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'Niceguy' Eddie

Political Talk Show Host and Internet Radio Personality. My show, In My Humble Opinion, aired on RainbowRadio from 2015-2017.

Feel free to contact me at niceguy9418@usa.com. You can also friend me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, and Tumblr, and support my Patreon. Also, if you don't mind the stench, you can find my unofficial "fan club" over HERE. ;)

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Saturday, August 20, 2011

Worst. Movie. Ever.

OK, not really but it was pretty bad.

I love a good Samurai movie. Kurosawa's Seven Samurai, Hidden Fortress, Rashomon, Yojimbo, Sanjuro, Throne of Blood and Kobayashi's Samurai Rebellion and Hara Kiri are all among my favorite movies of all time. (I wasn't as high on Kwaidan, but it's still really good.) And I hold Toshiro Mifune, Takashi Shimura and Tatsuya Nakadai in as high esteem as I do any western actors. The classic samurai flics are truly great works of art, and it's a shame that so many Westerners miss out on them.

So when I read about Kihachi Okamoto's Sword of Doom, staring both Mifune and Nakadai, on Netflix, there was no way I wasn't going to check it out.

*ugh*

Now... don't get me wrong: There's a lot of good stuff going on for the first 95% of the movie. The script is fine, the character's are interesting, the acting's top notch and the cinematography is great. It's the final scene and the "ending" (notice the quotes?) that turned it all into a collosal waste of time.

The plot (very, very short version): Nakadai plays a sociopathic samurai who's killed every man he's ever fought. He kills a rival in what supposed to be merely a match, but which turned into a duel. He then takes the man's wife, first in a rape scene which pans to the side and uses the most balant (bordering on the absurdly obnoxious) symbolism for sex (forced or otherwise) that I've ever seen, and then as his own wife. Fast forward, he goes on to do a lot of bad stuff (includeing eventually killing this same woman, and abandoning their child) and we are treated to scenes of his old rival's younger brother training under an Iaido Sensei, played by Mifune. (And it's implied, more than once, that we'll be treated to a climactic showdown between the two.)

But instead, the evil Samurai's gang checks into a hotel, has a bit of a party after which Nakadai's character goes crazy and starts killing them. When's he's about 3/4 of the way done (I lost count, the scene drags on for liek seems like forever, but he kills like 30-some guys) there are a few more left, he's mostly dead (cut several times, bleeding, staggering) and he looks into the camera, looking all angry and crazy... AND THEN IT ENDS!

What the fuck?!

Does he kill them? Do they finally take him down? WHO FUCKING KNOWS?!

But more to the point, what the fuck was with the training montage scenes with rival's brother and Mifune? There is absolutely no reason to even HAVE them, OR Mifune's charecter AT ALL, if instead of a showdown, he's just going to go crazy and kill HIS OWN MEN, and then on top of that the movie ends before he even finishes the job, or gets killed himself!!!

Think about Rocky IV, for a moment... terrible movie, I know, but bear with me. How much worse would it have been if, just before the fight between Balboa and Drago, the Russian boxer goes crazy in his training camp, kills his trainers, kills half of the cops and military folks that come in to get him, and just as some more come in, and he's straining to escape his restraints... THE MOVIE JUST ENDS?!

(Now that I think about it, that might have actually made Rocky IV a BETTER movie! LMAO! But you would still be left wondering what was up with all the training montages if the two were never going to fight!)

So Sword of Doom SUCKS.

Watch ANYTHING by Kurosawa or Kobayashi before seeing this piece of crap.



(cue ClassicLiberal to come in and tell me why I'm wrong. LOL)

7 comments:

  1. Yes, ROCKY IV would have been improved by such an ending. No, you aren't wrong about the end of SWORD OF DOOM. The novel on which it's based is the 2nd or 3rd longest novel ever published in Japan, and this was intended as the first in a series of movies that would cover the entire storyline, so it just sort of stops where the others would have taken up. The follow-ups were never made, though.

    Ever watch any of the Zatoichi movies? They're a blast. They're all self-contained and standalone, but I recommend watching them in order.

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  2. Well shoot, look at what good just a smidge more research would have done for me! LOL. I don't suppose I would have been quite so hard on it if I I'd known that... though it still doesn't make up for the movie AS PRESENTED.

    And no, I've not seen the Zatoichi movies, but I'll defintely check them out. Thanks!

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  3. Here's a thought, Eddie. Take the swordplay out of the equation (impossible, but indulge me), and the ethical dilemma faced by Mifune in SAMURAI REBELLION is much like that confronting Thomas More in A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS (possibly my all-time #1.)

    It may be tim for you to graduate to Kobayashi's (and Nakadai's) greatest work, the three-part, THE HUMAN CONDITION. Be warned: keep a box of tissues handy; not for the sentimentality, there is none. For the heartbreak.

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  4. Oh, I think you're absolutely right, at least in terms of the perrells being between feudal Japan and feudal Europe go. But not doubt - there's definitely a parralel there. Moore's dilemma was one of religious conviction, where as Sasahara's was more about family and his own personal principles, but yeah - VERY similar.

    I definietly will eventually get to The Human Condition, but I'll be honest with you: It will be a while. (And I STILL haven't eve seen Ikiru yet!)

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  5. Out of curiosity, what did you think of the Tom Cruise movie The Last Samurai? As a side note, the story reminds me a bit of Avatar.

    Also, I actually enjoyed Rocky IV but I would have loved to see Drago kill everyone!

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  6. LOL. Yeah... I was trying to think of an absurd parallel in a movie that everyone would be familiar with and I ended up making [what most people consider a bad] movie [that BOTH you AND I enjoyed none the less!] BETTER instead of simply more absurd. LOL.

    I really enjoyed the Last Samurai. I'm not a Tom Crusie fan, but I think he did a fine job - one of his better performances - and the overall presentation was top notch. Plus I was moved by the tragically poigniant air of it, as the old ways inevitably fell to the new, symbolized by the Romantic Courage of the Sword giving way to the Cowardly Terror of the Gun.

    I won't commit heresy by comparing it to anything by Kurosawa or Kobayashi, but I found it very powerful and very moving.

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  7. Work your way up with IKIRU. As motivation to move on it, keep in mind that it's a tour-de-force characterization by Takashi Shimura, (the leader of the Seven Samurai.)

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