11/18/2017  
Take Me To The River on Blu-ray & DVD Feb 5Phantom From 10,000 Leagues (1956) on Blu-ray & DVD Jan 5Condemned on DVD & Blu-ray Jan 5Broad City: Season 2 on DVD Jan 5McHale's Navy: The Complete Series on DVD No 17Return to Sender on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 29The Phantom of the Opera with Lon Chaney Blu-ray & DVD Oct 13

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Jennifer Esposito Is Your Newest NCIS Agent in Season 1...
Critics Are Split on Ghostbusters Reboot ...
'Respect is key': The Game, Snoop Dogg lead march to LA...
Kristen Stewart's Sheer Dress At 'Equals' Premiere -- S...
"A Slow Slipping Away"-- Kris Kristofferson's Long-Undi...
Fox News' Roger Ailes Sued for Sexual Harassment by Ous...
Garrison Keillor Retires from 'Prairie Home Companion' ...
Jennifer Aniston is Pregnant: Star Steps Out in Loose D...
Hiddleswift Is One Big Song Promotion -- A Theory...
Elvis Presley's daughter Lisa Marie Presley files for ...





Microsoft Store

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif



Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

Home Vision Entertainment presents
Zatoichi 15: Zatoichi's Cane Sword (Zatoichi tekka tabi) (1967)

"This fella and I've been traveling together for a long time now. But I had no idea it was on its last legs."
- Zatoichi (Shitaro Katsu)

Review By: Matt Peterson  
Published: May 27, 2004

Stars: Shintaro Katsu, Shiho Fujimura, Yoshihiko Aoyama, Makoto Fujita, Kiyoko Suizenji, Eijiro Tono
Director: Kimiyoshi Yasuda

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (violence, some language)
Run Time: 01h:32m:43s
Release Date: May 18, 2004
UPC: 037429193327
Genre: foreign


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
A A-A-C C+

DVD Review

Zatoichi can gamble, and win. He can give a mean massage. Aside from his cane sword, he is crafty with his other weapons of necessity, most notably his four remaining senses and even his pipe, with which he can disarm a skilled knife wielder. He can even give a spirited duck dance for a room of powerful patrons, all the while drinking sake with the best of them. Likewise, this chapter in the life of the blind swordsman takes us on a journey of emotional highs and lows, and side-splitting comedy. This is what Zatoichi is all about.

This time around, our beloved Ichi (Shintaro Katsu) is greeted by a bad omen: thinking he is slashing at an attacker, he slices a crow. Indeed, all is not well in Zatoichi's realm. After reaching town via a traveling acting troupe, Ichi cleans house in a local gambling establishment, and fends off some angry yakuza. Later, he meets with a skilled blacksmith (the Kurosawa/Ozu vet, Eijiro Tono), whose master forged Ichi's legendary cane sword. He has bad news: the blade is cracked near the base, and with its next blow, it will snap, rendering it useless. Zatoichi is disconcerted, but takes this as a sign to get back on the straight and narrow, and take up massaging full time. He finds employment at a local inn to do just that, but Zatoichi's plans are quickly rendered moot.

The inn is run by Shizu, daughter of a deceased boss whose sole objective is to restore her father's power through her brother, who is reluctant to follow in his footsteps. Instead, he wants to lead a more scholarly life, and leave the world of crime and gambling behind. Shizu understands this, but her promise to her father stands. When the local inspector rents out the inn and causes mayhem, Ichi stands by, not wanting to get involved. The inspector realizes who Shizu is, and begins to make a violent power play of his own. When the blacksmith reveals his true connections to this situation, Ichi can no longer stand by. However, with only one blow left and dozens to kill, who will he strike, and how can he survive?

This is one of the best Zatoichi films, hands down. It contains everything there is to love about these films: spouts of bloodless action, memorable characters; Katsu's bravura, expressive nature; some great slapstick gags and breathtaking visuals. During most of the film, Ichi is trying to avoid conflict, making this one of the most tension-filled entries without having to resort to gratuitous violence. This time, Zatoichi's reputation precedes him, and the once fierce gangsters who openly looked down on the blind man are practically kissing his feet. Ichi knows how to use the gamblers' greed against them, for he, too, is a member of the underworld he openly cautions others against. He is noble and honorable, but has a clear sense of self-preservation that gives his character a certain realism (if that's possible in this over-the-top genre).

