Lone Wolf and Cub

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Lone Wolf and Cub

Postby lhb412 » Sun Sep 29, 2013 2:22 pm

Ogami Itto, the Shogun's official executioner is framed by a rival clan! His wife murdered, and vowing revenge, he flees with his infant son, Diagoro, in tow to become the most feared assassins in the land: Lone Wolf and Cub!

I already shared my thoughts on each film in general discussion, but I've edited my thoughts into slightly more coherent form for this overview the entire original series of movies.

Lone Wolf and Cub: Sword of Vengeance

Tamisanburo Wakayama certainly doesn't look like the muscular, ruggedly handsome Itto of the comic. He's a bit chubby and looks like he's made of lumps... but playing a badass sword-fighter is more than looks: he really gets the character and is great with the fights (being an actual martial artist helps).

This film, though highly enjoyable, is flawed structurally. It has a frame story about Itto and Diagoro on one of their regular assassination missions interspersed with flashbacks detailing how Itto was betrayed and had his first clash with the Yagyu clan. The problem is the flashback material is much stronger and it ends with 25 minutes or so left in the film, leaving us with the less interesting of the plots for the final third of the film. It would be drastically improved if the flashbacks were placed differently and we got both showdowns (in the flashback and the present) one after another at the end of the movie.

Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart at the River Styx

Despite lacking the emotional heft of their tragic origin, this sequel is actually superior. The two straightforward plots (Itto and Daigoro on an assassination mission while Yagyu agents pursue them) weave together better, making for a great, driving sequence of escalating showdowns. The emotional core of the film is supplied by an expanded part for Diagoro. We see much more of the bizarre yet touching father/son relationship, and in a scene where his father is injured Diagoro steps up and it's awesome.

It's the most straightforward and accessible of the films.

Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart to Hades

After the utter insanity of movie #2 we're back to a more plot-driven samurai actioneer. We're given some interesting views inside the values of Tokugawa era Japan, specifically the treatment of women. Some of it's disturbing (but in a thought provoking, 'get inside the mindset of the time' kinda way), but the film also meets us halfway with a crowd-pleasing sequence where Ogami Itto steps up to defend a young woman who's about to be sold into prostitution.

... but before you think Lone Wolf and Cub was going austere: the movie saves the madness for the finale, where it goes bonkers.


Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart in Peril

Awesome. We previously alternated between two more dramatic installments (samurai melodrama about honor and such, long buildups to the fights, ect.) and a non-stop action installment (movie #2), but this film manages to indulge both approaches making for a satisfyingly balance. It's the movie that's got everything you want from the franchise.

Nice continuity detail: when Ogami Itto has his shirt off we see the scar from when his back was slashed in the last movie.

Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart in the Land of Demons

Many (most? At least that I've seen) samurai films present a worldview that's a bit more modern and humanistic, whether by having heroes we can get behind morally (like Zatoichi or The Seven Samurai) or by explicitly critiquing feudal values (like in Samurai Rebellion and Three Outlaw Samurai), but Lone Wolf and Cub really commits to the values of the time - even when it means having the hero do something we'd find abhorrent. Expect much debate if you watch this one with a friend.

Again, Daigoro gets some of the best stuff. If a modern audience is looking for a moral center in the movie it's this awesome little kid, and like movie #4 it has a nice balance of action and drama.

Lone Wolf and Cub: White Heaven in Hell

The last in the original movie series, and it's kind of a mess. The addition of a vaguely supernatural threat initially adds a real sense of tension, but it doesn't pay off. Even the fights don't seem as satisfying, though the final battle is okay.

This is as good a time as any to mention that no actor playing Retsudo (the main villain) in the sequels is as good as the actor from the first film. Speaking of actors, a few faces show up several times playing different characters in these films - and to Godzilla fans they'll be awful familiar.


A very satisfying series overall. Movies 2,4 and 5 are my favorites.

