Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Criterion Collection/Janus Films

So pretty much the BEST when it comes to everything movies. Oh, BTW, this is a recommendation, not a commercial. However, if Criterion approached me and asked me to do one... I would be like HELLS^YEAH!!!!

Anyway... Criterion is probably the best when it comes to films. They only put out the greatest anything. Just recently they put out "Paths of Glory", and yes, yes, I know, its been out for like 53 years or something, but Criterion DVD packs come with all those cool little special features and booklets that tell you all you ever wanted to know about the movie, the director or maybe even some cool tid bits about the actors in it. And yes the Criterion "Paths of Glory" is on my Christmas wish list, fingers crossed.

Janus films is--I think-- owned or operated by Criterion, and they help put out a lot of the older movies that Criterion puts out like the Ingmar Bergman movies, most of the Kurosawa films I watch, and much much more.

So all in all check out Criterion, even if you haven't seen any of the movies I've mentioned in my blog, you can at least watch the trailers on their website, oogle at the low prices and dream and hope that one day you own the Akira Kurosawa box set.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Kumonosu-jō (Throne of Blood)

Akira Kurosawa and Shakespeare are on the exact same wave length, and this re-imagining of one of Shakespeare's greatest and bloodiest plays, "Macbeth" goes to show it.

It is set at Spider Castle, which is situated at the edge of a hunted forest--Spider Forrest. Lord Tsuzuki (King Duncan) received the news of his troops victory over the rebels and of brave Washizu's (Macbeth; played by Toshiro Mifune) courage and instrumental help in the battle and decides to give him a promotion and make him lord of the North Castle who's former lord was forced to commit seppuku because of his disloyalty to Lord Tsuzuki. Mean wile, as Washizu and his close friend Miki (Banquo) are returning from the battle they are both for told of the future events by a evil spirit in the forest (standing in for the Weird Sisters): Washizu is to become lord of the recently fallen North Castle and later be lord of his master's land while Miki's son is to later be lord of his masters land. When Washizu and Miki arrive back at Spider Castle they find, to their surprise, that part of the fortune for told to them came true. Washizu then tells his wife of the fortune and their acquirement of the North Castle and the story unfolds.

One of the main differences between this movie and "Macbeth" is that Washizu is arguably less evil then the famed Thane, however his wife, is arguably even more evil then Lady Macbeth is. Instead of Macbeth hiring three murders to kill Banquo, Washizu's wife--unbeknownst to Washizu--has a gaurd carry out the deed.

I must admit that Toshiro Mifune is one of my favorite actors, and he only cements his greatnesss to me in this film. Really does play Washizu to a tee, and sometimes I am even convinced that Mifune himself is a madman.

I strongly recommend this play to anybody. You don't have to know the "Macbeth", Shakespeare, Kurosawa, or Mifune to really understand the film. It simply is an awsome work of art. I'd give it a 9.5 out of 10.