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  • Kanzaki is a detective searching for a serial killer who is killing young women and keeping their hearts. On his wedding day his wife becomes the killer's next victim sending Kanzaki on a quest for revenge to murder the person who killed his wife. But there is so much more! What starts as a grizzly murder mystery/revenge film opens up to become a truly epic masterpiece. Part love story/supernatural ghost story/action movie. Sky High has it all. Superb cast and terrific acting. Cinematography is amazing, and I love the special effects. Sets are great and the soundtrack really gets you into the action scenes. My only complaint is that the movie does get a little long near the end. If you are looking for something different see this movie. You won't regret it. *** out of ****
  • A detective hunting a serial killer is left devastated when his bride to be is murdered on their wedding day. As with all the victims, her heart was removed. As he hunts down leads to find the killer, His bride, Mina, finds herself at The Gate Of Resentment. There she is faced with 3 choices. Go through the gate and be reborn, become a ghost, or take revenge and kill, and end up in hell.....

    Ryuhei Kitamura, who directed the action packed Azumi, tones down the violence here, but still stages some impressive action sequences. The cast are all impressive.

    But what really gets you about this movie, is the emotional content. Based on a Japanese comic book, there are twists in the story which do come as a surprise. And the love portion of the story works well, both for the detective Kohei, and his bride Mina, but also the bond between the killer, her boss (who needs the hearts for a ritual) and the boss's sick wife. Not everything is as clear cut as it would seem to appear here, and this is a refreshing change.

    Although I've not read the comic book, as a movie it is very impressive, with a lot of imagination. If only writers and directors in Hollywood and the west could come up with ideas this imaginative.

    This is a movie worth checking out.
  • Based on the blurb, I was expecting a supernatural-serial killer movie. While it has those elements, it's far more than that. It really deals with life, death, and the afterlife. It's very intelligent, thought provoking, yet also full of action scenes (mostly sword-fights).

    The heart of this film is very existentialist. The characters in this film all suffer from the whims of fate, be it from nature or from others. But they are in control of what they do in response.

    What would you do for love? Kill? Destroy the world? Kill yourself? Which is more important, the past or the future? Would you damn yourself to hell for revenge? Or to save the world? How the major (and some minor) characters in this film answer those questions is pretty much what the film is really about. Some characters answer this question negatively. Others in a more positive manner.

    The acting is excellent as is the script. There's a lot of minor characters, but all have very distinct personalities.

    I thought the sword fighting scenes were fairly impressive, especially the scene at the temple gate.

    The pacing is somewhat slow, but I found it gripping. Many times you expect something to happen one way, but it doesn't, yet it never feels gimmicky. The ending is very beautiful.
  • Let me get this out of the way now. I am a huge Ryuhei Kitamura fan. I think I have now seen all of his movies (Heat After Dark, Down To Hell, Versus, Azumi, Aragami, Alive...... and even Battlefield Baseball, which he sort of had a hand in), and though enjoyed them all, I found Sky High to be one of his best. This definitely sits in my top 3, with Versus and Azumi.

    Anyone familiar with Kitamura's films will recognize his style immediately. Fantastic cinematography, digitally assisted effects, hyperkenetic fights, and story lines that at best can be described as complicated. He seems to weave a mythology into most of his work, and it all seems very new and interesting.

    In any case, Sky High really got to me because the world he spins here has really defined rules, and they are played to the best of their limits. We know that the death of one character will cause a chain reaction in both the living and spirit world, and that was really intriguing.

    The film has flaws, to be sure. It's a little long, and sometimes you can predict what's coming next, but it's still very good. This is the kind of movie that looks good enough to have a very wide theatrical release (except for the demon at the end, what was with that?) and do well once word of mouth got around.

