Jack Garner's Plan B: Throne of Blood
06:14 PM, Jan 14, 2014
As an alternative, critic Jack Garner recommends:
THRONE OF BLOOD. You may be surprised to learn that two of the greatest adaptations of Shakespeare are vivid Japanese interpretations by the legendary filmmaker Akira Kurosawa. He turned King Lear into his greatest film, the devastating Ran in 1985. Nearly 30 years earlier, he adapted Macbeth for this fabulous samurai film. The late, great Toshiro Mifune, the greatest of all Asian actors and Kurosawa’s long-time muse, stars as a Macbeth-like warlord who is pushed onward and upward, along a bloody path, by his overly ambitious wife. Isuzu Yamada is stunning as the Lady Macbeth-like Lady Asaji. The finale is breathtaking as the medieval arrows fly. If you are serious about film, you must see Throne of Blood, Ran, Seven Samurai, and Ikiru from among Kurosawa’s gems. But don’t stop there.
Cast: Mifune, Yamada and Takashi Shimura.
Jack’s rating: 10.
New on DVD this week:
Lee Daniels’ The Butler, Riddick, Enough Said, 20 Feet from Stardom, Fruitvale Station, Thief, Short Term 12, Spectacular Now, Carrie, and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2.
Robocop, Captain Phillips, Blue Jasmine, It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, Machete Kills, Instructions Not Included, and NYPD Blue: Season Five.