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13 Assassins

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13 Assassins - 2/5/2011 9:06:51 AM   
Empire Admin


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You are a hard man to please, Kim - 2/5/2011 9:06:51 AM   


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Joined: 31/8/2006
This is a phenomenal film.

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Post #: 2
RE: 13 Assassins - 4/5/2011 9:47:58 AM   
The Sadistic Puffin

Posts: 19
Joined: 12/4/2011
C'mon 3 stars when you gave thor 4?

This film is refreshing in a world of crap yank superheros and meat head special agents. The art direction is fantastic and the last battle is seven samurai on steriods.

It bothers me when you are so quick to shoot down something a little different, causing less of these kind of films to be made.

I guess its falls into one of  two categories for you...... 'not high brow arthouse enough to make me seem cultured and intelligent'  or 'not big budget enough that I dont recieve a juicy bribe for issuing a positive review'

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Post #: 3
3 stars... bitch please!!!! - 4/5/2011 3:20:43 PM   


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Joined: 9/4/2006
So under awed am I by the utter tripe that passes for entertainment these days that it seems a shame not see a very good movie get some more credit. I've stoppe buying Empire because I disagree with so many of their reviews. If Empire were an actor it would be Robert De Niro and I suspect that more than a few people at the magazine would happily accept that accolade.

13 Assassins is excellent entertainment for what it is and it has the best ending to a movie I have seen in the lat 10 years, (by ening I mean the last 2 to 3 minutes after the battle has ended, proof that intelligence still exists in the movie inustry).

Watch the film yourself, I hope you enjoy it.
For me it is deserving of 4 stars at least.
A 4 star movie for me would be something like this or The Dark Knight.
A 3 star film would be something like The Hangover or The Town.
A 2 star film would be The King's Speech and a 1 star film would be most of the dross currently in the cinema and covering the shelves of Blockbusters.

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Post #: 4
Why so much praise? - 6/5/2011 10:18:59 AM   


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Joined: 22/11/2005
As much as I was looking forward to an epic Samurai film in the vein of Kurosawa I was extremely disappointed by this film.
The plot was plodding and characters were overly stoic, reading out their banal, cliche'd lines with such a theatrical overkill that it became extremely monotonous to watch.
Mutilated victims formed an orderly que to do their part to demonstrate how bad the villain was. The first hour just threw reasons to make you hate the villain more and more so you could route for the mostly characterless group of samurai.
It looked like a Kurosawa film, and had some great moments, but the characterization was bland in comparison. The comic relief forest man, obviously a riff on one Mifune's characters, was so over-played and awkward that it just jarred. He was like a Samurai Jar Jar.

Throw in some CGI bulls and a huge fight scene shot largely in close-up shaky cam and you get an extremely anti-climatic ending having sat through all that laborious, stilted build up. It felt like a director thought a samurai film should be, but came off as a tribute rather than a classic in its own right.

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Post #: 5
Poor Goro! - 7/5/2011 1:14:43 PM   


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Joined: 5/10/2005
A fantastic movie... much more heart than Miike's last cinematic outing (Yattaman!)
Empire... you have spelt Goro's sirname wrong! It's Inagaki (not Inagako) - he would not be amused!

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Post #: 6
Very entertaining - 7/5/2011 7:58:10 PM   
Fit Kisto


Posts: 474
Joined: 15/8/2007
Well worth seeing on the big screen. I would agree it was very parred down in terms of character development, they must have realized there was no way to compete with The Seven Samurai on that front.

There were some enjoyably OTT Miike touches, such as the amputee victim and the spaced-out philosophical villain

I hope the 20 mins longer extended cut turns up on the dvd release.


There is no Swamp Ape. It was invented for people who can't find the actual world fascinating. Y'know?

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Post #: 7
RE: Very entertaining - 7/5/2011 8:51:59 PM   


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There were some enjoyably OTT Miike touches, such as the amputee victim and the spaced-out philosophical villain

That was just incredible to see and very moving.

I loved this film and the other Miike touch that I liked was the over the top explosion with the rain of blood Rather than plodding I thought the build up was well done and felt right. The only thing that I didn't like was the CGI bulls. At first sight I thought "yes" but very quickly that thought disappeared. A small gripe in a great film though.


Come join in the Photo competition

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Post #: 8
Have To Agree With The Peanut Gallery - 8/5/2011 1:28:28 AM   

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Joined: 28/8/2007
From: To Your Immediate Left
This is a pretty wonderful film - the best samurai film in ages - and I can't believe you only gave it 3 stars.

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Post #: 9
RE: Have To Agree With The Peanut Gallery - 8/5/2011 10:24:52 AM   

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Joined: 18/10/2005
Was completely blown away by this. Truly brilliant. And, yes, the amputee scene (and the sounds in particular) will stay with me for days.

(in reply to benskelly)
Post #: 10
RE: 13 Assassins - 11/5/2011 3:21:37 PM   


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Director: Takashi Miike
Screenwriter: Daisuke Tengan
Starring: Koji Yakusho, Takayuki Yamada, Yusuke Iseya, Goro Inagaki, Masachika Ichimura

As the era of the samurai is coming to an end, the Shogun’s younger sadistic brother Lord Naritsugu (Inagaki) becomes a threat for Feudal Japan when he ascends to a higher political position. When Shinzaemon (Yakusho) is secretly hired to assassinate the young lord, he recruits a group of assassins for this suicide mission.

Fifty years old and Takashi Miike has directed more than fifty films, ranging from violent and bizarre to dramatic and family-friendly, although for international audiences, he’s known for the former. For this critic, my opinion towards his work is mixed, as I absolutely loved Audition (which responded a woman to shout at the director: “You’ve evil!”), but really didn’t like Ichi the Killer (in which its ultra-violence got in the way of a really compelling story).

