280 The Sword of Doom

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released by Criterion and the films on them. If it's got a spine number, it's in here. Threads may contain spoilers.
Message
Author
cbernard

#51 Post by cbernard » Wed Dec 29, 2004 10:25 am

dvdane wrote: ...you cannot compare Criterion on laserdisc with Criterion on DVD.

Their laserdisc releases covered a huge section of world cinema. In regards to Japanese film, they had already covered Ozu, Kurosawa and Mizogushi pretty well, when they released Sword of Doom, aswell as Sonatine.

Criterion on DVD has no such interest in covering world cinema, and is also having quiet a hard time covering the major directors, having yet to take on Mizoguchi for instance.

Criterion did cash in on trends and blockbusters on laserdisc with English Patient, Shine and others, and what they are doing on DVD is exactly the same, except with the difference, that Criterion no longer covers world cinema nor block busters.
What? I have a headache.

User avatar
Pinback
J-Horror Junkie
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 4:50 pm

#52 Post by Pinback » Fri Dec 31, 2004 2:44 pm

hrossa wrote:Has anyone seen some of Okamoto's other films?

His Age of Assassins (or Epoch of Murder Madness) is rated a 9.6 on IMDB and is apparently a "comedy"?!

I'm especially itching to hear about his post-Sword of Doom 60's work like Kill!, The Human Bullet, and Red Hair.

I've seen Red Lion (Red Hair...there's an excellent VHS release in the UK, though probably out of print now), and thought it was marvellous. One of the best films of Mifune's production company that I've seen. Good performances all round, and actually quite moving. Deals with events on a larger, more historical scale than Sword of Doom, though I have to say I prefer the latter. Both films are well worth seeing, and I welcome the Criterion release with enthusiasm...

User avatar
Pinback
J-Horror Junkie
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 4:50 pm

#53 Post by Pinback » Sat Jan 01, 2005 1:48 pm

He means the Criterion Collection: Yojimbo, Sanjuro, and now The Sword of Doom. You're right though, both Mifune and Nakadai were in Samurai Rebellion. They made 15 films together, according to IMDb.

Narshty
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 2:27 pm
Location: London, UK

#54 Post by Narshty » Sun Jan 02, 2005 6:40 pm

cbernard wrote:Why is it that whenever dvdane posts something about his knowledge, it's very helpful, and when he posts something about his opinions, it's hard to understand and often doesn't make sense?
Because he isn't copying out of a book in that instance.

:wink:

User avatar
colinr0380
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 4:30 pm
Location: Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbyshire, UK

#55 Post by colinr0380 » Thu Jan 06, 2005 5:25 am

But Criterion have always been alternating on DVD between new releases and re-releases of their Laserdisc titles that they still have rights to. I think you are right dvdane in saying that they probably still had rights to the title and that it influenced Criterion putting it out, but I wouldn't say that Criterion has no interest in world cinema. I think the strategy of the major Japanese director releases seems to be to have released a lot of the major Kurosawa before starting on Ozu - perhaps once a number of Ozu have been brought out Criterion will turn to Mizoguchi. It seems like a better approach than trying to tackle all three director's canons at the same time (although frustrating if you want Ozu or Mizoguchi to come first!), and perhaps it is giving more time to Criterion to sort out poor prints they may come across.

In a way I am really looking forward to the time when a lot of the 'major' films have been released and many of the Laserdisc releases that Criterion still has rights to have been brought out, as I will be very interested to see in which direction the Collection goes in - perhaps with more recent films, or films from up to unexplored and under-represented areas especially China, Turkey, India, more from Iran etc, and more surprising inclusions from countries that are already represented. I think that will be the great test of Criterion's commitment to world and contemporary film.

