Why I Should Never Write Reviews: Band of Assassins

*note: the name of this article has been changed from “My First Review” to “Why I Should Never Write Reviews” because people were taking it seriously, which is a bummer*

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you look like shit sweetie are you hungover maybe


I’m not good at reviews.
It’s usually pretty difficult for me to put my finger on why I like or dislike things, even if I’m pretty passionate about them. That’s fine with me really, because so many people that I respect are already doing reviews so well, I feel like there’s nothing of value that I could really add. Also, for me personally, I don’t really see the point in them. I don’t think I’ve ever read a review of a film that I could somehow get my hands on.

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First of all, I don’t give a shit about what other people think. If I want to see a movie, I’m probably going to see it no matter what someone on the internet says. I like things that other people despise, so and vice versa, so another opinion would be meaningless. I’m also horrified of spoilers that reviews often include, and when they’re posted without warning it sends me into a murderous rage, so it’s not a great idea. On the other hand, if I’ve already seen the movie, I see even less point in reading a review of it. I’ve seen it, man. I already know how I feel about it (unless it’s some confusing avante garde piece of shit, then I may look for hints to what’s happening in reviews by people smarter than me) so why bother?


But you know, everyone else is doing it, I keep getting asked about doing it, and I’ll try anything once, so what the hell, right? Here is my very first” review” of the Tadashi Sawashima film, Band of Assassins.
Prepare to be wowed.

Synopsis or whatever:

Well, some stuff happens and everybody’s getting cray and dudes need to protect the Shogun or whatever so here’s the Shinsengumi headed up by super-babe Toshiro Mifune. Then everything’s boring and dudes are talking and nothing happens for a while except for everybody acting like jerks, and then there’s a fight that doesn’t last long and you find out some dude is dying. Then they kill my favorite character, and Mifune shacks up with some chick even though he has a wife and kid at home, no big deal, dudes did that shit all the time back in the old days. Then they kill my second favorite character followed by my third favorite character, and everybody’s mad at the Shinsengumi and OH SHIT HERE COMES KINNOSUKE NAKAMURA. He’s lookin’ pretty cool in this like kimono/uniform outfit, it’s pretty slick. Then someone gets beheaded and some ladies cry and that’s it.

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My expert opinion of the film:

It was okay I guess. Mifune is like, super sweaty through the whole thing, and there’s these extreme close-ups which were weird, but it’s cool because it’s Mifune, and he does what he wants. It feels about a million hours long even though it’s only a couple of hours and it took me like weeks to get through it, but I felt obligated to finish it because I didn’t want to let Mifune down and also I had to get to the end to see Kinnosuke Nakamura.

band of assassins
oh my goodness worth the wait 100%

Honestly I’ve had more fun listening to podcasts about the Shinsengumi than watching this movie, for real. But there is some blood and some fires which are cool, and some good acting. The female characters aren’t completely ridiculous, I guess. I like the actresses a lot. Katsuo Nakamura’s pretty good in it, he’s got the kind of face that you want to pinch.

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he’s good at maths

Mifune’s mostly making this super tense facial expression the whole film and he starts to look like a little bit of an angry frog, but I got used to it. Rentarō Mikuni looks pretty hungover for the entire time and I know that feel pretty well, bro. I don’t know why I’m talking about people’s faces so much. I don’t think that’s what I’m supposed to be doing, but that’s what I always do and I can’t stop now.
I really like Tadashi Sawashima’s films a super ton, they’re usually chock full of wonderful characters and touching moments, so I’m not quite sure what the fuck happened here. I have a lingering feeling that it involves the fact that I wasn’t really in the mood to finish the film at any time when I sat down to watch it. I am incapable of being objective when I’d rather be doing something else. Or maybe I need to watch it again since I’ve learned a bit more about Japanese history, but I don’t even have the strength to sit through that shit again right now, so maybe I’ll just watch his film Unwieldy Brothers instead, because it’s the best ever. I am not cut out for the movie reviewing business.

But seriously, I’m just jokin’ with you guys. I have the utmost respect for reviewers because it’s OBVIOUSLY something that I’m hopelessly bad at doing. I guess I’ll just stick to what I’m good at: making ridiculous observations about movies, and drinking.

– Amber Skowronski

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