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Only Thing That Tries To Break Through This Darkness Is The Sometimes Bright Neon Lights

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When you dishonor your boss
and you want to show remorse,
you give your finger.
It’s called otoshimae.
I see you’ve got all your fingers.

Even though I don’t have any affinity with Japanese culture as such and mostly ignore Asian films, I couldn’t resist giving “The Outsider”  a chance. Not only because of the fact that Jared Leto is playing in it (a colorful actor who reminds me of Johnny Depp and because of his role as The Joker in “Suicide Squad” can join the club of quirky Hollywood actors), but also because of the central theme of the Yakuza families. I wondered if this could be another successful Netflix original.

I don’t know much about Japanese culture. Only the term Yakuza is known to me. You can see it as the Japanese version of the Italian Mafia. The only difference with their Italian counterparts is that the Yakuza members are an epitome of inner calmness and adopt an intimidating attitude by using ice-cold, angry looks and a threatening, non-loud tone during their conversations. Quite different from the Italian mafia members, who usually want to make an impression by shouting and intense gesticulating while making their point, after which a rival gets a concrete pedestal and they dump him in some Italian river. So I prepared myself for a Japanese-colored “Godfather“-like movie.

 

The Outsider

 

Extremely slow pacing.

The first thing you could criticize is the pace of the film. “The Outsider”  is extremely slow at times, indeed. But doesn’t that suite the entire Japan concept? After all, members of the Yakuza families themselves use a certain pace in their conversations by using impressive silences between sentences. On the one hand to show respect. On the other hand maybe also to increase the impact of used words. Have you ever seen a Geisha passing by? They aren’t exactly a paragon of speed. And to be honest, if this movie had lasted an extra hour, I wouldn’t have minded that either. And that’s because of the other positivities you can find in “The Outsider” .

 

The Outsider

 

A white Yakuza member. Possible or not?

First of all, I thought the acting of the entire cast was marvelous on all fronts. The mix of authentic Japanese who speak their own language for most of the film instead of constantly using broken, bad-sounding English and the acting of Jared Leto was simply stunning. How Nick Lowell ended up in an Osaka prison, remained a mystery to me. He’s the only English-speaking prisoner and is surrounded by mainly Yakuza gang members. Rescuing the Yakuza Kiyoshi (Tadanobu Asano) from a perilous, life-threatening situation gives him a ticket to freedom. And that’s when he chooses to gradually integrate into the Yakuza family. Not an easy task since the members of this Yakuza family aren’t really hospitable and are rather resentful towards white strangers (a Gaijin). However, I wonder if, in reality, a Westerner would get a chance to be included in such a Yakuza-family. I doubt it.

 

The Outsider

 

Sublime cinematography.

The used cinematography in ‘The Outsider’ was also generally sublime. Maybe a little too dark at certain moments, such as the prison scenes, for example. But in general, the setting in this post-war Japan is really impressive. A mysterious metropolis with dark, narrow alleys, clubs where Sumo wrestlers compete and smoky night clubs. The only thing that tries to break through this darkness is the sometimes bright neon lights.
Expect some violent scenes too. You can’t do without it in a gangster movie, I guess. There are quite a few victims. Lots of gunshots and knives carving around. Even a self-mutilation scene where a few fingers are sacrificed isn’t missing.

 

The Outsider

 

The acting of Jared Leto was superb.

My limited knowledge of Asian film material and Japanese customs made sure everything came across as fairly authentic to me. Others, who immersed themselves in this matter, may have noticed imperfections. And perhaps the content has all been done before. I even read somewhere that there was a lot of fuss about casting Jared Leto. And the term “whitewashing” came up. Didn’t we have the same discussion about Matt Damon’s contribution to “The Great Wall“? By the way, I thought Jared Leto was suitable for this role as the silent (probably because he doesn’t speak the language), cold-blooded and emotionless Nick. He reminded me a bit of Keanu Reeves in “47 Ronin“. Only the speed with which he was accepted in the Shiromatsu Yakuza clan, seemed greatly exaggerated. And the emotional relationship between Nick and Miyu (Shioli Kutsuna) felt like a mandatory item.