User avatar
kortik
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 6:50 pm
Location: Seattle

#56 Post by kortik » Fri Jan 07, 2005 2:56 am

this is the best thing that happen this year for me. I've been looking for this film on DVD for years now. Unfortunetly I bought the UK Artsmagic DVD which is $hit transfer etc....
This is exellent film I consider one of the best acting of Tatsuya Nakadai along with Harakiri/Seppuku http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/DVDCompare3/harakiri.htm
that i would like CC to release in the future. Although I love Harakir the best but this films is awesome you got to see it once and then you'll be hooked on Samurai(Jidai-Geki) genre forever.
Some other titles I want to see CC to release are: Samurai Rebbelion, Samurai Assassin, Kiru/Kill, Goyokin,The Hunter in the Dark, Tenchu/Hitokiri, I'd love to see a Gosha box also.
I am sure it won't happen maybe in about 10-15 years so thats why I am exicted that they finally grab this one and maybe its a good start.

if you want to know anything about Samurai films check out this website:
http://www.ninjadojo.com/ninjadojo.htm

check the forums, people there will tell you everything about Chambara, Jidai-geki era films etc... Its a really good site if you want to know evrything about Samurai stuff.

I am just really excited about this release


PS. I just found out that Animeigo(which is also a good quility DVD releaser) is going to release Samurai Assassin on 2/1/05
http://www.animeigo.com/Samurai/Samurai.t

User avatar
Gordon
Waster of Cinema
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2004 8:03 am

#57 Post by Gordon » Sat Jan 08, 2005 5:14 pm

Sword of Doom is a cinematographic gem. It looks amazing and has tremendous action scenes. I had the UK R2 edition that had an AWFUL non-anamorphic, shimmering, sharpened mess of a transfer. I returned it immediately, hoping that one day, it appeared in the U.S. with the transfer it deserves. It looks like my wish came true!
Last edited by Gordon on Sat Mar 19, 2005 9:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Richard
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 3:41 pm
Location: Nederland

#58 Post by Richard » Sun Feb 20, 2005 9:31 am

Kihachi Okamoto died yesterday.
Film director Okamoto dies at 81

Saturday, February 19, 2005 at 15:16 JST
TOKYO — Film director Kihachi Okamoto, known for his comedy and war movies, died of esophagus cancer Saturday afternoon at his home in Kawasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture, his family said. He was 81.

Okamoto, a native of Tottori Prefecture, was at a military school in Japan when World War II ended and later demobilized. He made his debut as a film director in 1958. He produced a number of World War II related-films such as "Nihon No Ichiban Nagai Hi" (Japan's Longest Day), which depicted Japan's surrender, and "Dokuritsu Gurentai" (Desperado Outpost), about Japanese soldiers revealing corruption in his corps in China during the war period. (Kyodo News)
See http://www.japantoday.com/e/?content=ne ... &id=328297

User avatar
oldsheperd
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2004 5:18 pm
Location: Rio Rancho/Albuquerque

#59 Post by oldsheperd » Thu Mar 03, 2005 12:33 pm

Back is up at dvdempire

User avatar
The Invunche
Alleged Socialist
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 2:43 am
Location: Denmark

#60 Post by The Invunche » Tue Mar 08, 2005 4:22 am


User avatar
Morbii
Joined: Sat Nov 27, 2004 3:38 am

#61 Post by Morbii » Tue Mar 15, 2005 8:11 am

I just watched it for the first time. All I have to say is WOW.

User avatar
lord_clyde
No. 33 Killer
Joined: Thu Dec 23, 2004 4:22 am
Location: Ogden, UT

#62 Post by lord_clyde » Tue Mar 15, 2005 4:35 pm

That last swordfight was awesome. So, what does everybody think of the end?

User avatar
kortik
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 6:50 pm
Location: Seattle

#63 Post by kortik » Tue Mar 15, 2005 4:44 pm

Acutally this is not the end of this story if you want to kno what really happen then check out the trilogy:
Daibosatsu Toge trilogy w/Ichikawa Raizo
unfortunely no eng subs

Image

User avatar
oldsheperd
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2004 5:18 pm
Location: Rio Rancho/Albuquerque

#64 Post by oldsheperd » Tue Mar 15, 2005 4:45 pm

The liner notes go into the series

User avatar
lord_clyde
No. 33 Killer
Joined: Thu Dec 23, 2004 4:22 am
Location: Ogden, UT

#65 Post by lord_clyde » Wed Mar 16, 2005 12:16 am

Cool. I deliberately held off on reading the liner notes until after watching the movie.