I'm also really digging the original comic on which they are based. Dark Horse is currently re-releasing the entire series in omnibus format. The movies are pretty faithful. No surprise, considering the creator of the series wrote or at least co-wrote most of these adaptations.
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Re: Lone Wolf and Cub

Postby king_ghidorah » Sat Oct 05, 2013 2:21 pm

I prefer the english dubbed versions : /
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Re: Lone Wolf and Cub

Postby lhb412 » Sat Oct 05, 2013 7:30 pm

^ I'm real interested in seeing at least the initial Americanized 'Shogun Assassin' movie, what with it being edited down from the first two films and containing lots of changes that sound interesting to see... the further ones are just the plain 'International dubs' (ala '70s Godzilla and all those Kung Fu movies), right?
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Re: Lone Wolf and Cub

Postby king_ghidorah » Sat Oct 05, 2013 8:28 pm

Yeah, the first one is the best by far. Just awesome. I recommend tracking it down as quickly as possible.
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Re: Lone Wolf and Cub/Shogun Assassin

Postby mr.negativity » Sat Aug 23, 2014 6:24 am

lhb412 wrote:^ I'm real interested in seeing at least the initial Americanized 'Shogun Assassin' movie, what with it being edited down from the first two films and containing lots of changes that sound interesting to see... the further ones are just the plain 'International dubs' (ala '70s Godzilla and all those Kung Fu movies), right?

thedigitalbits:
MORE CLASSIC SHERLOCK HOLMES ON BLU-RAY, PLUS DOCTOR WHO, MERLIN & MORE ANNOUNCEMENT ODDS AND ENDS
Bill Hunt wrote:Animego is releasing a new 2-disc Shogun Assassin Blu-ray/DVD Combo on 10/28.
For those who may not know, this is a movie version of the first two Lone Wolf and Cub films edited together.


Animego:
The Greatest Team in the History of Mass Slaughter!
AnimEigo's first Blu-Ray release! The cult-classic samurai slaughter sensation, reconstructed from HD masters of the original films.

Available as a single Blu-Ray containing the first Shogun Assassin film, or get all 5 films in the Collector's Blu-Ray set!

Remastered in brilliant 1080p.

Exclusive interview with Samuel L. Jackson.

Audio commentary by Film Scholar Ric Meyers and Martial Arts Expert Steve Watson.

New commentary by Producer David Weisman, Illustrator Jim Evans, and Gibran Evans, who provided the epic voice narration of Daigoro!

Also available: Lone Wolf & Cub, the original Japanese films Shogun Assassin was created from. Confused about the difference between LW&C and Shogun Assassin? We explain it here.
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Lone Wolf and Cub: Final Conflict

Postby mr.negativity » Tue Jun 28, 2016 10:03 am

LONE WOLF & CUB Optioned For U.S. Live-Action Movie

Iconic Manga ‘Wolf and Cub’ Set for Live-Action Remake by SP International (EXCLUSIVE)
Patrick Frater wrote:Iconic Japanese comic book property “Lone Wolf and Cub: Final Conflict” is to be made as a live action, English language movie by producer Steven Paul’s SP International Pictures.


The company acquired remake and sequel rights Koike Kazuo Gekiga Sonjuku, Inc., who produced the motion picture “Kozure Okami: Sono Chisaki Te Ni” in 1993. It plans a remake that will shoot from 2017. The “Lone Wolf and Cub” property first emerged in 1970 as a comic book written by Koike Kazuo and illustrated by Goseki Kojima. Their stories were subsequently adapted as six feature movies starring Tomisaburo Wakayama, four stage plays and a TV series.

“Final Conflict” sees a noble samurai plotted against and framed in an assassination conspiracy the samurai disobeys his Shogun’s orders and becomes an assassin for hire. “I have been a huge fan of the property for many years and can’t tell you how excited I am to have the opportunity to embark on this journey,” Pau said in a statement.


Los Angeles-based Paul has become a major axis between Hollywood and Japan. He previously produced Marvel Comic’s “Ghost Rider 1 & 2” and Namco Bandai’s “Tekken 1 & 2.” He is currently producing a live action adaptation of the manga comic “Ghost In The Shell” starring Scarlett Johansson and Takeshi Kitano. Paramount Pictures distributing the feature film worldwide.

Paul’s “Ghost in the Shell” project has been criticized by some fans for racially inappropriate casting, notably with Johansson playing an originally Asian woman. Paul told Variety that “Final Conflict” will be shot with an essentially Japanese cast. Paul has recently struck production deals in both China and Thailand.

