The original music from famed composer Philip Glass (The Illusionist) isn’t so much of the period, but it does capture the emotional significance of the events at play: light, airy, and playful in the comedic moments and somber when the narrative is more serious. Available on VOD and digital May 12th, 2020. In that short in-story time between the start of the film and the race, numerous motivations and conflicting interests are set-up, including the aforementioned spy, Princess Yuki’s rebellion against her father’s wishes, several runners with desire to win the race, and even a newly retired guardsman who joins the marathon seemingly to prove he wasn’t ready to quit protecting the Lord. With the approaching threat of foreigners, the Annaka lord's Katsuaki Itakura decided to train samurais by holding an excursion running through ten Gosato (about 58 km) along the mountain road. After the Lord challenges his lazy samurais to a punishing marathon to toughen them up, the ninja finds his loyalties put to the test. Mirai Moriyama as Heikuro Tsujimura (Center) and Shôta Sometani as Hironoshin Uesugi (Right) in SAMURAI MARATHON. Decent picture quality and lush detailed scenery. Takeru Satoh as Jinnai Karasawa in SAMURAI MARATHON. Reviewed in the United States on August 5, 2020. Director: Akira Kurosawa | Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Tatsuya Nakadai, Keiju Kobayashi, Yûnosuke Itô. No other characters are given this treatment, though there is plenty of jumping around between characters to try to establish them all before the marathon begins. Nevertheless, it manages to combine long-distance running with action and twists in an enjoyable way. Strange sort of one off story about a clan forcing its samurai to run 32 miles to toughen them up against the backdrop of Commodore Perry's landing in Japan. These are new recordings of the music performed by the The … Described as “a lively action flick with a samurai twist,” latest Well Go USA release Samurai Marathon meets that description with a unique vigor. View Elmntsofmadness’s profile on Twitter, View Elmntsofmadness’s profile on Instagram, View Elmntsofmadness’s profile on YouTube. It provides the right stage for these characters. The action sequences staged by sword fight coordinator Hiroshi Kuze (The Last Princess) and stunt coordinator Kai Nakayama (Kingdom) are smartly designed to fit within the confines of the period. They were the well-paid retainers of the daimyo (the great feudal landholders). Having not read the original novel, it’s unclear if the five stories it covers are individual tales that eventually converge or if it includes a similar set up, but it doesn’t quite work in a 104-minute film that needs to rush to get to the race while still creating satisfying introductions. The new government created a conscripted army in 1873. Samurai Marathon opens the New York Asian Film Festival 2019 on June 28. So while the film itself is the “lively action flick with a samurai twist” experience as promised, it doesn’t evoke the kind of munificence it wants to bestow upon the proceedings. The marathon is erroneously interpreted by the Shogunate and we have some drama at the end. It’s a Japanese jidaigeki period-piece from British director Bernard Rose (Candyman, Immortal Beloved) and British producer Jeremy Thomas (The Last Emperor, Thirteen Assassins), with composer Philip Glass and costume designer Emi Wada adding to the illustrious talent behind the camera. Fast & Free shipping on many items! This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. In the end, “Samurai Marathon” is an enjoyable period piece uniting various storylines into one tale about betrayal and loyalty. Some of the officers were drawn from the ranks of former samurai, but more of the warriors found work as police officers. Only one person, a man who knew that a crisis is approaching, in order to stop the plan, begins to run. In 1855, a daimyo sends his men on a grueling marathon to discover if they're tough enough to face the newly arrived Americans. Given the isolation of Japan, it makes sense that they wouldn’t know the language and the exchange highlights American arrogance as Perry presumes Ioki understands English. In the late feudal era of Japan, a young ninja is operating undercover in the court of an ageing Lord. “In the end, Samurai Marathon is an enjoyable period piece uniting various storylines into one tale about betrayal and