    Anyway, highly recommended viewing. Can't wait to see what Kitumura will do with Godzilla: Final Wars.
  • I'm a big fan of Kitamura Ryuhei and he ain't disappointing anyone with this one either, all though this one probably ain't my favorite by him. What you get here is as usual an original plot who at first, reading on IMDb, seemed a bit difficult but as soon as the movie went on it weren't hard to keep up with the plot development. I saw someone who really ranted about this piece, but I guess it was another Hollywood fan because Kitamura is, as always, bending the borders a bit and I do understand if the inveterately Hollywood fans will find this "controversial", by judging the camera work, plot, scenes e.t.c. The scenery in "Sky High" is lovely! What I perhaps lacked here was the more "diffuse" plot development, it was a bit too straight for me (yet good but I wanted more). It's a 7/10 and any Kitamura fan should see this!
  • Yumiko Shaku from "Princess Blade" plays Mina who is killed at the beginning of this movie. At the gate to the next world, she is asked whether she wants to forgive and move on, stay a ghost or have revenge. It turns out to be a difficult decision.

    This movie was much better than I expected. Normally I drop DVDs when I read things on the back cover like "Killer cuts the hearts out of his victims" etc., but "Sky High" is the exceptional case of a movie that has a fantasy story with interesting characters, lots of sword fights and even the dreadful serial killer theme and adds it up to something fresh. That is because it does neither rely on lots of action nor on slick design, but instead gives its actors something to do and think about. Seeming a bit long with its 123 minutes to some viewers, the slow passages work well in my opinion and I wouldn't cut 1 minute from it! One the best Asian movies I have seen recently because it is less simplistic than others.
  • TEMPKENNEDY27 June 2005
    I believe Kitamura is a genius,but most people in this forum do not understand what he was trying to accomplish.The story lines in(Sky high,Versus) are basically about death and the many beliefs that are out there, about the subject.In Versus(the resurrection is mentioned)in Sky High(reincarnation, and your belief determines how you will end up in the after life).Kitamura's ability to take the right music with the right scene is staggering.The man is a true talent.Some of the comments I have read in this forum is just amazing.One person says the sword play was really weak.Once again you have someone that cannot follow a story.Ordinary people who were just about to marry and has her heart ripped out by a rich man who thought money could buy everything until his wife meet with some unfortunate accident.The point is if you have never picked up a sword how well do you think your sword play would be?Sky High is truly a great movie!
  • suchenwi16 February 2009
    What a fantastic romance fantasy horror thriller! At my age of 52, I actually like it when a film proceeds not always at full speed, but lingers on one detail or another.

    My biggest enjoyment was to see Franz Schubert's String Quartet in D minor (D.810), with variations on Death and the Maiden, being played at the concert hall - until dripping blood interrupted it... ("Orpheus and Eurydice" could also have been a well-fitting soundtrack).

    Anatomically, a hole in the middle of the breast did not make sense to me - when you reach in there, spine and ribcage will block your way. But it's just a fantasy story, and quite enjoyable as such - and a big box of eye candy (take the curved corridor with reflecting walls as just one example).

    I find it a good, strong movie which I can well recommend. If you love Stargate, you also find a touch of that in Sky High :^) Also, the last split-second (Mina points her sword at you and says "Go!") raises memories of the famous shoot-at-audience scene from Great Train Robbery (1903).
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Sky High This movie has a lot to do with why I enjoy Asian films. This is a story that I as a jaded Hollywood movie junkie could not predict. It is an impossible story to tell or imagine outside of Asian culture. The plot involves A woman who shows up to walk down the aisle with her heart ripped out. Bummer. She ends up at the Gate of rage and is given ten days to decide between 3 choices basically come down to heaven, hell or get revenge and go to hell.

    While making her decision she and her still alive husband(who can't see or hear her) discover that she was the victim of a madman who is stealing the hearts of the women who in between lives had served the as the guardian of the gate. Apparently he believes with their hearts together he can bring back his wife.