User avatar
Pinback
J-Horror Junkie
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 4:50 pm

#66 Post by Pinback » Sun Mar 27, 2005 12:15 pm

The Sword of Doom review is up at DVD Times, dedicated to Kihachi Okamoto.

http://www.dvdtimes.co.uk/content.php?contentid=56617

User avatar
Steven H
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 3:30 pm
Location: NC

#67 Post by Steven H » Tue Mar 29, 2005 1:20 am

Very good news about Harkari... I hope Human Condition isn't far behind.

Sword of Doom was fantastic. Gorgeous transfer and the film may have revitalized my interest in samurai films. I think it helped watching this directly after MoC's Face of Another (also 1966 and a film I'm very familiar with). It really shows Nakadai as a strong and unique acting presence. Who else in Japanese film is like him? He basically has a Mitchum or Bogart feel (Mitchum or Bogart as a samurai? why wasn't I a movie executive in the 40s and 50s... dammit), cynical, aloof, and aware of his fate (though not taken to women as much as Mitchum).

Any thoughts on his Age of Assassins? Anyone seen this? Sounds great.

User avatar
Pinback
J-Horror Junkie
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 4:50 pm

#68 Post by Pinback » Fri Apr 15, 2005 11:04 am

The new Midnight Eye update includes a tribute to Kihachi Okamoto:

http://www.midnighteye.com/features/kih ... moto.shtml

User avatar
Jem
Joined: Sun May 01, 2005 11:03 pm
Location: Potts Point

#69 Post by Jem » Sat May 07, 2005 7:48 am

dvdane wrote:
I'd say it's a metaphysical samurai movie
Okamoto is not any major director, Sword of Doom is not a major film, not even within the samurai cycle, where it almost has footnote quality. .

I am surprised by this opinion.
I watched Sword of Doom last night and thought it was simply amazing. Beautifully directed, excellent acting, original in the sense that the lead role is essentially evil, he just IS bad. And the Mifune sword fight on the brige past the cemetary, stunning, took my breath away.
Can't wait for Harkari.

As a side thought, did anyone have an opinion on why Ryunosuke froze during the fight scene in the snow. I assume he was not scared, was he just overwhelmed by Mifune's character's ability?
Last edited by Jem on Sun May 08, 2005 6:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

l'avventurist
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 2004 8:06 pm
Location: santa monica, ca

#70 Post by l'avventurist » Sat May 07, 2005 8:03 pm

this was a blind buy for me and i couldn't recommend it more to anyone who is on the fence. i particularly love criterion releases that surprise and delight me as a first-time viewer. i found the film to be taut, compelling and extremely entertaining from beginning to end. image is superb on 16:9 tv, and, for what it's worth, the mono sound is just totally incredible. LOVED the ending.

User avatar
Doctor Sunshine
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 10:04 pm
Location: Brain Jail

#71 Post by Doctor Sunshine » Sun May 08, 2005 1:45 am

Apparently Geoffrey O'Brien was interviewed about this film on the Speakeasy with Dorian back on March 28th. He was a last minute fill-in and it kinda shows but it's still useful if, say, you don't know how to pronounce chambara. Starts at about the 41-minute mark.

http://www.wfmu.org/playlists/SE

User avatar
Godot
Cri me a Tearion
Joined: Sat Nov 06, 2004 12:13 am
Location: Phoenix

#72 Post by Godot » Mon Jun 06, 2005 4:09 am

Jem wrote:As a side thought, did anyone have an opinion on why Ryunosuke froze during the fight scene in the snow. I assume he was not scared, was he just overwhelmed by Mifune's character's ability?

In terms of plot mechanics, Ryunosuke doesn't join the fray because it sets up expectations for a final confrontation with Mifune's character (which, amusingly, doesn't happen in the film). Also, plotwise, he has no reason to attack Mifune, since he is being paid to kill the governor that Mifune has cleverly replaced while guarding.

