Suit Up

With Iron Man 3 out at the flicks, like a pandemic, Iron Man fever has hit the world, (Except china who seem miffed). If you haven’t seen it yet here’s a little teaser.

Your friendly neighbourhood Rogue Advisor wanted to delight you all with a comprehensive rundown of the myriad of different armours at his disposal.

Just one problem; every blogger and their freakin’ dog seems to have already produced such an article. Therefore, instead I shall up the ante, and science you upside the head as I am wont to do from time to time.

Thus, Level Up will ‘buck the trend’ and instead detail how Tony creates these multi-alloy masterpieces of sciency sexiness.

That’s right, beloved reader, today we learn some of the seemingly infinite amount of tricks up Mr Stark’s sleeve and get an insight into his extensive metallic wardrobe’s creation process.

Sciencing you upside the head Starktech style

Stark Tower, soon to be the Avenger's tower in Marvel's phase 2, is actually the Bitexco Financial Tower in Saigon, Vietnam.

Stark Tower, soon to be the Avenger’s tower in Marvel’s phase 2, is actually the Bitexco Financial Tower in Saigon, Vietnam.

All of our genius playboy philanthropist billionaire hero’s armours are not only constructed from an array of incredibly strong, (and almost all of them being fictional), alloys, they are also bolstered by force fields.

Each different masterpiece of Starktech is a self-contained environment, all of them massively enhancing strength, and other attributes dependant on the model.

Every armour has pretty much every communications and navigations system you can think of, from radio to radar to sonar and of course, the sexiest parts, the assorted on-board weaponry.

They even have a filtration system if you need to take a whizz.

Genius that he is, Stark has multiple energy systems set up, and then some back up power systems such as solar energy, just in case he hasn’t kicked enough ass that day and wants to declare war on Latvia.

The first appearance of Iron Man, March 1963. The MK I armour was actually made of real iron.

“Is it the suit that makes the man, or the man that makes the suit?”

A bit of both. Stark’s armors are not as rigid or solid as they appear, Iron Man’s armour is actually pretty complicated. It is not made out of anything truly solid.

Despite appearances they aren’t thick, encumbering plates, like medieval armour. The structural integrity of the armour is actually a powerful force field permeating each of roughly two million individual, yet working in unison, individual cells.

Each is a tiny and almost sentient unit in its own right; contributing energy and computing power for itself and being a team player with all the other cells in the entire armor; this is why each suit can take substantial damage and still remain highly functional.

Instead, each of the individual cells shift and maneuver unseen to optimize the suits attributes, this also keeps each suit lightweight and flexible.

The armour’s unique composition, the two million aforementioned microscopic units, each has the approximate mass of a grain of sand and are manipulated during the manufacturing process, reshaping them and giving them as large a surface area as possible to optimize their effectiveness.

Iron Man Chill-axing

Our main man wouldn’t be able to relax like that in the armour if was as solid as it looks.
Each suit is as comfortable as wearing a bathrobe.

Whilst Stark designs every aspect of every suit, the production of each armour is must be entirely automated, individually cell by cell. A system created, developed and supervised by Stark every step of the process.

During creation a specialized ‘pre-programmed’ bacteria is utilised, they consume a specifically pre-determined amounts of selected metals.

When it has gobbled the precise portions of each, it then arranges itself on a ‘pre-tagged’ area, a solid template called a ‘chip-wafer’, (manually constructed by Stark himself), then the little fella expires, leaving a miniscule amount of the desired alloy for the tagged area, and always some gallium-arsenide.

The basic principle of the suit is holistic; each part contains the whole, as it were. When inactive, the entire suit can collapse on the microscopic level, the cells ‘folding’ in on themselves to take up a smaller volume, whilst of course having the same mass, like a three-dimensional accordion pleat.

The tome of manufacturing badassery.

All the details of the armor’s construction listed above are laid out in the Iron Manual. However, some armours which appeared after publication of the Iron Manual ignore the amazing ideas it contains, making the writers of those stories total dicks.

The consistent defining abilities of Stark’s armours are the jets installed in the boots and the flight stabilizers in the gauntlets. The repulsor blasters originated from the flight stabilizer and have proven time and time again to double up as an invaluable weapon. They essentially blast off a charged up and directionally manipulated array of magnetised particles, resulting in a force beam.

Another consistent trait are the chest-mounted array of tools / weaponry like the infamous uni-beam, other variations  include the vario beam and tri-beam. What was originally a spotlight has evolved into the proton beam, and  has progressed to develop various other weapons, primarily light and force-based.

