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13 Assassins - 28/12/2011 7:10:10 PM   
Fluke Skywalker


Posts: 9540
Joined: 23/4/2006
From: the dark side of the sun
Thoroughly enjoyable action movie but it really has the the slightest of plots - psychotic Lord who uses kids as target practice is targeted for assassination. Then we get our heroes vs about 200 of his soldiers and loads of blood and death.

It's certainly entertaining but there's really nothing deep whatsoever about this movie.
Post #: 1
RE: 13 Assassins - 11/1/2012 12:18:15 PM   
Kaede


Posts: 8
Joined: 7/11/2011
That's a fair review but didn't you find the battle scene at the end a bit....well, silly? It was about 45 minutes of one guy at a time randomly waving his sword around while about 20 dudes would pretty much walk into him and fall over. Yes I know it's a staple of pretty much every Esatern film with martial arts, but for all the hype, this sort of thing has been done much better.

I did enjoy it though. The one 'deep' bit (and I use the term lightly) I did enjoy was the lord who killed himself on the bridge because he wasn't able to avenge the death of his son. Proper Japanese that bit.

How do you do spoiler tags on this forum?

(in reply to Fluke Skywalker)
Post #: 2
RE: 13 Assassins - 11/1/2012 5:49:05 PM   
elab49


Posts: 54624
Joined: 1/10/2005
I'm afraid we either use white text (as you've done - with the word SPOILER bolded and clear beforehand) or the code for invisotext which you'll find in some sigs - eg Captain Black (who posted the index post in Small Screen).

Spoiler tag buttons are top of our forum wishlist


_____________________________

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation] LIKE AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS TOO. IT MADE ME LAUGH A LOT AND THOUGHT IT WAS WITTY. ALSO I FEEL SLOWLY DYING INSIDE. I KEEP AGREEING WITH ELAB.


Annual Poll 2013 - All Lists Welcome

(in reply to Kaede)
Post #: 3
RE: 13 Assassins - 16/1/2012 10:17:34 PM   
the anomaly


Posts: 6423
Joined: 20/6/2006
HIGH on my rental list. Been looking forward to it. 

(in reply to elab49)
Post #: 4
RE: 13 Assassins - 3/4/2012 10:30:29 PM   
Phubbs


Posts: 658
Joined: 3/4/2012
Think 'Seven Samurai' and you have this new modern film which not only equals that classic picture but in my mind it goes one step further and possibly betters it. Hard you may say, true, but this film captured me and didn't let go until the final Katana came slashing down.

Based on a supposed true incident set loosely around 1844 and a remake of the 1963 black n white film 'Jūsan-nin no shikaku', a senior government official hires twelve unemployed and poor Ronin to assassinate the Shogun's sadistic brother due to the fact he kills, rapes and maims innocent people at will. Not a terribly difficult plot to follow and none to original either, the source for many many film of this type and of course has its similarities to 'The Hidden Fortress' and 'Seven Samurai'.

The film is basically (for more than half of it) a dialog piece as Shinzaemon Shimada gets together his swordsman and plans his attack, we see how evil and careless Lord Naritsugu is as he 'plays' with peasants and we see the Samurai train for their assault. The film has subtitles for the Western audience and at first I admit I was becoming worried I may lose interest but unlike '7 Samurai' the dialog isn't too dull and the film doesn't crawl slowly, instead you have lively moments hinting at action to come. This of course is all seconded to the amazing scenery and costumes on display that truly bring 18Century Japan into your living room, the clothing worn by all looks drab and lifeless yet real, the sets are sparse and dark yet perfectly recreated (if you have been to Japan you will know) and the sparing on display is realistic and unlike your more common Hollywood fare. The film for allot of the time is a straight look at how Japanese people got along really, it shows life and hardship for most classes (Samurai were normally poor and homeless) and lets you in on the culture, if your not careful you could be fooled into thinking there will be no action hehe

As the film progresses all of the above I have mentioned simply gets better and more vivid as the Ronin make their way to the village they will turn into a blood bath, the film was shot in Northern Japan (Tsuruoka in the Yamagata Prefecture) and makes full use of the lush green countryside and woodlands, the village for the finale is slightly more your usual set affair which does lose some realistic momentum but never mind.
The final 40 min or so of the film is a relentless onslaught of flashing katana's and streams of blood as the Samurai take on Naritsugu's men with traps and skills that Sly Stallone and his 'Expendables' wished they had shown haha Yes the action is fast and hard to follow but most importantly it looks real, its muddy, messy and not pretty fancy moves...its Samurai warriors hacking their way through semi skilled soldiers all of whom both Samurai and soldier fight for honour.