In terms of his character's psyche and motivation, however, my impression is that he is portrayed as an inveterate loner, who only joins this gang of thugs to make money, wreck mayhem, and hasten a few souls to St.Peter's gate. Given his druthers (such as this fight, which has turned from an expected slaughter into an actual battle), he'd prefer to watch, bide time, and fight alone. Also, he has never seen Mifune in action, only knows how his students fight in practice at the dojo. As he watches Mifune's skill in dispatching attackers (with regret), he sees his own angel of death, perhaps. Judging by his wild eyes, faint fear, and tiny smirk, I think the actor and Okamoto are trying to show that a great number of emotions are sweeping over him as he watches.

In terms of film technique, Okamoto is using the character as an audience surrogate, and his awe further emphasizes the power and skill that Okamoto intends to impart with Mifune's performance (and the quick cuts of brutal dismemberments). Ryunosuke is a motionless observer because we, too, are motionless observers, and his reactions are used to pump up ours by precisely this lack of action on his part (Rear Window is an obvious example, but this type of character and technique has been used by many directors and writers). When our main reference is impressed and awed by another character, we are pushed to feel the same if not more, especially after having witnessed his own incredible skill and savagery. Okamoto shoots a few of the wide shots from his perspective to emphasize that association.

User avatar
Jem
Joined: Sun May 01, 2005 11:03 pm
Location: Potts Point

#73 Post by Jem » Tue Jun 21, 2005 9:37 pm

Jem wrote:
As a side thought, did anyone have an opinion on why Ryunosuke froze during the fight scene in the snow. I assume he was not scared, was he just overwhelmed by Mifune's character's ability?

Godot wrote:
In terms of plot mechanics, Ryunosuke doesn't join the fray because it sets up expectations for a final confrontation with Mifune's character (which, amusingly, doesn't happen in the film). Also, plotwise, he has no reason to attack Mifune, since he is being paid to kill the governor that Mifune has cleverly replaced while guarding.

In terms of his character's psyche and motivation, however, my impression is that he is portrayed as an inveterate loner, who only joins this gang of thugs to make money, wreck mayhem, and hasten a few souls to St.Peter's gate. Given his druthers (such as this fight, which has turned from an expected slaughter into an actual battle), he'd prefer to watch, bide time, and fight alone. Also, he has never seen Mifune in action, only knows how his students fight in practice at the dojo. As he watches Mifune's skill in dispatching attackers (with regret), he sees his own angel of death, perhaps. Judging by his wild eyes, faint fear, and tiny smirk, I think the actor and Okamoto are trying to show that a great number of emotions are sweeping over him as he watches.

In terms of film technique, Okamoto is using the character as an audience surrogate, and his awe further emphasizes the power and skill that Okamoto intends to impart with Mifune's performance (and the quick cuts of brutal dismemberments). Ryunosuke is a motionless observer because we, too, are motionless observers, and his reactions are used to pump up ours by precisely this lack of action on his part (Rear Window is an obvious example, but this type of character and technique has been used by many directors and writers). When our main reference is impressed and awed by another character, we are pushed to feel the same if not more, especially after having witnessed his own incredible skill and savagery. Okamoto shoots a few of the wide shots from his perspective to emphasize that association.

Great observations Godot, thank you.

User avatar
bunuelian
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 11:49 am
Location: San Diego

#74 Post by bunuelian » Wed Jun 22, 2005 1:41 am

I wonder to what extent Ryunosuke's alcoholism should be considered in terms of his motivation to join the gang, and his descent into madness. What is (or more importantly, was) the Japanese stereotype of the alcoholic? He seems bent on using his sword, but upon closer examination it seems that he's mainly forced to use his principal skill so he can get some more sake.

User avatar
kortik
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 6:50 pm
Location: Seattle

#75 Post by kortik » Tue Oct 11, 2005 2:23 am

really I think its a pretty good trnasfer IMO

well R2J is better of course but CCs is not bad better that vhs IMO

Post Reply