    Swordplay, CGI effects, Strong women characters and a little gore all help Sky high worth a rental. While the plot and the story are far from perfect it is a cool film from Kitumara the director who made popular Swordplay films Versus and Azumi. While Sky high probably has more in common with his second film Alive, alive and sky high are not quite as popular. I thought all four films were good but I think Sky high and Alive involve better more developed storylines.
  • As with many of Ryuhei Kitamura's film, Sky High displays plenty of great ideas (a serial killer ripping people's hearts out, the gates of Rage, where murdered people go and are given three choice - heaven, earth, or hell), an genre bending story (sword play, horror, sci-fi, love story, serial killer) and plenty of visual style. However, Sky High also fall foul of Ryuhei Kitamura's usual faults. For this type of film, and the way it is shot, it is just too long, running at over two hours. Kitamura tries to give the story depth and meaning (failing most the time), when it should be a great popcorn flick with less depth. Take his two major success - Versus and Azumi. Here there is very little plot, just great action. Alive, another of Kitamura's films, which is very similarly themed to Sky High, also suffers these faults. Given the right script, Kitamura will make a genuinely great film (he almost did it with Versus), but until then, he need someone to come and cut his film down.
  • Orthodox opinion holds that most (if not all) great movies are restricted to the Drama or Romance genres. During my exploration of East Asian cinema, I have discovered a massive amount of contradictory evidence to this commonly-held assertion: A Tale of Two Sisters (2003, Korean Horror) and Cure (1997, Japanese Thriller) being the two most obvious examples, in addition to The Legend of Drunken Master (1994, Chinese Action), Battle Royale (2000, Japanese Action), and Fist of Legend (1994, Chinese Action). This brief list is a testimony that cinematic greatness is achieved in different ways, whether it be strong dramatic elements, horrific philosophical expositions, masterful storytelling, or action choreography. The bottom line is the one thing they all have in common: REMARKABLE ENTERTAINMENT VALUE. Sky High represents another title that achieves greatness like the aforementioned films achieve greatness, albeit in its own unique way.

    Ryuhei Kitamura has had his disappointing films (Alive, Godzilla: Final Wars), but when he is "on his game" there is perhaps no one who delivers such a perfect combination of stylish camera-work and engaging sound. Sky High is the crème de la crème of cinematic flair. The wedding ceremony is a classic showcase that every film student should study with earnestness. Even the simplest of events – i.e., a girl crawling to her work desk after arriving late – are handled with such directorial precision that an astute viewer is immediately grabbed by the events occurring on screen. Virtually every action scene is preceded by ultra-cool character mannerisms supplemented with an excellent score. Sky High is a cornucopia of amazing images and sounds that puts most every other film to shame. This one is special for that contribution alone.

    The storyline is based upon a set of supernatural rules. Major decisions by the characters must first consider the consequences inherent in their respective afterlives. Killing is not simply an act to end life, but instead is used to serve a specific eternal purpose. Thus, the ones who kill in this film also bear a tragic spiritual fate that others do not possess. The originality of Sky High is obvious in that it represents the act of killing as a form of self-sacrifice for the betterment of someone else. I can't think of another film that does this. It's a very unique and breathtaking play on an old concept.

    Many movies have tried to bridge action and romance genres, but few have succeeded. Frequently, the action is bland and emotionless while the romance is undeveloped, but perhaps the most common (and ridiculous) flaw is that character action almost always contradicts the alleged romance of the lead characters. In Shinobi (2005) the wife promptly (and without hesitation) orders an ambush on her husband, which provides an excuse to start fighting, but at the same time nullifies any possible love that the viewer was supposed to believe existed. In The Bride With White Hair (1993) the man totally discounts the word of his alleged lover regarding a murder, which provides an excuse to start the final action scene, but at the same time invalidates their entire relationship. In other words, blending action and romance is just as difficult as creating an effective drama, and most attempts miss the mark quite badly.

    Sky High, on the other hand, is the perfect example of internally consistent character action that maximizes the believability of the primary love relationship. Character action is not introduced merely to start fights, but instead represents a logical decision with reference to a specific lover. The primary love relationship is developed throughout the entirety of the film and culminates in the main character's change of philosophy, of which his love for his deceased wife serves as the primary catalyst. In like manner, the primary antagonist's motivations for evil is manfested from his deep love of his comatose wife. Even the deadly assassin shows her caring for the lead antagonist in her choosing to kill for him, thus sacrificing her immortal soul for his dream of being reunited with his lost love. So here we have a film that succeeds in introducing 3 separate love relationships that are consistent with character action, while most other action/romance movies fail to produce 1. Amazing!

