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Thread: Favorite Samurai Movie

  1. #16
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    The Samurai Trilogy with Mifune blew chunks. A really bad movie. "Sword of Fury" starring Takashi Hideki as Musashi and Matsuzaka Keiko (hubba hubba!) as Otsu is much better.

    The 1962 version of Chushingura is, visually, a very beautiful film. It is a very square-jawed, heroic telling of the tale, and, as befits a film directed by Inagaki Hiroshi (who also did the Samurai Trilogy) it is very beautiful to look at. A lot of cherry blossoms and koto music. Dramatically, it is saved by the superb acting of the actors who play Oishi Kuranosuke and Kira, respectively. They were both classically trained Kabuki actors and it shows. I wouldn't agree that Mifune is wasted; his over-the-top scenery-chewing turn as the ronin spearman Twaraboshi Genba is one of my favorite bits of overacting of all time. But, that's pretty much all he ever did except when he was directed by Kurosawa.

    I also recomend the uncut version of "Hidden Fortress" by Kurosawa. It drags in places, but it is a really rousng film (kind of a parody on the conventions of the traditional Japanese period piece), and it has the best spearfight ever put on film.

    Agree on "Seppuku" and "Sword of Doom". "Seppuku" is, I think one of the best films ever made (if incredibly depressing), and one of Nakadai's best roles. "Samurai Rebellion" is not anywhere near as good, but it has a LOT more swordfighting in it. I haven't seen it sine I was a teenager, but "Kill!", also directed by Okamoto Kihachi (a very good action director) was very enjoyable, as I recall.

    Also, what you think is good depends on what you're looking for. If you just want swordfighting, there are hundreds of old chanbara films to choose from.

    Finally, I have to say that neither "Ran" nor "Kagemusha" measure up to Kurosawa's earlier work, IMNSHO. Very pretty to look at, but somehow lacking in that essential Kurosawaness. But, to each his own.

    I thought "Heaven and Earth" was a really lousy movie. Great spectacle, but empty.
    Earl Hartman

  2. #17
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    Earl,

    I remember seeing a movie about Mushashi in the mid-80's that was far better than the Musahshi trilogy, but I can't remember the title. I wonder if it was Sword of Fury. Do you know if Sword of Fury is available on video? It isn't listed at Amazon.

    The conversation about Seppuku (aka Harakiri) is inspiring me to watch it again tonight. Isn't videotape/DVD great! It used to be the only way you could see these films was at college film festivals.
    Gary Dolce
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    http://www.shorinjikempo.com

  3. #18
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    Earl Hartman

  4. #19
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    Default Taboo

    Based on several recommendation, I rented Taboo last night.

    I didn't hate it, but I sure won't be buying it. The film left me feeling as though no story had been told; no character development, no motivation, etc. Just a bunch of sword fights and guys trying to get into the "pretty boy's" bed.

    Not at all what I had hoped for.
    Yours in Budo,
    ---Brian---

  5. #20
    Gene Williams Guest

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    I liked "Ran." But, I also liked "Shogun." Go figure.

  6. #21
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    Originally posted by Yagyu Kenshi
    Sanjuro and Yojimbo were the inspiration for Clint Eastwood's "Man With No Name" Westerns.
    I thought Yojimbo was the inspiration of Bruce Willis's Last Man Standing?
    Matthew J. Moquin

  7. #22
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    Originally posted by M J Moquin
    I thought Yojimbo was the inspiration of Bruce Willis's Last Man Standing?
    Didn't see it, but it wouldn't surprise me.

    Great art is often the inspiration for many who follow.

    Look how many Star Trek look-alikes there have been.
    Yours in Budo,
    ---Brian---

  8. #23
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    "A Fistful of Dollars", the first of Sergio Leone's westerns starring Clint Eastwood was a direct rip-off of "Yojimbo". The plot is completely identical, but Kurosawa is not credited for the story.

    "Last Man Standing", the Bruce Willis movie based on the same plot, properly credits Kurosawa for the story.

    BTW - Geroge Lucas credits The Hidden Fortress as the inspiration for Star Wars. The inspiration for R2D2 and C3PO is pretty clear in The Hidden Fortress.
    Gary Dolce
    Ann Arbor Branch
    WSKO
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  9. #24
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    Yeah, I know. Unfortunate, that, seeing as how "The Hidden Fortress" is a great movie and the Star Wars series is a huge steaming pile.

    I really wish hacks like Lucas would stop "crediting" Kurosawa for inspiring them to make junk. It brings The Master's name into disprepute.
    Earl Hartman

  10. #25
    hobbitbob Guest

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    My faves (fully expecting to irritate some, and make others laugh):
    The Zatoichi series
    The Hanzo Razor movies
    The Lone Wolf and Cub movies.

  11. #26
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    Originally posted by Earl Hartman
    ...the Star Wars series is a huge steaming pile...
    Sacrilege! May a herd of Banthas trample through your kitchen!
    Yours in Budo,
    ---Brian---

  12. #27
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    The first two were OK. Everything after that is just junk, plain and simple.

    Those furry little whatchamacallits in the 3rd installment?

    Jar Jar Binks?

    I mean, dude, come ON.
    Earl Hartman

  13. #28
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    Maybe the new Star Wars episodes stink because he didn't have a Kurosawa flick to copy them from.
    Travis Ward

  14. #29
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    Originally posted by Earl Hartman
    The first two were OK. Everything after that is just junk, plain and simple. Those furry little whatchamacallits in the 3rd installment?
    You didn't love those cuddly little ewoks? What kind of stone-heart are you?
    Originally posted by Earl Hartman
    Jar Jar Binks?
    Okay, you got me there.

    The original (Episode "4") was great. Two ("5") was good. Three ("6") was fun.

    The new ones? Didn't like 'em.
    Yours in Budo,
    ---Brian---

  15. #30
    Gene Williams Guest

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    Star Wars was fun, the first three maybe, but hardly great movie making. The last two...just effing awful, I mean barfing, bloody stools awful

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