Shichinin No Samurai AKA Seven Samurai
Got me a box set of Kurosawa samurai movies for under a tenner! So, starting at the beginning seemed like a good plan. Incomparable. Farmers targeted by bandits in feudal Japan recruit masterless warriors to defend them – cue the recruitment, the training, the waiting, the romantic sub-plot, the humour, more waiting, more tension, the return of the bandits, the big battle.
Kumonosu-Jō AKA Throne Of Blood
Kurosawa does Macbeth, and very well it all works too.
Casino Jack And The United States Of Money
Alex Gibney’s absorbing documentary about right wing Republican power broker and conman Jack Abramoff and his cabal of equally corrupt chums.
Casino Jack AKA Bagman
Fictionalised version of the Jack Abramoff story, with Kevin Spacey in the lead. A little wonky in places, and doesn’t really have a handle on what it wants to say, but watchable enough. The underused Barry Pepper turns in a good performance as Abramoff’s buddy Michael Scanlon, and Jon Lovitz is funny as the old college friend brought in as the frontman for a shady acquisition.
Hearts Of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse
Casino Jack director George Hickenlooper’s classic documentary about the making of Apocalypse Now, based on behind-the-scenes footage filmed and audio tapes recorded on set by Eleanor Coppola.