There were two films I was particularly disappointed I missed at the Toronto Film Festival last year. Kelly Reichardt’s Meeks Cutoff and Takashi Miike’s 13 Assassins. Even more disappointing is the fact I didn’t miss either due to timing, but to fatigue as they both fell on a day where I was simply beat and had to call it quits a little early to recharge for the next day.
Fortunately, both arrive in April and I am seeing Meek’s Cutoff next week prior to its April 8 limited release. 13 Assassins is still a bit of a ways off with its April 29 release, but from what I’ve heard it’s worth the wait. Then again, if you don’t want to wait for theaters, the film hit Video On Demand today.
The official synopsis for 13 Assassins describes it as a bravado period action film set at the end of Japan’s feudal era in which a group of unemployed samurai are enlisted to bring down a sadistic lord and prevent him from ascending to the throne and plunging the country into a wartorn future.
I was told by more than one person in Toronto the film is worth seeing and the one consistent comment I’ve heard is that it isn’t what you’d expect from a Miike picture. As one person told me, “There isn’t even any arterial spray.” Considering we’re talking about a samurai picture from the director of Audition and Ichi the Killer (a film I’ve heard plenty about, but still have not seen) this comes as a bit of a surprise.
I have added the trailer as well as the hand drawn poster directly below, let me know what you think.