki the once-over and rightaway has his number. He wants something, she tells him, or otherwise hewouldn’t be here.
The key to Violent Cop is not in the violent moments, but in the shots where Detective Azuma (Takeshi Kitano) just stands there. Late in the movie, after he has been thrown off the force and his friend has...By Serdar Yegulalp on 2008/06/12 14:22
The key to Violent Cop is not in the violent moments, but in the shots where Detective Azuma (Takeshi Kitano) just stands there. Late in the movie, after he has been thrown off the force and his friend has been killed, he stands in the office of his commander, unflinching, unblinking, unmoving. This is a man whose reaction to all of life has been distilled down to exactly two stances: indifference or violence. There is nothing else there.
The first scene in Violent Cop, easily the darkest and most unforgiving movie Kitano ever made, sets the movie’s bleak tone: a gang of teenaged boys beating a homeless man senseless. At first there’s nothing but the man smiling toothlessly as he eats something (soup?); then a soccer ball comes plummeting into the frame and bashes into his belongings. The camera lingers dispassionately as the kids punch and kick him; when he collapses, they applaud, cheer, and head on home. Azuma (who has been presumably watching all along) spies one of the boys returning to his house, strides in, and tells the kid to turn himself him. "I didn’t do anything!" the boy whines. "You didn’t do anything? Then I didn’t do anything, either!" Azuma bellows, and pounds the kid’s head against the wall.
Science fiction, rebooted.
New York City
Other Lives Of The Mind