Home > Uncategorized > “Deadliest Catch”; Netflix Reviews: High & Low, Ran, Yojimbo

“Deadliest Catch”; Netflix Reviews: High & Low, Ran, Yojimbo

Has anybody else seen the show “Deadliest Catch?” It’s on Discovery right now (they’re wrapping up a marathon). It’s a documentary (I don’t want to call it “reality”) series about King Crab fishing in the Bering Sea, which is supposedly one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. I think the figure is 41 deaths over the last ten years.

It follows an entire fleet, I think five boats. One of them is called the Time Bandit, which alone wins the show six points on the coolometer and the captain seriously looks like someone who would be a big Terry Gilliam fan. Also, they use the one Bon Jovi song that I actually like (“Wanted Dead or Alive”) as its theme, which is an additional ten cool points. That’s sixteen cool points, and for those of you not familiar with The Coolometer, that’s a lotta points.

It’s…strangely fascinating, and makes me want to work on a fishing boat. However, if I ever were to, I’m sure there’s a good chance I would regret that decision.

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Hey, remember “Kurosawa Week?” That ended up being two weeks. These are going to be shorter than the other reviews, simply because I’m feeling a little lazy.

High and Low – Really cool late noir from Kurosawa about an ethical businessman whose attitude seems to be at odds with his short-sighted, cold-hearted compatriots at a shoe company. After a particularly unsuccessful meeting where he refuses to budge on a proposal to make cheaper poor quality shoes, he mortgages all he owns in an attempt to gain majority ownership of the company’s stock. It backfires, however, when a kidnapper abducts his son for ransom, not realizing initially that he had grabbed instead the child of his chauffeur. We then see an ethical dilemma wherein the executive must decide whether or not the pay the ransom for a child that isn’t his, a great second act where the focus is shifted to the police department’s investigation of the kidnapping, and a quick-paced third act where they seek to bring the kidnapper to justice. The final scene in the movie is probably one of the best meetings on-screen of a protagonist and antagonist. Highly recommended.

Ran – Kurosawa’s epic interpretation of “King Lear” in a samurai setting. bpdermody stated that this movie was so cool I would pee my pants. As a matter of fact, I watched it last Wednesday and the house still reeks of urine. Seriously, words cannot do this film justice. You must see this now. Highest Possible Recommendation.

Yojimbo – In 1860s Japan, the rise of a middle class has all but killed off the samurai tradition, and the samurais themselves have become an endangered species. One such ronin wanders into a town where he observes two morally bankrupt bosses vying for control and leaving a trail of bodies in their wake. Being skilled with a sword, he immediately becomes the focal point of the turf war and a bidding war begins for his services. The samurai on the other hand has other plans, and decides to play the two sides against each other. If the plot sounds somewhat familiar, it’s most likely because the film was the inspiration for Sergio Leone’s A Fistful of Dollars (to the point where it’s more or less a remake of Yojimbo).

I liked it, but it certainly wasn’t as good as the other Kurosawa films I’ve seen of late. When it was released initially in the United States, the film was cut down from a hair under two hours to just 75 minutes. While I normally abhor such practices (since I’m a pretentious windbag), I could see the reasoning behind it. The film does drag at certain points, but that’s not to say the the movie isn’t still excellent. It just doesn’t, for me, rank up with Kurosawa’s other work. But hey, what do I know, right? Recommended.

I still have Stray Dog, which will wrap up my masturbatory Kurosawa mini-reviews. I’ll probably finish watching it tomorrow, or tonight if I really can’t get any sleep (which seems like more and more of a possibility).

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On a personal note, Friday night was a blast, and thanks to everyone who showed up. There was much drinking and yes, even a little dancing (“May I have this skank?”). Last night was a P4th evening, which was also lovely even though a lot of were just plain beat for one reason or another. It didn’t prevent me from being there until a ridiculous hour, however.

The only downer is it did occur to me at one point that I’m not going to meet any women there, ever. But whateva! I love that goddamn place. YA HEARD?! LOVE. And besides, do I really want to meet a woman at a bar? Nah, probably not.

More later…

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  1. May 8, 2006 at 11:18 am

    I remember going to see Ran at the Spectrum when I was a junior in high school. You’re right, it is a pretty awesome movie. Not the most visually pleasing, but it was damn good.

    • May 8, 2006 at 2:27 pm

      What did you not find visually pleasing about it? Was it the consistent long-shot? Because I personally thought it looked stunning (especially the castle raid scenes), and the costumes were amazing.

      • May 9, 2006 at 1:05 am

        I guess my brain tries to compare it to movies like “House of Flying Daggers” and other more Americanized Asian/Asian-inspired films. Ran was older and just felt much grittier. That seems to be the best way to describe it. It was a good movie, though. I’m just comparing it to things I shouldn’t.

        Also, there were a couple parts that I remember (during the raids/war scenes) where the aftermath of the violence just looked almost comical. People losing limbs, mostly. Then again, I haven’t seen it in probably six years.

  2. May 8, 2006 at 2:38 pm

    I caught an episode of “Deadliest Catch” last night. It was on right after Air Jaws. My Mom and I were watching about leaping sharks. Because you know, what else are we going to watch?

    • May 8, 2006 at 3:51 pm

      Seriously, what the fuck? Sharks and Crab fishing? There’s no goddamn competition. It’s non-existent.

      We could watch the NBA Playoffs I guess, but there’s sharks and crabs on TV, you pussies!

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