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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Poetic Violence for Connoiseurs
This is my number one film of all time. The poetry of dignified violence is expressed in the subtle and transforming landscape of the reality of old school gangster philosophy, prejudice and disregard for life. Forest Whittaker gives a storming performance and the discreet Wu Tang presence simply amplifies this films status as totally and utterly COOL. Very Buddhist in...
Published on 4 Feb 2009 by Ms. Ijahkjay Hart

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2 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as some would have you believe.
As a fan of Japanese Cinema I was expecting great things from this thematic cross-over. The soundtrack makes up for an otherwise uninspired tale. New location but nothing new to add sums it up. Bubblegum Zen is still Bubblegum.
Published on 15 Jan 2002 by a.s.clarke@ntlworld.com


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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Poetic Violence for Connoiseurs, 4 Feb 2009
This is my number one film of all time. The poetry of dignified violence is expressed in the subtle and transforming landscape of the reality of old school gangster philosophy, prejudice and disregard for life. Forest Whittaker gives a storming performance and the discreet Wu Tang presence simply amplifies this films status as totally and utterly COOL. Very Buddhist in vibe but don't let that put you off. With no sex scenes and only relevent swearing this film is everything all films should be. Well shot, well directed, equisitely acted throughout, (watch out for the ice cream man and the little girl) and creatively thought through. A must.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's a Fine Film, 22 April 2009
By 
LH Barklie "Film Buff" (Essex England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Ghost Dog - The Way Of The Samurai [DVD] [2000] (DVD)
I read through the 6 or 7 reviews that gave the film 1 star. All of which had the arrogance to consider themselves knownledgable of Samurai cinema and decided that this film was below them. Funny how all of them quoted Akira Kurosawa, though one of the greatest director of all time, he is also the most obvious and famous. You don't have to try hard to explore his works. If you are truly interested in Samurai cinema you would of looked further, maybe picked up Kill!, Sword of Doom, Shogun's Samurai, The Samurai Trilogy, Taboo, The 47 Ronin. It's quite obvious that this film is only very lightly based on Samurai Boshido and rather basis the Assassin Ghost Dog's lifestyle on their culture. I myself did not expect Seven Samurai or Sanjuro when i picked this up, and i think it quite sensible if you don't either.

People who come on here after seeing Tom Cruise's Last Samurai, Zatoitchi and 1 or 2 of Kurosawa works need to a) see more Kurosawa films, look into his early works and maybe try one of his films that aren't period - for instance, Scandal or Red Beard and b) Actually explore true Samurai cinema, researching both chambara and Jidaigeki films. A good start would be the Rebel Samurai trilogy and then explore deeper for films like Three Outlaw Samurai

