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Re: Blind Swordsman films (Japan)

PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2005 11:31 am
by trevor826
Zatoichi films in date order.

* = Seen - Average.
*** = Seen - Above average.

1. The Tale of Zatoichi - Zatoichi: The Life and Opinion of Masseur Ichi 1962
2. The Tale of Zatoichi Continues - Zatoichi: The Return of Masseur Ichi 1962
3. New Tale of Zatoichi (Masseur Ichi Enters Again) 1963
4. Zatoichi, the Fugitive (Masseur Ichi, the Fugitive) 1963
5. Zatoichi: On the Road 1963
6. Zatoichi's Flashing Sword 1964
7. Zatoichi and the Chest of Gold 1964
8. Fight, Zatoichi, Fight 1964
9. Adventures of Zatoichi 1965
10. Zatoichi's Revenge 1965
11. Zatoichi and the Doomed Man 1965
12. The Blind Swordsman and the Chess Expert 1965
13. The Blind Swordsman's Vengeance 1966
14. Zatoichis Pilgrimage 1966
15. The Blind Swordsman's Cane Sword 1967
16. Zatoichi the Outlaw 1967 *
17. Zatoichi Challenged! 1967
18. The Blind Swordsman and the Fugitives 1968
19. The Blind Swordsman Samaritan 1968
20. Zatoichi Meets Yojimbo 1970 ***
21. Zatoichi: The Festival of Fire 1970 ***
22. Zatoichi Meets the One Armed Swordsman 1971
23. Zatoichi at Large 1972
24. Zatoichi in Desperation 1972
25. Zatoichi's Conspiracy 1973
26. Shintaro Katsu's Zatoichi 1989
27. Takeshi Kitano's Zatoichi 2003 *****

Re: Blind Swordsman films (Japan)

PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2005 11:31 am
by trevor826
Zatoichi films in date order.

* = Seen - Average.
*** = Seen - Above average.

1. The Tale of Zatoichi - Zatoichi: The Life and Opinion of Masseur Ichi 1962
2. The Tale of Zatoichi Continues - Zatoichi: The Return of Masseur Ichi 1962
3. New Tale of Zatoichi (Masseur Ichi Enters Again) 1963
4. Zatoichi, the Fugitive (Masseur Ichi, the Fugitive) 1963
5. Zatoichi: On the Road 1963
6. Zatoichi's Flashing Sword 1964
7. Zatoichi and the Chest of Gold 1964
8. Fight, Zatoichi, Fight 1964
9. Adventures of Zatoichi 1965
10. Zatoichi's Revenge 1965
11. Zatoichi and the Doomed Man 1965
12. The Blind Swordsman and the Chess Expert 1965
13. The Blind Swordsman's Vengeance 1966
14. Zatoichis Pilgrimage 1966
15. The Blind Swordsman's Cane Sword 1967
16. Zatoichi the Outlaw 1967 *
17. Zatoichi Challenged! 1967
18. The Blind Swordsman and the Fugitives 1968
19. The Blind Swordsman Samaritan 1968
20. Zatoichi Meets Yojimbo 1970 ***
21. Zatoichi: The Festival of Fire 1970 ***
22. Zatoichi Meets the One Armed Swordsman 1971
23. Zatoichi at Large 1972
24. Zatoichi in Desperation 1972
25. Zatoichi's Conspiracy 1973
26. Shintaro Katsu's Zatoichi 1989
27. Takeshi Kitano's Zatoichi 2003 *****

Re: Blind Swordsman films (Japan)

PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2005 11:33 am
by trevor826
Zatoichi the Outlaw 1967 follows pretty much the same route as all the films. Bad bosses, bent gambling dens, abused peasants. The plot becomes a bit muddled along the way and not everything Zatoichi does ends up for the best but in the end, peace reigns. Its probably down to the director but you get the impression that the film could have been better, leaving this as just an average Zatoichi film. The film does contain a unique point, a workers co-operative organised by a samurai who refuses to carry a sword, this group is seen very much as a threat to the bosses and local government and as such becomes a target for them to destroy.

Guest star - Rentaro Mikuni star of the Miyamoto Musashi films which followed on from the original "The Samurai Trilogy"


Zatoichi: The Festival of Fire 1970, this time the head of the bad guys is blind like Zatoichi, which also means more dangerous. I found this more entertaining than Zatoichi the Outlaw, and with a few well known faces as well. A woman is sent to assassinate Zatoichi but because of his kindness she fails and falls for him instead, a very camp man tries to seduce him in order to kill him but he fails before hes even started. A lone samurai also has Zatoichis death in mind, in fact its the only thing giving him the will to live and on top of all that the blind boss knows that Zatoichi could bring down his empire so sends off his cannon fodder by the dozen to dispose of him. There is a bloody but humorous bath house fight and Zatoichi nearly ends up as toast but again in the end, everything is much happier for everyone (at least those who are still living). One of the better Zatoichi films.

