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Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (Widescreen) [Import]
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Top Customer Reviews
Ghost Dog works as a hitman for Louie, who's in the mafia. The mafia bosses want Louie to have 'Handsome' Frank (a member of their mafia family) killed by someone "from the outside". Louie has Ghost Dog kill Frank. But now, since Frank was part of their family, they need to kill Ghost Dog - their own code of honour demands it, even though they were the ones who arranged the hit. But Mr. Vargo might also have an ulterior motive for wanting Ghost Dog killed. It's clear that Mr. Vargo's daughter suspects her father had Frank killed. But does Mr. Vargo know that or not? Is he being pressured by his daughter to kill Ghost Dog? I can't say for sure.
It's fascinating to see a present-day African-American man abiding by a code of honour that was intended to be followed by warriors in feudal Japan. Jarmusch says he wanted Ghost Dog to be a likeable killer. He's quiet, gentle, and kind - it's impossible not to like him. Ghost Dog is a cold-blooded murderer, but we can overlook this unseemly aspect of his character, in large part due to his various conversations with the little girl named Pearline.Read more ›
Ghost Dog is a seeker, studying the Hagakure (The Code of the Samurai). Throughout the film, he reads passages from the Hagakure that highlight his own personal code. Passages like, "Each day a samurai should contemplate his own death and consider various ways of dying, from being torn apart in the jaws of a wild beast, to falling from thousand foot cliffs, and during some part of the day, the samurai should consider himself dead."
Ghost Dog's "best friend" is a Haitian ice cream vendor (Isaac DeBankole), despite the fact that Whitaker's character understands no French and the ice cream vendor doesn't understand English. His only other real human contact is with a young girl, maybe 10 years old, named Pearline (Camille Winbush).
Lou contacts Ghost Dog via carrier pigeon and pays him for his contract killings once a year...Lou doesn't know anything else about his contract killer, not his given name, not even where he lives. This becomes the fulcrum for some very dark comedy.
When a hit goes awry and Lou's associates look to eliminate Ghost Dog, Lou's inability to provide details makes for some darkly comedic confrontations. Veteran screen villain Henry Silva is cold and bizarre as mob boss Ray Vargo, while Cliff Gorman (Sonny Valerio) provides a comic absurdity (a mafia hit man who's also a rap aficionado) rivaled only by the communication between Ghost Dog and the ice cream vendor that transcends language.Read more ›
On a personal note: when I took one of my classes (on American Independent Film) to the Sundance film festival a few years ago, someone asked me whether I hoped to see any stars. I hadn't really thought about it because I'm not that starstruck, I just like movies. But then it came to me: the whole trip would be worth it if I could meet Forrest Whittaker. And I did! He's a very big man, just as impressive in life as he is on film. We were at a party for one of the smaller satellite festivals and I talked to him for a while, and finally said: "hey, I really loved what you did in Ghost Dog." He just nodded a few times, and said, "yeah, that was a cool movie." Enough said.
Most recent customer reviews
A well written, but very slow paced drama. Very little action. Great performance from whitaker.Published on Sept. 15 2010 by Harvey Vdarski
I think this movie COULD have been great. There are some funny moments: the icecream man scenes, and the mob members trying to catch those pigeons. Read morePublished on June 23 2004 by W. yuan
Forrest Whittaker is certainly one of our most talented and underrated actors. This role probably allows him the greatest latitude to express a wide range of emotions since he... Read morePublished on June 16 2004 by Lee Armstrong
I liked this movie for the most part but it was the ending that put me off. I really did not want to see Ghost Dog die in that way, at the hands of a white man who did not... Read morePublished on April 16 2004 by Geoff Prescott
This was another gem from the director Jim Jarmusch, who previously brought us the incredibly underrated zen spaghetti western Dead Man. Read morePublished on March 29 2004 by A. M Robertson
Wicked soundtrack! Wu-Tang Clan ain't nuthing to F... with. I can say I apprecaited this movie alot more the 2nd and 3rd time around. Read morePublished on March 12 2004 by Conscious 1
This is definitely not a mainstream action movie, and there were parts when the mafia guys had some bad acting. Read morePublished on Feb. 2 2004 by Bhuck
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