It seems that I enjoy a great deal of movies that I don't consider to be very good. I have blogged here about Spartan and The Chronicles of Riddick, neither of which I considered to be good movies, but both of which I enjoyed quite a bit. And now I am blogging Samurai Fiction, a sort of post-modern approach to old samurai flicks, which I picked up at the video store because it looked "artsy."
Most people probably like martial arts movies because they "kick ass," but I like them for their grace and attitude. They usually touch on life and death, and contain a bit of wisdom and humor as well, plus a master swordfighter or martial artist practicing the art is a graceful sight indeed and that in itself is fun to behold.
This movie looked like it may do all that well. Unfortunately, it does not. The story and the swordfighting are both fairly poor, but the cinematography has moments of sheer beauty. It figures, the movie was directed by music video director Nakano Hiroyuki. Music video directors know how to make nice shots but they aren't known for their storytelling abilites. Maybe it is different in Japan, but whatever, the movie itself is still not that great.
But damn if it isn't pretty...
And therein lies my conflict for I am still recommending the film, especially to anyone who likes black and white Japanese flicks. Fans of Kurosawa might like it, for example. Personally, I don't know what it is but the Japanese always look so beautiful and graceful in movies and that is captured well by this movie. Put that in front of black and white beaches, mountains and streams and you have a very well shot movie indeed.