Cleaning up some loose ends...
Seven Samurai was indeed as good as I anticipated. Not a movie for the impatient or easily bored, but highly entertaining to the patient and interested sorts, of which for the moment I was. Kyuzu was of course the admirable warrior, the ultimate expression of self-denial, self-control, and martial skill, and I found myself a little embarrassed as the young Katsushiro dives down at his feet in pathetic, dog-like worship...I thought the Kyuzu guy was pretty admirable, too! Anyway, an excellent movie. I was a little disinclined to like it at first, because it is one of those movies that borders on an "art film". Whenever you hear movies referenced by their director's name, be wary of that. Kurosawa's "Seven Samurai", etc. When people reference a director like he is an artist and the film is his artwork (Michaelangelo's David, for example) you run the high risk of subjecting yourself to poncey, heart-stoppingly dull art films. But this movie is not rife with "art" for art's sake, it is a good movie, and whatever artistic beauty or virtue it may possess were not a result of it being designed as an "art film".
Not all art movies suck, of course, but I've seen enough that do to adopt a "caveat emptor" attitude towards movies openly broadcast as principally "art" and secondarily entertainment. This movie on the other hand is highly entertaining, and has none of the pretense of a self-aware art film...you know, those films that seem to exult and rejoice in how artsy and inaccessible they are...damn the viewers, full abstraction ahead!
Still, best war movie of all time belongs to Zulu, 1964.
More mesquite experimentation in progress...so far, steaks, burgers, and jerked pork have all benefited from pure wood grilling. The jerked pork, well, I'm getting a little bored of it, and I may try a good BBQ sauce on it next time, or perhaps the salt/pepper/red pepper dry rub I've been using lately. Hot dogs tonight! All this on a $20 grill! Muahahahahaha!