loyalty. Misunderstanding his intent, the Shogun dispatches assassins. It makes the shifts in tone easier to bear because sometimes life is like that: a drama one moment, a comedy the next. Get great deals on Samurai Action Adventure DVDs & Blu-ray Discs. It takes a while to get going, while the ending is tied up a bit too cleanly and easily. When the Lord challenges his lazy samurais to a punishing marathon, the ninja's loyalties are put to the test. approaching, in order to stop the plan, begins to run. From the team behind 13 Assassins this sword slasher is inspired by a real-life race! There is the odd bit of editing to contend with (like an out of place slow-motion sequence), but the film itself hits its stride once its things begin to happen. One aspect of tone that Samurai Marathon nails is in setting the period, but not maintaining any of the airs of the era. You want to watch them all in one seating but it's hard tracking down each episode? Samurai Marathon has some strange epilogue problems; all of a sudden the movie’s about marathons, when it turns out the marathon isn’t a particularly big deal in the story. After the lord challenges his lazy samurais to a punishing marathon to toughen them up, the ninja finds his loyalties put to the test. Facing impossible odds, this unusual band of characters is running a race to win or die. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. You haven't watched [Ending again] yet? There are later moments of levity, typically within the storyline of Mataemon Kurita (Naoto Takenaka), the aforementioned retiree who doesn’t want to stay retired, and a few which occur naturally between characters. Watch “The Photograph” develop anytime you like on home video. Categories: Home Release, Home Video, Recommendation, Reviews, streaming, Tags: Akihero Dobashi, Bernard Rose, Danny Huston, Etsushi Toyokawa, foreign film, Hiroki Hasegawa, Hiroshi Kuze, Hiroshi Saitô, home release, home video, Japanese, Kai Nakayama, Kikumi Yamagishi, Mirai Moriyama, Munetaka Aoki, Nana Komatsu, Naoto Takenaka, Philip Glass, Ryu Kohata, Samurai marason, Samurai Marathon, Samurai Marathon: 1855, Shota Sometani, streaming, Takeru Satoh, The Marathon Samurai: Five Tales of Japan’s First Marathon, VOD, Well Go USA, Yuta Koseki. Mistaking it for an act of rebellion, a spy sends word to the Shogun, who dispatches several of his men to quell the uprising. Home › Recommendation › Home Release › Genre mash-up “Samurai Marathon” gets off to a messy start but comes together mid-stride. In the late feudal era of Japan, a young ninja (Takeru Satoh) is operating undercover in the court of an aging Lord during a peaceful era of … This is NOT the Blu-ray version. If you can’t tell from the summary, Samurai Marathon is a touch convoluted. For the all the things that make Samurai Marathon difficult to engage with fully, once the race itself starts, the fun truly begins as the focus narrows from the entire town to just the racers. British director Bernard Rose brings 1850s Japanese history to exhilarating life with this lavish jidaigeki, in which a feudal lord prepares his samurai troops for the onslaught of modernization by having them compete in a marathon—which his independent-minded daughter secretly joins in on. The following review is the Digital HD version that was presented to me by Kino Lorber. Meanwhile, Princess Yuki (Nana Komatsu), plots her escape from her father’s castle so that she can journey to Edo and begin a journey to America. The strangeness (and hilarity) of it only compounds when it’s discovered that neither Perry nor Ioki have a proper interpreter. The trick is that in order to get the story moving along, the screenplay by Rose, Hiroshi Saitô, and Kikumi Yamagishi struggles with any kind of flow that doesn’t stop-start each time a new individual or motivation is introduced. Nana Komatsu as Princess Yuki in SAMURAI MARATHON. The Marathon Samurai: Five Tales of Japan’s First Marathon. Based on actual historical facts it also has elements of modernity, in this respect the film is a fine tribute to the Samurai Cinema genre. Samurai Marathon is a fatally confused film, unsure what it wants to say or do other than exist as an excuse for Western creatives to play with the toy box of feudal Japan. More often than not, it works to convey the fluidity of normal life: how it can be peaceful one moment and filled with unexpected violence in another. A Blu-ray release is planned for