Tsukamoto's Tetsuo is an almost perfect cyberpunk endeavor, sporting lush black and white visuals and a superb industrial soundtrack, while providing a nerve-wrecking and overwhelming experience.
Fans of Tsukamoto might be a little surprised by the stilted acting, the strong dramatic undercurrents and the softer, more poetic scenes.
Usually negative feedback lowers people's expectations (which is a good thing), in this case many potential viewers seemed to dismiss this film completely without even giving it a fair chance.
Tsukamoto went through his own transformation when the previous millennium ended, A Snake of June is one of the films that illustrates that pretty well.
Starts off a little restrained, especially for a Tsukamoto film, but once it gets going it becomes an unstoppable force. Well acted, beautifully scored and largely defined by Tsukamoto's trademark camera work, Killing is a film that may be short and light on plot, but leaves a big impression nonetheless. Great stuff.
Tokyo Fist is somewhat of a forgotten Tsukamoto film, which is weird considering its many qualities.
Haze is a landmark in Tsukamoto's oeuvre. The possibilities of DV allowed him to go back to his roots.
Kotoko is another work of love.
Gemini could be considered a good entry-level Tsukamoto since his typical style isn't as demanding as in his other films.
This is not a very happy film, nor is it very subtle.
The good stuff
It's still a great film though. Even a slightly watered down Tsukamoto film is way better than most of the J-Horror films released in the past 15 years.
The second time around I was little let down by the acting performances of the secondary cast. For a film that puts more focus on drama than usually the case, that's somewhat of a problem.
Nightmare Detective 2 might be his most commercial work to date, there is still plenty here to scare away the regular movie fan.
Decent anthology, sadly without stand-out entries. Kaidan stories aren't very scary or gory, so don't expect any modern horror action. Tsukamoto and Koreeda deliver the best entries, Lee's one is decent, the only subpar short is coming from Ochiai. Ironically, the only true horror director present.