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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars kitano fireworks.
A great introduction to the master's work, Hana-Bi is the most accessable of Kitano's films. It has love, loyalty, revenge, humour and the coolest ever bank robbery you'll ever see on film. Kitano is Nishi, a policeman with a sick wife, fallen colleagues and an unfortunate involvement with the yakuza. Nishi is so laid back to the turmoil around him, he at first seems...
Published on 19 May 2003

versus
6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars very highly rated- deserving of a 3.5
Hana bi is a very highly rated piece of cinema and its cinematography is very striking (if starting to look a little old being from 1997.)
The central idea and structure behind the film consists in moments of incredible serenity punctuated by acts of ludicrous violence from the protagonist- a brooding ex cop with a wife dying of a cancer in debt to the Yakuzas. The...
Published on 2 Mar 2006 by Tim Bryant


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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars kitano fireworks., 19 May 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Hana-Bi [VHS] [1998] (VHS Tape)
A great introduction to the master's work, Hana-Bi is the most accessable of Kitano's films. It has love, loyalty, revenge, humour and the coolest ever bank robbery you'll ever see on film. Kitano is Nishi, a policeman with a sick wife, fallen colleagues and an unfortunate involvement with the yakuza. Nishi is so laid back to the turmoil around him, he at first seems detatched from the action. It appears strange to our Westernized film cultured brains to see a film where the main protagonist hardly utters a syllable in the first half of the movie, but here it happens, and it works very well. I won't give the story away,suffice to say it's one of my favourite films.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beat Takeshi delivers a film like no other., 12 Feb 2002
This review is from: Hana-Bi [DVD] [1998] (DVD)
I have been a fan of oriental films now for many years, from Manga, to Made In Hong Kong, to Japan and Korea. In these years I have seen many a film which I considered to be amongst the very best of all time. Then I saw Hana-Bi.
Winner at the Venice Film Festival in 1997, Hana-Bi, 'Fireworks', is a story of emotions and feelings done the only way Kitano 'Beat' Takeshi knows how.
He never loses his control on the audience managing to keep your attention right up to the closing finale. It's full of romance, guilt, sadness, loneliness and passion with a haunting and unique score by Joe Hisaishi, a brilliant composer who can direct an orchestra just as aptly as Kitano can a film crew.
This film will leave you breathless and reaching for the replay button the moment the credits start to roll.
My wife watched the whole film with me, a rarity I can tell you, and she usually does not like these films, but even she had to admit how good it was. It is a fantastic story well acted and superbly directed. I masterpiece of Japanese cinema any fan, or non fan, should place pride of thier collection.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Veritable Genius, 23 Nov 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Hana-Bi [DVD] [1998] (DVD)
In order to fully appreciate Kitano films I believe that one must have at least a basic comprehension of Japanese societal customs. His films employ a Zen buddhism ethic, namely "simplicity is beauty". As such his films are virtually devoid of real dialogue, nevertheless the story is always clear. Rarely does one one come across a director who can so effectively exploit such a simplistic style, and yet create movies that are poetic, elegiac and thought provoking. Anyone who genuinely appreciates cinema will marvel at the absolutely sublime skill of this director, who is entirely unique. There are obvious elements of nihilism, in the sense that Kitano appreciates the beauty of human experience, the tragedy being that life is without purpose. Subsequently he has a view of the world that is simultaneously bleak and cheerful, phenomenal. A work of undisputed genius, absolutely deserving of the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival. Bravo and Bravo again!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What cinema was invented for!, 26 Sep 2001
By 
C BIRD (South Wales) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Hana-Bi [DVD] [1998] (DVD)
As my trite heading implies I have trouble writing a sensible review to cover this amazing film. I don't think it is possible for me to put down just how deeply this film affected me. This was the first 'Beat' Kitano film I have seen and I have to admit I was expecting some sort of Japanese Tarantino/Scorsese lite stylish crime thriller. This exists almost at the other end of the spectrum, however, as the realistic (but mostly off-screen) violence, the understated humour and the tragically human characters combine to make the film transcend any such 'crime' sub-categorisation. A thrilling example of how to make a violent but meaningful film for the 21st century.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Haunting, 5 Dec 2006
This review is from: Hana-Bi [DVD] [1998] (DVD)
This is considered by many to be cult Japanese director "beat" Takeshi Kitano's finest film. It certainly may be his most depressing. Hana-Bi is serene & introspective, occasionaly exploding into extremely violent moments, but the style is slow & can seem strange to anyone brought up on western films where dialogue is constant. As usual in "beats" films there are sometimes moments of sadistic violent humour. The story revolves around a cop called Nishi (Kitano). He is wracked by guilt when his partner is paralysed when he skips duty to visit his hospitalised wife. Events get out of hand as Nishi borrows money from the Yakuza and even commits a bank job (one of the coolest Ive seen)& goes on the run with his terminally ill wife who is dying of leukemia and given not long left to live. the last part of the movie he takes his wife on a road trip around scenic areas of Japan in her final days.. leading to a sad but inevitable conclusion, not as shocking as it first seems if you think about it. The character of Nishi is fascinating & seems somehow very Japanese. On the surface he is hard, little emotion, few words, capable of outbursts of psychopathic violence. But if you look closer this is a man who is also capable of the deepest compassion and self sacrifice. The only thing that betrays his undercurrent of feeling below the granite faced exterior is a facial tick, which seems to excentuate in moments of extreme emotion. This is a fantastic film. Not for those who are only interested in hollywood blockbuster films at 100mph though, or want happy endings for that matter! But very much recommended for those who enjoy thoughtfull, artistic films.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best cult Kitano films Ever!, 6 April 2003
This review is from: Hana-Bi [DVD] [1998] (DVD)
I have seen nearly all of Takeshi Kitano's films but Hana bi has to be one of the best I have seen so far. It is a brilliant mix of tranquillity and violence and has a excellent soundtrack composed by Joe Hisaishi who also comosed alot of the music for other Kitano films. This film was a winner of the venice flim festival in 1997 which it definitely deserved. The film does have a bit of what I call (Kitano Humour) But it is still very serious and emotional.
