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Matthew Brady's Movie Reviews (2238)

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Seven Samurai, The ( Shichinin no samurai ) 
Seven Samurai - Movie Review
4/4 stars

Let me ask you a quick question: When you're watching a movie, what's the first thing you notice or look for? Acting? Lighting? Color? Shots? Shapes? All of these are just naming a few great elements of what makes a movie so special, as there's plenty more out there that I probably left out, but those are mostly the key ones that some film makers choice when making a movie. But when I watch a movie, the first thing I look for is hidden quality, storytelling by the characters movements, acting, lighting, and the use of silence to add emotion to a scene. And yes, this movie absolutely has all of those things I love in movies and much more. I think I died and went to movie heaven.

Sometimes when I talk about a beloved movie that many film makers and critics out there consider a "masterpiece", I think it's very important for me to talk about the actual film making and what makes it so great, as this gives a better thought of what I see when I watched the movie. I mean, it's much better than saying what you like or didn't about a film without talking about the film making itself. Oh and this also my first Akira Kurosawa movie I've watched and reviewed, so there's that. I've heard nothing but amazing things about Kurosawa movies and how every famous director has put him up there as the best director that has ever lived, and I totally understand why, because Akira Kurosawa is one of the most stylish, influential, and one of the most tremendous film maker that has ever lived. From start till finish, I was completely in awed from what I was watching and it's still fresh in my mind as I'm writing this.

For Kurosawa's film career, he has made over 30 films and a few TV movies, but "Seven Samurai" seems to be the one movie that everyone knows about (even if there haven't seen it). And I understand why, as everything with the camera work, editing transitions, and the use of mother nature as an emotional trigger for the audience, is everything that an audience can emotional relate to and draw their eye to. Because the choices of weather used in scenes that basically sums up what kind of mood a character or a scene itself is feeling. Wind, sunshine, and rain, really do add a lot to the scene, as you can tell what you're suppose to be feeling. Akira Kurosawa was quite famous for how he wanted to get the weather perfect in his scenes. Over a course of a year, he shot this movie for 148 days and it was often him waiting for the weather for the next scene.

And that's not all, Kurosawa told his actors to chose a gesture for their character and stick with it. That way, we know exactly what kind person their are and how they're feeling. It's bold film making like this is what made Akira Kurosawa a massive influence to cinema today.

Another thing I loved about this movie is the characters, as I actually did care for them and their struggle. I sometimes find it very hard to have a full emotional attachment to characters in movies, but here, it amazes me how I know so much from the characters just by their movements that really dose say a lot without them saying anything. All the praise has to go to the actors for this, as it was them who had to deliver and they absolutely do. I'm unaware with all of these actors, but then again, I don't watch that much black and white Japans movies these days. All of the cast were all superb in their roles and most have been a very different cult challenge to pull off, because it's not easy as it looks, but all of them nailed it.

The camera work in this movie is so impressive, so unique, and freaking glorious. The way the camera moves tells a story of itself that doesn't require any character to spill out the story or what's going on. I could show any scenes from this movie to someone who hasn't see the movie themselves and even they will have a full grasp on whats going or how someone is feeling without knowing nothing about the movie itself. That's how brilliant this movie.

Overall: Seven Samurai is a epic masterpiece with flawless imagery and a unique style of violence and battles. I can not wait to see Kurosawa other movies, as I have a feeling I'm going to love them.


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