Rated: R

  Bunraku is another in the long line of obscure titles I’m almost positive you’ve never heard of. I happened to stumble across it at one of the many Blockbuster going out of business sales a few years ago. Looking at the case it seems you can’t go wrong with this one. It was done in the ever-so-popular these days graphic novel fashion and features a stellar cast that includes the likes of Woody Harrelson, Josh Hartnet, Demi Moore and Ron Perlman. Not to say that a great cast is all you need for a great film, but it can help considerably in the right circumstances!
         A drifter and a young samurai named Yoshi, both out for revenge, are brought together by The Bartender in an attempt to defeat The Woodcutter, Nicola, the town’s crime lord, in a world without guns.
        The film’s director, Guy Moshe, borrowed the title from the almost 500 year old Japanese style of Puppet Theater. While this film isn’t acted with puppets, many of the backgrounds used at least partially resemble traditional Bunraku backgrounds. Also included are video game, graphic novel, spaghetti western and samurai elements that make this film both stunning to look at and exciting to watch.  Based on the other reviews I’ve read about this film, that’s all it has to offer. According to most of them it’s nothing more than a bunch of pretty pictures with no real story behind it. I don’t agree. The overall look and feel of the film may be what pulls you in to begin with, but it’s the story behind it all that keeps you watching. Well, that and the non-stop action of course! I mean, if the look was all there was too it than far more people would’ve shut it off within the first few minutes. It seems as though many of the other critics were searching for something far deeper than this film has to offer, and to me that’s kind of sad. It means (to me) that they don’t truly enjoy watching anything anymore simply for the enjoyment of it. Another thing that perplexes me is that many of them seemed to enjoy
Sin City, which, although made by different people, has the same feeling to it, style-wise. I guess I’ll never be able to figure out what other critics will like or hate, I just know what I like…and I like this!
        So I guess I’ll leave you with this: if you’re looking for a movie that will touch you on some deep level in a way that nothing ever has before, this movie is not for you. But, if you want stunning graphics and backgrounds put together in a very interesting way with non-stop action and thrills, than this is your type of movie!

Bunraku is rated R, was directed by Guy Moshe and stars Josh Hartnet, Gackt, Woody Harrelson and Ron Perlman. Its available now on Blu Ray, DVD and digital download.