Yojimbo: Remastered Edition (The Criterion Collection)
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A free-lance samurai works both sides of the street in a village split by warring merchants. Directed by Akira Kurosawa.
The Criterion Collection's 2007 disc is a must-have for any serious cinephile. The film is presented with an all-new, fully restored high-definition digital transfer, representing (as in the case of Seven Samurai) a significant improvement over Criterion's previous DVD release. It features a full-length commentary by Kurosawa scholar Stephen Prince (with eloquent emphasis on camera movement and composition) in addition to a retrospective documentary culled from the priceless Japanese Toho Masterworks series Akira Kurosawa: It Is Wonderful to Create, featuring illuminating interviews with many of Kurosawa's closest collaborators. A theatrical trailer and behind-the-scenes photo gallery are also included, along with new-and-improved subtitles, insightful booklet essays, and rarely seen production notes by Kurosawa and members of his cast and crew. With this reissue, Criterion's previous release of Yojimbo should now be considered officially obsolete. --Jeff Shannon
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We know how much he and Lucas loved Kurasawa films..they point to the Hidden Fortress, but, heck, what about Yojimbo? Oh, I think they took a page from Kuraswa's notebook, don't you? Check the two scenes against one another. You'll see.
Yeah, It's influential. I won't go into the American Westerns influenced by the film. Let's say this: It's fabulous dark entertainment, and, after viewing other Kurasawa films, perhaps Yojimbo gains a certain depth. One recognizes characters from other films..it's like seeing family members in a whole new light with new skills that surprise you, make you respect them. Ok. Maybe not Toshiro Mifune. He's always cool. I always love him. He's always compelling to watch, even when he isn't really doing anything. There's always the potential for action that thrills.
Hey, and what cooler scene in any movie than the dog walking down the street with a human hand in its mouth, then the pan to Mifune, and his reaction?
I won't go into a plot synopsis as Amazon has already done that for me but I will say simply point out that it is true that anyone who liked "A Fist Full of Dollars" or the later "Last Man Standing" from the nineties couldn't really go wrong with this film storywise. The only sticking point I can see that some might have a problem with is the issue of it being a fifty year old movie with subtitles to which I really don't know what to say if this is the case.
The technical aspects of the film are about what one would expect, there are no artifacts or any glaring faults but for those who are sticklers it obviously isn't going to light up the room with its sharper than life qualit either.
On a side note, if the Yojimbo/Sanjuro collection has come down in price by this time (I bought this version awhile ago and only recently watched it)to be more comparable with with Yojimbo alone; bearing in mind that comparable with Criterion Collection movies is fairly subjective I would recommend getting that one instead.
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