July. Samurai marathon (DVD) : In the late feudal era of Japan, a young ninja is operating undercover in the court of an aging lord during a peaceful era of Japan that is on the brink of change. With Takeru Satoh, Nana Komatsu, Mirai Moriyama, Shôta Sometani. Characters use colloquialisms, there are no grand speeches of Japanese tradition, and the people are just that, people. It certainly helps that the chemistry among the actors and their performances sell the sincerity of events, even when the comedy is higher than the drama. It’s central to the story, but as a narrative tool. Learn how your comment data is processed. Samurai Marathon, NYAFF’s opening night film, is a rather odd bird. Samurai Marathon is a wonderful narrative about a less known historical fact – the first Japanese marathon. Though, with a title like Samurai Marathon, you’re thinking how important the marathon’s going to be. The marathon is erroneously interpreted by the Shogunate and we have some drama at the end. Take flight anytime you want with “Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)” on home video. The central marathon is a metaphor for a nation in flux, and a microcosm of Japanese society at the time. This apparent clash of … However, this movement is mistaken for treason by the shogunate, who decide to assassinate Katsuaki staying in the castle during the absence of samurais. What begins feeling regal turns cartoonish as the American soldiers march along the beach singing “Yankee Doodle” as they head to the meeting location. In 1855, United States Naval officer Commodore Perry (Danny Huston) presents various objects of peace to Ioki Suketora (Etsushi Toyokawa), Chief Minister to the Shogun, in hopes that Japan would break its long-standing tradition of isolation from outsiders. Then there’re the mixed genres. Recommended. A crafty samurai helps a young man and his fellow clansmen save his uncle, who has been framed and imprisoned by a corrupt superintendent. ~~ Adapted from the novel by Akihiro Dobashi "Edo marathon Samurai". Just getting all the pieces together uses a myriad of introductions, some which flow together nicely and others which feel jammed in. Votes: 32,623 Samurai Marathon has some strange epilogue problems; all of a sudden the movie’s about marathons, when it turns out the marathon isn’t a particularly big deal in the story. There’s nothing wrong with comedy in action (see: any Jackie Chan film), or thriller mixed with action (see: any John Wick film), drama mixed with comedy (see: Jojo Rabbit/Parasite), or even thriller mixed with comedy mixed with drama tossed with a dash of action (see: Clue), but the balance has to work. For the all the things that make Samurai Marathon difficult to engage with fully, once the race itself starts, the fun truly begins as the focus narrows from the entire town to just the racers. With the approaching threat of foreigners, the Annaka lord's Katsuaki Itakura decided to train samurais by holding an excursion running through ten Gosato (about 58 km) along the mountain road. ~~ Adapted from the novel by Akihiro Dobashi "Edo marathon Samurai". Ryu Kohata as Hayabusa in SAMURAI MARATHON. The festival will take place from June 28th until July 14th, 2019. While this certainly isn’t the strongest adaptation of historical events, the strengths within Samurai Marathon leave audiences feeling satisfied. The movie is truly entertaining and offers a well-balanced mix of action and drama with a good dose of humor. It provides the right stage for these characters. Samurai (侍, / ˈ s æ m ʊ r aɪ /) were the hereditary military nobility and officer caste of medieval and early-modern Japan from the 12th century to their abolition in the 1870s. Directed by Bernard Rose (Candyman) and adapted from the novel “The Marathon Samurai: Five Tales of Japan’s First Marathon” from Akihero Dobashi, itself inspired by a real event, Samurai Marathon is a comedy, thriller, and action-filled period drama rolled into one. By Douglas Davidson on May 11, 2020 • ( 0 ). It’s a lot and the story doesn’t manage it well enough for it to feel like anything but a slog. Trailer for Samurai Marathon, starring Takeru Satoh, Nana Komatsu, Mirai Moriyama, Shôta Sometani and Munetaka Aoki.. Director Bernard Rose‘s Samurai Marathon is now available on DVD (region 1) and Bluray (region A) in the USA. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! 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