Zatoichi

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The main character on one of the longest running television shows in Japan is Zatoichi. The movie 2003 movie by the same name provides closure to the long running series. Just who is Zatoichi? Well he is a blind swordsman. This film has it all; sword fights, Yakuza gangs, hell even geisha girls (who aren’t quite what they seem). The film is perhaps almost as famous for its unique CGI effects used for blood splattering as it is for reviving this famous role. I really recommend checking this one out.

Where to find Zatoichi online:

imdb amazon netflix trailer

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Rating: 8.0/10 (4 votes cast)

Ponyo

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I just recently watched Ponyo A Cliff By The Sea (aka Gake no ue no Ponyo), a fantastic animated movie by famous director Hayao Miyazaki. The story follows Ponyo, a goldfish princess, and a young boy named Sosuke. Ponyo’s dream is to become human and the entire story follows the struggles she has with her father as she attempts to make those dreams come true. This is a very cute story and was enoyed by my entire family.

I highly recommend the original with subtitles, however the kids might enjoy the English dubbed version. Disney controls the movie rights in the US and has an official movie website available at http://disney.go.com/disneypictures/ponyo/

Where to find Ponyo online:

imdb amazon netflix trailer

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Rating: 7.0/10 (4 votes cast)

Battle Royale

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Time for a confession; Battle Royale (aka Batoru rowaiaru) was the movie that really provoked my interest in Asian cinema. While I had watched many various Kung Fu/Samurai flicks it wasn’t until watching Battle Royale that I started appreciating all of the amazing cinematic art coming from Asia. I was trying to come up with a quick and easy summary of the story of Battle Royale, but it is best told by the movies website: “(Battle Royale) tells the story of a dystopic future in which each year, a randomly-selected 9th grade class is kidnapped and sent to a deserted island where they are equipped with weapons and are forced to kill each other until one survivor is left”. I have watched this movie at least a dozen times and I can’t express just how much I love this movie. It has been around a while (it premiered in December 2000) and there is even a Battle Royale 2.

The official movie website is available at http://www.battleroyalefilm.net/

Where to find Battle Royale online:

imdb amazon netflix trailer

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Rating: 10.0/10 (3 votes cast)

Ip Man

Ip Man

Ip Man was released by Mandarin Films in 2008. The movie is about the legendary Wing Chun Grand Master Ip Man (aka Yip Man). Ip Man is famous as being one of Bruce Lee’s Grand Masters as well as training many others. The movie takes place during the second Sino-Japanese War. If you are a fan of a well told story and good martial arts you’ll love this film!

The official movie website is available at http://www.ipman-movie.com

Where to find Ip Man online:

imdb amazon netflix trailer

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Rating: 9.4/10 (7 votes cast)