Just as Clint Eastwood's star-making spaghetti Western A Fistful of Dollars was inspired by Akira Kurosawa's Yojimbo, Japanese-Korean filmmaker Sang-il Lee (Villain) has decided to ...
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Morton H. Halperin was a former member of NSA, State Department and Pentagon under several U.S. regimes since 1960s. And his lecture about the Okinawa reversion was shot at the House of Councillors on September 19, 2014 in Japan.
Just as Clint Eastwood's star-making spaghetti Western A Fistful of Dollars was inspired by Akira Kurosawa's Yojimbo, Japanese-Korean filmmaker Sang-il Lee (Villain) has decided to reinterpret Eastwood's Oscar®-winning Unforgiven as a Japanese period film. Set in the late 1800s, after the fall of Shogunate Japan, onetime assassin Jubee Kamata (Oscar® nominee Ken Watanabe -- Inception, The Last Samurai) lives in seclusion on a small farm. But when the new government begins harassing the local populace, Jubee is forced to break the promise he made to his dead wife and take up the sword once more. Written by
When I heard that Japanese were making a period samurai movie based on the modern-day Eastwood western classic UNFORGIVEN, I was in two minds. I love samurai flicks (and also leading actor Ken Watanabe), but the Eastwood film was already pretty much perfect for a lot of fans. How could the Japanese hope to better it?
The answer is that they haven't. This new UNFORGIVEN is the inferior film in every respect, with a boring villain and a lack of talented actors and characterisation that made the original such a great movie. The Japanese UNFORGIVEN feels slow and stately and is certainly well shot throughout, but aside from the exciting climax, it has no real voice or look of its own.
For the most part, this is a shot-for-shot remake and I have no interest in shot-for-shot remakes. Thematic remakes are fine; remakes that take key material and give their own slant, like Carpenter's THE THING or Aja's THE HILLS HAVE EYES, great. But all the while I was watching this film, I was wishing I was watching the superb original instead. Watanabe does his best and while it's nice to see the Japanese remaking an American film for a change (as so many times it's been the other way around), UNFORGIVEN is a bit pointless.
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