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.
This is smart...