Okay fine, this movie topped Ikiru!
So yeah, I don't think it's any mystery Seven Samurai is a great film, made in the golden age of Japanese cinema with Kurosawa on top form throughout. It's funny I've seen this movie before, or rather should I say I have seen this story before. Concerning a group of villagers that have been raided by bandits on a regular basis, a group of farmers set out to hire samurai in order to protect their town and kill the bandits. Not only was this made into The Magnificent Seven, a trend in western films that happened several times with Kurosawa films essentially being remade, with Yojimbo and A Fistful Of Dollars, this movie and The Magnificent Seven, and obviously The Hidden Fortress and Star Wars. But to the people out there who are my age and grew up watching Pixar movies in their early years, this plot may sound very familiar to A Bug's Life. You think I'm fooling around, but it's true! Go watch the movie, I'll wait......we back? Good, on with the review! Yet again here we are with a character driven film, and I have to admire the fact that all seven samurai are given a lot of character and have their own individuality, and though I am terrible with names each I can tell from the other. And I couldn't help but notice the characters of Kikuchiyo and Kyuzo seem oddly familiar to Mugen and Jin from Samurai Champloo so that was a great realization for me. I do firmly believe Kurosawa peaked with this movie, I mean all of his movies have his visual style and there are some really good shots through Stray Dog, Rashomon, and Ikiru but he perfected his editing and camera shots in this movie, and from what I've heard the shooting was strenuous and went over schedule and budget to the point where Toho almost went bankrupt but thankfully they are still around. So Japan got a double dose of greatness in 1954 with Seven Samurai and Gojira, cementing the company's status as THE major succesful movie studio in Japan to the point where you can see murals of both Kurosawa's films and Godzilla on either sides of the studio's entrance. Kurosawa put a lot of attention, and detail, and passion into this film and it does show. He knew exactly what shot he wanted, how to get it, and how to edit it all together. And while there were issues on set and during all stages of production, it became a succesful film and still renowned over 60 years later leading yet another point to the term "art through adversity". And we will continue the samurai trend tomorrow with a twist in Throne Of Blood.
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