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Recomend me some Samurai Films

BrianC

Novice Member
After watching Kill Bill I decided to get some "proper" Samurai films, so I've brought some of the more obvious ones, all of which I have enjoyed:

Seven Samurai
Rashomon
YoJimbo!
Zatouchi

What should be next on my shopping list, and why?

Thanks for your help in advance!
 

Miyazaki

Novice Member
"Twilight Samurai" should be out at cinemas here soon, and is getting rave reviews. Also get the tv mini-series "Shogun" which is out on dvd, and rather superb.

"Ran" is also another sweeping Kurosawa epic, and I could do nothing but recommend all his films.
 

James45

Standard Member
Definitely Twilight Samurai, The Last Samurai is also worthy of mention too... it feels (and looks) like a japanese film.
 

Chibouk

Novice Member
I'm not sure that Last Samurai has a 'Japanese feel to it', but it's not a bad film overall.

Other recommendations you could try would include the Lone Wolf and Cub series of 6 films. These really are excellent, but make sure you go for the new R1 releases from Animeigo, as the transfers are first class. The first 2 films were combined in to one for the American market and retitled as Shogun Assassin, which BB and the Bride watch together in Kill Bill 2.

You could always go for the original Zatoichi films as well. There're 26 of those to get your teeth in to. :D

Also, have a look at When the Last Sword is Drawn. Top Samurai action. The Korean 2 disker seem to be the one to go for at a reasonably price.

HTH
 

Rambo John J

Distinguished Member
Originally posted by BrianC
After watching Kill Bill I decided to get some "proper" Samurai films
get the Lady Snowblood movies. See where O-Ren Ishii came from. She's like a female Ogami Ito (the guy from Lone Wolf & Cub) and really gives it some with her katana.
The Animego discs (R1) should be better than the R2 versions.
 

James45

Standard Member
Originally posted by Chibouk
I'm not sure that Last Samurai has a 'Japanese feel to it', but it's not a bad film overall.
The pacing and photography are very 'Japanese'.
 

Chibouk

Novice Member
I'm not saying you're wrong matey, but I didn't really get the same feeling. I know what you mean about Japanese films having a particular feeling, but I really didn't pick that up from Last Samurai.

The ending is very much a Hollywood effort, though. :rotfl:
 

James45

Standard Member
definitely... and I think it was a fairly confused ending as well, I'm not sure it knew what point it wanted to make... but made it anyway. Some of the heavily shadowed shots of Cruise recovering in the house look very, very similiar to some of the stuff in Twilight Samurai.
 

Wasabi

Novice Member
Definitely RAN!!!

Cd-wow has a new reg2 2disk version (don't know the transfer quality) for £13.49 with the discount link, and a reg1 masterworks ed which has a good transfer, for £12.49 with the link.

Perhaps someone has bought the new Ran Reg2, who can share with us the picture verdict?

Tests of wellspring ed
http://www.dvdverdict.com/reviews/ranmasterworks.php
http://www.digitallyobsessed.com/showreview.php3?ID=4645
http://www.classicsondvd.com/ran.htm
http://www.dvdjournal.com/reviews/r/ran_me.shtml
http://www.thegline.com/dvd-of-the-week/2003/03-03-2003.htm

Wasabi
 

Miyazaki

Novice Member
Not exactly Samurai, but get your hands on the film 'Hero'. It is a sublime Chinese epic, which mirrors 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon' in several forms, and certainly you will like the former if you liked the latter.

Also stars Zhang Ziyi who stars as 'Moon', who was 'Sha-Long' in 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon'. 'Hero' also stars Jet Li as well.
 

TheBigApple

Novice Member
Not a movie but I would recommend the animated series Samurai Jack.
 

joboy

Standard Member
Could try some of the following also, again not strictly samurai, but very good none the less

These are all in the Crouching Tiger.. / Hero vein
Legend Of The Evil Lake (a kind of mix of Gladiator, Crouching Tiger.. and The Exorcist)
Musa (aka The Warrior)
Warriors of Heaven and Earth.

Can also definitely recommend Twilight Samurai

I also recently enjoyed the film "Streets of Ronin", took me a while to get into it but definitely worth it by the end.

A good review site of Asian cinema is Kung Fu Cult Cinema (http://www.kfccinema.com/)

Happy purchasing!
 
A

Azrikam

Guest
Aw, all the main ones have been mentioned. In that case, I'll second (or third) the Samurai Trilogy. Just beautiful films to watch.

Also, as joboy mentioned, Musa (The Warrior) is an absolutely fantastic film. Best character development I've seen in a film in the last few years.

Oh, and Samurai Jack too. :)
 
M

Markmw

Guest
Haven't watched the Samurai Trilogy but have heard very good things. However, have been put off buying it by comments on the Criterion forum saying the quality of the DVDs were relatively poor compared to other Criterions, ie v poor transfers.

I would also advocate Ran - fabulous battle scenes with Kurosawa indulging himself, and getting away with it, since it's basically Shakespeare's King Lear.
 

James45

Standard Member
can't believe I forgot the samurai trilogy, I've only seen the first one but it does bode very well for the rest of the trilogy.
Yes the transfers aren't great and the prints are very dirty but criterion have just released the films in a box set at a lower price.
 
D

daisy

Guest
I remember someone recommending Babycart series, and "Babycart - At The River Styx" in particular. Has anyone heard of these, and knows where is the best place to buy?
 

Dellboy

Active Member
On Region 1 they have just released
Onibaba

If you enjoyed the Akira Kurosawa films then there is:

Sanjuro (the follow up film to Yojimbo)
Throne of Blood
Kagemusha
Red Beard

All classic samurai films.
 
M

Markmw

Guest
Onibaba is more a horror with moral overtones rather than a samurai film but definately worth a look.

I haven't watched it yet but I took a blind punt recently purely on the strength of the title and actors - Zatoichi vs Yojimbo, ie Katsu and Mifune in the same film. How can that not be good? I bought the R1 but have seen the R2 in Virgin in their sale for around a fiver (grrr).
 

Rambo John J

Distinguished Member
Originally posted by daisy
I remember someone recommending Babycart series, and "Babycart - At The River Styx" in particular. Has anyone heard of these, and knows where is the best place to buy?
they're classics. The UK discs were all non-anamorphic, but you can get the whole series for around £6 each at the moment in the Virgin and HMV sales.
If you want a better presentation go with the r1 releases, but I don't think they've all been released yet.
A fine 6 movie series of very beautiful looking, lyrical,bloody movies
I can't remember the right order after the 2nd film, but you should look for

Sword of Vengeance
Baby Cart at the River Styx
Baby Cart in Peril
Baby cart to Hades
Baby Cart in the land of demons
White Heaven in Hell
 

James45

Standard Member
Originally posted by Markmw
Someone on the forum said it around a 22% saving by buying the box rather than the individual films (on Criterion RRP), and that's reflected on CD-Wow. The general speculation tho was that it was unlikely that new transfers would be done for the trilogy.

http://www.criterionforum.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=232
That's right they are the same transfers (they're the same releases) just packaged together as a trilogy at a discounted rate.
 
M

Markmw

Guest
Sorry - I was ambiguous - the speculation was that Criterion did not intend to look at offering new transfers at all in the future, for any of these films. By all accounts these films are fairly high on the list of DVDs that forum members thought could do with an overhaul - in the same way that Charade was re-issued.
 

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