Despite its silly title, Fight, Zatoichi, Fight is a massive return to form for the franchise. Those who were more attuned to the thrills n kills of the last few entries might be disappointed in the slower plot progressions and shorter fight sequences. Those who appreciated the character driven elements and deeper emotional connections will definitely dig into this one much more. It still has those awesome moments of badass, Zatoichi does have to fight the final battle while on fire, but its balanced better with those intimate moments and darker streaks.
Godzilla knock off? Sure, but at least its a B-grade massively entertaining one. While the plot makes little to no sense (why doesn't anyone seem to be concerned about unmarked airplanes flying nuclear warheads in the opening sequence?), the resulting black-n-white destruction that Gamera racks up is fun and silly as we see scientists scramble to kill a monster who really hasn't done shit. Their conclusion? Shoot his ass to Mars. #Winners
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!