Behind The Scenes Of Wonder Woman 1984. Informed by Japan’s theatrical traditions—bold and exaggerated gestures, facial expressions, and movement—it’s an interpretation of a Western story that fits into its Eastern setting and style as if it always belonged there. And why wouldn’t it be? Kurosawa’s spellbinding direction ensures we nonetheless can’t look away. Few such indictments feel as bittersweet as The Hidden Blade, yet another masterwork from Yoji Yamada, arguably today’s most important, filmmaker working in the genre. Stars: This culminated in the toppling of the shogunate and a return to power of the emperor. —Dom Sinacola. Ticket Box. We literally have thousands of great products in all product categories. Throne of Blood is the rare film that can function as both a love letter to its source material and a unique work of art in its own right. A system of violent, treacherous feudalism arose that created a sort of golden age of the samurai. | | “Don’t laugh at me, but it was after I turned into a monster that I came to realize the ridiculousness of being a samurai,” he tells his cohorts. —Andy Crump, An adaptation of Seven Samurai more in spirit than in tone and plot, Miike’s 13 Assassins is a sprawling bloodbath of mythic proportions—so, in other words, nothing new for the Japanese auteur. “The sword is the soul. —Andy Crump. Alain Delon, Tetsurô Tanba, Not Rated | It's set in a futuristic world that has just been through a war that has put it on the brink of extinction. A colorful, overlong (133 minutes?!?) Whether you prefer this over Harakiri, or vice versa, there’s a valuable lesson to learn from their duality: There’s nothing wrong with filmmakers returning to creative ground they’ve trod before. $132.56M, Not Rated There might not be a more Japanese tale than Chushingura, which roughly and inadequately translates as “The Treasury of Loyal Retainers.” This is one entry that has been adapted so many times that it bears clarification that we refer to the 1962 Inagaki version, a mighty three hours in running time and featuring who else but Toshiro Mifune in a relatively minor role as swordsman Gemba. 118 min We want to spend more time with them, disloyal as they may be. Hanshiro isn’t just fighting a clan of samurai, he’s fighting the hierarchical structures that drove massive wedges between Japanese political and social groups in the ’50s and ’60s. Shintarô Katsu, Not Rated Action, Drama, History. This is a movie in which mighty armies of cavalry clash, and one man’s resolve hardens into bitter ferocity. For a samurai, death is glorious, but the indignity of a good spanking is universal. —Andy Crump, Otherwise known as Life of an Expert Swordsman. Yukinojo does it backwards in heels. Katsu’s Zatoichi is as disarmingly human and shockingly competent as ever, but Mifune’s character is revealed to both have a name and be working for the Shogun—two things utterly antithetical to his earlier iconic bad boy character. The only way to stop him? The samurai himself, summoned to the trial via spirit medium? In Medieval Japan, an elderly warlord retires, handing over his empire to his three sons. Life of an Expert Swordsman follows along this track, more or less, recalibrating itself as necessary to suit its culture, time and era, and also outfitting its leading man, Toshiro Mifune, with a nose to match that of Rostand’s own hero. We understand your struggle to find Best Japanese Samurai War Movies that you're willing to buy. Kôji Yakusho, | —Kenneth Lowe, Based on a ferocious rivalry between two larger-than-life historical samurai, Heaven and Earth is a lavish war movie. Toshiro Mifune stars as Washizu, a loyal samurai retainer driven to ambition and then ruin after receiving a prophecy from an evil spirit while wandering the aftermath of a decisive battle. Man, Hideo Gosha sure does have a thing for rogue samurai and the revenge they visit upon the corrupt. When the Last Sword Is Drawn tells the story of a humble and emotional samurai from the country, Yoshimura, and his unlikely friendship and rivalry with real-life historical figure (and reputed spy and assassin) Saito Hajime. The American Western falls more or less within the bounds of the 19th Century, yet samurai films offer centuries of warfare, palace intrigue and a drawn-out end of an era for the history and film buff to chew on. Toshirô Mifune, (Or maybe that’s a product of Toshiro Mifune’s irrepressible charm.) Hiroshi Inagaki You could insert the Benny Hill theme song in Sword of the Beast’s opening