His related SP Releasing is a theatrical distributor releasing up to 10 movies per year and maintains a worldwide home entertainment deal with Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. This summer SP Releasing will be theatrically distributing “Running Wild” starring Sharon Stone, and releasing ‘The Dog Lover” with James Remar, Lea Thompson, Jayson Blair, Allison Paige and directed by Alex Ranarivelo.
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Re: Lone Wolf and Cub

Postby lhb412 » Tue Jun 28, 2016 2:07 pm

So, set in Japan with a primarily Japanese cast but speaking English?

... okay. I could roll with that.
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Re: Lone Wolf and Cub

Postby lhb412 » Tue Jun 28, 2016 11:27 pm

Oh, and apparently Criterion, after knocking it out of the park with Zatoichi and Lady Snowblood, has a Lone Wolf and Cub release in the works.
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Re: Lone Wolf and Cub

Postby mr.negativity » Tue Aug 02, 2016 11:38 am

Exclusive: Justin Lin talks Lone Wolf And Cub
John Nugent wrote:Director Justin Lin is currently doing the promotional rounds for Star Trek Beyond. But when Empire chatted to him for an upcoming spoiler special podcast, we couldn’t resist asking about another project the filmmaker has bubbling away: a long-mooted adaptation of the acclaimed manga comic Lone Wolf And Cub.

Lin has been attached to the project for some time, and had planned to press ahead with the adaptation, before J.J. Abrams came a-calling. “For the last year and a half I've been on this Star Trek detour,” Lin explained to us, “the greatest detour of my career. But I'm excited because Lone Wolf And Cub is one of many projects that I can't wait to go back and revisit in the next two weeks when we're done with all the press.”

Lin appeared to imply that he plans to have an Asian cast. “Five-to-ten years ago, they would have wanted Keanu Reeves to play the dad... I think the cool thing about it is that filmmaking has gone global. There's many ways to make a movie and I think Hollywood has to evolve.”

First published in 1970 by writer Kazuo Koike and artist Goseki Kojima, Lone Wolf And Cub is widely regarded as a classic manga, telling an epic historic tale of shogun assassins. Seven films adapting the series have already been produced in its native Japan, but nothing from Hollywood – until now.

Lin is convinced that “this is the best time to make a movie like Lone Wolf And Cub – and to be able to really embrace the spirit and the essence of what makes it great.”

Until then, the director has to get Star Trek Beyond out the door – that’s due for a July 22 release – and he has plenty of other projects to keep him occupied, including his rumoured return to the Fast & Furious series that made his name. Plenty to keep him – ahem – Linterested.
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Re: Lone Wolf and Cub

Postby lhb412 » Mon Aug 15, 2016 6:28 pm

November 8th!

Includes Shogun Assassin!

Image

https://www.criterion.com/boxsets/1217- ... lf-and-cub

New 2K digital restorations of all six films, with uncompressed monaural soundtracks on the Blu-rays
High-definition presentation of Shogun Assassin, the 1980 English-dubbed reedit of the first two Lone Wolf and Cub films
New interview with Kazuo Koike, writer of the Lone Wolf and Cub manga series and screenwriter on five of the films
Lame d’un père, l’âme d’un sabre, a 2005 documentary about the making of the series
New interview in which Sensei Yoshimitsu Katsuse discusses and demonstrates the real Suio-ryu sword techniques that inspired those in the manga and films
New interview with biographer Kazuma Nozawa about filmmaker Kenji Misumi, director of four of the six Lone Wolf and Cub films
Silent documentary from 1937 about the making of samurai swords, with an optional new ambient score by Ryan Francis
Trailers
New English subtitle translations
PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay and film synopses by Japanese pop culture writer Patrick Macias
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Re: Lone Wolf and Cub

Postby mr.negativity » Tue Aug 16, 2016 10:54 am

^Awesome!
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Re: Lone Wolf and Cub

Postby mr.negativity » Thu Oct 13, 2016 10:35 pm

Quentin Tarantino Talks Up His 1970 Project At Lumière Festival
Nancy Tartaglione wrote:Quentin Tarantino took a deep dive into 1970 during a masterclass at the Lumière Festival here in Lyon this evening. The filmmaker said he’s been researching for four years that particular year and how it marked a turning point for American and international cinema. What he’s going to do with the research for now remains unclear. “Am I going to write a book? Maybe. Is it going to be a six-part podcast? Maybe. A feature documentary? Maybe. I’m figuring it out,” he said, calling it a “work in progress” before taking the packed house through what he’s discovered so far. Lyon is the first place he’s publicly testing that out, he said.

