Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Movie Review “Legend of the Eight Samurai”

Sonny Chiba as Dosetsu
Hiroyuki Sanada as Shinbei
Hiroko Yakushimaru as Princess Shizu

Short Story Summary: A princess and eight samurai must go and get vengeance on the ones that destroyed her clan.

Story: (9.5/10) I found the story to be an interesting fantasy/horror samurai film. The story was itself was easy to follow and entertaining to watch. I will say that the story was very basic and sometimes things were not explain very well, but nothing really hampered my enjoyment of the film.

Characters /Cast: (8/10) First of all, it has Sonny Chiba, so that puts this movie at a good start. The problem is that I though they really under used him in this film, which is a same. He is not in many scenes until the last thirty minutes or so, but in those last minutes he gives a fine performance. The real star of this film seemed to be Hiroyuki Sanada who plays a young Samurai/Ninja named Shinbei. I think he did a fine job and his character is one that I think you will be cheering for. Hiroko Yakushimaru,who plays the princess, was good and I never saw anything wrong with her overall performance. She did tend to over dramatize sometimes in my opinion and that could get irritating. The rest of the eight samurais are all pretty good and the actors do a decent job. Now the villains are the ones that I had kind of a problem with. First , there seemed to be a romance between the evil queen and her son that was more than a bit disturbing. Second, the queen and her son really overacting to the point that it was campy. I don’t mind villains that act crazy, but these two weren’t just crazy they were creepy (in a bad way) as well.

Action: (10/10) Very well-choreographed and stylish are the best way to describe the fights in this film. The action never really stopped the whole two and a half hours that this film runs, but there was always something new to keep things interesting. Not only do the heroes encounter enemy samurai. but they also fight giant snakes, shape-shifters, and even the undead. They’re also a wide variety of weapons used besides the katana and this also contributes to the entertainment of the action scenes.

Music: (10/10) The music in this film is some of the best I have heard in a film. Not because it was all that great of a selection, but because it was fun to listen to. I will explain. Throught most of the movie I heard the typical orchestra music you would expect to here in this kind of movie. Then all of a sudden they start playing really corny 80’s songs and I could not help but to bust out laughing. It was so out of place that it was hysterical to listen to.

Visuals: (8.5/10) The special effects in this film were actually really well done, considering the time it was made. A fantasy version of ancient Japan is an interesting place to set the film. The sets overall look descent with only a few that look poorly done and they’re a wide variety of areas that the characters go to.

Conclusion: While it is kind of a long, this is really great movie to watch. I don’t just recommend it I think you should go and watch it right now. Why are you still reading this? Go watch it, GO!

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