Why Marvel? Why? Is it an 80's thing to put Iron Man on roller skates?

Why Marvel? Why? Is it an 80’s thing to put Iron Man on roller skates?

 Some unique armours

Okay, beloved reader, you’ve been suitably scienced up, your friendly neighbourhood Rogue Advisor, though he would cool y’all down with a peek at some of the stranger, weirder and sometimes bamboozling parts of the starktech armoury.

Iron Man 2020

Always nice to know what year folk are from when they introduce themselves, eh?

Iron Man 2020 AD  

This isn’t actually Tony, it’s Arno Stark. Not the illegitimate love child of Stark and Arnold Schwarzenegger, although I wish he were, for that would be a powerful being indeed.

The Iron Man from seven years away, (it was much further in the  future when it was originally published), is in fact Tony’s evil nephew.

Arno Stark inherited Tony’s armoury but instead of righting wrongs and being in cool teams like the Avengers, he turned mercenary and did very bad things with it, including going back in time to cause trouble for the modern-day heroes. Leading one to assume that the heroes of the future just aren’t worth the effort of hassling.

MARK XXVIII – Asgardian Destroyer Armour

Sometimes referred to a the Asgardian buster armour. One would assume, given the name, it's purpose is to 'bust' Asgardians.

Sometimes referred to a the Asgardian buster armour.
One would assume, given the name, it’s purpose is to ‘bust’ Asgardians.

Stark created this armour after Thor went a bit mental in Slovakia, causing so much strife that it had the potential to start World War III. Being the good chum Tony is, he figured he’d slap some sense into him before things got out of hand.

The huge suit was powered by a reactor utilizing an enchanted, super-dense material, an unknown element of unknown origin that was given to Stark by Thor before he lost his cool. The demigod’s intentions were for Stark to turn into a form of sustainable energy source, to be used for the good of mankind.

It allowed the armour to tap into the same energy field that gives Thor’s hammer its strength and also absorbed the son of Odin’s thunderous strikes, it then channeled them through an integrated matrix and send them right back at him.

The movie version looks way cooler. Spikes make everything look cooler.

The movie version looks way cooler. Spikes make everything look cooler.

Stark was giving Thor a brutal kicking but the reactor malfunctioned. Stark hadn’t had time to perfect or test the design given the urgency of the situation.

The tables turned and Thor ripped the armour off of Iron Man, utterly destroying it, but it was merely an exoskeleton. Stark being a man to know when to quit, made a swift getaway in his standard armour that he was wearing underneath.

Anti-Transformer Armour

Anti Transformers Armour

Stark will take on pretty much anything based on just a rumour.
Even giant transforming alien robots.

That’s right beloved reader, Anti-Transformer armour. The giant transforming robots from Cybertron.  Marvel have the rights to Transformers when it comes to comics, so they thought they’d try and pull off a crazy crossover.

Stark had heard rumours of giant alien robots hiding on Earth. Just a rumour mind you, he hadn’t actually encountered any. But he figured he’d go ahead and create a giant suit of armour, specifically to fight giant transforming robots incase he did.

The armour hadn’t been perfected by the time it saw action, it was tough to power such a massive suit, thus it ran low on energy really quickly and if supplied from an external power source was prone to overload.

Iron Man still managed to kick some Decepticon butt until he was beheaded by the Megatron himself. Stark pulled the old escape-the-Asgardian-maneuver and exited the over-sized armour but continued combat in his Extremis Armour.

The Sorcerer Armour, Model I, Mark I

Sorcerer Armour

The armour allowed Stark to ‘cast’ spells faster than any other sorcerer by channelling the Eldritch Forces through its energy system.

For a while, Marvel published a series of comics set in a parallel universe simply titled ‘What If?‘. In issue 13 the hypothetical story line involves a drunken Tony Stark encountering renown surgeon Stephen Strange, (Dr. Strange. sorcerer supreme). Our intoxicated hero severely damaged Dr Strange’s hands, rendering his surgical career caput.

Ridden with guilt and an epic hangover, Stark spends years trying to find a way to correct his mistake and fix Stephen’s hands. His efforts lead him to Tibet where encounters a mystical chap who goes by the ominous name Ancient One.

The Ancient One explains to tony that the rights to his wrongs on the good doctor could only be discovered in mysticism. Thus Stark undergoes through months of sorcerers training, learning how to draw power with incantations from the Eldritch Forces that in the regular universe would have been Dr Stranges vocation, Tony becomes Earth’s Sorcerer Supreme Champion.

