ZATOICHI (2003 JAPAN) D/W: TAKESHI KITANO P: MASAYUKI MORI/TSUNEHISE SAITO
Kitano wisely decided to not even attempt to to better Shintaro Katsu and made the legendary blind masseur and swordfighter his own, a more mischevious and quiet anti-hero (with bleach blond hair). Tadanobu Asano co-stars in a role that makes this a semi-remake of ZATOICHI MEETS YOJIMBO. Being such a fan of the original series i found myself genuinely impressed at the deliberately paced, culmiative effect that this highly entertaining semi-musical uses to take the concept into highly original territory. Purists may not appreciate the unlikely but fitting soundtrack, the tap dancing big production number or the wild surprise ending. But i for one applaud Kitano for having the savvy and the talent to pull it off. As usual he also edited, and as usual his sense of timing is spot-on. With Yui Natsukawa, Akira Emoto, Gadukanaru Taka, Yuuko Daike, Ittoku Kishibe, Kanji Tsuda and The Stripes dancers. A few years later came ZATOICHI: THE LAST.

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