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Gavin Schmitt

  1. Blu-ray Review: "Dead or Alive 3: Final" (2002)

    The ace cop of a totalitarian police force and a drifting android play their parts in a post-apocalyptic society. They are destined to fight. Their encounter will change them forever.

    What we have here is Miike going full-on Miike, letting his absurd vision overtake any attempt at a rational film. Some may appreciate that. For me, other than that funky saxophone player, I find it to be a waste of just about everyone's time. The film is rife with references to "Blade Runner", ...
  2. Blu-ray Review: "Dead of Alive 2: Birds" (2000)

    Two contract killers cross paths on the same job and realize they are childhood friends. Together they take a break from killing and visit the small island they once called home. After reflecting on their past lives they decide to team up and use their talents in killing for good... upsetting the crime syndicates they used to work for.

    This film is far sillier than the first, with special effects that make this have almost science fiction qualities (which were absent from part one ...
  3. Blu-ray Review: "Ley Lines" (1999)

    A trio of Japanese youths of Chinese descent escape their semi-rural upbringing and relocate to Shinjuku, a special ward in Tokyo, where they befriend a troubled Shanghai prostitute and fall foul of a local crime syndicate.

    Like many of Miike's works, including the two previous "Black Society Trilogy" entries, the film examines the underbelly of respectable Japanese society and the problems of assimilation faced by non-ethnically Japanese people in Japan. Although it may ...
  4. A Hidden Gem Finally Unearthed: "Voice Without a Shadow" (1958)

    Ishikawa, a newspaper journalist, unexpectedly meets Asako, a woman who used to work for his company some time ago as a phone operator. Three years ago, she accidentally heard the voice of a suspect who committed a still-unresolved homicide. Since then, the suspect's voice has remained lodged in her mind as a terrifying memory.

    What might strike you about the plot is how it seems to have the same setup as the Italian giallo: someone sees, hears or smells something just for an instant ...