To make matters worse an immortal evil entity, Dormammu, also known as The Dread One; Lord of Chaos, The Great Enigma, and Master of the Mindless Ones is on his way to cause whatever havoc immortal entities with multiple scary names like to engage in.

With a new agenda Stark sets about what he does best, making bad-ass Starktech armour. The suit was constructed from materials from different dimensions; the perfect melding of magic and science, specifically designed to enter the Astral Plane and kick seven shades of s**t out of Dormammu.

Until next time. Stay informed.


The Dark Side of Comics

It looks like our chums at DC comics are actually going to go ahead with the Justice League movie, even imdb has an entry for them stating the release date as June 2015.  Christian Bale may even be returning as Batman as DC try to strike back at Marvel and all their recent hyperbolic skullduggery. But it seems DC have an ace up their sleeve.


Justice League Dark

In a recent interview with Total Film about his new movie Mama, Guillermo del Toro discussed characters he wanted to bring to the screen from comics.

“I am going to be presenting my storyline to DC and Warners of where I want to take this universe. We do have a writer, but until that is firmed up, I have to keep it a secret. I hope it happens,” he said.

“It’s going really well. It’s like meeting old friends. I grew up with Demon Etrigan, with Swamp Thing, with Deadman, so these are characters that are near and dear to my heart.”

“I’d love to use the origins that are proper to each character. I love the idea of Jason Blood as a paladin and a knight…. I love the entire Constantine mythology, the Dead Man mythology, the Alex Holland Swamp Thing mythology. These are really rich things to well, and to dig.”

The rumours flying around give the still unconfirmed project the working names of Heaven Sent, Dark Universe and of course Justice League Dark. The anti-hero super group features the likes of John Constantine, who already had his own movie in 2005 staring Keanu, (fight off the woodpeckers), Reeves, Swamp Thing, the protagonist of Wes Craven’s 1982 film of the same name and also The Demon, Phantom Stranger, The Spectre, father / daughter magicians Zatara and Zatanna, and Deadman, a title del Toro was rumoured to be bringing to the silver screen until it was stalled in development.

With these tasty tidbits of rumour and / or information, it seems that DC, if all goes well, will have the perfect counterattack against all the gems that Marvel have turned up and have future plans to continue. That is unless the hybrid freak known as Disney-Marvel-Lucas Film retaliate with . .


Dark Avengers

That’s right, beloved reader, whenever one or the other, DC or Marvel, has a version of something, you can bet your flux capacitor the other will have their own counterpart.

Just who are these clearly nefarious characters?

Iron Patriot: Norman Osborn, (Green goblin), managed to take Tony Stark’s place as director of H.A.M.M.E.R. which is S.H.I.E.L.D.‘s successor after the Invasion of Skrulls storyline. Osborn went about creating a new avengers team, but lacking the actual Ironman and Captain America. Without these heroic figures he came up with the Iron Patriot, StarkTech armour improvised from items confiscated from Stark’s armoury together with Cap’s colouration to goad the public with iconic imagery.

A shot of the Iron Patriot from upcoming Ironman 3. Other shots show James Rupert "Rhodey" Rhodes inside the armour. Surely he should be War Machine.

A shot of the Iron Patriot from upcoming Ironman 3. Other shots show James Rupert “Rhodey” Rhodes inside the armour. Surely he should be War Machine.

Osborn’s technical expertise, however, was lacking and he couldn’t get the armour’s repulsor generators to work, (let’s be realistic about things, he’s no Tony Stark, eh?), he ended up replacing it with the weaker Uni-Beam, that had a star-shaped output.

Venom: Not the original Venom; Eddie Brock. Not the second incarnation; crime Don Angelo Fortunato, but the third to take up the symbiotic suit; Mac Gargan. Formerly known as the Scorpion. Whilst wearing the suit and capering alongside the Iron Patriot, he poses as your friendly neighbourhood Spiderman. Nasty business.

Bullseye: He dresses like Hawkeye but this isn’t Clint Barton. This is Lester, the psychopathic assassin that has an uncanny aim, only on a few rare occasions has he missed moving targets. He uses the opportunities afforded by his profession to satisfy his homicidal tendencies and to keep his mind off the grudge he holds against Daredevil.

Lovelly chap really. Apart from his personal vendetta against a blind lawyer.

Lovely chap really. Apart from his personal vendetta against a blind lawyer.

