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  1. #1
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    Samurai, Ninja and Yakuza movies?

    Hey

    I was just wondering if any of you guys could help me out with a genre I'm just now beginning to appreciate. I'm looking for some good japanese swordplay movies. Can anyone here recommend any good ones?

    My personal favorites so far have been the Zatoichi movies. They used to play them every Saturday morning on IFC. They made 26 of them with the same actor and a new one just came out starring and directed by Takeshi Kitano which was a bit of a deviation but still pretty great. Other than these and Kill Bill Vol.1 (which probably doesn't really count) can anyone name a few others for me to hunt down at the video store?

    Also, fellow fans of the genre might enjoy this website. ninjadojo.com
    Last edited by N D Hill; January 6th, 2005 at 09:40 AM.


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  3. #2
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    Seven samurai, shugon assasin,
    Ninja scroll is great but thats Anime not film. Another good Anime along the same lines is a recent series called Samurai Champloo.
    The best swordplay movies I have ever seen arent infact japanese but chinese, the names are probably pretty obvious to you already but: Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Hero, House of Flying Daggers.

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    exo.

    go rent all samurai flicks made by akira kurosawa immediately!!!!!( best director of all time)

    seven samurai( best samurai flick everrrrrrr) , ran, yojimbo, /....
    Last edited by tyboogie; January 7th, 2005 at 04:59 PM.

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    i recommend versus, and the returner.
    personnally i think the japanese don't know how to "act". they have spent too much time on anime and are so stuck with it they act like anime characters and retards. i think it's so funny. that is why i rent these movies and luagh my ass off.
    Do you know the muffinman?

    Originally Posted by creatix
    Once you understand what the word "stupid" means - age is no longer a valid excuse for being that way.

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    Yeah. I have to rent some Akira kurosawa. That's the one thing people have been consistantly telling me. Also, I hear Shogun Assassin served as the inspiration for the movie 'Road to Perdition.' It spawned a whole series of movies called Loan 'Wolf and Cub' too.

    Tyboogie: The movie 'Ran' I believe is based on King Lear, isn't it? The basic premise consists of a king splitting up his kingdom and passing the partitions down to his sons and he's immediately betrayed and war brakes out, right?
    Last edited by N D Hill; January 8th, 2005 at 12:51 AM.

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    For your Yakuza fix, Sonatine. Also a Kitano film (comes packaged with Zatoichi.) Personally I didn't enjoy it that much.
    Paul Rhye

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    Quote Originally Posted by pvrhye
    For your Yakuza fix, Sonatine. Also a Kitano film (comes packaged with Zatoichi.) Personally I didn't enjoy it that much.
    Yeah. I have that because it was packaged with Zatoichi as you said. It was pretty much two hours of gangsters wasting time on a beach "hiding out" punctuated by the occasional shooting. I guess it does count as a yakuza flick though. My original idea of what the difference between a Yakuza and samurai flick was pretty minimal. A samurai film took place in imperial Japan and had Shogun, nobles and all that, while a yakuza film took place during the warring states period where small villages were run by local crime bosses, sort of like Zatoichi's setting.

    Ninja movies could really be anything as long as they were focused on ninjas. So you could have movies taking place in modern times as well as in the past. Personally, I like the ones taking place in feudal Japan. Modern ones seem to consistently suck, with the exception of 'The Hunted'. Most modern ones were done in the eighties and involve american actors like Chuck Norris, kicking terrorists to the sound of wailing guitars.
    Last edited by N D Hill; January 8th, 2005 at 12:53 AM.

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    """"Most modern ones were done in the eighties and involve american actors like Chuck Norris, kicking terrorists to the sound of wailing guitars.""


    lol...

    yea but when your 9 yrs old..thats still pretty cool.

    and your correct about ran.

    im gonna have to check out teh lone wolf series

    ty

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    screw chuck norris, i can't stand his texas ranger, snappy hairy chest, cowboy ass.

    have you ever whatched any japanese talk shows?
    i have international channel on my cable channel list.
    so i watched this one talk show that was hosted by this extremely eccentric japanese metrosexual dude (think willy wonka) and he would bring up subjects about candy and love. some times he interviews japanese celebrities and makes them extremely uncomfortable or forces them to participate in his "strange" activities...i know a friend who lived in japan for a year and he is a liitle truamatized by those insane shows that air on tv in japan...

    also don't forget the commercials...they have some of the most hilarious commericals ever!
    Do you know the muffinman?

    Originally Posted by creatix
    Once you understand what the word "stupid" means - age is no longer a valid excuse for being that way.

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by MuffinMan
    screw chuck norris, i can't stand his texas ranger, snappy hairy chest, cowboy ass.

    have you ever whatched any japanese talk shows?
    i have international channel on my cable channel list.
    so i watched this one talk show that was hosted by this extremely eccentric japanese metrosexual dude (think willy wonka) and he would bring up subjects about candy and love. some times he interviews japanese celebrities and makes them extremely uncomfortable or forces them to participate in his "strange" activities...i know a friend who lived in japan for a year and he is a liitle truamatized by those insane shows that air on tv in japan...

    also don't forget the commercials...they have some of the most hilarious commericals ever!
    It sounds like your discribing Graham Norton but he's English.