    Some have complained about the basic fight choreography. It is not kinetic, fast, or complex like Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon (2000). Kitamura chose to ground most of the action with realistic sword maneuvers, similar to The Hidden Blade (2004), while adding a few supernatural elements along the way. Remarkably, the action is still very entertaining because of the character development behind it. The finale is exciting not because of how the swords are swung, but because a fairly normal girl has been entrusted to withstand the attacks of the lead antagonist while a demon is on the verge of escape and her husband may (or may not) be able to assist her in time. The preceding fight inside the temple is also engaging because the deadly assassin (who has easily carved her way thru just about everyone) has finally met her match. In this sense, Sky High is a different sort of action film that relies on situational excitement over choreographical complexity, and it works very well.

    I'm sure that I'll be criticized for giving an action/romance like Sky High a rating of 10 out of 10, but in all honestly – I don't care. Sky High is simply the best action/romance film on the face of the planet. I dare someone to cite another similar film with an equal mastery of visual/audio technical skills, an equally original take on killing, similarly effective situational fighting, and character action that is perfectly consistent with the romantic elements.

    Good luck to you on that challenge.
  • dgm2013 August 2005
    Although this isn't like 'Versus' or 'Azumi', it plays along the same sort of line with the action and story.

    The performances from the cast is intriguing; some are brilliant, full of life and inspiration, while some are undemanding, dragging the film along in a slow pace.

    The action's incredibly exhilarating, filled with impressive sword fights and stunning magic effects but this gets sadly overshadowed by the film's slow pace and some uninteresting characterisation.

    Overall, this is a visually adequate but slight action thriller with a good amount of action to make this overly bearable for fans of the 'Kill Bill' series.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Mina finds herself at the Gate of Rage, the door that leads to the after life. Mina is given three options, go to heaven, haunt the earth, or seek revenge against her killer and be thrown into the fires of hell for the rest of eternity. But Mina has one more problem, her fiancé, is a cop who has sworn vengeance upon the killer of his bride. Mina must stop him from killing, because if he does spill blood he will be damned. But things get worse, when the real motive of the killer is revealed.

    I was not expecting much from this movie, but I was caught unaware by the emotion of this movie, the choices that are made in the after life, it was very poetic. Beautiful.

    The whole cast gave some great performance, but it was Yumiko Shaku's performance that blew me away, the end scene was just very sad and emotional, it was beautiful acted out, when Mina must say goodbye to her lover. The one thing, I would like to have seen done better was the action, but Mina's climactic battle shut me up.

    Simply beautiful.
  • chelano17 January 2011
    This film had a low budget but a lot of meaning. It looked like something you would see on TV, but in full you can really tell it is a movie. The film shows an interesting version of heaven and hell. The pearly gates are not really pearly either. They are the Gates Of Rage and you have three choices. Be reborn, curse someone until they die or wander around like a ghost all your life. Kind of has the heaven effect with some reincarnation added. You would expect the special effects to be high, but all you get are some interesting sparks added to some cool sword fighting scenes. The cast is interesting. There are only really about four characters worth mentioning although all the side ones do have personalities. Yumiko Shaku does an OK job and has a cool fight scene, but that is about it. Shosuke Tanihara is a detective trying to avenge his dead girlfriend played by Yumiko. He shows the most emotion in the film. Then the "bad guy" is played by Takao Osawa which was probably my favorite performance in the film. Takao had an evil sidekick played by Kanae Uotani. She had some of the best fight scenes. She really had the look for her character also. This film is like a fantasy and a horror piece put into one. You have death and you have magic. The story was interesting, but was missing pieces. Overall, it was fun to watch though.
  • A great looking & very well made film, yet still a little disappointing. Without the frenetic pace of Versus and the epic scope of Azumi it just seems to last about 20 minutes too long. The violence too is oddly muted - the heart-rippings are off screen for the most part and everything seems to cut away. It remains a tremendously original work though, an entertaining mix of mysticism, ghosts, cop/serial killer thrills, romance and diabolical ritualism. There's not too many movies you can say that about. The cast are all terrific and there are some very subtle special effects to enhance the storytelling. For me however, Versus remains the director's crowning achievement.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    It's like a cross between Ghost (the Patrick Swayze movie) and Highlander. Basically, Sky High concerns a young woman who is killed on her wedding day. She finds out what happens after death, which leads to all sorts of mystical mayhem, including sword fights, babes, otherworldy warriors and some really nasty bad guys.

