When most of the films in this franchise are as good as the entries thus far for Zatoichi, it's hard not to have at least one or two missteps. Then again fans seem to really dislike this entry I didn't think it was terrible...but it was definitely underwhelming. There are a lot of neat subplots and symbolic pieces at play here (one involving Zatoichi's father and one with an eyeless doll) and the finale is visually fun with the soft…
It's hard for me to say that this film is all that terrible (although it starts off that way and gradually gains speed as it goes), but it's definitely unmemorable. It lacks a lot of tension and shock to sell some of its scares, but never did I think it was blatantly bad. As is the film rides on some solid moments, including a red neck that the main family stumbles across who is played with ridiculous conviction, but its just not going to be one that I ever watch again.
If you thought The Avengers had great banter and chemistry, then Guardians of the Galaxy will make you pee yourself a little. James Gunn goes epic with his space opera in the film, but his roots in genre filmmaking (horror, dark comedy) still freely float through the film. Truthfully, the only thing that was weak was the villain (again). Marvel needs to move away from stoic villains. Otherwise, this film was impressively executed.
I also think that James Gunn should remake The Ice Pirates. That's my big take away from this film.
This is, HANDS DOWN, the best film of the year in my opinion. Brilliant acting, direction, special effects, and a massively entertaining and thoughtful film. It also had some great nods to not only "Rise" but to the previous entries of the franchise as well. All hail, Caesar!