Which Samurai DVD Set to Purchase? Please Help

Discussion in 'DVD' started by BrianHass, Aug 11, 2006.

  1. BrianHass

    BrianHass Stunt Coordinator

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    Toshiro Mifune: The Ultimate Collection or Criterions Rebel Samurai Box Set?
    I am trying to decide which box set I should purchase first.

    The Mifune Collection contains: Red Lion, Samurai Banners, Incident at Blood Pass, Samurai Assassin, and Zatoichi Meets Yojimbo
    Criterions Rebel Samurai Box contains: Kill!, Samurai Rebellion, Samurai Spy, and Sword of the Beast

    I've only seen (and currently own) Zatoichi meets Yojimbo. All the others will be blind buys.
    They have the same MSRP and will cost almost the same with online discounts. Since I already own Zatoichi meets Yojimbo the 5 to 4 movies really don't account for the difference in price for me. (Although I recognize that I'll be able to sell off 1 copy).
    I'm leaning a bit towards Criterions Rebel Samurai Box Set simple because I trust the Criterion label.

    What are your thoughts. I'm providing a list of current movies I own and enjoy so you'll understand my tastes.

    I currently own and love the following japanese films:
    Seven Samurai
    Yojimbo
    Sanjuro
    Zatoichi movies 1-9, 20(Zatoichi meets Yojimbo), and TV vol.1
    Onibaba
    Lower Depths
    Rashomon
    Ugetsu
    Samurai Trilogy
    The Hidden Fortress
    Throne of Blood
    RAN

    Thanks for any input you can provide or any other japanese movie suggestions
     
  2. Joe Fisher

    Joe Fisher Screenwriter

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    I got the Rebel Samurai Box set last for christmas and absolutely loved each movie in it. The picture quality & audio are very good. No commentaries that I can remember on any of the 4 movies. I would swing with the Criterion set and rent the Mifune collection if possible. Though you could never have too many samurai films. [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Here is an online review of the Mifune collection. http://www.dvdfile.com/index.php?opt...=5550&Itemid=3

    As for any recommendations for Japanese movies how about these. Harakiri by Masaki Kobayashi. Got it along with another film of his called Kwaidan which deals with the supernatural.

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. Jim_K

    Jim_K Executive Producer

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    Red Lion & Kill! are both parodies of the Samurai genre. Okay but not really favorites of mine. Your mileage may vary of course.

    Samurai Banners, Incident at Blood Pass & Samurai Rebellion are all solid Samurai flicks with pretty good transfers.

    Samurai Spy & Sword of the Beast are also definitely worth seeing.

    Samurai Assassin is very complex and one of the better films in this bunch but be forewarned that unless they fixed the transfer for this release you'll be sorely disappointed.
     
  4. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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    Brian, of those films, I've only seen "Samurai Rebellion" - which is great! You might also consider picking up Kobayashi's masterpiece "Harakiri" from Criterion.

    And if you're region-free/PAL capable, check out the Masters of Cinema collection from Eureka (UK). Their focus is early silent films (Lang, Murnau) and Japanese classic and new wave films. If you like Onibaba, you should check out Shindo's "Kuroneko" from MoC. Also, MoC's release of "Kwaidan", which is actually an NTSC format disc, though I'm not sure if it's region-coded, is the longer version with (IMO) the better color timing. Criterion's is the shorter version with some very heavy tinting that's likely not accurate.
     
  5. BrianHass

    BrianHass Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the replies. I'm going to go ahead with the Criterion box set first. I also like the suggestions so far but I couldn't get into Kwaidan. Not sure if I was tired that night, but it was really slow and stagey. Maybe I should give it another chance.

    How 'bout turning this into a Samurai/Japanese suggestion thread?
     
  6. Bob Turnbull

    Bob Turnbull Supporting Actor

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    I like Seijun Suzuki's early 60's Kanto Wanderer. Not epic, but a different take on things.

    For some more recent films there's:

    Twilight Samurai
    Samurai Fiction (lots of fun)
    Azumi (teenage girl samurai)
     
  7. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    The DVD of Seven Samurai to add to one's collection will be the new three disc set to be released in early September.
     
  8. BrianHass

    BrianHass Stunt Coordinator

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    I must concur, Mr. Harris, If ever there was a movie that deserved the special treatment it's definately Seven Samurai. I can't wait.

    And thank you Bob for your suggestions. I've really been out of the loop on the Japanese front for a couple years
     

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