Today, This Guy from the blog This Guy Over Here is pitching his movie in continuation of our month long blogathon (Check the schedule) following the Hollywood Fantasy Draft we conducted recently. Please share your thoughts and any insights you have in the comments and don’t forget to rate the pitch at the bottom!
- Heather “Ambassador 51“
- Travis’ “Facedown Angels“
- Andrew K. “Putting it Together“
- Ripley’s “Untitled Project“
- Joel’s “Jagged Alliance“
- Corey’s “Rendezvous of Strangers“
- Dan’s “Jaws 5“
- Clara’s “An Unexpected Song“
- Next: CS on Friday
Written & Directed by: Quentin Tarantino
The Players: Ben Kingsley, Ken Watanabe, Zoe Saldana, Kevin Bacon, Chloe Moretz, Tak Sakaguchi, Method Man
Tagline: This November Stake Claim to What’s Rightfully Yours.
Logline: A pimp is engaged in a turf war when the Yakuza try to stake their claim by killing off his ladies.
Synopsis: Macky, an aging pimp is the victim of a turf war when the newly arrived Yakuza begins to bully him into leaving town or working for them. Not being one to take things lying down, Macky refuses to be bullied and retains his grip on his small pocket of Los Angeles.
As things heat up, the Yakuza sends out hits on Macky’s ladies of the night. They succeed in eliminating all but one lady, Madam Jackson. It becomes less and less safe for Jackson and her daughter Clara. Realizing he’s fighting an uphill battle against, Macky shifts his attention to attempting to make things safe for Jackson and Clara.
Caught in the midst is Bennett Frasier, a lowly Los Angeles detective under fire from his department for his illicit personal behavior. He and Macky are no strangers, and Detective Frasier finds himself being the mediator for the Yakuza clan and Macky, while attempting to procure a hefty sum from the Yakuza for his services.
The Cast of Characters:
|Macky D. – An aging pimp who has made a living providing only the classiest of escorts. He’s a very experienced and loving to his ‘ladies’, but can be incredibly merciless if someone steps out of line. His motto for his women is: “You’re not a prostitute, you’re not a hooker, you’re not being paid for sex. You are paid for your time.”
Played by: Sir Ben Kingsley
|Oyabun Kai – The Yakuza family boss. A patient but ruthless man. He delegates his work to those below him, but isn’t afraid to pull the trigger himself if needed. He has a deep dedication to family. Newly arrived from Japan, he and his clan stake their claim over a portion of Northern Los Angeles.
Played by: Ken Watanabe
|Madam Jackson – An escort who has fallen into tricking to support her and her daughter. But even through it all, she’s refused to give up her dignity. This is no doubt why she’s Macky’s highest earner as well as the closest to his heart. He has taken her under his wing in a father-with-benefits sort of way. She’s quick to stand up for herself.
Played by: Zoe Saldana
|Detective Bennett Frasier – A lowly Los Angeles detective. He’s under fire by his department for looking the other way on drug deals and prostitutes. Naturally this is because he’s addicted to coke and finds solace in ladies of the night. He’s also constantly looking for the “one big opportunity” to turn things around.
Played by: Kevin Bacon
|Clara – The daughter of Madam Jackson and Detective Frasier (though he doesn’t know it.) She takes after her mother – a tough girl quick to defend herself (both verbally and physically), as she often has to when schoolmates find out what her mother does for a living. She doesn’t hold it against her mother though, and in fact they’re quite loving. She’s intelligent and wise beyond her years.
Played by: Chloe Moretz
|Wakagashira Yamura – The Yakuza’s first lieutenant. A tough, handsome, and bloodthirsty youth. He’s not reckless, but gets impatient without work occupy his time. He’s deadly with a sword and even deadlier with his dragon gripped pistol. He does have an insatiable appetite for American women.
Played by: Tak Sakaguchi
|Roland – A drug dealer with aspirations of opening a video rental store. He is consistently made fun of for his name sounding ‘sissy’, but he stands by it sounding classy and dignified. He serves both Detective Frasier and Macky their ‘products.’ Unfortunately, he falls victim to the Yakuza’s mighty grasp.
Played by: Method Man
The film opens with Madam Jackson on a trick. Her client gets a bit too rough and she ends up defending herself a bit too hard. After hurting the gentleman, she calls her pimp Macky for help. He shows up immediately, chastises her for taking things into her own hands. “If anything happens, you call me. I take care of it,” he says in a fit of anger. Sensing she understands, he adds, “If anything were to happen to you, I don’t know what I’d do,” and kisses her forehead.
Macky enters the room where the client is just regaining consciousness. Macky enters the room with a menacing look, and closes the door behind him. Little do they know that this particular ‘client’ happens to be the brother of the Yakuza boss who has just set up shop in Northern Los Angeles…
A Later Scene…
The Yakuza boss, Oyabun Kai, invites Macky to a sit down to discuss terms of the release of Madam Jackson. Kai proposes that Macky work for him, that or to leave town all together. “I’m not an unreasonable man,” Kai says delicately, “I can recognize a profitable opportunity when it arises.”
Naturally, Macky refuses to be bullied or forced to accept an ultimatum that has him sacrificing what’s rightfully his. After the long drawn out conversation, it concludes with Macky walking away with Madam Jackson and refusing all of the options presented to him. Kai then asks Yamura to put an end to Macky’s business by issuing hits on all of Macky’s ladies.
This scene is very patient and very calm and quiet with the intensity that only Kingsley and Watanabe play and Tarantino can write. Neither ever lose their temper, but both stake their claim that if pushed they will retaliate with extreme force. Dark lighting set the menacing mood and accentuates the underlying extremity of the scene.
“Tarantino has always been the master of homage, and in a rare move sets his sights on the most unlikely of candidates: himself. Instead of trying to (re)invent a new genre, he sharpens what he’s already laid down. It has the razor-sharp dialogue of Inglourious Basterds, the retro-style of Jackie Brown, the kitschy violence of Kill Bill and the iconography of Pulp Fiction.” - Alan Smithee
“Tokyo Storm is Tarantino’s most arrogant and self-assured film to date. Thank god.” – Alan Smithee, Jr.
“Kingsley once again proves that he is the most versatile, talented, and astounding actor to grace the screen.” - Alan Smithee, III
“Watching Watanabe and Kingsley go toe to toe is like watching King Kong vs. the T-Rex, only, ya know, through intense stares instead of heart-shaking roars.” – Allen Smithie