James Thurber once said, "Discussion in America means dissent."
Voltaire once said, "It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong."
And Howard Zinn once said, "Dissent is the highest form of patriotism."
Here at The Film Thugs we are not just firm believers in these principles. We are not content to stand behind these rights, no... we see these rights as a responsibility, and these quotes as a challenge.
So, in the spirit of revolutionaries like Voltaire, Jefferson, Thurber, and Roosevelt we present to you...
Double Negative with Chuck
Dynasty and Seven Samurai
Hello, dumb dumbs!
This week’s negativity is Seven Samurai and it’s no damn good.
The terms master
and masterpiece get thrown around a lot when people who can’t work a real man’s
job are discussing Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai but after seeing it I
couldn’t tell you why. Sure the guy can take a pretty picture but what’s the
From IMBD: “A
samurai answers a villager’s request for protection from bandits, so the
samurai gathers six others to help him teach the people how to defend
themselves, and the villagers provide the soldiers with food. A giant battle
occurs when 40 bandits attack the village.” Does that sound like a
“masterpiece” that will take 207 minutes to tell?
Don’t get me
wrong, most of these samurai guys seem ok. When they all aren’t walking and
talking me into an afternoon nap, but they seem like affable chaps. I’m all for
them helping the little guys even if the little guys, in this case, are hiding
food, booze, and weapons from the very people they are dependent on for their
own survival. It’s totally cool, jerks. By the by, these aggies didn’t even shop
around. They came across the first swinging samurai dick that didn’t show his
ass. “Here! Here! Just take our rice dollars! Save our lives!” What if he was
working you fools? What was your plan B if this didn’t work out? You all did
consider just giving up and killing yourselves earlier before finding someone
else to fight your battles for you, so I guess that’s always an option, “men”.
I say MOST of
these samurai guys seem ok because not ALL of them are ok. Lets’ take a look at
Big Sword. May I call you Big Sword? Great. Big Sword is a fucking goof. I
would have caught his character name earlier but a Buzzfeed quiz came up on
Facebook. (Which Sneaky That’s So Raven Disguise Are You? The mariachi? That’s
SO me!) We all get it, Big Sword. If you were shooting to make sure that we can
all see you emote from space, your aim was true. “The farmers are all dicky
liars because you mean old samurai treated them poorly.” Wahhh! “My parents
were killed in a river.” Wahhh! Wahhh! “I was an orphan left in that river while
my dead parents floated next to me and I’m at odds with myself.” Wahhh! Wahhh!
Wahhh! Bravo, cupcake. Now turn it down!
I’m sleeping here!
If that wasn’t bad enough, you just had to go and try to be the hero, didn’t
you? Time to deal with the painful truth, Bigs. That badass master samurai you
saw kill that chump earlier in Samurai-burg, he’s the real hero. He is selfless
and skilled and brave and patient and wise and and and…wait for it…FUCKING
QUIET when he nabs some guns from the baddies! You, trying to do the same,
almost got everyone killed! “Look, chums. I’ve absconded with a musket from yon
hooligans to aid in our campaign. Of course I courted our collective
devastation in the process but at least I got some much needed attention. Did I
mention how mean your kind are to farmers?” Stop it. Why not try and shoot some
of those assholes you stole it from, rather than scowling and laughing at
guns. Big Sword and Master Badass steal three guns from the bandits between
them. This brings the firepower of the seven to exactly…sweet fuck all because
they never use them! Why don’t they use the guns? Why are we counting on an
entire village of pussies with bamboo spears to pull this off? How will these
townies pull anything off? It took seven out of town strangers to come up with
the idea of building a wall. Maybe this town deserves to be raided. (Dude, this
pug on Instagram is fucking cute!)
sometime between nodding off and looking at my phone, the young samurai wannabe
bangs the last of-age girl in town, her dad gets mad about it for a hot minute,
and we all stare at each other. So it goes. The good guys pick off the bad guys
one by one and two by two until a big final battle happens in the rain. Biggity
bang, the completely unknown bandits are defeated and everyone is free to make
terrible music in the rice fields again. Super.
We end our sleep
study with the lead samurai, Kambei Shimura (I was awake then), staring off in
the distance at random points throughout town before making his way to watch
the clang bang dang version of So You Think You Can Farm being put on by the
villagers. Kambei’s last line “The farmers have won. Not us.” is delivered in
front of the burial mounds of his fallen comrades. A giant sword is planted in
the mound on the far right of the frame. And scene, Big Sword.
Samurai is said to have inspired hundreds of other filmmakers to remake and
reinvent its classic tale of conflict and honor. It’s considered a masterpiece
from a master (there are those words again) who created timeless cinematic
beauty with this film. Bullshit. It’s three plus boob- free hours of yap and
melodrama with poorly shot action tacked to its ass. Sure it looks nice but so
does Sgt. Kabukiman NYPD and it’s only half as long.