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Customer Review

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Epic and Gripping Samurai Saga, 3 Sept. 2012
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This review is from: Criterion Collection: Samurai Trilogy [DVD] [1956] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
The Samurai Trilogy is without doubt Hiroshi Inagaki's "Magnum opus" it is epic, sprawling yet always remains gripping and riveting. These Three parts follow famous Japanese swordsman Musashi Miyamoto from wild young man to master swordsman and his various adventures and duels. The first part: Musashi Miyamoto follows him from his transformation from young wild man to refined master swordsman. The first film is the most gripping and brilliant starting with battle as Musashi finds himself on the losing side and attempts to travel back home with is friend encountering different dangers along the way. Part II: Duel at Ichijoji Temple follows his adventures as he gets involved in tournament with a master school and in a brilliant finale takes on lots of samurai. In Part III: Duel at Ganryu Island Musashi must help help a village under attack from bandits in a plot similar to Seven Samurai and fight in duel with famous swordsman Sasaki Kojirō. The gripping final showdown is a classic old style duel unlike later samurai films where they slash and cut each other their final showdown is a thought out and clever fight where each use the weather and skills to outsmart each other. Toshiro Mifune (alongside Tatsuya Nakadai as one the best actors in Samurai film) is brilliant as the wild ruffian who develops a maturity to wise swordsman and Kaoru Yachigusa as Otsu, the beautiful, patience and long suffering lover of Musashi. This really is a brilliant samurai series beautifully directed by Inagki boasting action and drama and deserves to be in any Japanese fan's collection. Criterion's new 2012 DVD release (pictured) is a massive improvement on their previous 2005 release (which was terrible VHS quality), the image quality here is vastly superior and brilliantly remastered boasting crystal clear imagery doing the film the justice it deserves.
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