Character actor Michael Shannon has been nominated for his second Oscar for his role in the 2016 thriller Nocturnal Animals. "No Small Parts" takes a look at some of the other characters he's played in the past.
After an artist is threatened by the yakuza into creating valuable but highly illegal pornography, the law aims to execute him. Zatoichi, having been honor bound to protect the man and his family, must now run against the law.
Cowritten by star Shintaro Katsu, this adventure pits Zatoichi against one of his most diabolical foes: a blind yakuza boss whose reign of terror and exploitation has made him nearly mythic... See full summary »
Zatoichi comes upon the town of Tonda, overrun by gangsters. Using one of his favorite techniques, Zatoichi proceeds to win 8 ryo in a rigged gambling game. Of course, the local gangsters attempt to kill him, and the adventure begins. It turns out a blacksmith named Senzo examines Zatoichi's cane sword, and discovers it to be forged by his old mentor. Senzo discovers the sword is at the end of its usefulness and will break when it is used next.... Written by
Matt Hartley (int1)
This is one of the best Zatoichi movies. It has lots of humor, great action scenes and a history of Zatorichi's sword. Zatoichi gives up his sword when he discovers it is about to fail. Later, when gang of swordsmen attack him he must defend himself with just his bamboo cane. In another fight he defends himself against a knife attack with his pipe. After he gets a sword back, he finds himself sealed in a barrel by his attackers. But he defeats the attachers by stabbing through the barrel.
The best scene in the movie is Zatoichi doing a crazy song and dance about trying to catch ducks. Because it is completely out of character for Zatoichi, it is very funny. But at the same time you have to appreciate how good the performance is. When the dance is over, Zatoichi proceeds to "accidentally" insult the gang leader by mooning him, ignoring his offer of sake and then spilling sake on him.
The underlying story line is the same as most Zatoichi films. The villagers are being exploited by a violent gang and corrupt leader. Zatoichi kills enough bad guys until the town is saved.
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