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Quote:TALES OF YOUNG GENJI KURO Genji Kuro Sassoki Nuregami Nitoryu - 1957 - B/W - WidescreenMaster swordsman Genji Kuro is entrusted by the Otsubo Family to protect an antique sword know as the "Kaen" sword. As part of a valuable pair of swords made by a legendary sword maker, the Otsubo Family seeks to reunite it with its companion "Suien" sword at Mishima Shrine. However the journey to the Shrine is wrought with danger and Genji Kuro must put his skills to the test fending off a band of cunning and ruthless thieves. Directed by master filmmaker, Kato Tai! Prepare for some amazing two swords fighting, one of actor Nakamura Kinnosuke's best fighting movies! (TV Broadcast quality)Directed by: KATO TaiCast: NAKAMURA Kinnosuke, CHIHARA Shinobu, TASHIRO Yuriko, KATAOKA Eijiro
Quote:TALES OF YOUNG GENJI KURO 2 Genji Kuro Sassoki Byakko Nitoryu - 1958 - Color - WidescreenMore amazing two swords fighting by Nakamura Kinnosuke! The saga continues, master swordsman Kuro must defend Lord Yoshi-tune's secret treasures from the treacherous pirates and villains. (TV Broadcast quality)Directed by: KATO TaiCast: NAKAMURA Kinnosuke, OKAWA Keiko, SATOMI Kotaro, OKA Satomi
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Quote:Kurosawa remake avoids worst scenarioTokiko Oba / Daily Yomiuri Staff WriterTsubaki Sanjuro 3 stars out of five Dir: Yoshimitsu Morita Cast: Yuji Oda, Etsushi Toyokawa, Kenichi Matsuyama Before a press screening of the remake of the samurai drama Tsubaki Sanjuro, a spokesman for movie studio Toho stood in front of the critics and said: "As you know, Tsubaki Sanjuro is one of director Akira Kurosawa's masterpieces. But as you're going to see this [version of] Tsubaki Sanjuro, please put aside Mr. Kurosawa's version for the next two hours and enjoy the world of this version." It's up to you whether you take this comment as just an excuse or a sound piece of advice. Anyone who has seen Kurosawa's version (1962) would take the comment as an excuse. They would say a remake was a bad idea to begin with. And how can actor Yuji Oda fill the shoes of Toshiro Mifune? Impossible! As a reviewer, it's tempting to take that stance and rip apart the remake, saying the original is unbeatable. But here's a question: Is the remake trying to beat the original? It seems not. The remake traces the original almost completely, line to line, cut to cut and angle to angle. Producer Haruki Kadokawa, who recently has been active in producing historical epics, such as Aoki Okami (about Genghis Khan) and Otoko-tachi no Yamato (about the crew of a World War II battleship), is quoted in the press material as saying: "Few of today's young people watch such masterpieces of Japanese cinema. With this [remake], I hope they will discover that there is such an entertaining movie." Supposing this is the aim, the remake is a moderate success. It's going to be a good experience for people who have never seen the original. Remakes usually do cast light on the originals, which sometimes have been forgotten. Some people--perhaps quite a few of them--may watch Kurosawa's Tsubaki Sanjuro to find out how much the remake differs from the original. And some of them may became fascinated by Kurosawa and decide to see more of his films. Kurosawa is now recognized as one of the world's greatest film directors. Such recognition boosts Japanese confidence in our art and culture, but it also has some side effects. People have come to think of Kurosawa films as art that are above criticism. As a result, his films became must-sees for film students and film buffs, but float out of psychological reach for other viewers. But viewers of Tsubaki Sanjuro, the remake, will be free from such boundaries, at least to some extent. Some people may feel comfortable seeing the familiar faces of contemporary film and TV actors. Some people may disagree with the characters' actions and lines, which should be allowed as a healthy response. It's been 45 years, after all. In case you don't know the story, nine young samurai (led by Kenichi Matsuyama in the new version) attempt to blow the whistle on their senior samurai's corruption, but they fall into a trap set by the bad guys. Enter a ronin masterless samurai (Oda) who overhears the young samurai's conversation and figures out they're in trouble. The ronin decides to help the young men to fight against the evil ones. As I said earlier, there are not many reasons for fans of the original to see the remake. Oda does not have the presence Mifune had, so it's hard to understand why people around the ronin are so overwhelmed, or why his rival (played by Etsushi Toyokawa) is so impressed. The actors who play the nine young samurai try so hard to stand out from one another that they end up distracting viewers, whereas Kurosawa directed them to be effective as a group. The music is sometimes too loud and, even though the remake uses the same script, it lasts about 30 minutes longer than the original. Now you've had the warning. If you're still going to see the remake, remember to put aside the original. If you think that's impossible, go straight to the video shop. The movie, in Japanese, opens Saturday. (Nov. 30, 2007)
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It is not very often that I watch a DVD which makes me want to immediately share some comments concerning it, but the film titled Shura: The 48th Ronin is
definitely one that does. Shura (also entitled Demons or Pandomonium) 1971, Directed by Toshio Matsumoto and starring Katsuo Nakamura (brother of Kinnosuke
Nakamura) is a film which can be describe as the conflict of opposites, and how fate can maliciously twist everything around. Love and hate, honor and
betrayal, sacrifice and revenge - these are all part of a very dark tale of how cruel fate can be.
If anyone can give Nakadai Tatsuya a run for the money in the role of a psychotic swordsman (Sword of Doom or Illusion of Blood), Katsuo Nakamura is the one
to do it. Definitely a must see movie!
For a great review (with spoilers) check out Paghat's Wild Realm Reviews:
Sangoro disembowels himself, having asserted, "This maggot can dwell only in the darkest place!"
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Loyal Retainer (Registered User)
Glad to see you here. Great review.
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