Friday, June 13, 2014

Samurai II: Duel at Ichijoji Temple

Samurai II: Duel at Ichijoji Temple is the 2nd film in the Samurai trilogy directed by Hiroshi Inagaki. Toshiro Mifune stars as the titular samurai warrior. The story is loosely based on the historical figure Miyamoto Musashi. I'm enjoying these. They are dramatic, have nice touches of humor, and are action-filled.


DVD Talk says,
These three features, directed by Hiroshi Inagaki and starring Toshiro Mifune, were back in the 1980s widely available for rent on VHS from public libraries and even most video rental stores, this at a time when few stores offered more than a tiny handful of foreign language titles. The trilogy was popular on laserdisc and among the most widely available Criterion titles in that format, and it was also one of Criterion's first DVD releases, debuting in July 1998.
Slant Magazine has a lengthy plot description with numerous screen shots and says,
With startling efficiency, and with a commanding and convincing performance by ToshirĂ´ Mifune, Inagaki manages to express the very pith and spirit of Musashi's fighting philosophy as well as portray the considerable advancement of his character through his episode with the Yoshioka school.
Weird Wild Realm calls the opening "excellently staged, thrillingly timed & gorgeously photographed" and has a plot description and screen shots, comparing this work with other adaptations of the story. Rotten Tomatoes doesn't have critic reviews, but the audience rating is 86%.

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