Kimiyoshi Yasuda's direction is sure, as is Senkichiro Takeda's expressive cinematography. This chapter was shot with great care, not resorting to the extreme zooms and cheesy camera moves that tend to frequent these films (not that they aren't fun!). Instead, composition and camera movement are precise and skilled, as is the lighting, culminating in the final sequence, which contrasts the amber glow of a tatami room to the silvery black of a nighttime snowstorm. A great ride.

Rating for Style: A
Rating for Substance: A-

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio2.35:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicyes


Image Transfer Review: Home Vision's transfer is another home run. The anamorphic 2.35:1 image is virtually free of grain and print defects, and shows good detail. Colors are again somewhat muted, as are blacks, which tend to look more gray. Still, this is beautiful work.

Image Transfer Grade: A-

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
MonoJapaneseno


Audio Transfer Review: The sound suffers. The monaural track contains clear dialogue and reproduces Ichiro Saito's great score nicely, but contains quite a bit of hiss, pops and crackles at higher volumes. This is not distracting by any means, but noticeable.

Audio Transfer Grade: C

 

Disc Extras

Static menu with music
Scene Access with 18 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
3 Other Trailer(s) featuring Zatoichi 13: Zatoichi's Vengeance, Zatoichi 17: Zatoichi Challenged, Zatoichi series trailer
Packaging: Amaray
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. Reprint of the film's original poster
  2. Liner notes by Michael Jeck
Extras Review: The disc contains theatrical trailers for the other Ichi films listed above, including a series trailer produced by Home Vision, hidden in the studio's logo on the trailer page. The keepcase contains two fine additions: a set of informative liner notes by Michael Jeck, and, my favorite bonus—one that is not listed on the keepcase: a reproduction of the film's original poster.

Extras Grade: C+

 

Final Comments

Certainly one of the finest, if not the most satisfying Zatoichi film of the series. This one has it all. 'Nuff said.

 


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search

DVD REVIEW ARCHIVE


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90

 



Microsoft Store

Keywords

television, jennifer esposito, blue bloods, ncis, mark harmon. duane henry, wilmer valderrama, michael weatherly, bull, movie, ghostbusters, comedy, chris helmsworth, melissa mcarthy, kristen wiig, celebrity, rap, game, shoop dogg, jayceon terrell taylor, alton sterling, kristen stewart, equals, jonathan simkhal, nicholas hoult, music, kris kristofferson, country music hall of fame, alzheimers, lyme disease, fox news, gretchen carlson, fox and friends, steve doocy, roger ailes, the real story with gretchen carlson, radio, garrison keillor, a prairie home companion, jennifer anniston, baby bump, justin theroux, taylor swift, tom hiddleston, calvin harris, lisa marie presley, michael lockwood, riley and benjamin keough, danny keough, michael jackson, nicolas cage, tom affleck, boston fan, bill simmons, hbo show, any given wednesday, tom brady, deflategate, hamilton, lin-manuel mianda, periscope, heart tweet machine, hamilton mixtape, cable, hbo, curb your enthusiasm, larry david, bernie sanders, saturday night live, maya and marty, christina grimmie, murdered, plaza live, before you exit, marcus grimmie, nashville, cmt, president brian phillips, the tonight show, jimmy fallon, president obama, the roots, hillary clinton, tim mcgraw, faith hill, maggie mcgraw, humble and kind, ellen degeneres show, titi pierce, coldwell banker robbins & free realty, hairspray live!, tracy turnblad, york theatre company, john waters, jennifer hudson, harvey fierstein, martin short, derek hough, j.k. rowling, harry potter and the cursed child, noma dumezweni, emma watson, judd apatow, paul freig, melissa mccarthy, romance, history channel, roots, remake, anika noni rose, t.i., malachi kirby, josh duhamel, transformers, fergie, black eyed peas, axl, double dutchess, abc, music city, grand ole opry, chip esten, lennon stella, the voice, alisan porterm, christina aguilera, ceelo green, ariana grande, sia, the little big town, 2016 billboard music awards, pink, just like fire, pamela neal, warrior princess, send my love (to your new lover), billboard music awards, adele, patrick daughters, bryan cranston, lbj, all the way, melissa leo, frank langella, todd weeks, hard sell, kristin chenoweth, wicked

On Facebook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too

Visit:

Zarabesque.com

Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store