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directed by Steven Okazaki
Japan 2015


Almost as much about filmmaker Akira Kurosaway (DREAMS) as it is about its titular subject MIFUNE: THE LAST SAMURAI - narrated by Keanu Reeves - gives viewers a peak into the life of actor Toshiro Mifune (I LIVE IN FEAR) but also explores the influence of a collaboration that created films and forged an archetypal acting style for which Clint Eastwood's "Man with No Name", STAR WARS, and tons of other samurai, western, and action films would not have existed without. Reluctantly working as a child model for his Japanese national father trying to keep his photography studio afloat in China and stoically withstanding the jibes and abuse of his superiors when drafted into the army into the Japanese Imperial Army, Mifune came out of the other side of the war with the intention of becoming a camera assistant only to be "drafted" again into Toho's "New Face" competition. Mifune would make his debut opposite Takashi Shimura (IKIRU) in the Kurosawa-scripted SNOW TRAILS and would start honing his raw talent in a number of Kurosawa in a series of vehicles - including RASHOMON which brought both of them and the whole of Japanese filmmaking to notice in the west - both emerging in 1954 after a seven year ban on "chambara" (sword-fighting) films in top form with the iconic THE SEVEN SAMURAI. The documentary then charts their successful pairing through several genres and notable titles before parting ways, Mifune's continuing fame and work for other directors like Hiroshi Inagaki (SAMURAI), his troubled personal life, his brushes with Western fame (being advised by his American agent to turn down the role of Obi Wan in STAR WARS and his role in Spielberg's 1941), the forming of his own production company and move to television, to his last days. Commentators include his son Shir˘ Mifune, Kurosawa's son Hisao Kurosawa, actors Takeshi Kat˘ (THE BAD SLEEP WELL), stuntman Haruo Nakajima (GODZILLA), and Y˘suke Natsuki, actresses Terumi Niki and Ky˘ko Kagawa, Kurosawa's script supervisor Teruyo Nogami, director Sadao Nakajima, as well as American admirers Martin Scorcese and Steven Spielberg.

Eric Cotenas


Theatrical Release: 25 November 2016 (USA)

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DVD Review: Strand Releasing - Region 1 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Strand Releasing

Region 1 - NTSC

Runtime 1:20:09

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 8.45 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio English/Japanese Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles English, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Strand Releasing

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
� Trailer (16:9; 2:08)
� Previews

DVD Release Date: April 25th,2017

Chapters 8




Strand provide a high bitrate encode to this eighty minute documentary with professionally-shot talking head interviews and HD-mastered film clips looking clear and crisp throughout. The Dolby Digital 5.1 track is primarily dialogue and voice-over but some music gets a bit more spread in the mix. Optional English subtitles translate the Japanese dialogue but there is no transcription for the English. Extras are limited to a trailer and previews for other releases.

  - Eric Cotenas


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Strand Releasing

Region 1 - NTSC



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