DVD Reviews and Recommendations Read, Post and Request DVD Reviews.

Questions about Seven Samurai, etc!

Old 03-15-00, 12:44 PM
  #1  
Cool New Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Posts: 43
Since I won't be near my DVD player until this weekend when I go home for spring break, can someone please tell me about this movie?

I have had it recommended to me several times, but I don't know the first thing about it except that it's in black and white (B&W), and that it's supposedly really good.

What's the plot line?
Is it an action movie?
Would I only like it if I like foreign films?
Is it worth DVD purchase?

I don't think my local Blockbuster at home rents it, so that's why I'm asking here!
Arse is offline  
Old 03-15-00, 03:25 PM
  #2  
Uber Member
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Overlooking Pearl Harbor
Posts: 16,232
It's a story about a village that knows that bandits will be coming soon to steal their food. They decide to go to the nearest city to recruit some Samurai to help them fight off the bandits. The last half of the movie deals with the hired Samurai getting the village ready to face the bandits and then the confrontation.

It is an "action movie" in that there is fighting but not exactly on the scale of a modern movie. I think of this more as a drama than an action movie.

The alure of this movie is more about the interplay between the seven samurai themselves as well as the interplay between the samurai and the villiagers. It explores questions of honor as well as peoples' place in a stratified society like feudal Japan.

I'm sure there's more to it, but I haven't listened to the film commentary yet.

I think most people would enjoy this film (it does start a little slow). It has adventure, human frailty as well as laughter.

Highly recommended.

------------------
-David
Other forum
Blade is offline  
Old 03-15-00, 07:22 PM
  #3  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Taiwan
Posts: 838
The film is one of the best movies ever made. Is the praise/recommendation good enough? :P

------------------
My DVD Library
hanami is offline  
Old 03-15-00, 07:55 PM
  #4  
Cool New Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Posts: 43
Eh, they said that about Titanic, for cryin' out loud.
Arse is offline  
Old 03-15-00, 08:53 PM
  #5  
DVD Talk Godfather
 
Giantrobo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: South Bay
Posts: 56,464
Blade great review.

The commentary adds greatly to the cultural aspects of the film. Micheal Jeck loves Japan cinema and explains subtle things that Westerners might not get. Like how the class system in JAPAN worked in terms of the Samurai and how they relate/can't relate to the farmers and so on.

He does, at times, get annoyingly snobbish in my opinion

To me, this IS one of the greatest films around.

It is very long but as Jeck points out, Kurosawa doesn't really have any "fluff" or wasted scenes in this movie. There aren't long periods of stupidity in this film so the hour(s) pass you by.

It was remade with a Western taste in the film The Magnificent Seven"...not nearly as good.



[This message has been edited by Giantrobo (edited March 15, 2000).]
Giantrobo is offline  
Old 03-16-00, 12:53 AM
  #6  
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: The Dark Side of New Jersey
Posts: 1,448
A classic film in every sense. I'd go so far as to say it's one of the few perfect movies out there(i.e. Psycho, Godfather 2). Perfect in the sense that there is nothing in the film that does not have purpose. Every scene is meaningful and beautiful as well. Three hours is long but, you will not feel it with this movie.

Is it an action film? Well, yes and no. I'd actually say this movie is in the war film subgenre. It begins like a drama. Half way through, the film shifts into a war phase that carries the plot to the end. There was never an instance in the movie where I was bored.

Would you like it if you only like foreign films? Nope, the story is very human. More then likely you'll relate to the samurai and the villagers. Don't let the subtitles turn you off.

Is the DVD worth it? Well, I never recommend that anyone buy a film that they never seen. However, you are really getting your money's worth with this purchase. This will probably be the best way to see this film outside of a theater. The commentary is great as well.

I'm sorry that I couldn't explain the film more then what others have said. It's really better that you go into the movie not knowing all the details since the film does have it's share of surprises.
Cereal-Killer is offline  
Old 03-16-00, 07:22 AM
  #7  
Cool New Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Posts: 43
Cool! Thanks!
Arse is offline  
Old 05-12-00, 09:39 PM
  #8  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Spiderbite's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Birmingham, AL
Posts: 13,138
well, i got this dvd b/c of the glowing praise all over this board for it.

but i must admit, that i was bored silly with it not far into the first hour. then the first hour went by into thesecond hour. the second hour dragged into the third. finally it was over & i felt like i had wasted quite a bit of time with nothing to show for it.

i guess i can see why so many critics call it a classic, but man was i bored. anyone else have the same opinion?

i know that i will get flamed like crazy but i just wanted to be honest since this movie is so highly recommended.
Spiderbite is offline  
Old 05-12-00, 10:02 PM
  #9  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Berkeley, CA
Posts: 315
The Seven Samurai is a very long movie that feels all too short.

I have not yet seen a bad Kurosawa film that featured Toshiro Mifune, and this is probably the best. As others have pointed out, there isn't a single wasted moment in this film; it is definitely one of the best movies ever.
ScottJ is offline  
Old 05-12-00, 10:20 PM
  #10  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: The Garden State
Posts: 8,229
Just ordered this one today based on all the recs. Used some leftover GC credit to get it for under $6 from Amazon...I am really looking forward to this and the Samurai series I ordered today too.

Thanks DVDTalkers

------------------
MyDVDTalkHabitResults
matchpenalty is offline  
Old 05-13-00, 01:37 AM
  #11  
Topgun94
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Seven Samurai is an incredible movie, but I have met people that just can't handle subtitled films. They just don't feel they are getting into the story without the voices in English. I have had people tell me that Amarcord by Fellini and Seven Samurai by Kurosawa were terrible films just because they had to read during the movie. I guess they would have never survived during the silent movie era.

------------------
Aaron
My DVD Collection
My Rather Small Laserdisc Collection
 
Old 05-13-00, 04:59 AM
  #12  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Spiderbite's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Birmingham, AL
Posts: 13,138
quote:
Originally posted by ScottJ:
The Seven Samurai is a very long movie that feels all too short.


that is almost an exact quote from the Video Movie Guide.

i felt is was a very long movie that feels way too long.

Topgun, i agree that many people just cant watch a foreign film with subtitles. i have to be honest & admit that it does cause me some minor pain but i had no problems with Hard-Boiled, Life is Beautiful, or 400 Blows. it just seemed to drag forever for me. i was interested in checking out the samurai trilogy but waching this movie has deterred me from that. maybe it is just me. i have seen no other posts stating that seven samurai was boring. hmmm.....

[This message has been edited by brianluvdvd (edited May 13, 2000).]
Spiderbite is offline  
Old 05-13-00, 05:13 AM
  #13  
Member
 
Join Date: May 2000
Posts: 164
Arse your not from arstechnica are you? hmmm
those guys have crazy egos man.....
sky9 is offline  
Old 05-13-00, 04:25 PM
  #14  
Topgun94
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
quote:
Originally posted by brianluvdvd:
that is almost an exact quote from the Video Movie Guide.

i felt is was a very long movie that feels way too long.

Topgun, i agree that many people just cant watch a foreign film with subtitles. i have to be honest & admit that it does cause me some minor pain but i had no problems with Hard-Boiled, Life is Beautiful, or 400 Blows. it just seemed to drag forever for me. i was interested in checking out the samurai trilogy but waching this movie has deterred me from that. maybe it is just me. i have seen no other posts stating that seven samurai was boring. hmmm.....

[This message has been edited by brianluvdvd (edited May 13, 2000).]



We are all different. I have watched many movies that people raved about and just didn't get what they saw in the film. I said I hated There's Something About Mary and everyone looked at me like I was crazy. Don't worry about it. The Samurai type films are not for everyone. The Samurai Trilogy moves even slower that Seven Samurai, so you might want to pass on that one. You might like Yojimbo though. It has a lot of action and the story moves fairly quick.



------------------
Aaron
My DVD Collection
My Rather Small Laserdisc Collection
 
Old 05-15-00, 01:40 PM
  #15  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: |-|@><0r [email protected]|)
Posts: 17,214
Here's the best endorsement I can give to one of my favorite movies.

I hear and read complaints all the time about "cliche" characters in 90-minute Hollywood movies.

Case in point: Armageddon. You've got the gruff leader, the crazy kid, the fat guy, Steve Buscemi (who's become a cliche of himself), the token black guy, the tough woman (the female astronaut), and the wacky Russian. The characters need no further descriptions, because they're really that shallow.

In most Hollywood movies, these simple descriptions are adequate. In order to keep the pace of the movies rolling (so the ADD-afflicted audience doesn't get bored) and keep the running time down, directors drop stock characters into new (or not-so-new) situations. Voila, new movie!

But isn't something missing? Shouldn't we get original, interesting individuals instead of the same tired character types in every flick?

The Seven Samurai could be a typical action movie at times, except that you know the samurai: their skills, weaknesses, personalities, and relationships with each other and the villagers. By the time the movie gets around to the "action," it's like seeing your friends on-screen, caught in a crucial struggle against the bandits.

This is not to say that the first half of the movie is boring or mere setup for the rest. It's an entertaining story based on this premise: How can a poor village threatened by bandits hire expensive samurai to defend them? What kinds of samurai would undertake such a dangerous mission with no real reward?

It's also a revolutionary action movie because you become familiar with the layout of the village. Not only do you watch the undefended village change as the samurai set up defenses, but as the bandits arrive en masse and lay siege to the village, it's not just a frontal attack; you get a sense of what's happening on each side.

Finally, this disc has one of the best commentary tracks I've ever heard. Criterion recorded a Japanese film historian, who not only gives a very interesting description of each scene and character, but gives an enjoyable description of Akira Kurosawa, the director, and Toshiro Mifune, one of the actors, who was also the star of the Samurai Trilogy and many other great films.

You owe it to yourself to check out this disc. (Edit: Unless you're a complete bastard, that is.)

- David Stein


[This message has been edited by sfsdfd (edited May 15, 2000).]
sfsdfd is offline  
Old 05-15-00, 04:22 PM
  #16  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Spiderbite's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Birmingham, AL
Posts: 13,138
quote:
Originally posted by sfsdfd:

You owe it to yourself to check out this disc. (Edit: Unless you're a complete bastard, that is.)

- David Stein


[This message has been edited by sfsdfd (edited May 15, 2000).]



so i checked it out. what if you dont like it after you check it out...are you still a bastard? just curious.
Spiderbite is offline  
Old 05-15-00, 05:24 PM
  #17  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: The Garden State
Posts: 8,229
David,

Looking forward to watching this later this week since it's on the way....

Hope it's as good as you say...
matchpenalty is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.