I finally watched The Seven Samurai by Akira Kurosawa. This is one of those "must see" films for peeps in the industry. It's right up there with Citizen Kane as one of the "best films ever made."
Well, I concur. The movie is so good ... it's totally Airwolf. Whatever the hell that means (eh ... Airwolf Gotta Eat!)
The movie clocks in at a little over three hours long, yet maintains a subtle intensity that makes you ignore the clock, enthralled as you are in the story. The acting (for a Japanese film made in the 1950s) is almost inconceivably good.
Takashi Shimura plays the leader of the Seven, and turns in a performance as real and nuanced as anything I've seen in recent years. If you think Ken Watanabe is ... well, Airwolf ... you'll absoluetly love Shimura.
Japan's answer to Jack Nicholson is Toshiro Mifune, who plays the rough-around-the-edges and slightly psychotic Kikuchiyo. He was my personal favorite of the Seven. I don't want to spoil any plot, but there are very good reasons for his behavior, and when we finally find out those reasons, you can cut the pathos with a katana.
Great flick, and well worth watching. Look, I know from experience how it is. You hear that "such-and-such" is a good movie, and you watch it and find yourself aghast at the cinematic vomit parading before your eyes. "Why the hell is Joey Tribbiani flirting with the youngest girl from 'Party of Five'? She's like, twelve! And what the hell's up with that stupid looking CG monkey?" We've all been there. Well, this is not one of "those" movies.