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Samurai recommendations?

Old 01-16-06, 03:21 AM
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Samurai recommendations?

I recently became interested in the samurai genre but have no idea which films are choice. I was looking for some recommendations if you please, thank you. Maybe some good Samurai Criteriion recommendation. Also, I'm not sure if Rashomon has anything to do with samurai but either way, is that movie a very good one?
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Old 01-16-06, 08:20 AM
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some suggestions

Almost anything directed by Kurosawa Aikra & Starring Mifune Toshiro.
Two of my all time faves are Yojimbo & Sanjuro. Rashomon, Throne of Blood, etc virtually anything these two guys did was/is awesome.

The 'Lone Wolf & Cub' series (also known as the 'Baby Cart' Series) of 6 films are also really cool (R1 DVDs available from Animeigo)

The Zatoichi series is awesome. Nearly 20 films were put out on R1 DVD by HVE. Another 7 by Animeigo, and one by Tokyo Shock.

Samurai Assassin, starring Mifune Toshiro, which is also released on R1 DVD under the Animeigo label is great.

Sword of Doom, directed by Okamoto Kihachi and starring Nakadai Tatsuya is classic.

I don't have the DVD, but I did see the movie "Kill!" & it was great. It is available on R1 DVD from Criterion IIRC.

Last edited by elengineer; 01-16-06 at 08:21 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 01-16-06, 08:44 AM
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The Samurai Trilogy is another one you should check out, available from Criterion.
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Old 01-16-06, 08:54 AM
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everything elengineer said is gold....

also pick up samurai fiction and sonny chiba's Legend of 8 Samurai (which can be had in descent quality on many public domain dvd for around a buck)

for some deadly female action, grab Lady Snowblood series from animego, and Sex & Fury from panic house.
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Old 01-16-06, 09:28 AM
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thanks a bunch guys, and also, are there any newer ones or is it more of a dead genre?

Last edited by supfool!; 01-16-06 at 09:32 AM.
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Old 01-16-06, 09:52 AM
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The Last Samurai (2003)
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Old 01-16-06, 09:55 AM
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Originally Posted by supfool!
thanks a bunch guys, and also, are there any newer ones or is it more of a dead genre?
The Twilight Samurai

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0351817/



also:

Harakiri

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0056058/




and the obvious:

Seven Samurai

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0047478/
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Old 01-16-06, 10:08 AM
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Would you recommend getting the 4 Ssamurai Classics and Samurai Trilogy packeged together or seperate based on packaging and DVD features?
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Old 01-16-06, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by supfool!
Would you recommend getting the 4 Ssamurai Classics and Samurai Trilogy packeged together or seperate based on packaging and DVD features?
Might as well get the Samurai Trilogy packaged together,i'm sure it will be cheaper.

As for the Samurai Classics, keep in mind that Seven Samurai, Yojimbo and Sanjuro are being re-released.
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Old 01-16-06, 02:56 PM
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Ditto to Twilight Samurai. One of my all-time favorites.
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Old 01-16-06, 07:39 PM
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uhhhhh, i'm gonna go out on a limb and say... "Ran"
Probably Kurosawa's last, great samurai classic!
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Old 01-17-06, 01:13 AM
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If you are looking for more modern ones another strong reccomedation for Twilight Samurai. Takeshi Kitano's Zatoichi is also really solid.

You can't go wrong with any of the Kurosawa classics (his modern setting films are exceptional as well). These five are the best of his Samurai films I have seen of his so far.

Seven Samurai (Criterion)
Yojimbo (Criterion)
Rashomon (Criterion)
Throne of Blood (Criterion)
Ran

Sword of Doom (Criterion) is another great one. The plot is not the easiest to follow but its easily worth the effort.

I was a little disappointed with the Samurai Trilogy but its well worth checking out. If anything just for Mifune.

Also while not a film, I found the Shogun mini series to be very enjoyable.
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Old 01-17-06, 11:29 AM
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Among newer stuff, you could make arguments for Kill Bill Vol. 1&2 and Ghost Dog.
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Old 01-17-06, 11:33 AM
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The Criterion Rebel Samurai box is really good as well

Samurai Rebellion
Sword of the Beast
Kill!

are all spectacular

Samurai Spy is entertaining but not in the same calibur as the other three.
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Old 01-17-06, 06:00 PM
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If you have a region-free player, grab a region 2 or region 3 copy of The Twilight Samurai. The region 1 version is non-anamorphic with non-removable subtitles.

The director of The Twilight Samurai also directed another very good (albeit very similar) samurai film called The Hidden Blade.
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Old 01-17-06, 09:33 PM
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I really enjoyed "When the Last Sword is Drawn" although some of the online reviews I read of it were kind of low.
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Old 01-18-06, 09:27 AM
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I watched Throne of Blood last night. It was awesome.
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Old 01-18-06, 10:03 AM
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The Sex & Fury series is pretty good, but that's more of a straight-up assasin story than a samurai one. And soft-core, at that.
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Old 01-18-06, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by elengineer
The Zatoichi series is awesome. Nearly 20 films were put out on R1 DVD by HVE. Another 7 by Animeigo, and one by Tokyo Shock.
Also (in addition to the film series mentioned above).......the 100-episode TV series is now being released in R1 by Media Blasters. Volume 1 containing 5 episodes was released in December. Volume 2 with another 5 episodes is coming at the end of this month (with Volume 3 scheduled - I think - for March). Shintaro Katsu is once again the star.
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Old 01-19-06, 07:20 PM
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Originally Posted by flixtime
Also (in addition to the film series mentioned above).......the 100-episode TV series is now being released in R1 by Media Blasters. Volume 1 containing 5 episodes was released in December. Volume 2 with another 5 episodes is coming at the end of this month (with Volume 3 scheduled - I think - for March). Shintaro Katsu is once again the star.
so the whole series will be released in about a bazillion (4 1/2) years? naw but seriously, is the series worth seeing all of or is one or two volumes suficient?
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Old 01-19-06, 10:11 PM
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Originally Posted by supfool!
....but seriously, is the series worth seeing all of or is one or two volumes suficient?
If you haven't already, start with all the Zatoichi movies. If you are still interested in more then go on to the TV series. It is too early for me to make an official call on the TV series as I've only watched the first 3 episodes. I did enjoy them however and I'm a bit of a samurai film junkie so I'm fairly certain I'll be seeing things all the way through 100 episodes.

Another recent release is "Baian the Assassin". I don't know much about this one but I received Volume 1 in the mail yesterday. I believe it will be a total of 4 volumes.

As mentioned by others, work your way through the Criterion stuff first along with Zatoichi (film series), Lone Wolf & Cub, and Lady Snowblood. Most definitely see the already mentioned "Twilight Samurai" and "When the Last Sword is Drawn".

Some more R1 stuff not yet mentioned........"Gojoe", "Aragami", and "Samurai Resurrection".......there is also "Samurai Reincarnation" but the R1 is cut (see DVDTalk review) so don't bother with it. In addition to "The Legend of the Eight Samurai", there are a handful of other Sonny Chiba samurai films that have been released in R1 (Shogun's Samurai: Yagyu Clan Conspiracy, etc.). And in addition to the already mentioned "Samurai Assassin", there are a handful of other Animeigo-released samurai titles (go to animeigo.com).

And if you still can't get enough.......get over to your local bookstore and start working your way through the 28-Volume manga for Lone Wolf & Cub. Then you can move on to Samurai Executioner (7 Volumes so far with maybe a grand total of 10-12 set to be released). Also Lady Snowblood is now being released.
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