on 23 June 2005
I don't think there has ever been a time when I would have said that a singer becoming an actor was a good idea, but strike me down; I have been proven staggeringly wrong!
Gackt, as a singer, I worship, and as such I was worried that in this film he would not live up to his performance in his albums; the same also applies for HYDE from L'Arc~en~Ciel -- These two singers-come-actors have done an absolutely excellent job with this film along with Taro Yamamoto (Kawada from Battle Royale) and Ryo Ishibashi (Aoyama from Audition) making appearences, Taro more constant, to create one of my favourite films that I have seen in a long while; Mooncake has already posted about the story perfectly so I shan't delve in that direction, suffice to say that it is not weak like a lot of films these days.
All I can really say is that if you enjoy films that are typically japanese for the culture, you enjoy gangster films, love stories, violent (Miike!!) films, or just films with plenty of comical, drug-induced sequences then you will DEFINITELY enjoy this excellent piece of cinema!
Being usually a fan of Takashi Miike (Audition, Ichi the Killer, Visitor Q) and Hideo Nakata (Spirit of the Actress, Ring, Dark Water, Chaos) this film is a little bit of an aside to what I usually like -- further concreting my belief that this is an excellent film to be able to drag me away from my usual gorey films.
A phrase that I have been using to describe parts of this film to a few of my friends is "The Matrix in training" -- watch it and you'll see ^_^ The spinning kick scene and the preceding Dance (Waltz?) had me roaring!
And incase anyone is wandering what Gackt screams when he has a hole shot through his jacket: "Kono fuku take na zo, baka yarô!", which is literally what the subtitles say for once.
on 2 April 2005
In the 21st century, a group of childhood friends navigate a violent criminal underworld in a fictional city in China. Sho, (Gackt), a member of a drug gang, develops a strong bond with his organization's newest member, Kei (Japanese pop star HYDE), a vampire. Over time, their love for the same woman drives a wedge between them. Director's Takahisa Zeze imbues his film with plenty of violence and gunplay to enhance the futuristic imagery
on 29 June 2007
This review will be slightly biased. I adore Gackt and HYDE so may not be the best judge of their acting!
This film is a lot of fun and very enjoyable, it's only problem being it doesn't know which genre it wants to fit into. Is it a vampire film? A yakuza movie? It flips between so many genres it seems to jar in parts and there is far too much sexual tension that isn't ever resolved, not least between Gackt and HYDE lol. Do not expect fanservice *pout*
But a great film if you like both stars.
on 3 June 2012
Well, what can I say about this film? I'll have to try and start somewhere.
Plot- Extremely original! It has something in there for everyone, vampires,comedy, horror, love, guns, fighting and friendship put together perfectly.The first half of the film is a laugh a minute and you actually feel for the characters. The second half takes a huge turn (I will include no spoilers so my explanation may sound odd) but it had me in tears so many times. There are so many touching moments, and even a few heartbreaking ones. During this film you will feel pretty much every emotion there is.
Acting- superb! As previously mentioned, singers turned actors? It must be a terrible film right? WRONG! The whole cast gives a flawless performance and the film itself was partly written by Gackt. They portray their characters perfectly, that if you happened to be a fan of their music would forget who they really are only a few minutes in after watching them act. They take on their roles perfectly and make them their own.
This film has even become a favourite of a few friends of mine who don't tend to like Asian cinema. This really is a film that can appeal to a very wide audience. I don't usually enjoy guns or fightings in films, but in this I enjoyed it. It was part of the film and wouldn't have been the same without it.
on 7 March 2014
I'm not usually so generous in giving films a high rating but this scores the full five for a number of reasons.
Admittedly, I am a HUGE fan of Gackt and Hyde's music and hadn't realised they acted together until I came across this film. It's beautiful and original story line struck me. It had everything I liked: vampires, gangsters, cigarettes and sexy Asian men.
An amazing action thriller. The vampirism isn't even the focus of the story, and is thrown in so naturally that it doesn't distract you.
I will say though - it's a massive feels trip so be prepared with several boxes of tissues and copious amounts of alcohol.
Or perhaps I'm just a very emotional person.
Yeah. Anyway, this has been my favourite film for a few years now.