    It's directed by Kitamura of Azumi fame. And it's much better. It has much more plot, and relies far less on action. It's not really an action movie per se, but the last twenty minutes is almost pure sword action. The fights have more drama because they are actual duels, and the heroines are in danger, unlike Azumi in which the heroes just hacked down legions of bad guys without a scratch.

    More to the point, it's a gripping plot that unravels perfectly and offers a number of twists and some outright shocks. Visually it's almost what you'd expect a supernatural thriller by Bryan Singer to look like: slightly downbeat, sober, with a blue sheen.

    There is quite an ensemble for the movie, and the main hero figure changes throughout. At the end of the movie it's arguable who the main villain and hero were. The main actress is Yumiko Shaju of Princess Blade, and she acquits herself well. The bad guys are pretty damn evil, and for some reason most of the cast is very attractive young women.

    The main problem with Sky High is the name. It just doesn't fit at all, and is of course, the same as the Kurt Russell superhero comedy. It's a great film, it really kept me gripped. Don't expect loads of gore or violence; Kitamura proves here he can tell a strong story.
  • The Media Blasters DVD contains both the theatrical version and a 10 minute longer Director's Cut. For purposes of this review, I'll be looking at the longer cut. Kanzaki is a detective who's working on a case involving woman having their hearts cut out. On his wedding day he finds Mina, his fiancé, has been killed the same way. At the Gates of Heaven she is faced with a choice: go to heaven and await reincarnation, become a ghost to walk the Earth forever, or kill someone who wronged her, but go to hell for eternity. She must find a way to stop Kanzaki from killing her murderer so he doesn't fry in hell. This cut differs from the Theatrical one as there's much more dialog (which doesn't really flesh out the movie that much more) and the ending fight scene seems a tad longer. This movie seemed OK, good in the beginning, but the longer it goes the more muddled it became. I didn't enjoy it as much as the Director's previous work.

    My Grade: C+

    Media Blasters 2-DVD set Extras: disk 1) 122 minute Theatrical version; Commentary with Ryumei Kitamura and the cast Disk 2) 132 Minute Director's Cut; 5 TV spots (no sub-titles); Stills Gallery; a 23 minute Making of; 2 Theatrical Trailers (no sub-titles); and Trailers for "Deadly Outlaw Rekka", "One Missed Call", "Matango: Attack of the Mushroom People", "the Mysterians", and a 5 and a half minute promo for "Death Trance"
  • Well, I was expecting the worst from Sky High after hearing lots of bad reports, so maybe having low expectations helped - because I absolutely loved it. To me it was his best film since Versus, and leaps and bounds above Azumi.

    Personally I thought Versus had a much stronger story and a better way of telling it than most of Kitamura's films (especially Azumi), but I seem to be in a minority there. I think Sky High still has weaker storytelling than Versus, simply because it is far less economical. Versus has a pretty rich universe and complex mythology, but it doesn't ram it down your throat at all - it leaves the reader (err, viewer) to put together the pieces themselves. Sky High has an even richer mythology, but does ram it down your throat a little too much. There were plenty of things that could have been left alluded to rather than being shown or explained. In fact I'm kind of glad the extended cut on the R2J special edition doesn't have subtitles, because the theatrical cut is already 2 hours and could have benefited from a little more trimming.

    The action scenes certainly aren't up to the level of those in Versus, and anybody looking purely for action is sure to be disappointed. However, I thought they were better than those in Aragami even if some of the camera work and editing could have been better. The film in general had a bit of a DTV feel to it, which I guess means it was probably quite a rushed production (which would explain how it seemingly appeared out of nowhere).

    The film felt like a very natural extension of the Kitamura themeology (can I use that word?). There are elements (and cast members) from Versus, The Messenger, Alive and Aragami and the sense of a continual developing of his motifs of destiny, death and rebirth... it's a very ambiguous and vague set of ideas but I find that all the more interesting I think.

