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Sabu (2004)

Tatsuya Fujiwara , Satoshi Tsumabuki , Takashi Miike  |  Unrated |  DVD
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Tatsuya Fujiwara, Satoshi Tsumabuki, Tomoko Tabata, Kazue Fukiishi, Kenji Sawada
  • Directors: Takashi Miike
  • Writers: Hiroshi Takeyama, Shûgorô Yamamoto
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: Japanese
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Arts Magic
  • DVD Release Date: June 29, 2004
  • Run Time: 122 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00027JY9Y
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #304,879 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Sabu" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Takashi Miike (Full Metal Yakuza, The Black Society Trilogy), one of the most prolific directors in chambara today delivers a haunting tale set in the Tokugawa Era. Framed for a crime he did not commit, Eiji is subjected to the harsh realities of the Ishikawa Island workhouse. Sabu, Eiji’s longtime friend, must discover who is responsible for Eiji’s incarceration, before prison life consumes him completely. Adapted from the classic Japanese rites of passage novel by Shugoro Yamamoto, Miike uses the work to his own purpose with his usual flair.

STARRING: Tatsuya Fujiwara – Eiji Satoshi Tsumabuki – Sabu Tomoko Tabata – Onabu Kazue Fukiishi - Osue

Directed by Takashi Miike


Customer Reviews

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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Costume drama + Takashi Miike = Surprisingly good. August 3, 2005
Sabu (Takashi Miike, 2002)

To say this movie surprised me would be an understatement. I guess it shouldn't have, being a made-for-TV film and all, but for me, the name Takashi Miike brings to mind the tongue hitting the floor in Audition, the claymation lava swallowing everyone in The Happiness of the Katakuris, or the fountains of blood showering from the doorway in Ichi the Killer. Tokugawa-era costume drama with not a hint of Miike's excess? Say it ain't so, Jack.

Well, it's so. And even more surprisingly, Miike pulls it off with his usual flair.

Based on a novel by Shugoro Yamamoto (as yet, unfortunately, not translated into English; I'm getting to the point where I'm desperate to learn Japanese simply so I can read novels on which Takashi Miike movies are based), Sabu is the story of two friends, Eiji and Sabu, who grow up together. While both have somewhat rowdy childhoods, as they grow up and enter into their professional lives as paper-hangers, Sabu becomes the studious, staid "good kid," while Eiji retains his high-spiritedness. Eiji is fired from his apprenticeship, and a few days later disappears without a trace; Sabu, though forbidden to do so, must track him down. (There's much more to it than this; I'm covering about the first half-hour of the two-hour film in the synopsis. But from there, everything turns on minor spoilers.)

Miike has always been a director who, even when working in the normally-mindless action-flick genre, has been a master at creating characters with real depth. Here, with a more character-based story, he shows his full range of ability. Sabu, Eiji, and many of the minor characters in the film are exceptionally well-drawn.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A surprisingly good movie! February 16, 2014
By Jamie
Sabu was one of the films I waited on. I finally got in the mood to watch it a few years back and I now gladly have it on my shelf. Its one of the few films that pulled a twist that I didn't see coming. (Not going to spoil but its a darn good movie!)

I admit I'm a bit fond of Tatsuya Fuijwara and his work so I was watching it at first for seeing him but then I found myself watching for everyone else. Everyone played their roles perfectly! I highly enjoyed the movie (but again Tatsuya Fujiwara. I enjoy watching all the different roles he plays) so I recommend if you got a few hours and want to watch a great movie, get this and enjoy!
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars No July 19, 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This movie was disappointing to me. I thought it was something completely different when I ordered this. It was not worth the money.
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2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sex in the air September 12, 2009
Young actors having already performed (separately) in Battle Royaleand Kisarazu Cat's Eye play same age young men in the story of the eighteenth century Japan, whose sexual jealousy is simply an other side of a mutual attraction and testosterone urges young people of both genders demonstrated slowly-slowly on a screen.

Also this movie is a sound departure from a Japanese-exported tradition of samurai fighting, murdering and vassal unrests mixed with less or more explicit sex (In the Realm of the Senses, Memoirs of a Geisha (Single Disc Version)) even the most similar genre movies such as Taboo, Yaji and Kita - The Midnight Pilgrims present, a reviewer felt himself already walking the streets of this village and sea shores depicted, and inside scenery of Japanese prison added valuably to his existing acquaintance with a topic.

It is better one time to see than dozen times to read a comment on.
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