 

The Outsider

 

But just as I scoured the internet for information about “The Zodiac Killer” after watching the movie “Zodiac“, I couldn’t resist consulting Wikipedia about the Yakuza phenomenon. That means this film also left an impression. If slow crime movies about the Mafia interest you, and this in a Japanese environment, then I can definitely recommend this movie to you.

You can watch The Outsider on Netflix now!

My rating 7/10
Links: IMDB

 

Batman

Director Matt Reeves Drops Our Fist Look At The New Batmobile

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“It’s going to allow his character to have an arc so that he can go through a transformation”

In the modern era of cinema, the internet is no stranger to leaks and set photos. Most Directors are faced with the difficult challenge of deciding when and when not to release official photos. Recently, an onslaught of set photos have hit the web, showing the newly re-designed batman look, along with a glimpse of the “Batcycle” and possibly a look at catwoman.

Today, Matt Reeves decided to break the internet, giving us our first look at the new batmobile. Reeves describes ‘The Batman’ as a noir style film, told squarely on the shoulders of the dark knight. It would appear that Reeves is going with a truly grounded approach to the character. A “Year two” Batman, taking on Gotham’s criminal underworld, with a rogues gallery of villains.

“It’s very much a point of view-driven, noir Batman tale,” he said. “It’s told very squarely on his shoulders, and I hope it’s going to be a story that will be thrilling but also emotional. It’s more Batman in his detective mode than we’ve seen in the films. The comics have a history of that. He’s supposed to be the world’s greatest detective, and that’s not necessarily been a part of what the movies have been. I’d love this to be one where when we go on that journey of tracking down the criminals and trying to solve a crime, it’s going to allow his character to have an arc so that he can go through a transformation.”

‘The Batman’ hits theaters June 25, 2021 | Stars: Robert Pattinson, Zoe Kravitz, Colin Farrell, Andy Serkis, Paul Dano, Peter Sarsgaard, Jeffrey Wright 

 

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Batman

Matt Reeves Drops First Look | Batsuit Test From ‘The Batman’

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Fans have been waiting weeks since filming began for Matt Reeves’ ‘The Batman,’ for a quick glance at the new batsuit. Now we have our first official look at what Robert Pattinson will look like dawning the cape and cowl of the dark knight. We also get our first listen at the musical tone we can expect from the upcoming film, which to no surprise, is dark and ominous. Pattinson would like to see Batman receive an R-Rating saying that it would free his character up to do more:

“The only thing that’s more complicated is the rating. As soon as you make something an R-rated movie, you’re freed up to do so much stuff. In terms of the character itself, I want to push it as far as it possibly can go. And I think Matt Reeves does as well. You can do crazy stuff with that part.”

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Crime

Spiral: From The Book Of Saw | Official Trailer – HD

Spiral is an upcoming American horror film. The film will serve as the ninth installment in the Saw franchise. The film is directed by Darren Lynn Bousman, from a screenplay by Josh Stolberg and Pete Goldfinger, based on a story by Chris Rock. The film stars Rock, Samuel L. Jackson, Max Minghella, and Marisol Nichols.

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Genre:

Crime, Drama

Release Date:

May 15, 2020

Director:

Darren Lynn Bousman

Cast:

Chris Rock, Samuel L. Jackson, Max Minghella, Marisol Nichols,

Plot Summary: 

Spiral is an upcoming American horror film. The film will serve as the ninth installment in the Saw franchise. The film is directed by Darren Lynn Bousman, from a screenplay by Josh Stolberg and Pete Goldfinger, based on a story by Chris Rock. The film stars Rock, Samuel L. Jackson, Max Minghella, and Marisol Nichols.

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