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Sword of Doom (DVD, 2005, Special Edition)

Kihachi Okamoto, Tatsuya Nakadai | Rating: Not Rated
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The Sword of Doom (The Criterion Collection), New DVD, Tatsuya Nakadai, Michiyo
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The Sword of Doom (The Criterion Collection), New DVD, Tatsuya Nakadai, Michiyo
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Movie synopsis
A celebrated samurai film about the life and death of a brilliant samurai/assassin who uses his skill to fulfill impulses of lust and revenge.

Product Details
  • Edition: Special Edition
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Film Country: Japan
  • UPC: 037429203026

Additional Details
Genre:Foreign Films
Format:DVD
Display Format:Special Edition

Director:Kihachi Okamoto
Leading Role:Tatsuya Nakadai
eBay Product ID: EPID44504979
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Customer Reviews

Average review score based on 5 user reviews

Rating distributions

Created: 02/14/11

IT'S GOOD, BUT....NOT SO FAST......

As a martial arts film connoisseur, I was quite anxious to buy this film based on the reviews I have read here. My introduction into Asian cinema came in the 1970's, as it was with most black kids, Bruce Lee and Hong Kong Chop Sockeys were my entrée into this wonderful world of film making. Over the past few years, I have begun to dig deeper into the vast well of Japanese Samurai cinema. In the years between the 70's and now, Chinese cinema has actually made it's way closer to Japanese traditional cinema, so lines have been blurred, and what was old is new once again.
Having said that, I have to say I was a bit let down by this film. The cinematography, acting and story lines were first rate. No argument there. However, this played More like a soap opera than it did a true revenge flick. Not to say there's anything wrong with it, but I have to laugh at the reviewers who are warning of the "bloody fight scenes". In my humble opinion, even the inferior fight scenes of Jimmy Wang Yu in films like "One Armed Swordsman" are bloodier and more action packed than the scenes depicted here. Again, it's probably just a matter of taste, but yes, i prefer the high pitched scenarios of "Lone Wolf and Cub", and films of that ilk. However, "Seven Samurai" is also a favorite of mine, which begs the question: is the difference in opinion on this film based on character development? The lead "hero" of this film is so unlikeable, I just found it hard to follow his journey with any interest or feeling. He's also not that skilled a swordsman, or perhaps just "so good" we can't see his expertise, and musts settle for the results-men dying by unseen sword strokes, and his explanation of things like the "Tsuki thrust". Whoopee! Uh, sorry bro. Not buying it. Show me some fighting skills.

At one point in the film, he actually annoys me to the point I have to turn off the DVD and resume it days later.
Perhaps, in retrospect, that is where the film succeeds. An anti-hero who disgusts us so much, the effect becomes very very visceral.
Oh well, I'll continue to watch and re watch this to see if my initial impressions hold true over time. At this point in time, I laud the film for it's production values, But the amazing fight scenes some of these reviewers howl about, simply do not exist. For those wanting action, blood and guts and so forth, I cannot recommend this film.

Lightweight, unimaginative action sequences, heavy on the psychology. To each his own.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful. Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Created: 01/06/07

Great movie (goofy English title)

This 1966 film by director Okamoto Kihachi is a classic of Japanese cinema. Based on one of the longest serialized novels ever and conceived originally as the first in a trilogy of films (which explains the ending of the film), it follows the career of Ryunosuke, a sociopathic samurai who happens to be an unbeatable swordsman with a unique technique. The great actor Nakadai Tatsuya's (Ran, Seppuku) portrayal of the lead character is mesmerizing, and the direction of the film is very striking visually.

Also in the film, although in a briefer role, is Mifune Toshiro, the better known of the two actors in the West (Yojimbo, Seven Samurai, and many others). Although his appearances are brief, he fills the screen while he's on.

There are two scenes that are absolutely unforgettable. A battle at night during a snowstorm and the final ten-minute scene. Some people may find parts of the movie slow (as it hails from a time when character development and dialogue had at least equal billing with action), but for action junkies, these two scenes will be ample compensation for other parts.

In my opinion, one of the film's great strengths is the treatment of the central character. In Hollywood, every bad guy has some redeeming feature (Darth Vader comes through in the end...Hannibal Lecter makes us laugh). If they don't, they get killed. Ryunosuke as no redeeming qualities. Nada. Zip.

Highly recommended for any serious student of film, samurai movies, or slow-motion train wrecks.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful. Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Created: 05/11/09

Title perfectly matches the mayhem in this movie!!!

The absolut masterpiece of samurai/swordfight movies!!!This is probably nakadai's best performance,you can almost witness the madness through the look in his eyes!Also a great performance by toshiro mifune as master swordsman shimada.The end is let for the viewer to decide. Wich would be the outcome of the final scene;Is ryonosuke finaly killed or he prevails;We will never be sure because it was planned to become the first part of a trilogy that unfortunately never completed.Allthough it is a movie filmed in 1965 the atmosphere is incredible!The quality of picture and sound is great in this edition of the film.If you like this type of movies it is definetly the one to own!(and i've seen a LOT of them).

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Created: 11/06/09

ShenaniganS!!!

Let me tell you a story. A man wanted to contribute to a movie night. This man wanted to watch something badass. Many options were before this man, but one stood out the most. Sword of Doom, a movie full of story, depth, and blood. This movie night was gonna be awesome-- but this man's dreams were doomed. Surely, paying 20 plus dollars on shipping would land the DVD at his doorsteps and soon into his DVD player. DENIED! SHAMED! This provider provided no movie... now it is two weeks later. No movie still. NO communication. People of the world I say one word... "shenanigans."

0 of 4 people found this review helpful. Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Created: 10/11/06

Sword of Doom (2005, DVD)

Black and white version..I bought this movie...and I was surprised...good story.
alot of slashing going on..but done tastefully. A good Saturday afternoon movie.
I say it worth a collection. No big budget here!..But! when they swing a sword and about honour and all YEP! it's there! I say buy it! I did! No regrets.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful. Was this review helpful? Yes | No

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