In conclsion it is one of the best Kitano films I have seen,any Cult movie fan should consider buying it. This movie is Takeshi Kitano at his BEST.
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4.0 out of 5 stars superb example of the talent of Kitano, 29 Mar 2000
This review is from: Hana-Bi [VHS] [1998] (VHS Tape)
One of my personal favourites, i enjoyed this film immensely. One thing that becomes immediately obvious is there is little dialogue, Kitano relies on powerful screenplay and thought provokeing images to convey the message of this powerful film. Film contains some black humour, loads of violence and has a strong story. If you like Kitano films this is a must buy, but will not appeal to younger viewers as it may seem a little slow at times.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterful work of art from Beat Takeshi, 2 Jan 2006
By 
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This review is from: Hana-Bi [DVD] [1998] (DVD)
Winner of the golden lion at the Venice film festival in '97, Hana-Bi may well be the finest film i've seen. Written, directed and starring Kitano 'Beat' Takeshi and accompanied by a wonderful soundtrack it tells the story of a recently retired policeman who's wife is dying causing him to become ridden with guilt, who then decides to borrow money from the yakuza and rob a bank so he can do what he can for his wife in her last days, an ex-partner who is now wheelchair bound and the wife of another fellow officer who was killed. With the abstract use of some of Takeshi's own real life paintings that he did after a very unpleasant motorcycle accident, moments of sudden violence, unexpected comedy, and persued by the yakuza and police, he takes his wife on a journey that is as strange and depressing as it is wonderful. There is no western equivalent to Japans Beat Takeshi. His unique filming and acting style demands to be seen!!!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fireworks All Round, 6 July 2005
By 
Donald Thompson "waldo357" (Belfast N Ireland) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Hana-Bi [DVD] [1998] (DVD)
I think I read somewhere that Hana-Bi means fireworks, I could be wrong, but it sums up this movie. With the greatest hang dog expression since Robert Mitchum in his prime, Takeshi "Beat" Kitano lights up this wonderful slice of Japanese cinema. The wonderful thing about this film is that nothing seems to happen for ages, then a 10 or 20 second burst of extreme violence leaves you open mouthed and breathless. You have another length of carefully studied nothing, and then moments of out and out belly laughs. At the centre of this story is the relationship between Nishi (Kitano), his wife and his ex colleague. The character wants to do the best for everyone but finds it difficult to communicate. Yet he brings joy to lives which seem ended and gives people a reason to live, which in the end is the ultimate sadness at the core of the film. The relationship between Nishi and his wife is one of the strangest ever seen on film, but in the end, by saying little these two fine actors tell us more about the relationship between husband and wife than any pairing since Tracey and Hepburn. His interaction and love for his colleague say more about being a modern policeman than anything Hollywood has to offer outside of James Woods in his prime. The ending while sad is also joyful, the film could not end any other way. You sense this almost from the beginning. Beautifully shot, with real characters, slow dialogue, beautiful sound and that wonderful face this is a great modern classic. Now I just hope Tarantino is not a fan so he can't remake it.
All round one of the best films I have seen in a very long time.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure cinema, 15 May 2001
This review is from: Hana-Bi [DVD] [1998] (DVD)
A film so good, it requires many, many viewings. Lets just say, the biggest mistake i ever made was buying a copy of Hana-Bi at the same time as i was supposed to be revising for my exams. Beat's acting puts hollywood to shame. Tackles "issues" as well as being a raucous comedy. Laugh, Cry, BUY!
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Hana-Bi [DVD] [1998]
Hana-Bi [DVD] [1998] by Takeshi Kitano (DVD - 2001)
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