Tak Sakaguchi, for all intents and purposes, is a national treasure to anyone who has watched his films and partaken in Asian film fandom in the last twenty years. Talk of retirement in 2013 which ultimately proceeded what was thought to be his final screen bow in Yuji Shimomura‘s hit movie, Re:Born, certainly more than contributed to the uncertainty of his presence in today’s field, and so with appearances thereafter in films like Takahiro Ishihara’s Red Blade, Shinsuke Sato’s Kingdom and Yuki Kobayashi’s Rise Of The Machine Girls, fan appreciation never wanes.
It’s especially with a film like Re:Born that the ceremony with Tak’s current run is more than deserved. Among his stops, he toured the film with friend and partner Ota Takayuki while in Austin, Texas for the Iron Dragon TV Action Film Festival in 2017, with DVD and Blu-Ray releases well underway at home in Japan, as well as through Eureka in the UK, and I couldn’t be more thankful for the privilege of seeing an import copy at my friend Paul Varacchi’s place a few winters ago. The film is an absolute dream to watch if you love Sakaguchi and happen to be a fan of Asian films and action cinema, and a total gem to own on disc. And it’s about damn time Shudder did something about this, with the company now aiming for a July 21 Blu-Ray release.
Toshiro, a former special forces operative, now lives a quiet life in the Japanese countryside. Despite his seemingly peaceful existence, Toshiro struggles to contain the destructive impulses that once made him the top soldier in an elite unit of killers. But when his former commanding officer, the enigmatic Phantom, comes out of the shadows seeking revenge, Toshiro goes on a kill crazy rampage against a squad of ruthless assassins.
It’s been five years since hype for this film began reaching its peak with every behind-the-scenes training video, every trailer and every screening. If you haven’t seen this film yet, it’s currently available to stream on Shudder as of last November, but next week will be your chance to completely own your own copy. It’s a single-disc and frankly it doesn’t look like there will be any special features, although considering Shudder’s timely arrival with Sakaguchi’s festival return about a month away with the pending premiere of Shimomura’s Crazy Samurai Musashi at Fantasia very soon, Shudder’s Re:Born is totally worth owning. Buy it. Just shut up and buy it.
(H/T: City On Fire)