  12. #11
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    no, the host was way more hardcore and gay than graham norton....
    Do you know the muffinman?

    Originally Posted by creatix
    Once you understand what the word "stupid" means - age is no longer a valid excuse for being that way.

  13. #12
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    I'm not a big fan of Japanese scripts coz they usually end in a very broad manner that...don't leave a satisfactory ending (quite the contrary of hollywood films that always try to achieve a satisfactory ending but never quite doing it right).

    Zatoichi was cool, at best. I didn't like how it ends.

    There's this other Japanese epic....HEAVEN AND EARTH which probably comes across as a pretty accurate representation of how wars were fought....but errr....for some reason the battle scenes were rather messy in a messy way....not really showing the tactics after a grand sequence of troops moving in formation towards the skirmish line.
    ********************************
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    I just finished watching The Last Samurai. Easily the worst "Samurai" movie I've ever seen. When will Americans get sick of the whole "Dances with Wolves" 'caucasian saves the day' theme? At first I wouldn't see it just because I couldn't get past the friggin poster without laughing. "Tom Cruise is 'The Last Samurai.'" under that it should have read "...Japan is srewed." Not only was it historically inaccurate (as it was the Prussians who Japan had modeled their army after) but it had just about every single american war-movie cliche in existance. It was sort of like an ill-concieved mix between James Clavell's 'Shogun' (which I liked) and the movie 'Braveheart' (which I also liked). But it only incorporated the bad aspects.

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    Holy cow why the hell did you watch that movie??
    ********************************
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  16. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by darth massacre
    Holy cow why the hell did you watch that movie??
    Mostly because I didn't have to pay anything. But I know, that's still no excuse.

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    Another Anime movie, but a damned good one. Commonly called Samurai X, it's the backstory of the main character of the lowbrow kids' anime "Rurouni Kenshin". Contrary to the show, which is cheap and shallow and whatnot, the movie is a beautifully symbolic work where they sugarcoat nothing. Intense, crisp swordfighting action sequences mixed in with an introspective look at the soul--or lack thereof--of a professional killer in a time of political turmoil in feudal Japan. I strongly recommend picking it up, and watch it with Japanese subtitles or monsters will consume your brain in your sleep.

  18. #17
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    lol, i watched the last samurai and thought it was good, but one thing i didn't like...i thought the dude who played the emperor was a total fucknut! he was being used and didn't even notice...stupid kid!

    yeah, the movie did feel alot like braveheart and whatever.
    Do you know the muffinman?

    Originally Posted by creatix
    Once you understand what the word "stupid" means - age is no longer a valid excuse for being that way.

  19. #18
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    eh..the last samurai was nowhere near as good as braveheart IMHO

    just found out about a really cool new trilogy called

    MUSASHI MIYAMATO. directed by hiroshi inagaki.

    samurai epic. i watched the first one..it was really good. with the main man mifune in teh lead

    good stuff

  20. #19
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    dude, rent "six string samurai" , that movie kicks major ass.
    Do you know the muffinman?

    Originally Posted by creatix
    Once you understand what the word "stupid" means - age is no longer a valid excuse for being that way.

  21. #20
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    I've also just in the past year really gotten into Asian films. It all started with Kill Bill and Crouching Tiger for me and I've been explorin' ever since. It's sort of like anime tho, because there's some hit and miss stuff. The Returner was recommended to me and I didn't care for it. Maybe because it was dubbed. I can't watch this stuff dubbed, it's ridiculous.

    I've really pissed my girlfriend off by wasting way to much cash on this new obsession but I thought I'd give you guys a heads up on some of the ones I've liked and not liked. One big on is the film "Warriors of Heaven and Earth". This movie blew hard. I was pumped to see it so maybe that's why it let me down so much. The actings was really bad and the action wasn't very good either. The main villian looks like Lionel Richie. lol So stay away from that one.

    Samurai Fiction is pretty good but not really a hack n' slash action fest. It's more of a goofy take on the whole genre. I bought it but looking back I probably wouldn't have if I had know how it really was. Not the best but worth a look.

    House of Flying Daggers was much better than the IMDB people led me to believe. It's a love flick. It's not Hero (completely at least). But besides some of the predictable story telling and cheesy dialogue this movie is a visual feast. The man knows his color and sometimes sets aside story and obvious elements that should be happening to make an image more powerful or look better, etc. For example, one scene it's all nice outside and then BAM cold and snowy. lol This is all in the course of one fight. lol But it works visually. It's very typical, like I said, in the story department but the visuals make up for it. Sort of like the last 2 Matrix films only not nearly as bad. lol

    And as for Shogun Assassin, thought I'd make a correction. The Lone Wolf and Cub series came before Shogun Assassin. Shogun is actually a hacked up recut of the first two Lone Wolf movies to include just the fighting/sexy elements really. I own the first two Lone Wolf DVDs and I've seen a good portion of the Shogun recut. There's a different feel to both. But I really liked the Lone Wolf series. Lotza blood like Kill Bill. Really funny in that regard but still classic Samurai right there.

