Reviews written by registered user
|15 reviews in total|
This is a wonderful film. A beautifully produced and acted morality tale that should not be missed. Only Mifune could make such a sleezy, slimey and morally corrupt character into an attractive and sympathetic hero. He is totally believable as a drunken and abusive Mexican Indian. This characterization could have become a cartoonish stereotype in the hands of a lesser talent, but Mifune brings dignity and charisma to a very un-sympathetic hero.
I am a big fan of the Adult Swim line up, and Harvey Birdman makes me laugh the most, which is what I look for on Sunday's Adult Swim. This attorney takes on the oddest cases involving prior famous cartoon stars, and they go to court, and is set up as a sort of spoof on a soap opera that is insane and makes no sense. These anecdotes are made of antics that are just for laughs, and it completes that task in such an impressive manner. If you are looking for a show that you want to take seriously, this isn't for you. And if you like Space Ghost, you will like this, and vice versa.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Mifune spends half of the film on the floor sleeping or drunk. Katsu outwits Yojimbo beautifully when he isn't eating everything in sight. Their first meeting is classic comedy. A drunken Mifune plunges his sword into Zatoichi only to find that he has actually returned it to it's sheath. In a hilarious scene, Zatoichi, blind and afraid of heights has to climb four flights of stairs to see his patron. Somewhat friendly enemies, constantly harassing each other and both on the fringe of lawlessness these two oblique characters defeat the bad guys, Mifune gets the girl and Zatoichi staggers off into the sunset. You really have to watch closely to catch some of this films subtle humor. It is well worth the concentration. Delightful all around.
I got interested in this film because of the nature of me watching movies that have reputations of eccentric detail, in which this movie has much of. And the great qualities of it are so unique. Robert DeNiro, and his character Travis discovers his wandering life as a Taxi Driver with all that is going on around him. And of course, with all the situations he deals with and witnesses, it really makes some kind of alter-egos of him. And this movie builds up one of the best climaxes made in cinema history, with its editing of slow altitude movements as day goes by, with the dialogue. And all that is disturbing in this film, makes it difficult to find a tranquil light to this. Although I'd say the light is metaphorically translucent, as of being hard to see what is really so wonderful. And this movie actually makes you realize what is wonderful and how you manage and use those expressions. Although it is hard to pertain in the film. Just something that is perspective. It caught my interest in great amounts. One of the best films I have seen. DeNiro is superb.
Brilliant direction, excellent writing and superb acting make for one of the most intelligent and entertaining films to come out of Japan! Mifune is magnificent as the samurai who is forced to choose between family and duty. Scathing in its portrayal of feudal Japanese society this film works as both exciting historical drama and heart breaking melodrama. Mifune's stand against social injustice is presented in a totally believable yet poignantly touching manner. His scenes with his baby granddaughter are absolutely beautiful! The end of the film is both ferociously brutal and incredibly tender. What a combination! "Rebellion" leaves you emotionally drained yet asking for more!
"High and Low" could be considered two movies. The first, "High" takes place in Kingo Gondo's (Mifune's) hilltop mansion. The crime occurs and what follows in the next hour is one of the most meticulous and brilliantly constructed film segments I have ever seen! The first half of the film could almost be considered theatre. It is static and deceptively simple but.....so intense! The ensemble acting is superb with Mifune a stand out as usual! Connecting these two movies is the train sequence. After the calculated intensity of the first part this scene comes at you like a sledgehammer! These four or five minutes are magnificent! So very exciting and so very quick it leaves you drained when it ends! "Low" begins with the hunt for the criminal. Only "Stray Dog" comes closer to capturing the cop's decent into hell. This last part of the film is fast and furious. We are no longer an observer. We have become part of the chase. First, we know who the criminal is. The police do not know and what follows is a fascinating puzzle being put together before our eyes! The last scene in the film is unexpected, deeply disturbing and left me numb and staring at the TV screen after the film had ended. Like Gondo we are left with the answers that we did not want to hear.
This could have been a great movie! The photography is beautiful and the story is compelling, BUT.......... Lee Marvin comes across looking like Barney Fife. Perhaps his role should have gone to Don Knotts!!! Mifunes is an intelligent and believable performance and of course he steals the show (which he is inclined to do on occasion). His dialogue is all in Japanese and is not subtitled. This is probably the most interesting aspect of the film. It makes his character all the more menacing. The film is entertaining and fast paced but in the end rather a disappointment.
The most interesting thing about this film is its comparison to Rashomon. It was filmed less than a year before and it gave me the feeling that Kurosawa was testing the waters, so to speak, before tackling Rashomon. It deals with the same subject matter (the relativity of truth and self-perception) but all of the power, beauty and poetry of Rashomon are missing. Mifune as the sensitive artist is nice to look at but too subdued. Watch this movie and then watch Rashomon. He is unrecognizable! Shimura, who I usually like, is rather annoying as the tormented lawyer. How many times does he say "I'm a dog"? Of course, a minor Kurosawa is still better than most other films so Scandal does have some good moments. The courtroom scenes are very well done and the scenes between Mifune and his model are delightful!
This is the best of the Samurai Trilogy! A very entertaining, fast paced film! Mifune does his "Wild Man" thing wonderfully! The photography is breathtaking. It's nice to see Mifune in color for a change! Loosely taken from the pages of Japanese history this is the story of a mans triumph over the ravages of war, social stigma and his own atavistic tendencies. The moral of this film.....Maybe love does not conquer all but it sure helps!
Everything about this movie is powerful! The acting, the direction, the music and the cinematography are Japanese cinema at its best! I usually don't like narration but the narration in this film is awesome. The only thing I can compare it to is the sound of an Uzi being fired! Mifune, at his best, conveys brilliantly the complexities of the samurai/ronin mentality! The film moves frantically through time! Sometimes it is hard to tell past from present but the entire production is so well done that it all makes perfect sense if you just pay attention! This is one of the most brutal Japanese films I have ever seen. The final confrontation takes place in a snow storm and the comparison between the softly falling snow and the bloody battle it is falling on is chilling and surreal! Unlike some of these older films the transfer to video is clear as a bell with easy to read (if a bit hurried) subtitles.
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