GREEN CINE Already a member? login
 Your cart
Advanced Search
- Genres
+ Action
+ Adult
+ Adventure
+ Animation
+ Anime
+ Classics
+ Comedies
+ Comic Books
+ Crime
  Criterion Collection
+ Cult
+ Documentary
+ Drama
+ Erotica
+ Espionage
+ Fantasy
+ Film Noir
+ Foreign
+ Gay & Lesbian
  HD (High Def)
+ Horror
+ Independent
+ Kids
+ Martial Arts
+ Music
+ Musicals
+ Quest
+ Science Fiction
+ Silent
+ Sports
+ Suspense/Thriller
  Sword & Sandal
+ Television
+ War
+ Westerns

Kagemusha (Criterion Collection) back to product details

written by cammelltoe March 14, 2007 - 2:08 PM PDT
When i hear the term "period piece", in reference to movies, i immeadiately think of those stodgy, mostly british chamber dramas, usually based on a beloved victorian author that most people don't read anymore, usually notable for historical detail, unabashed theatricality, and a foregrounding of societal ritual. Stuff my mom watches, in other words. With "Kagemusha", the much loved--- atleast in the west--- Akira Kurosawa boldly proves that he too can make a picture just as stodgily as the brits or the yanks. Impressive in scope, amazing in set design, costuming and detail, with a typically charismatic performance from the great Tatsuya Nakadai, "kagemusha" is intermittingly fascinating as eye-candy and, allegedly, history lesson, but a flagrant non-starter as gripping drama. I'm tempted to chalk this inertness up to watching the film on dvd in my living room, as opposed to on film in a theatre with good sound, but that's probably just wishful thinking.
Worth the rental for a great opening scene, that seems to hint at Kurosawa's more rough and ready chambara roots (which turns out to be just a hint)and some other awesome scenes, like a surrealistic dream sequence where the double is pursued by the shadow warrior through an impressionistic dreamscape.

historical interest
written by Popnfresh January 17, 2006 - 10:28 AM PST
1 out of 1 members found this review helpful
A noted lack of an onscreen battle scene (and inclusion of offscreen annhilation) is appropriate in this case and does not feel lazy. This is because said battle does not involve direct clash of swords.

The movie works as a historical character study and it's fascinating to see how Kurosawa paints Ieyasu Tokugawa, Takada Shingen and others. Shingen's fate is speculative, but the theory profferred here is thoroughly and interestingly presented.

The pace is slow. If you're familiar with Japanese history during the warring states period, i promise you'll enjoy this film. If you're not familiar with the characters and the historical context, you'll probably be bored.

written by paxdavid August 15, 2005 - 6:26 PM PDT
3 out of 4 members found this review helpful
Any human trying to become someone else will lose their essential nature. Keep that thought in mind as you watch this slowly crafted interpretation of Japanese history. Three constant themes of Kurosawa epics; the demise of the Samurai with the event of guns, the loss of Japanese identity to the Christian influence, and war is a nightmare which destroys the best in us.
The 'shadow' or 'imposter' is all of us, when we imagine we live the life of any historical figure - be it Christ, Buddha, Mohammed... Learn from their teachings, Kurosawa says, but live your own karma. If not, you lose your life.

Know what you're getting into...
written by MrMiscreant July 6, 2005 - 11:48 AM PDT
5 out of 5 members found this review helpful
I think a lot of disapointment people have with Kagemusha stems from a preconcienved notion that this is a samurai sword-swinger in the vein of the Zatoichi movies or Seven Samurai. It aint. There's not a duel in it. And it's long, and somtimes slow. But I have a soft spot for Kagemusha. It's a story of characters. It's a study of how perception can alter reality. This is not the kind of movie to watch if you fell asleep during Doctor Zhivago. That being said, keep an open mind and give it a try, or don't bother and go rent Throne of Blood instead.

Just watch 'Ran' and skip this one
written by sdbiolaw June 21, 2005 - 3:30 PM PDT
3 out of 6 members found this review helpful
Rigid, pretentious, boring, presumptuous. The back story in a nutshell: First the director walks away from "Tora, Tora, Tora" and then petulantly attempts suicide. Having thus gained the attention he craved, George Lucas and Francis Coppola help him raise big bucks for the full color samurai epic that the director had rendered as a series of story boards as he stewed for years in isolation. Then, after all this, the director refuses to go to the trouble of directing any real fighting scenes while all the syncophants exclaim that "truly he has captured the horror of war taking place just offscreen". If your CRITERION for judging samurai epics is the quantity of beautiful color coordinated costumes and scenery, along with ponderous stilted dialog, you'll give this high marks. Alas, I could not.


(Average 7.62)
112 Votes
add to list New List
related lists

about greencine · donations · refer a friend · support · help · genres
contact us · press room · privacy policy · terms · sitemap · affiliates · advertise

Copyright © 2005 GreenCine LLC. All rights reserved.
© 2006 All Media Guide, LLC. Portions of content provided by All Movie Guide®, a trademark of All Media Guide, LLC.