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Zatoichi


Ebisumaru
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I mean don't wish you were older than you are. One day you'll wonder where the years went.

fair enough, but i really hate being 17 espically since all my friends are 18 and i look 12.

that said i did get into kill bill.

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well, we made it.

went to UGC haymarket but got lost first and legged it in at the last minute, the women asked by birthday. after a massive pause i got it right and she said "well done" in a sarcastic tone. should have a made a fake birthday first.

anyways, the film was class. my friends who i dragged along where a bit confused by it, notably the bit with the dancing for 10 minutes.

but it was very funny, and I'm in my post seeing a film with samurai swords in mood. brilliant.

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Saw this as well as Dawn Of the Dead tonight and have to say I enjoyed Dawn... more. Two completely diferent films I know, the only reason for comparison is that I saw them within a few hours of each other.

I went in to see some great swordplay and anything else was a bonus. It was surprising to walk out at end finding the swordplay the weakest aspect.

The CG blood and blades looked too CG and a lot of the time I felt I was being cheated. How many times can you see someone get their chest slashed from BEHIND and not get bored of it?

What made the film for me has already been remarked upon. THe change in tone constantly worked really thoughout even though it shouldn't have. A family slaughtered followed by a funny gambling scene. Child prostituition followed by slapstick (literally!) training. A terribly sad suicide followed by one of the best dance number I have seen. Great stuff.

It really says something about a samurai film when all the best bits involve no swordplay.

The score was great as well. Loved the field workers ploughing in time to the music.

Had this film had better fight scenes (e.g. showed more but less CG) then this would have been the greatest film I've seen so far this year. As it stands, I found Dawn.. the more complete package.

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I've watched the movie twice --once, when it premiered in Japan, and the second time just a few weeks ago-- and I still believe that this is a much better attempt to try something more "mainstream" than Brother. If this sounds slightly ambiguous, it's because I find it somewhat disappointed by the concessions to his style that Kitano-san had to do to get his film to be more understandable, especially by the Japanese audience which are not the biggest fans of his films. I understand that this project was not entirely his own doing. According to interviews he actually took this as a challenge and even a feature of the film, and I have to admit that there are some very pleasing results in there: Keiichi Suzuki's interesting score, added scenes because of sudden additions to the cast, etc.

It's interesting to see how the movie works in various levels --as a crowd-pleaser, a satire of Japanese period pieces, (時代劇) a sly joke at modern blockbuster films-- but after seeing the stylistic advances in Dolls for example, I was a bit underwhelmed by the film. It's true that Kitano-san has almost always had to make concessions when making his films --and Dolls is a good example of this-- but I don't like it very much that both Brother and Zatoichi seem to have been dumbed down.

But I did like it, in all honesty; I thought it was a very entertaining and funny film --even if the CG blood does look less-than-realistic. (Although it has to be said that Kitano-san himself wanted it to look fake: "I did use fake blood and a blood pumping tank thing during the shooting. But while I was watching the rushes with the realistic blood pumping scenes I thought it was too realistic and painful. So I decided to exaggerate the blood spattering to give it a more video game look because otherwise it would be too painful and cruel a depiction.") Still...

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Zatoichi vs yojimbo is the best of all the ichi movies IMO. I watched Shintaro Katsu's Zatoichi last night. The one he wrote and directed after starring in 24 different movies. It's beautiful and touching as ever but slightly ruined by having no plot.

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Why is it with japanese films i always feel sort of detached from them. LIke they havent properly got my attention?

This film was quirky and i think I need to see it a second time to do it justice. I loved the wierd dancey bits, but characters seem very 2 dimensional.

Maybe im just not used to the pacing of jap story telling.

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I thoroughly enjoyed Zatoichi, but I felt the ending was a bit confusing (whether that was the translation I'm not sure).

SPOILER

You're the boss! I'm not blind, I'll kill you! Oh no, you are in fact the real boss! I'm really blind by the way! WTF?

/SPOILER

SORT OF SPOILER

Was it wrong to be quite attracted to that male Gaisha? :( hehe

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Why is it with japanese films i always feel sort of detached from them. LIke they havent properly got my attention?

This film was quirky and i think I need to see it a second time to do it justice. I loved the wierd dancey bits, but characters seem very 2 dimensional.

