Cultural Confusions

TITLE: RISING SUN

DIRECTOR: PHILIP KAUFMAN

WRITERS: PHILIP KAUFMAN, MICHAEL CRICHTON, MICHAEL BACKES

THE BOTTOM LINE: The best seller's passions were misplaced, but in toning them down, the adaptation turns bland.

We open in a Los Angeles karaoke parlor where a Japanese man is crooning Cole Porter's Don't Fence Me In. It's a weird image of cross-cultural confusion, but that's not the half of it. The video carrying the sing-along words is a Japanese version of Sergio Leone's first spaghetti western, A Fistful of Dollars, which was, in turn, a knockoff of Akira Kurosawa's Yojimbo, a samurai epic.

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