Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Ghost Dog - The Way of the Samurai|
Actors: Forest Whitaker, Henry Silva, John Tormey, Cliff Gorman, Dennis Liu
Director: Jim Jarmusch
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Comedy, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Ghost Dog - The Way of the Samurai [DVD] (1999) Forest Whitaker; Henry Silva
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Member Movie Reviews
Joseph M. (RoboticJoe) from TOLEDO, OH
Reviewed on 1/3/2010...
Has to be one of my all time favorite movies. The story of samurai assassin living in modern day sprawls and urban of NY gives this movie a feeling of something different and great. The sound score by RZA and tracks by other lo-fi asia styling kung-fu hip-hop skillz (mostly affiliates of wu-tang clan) gives the soundtrack a 5 star rating too. ~ Joe
One of the Reasons Why I Still Go to the Movies...
lhamokai | 03/21/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Unfortunately, I fear that many people who watch "Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai" will not enjoy it. When I first watched the film, a number of audience members uttered aloud, "What the hell is this movie about?" I imagine they were anticipating a far different -- and, dare I say, inferior -- type of film, like a cross between "Friday" and a John Woo film. It is initially easy to think that, yes, the film is an eclectic syncretism of many genres and film formulas; but out of this mixture comes a new and refreshing invention, a film worth seeing that will no doubt keep open-minded viewers stimulated and awe-inspired.I walked away from "Ghost Dog" quietly hailing it as the best and most original film I've seen this year. When friends asked me what this film was "about," I honestly couldn't give a straight answer."Ghost Dog" is like a great poem, meticulously structured and detailed with loving touches, rich with multilevelled meanings. The art direction is subtle yet bold, with a color palate to suit every scene; the RZA's musical soundtrack, which you will want to own, is smooth and elegant, inspiring dream-like and meditative head-bobbing; the film's well-timed screwball-caliber sense of humor is astonishing (you may well find yourself laughing silly at unexpected moments); the film pirouettes effortlessly through a variety of themes: race relations, literature, loyalty, and even hip-hop; and, above all, "Ghost Dog" is filled with great peformances and memorable characters. Forest Whitaker, most notably, gives one of his finest performances as the film's title character (inadequately described as an "insane but ethical assassin" by various critics). His is a poignant portrait of a bruised and lonely soul, fire-hardened by a samurai's discipline and sense of honor; his dynamic visage meanders smoothly from bliss to ferocity, with a haunting (and haunted) calmness, a flickering sense of compassion. In addition, Whitaker's lyrical readings from the "Hagakure: Book of the Samurai", with his gravelly yet fluid voice, harmonize pure poetry with pure cinematic imagery -- something to be experienced rather than described. And his soulful relationship with his best friend, a Haitian ice cream vendor who speaks French but not a lick of English (while Ghost Dog himself speaks no French), is particularly touching, arcane, and possessed of an unsayable splendor.Out of respect for the film, I dare not reveal any of the film's other details or surprises. Like any masterful art, "Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai" is meant to be experienced rather than merely described. While many will find the film too bizarre -- especially for a palate accustomed to Hollywood's mainstream rigmarole -- I could say that, at the very least, "Ghost Dog" will certainly please filmgoers in search of a new and inspiring entertainment. "Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai" is an experience, and like all great films it feels too short. In a time when most mainstream films leave many of us hungry for new images, smarter stories, and great surprises -- "Ghost Dog" is a film to nourish us."
The Poetry of War
T.S. Morris | Austin, Texas United States | 05/02/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Even having seen Le Samurai (a French film that Jarmusch borrowed from, or payed homage to, as they call it), Ghost Dog still seems a wholly original work of art. To fully enjoy Ghost Dog one must understand that it is not an action movie or a comedy, or even a mix of the two, it is an existential drama that happens to have a certain amount of violence and humor in it. The violence is inventive and the humor is HILARIOUS. Whitaker's performance is perfect. Ghost Dog doesn't seem insane, as many people have said, just completely out of touch with contemporary society. Whitaker makes him a compassionate, sympathetic charater who is also tough. Jim Jarmusch is one of the best directors currently working. I hesitate to call Ghost Dog his best movie because all of his movies are excellent. Only he could hae made an existential hit man movie that is this funny, contemplative, and entertaining."
Perfect In Every Way
Adam J. Whittemore | Arbutus, MD | 09/25/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"After seeing all of Jim Jarmusch's films, I have to admit not a single one of them is easy to watch. All of them are boring and slow, but I love them anyway. Unlike all his earlier work, Ghost Dog is easily accessible yet still definitely a "Jim" movie.
The subtle beauty of this movie is quickly realized within the first few minutes of the film. The start of this film is much like his earlier works, usually showing a run down part of a town with music playing overtop. They seem to be the only shots he uses that have panning and movement with the camera. After knowing his work, you realize this is because he hates showing the audience what to look at. It is just one of the few things Jarmusch does that makes him the best. But, back to the music. Of all the soundtracks that he has had in the past 20 years, I must admit this one is the best. He allows RZA (from Wu Tang Clan fame) to add music that enhances every scene, which is different from what he normally does. These tracks are all awesome, varying from an outright Gangsta Rap song to the weirdest jazz ever created.
The rest of the movie is beautiful in every way. Jarmusch once again uses poetry to create visuals that go along with his beautiful dialogue. This movie probably has the most dialogue of any of his movies, yet it still isn't much. There are things that take getting used to and seem like they are not important to the plot, but for some reason they are just really great scenes. A good example of this is the scene when Ghost Dog and his Haitian friend (who knows why Jarmusch made him not be able to communicate with his best friend?) are watching a man build a boat in an alley for no apparent reason. There seems to be no logic to this scene, yet it has a certain charm that just adds character to all his films.
This, like a lot of Jarmusch movies, creates a movie that brings together many different aspects never put together before. In this, he combines Eastern Philosphy, The Dying Mob Scene, and the Hip Hop generation all into one story. That is something no director could pull off in a two hour movie.
As for the rest of this movie, I can't say enough. With things like mobsters watching old (and a few Itchy & Scratchy) cartoons that seem to be foreshadowing, how can you go wrong? Plus, the addition of carrier pigeons as communication, GENIUS! You must understand that this movie is probabaly his funniest yet (tied with Dead Man) with the addition of Rapping Mob bosses and overall beautiful acting. Robbie Muller once again proves why he's the best filmographer in the business, Forest Whitaker finally gets a role that he deserves, and Jim Jarmusch strengthens his greatness with another masterpiece to add to his library."