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neumu
Monday, September 22, 2014 
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Cinematronic by Michael Snyder
Film
cinematronic
  Zatoichi cinematronic
  director

Takeshi Kitano

cast

Beat Takeshi, Tadanobu Asano, Yui Natsukawa, Michiyo Ookusu, Gadarukanaru Taka, Yuuko Daike, Daigoro Tachibana, Ittoku Kishibe, Saburo Ishikura, Akira Emoto

year

2003

rating rating cinematronic
  Capably steered by director/screenwriter/actor Takeshi Kitano, Japanese icon Zatoichi — the blind samurai/masseur/gambler — gets a feature-film reintroduction that's wild, wooly and spellbinding. "The Blind Swordsman: Zatoichi," as it's known in its U.S. release, is a rocking revival of the heroic character whose exploits fueled scads of feature films and a TV series since the early 1960s. From '62 until '89, the late Shintaro Katsu played Zatoichi. Now, Kitano, under his acting moniker Beat Takeshi, takes over the part and makes it his own. Although Kitano's sterling reputation was predicated on a series of hard-boiled gangster movies such as "Sonatine" and "Brother," his aptitude for embodying offhand violence tempered by honor translates well to the period trappings of a samurai epic. He's also a very musical director. Scenes in his "Zatoichi" are cleverly choreographed to a percussive score, and an outrageous, infectious production number serves as a coda. As ever, the nomadic Zatoichi is affable and humble, unless you cross him. Lack of sight doesn't hamper his expert swordsmanship. And invariably, someone tries to take advantage of his handicap and suffers for it. Visiting a town controlled by a mysterious boss and his mercenary thugs, Zatoichi meets two geishas who are in the area to avenge the murder of their parents. Needless to say, blood spurts when Zatoichi enters the fray.  
cinematronic
cinematronic


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