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Your favorite samurai movie?

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Your favorite samurai movie?

Old 05-13-03, 08:53 PM
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the kurosawa samurai films are required viewing. if you find that you like them, check out "samurai fiction". not a great film but interesting for all the kurosawa nods and homages. also the movie stars and features music by the guy whose music was used for the kill bill teaser -- hotei somethingorother.
Old 05-14-03, 12:40 PM
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I just saw Lone Wolf and Cub: Sword of Vengeance the other night, and it was amazing!
Old 05-14-03, 06:28 PM
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Originally posted by TCG
And from what I understand, Yojimbo was the highest grossing movie in Japan for many years.
Yojimbo gets my vote for the best samurai film...Dashiell Hammett's "Red Harvest" with swords. Mifune always played the best samurai with the perfect balance of surliness, greed, laziness and sadism.
Old 05-14-03, 10:03 PM
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Was Ghost Dog: The Way Of The Samurai any good?

Was it meant to be a serious movie?

And is it forrest's first directorial debut? Isnt there some signifigance to it?

Seven Samurai was the greatest samurai film. Only I can remember 5 of them. I have yojimbo but my idiot friends told me what happened so now i wont watch it.
Old 05-14-03, 10:26 PM
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Originally posted by Jack_Savage
Was Ghost Dog: The Way Of The Samurai any good?

Was it meant to be a serious movie?

And is it forrest's first directorial debut? Isnt there some signifigance to it?
Ghost Dog was directed by Jim Jarmusch (Dead Man, Down By Law) starring Whitaker.
It has a dark comic vein running through it, as well as some serious drama and just plain over-the-top moments. Very definitely inspired by Melleville's Le Samourai (think The Killer) as well as Branded To Kill, with at least one scene lifted straight from the latter.

Back on topic, my favourite samurai flick is Sword of Doom, which features one of the coldest anti-heroes in cinema, period. It's shot in beautiful 'scope black and white, and has some of my favourite b&w cinematography this side of Night of the Hunter and Magnificent Ambersons. The video rights are held by Janus/HVE, so I keep hoping for a Criterion DVD (though I'd settle for a Home Vision DVD!).

My favourite subversion of the genre (and one of the most painfully funny movies ever, IMHO) is Sanjuro. Mifune is priceless in this one.

"He called you an idiot!"
"That's just his way."
Old 05-14-03, 11:19 PM
  #31  
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I've tried a couple of times to get through Ghost Dog and I just found it boring personally. Kind of a shame since it seems like it should be a decent enough movie. I have to say I'm surprised noone has mentioned the Samurai trilogy yet (or did I overlook it ).

Musashi Miyamoto
Duel At Ichijoji Temple
Duel At Ganryu Island

I actually haven't seen a lot of the ones mentioned in this thread so I guess maybe I should reserve judgement, the one I like the best so far is probably is probably Chushingura or Yojimbo, although Seven Samurai is certainly in the top 5.
Old 05-15-03, 01:10 AM
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Originally posted by Pants
As long as we're resurecting this baby, I wanted to address this BS. This is the common criticism employed by people who want to deride Kurosawa, that he wasn't liked in Japan. This is NOT TRUE and is perpetuated by people who don't know what they're talking about. The truth in fact is that he was VERY popular in Japan. Another common BullS thing that people claim is that Kurosawa and Mifune stopped working together because of the Box Office failure of Red Beard. This is also patently false, Red Beard was a big hit and played for months. They stopped working for personal reasons that fortunately are not refleacted on the quality of their work evident on screen. Nothing will bring an end to this missconception as it continues to proliferate, but I tried
Actually, his decline in popularity in Japan began already before Red Beard, culminating it the box-office disaster that was Dodes'ka-den. The situation was so bad that:

1) he couldn't get financing in Japan
2) he tried to kill himself

That's why he had to get Russian financial for Derzu Ursula, and Hollywood for Kagemusha. Comparatively, neither Ozu nor Mizoguchi EVER had problems with financing in Japan. That says something.

While I did exaggerate a bit by saying that most Japanese didn't like him, it is true (whether you agree or not is your perogative) that the West has much higher regard for him than the people of his home country.

