As the Gods Will ★★★★

Was this intended as a more audience-friendly do-over of Miike's school shooting opus LESSONS OF THE EVIL, which pissed off almost all of the few Americans who saw it? Completely ridiculous, with evil giant cats and polar bears killing teenagers and blood immediately turning to red marbles. But it works on so many levels: a BATTLE ROYALE-esque look at the competitive nature of high school life; a pop version of the nested, reflexive narratives of a filmmaker like Raul Ruiz; a stab at turning video games' structure into a movie; a revelation of the anger and pain hidden by Japan's kawaii aesthetic. And it finds beauty in bad CGI and obvious sets.