    Overall, it's a film with flaws (that are partly attributable to short budget/schedule and partly to Kitamura's lack of maturity as a director) but one that I found much more interesting than I expected from the reviews. Oh, some of the acting is really bad I should mention (why anybody decided giving Yumiko thingy another acting job was a good idea after Princess Blade I don't know), but on the plus side the film has an extremely high quotient of gorgeous women (oh, maybe that's why). I thought that was the unfathomably gorgeous Kanae Uotani as Rei, but she's not credited on IMDB as such - so which new incredibly gorgeous actress was it?

    Anyway, I'm one of the few people that really enjoyed ALIVE as well, so if you didn't like that then don't get too excited about SKY HIGH from my recommendation :p
  • Ryuhei Kitamura's films seem to be built entirely on the strength of his visual style. Unfortunately, neither I, nor anyone I know, find that style all that interesting. His fight scenes always manage to look stiff and artificial (not fantastic, just artificial), yet he always shoves them in front of plot. I figured I'd had enough after checking out Versus, Alive, and Azumi, ready to write Kitamura off as a perpetual B-Movie factory.

    Just by chance I happened upon a cheap copy of Sky High at the local FYE, and the synopsis piqued my interest. I'm glad I picked it up, because it corrects a lot of the problems that have continuously plagued the director's work. He restrains himself from the campy action scenes of the aforementioned films, instead presenting competently staged fights that didn't entirely leap beyond plausibility. Best of all, the movie actually has a complete plot, and not one that seems regurgitated from a 70s martial arts exploitation flick. For the first time, I found his story to be engrossing and actually cared about his characters.

    This film has bought Ryuhei Kitamura a new respect in my eyes, because I know now that he can make a real film. I hope he continues on in the direction displayed here, and resists relapsing into cliché.
  • Detective Kohei Kanzaki is investigating a series of murders; in each case the victim is a young woman and her heart has been removed. The next victim is his fiancée Mina, killed moments before their wedding. He determines that he will find and then kill the person responsible. Meanwhile Mina finds herself at the 'Gate of Retribution' in the afterlife. She is told that because of how she died she has three choices... ascend to paradise before being reincarnated; return to earth as a ghost or torment and kill the person responsible, at the cost of going to hell afterwards. She has twelve days to decide during which her ghost can return to Earth. While her husband uses more conventional methods to identify the killer she quickly learns the identity and motive of the killer but has no obvious way of telling anybody living. Ultimately both Kohei and Mina will have to face her killer to prevent his supernatural plans coming into effect.

    From the artwork and description on the DVD cover I expected lots of blood-splattered action but it isn't that sort of film at all. In fact its genre is rather hard to define. There are action elements, including some fine, highly choreographed sword fights; there are also elements of the police procedural as Kohei investigates the killings. There is also the supernatural element; this is well set up with an interesting mythology concerning the choices offered to the dead and the Gate Keeper. We also get a surprising degree of emotional content; not just that involving Mina and Kohei; the killer also has an understandable motivate for his unjustifiable acts. The cast does a solid job and director Ryuhei Kitamura gives the film a fine look. Overall I'd recommend this even though it wasn't quite the film I was expecting.

    These comments are based on watching the film in Japanese with English subtitles.
  • geniusshikamaru9 September 2008
    I do not understand why this movie is rated so low here on IMDb. Maybe it is unknowingly associated with the Disney kiddy movie by the same name, not to mentioned that 7 out of 8 videos. On the page for Ryuhei's film are actually from Disney's, someone should get that corrected.

    The movie is about a madman, Kudo, that is trying to summon a demon by way of cutting out the hearts of some girls. One of these girls ends up being the fiancé, Mina, of detective Kanzaki.

    It is a really good story and plot. It doesn't have plot holes nor is it a vague movie with horror and fighting. This movie isn't really a "horror" movie as I have seen it classified and considered. It's more of an action drama movie. It blends a good story with good action. Something I rarely see.
  • amid778 September 2005
    I like Ryuhei Kitamura movies. He makes a decent effort trying to be cool and I really appreciate it. There is something in his vision, in his artistic decisions, in his whole approach to cinema as art, that makes him ... I don't know ... more then just a film creator. No wonder he is already a cult phenomenon.