Daken: Real name Akihiro, he is the mutant son of Wolverine and his deceased Japanese wife Itsu. He poses as his father without difficulty, having similar powers; accelerated, (to extreme regenerative craziness), healing factor, heightened sense of smell and retractable Muramasa steel coated claws, (created from the original Muramasa blade), 2 of which originate from the back of his hands, whilst the third comes from inside his wrists. He obviously doesn’t have the adamantium skeleton  like his dad, but makes up for that disadvantage by having telepathic immunity and a crazy pheromone ability. He can use this pheromone manipulation ability to disguise his own smell, making him ‘invisible’ to Wolverine’s scent tracking and also to change the emotional and sensory state in other beings, instilling sensation such as fear, psychotic rage and even sexual attraction. Definitely one of the nastier characters in both Avengers and X-men. EEK.

Duking it out with pops.

Duking it out with pops.

Moonstone: Real name Karla Sofen, born the daughter of a butler to a movie producer, she managed to become somewhat of a success with her own psychological practice. She used her psychiatric credentials to access the prison cell of Byron Becton – the original Moonstone. Then using hypnosis, she warped his mind into believing he was a disgusting, hideous monster. She was so convincing  that the psychological trauma caused his body to reject the moonstone and it became hers. In the Dark Avengers she poses in the place of Ms.Marvel.

Why are the evil ones always so sexy?

Why are the evil ones always so sexy?

Ares: The son of Zeus and Hera. Quite the credentials. It was never really confirmed who he was supposed to be posing as; one would assume he was meant to take Thor’s place but he always brought his customary sword and / or axe to the party. No matter though, he didn’t last long. He was killed in Siege #2 by the next chap.

Ares taking a kicking from The Sentry. Embarrasing really.

Ares taking a kicking from The Sentry. Embarrassing really.

The Sentry: Yep. As you can see from the picture above he’s one of those, run-of-the-mill-not-really-thought-out-caped-twats-with-vague-powers. His abilities ostensibly come from a serum, similar yet more powerful than the one used on Captain America, that moves his molecules an instant ahead of current time. Whatever that means. Doesn’t really matter, because he went rogue in Siege #3 just before being killed by Thor in Siege #4. Thanks Thor.

Noh-Varr: A prize-winningly cheesy name for a character. Noh-Varr is a member of the Kree race, from the alternate reality of Earth-200080, (we are on Earth-616 by the way). So we’ve got alien and another dimension story in one. He was also enhanced with insect DNA, ahem, giving him enhanced reflexes, speed, strength, and endurance as well as being triple jointed, allowing him to negotiate even the trickiest close environments. Probably his greatest power is the ability to re-route neurological impulses and suppress any stimulus that is unwanted. In Civil War: Young Avengers /Runaways he uses this ability to perform a ‘White run’, defeating Hulkling, Karolina Dean, Wiccan and Xavin in under 5 seconds. His constitution allows him to digest any organic compound without harmful effects, this also increases recovery from wounds or extreme stress.


Mr. Varr. Try saying that with a straight face.

In addition to all that whacky business, Noh-Varr’s spit has infectious biological properties that cause hallucinations and gives him a small degree of mind control. Each of his fingernails can grow into a crystalline spike, which can then be inserted into an opponent and left to explode! He also has access to a wide-range of Kree technology and has the know how to create the means for interdimensional travel. As much as an asset as he was to the team, pretending to be Marvel Boy, he left Dark Avengers #6 and joined the actual Avengers.

I hope that got your geek glands juicy.

Until next time. Stay informed.

Klaatu Barada Nikto

Three seemingly innocuous words, with unknown meaning and little literary worth. Or are they? In the true spirit of geekyness, nerdiness and the downright awesome; your friendly neighbourhood Rogue Advisor brings you easter eggs that have been hidden in movie greats in a referencing conspiracy spanning over 40 years.

Prepare yourself, beloved reader, to be informed

This is Gort. He can disintegrate stuff with his 'eye'. Fear him earthlings.

This is Gort. He can disintegrate stuff with his ‘eye’. Fear him earthlings.

The Day the Earth Stood Still

The first time these words were used was way back in 1951. Edmund H. North who wrote The Day the Earth Stood Still, created an entire alien language for the movie. The spelling of the phrase as used in this article, is considered the official spelling, taken directly from the original script. The words themselves were meant as a fail-safe feature for diplomatic missions, such as the one Klaatu and Gort make to Earth in the film.



