When I heard that the good folks at Dragon Dynasty released The Killer on DVD and Blu-ray March 30, I was excited; like many moviegoers my age (34, FYI), the 1990 opus was my first introduction to John Woo's singular filmmaking style, as well as the first time I heard the term "balletic" used to describe gunplay rather than, well, ballet. Since then, however, Woo's done a number of films that capitalized (both good and bad) on his pedigree as a top-notch purveyor of super-stylized violence; while he successfully brought his slo-mo, flying-dove filmmaking to America for a little while with Broken Arrow and Face/Off, the unfortunate culmination of his transition, Mission: Impossible II, seemed almost to be a parody of the techniques that first distinguished him as a filmmaker.

As such, it seemed like the right time to go back and see how much Woo's signature style held up today, particularly since so many young filmmakers found their own sense of visual flourish by taking inspiration from his. All of which is why The Killer is the subject of this week' "Shelf Life."
categories Features, Cinematical