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Ken ichi Hagiwara

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  • Kagemusha [DVD] Kagemusha | DVD | (18/02/2013) from £6.58  |  Saving you £3.20 (32.00%)  |  RRP £9.99

    A petty thief with an utter resemblance to a samurai warlord is hired as the lord's double. When the warlord later dies the thief is forced to take up arms in his place.

  • Kagemusha [Blu-ray] [1980] Kagemusha | Blu Ray | (17/03/2014) from £7.45  |  Saving you £7.40 (46.30%)  |  RRP £15.99

    The 1970s were difficult years for the great Japanese director Akira Kurosawa. Having been unable to secure full Japanese backing for his epic project Kagemusha, the 70-year-old master found American support from George Lucas and Francis Ford Coppola, who served as co-executive producers (through 20th Century Fox) for this magnificent 1980 production--to that date the most expensive film in Japanese history. Set in the late-16th century, Kagemusha centres on the Takeda clan, one of three warlord clans battling for control of Japan at the end of the feudal period. When their leader Lord Shingen (Tatsuya Nakadai) is mortally wounded in battle, he orders that his death be kept secret and that his "kagemusha"--or "shadow warrior"--take his place for a period of three years to prevent clan disruption and enemy takeover. The identical double is a petty thief (also played by Nakadai) spared from execution due to his uncanny resemblance to Lord Shingen--but his true identity cannot prevent the tides of fate from rising over the Takeda clan in a climactic scene of battlefield devastation. Through stunning visuals and meticulous attention to every physical and stylistic detail, Kurosawa made a film that restored his status as Japan's greatest filmmaker, and the success of Kagemusha enabled the director to make his 1985 masterpiece, Ran. --Jeff Shannon

  • Kagemusha [1980] Kagemusha | DVD | (03/06/2002) from £3.95  |  Saving you £7.41 (57.00%)  |  RRP £12.99

    The 1970s were difficult years for the great Japanese director Akira Kurosawa. Having been unable to secure full Japanese backing for his epic project Kagemusha, the 70-year-old master found American support from George Lucas and Francis Ford Coppola, who served as co-executive producers (through 20th Century Fox) for this magnificent 1980 production--to that date the most expensive film in Japanese history. Set in the late-16th century, Kagemusha centres on the Takeda clan, one of three warlord clans battling for control of Japan at the end of the feudal period. When their leader Lord Shingen (Tatsuya Nakadai) is mortally wounded in battle, he orders that his death be kept secret and that his "kagemusha"--or "shadow warrior"--take his place for a period of three years to prevent clan disruption and enemy takeover. The identical double is a petty thief (also played by Nakadai) spared from execution due to his uncanny resemblance to Lord Shingen--but his true identity cannot prevent the tides of fate from rising over the Takeda clan in a climactic scene of battlefield devastation. Through stunning visuals and meticulous attention to every physical and stylistic detail, Kurosawa made a film that restored his status as Japan's greatest filmmaker, and the success of Kagemusha enabled the director to make his 1985 masterpiece, Ran. --Jeff Shannon

  • Kagemusha [1980] Kagemusha | DVD | (27/11/2006) from £N/A  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £17.99

    In this exciting visually dazzling epic from Akira Kurosawa a petty thief named Kagemusha gets saved from a death sentence because he resembles the warlord Shingen Takeda. The warlord has been fighting two other leaders for control of 16th-century Japan and impersonators often take his place during battles to put him out of harm's way. Because of Kagemusha's strong physical similarities to the warlord he's a perfect choice for a ""shadow warrior."" However the arrangement suddenly

  • Tajomaru: Avenging Blade [DVD] Tajomaru: Avenging Blade | DVD | (31/01/2011) from £5.89  |  Saving you £10.10 (63.20%)  |  RRP £15.99

    Set sometime in the late Muromachi period Naomitsu Hatakeyama (Shun Oguri) is the second son of the distinguished Hatakeyama family. When the father of his lifelong friend and love interest Ako-hime (Yuki Shibamoto) dies Yoshimasa Ashikaga (Kenichi Hagiwara) elicits a decree that will forever change their fates. Soon afterwards Naomitsu is betrayed by his brother Nobutsuna (Hiroyuki Ikeuchi) who plans to forcibly take Aho-hime for himself. Because his love for her is so strong Naomitsu gives up his privileged life and flees into the mountains with Ako-hime to escape Nobutsuna. But Whilst travelling through the mountains they're soon attacked by a bandit named Tajomaru (Hiroki Matsukata). After managing to kill Tajomaru Naomitsu takes the bandit's identity as his own.

  • The Triple Cross [1992] The Triple Cross | DVD | (27/05/2002) from £5.96  |  Saving you £14.03 (70.20%)  |  RRP £19.99

    The Triple Cross is a Japanese crime thriller that follows the bloody aftermath of a heist. Three robbers are double-crossed by new accomplice, Kazuya Kimura, and Kenichi Hagiwara takes the Lee Marvin Point Blank road, tracking him down amid escalating carnage and spectacular car chases. The film is littered with homages to crime classics, from the outlaw lovers of A Bout de Souffle to Hagiwara sporting a nose plaster in recognition of Jack Nicholson's Chinatown. Sonny Chiba is wasted in a supporting role but, given that the movie is being promoted as Reservoir Dogs-meets-John Woo, it's worth noting that Chiba is among Quentin Tarantino's favourite actors and stars in his forthcoming Kill Bill (2003). The Triple Cross (the American title Double Cross is far more accurate) is a well-crafted collection of gangster clichés, but suffers from a very uncertain tone, being pitched uneasily between serious crime drama and tongue-in-cheek comic-book action. Released following the success of director Kinji Fukasaku's Battle Royale (2000) this film from 1992 nonetheless anticipates many of the themes and attitudes of post-Tarantino crime cinema with remarkable prescience. Those who prefer their cinema to recognise civilised values or any sense of morality best look elsewhere. On the DVD: The Triple Cross disc has a 1.78:1 anamorphically enhanced transfer that is slightly soft in many shots, while the night-time scenes, filmed with very high contrast, are overly dark and lack detail in the shadows. The film was released theatrically in Dolby Stereo and though the packaging states 2.0 Dolby Digital the reality is very flat and dull Dolby Prologic mono. Explosions are squibs and gunshots lifeless. For a 1992 action movie the result is lamentable, but at least the subtitles are clear and free of the howlers that plague many comparable Hong Kong films. The DVD also features the original Japanese trailer and eight additional trailers for films on the Tokyo Bullet label. There is a gallery reproducing the original promotional stills, and well-written and reasonably extensive biographies and/or filmographies for five of the cast. --Gary S Dalkin

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