Near the end of the movie, Klaatu he tells Helen Benson about his killing machine, Gort, and asks her to memorize the phrase to stop it from killing everyone on Earth, saying “There’s no limit to what he can do. He could destroy the Earth… If anything should happen to me you must go to Gort, you must say these words, ‘Klaatu barada nikto’, please repeat that.”

Shortly after, Klaatu is shot and killed. Gort, knowing he has died, goes on the rampage with his disintegration eye beam and undisputed invulnerability. It’s then up to Helen to stop the massacre by saying, “Gort, Klaatu barada nikto. Klaatu barada nikto.” Yay.

Apparently Keanu, (fight off the woodpeckers), Reeves wanted to include the words in the 2008 remake, but no one cared about him so it didn’t happen.

Mmmm, Carrie Fisher slave.

Mmmm, Carrie Fisher slave.

Return of the Jedi

Didn’t see that one coming, eh? That’s right, beloved reader, the next time the words are used in a movie was in the form of three character names in 1983’s Return of the Jedi.

Klaatu: An indentured servant, working off a large gambling debt to the Hutt himself, but he was secretly plotting to kill Jabba. He’s the poor sap that gets cut in half by Luke Skywalker on Jabba’s sail barge.


Barada: A Klatooinian slave and mechanic who worked on Jabba’s pool of repulsor vehicles. He was trying to pay his way out of slavery with the work but the Hutt had tricked him by taking room and food from his wages, leaving him skint. Despite this he was considered a royal servant with great responsibilities and underlings, mainly in the form of droids.


Nikto: Strange name for this easy to miss minor character, because Nikto are in fact an entire species. They are a kind of ‘client’ species in cahoots with the Hutt gangster empire. These reptilian humanoids vary widely in appearance but all have leathery skin and are generally of average human height, around 1.8 metres tall. Most have obsidian eyes, sometimes covered with a protective membrane. Massive radiation from the nearby dying star M’dweshuu caused them to experience a faster rate of mutation, traits that should take millions of years developing in mere thousands, giving them the wide variation of appearance.


Army of Darkness

This one is obvious right? The third time these immortal words crop up in the be-dazzling realm of cinema in the third instalment of Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead trilogy.

Continuing from Evil Dead 2, Ash Williams, (Bruce Campbell), has been thrown back in time to the middle ages and is forced once again to battle the undead on his quest to return home. In order to retrieve the Necronomicon which has the power to return him to his own time, the words must be spoken precisely or doom and other undesirable business will occur.

The film was made in agreement with a production deal after Darkman was such a success. Universal Studios premiered the movie at the Sitges Film Festival, October 9th 1992 and release in the US on February 19th 1993. The film was dedicated to Irvin Shapiro, who died during its production.

The Japanese movie poster. In that whacky banana shaped land of all things groovy, the film was called Army of Darkness: Captain Supermarket. Nice one Japan.

The Japanese release movie poster. In that whacky banana shaped land of all things groovy, the film was called Army of Darkness: Captain Supermarket. Nice one Japan.

If your geek glands aren’t raging after that, there must be something seriously wrong with your endocrine system.

Until next time. Stay informed.

Akira Kurosawa

O-hayo true believers

Hopefully it’s morning when your reading this otherwise my greeting was invalid. Today; a slight change of pace from the norm, I felt it my duty, as your friendly neighbourhood Rogue Advisor to keep you informed. Thus I present to you:

Akira Kurosawa

Regarded by many, and rightly so, as one of the most influential filmmakers in cinematic history. His career, spanning from 1936 – 1993, working as director, screenwriter, producer and editor, Kurosawa has inspired the likes of George Lucas, Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg and Takeshi Kitano.

He made his directorial debut in 1943 with the movie Sanshiro Sugata, (a.k.a Judo Saga), but his fame would not be cemented until five years later.

Movie poster for Sanshiro Sugata.

Movie poster for Sanshiro Sugata.

In 1948 he collaborated with a then unknown actor, Toshiro Mifune, when he directed Drunken Angel. Mifune’s performance as a rebellious but critically ill gangster made Drunken Angel Kurosawa’s breakthrough film. The two men would go on to create 15 more movies together including: Seven Samurai, Yojimbo and Hidden Fortress.

Rashomon, also starring Mifune, premiered in Tokyo in August 1950 and became, on September 10th 1951, the surprise winner of the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, spurring it’s release in Europe and North America. Kurosawa’s commercial success with Rashomon opened up western film markets for the first time to the Japanese film industry.

In all Kurosawa directed 30 films in a career spanning 57 years, and in 1990 he accepted the Academy Award for Lifetime Achievement.