    "Sky High" is a Ryuhei Kitamura film, alright. The cinematography is clean and aesthetic, art design is pretty impressive, and kind of alienated, the swords are long and fast, the blood is red and hot, and the Japanese women are beautiful and dangerous as hell. (Check out Kimika Yoshino as the White Witch, mmmm... sweet).

    And the story, well, its really boring, stupid, and just not interesting enough.

    Some supernatural and magical reality, some lame characters with immature behavior, some tedious fights that could make you fall asleep and some other totally unexciting piles of crap. So if you really want to see this film, if you feeling that you don't want to miss one of Ryuhei Kitamura experiences, watch it, but don't expect for masterpiece.

    Don't bother yourself with this slow, melodramatic and infantile movie, with bad directing, really bad acting, awfully bad dialogs and with surprisingly bad ending.

    ** P.S: "Kung Fu Hustle" by Stephen Chow, is my favorite choice anyway.
  • Sky High is a occult sci-fi starring Yumiko Shaku. She is murdered on the day of her wedding by Tatsuya Kudo (Takao Oosawa) and Rei Miwa (Kanae Uotani). Kudo and Miwa is collecting six hearts from women who used to be the keeper of gate of death to bring back Kudo's fiancé back to life. She reaches the gate of death and its keeper Izuko (Eihi Shiina) gives her three choices: To be reborn as human again, Roam as a ghost, or avenge death to anyone they choose. She's given 12 days to roam the earth before she makes her mind up, so she goes back and tries to stop the killing by Kudo (in spiritual form). Her fiancé Kohei Kanzaki (Shosuke Tanihara) is a detective, and is trying to find who killed his fiancé. He meets Sayuri Endo (Aya Okamoto), and Kazuo Kishi (Hiromasa Taniguchi) who are reporters and camera man working for a magazine. Kishi is psychic and can see Mina (Yumiko Shaku) and conveys her message to Kudo. Kudo first is skeptical, but later believes what Kishi is saying, and together they go off to stop Kudo.

    Yumiko Shaku can play a part of ordinary intellectual woman, but she excels in playing a lead in sci-fi movie. This one is no exception, and she plays her rather unlikely part in a cool and convincing fashion.

    Shosuke Tanihara kept on reminding me of Leon Lai of Hong Kong cinema. The two really looks alike.

    Yumi Kikuchi plays the part of a medium who can exorcise spirits and understands the working of an underworld. She knows what Kudo is up to and helps Kanzaki plan a counter attack on Kudo.

    Based on a comic by Tsutomu Takahashi, this movie is an offshoot of a TV series that ran for two seasons between 2003 and 2004 in Japan. Yumiko Shaku plays the role of Izuko in the TV series as well.
  • It has an original and interesting story. It also features the utterly most lamest sword fights in the history of samurai movie. Weak acting by most of the actors. "Yumiko Shaku" was great as a newcomer in her debut "Princess Blade". Her performance in "Princess Blade" is kind of convincing. 2 years later, I am surprised to see her act so bad in this one. Other actors ain't cool too. A notable example, the extremely overboard acting by the villain, he reminds me how I hate that crazy psychotic "Riki Takeuchi" smile. All of these probably due to the weak, immature direction executed by "Ryuhei Kitamura". I have a feeling this movie is done shooting in less than a week.

    If you don't have any expectation, want to see the funniest homemade sword fight video or perhaps interested in a unique brainstorm, this one just maybe your cup of tea.
  • Being a fan of Eihi Shiina, I sat down to watch this movie, despite her having a small role in the movie.

    The concept of the movie is sort of alright, but I found it very hard to immerse myself into the movie and really get into it. There was just something boring looming over the movie.

    Usually Japan pumps out good movies, but this one sort of comes up short. Sure there was some alright scenes in the movie, but the overall experience was sort of a let down.

    I didn't even finish it, I gave up about three-fifths through the movie. It was just that uninspiring.
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