Please don't be put off this film just because of the view people that consider themselves cultured and film savvy enough to express this films flaws based on trivial annoyances - who cares that homing pigeons dont fly from two points... who cares that bad guys take less bullets to die than the good guys... This film is an action fantasy and thus you must suspend your beliefs and grip of reality - just like you would with Die Hard etc
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars JIM JARMUSCH DOES IT AGAIN !!, 14 Jan 2005
By 
F. Sweet (Midwestern USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Ghost Dog - The Way Of The Samurai [DVD] [2000] (DVD)
If you didn't like Jim Jarmusch's NIGHT ON EARTH (Winona Ryder), STRANGER THAN PARADISE or DOWN BY LAW you'll definitely not like GHOST DOG. Like Tom Waitts' gravely voice that should have made him a failure rather than a succes as performer and song writer (often writing for Jarmusch's films) this movie is logical in a progression of Jarmusch's films.
Beginning with casting Forest Whitaker as the inner city Samurai, , who doesn't exactly sport a Bruce Lee physique, OBVIOUSLY this movie was never meant to be taken literally! In fact, Jarmusch may be the ONLY director who dares, and can pull off, a film that mixes hip-hop street culture with Mafioso wise guys, sprinkle it with quotes from The Book of the Samurai by Hagakure and not just "get away with it" but make it all work!
If you like Jim Jarmusch films then you'll love GHOST DOG. If you've never seen one of his flicks then go easy on yourself ... and take a peek at his 1991 film, NIGHT ON EARTH. If nothing else, you'll have a chance to see Winona Ryder in a wonderful acting role before she became, err, Winona Ryder. And let's not forget the other greats such as Gena Rowlands, Béatrice Dalle, Armin Mueller-Stahl, and that terrific MOUTH (and body) Rosie Perez who made NIGHT ON EARTH what it is. How can you resist?
In GHOST DOG, Whittaker is a gentle pigeon raising philosopher who is repected and feared in his 'hood. By night, he does "special" hits for the Mafia because as any good Samurai, he is loyal to one of the aging lieutenants who saved his life when Whittaker was a youth. The man he does contracts for is more like a character out of the ANALYZE THIS! than from the GODFATHER The wise guys in GHOST DOG are a bunch of ignorant bumblers (one of them played by Victor Argo, a great character actor) who can occasionally become very dangerous. Mixed in with this stew is a little black girl who Whittaker befiends because the two of them share a love of books.
Whittaker character's best friend is an ice cream vendor who doesn't speak a word of English, having just recently arrived from Ivory Coast in Africa. Some of the best dialogue is between these two who are so intuitively tuned to one another that although their words don't ever match up in their bilingual "conversations" they can exactly guess what the other one means.
Anyhow, this end-of-the-millennium film spiritually spans centuries while its post modern style was just born yesterday. See it!
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This has become an all time favourite., 25 Jun 2002
By 
Jason Parkes "We're all Frankies'" (Worcester, UK) - See all my reviews
(No. 1 Hall OF FAME REVIEWER)   
Not that Jim Jarmusch has made a bad film (though 'Night on Earth' & 'Year of the Horse' were so-so)- but this one doesn't sound great on paper: a hitman who lives by a Samurai code and whose best friend is a French ice-cream salesman (naturally he doesn't speak French)- and his conflict with his 'master'- a Mafia hitman and his crew. Oh, and he's a piegeon fancier also!
The film feels like a cross between Melville's 'Le Samurai', Boorman's 'Point Blank' & Kitano's 'Sonatine'. It continues the transcedental mediations on death found in 'Dead Man'- as with that film it has a great score- by Wu-Tang man, RZA (along with the Wu-related work on 'Black & White', it is clear that their best work since Ghostface Killah's 'Ironman' is in soundtracks (exception-'Nigga Please' by ODB)).
There are some great moments of humour- the racist mob guy who digs Flavour Flav (Public Enemy), the reprisal of Gary Farmer as a Native -American and his catchphrase "stupid f***ing white man" (big influence on Michael Moore's book?), the old man being mugged or the bullet relations between Ghost Dog & Louie. And the subtitled mis/understandings are the best this side of 'Annie Hall'. The ice cream salesman (Roger from ER) and the young girl show the charming fraternal side to Ghost Dog's world; while Henry Silva and Victor Argo are among the Mafioso- or Jarmusch's deconstruction of. A canny reference to 'Rashomon' is present throughout the film, it's also a little like 'Leon'- there's also a boat on a roof- which is reminsicent of the ship in the tree in Herzog's 'Aguire,Wrath of God'. The film is wonderfully shot by Robby Muller- the exposed film leaves magical traces and the cityscape is not disimilar to 'Blade Runner' (we also get cuts that remind me of Travis Bickle walking down the street in 'Taxi Driver'-a great use of dissolve). And great to hear the original 'Armigideon Time' on the soundtrack! A modern classic at a bargain price; this one will creep up on you til you realise it's an all time favourite!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A meaningfull film, 14 Mar 2007
By 
nicole rob "coley" (north east, england) - See all my reviews
This film in my eyes is well worth the rating of four stars. At no point in this film did i lose interest in the slightest, I was kept enthralled by the story line untill the very end. This film is one of those that I feel stands out and contains meaning, A quality that is not seen in alot of other movies and is what seperates it form the rest. It was not only the brilliant directing skills of Jim Jarmusch That made the film what is is but the hair raising acting of Forest Whitaker, This man truly brought his character to life and I believe contributed to making the film a success. I am looking foward to more of this standard and would definatly reccomend this film to a friend.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not a popcorn movie!, 14 Sep 2003
This review is from: Ghost Dog - The Way Of The Samurai [DVD] [2000] (DVD)
If you are an intelligent person and like movies that make you think - then you should buy it. I would not recommend this movie for people that only want action. In my opinion this is a movie to be enjoyed alone or at least in disturbance-free environment.
It gives a lot to think about. One of the most interesting movies I have ever seen.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hate It Or Love It., 11 Dec 2005
This review is from: Ghost Dog - The Way Of The Samurai [DVD] [2000] (DVD)
This film is one where you either love it or hate it.
It was recommended to me by a good friend, and was a bargain. The plot follows a modern-day samurai, but please do not be fooled like those who have given it a bad review. It is not a straight samurai flick.
It's a character centred film, and the main story of Ghost Dog exacting revenge on a Mafia family is really secondary to the life of Ghost Dog as we see his relationship between himself and the French ice cream vendor. Niether can understand each other literally, but each seem to understand what the other is saying.
The soundtrack is good, and the film thought-provoking.
If you're looking for straight-edge action, get Leon instead.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Two ancient tribes, 1 Nov 2010
This film is fantastic, absolutely one of my favourites. The whole idea of a ghetto hit-man living by the code of ther samurai is so silly that it is inspired. Watch for the multi-lingual boat discovery: priceless! I love this film.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Simply a good film, 27 Mar 2009
By 
Don Dollock (Hants. England) - See all my reviews
Ghost Dog is a simple but effective piece of film making. It follows 'Ghost Dog' (Forest Whitaker), a ninja style assassin through his ordeal with the mafia after a hit gone wrong. This film is not action packed but is filled with subtle humour and entertaining characters. Definately glad I bought this on DVD.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jim Jarmusch at his best, 28 Aug 2003
This review is from: Ghost Dog - The Way Of The Samurai [DVD] [2000] (DVD)
Ghost Dog serves up an engrossing blend of gangsters, hitmen, eastern mysticism and hip hop - it perhaps borrows from Luc Besson's earlier "Leon", but director Jim Jarmush ensures that his film is no mere derivative through his unique slant on modern American life.
The eponymous Ghost Dog is played by the versatile Forest Whitaker - his performance as the contemplative assassin is stunning! Jarmusch has populated the film with a trademark host of characters who inhabit the fringes of society.
I won't give too much away about the plot, save to say that it heavily revolves around the concepts of honour and betrayal - I can think of few better ways of spending a fiver...
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