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The Playlist

Fantasia Review: Takashi Miike's Enjoyably Wacky 'The Mole Song – Undercover Agent Reiji'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • July 19, 2014 9:50 AM
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  • 1 Comment
The Mole Song – Undercover Agent Reiji
Takashi Miike works at a rate that is as prolific as it is uneven, usually directing multiple movies per year, in a wide range of styles from comedies to family films to straight ahead police procedurals (like the dreadful Cannes Competition entry "Shield Of Straw"). And so, it's never quite certain which Miike you'll get with each film — the committed genre filmmaker ripping pages from the rulebook or the workmanlike director doing a gig to pay next month's mortgage. The manga adaptation "The Mole Song – Undercover Agent Reiji" finds Miikie in a third mode, not quite reinventing the wheel, but simply having a blast with the material, mixing styles and creating something so outlandish it's much easier to roll with it than put up any kind of resistance.

Takashi Miike's 'Audition' Getting Remake From Producer Of 'Terminator 2,' 'Basic Instinct ' & 'Showgirls'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • June 30, 2014 9:22 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Audition
Last year we listed our 5 Best & 5 Worst Horror Movie Remakes, and noted that Takashi Miike's "Audition" had "mercifully avoided the remake treatment." We spoke too soon. One of the handful of early films that put the filmmaker on the radar of genre enthusiasts, "Audition" is now going down the remake road.

Takashi Miike Already At Work On Next Film, 'Sinister 2' Gets A Director & Mary Harron Lines Up New Project

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • April 18, 2014 4:19 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Takashi Miike
As fans of director Takashi Miike know, the dude is prolific. As soon as one project is done, he's one to the next, and with "Over Your Dead Body" in the can (but not playing Cannes like some had predicted), the director has already gotten started with his next movie. Miike is currently in production on the awesomely titled "Yakuza Apocalypse: The Great War Of The Underworld."

Tom Hardy & Takashi Miike Reportedly Exit Yakuza Flick 'The Outsider'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • January 21, 2014 9:05 AM
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  • 1 Comment
It seems that, try as it might, "The Outsider" is aiming to pair up hotshot directors and actors, but isn't able to make them stick. Back in 2012, Daniel Espinosa ("Safe House," "Easy Money") and Michael Fassbender were lined up for the movie, but when that didn't happen, an even more promising combo of Tom Hardy and Takashi Miike were assembled for the flick. But it seems that too has failed to come together.

Watch: First Teaser Trailer For Takashi Miike’s 'Mogura no Uta' Is Typically Bonkers

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • September 30, 2013 3:59 PM
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  • 2 Comments
After walking into the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year with his utterly awful thriller/police procedural "Shield Of Straw" (our review), it was a reminder that for all of the Japanese auteur's frenetic, groundbreaking films, he has just as many that are forgettable stinkers. The hit to miss ratio for the filmmaker tends to be pretty balanced, and while we'll have to see just where "Mogura no Uta" ends up, there's no denying it hints at the energy and verve of some of his better movies.

Tom Hardy Is 'The Outsider' For Takashi Miike's English-Language Debut

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • June 7, 2013 12:15 AM
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  • 2 Comments
So, Japanese filmmaker and cult fave Takashi Miike, after more than 60 features that have included over-the-edge stuff like "Ichi The Killer," "Visitor Q," "Audition," "Gozu" and more (and by more, we mean that he's done everything from bloodbath gangster flicks to mainstream comedies to musicals to surreal mindfucks), he's coming to Hollywood. Well, sort of.

Watch: Cannes Clips Including 'Zulu' With Orlando Bloom & Forest Whitaker, Claire Denis' 'Bastards,' Jia Zhangke's 'A Touch of Sin' & More

  • By Edward Davis
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  • May 23, 2013 6:31 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Zulu, Orlando Bloom
To the outsider, the Cannes Film Festival can be a nebulous thing. Even if you know the filmmaker or the cast, sometimes you need more context than a review to give you a sort of firmer grasp of the shape, texture and tone of a movie. Clips from the festival are landing left and right, so we thought we'd grab a smattering and ground you a little deeper than some of the reviews and pictures your may or may not have seen. So here we go.

Cannes Review: Takashi Miike's 'Shield Of Straw' A Tedious, Dumb & Overstuffed Thriller

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • May 20, 2013 9:00 AM
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  • 4 Comments
Particularly with a filmmaker like Claire Denis shifted to the Un Certain Regard category or Ari Folman's "The Congress" scuttled to the Directors' Fortnight sidebar, many will be wondering what on Earth the Cannes selection committee saw in Takashi Miike's "Shield Of Straw" to have it play in competition (especially considering it already opened a month ago in Japan). A b-movie potboiler at best, and indebted to countless other and much better films, this tedious, dumb, so-bad-it's-almost-funny procedural is an overstuffed thriller that offers one single idea, and proceeds to beat it to death, without much of anything to say.

Cannes: New Pics & Trailer For Takashi Miike's Competition Contender 'Shield Of Straw'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • May 8, 2013 4:17 PM
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  • 7 Comments
Over the course of his career, Takashi Miike has largely been known for his gonzo, hyper-violent yakuza flicks, candy colored and bonkers kids movies and a work ethic that outpaces James Franco. But a contender for the Palme d'Or? Indeed, back in 2011 his sleepy "Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai" quietly got a competition slot and this year, so too does he police procedural "Shield Of Straw." Can it realistically be a player against folks like Alexander Payne, Asghar Farhadi, The Coen Brothers, Steven Soderbergh, Roman Polanski and others?

Watch: Trailer For Takashi Miike's Upcoming Cop Thriller 'Wara No Tate/Straw Shield'

  • By Ken Guidry
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  • February 19, 2013 10:42 AM
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  • 0 Comments
The filmography of Takashi Miike is so massive it can make your head spin. The Japanese filmmaker’s most notable recent works include “13 Assassins” and “Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai,” the latter premiering in Cannes just two years ago. He’s already made four feature films since then and has yet another one, “Wara no Tate,” coming out this year. A Japanese trailer for “Wara no Tate” -- aka "Straw Shield" in English -- has now landed online (sorry, no subtitles), and it looks like we could be in for yet another thrill ride from the prolific director.

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