Obsessed with TV and Film: Best of the Week

8 Actors Who Can Be The Next Spider-Man

We’re not even a year removed from The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and already Sony and Marvel are exploring new options on who could be the next webslinger. And we already have some insight that the next Spider-Man is going back to high school, and Dylan O’Brien (The Maze Runner) and Logan Lerman (Fury) are on Sony’s short list… read the full article.

Five Film Composers that Hollywood Needs Back

Hollywood has no shortage of talented composers crafting mostly serviceable tunes for the next young adult literary adaptation or prestige awards tearjerker. But for every auteur like Hans Zimmer and John Williams, you have musical yes men pounding out ominous notes in anticipation of the next horror movie jump scare or making ratatat noise to underscore a superhero chase scene. The film world screams for diverse sounds, but is often left
See full article at SoundOnSight »

‘Sanshiro Sugata’ an eye-opening, strong start to Akira Kurosawa’s long career

Sanshiro Sugata

Written by Akira Kurosawa and Tomita Tsuneo

Directed by Akira Kurosawa

Japan, 1943

Akira Kurosawa’s feature length debut opens with a wandering young man named Sanshiro Sugata (Susumu Fujita) arriving into town where he aspires to earn a place under the tutelage of a great jujitsu master. Shortly thereafter Sanshiro learns first-hand that his would be instructors are perhaps not all they are cracked to be. Their attempt to rustle a rival sensei’s feathers, Shogoro Yano (Denjiro Okochi) is ill fated, as Yano handles each attacker with the greatest of ease. Much to Sanshiro’s surprise, the victor of the contest practices judo rather than jujitsu. Under the auspices of Yano’s strict but just guidance, as well as through the trials and tribulations and a martial arts tournament, that Sanshiro will learn to control his bustling energy, channeling it to become a better, more composed human being.
See full article at SoundOnSight »

New on Video: ‘The Hidden Fortress’

The Hidden Fortress

Written by Ryûzô Kikushima, Hideo Oguni, Shinobu Hashimoto, and Akira Kurosawa

Directed by Akira Kurosawa

Japan, 1958

By the time Akira Kurosawa’s The Hidden Fortress was released in 1958, it was more or less settled that the Japanese filmmaker — the only Japanese filmmaker most average moviegoers had heard of at that point — was among the world’s best. This was after Rashomon, after Ikiru, and after The Seven Samurai. Kurosawa’s talent was beyond question, and his global cinematic prominence was growing. However, his last three films, while positively received by critics, did not do so well with audiences. He needed something that would combine quality with commercial success. “A truly good movie is really enjoyable, too,” he once said. “There’s nothing complicated about it.” He would meet this condition with The Hidden Fortress, out now on a new Criterion Collection Blu-ray/DVD combo. While not containing the narrative innovation,
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Early Kurosawa Boxset Review

Following the release of the Samurai Collection last year, the BFI are now releasing a new DVD box set of films by legendary Japanese auteur Akira Kurosawa. Featuring six of his early films – all of which pre-date his 1948 Drunken Angel – the box-set offers a range of genre and content, providing a fascinating insight into Kurosawa’s development as a director and the influence of wartime propaganda on Japanese cinema.

Sanshiro Sugata (1943)

The first film of the set, Sanshiro Sugata is set in 1882 and follows the eponymous Sugata (Susumu Fujita) as he joins sensei Shogoro Yano (Denjiro Okochi) to learn Judo; a controversial decision, as the new martial art was seen to be supplanting the older art of Jujutsu. During the course of his training, Sugata must learn to control his ambition and temper, as well as to respect others, if he is to master judo and defeat the jujutsu followers
See full article at Shadowlocked »

DVD: Review: The First Films Of Akira Kurosawa

Grades: Sanshiro Sugata: B+; The Most Beautiful: B-; Sanshiro Sugata, Part Two: B; The Men Who Tread On The Tiger’s Tail: B+ Early in Akira Kurosawa’s 1943 directorial debut, Sanshiro Sugata, hero Susumu Fujita spends a night in a pond, clutching a stake to keep his head above water. Fujita, a young judo devotee with a bad habit of picking fights, is desperate to convince his sensei that he’s willing to change his ways, but apart from brute determination, he has no comprehension of how to take the next step on the path. Then, in the morning ...
See full article at The AV Club »

DVD Review: The First Films of Akira Kurosawa (Criterion Collection)

Over the last few years my interest in Akira Kurosawa has grown and grown, but it isn't as if I have been familiar with his work for all that long. It wasn't until August 25, 2007 that I saw my first Kurosawa film, and just as I assume to be the same for many before and after me, that film was Seven Samurai. I enjoyed it and began my exploration into Kurosawa using that film as my starting point. Since that day in August I have seen twelve more of Kurosawa's features and with Criterion's recent Eclipse release titled "The First Films of Akira Kurosawa" I have added four more to that tally.

This was my first time watching one of Criterion's Eclipse releases, which seem to primarily dedicate themselves to ensuring lesser known films from well known directors never die, and while they don't get the full Criterion treatment they will live on.
See full article at Rope Of Silicon »

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