I still haven't watched my LoTR expanded version set!!!

Harry Knowles at Aint It Cool News has his February DVD picks posted. My Netflix list always grows exponentially when Harry posts these articles.

Yesterday I watched one of George Lucas' major influences for his first Star Wars film, Star Wars: A New Hope. The film is Akira Kurosawa's The Hidden Fortress. There's even a short interview with George Lucas on the DVD in which he talks about the ideas he derived from the film. But, dude, he didn't just get ideas. A New Hope isn't an homage. Lucas just plain ripped off Akira Kurosawa. Lucas talks about how he wanted to shoot his film from the point of view of the two droids, C3PO and R2D2, much like Kurosawa shot The Hidden Fortress from the point of view of his two bumbling peasants. Not only did Lucas do this but he ripped Kurosawa off right down to the plodding interstitial theme music. You Star Wars nuts (I am one) will recall the music for the scenes of the droids in the Tatooine desert after they crash land in their escape pod. Well Lucas clearly got John Williams to compose that theme directly based on the very similar theme used in Kurosawa's film while his two bumbling peasants stagger through a wasteland of their own! Lucas ripped off the wise old soldier (Rokurota Makabe / Obi-Wan Kenobi), he ripped off the self-reliant and spunky princess (Princess Yukihime / Princess Leia Organa), he even ripped off the scene in the audience hall in which the reluctant heroes are rewarded for their efforts. Well, maybe I'm being a little harsh. He didn't totally rip off this stuff. But man, he was strongly influenced let me tell you.

I also watched Boiling Point, more literally translated as The Third and Fourth of October, a much more accurate title for the contents of this film, I think. It was directed by Takeshi Kitano, more popularly known as Beat Takeshi. This was probably the first film of his that I didn't enjoy. The film is about two members of a Japanese junior baseball team who get mixed up with the local yakuza and who go to Okinawa to buy a gun in order to get revenge when the yakuza beat up their coach. This is where Takeshi comes in, playing a seriously insane yakuza out to even a score of his own. Takeshi has this habit of holding a scene just a little too long, focusing on people's mostly expressionless faces. For what, I don't know. I suppose Takeshi could be seriously insane his own self. That glass eye of his certainly makes him seem so, sometimes, what with all that blinking and twitching he does. Still, I really heart most of his work.

And that's your movie review post of the month brought to you by somebody who doesn't know shit about film.

EDIT: Nausicaa of the Valley of the Winds just came out on DVD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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