Those viewers familiar with "LAST ANGRY MAN," starring Bruce Willis, will appreciate how much better "YOJIMBO," the film it was a remake of, is in comparison. Toshiro Mifune stars as a samurai looking for work, choosing a small town that happens to be riddled with crime as the focus of his job search. When arriving at a local inn, he's warned to get out fast, and that two gangs have all but destroyed the town, while seeking control. When he proves his superior abilities, by defeating the three hoodlums who've tried to kill him, the two crime lords try to hire his services as a "YOJIMBO," believing he's the final tool needed to overtake the competition. While professing to need time to take in their offers, leaders realize he's simply playing themselves against each other, he's captured, tortured and about to be killed, but manages to escape. It doesn't take long to figure out what he's going to do when he returns, but it's never-the-less exciting and makes for one of those film classic experiences, making "YOJIMBO" deserve to be part of any serious film lover's collection.
CRITERION has provided the correct 2.35:1 aspect ratio for this AVC MPEG-4 encoded 1080p blu-ray. The transfer is outstanding! Sure, there are some brief seconds of age signs, but the overall quality is amazing. Detail is far superior to any theatrical presentation that this reviewer can recall and it's notably better than the laserdisc presentation(and that was terrific!) Detail is impressive in every scene. Contrast levels make the black&white cinematography look even more amazing than one could've hoped for. A GREAT JOB, CRITERION. BRAVO!
CRITERION has included a DTS-HD Master Audio 3.0 mix along with a LPCM 1.0 mix. When comparing the two, the reencoded 3.0 mix offers some impressive separation, missing on the monaural mix, but both are excellent. While the terrific score provides more of an epic feel on the 3.0 mix, the monaural mix does feel better fitted for this classic release.
A great commentary with film historian, Stephen Price, shouldn't be missed. It can become a little dry in spots, but anyone appreciating Kurosawa's work, will enjoy the extra insight offered here.
A lengthy documentary(1080i), exploring the making of "YOJIMBO," is great, offering Kurosawa, and others giving their perspective on the film.
A beautiful, illustrated 22 page booklet is included, along with a teaser and theatrical trailer. GET THIS!!!