Samurai Jack - The Premiere Movie (2001)
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Critic Reviews for Samurai Jack - The Premiere Movie
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Audience Reviews for Samurai Jack - The Premiere Movie
Samurai Jack is one of the most compelling, original, and artistically adventurous shows ever made. Tartakovsky evokes Tarantino in his ability to draw from multiple works in pop culture (samurai films, film noir, spaghetti westerns, graphic novels, etc) and fuse it with his own imagination and craft to create a show that can pour out episodes that look and feel different (but not jarringly so). Beautiful art direction and fight choreography is matched by a spare, introspective tone, right down to the novelistic pacing of an episode and lack of dialogue. This is not a show for those who revel in superfluous dialogue ( and the dialogue that is there is often funny and always entertaining). Tartakovsky understands the benefits of silences, of letting images or scenes speak for themselves. He'll then augment certain sounds in an episode (like in the masterwork, "3 blind Archers") making Samurai Jack an aural as well as visual treat. More than any other show, Samurai Jack opened me up to the cinematic potential of television. This show moves from funny, to dark, to epic and tragic, then back again without missing a beat. Mandatory episodes: 3 Blind Archers, Tale of X9, Seasons of Death, Jack and the assassins.
A pure-hearted (if naive) samurai (Phil LaMarr) travels the world in order to attain the necessary skills to defeat an evil wizard (Mako Iwamatsu) who conquered his home village. This wizard flings the samurai into a distant future where he must find a way to survive among a society corrupted by the wizard's centuries of dominance. This "movie" packages the first three episodes of the Samurai Jack narrative and it's a handy primer to a very unique series. The deceptively simple animation elegantly merges the atmosphere of Akira Kurosawa with the deliberate pacing of Sergio Leone and the explosive thrills of cyberpunk anime. Samurai Jack is often cited as the highlight of Genndy Tartakovsky's career as an animation director and it's very difficult to disagree.
This is the premier to one of my all time favorite TV shows. Not only is it good as a movie on it's own, it's a great start to the amazing TV series created by Genndy Tartakovsky creator of shows like Dexter's Lab, and Sym-Bionic Titan.
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