credits without missing a beat, for instance, as Gennosuke outruns a swarm of enemies struggling to keep pace with him. Stars: Yôko Shimada, | Inagaki’s alcoholism apparently ushered him to his death in 1980, after a decade of little activity, but Machibuse still stands as a towering final say on the samurai film—not because of its sweeping scope, but in spite of the genre’s tendency toward grandiose historical breadth. Such is Inagaki’s interpretation of the Edmond Rostand play, Cyrano de Bergerac, a romantic fable whose protagonist is in love with a woman who only likes him in exchange. TOP 10 STUDIO . And it’s why we’re so excited to present Paste’s list of the 50 Best Samurai Films of All Time. Toshirô Mifune, Despite this—and a plot hinging far too much on an evil scheme that involves devaluing currency, for goodness sake—it’s a joy to see two charismatic actors play off one another in roles that fit them as tightly as a katana in its sheath. Sengoku Jidai—this age of civil war—lasted a blood-soaked century and a half. —Kenneth Lowe, A samurai’s lord kills himself. When you hear the word “cubist,” your brain probably goes right to Picasso and Braque, but in cinema it ought to head straight to Kurosawa, who in essence gave birth to the movie version of cubism with Rashomon by performing a feat as deceptively simple as filtering a single narrative through multiple character perspectives; the more Kurosawa filters that narrative, the more the narrative changes, until we can no longer determine which to trust and which to write off. But the swordsman-trickster we meet in Sanjuro feels like a braggart: He’s dangerous, but his proclivity for boasting belies exactly how dangerous he is. Director: Samurai flicks really have something for everyone. Tatsuya Nakadai, Samurai Fiction is about charm and warmth, a work of levity rather than gravity that’s driven by its rock ’n’ roll soundtrack, the product of Tomoyasu Hotei, a.k.a. Kinnosuke Nakamura, And fans of film history in general will delight in tracing the lineage of some of the West’s cinematic touchstones to their forebears in the East, as well as some stellar Eastern adaptations of Western canon. The man was none other than Jack Masters, the head of Universa… To say it kicked off a century of animosity between the two countries would be an understatement. The samurai sit about, gambling, smoking, drinking and openly scoffing at the fact that it’s easier to win promotions and raises from mastering tea ceremonies, considering the lack of any actual fighting. His most recent effort is What a Wonderful Family!, a 2016 comedy flick about a woman who asks for a divorce from her husband as a gift on her 50th birthday. | Ikki Sawamura, Votes: They created their own traditions, building myths from the ruins of their reality. Uchida was stranded in occupied Manchuria for nearly a decade following the Second World War, a time of his life about which little has been written. Kinji Fukasaku And here’s another take on the tale of the 47 Ronin. modern day war movies. We have listed some Japanese War Movies that highly based on story of War. But they’re all such compelling actors, and their characters so economically shaped, that we aren’t contented just to watch them wander off into the sunset toward future adventures we’ll never see. The movie was one of the inspirations for the game called 'Samurai Shodown' (actual spelling) Director: Kinji Fukasaku | Stars: Shin'ichi Chiba, Kenji Sawada, Akiko Kana, Ken Ogata. Samurai started as a backstreet bar band, playing various clubs in Night City, such as the Palladium, Destiny, and Nexus. Will Yun Lee, The eponymous “Akahige” (Toshiro Mifune in one of his most memorable roles) doesn’t come on screen until several minutes into the film. Action, Drama. ), The Samurai Trilogy is a work of enduring maturity, capturing Musashi’s arc of growth as a fencer, and as a man, over the course of years spent dueling, studying and tending his very soul. They just carry swords so they can kill people. He escapes the film’s opening attack to drunkenly roam the land as a sort of anti-samurai, not only because he’s ronin, but because he holds zero stakes in either side of the giri-ninjo divide. There is, of course, much more to Bloody Spear at Mount Fuji than that, but Uchida sees division in class as the ultimate inequity, an ugliness that he contrasts with beautiful cinematography and a bevy of terrific performances from his cast. Action, Crime, Robert Sand, agent of D.R.A.G.O.N. Simply put, The