And it still does nothing to change my opinion about him being one of the most overrated directors (along with Francois Truffaut, who produced much more crap than dubious "classics" like Jules et Jim).
Old 05-15-03, 11:54 AM
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I've still got many to watch, but so far, Yojimbo is my favorite.
Old 05-15-03, 04:43 PM
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Originally posted by Giles
Shogun Assassin - yes its the two first Lone Wolf movies, but the combination of the two film's best gory moments, elevates the intensity level significantly.
Agree - it's my favorite too!
Old 05-15-03, 07:13 PM
  #35  
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Originally posted by Grimfarrow
Actually, his decline in popularity in Japan began already before Red Beard, culminating it the box-office disaster that was Dodes'ka-den. The situation was so bad that:

1) he couldn't get financing in Japan
2) he tried to kill himself

That's why he had to get Russian financial for Derzu Ursula, and Hollywood for Kagemusha. Comparatively, neither Ozu nor Mizoguchi EVER had problems with financing in Japan. That says something.

While I did exaggerate a bit by saying that most Japanese didn't like him, it is true (whether you agree or not is your perogative) that the West has much higher regard for him than the people of his home country.
All of this is true, from what I've read and heard.


And it still does nothing to change my opinion about him being one of the most overrated directors (along with Francois Truffaut, who produced much more crap than dubious "classics" like Jules et Jim).
Everyone is certainly entitled to their opinion, and my opinion differs from you here. I'm a big Kurosawa fan.
Old 10-11-03, 05:47 AM
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Originally posted by Grimmyhk
preferring instead films by Mizoguchi or Ozu.
I completely disagree and think you miss the point. So I'll give you my take. Kurosawa films are on the whole above film genre and become art. I can watch any and find myself overwhelmed by their beauty. The some of the other directors you name are mass appeal but only to the Japanese. Same reason Tomb Raider makes more money than Kolya. Or why Chinese soaps don't appeal to those who don't speak Chinese. And a couple of these directors are the equivalent to the French directors that so many love to hate. Unless you're drawn to it in some way the films like An Actor's Revenge might either bore you or confuse. Either way it's not everyone's cup of sake.

While I love the directors you name I think it's silly to even question why Criterion would choose Kurosawa to focus on first. (Though they DID put out the Samurai Trilogy & bid on some of the others that other distributors got.)

Kenji Mizoguchi's 47 Ronin is out by Image. They might be sitting on some other licenses. I've got some info that they are working on some new Japanese films for next year. I'd like to see more of his works out but I don't think his films hit a chord with US audiences as well. They range from great, good, and all right. Not really that many you can truely say are Samurai films...more dramas about the women of Japan.

Yasujiro Ozu's films like Drifting Weeds & An Autumn Afternoon appealed to the general public after a war looking for dignified films & romance. Criterion has put out Good Morning & Tokyo Story is coming out. Different kinds of films but more on the dramatic and more character. Kurosawa's plots were inventive and often duplicated.

Last edited by TheV; 10-11-03 at 06:20 AM.
Old 10-11-03, 06:12 AM
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Originally posted by Grimmyhk
Naruse, Mizoguchi, Ichikawa, Oshima, and Imamura). That is the biggest shame.
Mikio Naruse - I imagine he was not too popular here because geisha films and/or japanese romance dramas aren't popular in the US.

Mizoguchi - addressed him above.

Kon Ichikawa - Some good samurai films mixed in the mass. Definitely an untapped resource of good films to release. Maybe if Tokyo Olympiad did well Criterion would release more. I'd love to see them pick some of Kon's.

Nagisa Oshima - Well considering that Fox/Lorber and New York Cinema hold rights to more than some of Oshima's titles. A few are out...though I can't ever get a grasp at why FL does what it does. Still his films aren't exactly Criterion fare. I definitely don't think they are quite equal to Kurosawa. Some are really good though and deserve better treatment than they are getting.

Shohei Imamura - Again...Criterion gets what it can. Pornographers is done very well. But the appeal of these artsy type films isn't as big as Kurosawa's Samurai films. We are talking Samurai films here...right? And while you might think it's just as worthy that doesn't negate the fact that Kurosawa's films touch that deep level with a wider audience. You don't have to be into Samurai genre to enjoy Seven Samurai. You won't find as many excited about seeing Black Rain or The Eel.

