Search - Zatoichi 21 - The Festival of Fire on DVD

Zatoichi 21 - The Festival of Fire
Zatoichi 21 - The Festival of Fire
Actors: ShintarŰ Katsu, Tatsuya Nakadai, Reiko ‘hara, Masayuki Mori, PÓt‚
Director: Kenji Misumi
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Drama, Anime & Manga, Animation
UR     2004     1hr 36min


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Movie Details

Actors: ShintarŰ Katsu, Tatsuya Nakadai, Reiko ‘hara, Masayuki Mori, PÓt‚
Director: Kenji Misumi
Creators: ShintarŰ Katsu, Kazuo Miyagawa, Toshio Taniguchi, Hiroyoshi Nishioka, Kan Shimosawa
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Drama, Anime & Manga, Animation
Sub-Genres: Martial Arts, Indie & Art House, Drama, Anime & Manga, Animation
Format: DVD - Color - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 04/06/2004
Original Release Date: 01/01/2004
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2004
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 1hr 36min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: Japanese
Subtitles: English
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Movie Reviews

Asian film noir
Remy | USA | 01/31/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I've seen several films in the Zatoichi, and I have to rate this as the best. I could see several ties to film noir in this movie, from the outlaw connections and shady bosses (never named) to the femme fatales and grey-shaded hero.

I was particularly drawn to the unnnamed Husband that shadows Zatoichi throughout the movie - here was a man honor-bound to avenge the "treachery" of his wife, and even when Zatoichi tells him that nothing occurred between them, the Husband's honor must be upheld. Driven increasingly eratic by his knowledge, the man pursues his enemy, even helping the blind swordsman when it appears that Zatoichi's life is in danger. After all, none but him may have the honor of slaying our hero. Their final fight is one of the most emotional that I have ever seen.

Zatoichi's closing words are chilling, not because he's moving on, but because he's (unsuccessfully) convincing himself that everything is fine. The blind swordsman is emotionally drained from the resolution of the conflict, and it will be some time before he can open up that much of himself again."
Zatoichi FoF
Jamie Kendall | Tucson Arizona | 09/07/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Personally, this is my favorite Ichi movie. Any fan of the series will enjoy this, because it has what you've come to expect from Ichi. As for people new to the series, if you don't like this one you probably shouldn't bother with the others.

As always, the sword choreography was above par. Katsu's blade passes through untold scores of ne'er-do-wells, and the number of adversaries in the climactic fight is cause for alarm, even if they are facing down Ichi. For those of you placing a high importance on sword choreography, I would like to mention that this movie contains a a style I've only ever seen once before, in the underrated 'Sword of Doom'. The 'soundless' form used by Ichi's counterpart is more than impressive, and action followers will want to see this movie just for that alone.

The acting in this particular film is also worth note. Katsu is always incredible as Ichi, it goes without saying, but the real goods here today is the intense performance of Tatsuya Nakadai, playing a nameless ronin. Were it not for Shintaro's genius, I would almost say Nakadai stole the show from Ichi himself. The unrelenting conviction of the nameless ronin is done brilliantly. If you've seen Sword of Doom, it is essentially the same character as Ryunosuke.

The acting from the rest of the cast is decent. There is one female of note, but I was left unimpressed by the primary enemy, and no characters other than Ichi and the ronin left an impression on me. Fortunately, either one of those two more than make up for it, and in fact interactions between the two are some of my favorite scenes in film.

There is a scene midway into the film which seems to have been the basis for the musical choreography we saw in the Beat Takeshi 2003 movie. Kinda fun.

So my final verdict is a hearty smile and a cheery thumbs up to anybody who does not follow the series, an enthusiastic outburst for those who do, and a 'definite must' for anybody who really liked Sword of Doom, since this might as well be kind of an unofficial sequel. The acting by the few was unbelievable, the choreography as good as always (perhaps a bit faster than earlier installments), and the two story arcs came together in an exceptionally satisfying way.

I consider this a first tier movie."
Brilliant and subtle as usual
K. E. Long | KC , Ks | 03/19/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"wonderful human being as hero, brilliant swordplay, captures the human condition. Tatsuya Nakadai adds weight with an excellent performance and gripping showdown

my favorite series, always hits a home run"
THE BEST ZATOICHI MOVIE in the 70's!!!!!!!!!!!!
Francisco Cortes | San Juan, Puerto Rico USA | 12/04/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Here are the goods and bads:

* PERFECT cinematoghraphy (just like Lord of the Rings)
* Good final fight.
* The bad guy is very similar to a evil samurai in japanese animation!
* Zatoichi is surrounded by fire.
* FAST movements by Shintaro Katsu (Zatoichi).
* Zatoichi fights 30 men at the end.

* The final fight was good but not AWESOME as "Zatoichi meets the one armed swordman".

P.S: Many people are telling me that "Zatoichi the Outlaw" is the best but the film was made in the late 60's, I really don't trust in the 60's production because I saw "Zatoichi Zamatarian" in 1968 and the movie didn't have the best camera movements as the 70's cameras. But I will give it a try some of this days to watch "The Outlaw".