Samurai Trilogy is epic defined, wrought as cinema that helped shape the samurai film alongside Kurosawa’s watershed picture. Director: The souls Ryunosuke leaves in his wake bay for his blood. Daisuke Ryû, Votes: Sent on a secret mission, a ronin must discover who his friends are and who must die. —Kenneth Lowe, Director Hideo Gosha returns once again to the end of the Edo era (beginning Hitokiri, otherwise known as Tenchu!, in 1862) to, perhaps more explicitly than he had ever before, examine Japanese society in a state of constant flux. Many Japanese filmmakers were at a commercial crossroads in the ’50s and ’60s: The studios paying for their projects were built on the bread and butter of genre expectations—particularly of the jidai-geki, or “period piece,” of which the chambara is a sub-set—which could no longer provide the emotional and political bandwidth for the kinds of deeply felt stories they were trying to tell. By 1970, Shintaro Katsu had portrayed the blind masseur/swordsman Ichi more than a dozen times since his 1962 debut. Stars: $0.27M, 547 min I’m not sure of Uchida’s standing among his peers in samurai fame, but if Bloody Spear at Mount Fuji isn’t considered a masterpiece, then it ought to be. | 61,666 The Japanese remake of Clint Eastwood’s 1992 Western Unforgiven is an almost beat-for-beat retread of the original’s plot. 1945: End of War (autres titres : Oba: The Last Samurai ou Codename: Fox) est un film de guerre japonais réalisé par Hideyuki Hirayama, sorti en 2011.Le film raconte l'histoire vraie de Sakae Ōba, capitaine de l'armée impériale japonaise qui, à la suite de la bataille de … The fact that he can, that his meekness is just a deception hiding an unstoppable, righteous whirlwind of dismemberment, is the reason The Tale of Zatoichi spawned 26 films, the vast majority of them starring Katsu in the title role. It’s a period piece about the age of civil war with lots of action, hundreds of extras who needed to spend hours getting into armor and mounting horses, and very few frills. It also signaled a beginning of the end of the Tokugawa Shogunate. Stars: —Kenneth Lowe, The end of the Shogunate told through the unblinking eyes and stubborn hearts of its fiercest defenders, the story of Shinsengumi is one known well in Japan, which might be why director Tadashi Sawashima offers very little in the way of context or explanation when it comes to those of us (um, Americans) who know next to nothing about Japanese feudalistic history. Takashi Sasano, Votes: Tao Okamoto, —Dom Sinacola, The Emperor and the Shogun clash for control of the country, but for the Emperor’s lowly foot soldier Gonzo (Toshiro Mifune), the revolution that’s about to end the age of the samurai is the perfect opportunity to borrow a superior officer’s flamboyant headwear and go peacocking about his childhood town. Stars: $29.95 $14.95. —Kenneth Lowe, A crossover was inevitable, wasn’t it? | 117 min 207 min Samurai Wolf’s fights are characteristic in their usage of exaggerated slow-motion sequences punctuated with sharp, diegetic stings of clashing swords and squelching wounds. as straight-up satire of its category, where disillusioned ex-samurai Genta (Tatsuya Nakadai), a bristled and bristly man weighed down by self-consciousness, crosses paths with a farmer, Hanjiro (Etsushi Takahashi), who would like nothing more than to free himself from his daily routine by becoming a samurai. Action, Fantasy, Horror, The villain is called Amakusa Shiro Tokaisada. | Gross: Action, Drama. At the same time, Tokugawa declared that Japan would be largely closed to outsiders and that a person could not leave the social class into which he or she was born, facts that contributed to the feeling of society becoming static. Teruhiko Saigô, PG-13 Stars: | Inevitably, their passions, desires and petty grievances are punished by the stifling, unforgiving way of life under the shogun, in which performing an intricate tea ceremony improperly can bring dishonor to a perfectly capable samurai. $0.02M, See titles to watch instantly, titles you haven't rated, etc. After the Rain is a movie about decency and how it can get an honest man in trouble in a cynical time. It is very similar to the film. —Kenneth Lowe, Told across a couple of tense, snowbound weeks inside the Shogun’s castle in Edo in 1860, Samurai Assassin is loosely based on the brutal, real historical assassination of Ii Naosuke, the grownup pulling the strings of a teenage Shogun. Portraying young samurai Kagetora (Takaaki Enoki) as an earnest