- Casino Royale Review
- Carrie (1976)
- Two-Lane Blacktop (1971)
- Trainspotting (1996)
- Rain Man (1988)
- Fatal Attraction (1987)
- Targets (1968)
- An Education (2009)
- Mirror, The (1974)
- Fargo (1996)
- Fight Club (1999)
- Do The Right Thing (1989)
- Report (1967)
- Is "The Sting" The Best Gambling Film Ever Made?
- Pink Flamingos (1972)
- Ox-Bow Incident, The (1943), Or 28 Angry Men
- Rome, Open City (1945)
- Spring in a Small Town (1948)
- Drive (2011)
- Vinyl (1965)
- Seconds (1966)
- Rosemary's Baby (1968)
- A Hollywood Invasion of Casino Halls
- Thin Man, The (1934)
- In The Heat of the Night (1967)
- All In: The Poker Movie, Player’s Best Tricks
- Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)
- 1001 Club - Skyfall (2012)
- 1001 Club - When Harry Met Sally... (1988)
- 1001 Club - Rain Man (1988)
Death Note (2006)
Genre: Animé Fantasy Drama Mystery Thriller (Japan)
Starring: Mamoru Miyano, Kappei Yamaguchi
Directed By: Tetsuro Araki, Shusuke Kaneko
Overview: When an exceptionally intelligent young man finds a book that can kill people simply by writing their name in it, he imagines himself as a God, making the world safer from criminals.
Filmsquish.com, beside from being a journal of my worthy visual moments and observations on film, has basically turned into, more than anything, two things for me: sharing with you one man's opinion on the classics and enlightening you on the obscure.
"Death Note" is the sort of thing that crosses my path and makes me mourn that things like this are as obscure as they are. How much more amazing stuff exists out there that I've never heard of? Why must I sift through so much toilet to find gold? In this case, I suspect that it's because all 37 episodes of "Death Note" are not all commercially available in North America (yet).
What makes the series so good, is how unpredictably the story unfolds. "Death Note" makes no qualms about killing 'integral' characters and hence taking the plot into entirely different directions.
No general overview can properly do this series justice, so let me get into just a bit more detail. We open in the Realm of the Death Gods. Ryuk (top photo right) is bored, and decides to take his Death Note - a book the Gods use to kill humans - and toss it to Earth for a little fun. Enter Yagami Light, one of Tokyo's smartest students. After finding it and discovering its effect, he contemplates the good he can do with it. He is soon visited by Ryuk, who, rather than punishing him, explains that it now belongs to the human for as long as the human wants to have it. Yagami begins experimenting. The world's criminals begin dropping like flies.
The killings become so numerous that Interpol brings in an expert to solve this serial killing, a mysterious free agent known only as 'L', a peerless investigative genius responsible for solving many of the world's most confounding crimes.
Rather than turning "Death Note" into a predictable tale where Gods toy with humans, where moral quandaries abound amidst the piles of bodies, it instead explores the nuances and rules of this magical book as well as the Sherlock-Moriarty style battle of wits these archenemies face in one another. Yagami seeks to evade those closing in on him while 'L' leads the charge to discover and capture this mass-murdering individual.
I won't say any more because the total series, based on the original manga, is over 13 hours and grows and changes so frequently with each character gaining and losing ground in their own way. What I've revealed is merely the tip of this awesome storytelling iceberg. The plot grows so deep and involved with everyone two steps ahead of everyone else - and yes somehow both hero and antihero are always two steps ahead of the other at any given time.
Another wonderful aspect of "Death Note" is the budget and the technology. Since it's a new series, the production value is far glitztier, what with Animé technology improving so rapidly. This is a well-drawn, beautifully detailed story with perfect pacing in editing and an amazing score. The only sad thing is that you can only rent the first 8 episodes on DVD right now. Of course, that is, unless you live in Japan.
Performance: 9 Cinematography: 10 Script: 9 Plot: 9 Mood: 9
Overall Rating: 92% (Take Note)
This is what it's all about: discovering something so great that nothing can compare. Something this incredible raises the bar and turns us critics blasé to the exceptional in favour of this brand of excellence. Yeah that's right, I'm gushing all over it. All Animé fans may seriously want to consider this too. It's intelligent.