In Asian cinema Yu Wang’s Hong Kong action drama The Chinese Boxer “was the first official film that we now think of as a Kung-Fu movie.” In Japan, Baby Cart At The River Styx by Kenji Misumi was “one of the great action movies of all time… Never had an action film been that awash in blood and filmed so beautifully and amazing. The blood in that movie is just a thing of beauty.”
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Re: Lone Wolf and Cub

Postby lhb412 » Thu Oct 13, 2016 11:10 pm

Blu-Ray.com's review of the new set!

http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/Lone-Wolf ... 30/#Review
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Re: Lone Wolf and Cub: Final Conflict

Postby mr.negativity » Tue Oct 17, 2017 9:24 pm

THR OCTOBER 17, 2017:
'Seven' Writer Andrew Kevin Walker Tackling 'Lone Wolf and Cub' for Paramount (Exclusive)
Aaron Couch & Borys Kit wrote:Paramount has landed the adaptation of the seminal manga Lone Wolf and Cub, and now has Andrew Kevin Walker on board to write the script.

Justin Lin, who directed several of the Fast and Furious movies, and his Perfect Storm banner are producing the project along with Marissa McMahon and Kamala Films. Joshua Long is also among the producers. Lin, who has been associated with Cub since around 2012, is also looking to direct the feature.

Lone Wolf and Cub was created by writer Kazuo Koike and artist Goseki Kojima, who began publishing the manga series in Japan in 1970. The revenge story was epic in execution (it was close to 9,000 pages by the time it was done), acclaimed for its storytelling and its historical accuracy. It was influential in Japanese pop culture, spawning movies, a television series and even plays. The comics first began publishing in the US in the late 1980s.

The story told of a shogun’s executioner named Itto Ogami, who starts on a path of revenge after his wife and the rest of his house is murdered, leaving only his infant son alive. Itto is joined on this quest by his son, Daigoro, who, as he grows up, is trained to be a fearsome warrior and joins him as a father-son team of assassins for hire as they travel the country and seek vengeance against the clan that killed their family.

The project has been at Paramount on-and-off since 2003 and at one point even had Darren Aronofsky attached to direct.

Walker rose to prominence in 1995 thanks to his script for David Fincher's acclaimed crime thriller Seven, which starred Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman as two detectives hunting down a deranged killer who modeled his kills off of the seven deadly sins.

He went on to pen scripts for 8MM as well as Tim Burton's Sleepy Hollow, which starred Johnny Depp in the retelling of the American fable. He also penned 2010's remake of The Wolfman that starred Benicio del Toro and Anthony Hopkins.

Walker's 2016 animated comedy Nerdland, starring Paul Rudd and Patton Oswalt, drew upon his early days in Hollywood trying to make it as a screenwriter.

He is repped by Brillstein Entertainment Partners and Ziffren Brittenham.
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Re: Lone Wolf and Cub

Postby lhb412 » Wed Oct 18, 2017 9:20 am

^Hmmmmmmmm... well, we'll wait and see. I hope for the best: Lone Wolf and Cub is awesome and it'd be great if it became a big thing with a quality movie.

BTW - Criterion's set is fantastic from what I've watched so far, but I still need to watch Shogun Assassin (after October's horror marathoning is done).
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Re: Lone Wolf and Cub

Postby lhb412 » Sun Nov 12, 2017 2:55 pm

Finishing my Criterion set and something struck me: if they're making a new version of LW&C as a franchise they'll either have to recast Daigoro or try to do it as a trilogy or something and shoot, like, the second and third film back-to-back. Of course, if they really want to put the effort behind it at the beginning they could shoot all three at once LotR style!

The six classic films were all done in like two years time and by the last one Daigoro looks too big for the baby cart!

A trilogy, though, really seems ideal: with the final duel with Retsudo in the final movie.
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