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Posts Tagged ‘judo’

Sanshiro Sugata

Tuesday, March 10th, 2015

tn_sanshirosugatarookiesAkira Kurosawa’s directorial debut SANSHIRO SUGATA, a.k.a. JUDO SAGA, is the judo saga of Sanshiro Sugata (Susumu Fujita, MOTHRA VS. GODZILLA). When we first meet Sanshiro he’s a stranger wandering into town, but he’s not a badass like our friend in YOJIMBO. He’s wide-eyed and naive and looking for a jujitsu teacher. Some locals point him to the nearby school of the instructor Momma (Yoshio Kosugi, 47 SAMURAI) where they’re sitting around complaining about their rival “Yano of the Shudokan” (Denjiro Okochi), who’s been calling jujitsu “judo” and getting alot of attention for it. I imagine they feel about this kind of like I felt when I first heard the word “blog,” or like we as a society feel when some ad tries to convince us that pizza can just be called “‘za.”

They’re worried this word-coiner Yano is gonna get the gig they want instructing the police force, so they’re gonna ambush him tonight to “teach him a lesson,” and they let the new kid Sanshiro come along to see how fucking awesome these guys are that he’s about to learn from.

They surprise Yano on the dock and one by one they run at him and get tossed into the water. This being a night scene in black and white it’s really striking and sometimes looks like he’s tossing them into a black void. Once he’s gotten Momma into an armlock and made him beg to be killed to hide his shame of being defeated by a scoundrel, Sanshiro is like “You know what, maybe this Yano would have a better curriculum” and next thing you know he’s pulling the guy’s rickshaw back to his school.
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Breaking Point

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

tn_breakingpointBREAKING POINT is an early Bob Clark picture in sort of a DEATH WISH vein. DEATH WISH came out 2 years earlier. Bo Svenson (who had already been in WALKING TALL 2, and is my favorite Buford Pusser) plays Michael McBain, a regular guy who’s walking home with his stepson late one night when he sees two gangsters beating a man to death in an alley. He’s an honorable, manly kinda guy so he fearlessly goes over to tell them to cool it. But he’s too late to save the guy.

And being that that’s who he is, of course, he’s willing to identify the two guys who did it to the police. Or at least that’s the plan, but everybody starts saying he’s crazy to get involved. His wife, his sister, his sister’s fiancee – all of them think he should just stay out of it. So he gets second thoughts, and pretends he doesn’t remember anything. (read the rest of this shit…)