Brother

( 3 )

Overview

Internationally acclaimed director and Japanese media phenomenon Takeshi Kitano follows up his well-regarded Kikujiro with this straight-ahead gangster saga with a cross-cultural twist. The film focuses on Yamamoto Kitano, a yakuza forced out of the country when a gang war all but wipes out his clan. Armed with a fake credit card, a forged passport, and a bag of money, he journeys to the strange and foreign land of Los Angeles to join his half-brother Ken Claude Maki, who works as a low-rent street tough ...
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Overview

Internationally acclaimed director and Japanese media phenomenon Takeshi Kitano follows up his well-regarded Kikujiro with this straight-ahead gangster saga with a cross-cultural twist. The film focuses on Yamamoto Kitano, a yakuza forced out of the country when a gang war all but wipes out his clan. Armed with a fake credit card, a forged passport, and a bag of money, he journeys to the strange and foreign land of Los Angeles to join his half-brother Ken Claude Maki, who works as a low-rent street tough alongside fast-talking hustler Denny Omar Epps. With brutal efficiency, the poker-faced Yamamoto starts staking out turf and organizing Ken's mob into one of the most powerful criminal syndicates in the city. As his gang grows in number and power, he is joined by Kato Kitano regular Susumu Terajima, his former lieutenant from Japan, who entreats Little Tokyo's pathological crime boss Shirase Masaya Kato to join the group. Yamamoto seems unstoppable until his gang runs afoul of the Mafia. Soon, all that he built quickly and bloodily starts to unravel as every member in his gang is marked for death. This film was screened at the 2000 Toronto Film Festival.
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Chas Turner
Blithely ultraviolent and brutally funny, Brother may be as close to a by-the-numbers genre film as celebrated Japanese director Takeshi Kitano is ever likely to come. This crime saga is littered with ritualistically severed fingers and other ingredients drawn directly from Japanese cinema's long tradition of yakuza gangster potboilers. Kitano stars as gangland under-boss Yamamoto who, exiled from Japan after a series of ill-fated power plays, heads to Los Angeles in search of his younger brother, Ken Claude Maki. Ken is already running with a bottom-rung crew of his own, which includes among its members an unusually lucky street hustler named Denny Omar Epps. The film's title, clearly, is a kind of triple entendre about siblings, race relations, and the fraternity of the criminal underclass. The filial bond that develops between Epps and Kitano amid the backdrop of clan warfare among Asians, African-Americans, and Latinos -- a milieu drenched in kamikaze nihilism -- becomes the heart of the film. A return to form that fans of the director's classics including Sonatine and Fireworks will be sure to embrace, Brother is also the perfect introduction to Kitano's inimitable brand of ruthless comedy and slapstick mayhem.
All Movie Guide - Jonathan Crow
In much of his work, Takeshi Kitano has coupled deadpan wit and sentimentality with jarring, often horrific violence. In his previous outing, Kikujiro, he veered towards the former, while with Brother, Kitano firmly positions himself in the realm of the latter. While never losing Kitano's signature mordant humor, this film features disembowelments, grisly beatings, and buckets of lopped-off pinkies. Although lacking the brilliant narrative experimentation of Hana-Bi, Brother retains that film's restrained style and elegant cinematography. Just as Fritz Lang, Michelanglo Antonioni, and Wim Wenders have employed America's vast and overwhelming landscape into their aesthetic mold, so does Kitano. Here, Los Angeles is given the same austere treatment as Tokyo in the filmmaker's early work. Though a crime saga, at the heart of this film Kitano also explores the nature of brotherhood. While Yamamoto shares a biological connection with his thick-witted sibling Ken, and a sort of foxhole loyalty with his gangster comrade Kato, Yamamoto's closest affection -- as evinced by the film's poignant ending -- lies with Denny. While Kitano and Terajima deliver solid, often laconic performances, Omar Epps' screen presence dominates every scene in which he appears. Although perhaps not Kitano's most innovative or accomplished film, Brother is a poignant, darkly beautiful work by a master of international cinema.
Village Voice - J. Hoberman
If nothing else, Brother confirms Kitano's stature as the most original purveyor of on-screen mayhem since Sam Peckinpah.
New York Times - Elvis Mitchell
Mr. Kitano directed, edited and wrote Brother and his style of close-to-the-vest brutality travels extremely well.

If nothing else, Brother confirms Kitano's stature as the most original purveyor of on-screen mayhem since Sam Peckinpah.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/4/2002
  • UPC: 043396063709
  • Original Release: 2000
  • Rating:

  • Source: Sony Pictures
  • Presentation: DTS
  • Sound: DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound
  • Format: VHS

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Takeshi Kitano Yamamoto
Claude Maki Ken
Omar Epps Denny
Masaya Kato Shirase
Ren Ohsugi Harada
Joy Nakagawa
Tatyana Ali
Susumu Terajima Kato
Ryo Ishibashi Ishibashi
James Shigeta Susimoto
Tetsuya Watari Jinseikai Boss
Kool Moe Dee Jack
Manny Perez Mexican mafia henchman
Technical Credits
Takeshi Kitano Director, Editor, Screenwriter
Ann Carli Co-producer
Joe Hisaishi Score Composer
Norihiro Isoda Production Designer
Masayuki Mori Producer
Jeremy Thomas Producer
Yohji Yamamoto Costumes/Costume Designer
Katsumi Yanagishima Cinematographer
Takio Yoshida Co-producer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Good movie

    I first saw this movie on HBO, and was amazed by the skill of the actors. They slipped into their roles, and no one stuck against the rest of the cast. This is simply a great movie, and will make you respect the name Aneki

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Movie that feels great!

    If you have ever seen Takeshi Kitano he always comes out as a very quiet, odd, unpredictable Japanese mob, but his acting is extremely talented and never seem forced. You actually believe that he is like the movie character in real life. You will know why he is known as ''beat''.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews