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Top 5 Samurai movies on DVD?

Top 5 Samurai movies on DVD?

 
Old 10-10-03, 11:34 PM
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Top 5 Samurai movies on DVD?

With all of the Zatoichi, Lone Wolf and Cub and other samurai movies being released on DVD, which ones do you recommend in your top 5? I have all of Kurosawa's, Shogun, Shogun's Samurai and I just ordered Lone Wolf and Zatoichi Meets Yojimbo.
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Old 10-11-03, 12:48 AM
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Some good suggestions here:

http://www.dvdtalk.com/forum/showthr...hreadid=286153
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Old 10-11-03, 12:55 AM
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1. Seven Samurai
2. Yojimbo
3. Sanjuro
4. The Hidden Fortress
5. *

* I have Samurai Fiction on order, it's back ordered right now @ DDD. Hopefully it's good... but these are really the only samurai films I've seen, and I LOVE them. They are among my favorite DVDs.
That thread you linked to had a funny category, arterial sprays. haha Kill Bill has a few of those.
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Old 10-11-03, 12:57 AM
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Do you have Chushingura http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0055850/ ? And on the lighter side how about 6 String Samurai http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0118736/ How about the Samurai "trilogy".

Personally I can't really pick a top 5 since I haven't seen much in the way of variety, just mainly Kurosawa and those related to the story of the 47 Ronin (Chushingura, 47 Ronin and Shijushichinin No Shikaku [import]). I started renting the Zatoichi's and those are a mixed bag so far IMHO. I haven't seen any of the Lone Wolf yet so I'll have to check those out. If I had to pick 5 though I'd probably say:

Chushingura
Sanjuro/Yojimbo
Seven Samurai (of course )
Ran
Throne of Blood
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Old 10-11-03, 01:12 AM
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http://www.deepdiscountdvd.com/dvd.cfm?itemID=IMA009895

Cool, thanks for the suggestion of Chushingura. I had never heard of it. Since you regard it as your number one, it must be good.

And I nearly forgot, I also have Throne of Blood on order, it's currently in transit from DVD Empire.
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Old 10-11-03, 02:39 AM
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The director of Chushingura, Hiroshi Inagaki, also did the Samurai trilogy. You might want to check that out as well as his other movies.
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Old 10-11-03, 03:20 AM
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I really wish "The House Where Evil Dwells" would come out...
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Old 10-11-03, 03:26 AM
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Shogun's Shadow (no subs) and Shogun 's Samurai (R2) are also excellent. I tried the Samurai trilogy but found it to be slow. I may need to watch it again some time. BTW, is the Criterion going OOP?
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Old 10-11-03, 10:10 AM
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The Zatoichis are not just my favorite Samurai movies, they're my favorite martial arts movies of all time, and I'm a long-time HK kungfu fan. The cinematography and composistion of shots is beautiful and stunning throughout the series. The complexity of characters and emotional interplay is awesome. The movies are all dramatic, funny, tense, poignant, kick-a$$ and melancholy. And then you throw in Akira Ifukube's (Godzilla theme composer), wierd, almost sci-fi scores--really cool. And also, these HVE releases are anamorphic(except for #1 & #2) widescreen, with great subtitles, and with cool inserts like trading cards or full-size reproductions of the original poster.


The main character is kind of the polar opposite of Toshiro Mifune's characters---where Mifune kind of struts and swaggers and dominates situations by his force of character, Shintaro Katsu's Zatoichi is a meek, lowly, self-depricating cripple, whom the majority of the people in the movie ignore, look down on, denigrate or try to swindle. Oh, but they get theirs in the end . He's also a heavy drinker and gambler, and he eats like a pig.

The only downside of the movies is, like the Bond series, they are a bit formulaic----there's a few bits that have to appear in every Zatoichi movie; some unfortunate soul always tries to cheat while gambling with Zatoichi. But I like the formula.

Yes, I'm converted, and I'm proselytyzing . And what gets me is that they were cranking out 3 of these movies a year---I'm stunned that they could maintain such quality while doing that.


Anyways, I would particularly recommend:

#5, On the Road. Zatoichi has to help a girl get back to her rich family, but first he has to get her through a town with two warring gangs that both want the girl, and both want Zatoichi to fight for them. Awesome windblown, dusty street, final gang fight and showdown.

#8 Fight Zatoichi, Fight. A young mother is murdered, so Zatoichi (with the help of a prostitute) becomes a surrogate father and decides to take the baby back to his real father. Classic scene where Zatoichi lays waste to a stream of swordsman WHILE he's changing the baby's diapers.

#9 Adventures of Zatoichi. He's visiting a town for a New Years celebration----excellent, eerie final showdown as the snow begins to fall.

#10 Zatoichis Revenge. Very spaghetti-westernish---spanish guitar score, b&w flashbacks, more extreme close-ups and some slo-mo.

Here's a site with great, in depth reviews:

http://www.kungfucinema.com/movies/reviews_z.htm
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Old 10-11-03, 10:56 AM
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Interesting... I had never heard of Zatoichi but after reading your impressions I searched on DDD and found them... not bad for only ~$15 each! I'll have to check these out... thanks.
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Old 10-11-03, 10:58 AM
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So how many Zatoichis are there total (not just out on DVD so far)? Has anyone heard of a box set being made?
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Old 10-11-03, 11:04 AM
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DVD Empire only lists the SECOND Lone Wolf and Cub movie as being released, and the FIRST as being a PREORDER because it hasn't been released yet. That doesn't make much sense.



Anyway, I haven't seen these before, but I LOVE the graphic books. Are the films very good? Kurosawa/Mifune quality?
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Old 10-11-03, 11:12 AM
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You pretty much have to get Lone Wolf and The Cub from www.animeigo.com for now.
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Old 10-11-03, 11:20 AM
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I believe there were 26 Zatoichi movies made. I think I heard that HVE has the rights to 17 of them (they've released 11 so far). I know the Animego company has the rights to some of the other ones, like Zatoichi meets Yojimbo, and I think they're also putting out very high-quality releases of these films. Speaking of which, I ordered that a while ago from DDD and it's still backordered--not sure what the story is on that one.

Oh, and another good Samurai movie is Three Outlaw Samurai. A very solid movie on all levels--comparable to a lesser Kurosawa as far as overall quality, IMO, but with more intense, gritty fight scenes. There's a decent all region widescreen (but non-anamorphic) disc available from HKflix.
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Old 10-11-03, 11:24 AM
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Originally posted by indycohiba
You pretty much have to get Lone Wolf and The Cub from www.animeigo.com for now.
Same for Zatoichi Meets Yojimbo.
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Old 10-11-03, 11:36 AM
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I think I saw them on DVD Empire though.
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Old 10-11-03, 03:27 PM
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Sword of Vengeance is listed as out and available, but apparently has never been shipped by the distributor (Koch) to any suppliers. They also have not listed it as postponed.
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Old 10-11-03, 04:40 PM
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Overstock has Sword of Vengeance. I got it a week ago.

I'd also recommend the anime Samurai X: Trust and Betrayal. There's some really great fight scenes in this.
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Old 10-21-03, 08:26 PM
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Can anyone comment on the dvd quality of these:

Samurai Rebellion (R2)
Sword Of Doom (R2)
Harakiri (R3)
Red Lion (R2)
Ambush At Blood Pass (R2)
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Old 10-21-03, 08:29 PM
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Can somebody who owns some of the Zatoichi DVDs please report to us as to whether they have been cleaned-up or remastered in any way for the DVD releases?? I have seen a few of the VHS versions and they were extremely grainy and had lots of dust, dirt and other artifacts in the film.
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Old 10-21-03, 08:51 PM
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All of the Zatoichis look very good. The first two are B & W, and they're not anamorphic---but all the rest are color and anamorphic. The DVDs say "fully restored image"---not sure exactly what that entails, but these prints look quite good for 40 year-old movies. The link I posted earlier in this thread gives full reviews of the DVDs, including picture quality.
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Old 10-21-03, 08:57 PM
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Thanks Ky-Fi! Appreciate it, yes, the link you posted is quite detailed!
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Old 10-21-03, 10:44 PM
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gojoe and twilight samurai are pretty tight
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Old 10-22-03, 12:00 AM
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I can't wait for animeigo to release some more samurai movies they have a lot of quality titles.
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Old 10-22-03, 01:35 AM
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Looking at Chushingura, it appears to be another take on the 47 ronin story, which there seems to be several films of... so, I guess I am wondering, which version(s) is/are the best?
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