七人の侍

Sevensamurai

“Seven Samurai” was re-released on DVD by the “Criterion Collection” label last year. I have an old laserdisc copy but the laser rot sparklies have gotten to be pretty annoying.  I have the original DVD release but read that the new version was cleaned up so as to make the old DVD obsolete.  I don’t double dip for many movies but this is a big exception.

 

It’s a wonderful thing to be able to watch a movie that’s over 200 minutes in length and not have to change the disc in the middle of the movie. I guess you can pack a lot more digi-info on a DVD when you don’t have to deal with color information. Seriously.

Sevensamurai_zenin

Anyway for those of you not into old-fut movies and still want to get a bite of hip, cool J-stuff, you MUST see this movie. Not only is it treasured by nerdy film critics like Roger Ebert but it contains virtually everything you need in a movie:

 

Action: sword fights, chase scenes on horseback, epic battles like in “Last Samurai.”

 

Comedy: Mifune and Chiaki Minoru provide wit and charm to an already diverse cast.

 

Sex: OK no boobie shots but there are undercurrents of sexual tension here. No, really! That shit don’t happen in “Citizen Kane.”

 

Mystery: the lives of critical characters affect those of the village and the samurai, and the secrets held are brought to tragic climaxes when they are revealed.

 

Film snob references: stuff that the Tarantino generation can spout off by the barrel. Well more so the likes of the forementioned Ebert but there’s no doubt that the influences generated by this film are more important than other mislabeled “film classics.”

 

Anyway, it’s one KEWL movie. Trust me. The only thing it ain’t got is color, a widescreen look and nekkid women.

 

And the new version is PACKED with stuff: interviews, commentaries and a restored picture which is so clear and clean to be almost distracting.  The movie, uncut and clocking in at about 208 minutes in length, is split to two discs.  A third disc contains the bonus goodies, including an extended interview between director Akira Kurosawa and Nagisa Oshima, a celebrated movie director in his own right.
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