Zatoichi The Last (Junji Sakamoto, 2010)

 A final tear for the blind warrior

Zatoichi is a Japanese folk hero. He’s the Robin Hood type, taking the side of poor villagers crushed under the might of powerful yakuza gangs, whose appeal lies in his simple trappings. Though an expert swordsman and lethal warrior (not to mention serviceable masseur), he doesn’t have any airs. He’s a simple guy, naturally humble, an outcast by his lack of sight. He’s emphatically not a samurai, but a commoner. Since wearing katana was outlawed for anyone but samurai in the Edo period, Zatoichi carries a hidden cane sword. It doesn’t make him any less deadly.

The Apartment (Billy Wilder, 1960)

When you’re in love with a married man, you shouldn’t wear mascara

C. C. Baxter is not master of his own domain. His bachelor pad is used as a romantic getaway for extramarital affairs by his company bosses. When he gets home after long hours, he often finds his guests are still there and waits outside until they’re gone. By this inconvenience he hopes to rise in the office ranks, but truth be told, it seems more likely he’s being strung along by superiors taking advantage of his kind nature.

Silent Hill (Christophe Gans, 2006)

This town will surely win

There is a long history of video game franchises making it to the big screen, and most of its cadaverous remains speaks of an agonized demise. The reason for this gruesome metaphor is that one of the rare film adaptations to get it right is Silent Hill, after Konami’s Japanese horror series. It seemed fitting to stay on theme.

Zardoz (John Boorman, 1974)

Beware of giant floating evil broadcasting mountainous heads

Zardoz is a Monty Python-esque nightmare played straight. It is a baffling, luminous, original film that defies description. This review will attempt to do just that and inevitably fail. If your curiosity is at this point piqued to give Zardoz a try, I strongly recommend you skip this article and just watch it instead, without any advance notions of what it is.