In the case of his latest to be internationally released: 13 Assassins, my opinion is somewhere in the middle. Adapted from Eiichi Kudo’s 1963 film, this factually-inspired samurai tale is one half of an interesting character drama and the other half is one giant action set-piece. Despite the opening promise of a political drama about power and honour, the film basically depicts Lord Naritsugu as the spoilt antagonist with such violent nature, while the eponymous heroic group has only one purpose which is the mission.

A number of people have compared 13 Assassins to Kurosawa’s classic Seven Samurai, to which I somewhat disagree. Miike’s film does have comparisons with Kurosawa’s film such as the ensemble of the titular group, the planning of the mission and finally the tragic action-packed climax. However Seven Samurai never wasted its three-plus hours due to the complex characterisations, the group dynamics and the fear of a tragic denouement, something in which 13 Assassins lacks.

If you’re a fan of his stylish direction, you will enjoy this as Takashi Miike isn’t afraid of showing the violence including an awful lot of hack-and-slash, since this is a samurai film. Miike provides a sense of intrigue throughout even with the flawed screenplay as the first half keeps everything moving at an easy pace while the second half is literally an epic action sequence in which a quiet town turns a bloody warzone.

Although they spend the last forty-five minutes screaming, swinging their blades and drenched in blood, some of the male-dominant cast have their moment to shine such as Babel’s Koji Yakusho has such magnetic presence, particularly in samurai fashion. As for Goro Inagaki as the villainous lord is a quintessential Miike-styled character whose violent actions is what defines his role and the actor captures that very essence.

One half is an interesting drama of power and honour; another is all action with a lot of cleaving. Both halves worked but the film as a whole, lacks greatness despite strong expectations.

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Post #: 11
RE: 13 Assassins - 15/5/2011 12:13:30 PM   

Posts: 87
Joined: 5/4/2011
Really enjoyed this, great homage to the classic samurai films of old. It was a little hard to tell which character was which early on, but there was enough time to let each character breathe so it wasn't that much of a problem. It was also sumptuously shot, no pesky "shaky" cam in sight, great panning wide shots. I absolutely loved it. I really want to see his follow up.

I really want to see the original 60's version too, which I think has been released by criterion.

(in reply to R W)
Post #: 12
Agreed - 19/5/2011 1:28:37 PM   
chris wootton


Posts: 562
Joined: 15/9/2006
Absolutely magnificent.. I'd go s far as to say that it's Takeshi Miike's best film.. By giving it 3 stars you are declaring that Attack the Block is better? Shame on you

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Post #: 13
PLEASINGLY OLD FASHIONED.... - 21/5/2011 4:25:53 PM   


Posts: 379
Joined: 14/7/2008
This thing was actually on at my local mutiplex.....wonder of I made the extra effort to see the late show. It's a throwback to Kurosawa's old epic alright....with added guts and gore.......Those samurai are a stoical uptight bunch....and thank God for that, because it makes for great entertainment.....four stars

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Post #: 14
13 Assassins - 9/7/2012 3:47:39 AM   


Posts: 116
Joined: 30/4/2012
Half-historical-drama and half-samurai-epic, Takashi Miike's 13 Assassins is a high-octane film like no other. It's a little imperative to characterization, but the stunning art direction and iconic choreography makes this a film like no other.

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Post #: 15
RE: Very entertaining - 15/8/2012 7:25:59 AM   

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ORIGINAL: Hobbitonlass



There were some enjoyably OTT Miike touches, such as the amputee victim and the spaced-out philosophical villain

That was just incredible to see and very moving.

I loved this film and the other Miike touch that I liked was the over the top explosion with the rain of blood Rather than plodding I thought the build up was well done and felt right. The only thing that I didn't like was the CGI bulls. At first sight I thought "yes" but very quickly that thought disappeared. A small gripe in a great film though.

I'm not sure about incredible (the amputee scene) but it was very moving to the point of disturbing. I have a strong stomach but that scene, and when he takes out the family at the beginning was quite nasty, unsurprising for a Takashi Miike film I know, but I was glad when the second half came and it was just flying limbs and lopped off heads

A bit late to this thread, watched this for the first time last night and really enjoyed it. Really enjoyed it.
Dashed with doses of humour (the 2 explosion experts were excellent, as was the "chubby" samurai who just wanted money to pay of his debts and enjoy a bit of life. The 13th samurai too was very amusing, mocking the hundfreds round him for fighting with swords when he just had a rock in a sock. )
I thought the light humorous touches were excellent.
The ending was brilliant, coming after about an hour of solid fighting, you really felt the hatred Shinza had for Naritsugu (yes, I am IMDBing their names ) and as he struggled in the mud, declaring how scared he was and how much pain he was in, before announcing it was his "best day ever", you felt not an ounce of sorrow for him. For a character who barely had 20 lines throughout the film (until the ending) who really didn't have much screen time, but shall IMO go down as one of films' vilest and sickest bad guys.
Excellent stuff.


I've got all the Barbie ones!!!

Yeah but you're old. Really old. Old. Old. Old. Old.

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Post #: 16
RE: Very entertaining - 22/8/2012 12:46:52 PM   
Fluke Skywalker

Posts: 9540
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From: the dark side of the sun
It's a solid movie, but no more than three stars really because there's zero plot or characters. There's a cartoon cut out of a psychotic bad guy, and then a ton of carnage. Even the fighting wasn't particularly spectacular. Definately enjoyed it but it's by no means a classic

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Post #: 17
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