Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Hideo Sakaki, Ryô, Koyuki, Shun Sugata, Erika Oda
Director: Ryûhei Kitamura
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Drama, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery & Suspense
Based on a popular comic book by Tsutomu Takahashi (SKY HIGH), ALIVE combines the tension of Vincenzo Natali's CUBE and Kitamura's own VERSUS. For the brutal murder of his girlfriend's rapists, Tenshu is sentenced to die ... more »
"Alive" is brain dead!
Michael West | Indianapolis, Indiana | 02/06/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)
"This movie started off interesting enough. A man murders the gang that raped his girlfriend and is placed in the electric chair. When the voltage fails to kill him, he is given the option to live or to be fried again. He chooses life. Enter storyline #2. He is put into what seems to be a "Cube" type experiment: locked in a metal room with a psychotic man who claims to have also escaped The Chair. It appears some government scientists are testing how long it will take these two to kill each other. But that's not it. Enter storyline #3. A beautiful woman appears to the men. It seems she is the host for an alien entity that her father contracted from eating a baboon that visited a spaceship in the jungle (Oh, how I wish I were making that up!). The remainder of the film is a mess of Hell images, Kung-fu showdowns with cloned super-soldiers, and random shootings that make no earthly sense. Someone should have read the script for "Alive" and pronounced this film D.O.A. instead."
Alive? Just try to stay awake...
D. Wilson | NY by way of Cali | 01/20/2008
(2 out of 5 stars)
"After watching the brilliance that was director Ryuhei Kitamura's Versus, my first move was to instantly seek out and watch all of his other films released here in the states. Enter Alive, the next feature length film that Kitamura released. Much like Versus, it features the similarly bizarre plot elements, ultra slick and stylish direction, moments of brash violence, and even Tak Sakaguchi in a minor role. Unfortunately though, where Versus featured a near unrelenting amount of violence that gave way to a few moments of exposition and plotting, Alive plays it completely the opposite way, with a near unrelenting amount of exposition and buildup with very few moments of actual action. The film follows two prisoners, who after surviving their death sentence by electrocution, are given the choice to live but only as part of a government experiment... that's when things get really strange. Turns out there is an "entity" that inhabits a person with the greatest urge to kill and gives them almost limitless powers, of course the military wants to harness this power through the surviving inmate. Sounds pretty cool right? Don't be fooled like I was, this is anything but cool. Instead it's a slow-moving mess of a movie that isn't helped at all by it's 2 hour runtime (where in Versus you never wanted it to end, you'll find yourself watching the timer on the DVD player more than the actual movie here)and anyone who enjoyed (or loved like myself)Versus would be better served skipping this and seeking out either Aragami or Azumi for more familiar stylized and violent entertainment. For fans of the film (both of you), Tokyo Shock has delivered a very nice 2 disc special director's cut of the film with some decent bonus features (Making Of Alive featurette, cast and director interviews, and trailers galore). With Versus, it seemed like director Kitamura had found a cure for Narcolepsy (the condition of falling asleep spontaneously and unwillingly)with his kinetic, "don't blink or you'll miss something" delivery... well with Alive he's cured another sleep condition, Insomnia."
Don't let the detractors fool you
Michael D. Schinke II | Southfield, Michigan | 05/31/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Alive is a film based on a Manga and, as any anime fan will tell you, Manga doesnt always translate to other mediums smoothly. The film asks the viewer to accept an ever increasingly surreal set of circumstances so that, by the end, you are eseentially watching a cartoon. Many people will be automatically thrown out of their comfort zones when the more sci-fi/fantasy elements are introduced, but by the time they arrive you're pretty much willing to go with it just to see what happens.
I liked following the main charecter, a man who has essentially done nothing morally "wrong" but is still punishing himself not for what he did as much as for what he couldn't do. They contrast the charecter nicely with the more up-front insanity of his cell mate and the cold indifference of the scientists and government officials running the experiment.
By the time the end of the movie comes about, all bets are off, and you're just in it for the fun of watching two powerful creatures duke it out. The film is extremely well shot with an interesting look. The directors cut features a solidly different visual experiance than the theatrical cut (also offered)and is a real treat to watch.
The Japanese sensibility in filmaking is vastly different than the American idea, so there is a period of adjustment before you can get into any Japanese film. IF you can master this shift theough, you are in for a real treat with this film"
One of a kind.
Sherman Robert | USA | 08/08/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Some movies can be compared to other movies but this stands alone. This runs along the lines of a pure thriller, a poke into the human mind, "how much can you take?" If your looking for somthing along the lines of "The Cell" and "Se7en" rent this before you buy it!"