Watched The Hidden Fortress and Corpse Bride Last Night

Jaime and I are doing the Blockbuster Netflix-type movie renting, and last night two movies I’ve wanted to see came in. The Hidden Fortress and Corpse Bride.

I enjoyed Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas and generally enjoy his darkly tinted views on life. Corpse Bride was quite good, and very funny. Hilarious is the scene when the dead come back to visit their living relatives. The story was pretty simple and not as intriguing as “Nightmare” was–what if Holloween ran Christmas? Still I do recommend it to anyone. Just be ready to see skeletons dance the night away.

Akira Kurosawa’s Hidden Fortress was a fascinating movie. As one who has grown up on Star Wars, I always thought Lucas was a genious with a brilliant original concept for a story. It was interesting to see just what he borrowed when coming up with the story of Star Wars. Two bumbling peasants (C-3PO and R2 D2) try to make their way through a war torn country (Empire vs Rebels) back home. Along the way, they get mixed up with a princess (Leia) and a general (Obi Wan Kenobi). There is even a hidden fortress (“that’s no moon, it’s a space station!”) though in Kurosawa’s movie, the fortress belongs to the princess. In the end the princess gives a piece of gold to the peasants for their help (temple ceremony where Leia gives Luke and Han their medals).

Where Lucas shifted dramatically (and what really brought him the dough) was in mixing in a battle of good vs evil in the story. The Hidden Fortress doesn’t really take sides in a dramatic battle of good vs evil. The movie does show the action from the point of view of the princess and her attempt to escape, but it doesn’t necessarily paint the antagonists as evil. All are simply caught in a war and do what they need to do. Lucas grabbed on to the American ideology of fighting evil with good. That, and one heck of an ending, is what has made Star Wars the American culture icon it is.


About Daniel

Life is grand. This is the story of a new family, a recently married couple and their honeymoon baby girl. Life throws at you some fastballs, and then some curveballs.
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3 Responses to Watched The Hidden Fortress and Corpse Bride Last Night

  1. Sherpa says:

    Star-Wars has been called a space western….. a term that I think fits.

  2. redhatmandan says:

    It’s fascinating just how much influence Kurosawa has on American cinema. I watched Seven Samurai a while back and I was actually a bit bored by it because I had seen so many other stories using the same format, structure and plot, that the original, raw, and unrefined story didn’t excite as much as it would have if I had seen it first.

  3. joybuhler says:

    Yeah, Kurosawa has been very influential in American Cinema…especially the Seven Samuraii.

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