Maybe im just not used to the pacing of jap story telling.

I feel the same way, although not just with Japanese films but eastern ones in general.

Everything seems to be OTT and as you say two dimensional. Subtle is not something I would describe eastern acting. It's often very theatrical and gesticular, sometime too much so. It's what pissed me off about Battle Royale mostly.

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I thoroughly enjoyed Zatoichi, but I felt the ending was a bit confusing (whether that was the translation I'm not sure).

SPOILER

You're the boss! I'm not blind, I'll kill you! Oh no, you are in fact the real boss! I'm really blind by the way! WTF?

/SPOILER

SORT OF SPOILER

Was it wrong to be quite attracted to that male Gaisha? :( hehe

SPOILER You got everything right there apart from he isn't really blind at the end. EVen so, he still trips on a small rock. It's ironic that he can fend off multiple assailants and gamble with his eyes close yet will stumble on something that is right in front of him. You got the boss thing spot on. END SPOILER

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SPOILER You got everything right there apart from he isn't really blind at the end. EVen so, he still trips on a small rock. It's ironic that he can fend off multiple assailants and gamble with his eyes close yet will stumble on something that is right in front of him. You got the boss thing spot on. END SPOILER

Aaaaaahhh. Cheers. The rock bit was amusing, even though it seems, at the time, I didn't get the whole irony. (It still seemed ironic though).

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SPOILER

Nah, Zatoichi was definitly blind, or at least that's my interpretation. At the end of the movie I watched he said "Even with my eyes wide open, I can't see a thing". True, it could be viewed as "Even though I can see, I still make mistakes", but I think it's meaning is just as it's written. He can open his eyes, but he can't see.

And earlier, it seems he pretends to see to put the previously confident gang boss off guard (the second in command who said "A Blind man will not kill me so easily"). You even see him lean in to get a proper look at Zatoichi's eyes. At which point, chop chop chop!

Also he was blind in all the other Zatoichi films so it seems unlikely they would piss off all the previous fans of those movies.

/SPOILER

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SPOILER

Nah, Zatoichi was definitly blind, or at least that's my interpretation. At the end of the movie I watched he said "Even with my eyes wide open, I can't see a thing". True, it could be viewed as "Even though I can see, I still make mistakes", but I think it's meaning is just as it's written. He can open his eyes, but he can't see.

And earlier, it seems he pretends to see to put the previously confident gang boss off guard (the second in command who said "A Blind man will not kill me so easily"). You even see him lean in to get a proper look at Zatoichi's eyes. At which point, chop chop chop!

Also he was blind in all the other Zatoichi films so it seems unlikely they would piss off all the previous fans of those movies.

/SPOILER

I haven't seen any previous version of Zatoichi so you could be right.

I prefer my take on it though. :D

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I'm afraid to say simon s is right. I've followed zatoichi for 15 years and he most definately is.

Oh well, can't be right all the time I guess! :D

As you're obviously a big fan of the Zatoichi series, which film would you recommend to a newbie? As much as I enjoyed this Kitano version, I was disappointed with the swordplay.

I have also heard a few good things about Lady Snowblood. Worth checking out also?

There's a 'Samurai Bloody Revenge Boxset' that seems to be exclusive to HMV.

How would you rate the films in that set?

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Oh well, can't be right all the time I guess! :lol:

As you're obviously a big fan of the Zatoichi series, which film would you recommend to a newbie? As much as I enjoyed this Kitano version, I was disappointed with the swordplay.

I have also heard a few good things about Lady Snowblood. Worth checking out also?

There's a 'Samurai Bloody Revenge Boxset' that seems to be exclusive to HMV.

How would you rate the films in that set?

I love Lady Snowblood but hold off as there's a box set out in a few weeks which also has the sequel.

That box set from HMV is incredible, especially at £20. All the films are top notch and Zatoichi Meets the One Armed Swordsman is my favourite one of the lot. It's odd the HMV website claims that it's not out until today as it's been in my local branch for a few months.

I heartily recommend it.

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But theres also Blind fury starring Rutger hauer thats a bit special.

OOh yeah! I always feel a bit guilty about enjoying Blind Fury for some reason. It's a pretty nifty film and a really nice surprise that the US produced a very good Zatoichi film. It's all the more enjoyable for it's lighter touches too.

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