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July 19, 2009 | Charles Burress
The year is 1600. The only slings and arrows assailing Shakespeare are of the metaphorical kind. But on the other side of the globe, an unsurpassed literary master of a different stripe is strapped in samurai armor and preparing for death as his tiny band of 500 warriors faces an enemy army of 15,000. Suddenly, the looming defeat is blocked. The Japanese emperor has issued an edict stopping the battle.
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ENTERTAINMENT
December 24, 2013 | By Mark Olsen
There's the kind of movie that comes riding into theaters on such a prolonged wave of bad buzz - changed release dates, backstage whispers of production troubles and a swelling budget - that the film itself starts to seem beside the point, something to just get out of the way. That's the case with "47 Ronin," an overlong, underwhelming movie now hitting theaters that certainly wasn't worth the wait. The story opens with a stentorian voice-over announcing that ancient feudal Japan, as history buffs will no doubt be happy to learn, was a time of witchcraft and demons.
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ENTERTAINMENT
September 3, 2006 | Susan King
Seven Samurai (Criterion Collection, $50) THE story is simple -- poor villagers living in the countryside in 16th century Japan hire a group of warriors to protect them from invading bandits intent on robbing them of their barley crop. But Akira Kurosawa's telling of the tale is masterly. All the elements aligned to make "Samurai" a flawless piece of cinema -- the direction, screenplay, performance, music score, cinematography and production design are beyond reproach.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 8, 2013 | By Jason Wells
Two men were arrested Thursday on suspicion that they kidnapped a Lancaster teen who was then  tortured with lighted cigarettes, cut with Samurai swords and beaten, authorities said. The victim, identified only as an 18-year-old man, was abducted Sept. 25 in Lancaster, and after enduring the torture, was released near 20th Street West and Avenue J, according to the the L.A. County Sheriff's Department. The men were arrested after sheriff's deputies served search warrants at a home in the 8300 block of West Avenue F and at Ston Skoth Martial Arts Academies on 10th and 45th streets where several samurai swords were recovered.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 16, 2009 | Esmeralda Bermudez
Sumo wrestlers and samurai converged Saturday as the 69th annual Nisei Week Festival drew several thousand people to Little Tokyo. While the wrestlers groaned and charged at one another inside a ring, sword-wielding samurai visiting from Nagoya, Japan, hit the stage to perform a prewar ritual said to have been presented only once before outside Japan. In elaborate 15th and 16th century warrior armor topped with giant horns, the dozen men and women reenacted the moment when Japanese samurai pledged their lives, then marched to battle.
BUSINESS
May 26, 1989 | BRUCE HOROVITZ, Times Staff Writer
Suzuki has hit the road for a new advertising agency. The Japanese auto maker, which has still not recovered from year-old safety concerns over its Samurai sport utility vehicles, said on Thursday that it was placing its estimated $15 million to $30 million advertising business up for grabs. Suzuki sales have nose-dived since last June when Consumer Reports harshly condemned the Samurai as being prone to roll-overs and asked for a recall of all Samurai vehicles. The federal government later found that the Samurai was no worse than the average utility vehicle in its class.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 8, 2003 | Lorenza Munoz, Times Staff Writer
This weekend's East Coast blizzard, post-Thanksgiving blahs and pre-Christmas frenzy conspired to produce a tepid weekend at the nation's theaters, with Tom Cruise's historical epic "The Last Samurai" opening only moderately well with an estimated $24.4 million. While it is the best opening for a movie on the weekend following Thanksgiving, it is slightly below Cruise's previous December opening of $25 million for 2001's "Vanilla Sky."
ENTERTAINMENT
November 19, 1985 | DENNIS HUNT
"The Best of John Belushi." Warner. $24.98. Why wade through those "Saturday Night Live" reruns looking for the best Belushi skits? They're here--16 gems from 1975-78. The beefy wildman's skill as an impressionist is evident--his characters include Joe Cocker, Ray Charles, a hip Beethoven, and a Samurai swordsman running a sandwich shop. The last skit, "Don't Look Back in Anger," features Belushi as an old man walking through the graveyard, recalling the deaths of his late "SNL" pals.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 20, 2001
AFI's recognition of "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" as a "watershed" film in the emergence of a "global cinema" is a bit overstated ("AFI Sums Up Cinema's Year, Both On and Off the Screen," by Robert W. Welkos, Jan. 10). The panel writes that the film "fuses storytelling style and substance from many cultures" into a "global cinema." While not taking anything away from Ang Lee's entertaining movie, the movie that deserves this accolade is probably "The Seven Samurai" (1954). Kurosawa's influential film fused the samurai tradition with the western into what has been called a "Far-East western," and a moviegoing experience of universal appeal.