First we are talking about Samurai films and you bring up just any ol' Japanese director. Then the fact that the ones you're naming tend to be inaccessible to a large mass of the public. The same people who don't want to see that French artsy fartsy film doesn't want to see Imamura. Simple as that which is why Kurosawa was such a genius. Like Shakespeare he could perform high art to the general masses. Simply wonderful IMHO.
Old 10-11-03, 11:02 AM
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Seven Samurai is my favorite so far, but I really enjoy Chushingura (47 Ronin) as well.
Old 10-11-03, 12:49 PM
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Its a tie between Ran and Seven Samurai for me. Loved his other samurai films like Yojimbo, Sanjuro, Hidden Fortress, Rashomon, and others but I get more out of these two with repeat viewings. And as for Kurosawa not being as well respected in Japan as here in the U.S. I could care less. Is it trying to imply he is therefore less "authentic". Is it because he was too influenced by Western film and techniques? Is it because his films became too psychological and complex for Japanese popular tastes? Or is it because he became less a straight forward action director as he got older? Just because a movie or a filmaker is more obscure or lesser known does not mean they are automatically "better". Perhaps, they deserve more attention and acclaim but it shouldn't be done at the expense of someone like Kurosawa who has gotten the respect he deserves.

I really didn't like Inagaki's Samurai I. I'll watch II and III after I finish reading the book Musashi by Eiji Yoshikawa; which is much more enjoyable so far (and not just because books in general are supposedly better than the movie).

Last edited by Ian11; 10-11-03 at 12:53 PM.
Old 10-11-03, 02:09 PM
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Yojimbo
Old 10-11-03, 02:20 PM
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While Ninja Scroll is definetly one of the best samurai/ninja animes out there, I think I actually prefer the Samurai X or Rurouni Kenshin OVA's Trust and Betrayal. They're just masterpieces of animation and awesome samurai movies.

And while I have a hard time deciding between The Seven Samurai and Ran, the Samurai Trilogy, chronicling the life of Miyamoto Musashi, already listed above, should be checked out by everyone who's a fan of samurai movies.
Old 10-14-03, 03:06 PM
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Sanjuro by far.
Old 10-14-03, 03:17 PM
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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Old 10-14-03, 03:29 PM
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I need to check out Sanjuro, it sounds like
Old 10-14-03, 03:51 PM
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Is Lone Wolf and Cub anime? How about some good live-action samurai films?
Old 10-14-03, 10:28 PM
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lone wolf and cub is not anime. it stars the brother of the guy who played ichi in the badass zatoichi:blind swordsman films. lone wolf and cub F'ing rocks!!!!!!!! twilight samurai was pretty sweeeet too.
Old 10-14-03, 10:47 PM
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Originally posted by dyerjp
lone wolf and cub is not anime. it stars the brother of the guy who played ichi in the badass zatoichi:blind swordsman films. lone wolf and cub F'ing rocks!!!!!!!! twilight samurai was pretty sweeeet too.
It's kind of funny that I own the Region 2 edition of "Shogun Assassin" yet I haven't seen the first "Lone Wolf" film, which my friend owns on laserdisc, guess I should wrangle that from out of his hands and watch it over the weekend. (which will more than likely have me add the title to my "must own" DVD list anyway)

Has anyone seen the "Lady Snowblade" film?
Old 10-15-03, 07:00 AM
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If you really want to learn about the "chambara" genre, you need to look at films that have yet to ever see the light of day in the US. I recommend Three Outlaw Samurai (Sambiki no Samurai), Sword of the Beast (Kedamono no Ken) both by Hideo Gosha or Zatoichi Meets Yojimbo (Zatoichi to Yojimbo) by Kihachi Okamoto (This one is available from Animeigo.com)

In General, all the Lone Wolf and Cub movies are very strong, as are almost all the Zatoichi movies (depending on your taste.) Lady Snowblood 2: Lovesong of Vengeance is a surreal mastpiece of the genre.

The first Lady Snowblood is an inferior piece IMO which just cashed in on the female leads star quality. She has a much better (and available non-samurai film) called Female Convict Scorpion: Jailhouse 41.

John

John
Old 10-15-03, 08:56 AM
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Shogun's Samurai (R2)
Shogun's Shadow (No subs)
Old 10-18-03, 02:50 AM
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7 Samurai by far

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