films seen
average score
Alive and kicking


Jigen Daisuke

2023 / 120m - Japan
Action, Adventure
Jigen Daisuke poster

A rather odd Lupin spin-off. I'm not sure if Jigen Daisuke needed his own film, but props for not making this a run-of-the-mill Lupin live-action film with a different main character. The film does have its own unique mood and does its best to serve a moody, over-the-top slice of action, but it doesn't fully get there.

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Daisuke is a famed killer, but his trusted gun is giving him headaches, as its aim is off. He can't seem to fix the problem himself, but then he hears of a famed gunsmith living in Japan. So he travels back to his home country. The gunsmith has left her old life behind her and isn't willing to help Daisuke, who gets caught up in some local drama.

There are some interesting characters and some cool action scenes, but thanks to the somewhat laid-back, jazzy soundtrack and uneven editing it's never quite as cool as it could've been. It's also a tad too long, but you get that with Japanese films. Good fun, but not best in class.

Grand Guignol

2022 / 84m - Japan
Grand Guignol poster

Interesting horror flick. At first sight, it looks a lot like other, often game-based, Japanese high school fantasy horror films, where kids are locked in at night and strange things start happening to them. But Grand Guignol adds some unexpected slasher folklore and isn't stingy when it comes to blood and gore.

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A small, secluded school only takes on troubled students. There's a study group that tackles the Grand Guignol novel, and soon enough the school is facing a similar murder case. A masked demon is haunting the students and killing them in cold blood, The problem is that almost everyone is a suspect.

It's not often you see clear slasher influences in a Japanese horror. Add to that the overt violence, LGBTQ characters, and a pretty cool killer, and you have a film that is more than just another generic horror rip-off. Fans of (Japanese) horror cinema would do well to give this one a shot. Not for the faint of heart though.