Following his death on September 6th 1998, (age 88), he was posthumously dubbed ‘Asian of the Century’ in the ‘Arts, Literature and Culture category’ by Asian Week magazine and cited by CNN as “One of the, (five), greatest contributors to the betterment of Asia in the past 100 years.”

Born 23rd March 1910 in Ōmachi in the Ōmori district of Tokyo, Akira was the eighth and youngest child of Isamu and Shima Kurosawa.

His family was moderately wealthy, his mother, Shima came form a merchant’s family in Osaka and his father, Isamu was a member of a former Samurai clan of the Akita prefecture.

Kurosawa’s father played a pivotal role in his career choice. Isamu was very open to western traditions, a rare trait in Japanese citizens at that time, and encouraged a six-year-old Kurosawa to watch movies, as he considered both theatre and motion pictures to have educational merit.

Unbeknownst to many, Kurosawa originally trained as a painter, his storyboards for all his films were full-scale paintings.

He would storyboard the whole movie like this. This painting is from Ran.

He would storyboard the whole movie like this. This painting is from Ran.

At age 25 he finally entered the film industry in February 1936, when Photo Chemical Laboratories, (P.C.L. which later became Toho company), advertised for assistant directors. P.C.L required applicants to submit an essay discussing the fundamental deficiencies of Japanese films and ways to overcome them. Kurosawa’s essay mocked the question by suggesting that if the deficiencies were fundamental, they could not be corrected. The essay earned him follow-up exams; one of the examiners was respected director Kajirō Yamamoto, who insisted on hiring Kurosawa.

In his five years as assistant director, 17 of his 24 films were made working with Yamamoto, earning him swift promotion straight from 3rd assistant director to chief assistant director within one year. The last movie they worked on together was Uma, (Horse), 1941. Kurosawa took over most of the production as Yamamoto’s attention was focused on another project.

In 1942 Kurosawa found the inspiration for his directorial debut in Tsuneo Tomita’s novel Sanshiro Sugata. After devouring the book in one sitting on its publication day, he asked Toho to secure the film rights, a solid prediction on his part as soon after many other film companies were vying for them.

He encountered great difficulty releasing the movie as the censors considered it too ‘British – American’, which at that time was as severe an accusation as treason. The censorship office eventually allowed it to be screened but not before cutting around 18 minutes of footage, most of which is now forever lost. Despite these obstacles and setbacks the movie became a critical and commercial success.

It was during the filming of the next movie, The Most Beautiful, a semi-documentary propaganda film about female factory workers, that he met Yōko Yaguchi. Yōko was the lead actress and constantly at odds with Kurosawa’s filming methods. In order to get the best performance, he had all the cast live in a real factory, eat real factory food and only address each other by their character names. He used this method throughout his career to great effect. It was these arguments that built a lasting relationship, and on May 21st 1945 they married.

Toho in the meantime, had become increasingly concerned with the growing scope and budget requirements of Kurosawa’s movies. Toho suggested he help finance his own works, thereby limiting any of the studio’s potential losses and allowing him more artistic freedom. He agreed and in April 1959 the Kurosawa Production Company was born, Toho being a majority shareholder.

April 1961 saw the release of Kurosawa Productions second film Yojimbo. The movie played on many genre conventions, particularly the Western and was an immense box office success. Yojimbo ushered in a new era of violent Samurai films known as Zankoku Eiga or ‘cruel films’. Its influence spread worldwide and was virtually remade scene-by-scene as Sergio Leone’s A Fistful of Dollars.

A true classic and one of Mifune's finest performances.

A true classic and one of Mifune’s finest performances.

After such success, Toho pressured Kurosawa into releasing a sequel, thus he reworked Yojimbo’s hero into Sanjuro. Sanjuro would be the first of three movies adapted by Kurosawa from the writings of Shūgorō Yamamoto, the other two being Red Beard and Dodeskaden. Sanjuro surpassed even Yojimbo’s success in the box office in January 1962.

Kurosawa’s greatness continues to inspire writers and directors of this era and will undoubtedly continue to influence the movie industry for many years to come.

Without Hidden Fortress there would probably be no Star Wars.

Kurosawa counted Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Maxim Gordy, William Shakespeare and Kenji Mizoguchi among his influences. He also wanted to make a Godzilla movie. Imagine how awesome that would’ve been.

The main man himself, sizing-up Gojira.

The main man himself, sizing-up Gojira.

Until next time. Stay informed.