BUSINESS
January 18, 2004
Michael Cieply and James Bates made passing reference to a New Yorker article on the "Hulk" screenplay credit arbitration ("Legal Clash Over 'Samurai' Credit," Jan. 6). The article repeats James Schamus' contention that he was responsible for everything in the final script that wasn't drawn from the comic book source but wound up sharing credit with myself and Michael France, who had written earlier drafts. This is a misapprehension of the facts. It also implies that the "Hulk" arbitration was somehow analogous to the "Samurai" dispute.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 8, 2013 | By Angel Jennings
A Santa Ana man remained in jail Sunday after he allegedly wielded two samurai swords in a busy shopping center while threatening bystanders, police said. Hung Anh Nguyen, 29, was in the parking lot of Arsenio's Mexico Food at 751 S. Harbor Blvd. in Santa Ana about 11:15 p.m. Friday when he pulled out two swords and started screaming profanities, Cpl. Anthony Bertagna said. Police arrived and tried to calm him. Bertagna said Nguyen threatened officers and refused to follow the officers repeat commands to put the swords down.
NATIONAL
April 27, 2013 | By John M. Glionna
Some intruder picked the wrong house to menace. That's what happened this week when a gate-crasher in Salt Lake City came face to face with a Mormon bishop - wielding a Samurai sword. Kent Hendrix's teenage son pounded on his bedroom door, telling him somebody was being mugged in front of their house. Hendrix, a fourth-degree black belt and instructor in the Kishindo form of martial arts, grabbed the closest weapon -- a 29-inch high-carbon steel sword -- and went to investigate. As his son called 911, the 47-year-old Hendrix, who is also a Mormon bishop, said he came upon a fight between a woman and a man. He raised his weapon and told the man to get on the ground.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 13, 2012 | By Oliver Gettell, Special to The Times
Think of Japanese movies, and two things readily come to mind: samurai and anime. But organizers of the L.A. EigaFest - a showcase of contemporary cinema from the Land of the Rising Sun - aim to show Angelenos that the nation's filmmakers are up to much more than that. The festival, now in its second year, runs Friday through Sunday at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood and features films on such topics as an unraveling supermodel, a time-traveling Roman architect and a single mother raising two werewolf children.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 25, 2012 | By Rebecca Keegan, Los Angeles Times
"Hotel Transylvania," an animated comedy about Dracula running a high-end resort for monsters, had already sucked the lifeblood out of five directors when Genndy Tartakovsky came aboard as director No. 6 in February 2011. Tartakovsky, the Moscow-born creator of the Cartoon Network shows "Dexter's Laboratory" and "Samurai Jack," is an accomplished figure in the cozy world of TV animation. The cartooning equivalent of a live-action TV auteur like "Mad Men" creator Matt Weiner, Tartakovsky has been nominated for 13 Emmys and won three, and his kids shows have attracted a following among adults for their wit, action and style.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 3, 2012 | By Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
The intrepid folks at Criterion have put out a fine pair of three-disc sets, each one celebrating a little-known but gifted foreign-language director who has a very particular place in film history. Perhaps most familiar to American audiences is the Samurai Trilogy of Japan's Hiroshi Inagaki, the 1950s trio starring Toshiro Mifune that began the West's enduring fascination with the samurai genre. Mifune plays a fictionalized version of the legendary 17th century swordsman Musashi Miyamoto as he takes the now-familiar journey from country bumpkin to wise killing machine.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 24, 2011 | By Mark Olsen, Special to the Los Angeles Times
In the waning days of Japan's feudal era, an army marches into a village and is ambushed by a small band of samurai determined to topple the merciless lord leading the much larger force. As "13 Assassins" moves toward its dazzling, dizzyingly over-the-top climactic battle sequence, it gains a momentum of startling inevitability, as if these events simply must come to pass. The lengthy frenzy of blood, mud, arrows, swordplay and honor righteously defended that ensues is furious, intense and unrelenting.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 5, 2010 | By Kevin Thomas, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Long before his death in 1998 at the age of 88, Akira Kurosawa was widely regarded as the world's greatest living director and one of the most influential filmmakers of any era. His 1950 "Rashomon," a period tale in which a bandit's assault on an aristocratic woman traveling through a forest, is told from four different viewpoints, took the grand prize at Venice in 1951 and went on to win a special Oscar as the best foreign film of the year (before that...
ENTERTAINMENT
December 7, 2003
Ed Zwick's "moral" code? ("Ed Zwick's Moral Code," Nov. 30). What version of Webster's did Rachel Abramowitz use for her definition of "moral"? The article opens with Zwick "yelling on the phone." The object of his rage is Warner Bros. with whom he is battling on behalf "... of Hans Zimmer's two assistants whose names had been arbitrarily cut" from the tail credits of "The Last Samurai." The article goes on to say that Zwick "... exacted a promise from the top studio brass to fix the problem."
ENTERTAINMENT
February 7, 2011
'Power Rangers Samurai' Where: Nickelodeon When: 8 p.m. Monday Rating: TV-Y-FV (suitable for young children with an advisory for fantasy violence)
ENTERTAINMENT
August 5, 2010 | By Kevin Thomas, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Long before his death in 1998 at the age of 88, Akira Kurosawa was widely regarded as the world's greatest living director and one of the most influential filmmakers of any era. His 1950 "Rashomon," a period tale in which a bandit's assault on an aristocratic woman traveling through a forest, is told from four different viewpoints, took the grand prize at Venice in 1951 and went on to win a special Oscar as the best foreign film of the year (before that...
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