Criterion Year Week 14: Sanjuro

The Criterion Collection, the last vestige of truly collectible DVD and Blu-Ray movies in existence. These are well produced, fancy pants editions of important and interesting films for the discerning film lover.

We continue our journey through Jim's collection of movies with...

Week 14:


Spine Number: 53

Director: Akira Kurosawa

Genre: Samurai

Good sequels are hard to come by. The act of making a movie, let alone a good movie, is an insane balance of such completely disparate elements, many of which are completely beyond anyone's control, that getting a film finished counts as a minor miracle. If that film does well, many times a filmmaker is expected to go back to the same well and try and capture lightning in a bottle a second time, sometimes more. Few people can pull it off, even fewer can pull it off well.

Well, somehow, Akira Kurosawa is one of those who can pull it off, which is surprising to precisely no one. Sanjuro follows the hero of Yojimbo as he continues to help those who cannot help themselves. He stumbles upon a group of young, idealistic samurai who want to stamp out the corruption in their ranks. Being young, naive, and too quick on the trigger they are pretty much destined to fail. Enter Sanjuro, our nameless ronin with an unflinching code of honor and sense of right and wrong.


Simple, streamlined, and absolutely gorgeous. Sanjuro continues Kurosawa's tradition of accessible, fluid story telling and absolutely unparalleled eye for framing and composition.

Join us as we continue our Odyssey through Jim's Criterion Collection with another Kurosawa masterpiece.


Next week:

Spine Number 99: Gimmie Shelter (The Maysles Brothers documentary on The Rolling Stones' "Nightmare at Altamont.")

Also, check this out.
Looks like Summer Movie League has officially become Fantasy Movie League.
It looks quite fun. Here's how it works.
You have an 8 screen theater.
Every week you pick movies and have a budget/salary cap you have to stay under.
Then you compete against other theaters in your league.
It's fantasy football for movie people.

Our league is Film Thugs 2015 and the password is Porterhouse.

And remember, you can be a part of the show any time you wild like. How's that? All you have to do is call or e-mail us. If you live in the US, or any place that makes calling the US easy, just dial 512-666-RANT and leave us a voicemail. We will read the Google Voice transcript and play your message. It's both funny AND informative.

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E-mail us at and we will read/play whatever you send us, or you can e-mail to be part of  an upcoming "Ask the Film Thugs" show, where we answer questions on any subject without having heard them first.

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You can also click on one of our sponsor links below and THEY will pay us. That's right. You won't have to pay a PENNY extra, and Amazon/Onnit/Teefury will give us a little taste.

Also, be sure to check back often for our new endeavor The Life Masters, where we answer questions to other advice columnists.

Thanks for listening, and until next week...

Jim out.

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