Sunday, July 23, 2006

Some Samurai Movies

This is from a post I made at the Citadel - it seems a waste to let it fade into history, so I'm putting it here, because of how long it took to put together - the movie titles are linked to my reviews on, or the movie page on, or to some other related page. The "Trailer" links obviously go to the trailer:

Twilight Samurai - Trailer

One of those "instant classics" from a few years ago, available in the US with subtitles. Starring Sanada Hiroyuki, from The Last Samurai and "Ringu".

When the Last Sword is Drawn - Trailer

A few very minor plot quibbles aside, I think this was a very engaging story. Just recently released in the US, with subs, starring Nakai Kiichi.


Intentional or not, I thought it was a great homage to Akira Kurasawa's use of Toshiro Mifune, with a big insane battle at the end. Available in the US. I don't know who is in it, but one guy looks just like a Japanese Benicio Del Toro.

At a bar and brothel in Edo, many masterless samurai gather, somehow sensing that the end is near for their way of life. Spending their time drinking and cavorting with the prostitutes, the samurai have lost all purpose in their lives. However, when another group of renegade samurai that have turned to violence and pillaging enter the town, the listless samurai who frequent the bar see a chance to regain their lost honor.

Samurai Fiction - Trailer

This movie was hilarious, sort of a "modern" feel to the classic "samurai" movie. Starring Hotei Tomoyasu as the big bad ass Samurai. Available in the US. There aren't any subs on the trailer, but it should give you an idea of what it is all about.

Ganryujima - original movie page

A very original, re-concepted "Musashi" (as far as I know) with Musashi as a foulmouthed, insane and brutish bully, and Sasaki Kojiro as the upstanding hero - with a hilarious twist ending. I don't think this is available in the US yet. Staring Masahiro Motoki.

Zatoichi - Trailer

A new version of Zatoichi by Kitano "Beat" Takeshi. Entertaining, and with some very strange sequences. Available in the US. Starring Takeshi and Tadanobu Asano from Ichi the Killer.


Sort of a "brokeback mountain" with Samurai and no tender love scenes. Starring Beat Takeshi and Tadanobu Asano. Available in the US.

Azumi - Trailer

Uhhh... a video game / anime brought to life. Read my review and watch the trailer, that will explain it. Entertaining in a novel sort of way. Available in the US.


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