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Monday, October 3, 2011

Sonny Chiba Smashes Signafest

From the free hot dog bites from Seoul Sausage Company to the clamoring of fans around the Bigfoot's Majestic Crest Theater in Westwood, you could feel everyone was on edge for the Japanese star to make his presence known at Signafest. A limo pulled up, but it wasn't the star fans we're looking for. They all huddled back to there areas. The bright, changing lights pulsating and then suddenly another limo pulled up right into Chib-san's fan-base. Soon he was engulfed in fans and later in flames.

Before heading in I hope he checked this Hanzo Hatori Special Sausage made for him.

After being so courteous to his fans, he finally entered the Bigfoot's Majestic Crest Theater, which is quite impressive for an independent. It's more glamorous inside then both the New Bev and Cinefamily. After millions of photos, in broken English he accepted his Lifetime Achievement Award.

Then we were all treated to the epic  Samurai Reincarnation. If you ever played Onimusha or studied Japanese history you'd know the classic historic characters transformed into devils for this horror/martial arts/ action movie. Chiba played master swordsman Jubei against the likes of Miyamoto Musashi. The effects in this movie, blew me away, the ending battle taking place in a castle on fire. I have no idea if safety regulations we're way off in Japan in the past, because the flames looked very real. The castle falling apart on fire with Sonny as Jubei fighting enemies.

A viewer to my right brought up the inner elements about defeating oneself and the obvious symbolism about Heaven and Hell in one's self as Christianity is a major theme in the film. If you ever want to see, do remember it's quite long with a long build up, you don't even see Chiba for what felt like and hour.

After the film and a great show with Jubei alone in a castle burning down around him, his sons showed of some martial art skills, then Chiba and his daughter Juri Manase took the stage with some sword play. It got so close to the screen, I thought Chiba might actually slice it.

After Juri was given an award of her own and was thanked by Signafest, her Dad, Mr. Sonny Chiba told us to get out and go to the after party.