Guest star - Tatsuya Nakadai from many films but star of Sword of Doom.
- Masayuki Mori previous films include Rashomon and Ugetsu Monogatori

Cheers Trev.

P.S. Just got hold of 3 more to check out.

Re: Blind Swordsman films (Japan)

PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2005 11:33 am
by trevor826
Zatoichi the Outlaw 1967 follows pretty much the same route as all the films. Bad bosses, bent gambling dens, abused peasants. The plot becomes a bit muddled along the way and not everything Zatoichi does ends up for the best but in the end, peace reigns. Its probably down to the director but you get the impression that the film could have been better, leaving this as just an average Zatoichi film. The film does contain a unique point, a workers co-operative organised by a samurai who refuses to carry a sword, this group is seen very much as a threat to the bosses and local government and as such becomes a target for them to destroy.

Guest star - Rentaro Mikuni star of the Miyamoto Musashi films which followed on from the original "The Samurai Trilogy"


Zatoichi: The Festival of Fire 1970, this time the head of the bad guys is blind like Zatoichi, which also means more dangerous. I found this more entertaining than Zatoichi the Outlaw, and with a few well known faces as well. A woman is sent to assassinate Zatoichi but because of his kindness she fails and falls for him instead, a very camp man tries to seduce him in order to kill him but he fails before hes even started. A lone samurai also has Zatoichis death in mind, in fact its the only thing giving him the will to live and on top of all that the blind boss knows that Zatoichi could bring down his empire so sends off his cannon fodder by the dozen to dispose of him. There is a bloody but humorous bath house fight and Zatoichi nearly ends up as toast but again in the end, everything is much happier for everyone (at least those who are still living). One of the better Zatoichi films.

Guest star - Tatsuya Nakadai from many films but star of Sword of Doom.
- Masayuki Mori previous films include Rashomon and Ugetsu Monogatori

Cheers Trev.

P.S. Just got hold of 3 more to check out.

Re: Blind Swordsman films (Japan)

PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2005 11:40 am
by trevor826
Zatichi to Yjinb (1970) - Zatoichi Meets Yojimbo

Just when you think you know what to expect, along comes something to surprise you.

OK, so we still have the downtrodden peasants and the gangs who seem out to destroy each other in a power struggle, even a little gambling so whats different?

Zatoichi usually comes across as a bit of a bumbling fool which of coarse is the impression he wants to give (part of his deception), in this film he seems genuinely exhausted and in need of a good rest, even in his fighting its as though he has a complete lack of energy and vitality.

Yojimbo, played with aplomb by Toshiro Mifune plays cat and mouse games and trades insults with Zatoichi through-out the film but his character is also a deception. Yojimbo plays an important central role in the film and is not just there to provide a nemesis to Zatoichi, obviously a fair amount of thought was given to the storyline.

A beautiful village that holds fond memories for Zatoichi draws him back when he needs a rest but in the 2/3 years since he last visited things have changed for the worse, thus begin the twists and turns, crosses and double crosses that lead up to a violent finale over a large amount of stolen gold.

Im not sure why but I came away thinking it would make a good spaghetti western, just something about the setting and the way the story unfolded, probably also because the town had a coffin maker (every spaghetti western needs a coffin maker).

An enjoyable and slightly different Zatoichi film, certainly one of the better ones.

Guest star Toshiro Mifune (obviously) as Yojimbo Bodyguard

Cheers Trev.

Re: Blind Swordsman films (Japan)

PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2005 11:40 am
by trevor826
Zatichi to Yjinb (1970) - Zatoichi Meets Yojimbo

Just when you think you know what to expect, along comes something to surprise you.

OK, so we still have the downtrodden peasants and the gangs who seem out to destroy each other in a power struggle, even a little gambling so whats different?

Zatoichi usually comes across as a bit of a bumbling fool which of coarse is the impression he wants to give (part of his deception), in this film he seems genuinely exhausted and in need of a good rest, even in his fighting its as though he has a complete lack of energy and vitality.

Yojimbo, played with aplomb by Toshiro Mifune plays cat and mouse games and trades insults with Zatoichi through-out the film but his character is also a deception. Yojimbo plays an important central role in the film and is not just there to provide a nemesis to Zatoichi, obviously a fair amount of thought was given to the storyline.

