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47 Ronin- Blu-ray Review

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47 Ronin - Blu-ray Review

1 stars

The story of the 47 Ronin is by all accounts the most famous story of samurai in the history of Japan. Many plays, books, films have apparently been dedicated to the true story of 47 samurai who would accept certain death themselves to avenge the unjust death that befell their master. Their graves are still visited to this day.

Of course, Hollywood will ‘adapt’ any story they can get their hands on eventually, and so Universal let first time director Carl Rinsch and actor Keanu Reeves have their way with it, taking a perfectly enticing premise alone and fictionalising it with a fantasy movie framework. The pitch was this would be a Lord of the Rings style epic with Gladiator like grittiness. It’s now amongst one of the worst box office bombs in history. Why?

Reeves plays a ‘half breed’ found by a master and his samurai in the woods. Although gifted at tracking, hunting, fighting, he has neither the acceptance nor love of those he constantly strives to honour. When the Shogun makes a visit to his master’s lands, and a witch manipulates events resulting in his master’s suicide, Keanu and those masterless samurai, now called Ronin, plot to avenge their master’s loss.

This is a spectacular looking movie, let’s be positive for a moment. It looks every bit its 225 million dollar budget. Its performers also can hold their heads high, as they dignify some fairly shoddy, thin characterisations with their dedication. Everything from the cinematography, costume design, sound, it’s all top shelf product.

But the conception of the product itself is idiotic. You’re taking a culturally revered tale and bastardising it with witches and giants and demons and a ‘Half English/Half Japanese’ lead with an American accent. So goodbye Japanese market. Then you take a distinctly Japanese concept of seppuku (ritual suicide) and coat it in fantasy elements for what reason? To Appeal to the kids? To make that more palatable to a Westerner? Goodbye Western audience! They’re not that stupid.

Even setting aside that, narratively your leading man is in the background all the time. He’s your eyes into the world, and he’s a submissive, reactive person. How is that appealing to an audience member ignorant of these foreign concepts, when the one person they identify with is a disrespected, powerless sheep? Idiotic.

This film is going to go down in film history as one of the most ill-considered movies ever conceived. It also will make studios reign that remake/go with what’s safe, approach even tighter. Audiences are hungry for something new and bold, but they also need to be able to relate to it. This film is guilty of alienating all sides with its careless patchwork of influences; it breaks so many fundamental rules of filmmaking (show, don’t tell; the audience needs to want to LIVE through your protagonist). It’s a complete wash, folks.

Hey guys, wanna follow a submissive man through a life of humiliation, vengeance, and ritual suicide? All the while insulting the culture and the men on which this tale is based by adding this idiotic character and fantasy stuff for no good reason? Look no further than 47 Ronin, the stupidest movie to come out of Hollywood in a very very long time.

47 Ronin - Blu-ray Review

 MPAA Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, some disturbing images, and thematic elements.
Runtime:
118 mins
Director
: Carl Rinsch
Writer:
Chris Morgan, Hossein Amini
Cast:
Keanu Reeves, Hiroyuki Sanada, Ko Shibasaki
Genre
: Action | Adventure | Fantasy
Tagline:
This Christmas, seize eternity..
Memorable Movie Quote: "I will search for you through 1000 worlds and 10000 lifetimes!"
Distributor:
Universal Pictures
Official Site: https://www.facebook.com/47Ronin
Release Date:
December 25, 2013
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
April 1, 2014
Synopsis: Keanu Reeves makes an explosive return to action-adventure in 47 Ronin. After a treacherous warlord kills their master and banishes their kind, 47 leaderless samurai vow to seek vengeance and restore honor to their people. Driven from their homes and dispersed across the land, this band of Ronin must seek the help of Kai (Reeves)—a half-breed they once rejected—as they fight their way across a savage world of mythic beasts, shape-shifting witchcraft and wondrous terrors. As this exiled, enslaved outcast becomes their most deadly weapon, he will transform into the hero who inspires this band of outnumbered rebels to seize eternity. Helmed by director Carl Rinsch (The Gift), 47 Ronin is produced by Scott Stuber (Ted, Identity Thief), Pamela Abdy (Identity Thief, upcoming Kill the Messenger) and Eric McLeod (Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Austin Powers series)..

47 Ronin - Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - April 1, 2014
Screen Formats: 2.40:1
Subtitles
: English SDH, French, Spanish
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; French: DTS 5.1; Spanish: DTS 5.1
Discs: 50GB Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set (1 BD, 1 DVD); UV digital copy; Digital copy (as download); DVD copy; BD-Live
Region Encoding: A

Unlike the movie, the 1080p AVC MPEG-4 picture is sublime. Rich colours pop off your screen, from light to dark. Skin tones are natural, or supernatural, depending on the character. Vistas are breathtaking. This is a solid modern offering visually.

The DTS-HD 5.1mix will leave your speakers in a lather of sweat. Awesome immersion, playful constant left to right effects, crisp nuanced dialogue. This is lossless perfection, sound wise.

Special features. Like the movie, absolute shit. There’s a few very short featurettes with producers and actors talking meaningless crap. Actually, the one thing these featurettes prove is that these people don’t belong anywhere near 225 million dollars.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • None

Special Features:

  • Deleted Scenes
  • Re-Forging the Legend
  • Keanu & Kai
  • Steel Fury
  • Myths, Magic & Monsters

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