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Tokyo Drifter (Criterion) (Blu-Ray)

Price: CDN$ 42.99 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Tokyo Drifter (Criterion) (Blu-Ray) + Branded to Kill (Criterion) (Blu-Ray)
Price For Both: CDN$ 85.98

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Product Details

  • Format: Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: Criterion
  • Release Date: Dec 13 2011
  • ASIN: B005ND87L8
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #42,264 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)

Product Description

Product Description

In this jazzy gangster film, reformed killer Phoenix Tetsu’s attempt to go straight is squashed when his former cohorts call him back to Tokyo to help battle a rival gang. This onslaught of stylized violence and trippy colors got director Seijun Suzuki (Branded to Kill) in trouble with Nikkatsu studio heads, who were put off by his anything-goes, in-your-face aesthetic, equal parts Russ Meyer, Samuel Fuller, and Nagisa Oshima. Tokyo Drifter is a delirious highlight of the brilliantly excessive Japanese cinema of the sixties.

Seijun Suzuki transforms the yakuza genre into a pop-art James Bond cartoon as directed by Jean-Luc Godard. The near-incomprehensible plot is almost negligible: hitman "Phoenix" Tetsu (Tetsuya Watari), a cool killer in dark shades who whistles his own theme song, discovers his own mob has betrayed his code of ethics and hits the road like a questing warrior, with not one but two mobs hot on his trail. In a world of shifting loyalties Tetsu is the last honorable man, a character who might have stepped out of a Jean-Pierre Melville film and into a delirious, color-soaked landscape of a Vincent Minnelli musical turned gangster war zone. The twisting narrative takes Tetsu from deliriously gaudy nightclubs, where killers hide behind every pillar, to the beautiful snowy plains of Northern Japan and back again, leaving a trail of corpses in his wake. Suzuki opens the widescreen production in stark, high-contrast black and white with isolated eruptions of color that finally explode in a screen that glows in oversaturated hues, like a comic book come to life. His extreme stylization, jarring narrative leaps, and wild plot devices combine to create a pulp fiction on acid, equal parts gangster parody and post-modern deconstruction. Andrew Sarris described Sam Fuller's films as works that "have to be seen to be understood," a characterization that applies even more in this case. Mere description cannot capture the visceral effect of Suzuki's surreal cinematic fireworks. --Sean Axmaker --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
"Damn him and his singing...." Jan. 28 2012
By Dr. Morbius - Published on
Verified Purchase
While not as insane a Branded To Kill (Suzuki's masterful yakuza crazy-noir), this one is just enough off-center to be considered not quite normal. The colors are bright and fantastically tantalizing (at least on blu-ray), and the mono sound is ample- love that recurring theme song (sung by the lead character) and the general goofiness which makes this film a masterful must-have for those of you who like their films to make them think (about what I have no idea). Criterion does their usual fantastic job making this one worth an upgrade over their earlier weak effort on dvd. A couple of interviews for extra features round off this necessary addition to any great film library....even if you turn the sound off, the visuals are enough to keep one's interest....this is a very well done film with masterful editing and strange colors that sometimes make it look like an early James Bond film or a Batman episode....great stuff here....
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Tokyo Drifter Dec 27 2013
By ThinkAgain - Published on
Verified Purchase
Great Yakuza mobster movie. Love the tone and setting of this movie. Memorable characters and setpieces. Great production put in by Criterion as always.
3 of 30 people found the following review helpful
Not interesting and will bore you to death! July 28 2012
By S. Greene - Published on
No offense to the fans.

But just a warning if your expecting 007 Japanese style.

Think again!

This film if I had to put it?

Would be one of those art house films I can't say there all bad but what I've heard is that they lack a good storyline out there but House on the other hand looks more interesting than this one but can't say if it's any good either because I haven't seen it just yet.

But let's get to the point.

The director Suzuki has never cared for story lines at all and even got one of the actors fired when it came to experimenting with his own films and got himself in very deep trouble while filming it.

Okay this is what it's like.

The film is set up with walls that are green, red, blue, and even white to blend in with there own environments.

Spoiler Alert! Like take for example there's a white room and a white piano and the white light blends right in with the piano by making it look like if they were in a modern style museum.

While when a guy fires off his gun it sends out violet like sparks besides bullets if your wondering?

But don't expect this to be an epic foreign or independent film and if your looking for a good storyline or even one that's perhaps complex that challenges the mind look up Musashi Miyamoto and the other samurai films in criterion's set The Samurai Trilogy if your wanting to look up some good one's.

This does not mean I'm going to hate all these films I'm just saying that Tokyo Drifter was dull and boring at least it didn't put me to sleep like Beauty And The Beast the French version just to say.

So if you prefer a good storyline, great acting, or something besides art house films stay away from this one and look at the samurai films instead.

That there is a good start if you want to look at something with a strong storyline besides this film.