nobleman seeking to protect his kingdom from the invading warlord Takeda Shingen (Masahiko Tsugawa), the story follows the ups and downs of his leadership. But even so, that movie can’t help being about tenets of samurai discipline, and the search for self-improvement through marriage of mind and body. Kihachi Okamoto Princess Shizu's family is wiped out by an family of undead seeking revenge. Wataru, in stark contrast to Morito’s stereotypically macho posture, damn near worships his wife but never quite strikes us as a match for Morito’s masculine strength. Trending. —Andy Crump. In A.D. 1467, the Ashikaga entered into a 10-year war with other clans seeking to dislodge it, kicking off an age of civil wars that totally fumbled the ball and essentially robbed Japan of central governance. The honorable thing to do in such cases is normally to just commit seppuku and join your lord in death. Even when Kurosawa generously reveals what actually happened when the bandit crossed paths with the samurai and his wife via the post-trial testimony of a humble woodcutter, we’re still left to wrestle with the question of who, and what, we should believe. After the maneuvering, the treachery and the clash of armies, it all builds to exactly the inevitable showdown you hope it does: Two guys in head-to-toe armor with swords slugging it out on horseback in the middle of a shallow river. Knowing he faces an uphill battle against the violence of vicious yakuza and the entrenched corruption among the feckless bureaucrats in charge, Koheita adopts the nickname “Dora-heita,” (“alley cat” in Japanese, meaning a playboy), and purposely spreads false rumors of his own ineptitude and womanizing tendencies just so his enemies underestimate him. It’s not that swordplay and seriousness aren’t part of the movie’s scheme. by p-rabs | created - 02 Jul 2012 | updated - 07 Apr 2013 | Public Anyone who wants to get into the genre , these are the finest. Period films (or ‘jidaigeki’) based on local legends or famous historical incidents dominated Japan’s earliest fiction cinema, with modern-day dramas only becoming a significant feature of Japanese cinema from the early 1920s onwards. Early on, Itto makes his oblivious son choose between a bitter life of vengeance or the sweet, sweet release of death by putting a sword and a ball on the floor and observing which token the infant crawls toward. Jinpachi Nezu, In Goyokin, Nakadai eats up Gosha’s screen, saying little but carrying every image, whether Gosha wants to toy with darkness (the flashes of swords his blistering sources of light) or stage an elaborate drum circle which completely devours the whole film, its rhythms seemingly mimicking Nakadai’s increasingly visceral intensity. —Andy Crump, And so we’ve come full circle. Wonder Woman 1984 Review by Vj Abishek _ Gal Gadot _ Open Pannaa. Chûsha Ichikawa, When Shingen is mortally wounded in the course of his war for supremacy over Japan, he orders that his decoy take his place and his death be kept secret for three years for the good of the clan. When a ronin requesting seppuku at a feudal lord's palace is told of the brutal suicide of another ronin who previously visited, he reveals how their pasts are intertwined - and in doing so challenges the clan's integrity. Kurosawa would go on to hammer out decade after decade of indelible film classics and indispensable samurai films. on Valkyrie Kari,, Garden of the Dragons, Vol, iiii” ― Douglas Laurent | Itto foreswears all honor and propriety to walk a path of certain damnation. Roberto Contreras, 128 min Taking from the lives of the Four Hitokiri of the Bakumatsu, four samurai (of which Izo and Shinbei were two) considered practically undefeatable during the late Tokugawa Shogunate, Gosha crafted with Hitokiri a chambara biopic of sorts, effortlessly balancing the makings of myths and the truth of the broken souls behind them. Fans who can’t stop talking about the genre symbiosis between the Western and samurai flick will want to see this movie no matter what. Shin'ichi Chiba, He’s a man who wants to do good, even at his own expense. Shot in black and white, the film’s violence may take a while in arriving, but when it does it is stark and terrible. add to cart. A heartbreaking story of self-sacrifice and the empty tragedy of the samurai code of honor, the movie is also a period piece centered on the treachery and intrigue of the Shinsengumi, a group largely consisting of “samurai drop-outs,” as the author of the book on which the movie was based