    Ok, I'm at work so I really should post this and run. lol Hope it helps a little bit. I'll post more if I get a chance.

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    Thanks for the tips. I still need to check out the Lone Wolf movies. By the way, you have the greatest avatar I've ever seen.

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    i think we're all a little too white(or not japanese enough) to analyse japanese scripts...

    i liked the last samurai, cause it was a sad story

    lone wolf and cub kicks ass, pretty funny at times too


    yea musashi miyamoto was actually a famous swordsman in japan, but i never knew there was a trilogy named after him...i need to watch it

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    *SIGH* my friend my friend....I am actually in the process of opening up a video rental store dedicated to Samurai, kung fu, and anime movies in my neighborhood....let us begin.....Shogun Assasin (which is Lone wolf 1 and 2 masterfully edited together and whoever suggested that is a genuis). The Lone wolf and cub series which is very different from the american version Shogun assasin but still incredible. ..anything by Akira Kurosawa(whoever suggested that is also a genuis) especially Ran, Seven Samurai, Hidden Fortress (which is very similar to Star Wars) and Kagenemusho (incorrect spelling). Basically anything with toshiro mifune is the best of the best Samurai 1,2,3, (also known as the story of Musashi Miyamoto) Yojimbo, Sanjuro(yojimbo pt2). The one and only Zatoichi the original tv series and movies (he did like over 100 all together ...that will keep you busy.) Sword of Doom old black and white flick but an excellent story with good action. Ghost dog which i loved pretty much a samurai movie set in an urban theme. Now if you like to read then may i suggest the best samurai tale of all....SHOGUN by James Clavell...my favorite book of all time...which the last samurai bit a little bit off of. Okay thats enough for the first installment....ahhh i love talking movies.

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    Oops i was so excited to post i noticed alot of people had already suggested what i did.

    Though another good movie if you can get around the homosexuality is a samurai movie called taboo has funny look to it because it was shot on digital but it is a great movie nonetheless. 2 movies you should stay clear of are the Live action Jubei movies Samurai Armageddon and reincarnation no matter how much you like ninja scroll these are not worth the time in my opinion. Throne of blood which is another one of my fav kuroisawa films doesn't have much action but the story is incredible. Chushingura is a great retelling of one of the most popular japanese legends of the 47 ronin...its got toshiro in it so of course its great. Rashomon which was first an excellent collection of short stories dealing with samurai in awkwards situations was turned into a great movie as well.

    And if you really really love samurai become one read about the code of Bushiido or the Book of five rings written by the greatest swordsman of all time himself Miyamoto Musashi.

    Okay okay i'm going to shut up now..or i will just keep rambling.
    Last edited by Ssenkrah Semaj; January 31st, 2005 at 01:44 PM.

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    you should stay clear of are the Live action Jubei movies Samurai Armageddon and reincarnation
    I disagree. Those two are bad to the point of comedy.
    Paul Rhye

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    You said that right..so are all the anime sequels. And am i the only one that didn't like kill bill...the story was great but i hate that charlie's angel's type action (basically hollywood wuxia). blah...

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    yeah, kill bill did remind me of charlies angels...charlies angels sucks balls.
    Do you know the muffinman?

    Originally Posted by creatix
    Once you understand what the word "stupid" means - age is no longer a valid excuse for being that way.

  29. #28
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    You're so friggin' nutz! Kill Bill rocked my balls off! It took every cool thing about tons of the Asian and Western films that we love and compiled them into a stylistic festival of bloody fun! lol It's not a serious movie. It wasn't meant to be. And you should thank Tarentino for making such a movie, now we'll get more martial arts action! And many more of our fav films from Asian will come stateside more often. I loved that freakin' movie. I could watch it a million times. I only wish some of the other Japanese films had more of that "bad ass" sort of attitude in 'em. Such a great combo. Ok. End rant.

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    Anyone mention ichi The Killer, or Full Metal Yakuza? Umm yeh also i dont think these movies are for the faint of heart but...they are interesting
    B/D:10/6/85- Young and can never make up my mind.

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    More martial arts charlie's angels crap you mean. Action wise i couldn't tell the difference between kill bill and bulletproof monk and that is a tragedy. He had a chance to bring back the realism and grit to martial arts movies just like he did with the crime drama genre but he took the easy way out. Thank tarantino you say....no he did more harm than good instead of showing audiences real kung fu and swordplay action he gave that hollywood crap you so enjoy. He could have saved the genre but instead he gave idiots like McG (directed CA1+2) his blessing.

    CUT THE WIRES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Do not worry my children for a messiah is coming it's name.....ONK BAK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    ohhh if you like crazy action movies ....rent Rikki-oh ...that shit is crazy good....you will love it.

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