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First teaser trailer for the Tsubaki Sanjuro remake

Tsubaki Sanjuro posterThe first teaser trailer for the new remake of Tsubaki Sanjuro has been made available online. The 30 second clip shows a few scenes that are familiar from Kurosawa’s original. The trailer can be seen both at the newly designed official website, as well as at YouTube.

Based on those 30 seconds, I must say that I personally have growing concerns about Yuji Oda’s portrayal of Sanjuro. More than his age, it is now really the way that he seems to be attempting (and in my opinion failing quite badly) to imitate Toshiro Mifune’s original portrayal with his mannerisms that bothers me. Of course, it remains to be seen whether they just somehow managed to pick the worst bits of acting for this teaser.





Any idea what’s going on with the website design? OK, I get the camelia, but what’s with this ocean motif?


Vili Maunula

That’s indeed a good question. Maybe Sanjuro’s a rodwy pirate in this one. 😉

Then again, I’m (once again) also dissatisfied by the way this website looks like. 🙂 But I’ve made myself work on some content first before I try to tackle the design again. It’s funny how with most of my other sites the designs settle down after a few tries, but I think AKNI is now on its fourth or fifth design, and I’m still not happy at all.



Yeah, um well… OK… It almost looks like a shot for shot remake…and yes Oda is definitely trying to channel Mifune and failing miserably.
I doubt this will get distribution outside of Japan.


Vili Maunula

I doubt this will get distribution outside of Japan.

Never underestimate the power of the word “remake” in Hollywood!


Jeremy Quintanilla

The great thing about Mifune is although he would often be a bit over-the-top with his acting and expression, they seemed competently natural and befitting on his character, never a distraction they only added more to already detailed character.

Granted its a very short clip but Oda clearly is making exaggerated facial expressions only because Mifune did it. They seem really forced, timed and distracting. This alone can really take away the connection Mifune was able to give us with Sanjuro.

To me it would of been wiser of Oda to make Sanjuro his own, rather then to copy Mifune’s Sanjuro.

Like Ben mentioned is really look like shot by shot remake, perhaps Oda wasnt allowed to put himself in Sanjuro, and instead told to copy Mifune, which of course its a near impossible task.

Well that was a lot of to take out of such a tiny clip, but in short that trailer was very disappointing, although briefly it was nice to see the sharp colors.


Nochum Elek

I saw the movie (bought in Chinatown), and liked it.
Yuji Oda’s acting is good, but as you pointed he try to imitate (the unimitable) Toshiro Mifune, down to his grunting.
The question that has been haunting me is “who needed a remake?”.
Kurosawa B&W version is magnificent the acting flawless.
So again, why?


Vili Maunula

A good question, Nochum.

I think that the main reason is that remakes, even when artistic failures, have the potential of making relatively easy money. Secondly, it is perhaps also a strategy for Kurosawa Production to keep Kurosawa relevant, and therefore make their assets (Kurosawa’s work) more valuable.

I’m just personally not sure if, in terms of Kurosawa’s value, it is not the opposite outcome that we are actually seeing with all these apparently poor remakes.



I’m quite jaded when it comes to money…

They do remakes for profit. There is no other overriding motive-if it has any other value, that’s gravy.

That’s why you get remake-“duets” with old dead guys like Nat King Cole. Like, for real, you gonna improve on the original? I don’t think so.

Only a relatively small audience will want to see an old black and white movie, even if it is the coolest thing, ever.

Some people only will go to see new releases. You can remake and repackage anything. Beatles will be ripe for it as soon as these baby boomers kick the bucket.



I think to be fair to the Industry (how often will I say that?) it simply costs much more to market a movie without a pre-existing ‘hook’. That hook could be a major star, a known comic character, a familiar story. Hence it makes sense to re-use a known character or name rather than make a samurai movie from scratch. Thats why Hollywood will pay huge sums for the rights to fairly obscure comicbook stories rather than invent their own (which would presumably be cheaper). Unfortunate, but its the audience to blame as much as the industry.

However, there is no real excuse for not showing some imagination in at least trying to add something to an existing story, or make it more contemporary. Anything else is pure laziness and cynicism.



Mmmmm Ugetsu, you must be a good person, being cautious not to damn the market. You said,

“…it simply costs much more to market a movie without a pre-existing ‘hook’.”

See, for me this adds up to profit, and again, is about money, and kinda makes me want to puke.

The folks I admire are those quirky people who just will stumble into the unknown with a hope and a prayer and force, cajole, nurture and trick into existence something that did not exist before. And, man, the uneven surface, the burnt edges, the internal contradictions of a work of art that really lives..I’m just a sucker for those brave souls who risk it and for the residue of their invesitgations…

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