Over the past week or so I've watched a few movies, most of which I hadn't seen before. A quick rundown follows.
First to be watched was The Hidden Fortress, classic Kurosawa film, if not his best known. It's probably most well known for being a primary inspiration for George Lucas' film Star Wars. And while the films are similar (two bumbling peasants/R2 and C3PO, General and Princess/Obi-Wan and Leia) there are still significant differences. Star Wars was not a re-make. It was good, but I thought the ending was weak because it was unconvincing.
Next was another Kurosawa movie, Throne of Blood. This one is an adaptation of Shakespeare's Macbeth to a Japanese setting. It does a pretty good job of following the story, but it deviates a bit with how "Macbeth" gets his comeuppance. Overall, very solid. I also want to say that Isuzu Yamada, who played "Lady Macbeth" was really creepy and did a fantastic job.
My wife and I watched Return to Me together, which we've both seen before. It's not too bad. It's definitely the best acting job I've seen David Duchovny do outside of The X-Files. I suppose that's not saying much, is it? The best (i.e. funniest) parts of the movie were those involving James Belushi and those involving the crew of old guys, led by Carroll O'Connor and Robert Loggia. As romantic comedies go, this is pretty good. Miles ahead of garbage like My Best Friend's Wedding.
Last movie I watched was another my wife and I saw together. It was a sort of documentary called Kodo about the Japanese drumming group of the same name. It wasn't bad, but I think we both would have preferred less New Age style spiritualism and more of them just drumming. But it was still interesting to learn about the origins of the group and how it works.