Heaven and Earth (1990)

Takaaki Enoki, Masahiko Tsugawa, Atsuko Asano, Naomi Zaizen,
In 16th century Japan, two samurai engage in massive battles across the countryside; one attempting to conquer and the other attempting to defend his land while repressing his love for a woman after taking a vow of celibacy.
  • 6.8 /10.0 IMDB Rating:
  • DatePublished:
  • 2018-09-07 Added:
  • Chôgorô Kaionji, Toshio Kamata, Isao Yoshiwara, Writer:
  • Haruki Kadokawa, Director:
  • Yutaka Okada, Producer:
6 / 10

visually impressive but dull

This movie has great battle scenes--large, intense and seemingly real. The clash between the red and black colored armies is a visual treat. The problem is that for as great as these scenes are, the film lags greatly on the personal level. The dialog just seems as if it is being filmed at a great emotional distance--and OFTEN, the scenes are actually filmed at a pretty great physical distance. If the movie could have been re-edited with new writing and direction for the non-spectacular scenes, it might achieve greatness. Otherwise, it just seems a little too cold and distant to become engaging. In this sense, it looks, at times, more like a documentary on the History Channel more than a film about PEOPLE and events.

5 / 10

Beautiful To See, But Not Much Else

This is one of the prettier films I've seen with some wonderful cinematography and beautiful scenery. It's the reason I kept the film for quite a while, because the story was uninvolving. All the characters sound the same with a lot of the grunting macho male voices. The Japanese seem to show this in a number of films and is so foreign to our culture, it's hard to relate.

This is a story about two warriors - one shown in orange and the other in black, but it really wasn't good guy-versus-bad guy, just two people battling over land. Boy, that sounds familiar, as you know. Countries do the same, unfortunately.

This movie, according to critics, was supposed to have some fantastic action scenes. Well, let's just say that's not the case; the action scenes are very overrated.

Great visuals are the attraction here; not much else. Still, it's a shame something this beautiful is not available on DVD.

8 / 10

Even brothers are subject to fate - you were born to be a ruler - war is your destiny!

No one does spectacular battles like the Japanese; especially when it comes to Samurai. The pageantry, the color, the sound, all frame a battle that is more like a chess match than war.

Tsunehiko Watase (Usami) provides outstanding support to Takaaki Enoki (Kagetora) and Masahiko Tsugawa (Takeda Shingen), warriors who are battling for control of Japan in the 16th Century.

Ken Watanabe was supposed to been one of the leads according to a source, but had to drop out because of illness. It does not suffer any for his absence as the others do an outstanding job.

Some may like their war with blood and guts, but if you like to see war not only as an art of battle, but as an art form, then this is the best you can see.

6 / 10

Jinx - Nobody's Ever Made Good Movies Out of These Warlords

This is the first big budget samurai movie from Kadokawa Movies. Lots of Kurosawa influence is obvious in its visuals. Throughout the opening scene I almost thought I was watching a Kurosawa movie.

Production quality is supremely high, and the cast of actors assembled to create this movie is epic.

That being said, i question the mind of Haruki Kadokawa for choosing Kenshin Uesugi (Kagetora) and Shingen Takeda's conflict to dump the money he did in creating this movie.

I've never seen any movie company do a good job in portraying either lives of Shingen Takeda, or Kagetora Nagao. I don't know why this is the case. They were the epitome of samurai lords, and any betting man would have placed their bet in those days for them to be the ultimate ruler of Japan.

Either man could have been the the ultimate victor in the race to unite Japan. Instead, they never did a big bet battle that would decisively turn the tide in their favor to become the Shogun of Japan.

So although, regarded highly as samurais, these guys were small frys, and attempt to make a story around them only seems to bring out this fact which ends in story that lacks a sufficient climax.

This is a nice movie, but the story is somewhat flat for the above reasons. It's a Kurosawa copy Kadokawa style which didn't succeed either as a Kurosawa movie or a Kadokawa movie.

9 / 10

Canadian Samurai??????

Having just watched this movie on a whim I was quite impressed with the scope and choreography it must have taken to organize the battle scenes, which are of course tremendously filmed. I am however a prototypical american, and it's nice to see a little blood in battle scenes. I was often thinking while watching about the battle scenes in Braveheart. I wouldn't say that need necessarily be that bloody, but a war without blood seems to miss the point of war. Nothing in this movie looked painful. War just looked like a game of people riding horses in different directions.

I found the non battle scenes in the movie to be a nice balance though the charecters could have been worked on.....why are Kagetora and Nami in love???? What reason? Because she's there?

If this review is coming off negative then I'm not making myself clear. I did enjoy the film and have very little knowlege of 17th century Japan so as not to know of any historical flaws. I find it a bit amusing that it was filmed in Canada....donuts anyone, eh? But all in all pretty much any movie is cool if it has one samurai. When you have five or six hundred you're in for a good movie. I'd recommend this to people who hate black and white too much to sit through the three and a half hours of the Seven Samurai. 8/10