puts it. $0.80M, Not Rated Toshiro Mifune, the nameless ronin of Kurosawa’s earth-shaking Yojimbo (1961) had likewise made an indelible mark on the jidaigeki film genre. This all culminates in the samurai raiding their lord’s killer’s castle by night and exacting their venomous revenge, then committing seppuku. Akira Kurosawa stylized and exaggerated death and violence in samurai epics. Director: $38.36M, R The best part is that this 1985 film looks better than most action and war movies these days; for something with no special effects, that alone should be good enough reason to contemplate purchasing a 4K TV. Shintaro Katsu’s screen vision of the blind swordsman is a national treasure; Kitano totally vibes with that, and the result is as much a celebration of the character as it is a terrific modern chambara film. 8,126 Ran is basically Kurosawa's take on Shakespeare's King Lear. Kurosawa had famously extended production costs, along with the timeline Toho Studios had wanted him to adhere to. 122 min | Gross: 133 min As heavy rains trap them in a town, Ihei keeps running afoul of situations that demand he draw his sword despite his peaceful and easygoing nature. In the interest of keeping things tight, we’ve excluded anime entries, but for a definitive list that includes some animated samurai action, check out Paste’s 100 Best Anime Films. Indictments of samurai customs are common in samurai cinema (and if you’re reading this list, you’ve probably picked up on that by now). 128 min After that, all of the legwork done in service to character and tone pays off with a whole lot of violent, well-executed action in its finale, as Genpachi (Chiezo Kataoka), servant to the samurai Sakawa Kojuro (Eijiro Kataoka), doles out harshness at spear-point. In it, keeping Yojimbo’s story contained and elemental, Inagaki has Mifune’s man of very few words take on a job which takes him to a small mountain town, and a small tea shop within that mountain town, wherein everything that happens isn’t at first what it seems—and everyone he meets is more than he assumed. The stark black-and-white photography Kurosawa employs here, more even than his better-remembered samurai films like Yojimbo or The Seven Samurai, demonstrates how much care he puts into each shot, whether it requires the exact timing and coordination of hundreds of extras, intricate blocking as a single character succumbs to madness or despair, or framing a motionless evil spirit leering menacingly in the midst of a fog-shrouded forest. Kagemusha is a massive war epic, but it’s also a study of a man having greatness thrust upon him and choosing to find meaning in a life he’s essentially inherited. 3,423 | Aino Kishi, Best Samurai and Shogun Movies by muybueno16 | created - 21 Jul 2014 | updated - 20 Oct 2014 | Public Refine See titles to watch instantly, titles you haven't rated, etc —Kenneth Lowe, Following the release of 1966’s The Secret of the Urn, a critically successful albeit creatively frustrating project for Hideo Gosha due in large part to invasive creative constraints imposed upon by producer Mikio Ogawa, his follow-up film Samurai Wolf marked the director’s much-welcomed return to the form of monochromatic chambara. An executed samurai takes an existential journey throughout time, space and eternity in search of bloody vengeance. Not even the air moves,” muses one oily samurai as he lingers in the rain-swept home of a lonely wife whose lord is living a year away from home at the court of the shogun. RELATED: The 10 Best Western Movies Of The Decade (According To Rotten Tomatoes) Filmmakers like J.J. Abrams, Rian Johnson, Jon Favreau, and others have taken Lucas' lead and included elements of both Western and samurai films in their additions to a galaxy far, far away. The samurai weren’t just warriors in colorful armor, but a whole societal class that arose to support the mounted archers who dominated the battlefields of medieval Japan. Hugh Jackman, Yojimbo essentially introduced chambara to the West, burning the blueprint of the amoral, individualistic antihero at odds with the chivalric samurai mold into the minds of the Westerners who would eagerly pay it homage. Movies that highly based on a ferocious rivalry between two gangs genre, just from a the standpoint of much! Telling of real-life historical figure Kiyokawa Hachiro ( Tetsuro Tamba ) 1992 Western Unforgiven an! Bug monsters roam the Earth and kill people on sight re pretty damn close and bit bit. 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