A beautiful village that holds fond memories for Zatoichi draws him back when he needs a rest but in the 2/3 years since he last visited things have changed for the worse, thus begin the twists and turns, crosses and double crosses that lead up to a violent finale over a large amount of stolen gold.

Im not sure why but I came away thinking it would make a good spaghetti western, just something about the setting and the way the story unfolded, probably also because the town had a coffin maker (every spaghetti western needs a coffin maker).

An enjoyable and slightly different Zatoichi film, certainly one of the better ones.

Guest star Toshiro Mifune (obviously) as Yojimbo Bodyguard

Cheers Trev.

Re: Blind Swordsman films (Japan)

PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2005 2:39 pm
by trevor826
Shin Zatichi: Yabure! Tojin-ken (1971) - Zatoichi Meets the One Armed Swordsman

The parents of a Chinese boy are killed when he runs in front of a procession, another Chinese man, the One Armed Swordsman tries to prevent the killings but is chased off by the Samurai troops. The Samurai then massacre all the witnesses to the killings and blame the massacre on the One Armed Swordsman making him a fugitive.

Thus starts another Zatoichi adventure as he rights wrongs, rescues the distressed and generally causes mayhem.

Unlike Zatoichi meets Yojimbo, the One Armed Swordsman doesnt play off of Zatoichi, although they do fight in the end, both knowing that the other while not necessarily good is at least less corrupt than the gangs of thugs and officials.

The One Armed Swordsman had its own series in Hong Kong so this film was like a meeting of cult icons. In some ways the film is seen as an apology to China, in the film the trouble starts because of ridiculous Japanese laws, all the bad deeds are done by Japanese, the One Armed Swordsman is even betrayed by his best friend, a Japanese priest, they also had the One Armed Swordsman leaping round wire-fu style, able to jump around 20 feet into the air etc.

Overall, different although Im unsure as to whether its better than the average Zatoichi episode.

Guest star - Yu Wang as the One Armed Swordsman

Cheers Trev.

Re: Blind Swordsman films (Japan)

PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2005 2:39 pm
by trevor826
Shin Zatichi: Yabure! Tojin-ken (1971) - Zatoichi Meets the One Armed Swordsman

The parents of a Chinese boy are killed when he runs in front of a procession, another Chinese man, the One Armed Swordsman tries to prevent the killings but is chased off by the Samurai troops. The Samurai then massacre all the witnesses to the killings and blame the massacre on the One Armed Swordsman making him a fugitive.

Thus starts another Zatoichi adventure as he rights wrongs, rescues the distressed and generally causes mayhem.

Unlike Zatoichi meets Yojimbo, the One Armed Swordsman doesnt play off of Zatoichi, although they do fight in the end, both knowing that the other while not necessarily good is at least less corrupt than the gangs of thugs and officials.

The One Armed Swordsman had its own series in Hong Kong so this film was like a meeting of cult icons. In some ways the film is seen as an apology to China, in the film the trouble starts because of ridiculous Japanese laws, all the bad deeds are done by Japanese, the One Armed Swordsman is even betrayed by his best friend, a Japanese priest, they also had the One Armed Swordsman leaping round wire-fu style, able to jump around 20 feet into the air etc.

Overall, different although Im unsure as to whether its better than the average Zatoichi episode.

Guest star - Yu Wang as the One Armed Swordsman

Cheers Trev.

Re: Blind Swordsman films (Japan)

PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2005 7:35 pm
by Sara
Trev, what a treat for us that you are reviewing the Blind Swordsman's films.

As I said earlier, I taped the Blind Swordsman and the Chess
Expert, but have not yet seen it. I only want to see the best ones so I will rely on you to tell me.

I do want to see Kitano's Zatoichi. But you suggested seeing some of the other ones first. If you can find it, please let me know about the Chess Expert one. Anything about chess intrigues me. But if it is not one of the best, I will not waste my time on it.

It is amazing to me how you see all these films and review them so thoroughly.

Sara

Re: Blind Swordsman films (Japan)

PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2005 7:35 pm
by Sara
Trev, what a treat for us that you are reviewing the Blind Swordsman's films.

As I said earlier, I taped the Blind Swordsman and the Chess
Expert, but have not yet seen it. I only want to see the best ones so I will rely on you to tell me.

I do want to see Kitano's Zatoichi. But you suggested seeing some of the other ones first. If you can find it, please let me know about the Chess Expert one. Anything about chess intrigues me. But if it is not one of the best, I will not waste my time on it.

It is amazing to me how you see all these films and review them so thoroughly.

Sara