Director: Takashi Miike. Cast: Kôji Yakusho, Takayuki Yamada, Yûsuke Iseya. 125 min. Rated R. Japan/UK. War.
Made in old-fashioned Kurosawa style (and obviously inspired from The Seven Samurai), a small group of rogue Samurai are assigned to a suicide mission, to kill an evil sadistic lord, protected by an army of 200 men. In the opening 15 minutes, the movie manages to create one of the most fearsome villains I can remember in recent years, but most noteworthy is the ability to dedicate almost its entire second hour to the climatic battle, without a hint boredom. With all the blood splattering everywhere, now you know why older Japanese movies (and Kill Bill Vol. 1) resorted to black and white.