As the heads roll and the Ronin run around I must say its hard to follow whats going as all the characters wear the same type of outfit in the same colours, as it would be, only certain members hair styles separate them. Alas with 13 men its hard to care for all and hard to make each member a valid part of the film, so when one dies you struggle to think who he was and thus you don't care so much, the only actor I recognise is Tsuyoshi Ihara and of course his character 'Hirayama' was the most fierce of the team so I followed him easily but other Ronin used different weapons so one or two were easily picked up on.

The best film of this genre I've seen ever I think...yes and that includes the more famous black n white films too. The last film I saw of the Samurai would have been 'The Last Samurai' with Cruise and Watanabe which was your typical Hollywood flashy view but a decent effort spoiled by the inclusion of a big ego like Cruise, '13 Samurai' is epic for its accuracy and look, there is nothing original here and at the same time nothing too over the top, accept afew scenes in the village at the end, in short its a damn fine film.

(in reply to Fluke Skywalker)
Post #: 5
RE: 13 Assassins - 4/4/2012 11:07:47 PM   
King of Kafiristan

 

Posts: 1004
Joined: 14/1/2012
From: The States
Miike seems to always be cranking out films, tossing them out like spaghetti splattered on a wall just to see what sticks. Every once in a while, he manages to hit a home run.

This is one of my favorite films of the past year, and one of the better films I've seen in recent memory. I'm predisposed to be interested in the subject matter, but even beyond it's samurai action trappings, it's a fully rousing adventure that tangles with interesting themes and ideas and should be a film any fan of cinema ought give a shot. The questions it tackles, about honor, duty and loyalty, and what objective value these concepts may or may not have, is an intriguing one and it's an interesting take on the traditional samurai film.

< Message edited by King of Kafiristan -- 5/4/2012 12:20:02 AM >

(in reply to Fluke Skywalker)
Post #: 6
RE: 13 Assassins - 11/4/2012 8:33:12 PM   
the anomaly


Posts: 6423
Joined: 20/6/2006
quote:

ORIGINAL: the anomaly

HIGH on my rental list. Been looking forward to it. 



Finally bloody watched it!

Over all I had a good time of it.

Highlights

Felt authentic visually and was well shot
Great sword play
The trap/battle
The whole suicide/men on a mission

Disappointments - Overall on the surface it's a straightforward revenge film. I got more from it there are clearly themes of honour, friendship, duty etc infact the former is without doubt the over ruling issue for me. The sheer extreme theme of honour and duty that each character goes through is to be fair running all the way through the film. Yet I'd say it's a shame we don't get to connect with the characters more.


CONTAINS MILD SPOILERS. MAJOR SPOILERS ARE WHITED OUT.

I'd say there were five of the assassins I could clearly remember. The leader, The leaders nephew, The leaders mate, Leaders Disciple, His disciple, the staff dude and the extra ... alright 7 I remember half. The other half kind of fall to the weigh side ... still enjoyable and the guys I remembered had their moments.

Loved the scene where the Disciple and student face off the guards in the garden of swords! "Take any that get past me" That was awesome.

The ending I guess going back the honour theme has the survivors been given a new lease of life. The rebel and the nephew surviving is a nice touch ... though shame the other kid didn't get found. Missed some of the other assassins deaths? But yeah you know I enjoyed it a lot. It lagged near the middle of the battle. After the traps were done and all the interesting battles. It became just a slaughter fest ... which I guess is realistic ... but then it's not as no way could they take what 130 that were left alive. One or two back up traps would have piped my interest a bit near the end and made the battle slightly more plausible.

(in reply to the anomaly)
Post #: 7
RE: 13 Assassins - 29/5/2012 3:16:06 PM   
SWOTBM


Posts: 1998
Joined: 6/5/2007
Saw this the other day on Sky. I had heard it was pretty good but other than that I had no idea what to expect, and I have to say I'm fairly disappointed. The story was paper thin and the majority of the movie seemed to be one big battle. I will say that some of the sword fights were very well done- the second in command old-ish samurai was amazing, as was the apprentice guy.

Also, I thought the pacing of the subtitles was kinda off; there were time when the subtitles would fly by and I would have to rewind just to keep up to speed with all the names, places, clans etc. Overall not particularly impressed, but not something I would recommend.

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(in reply to the anomaly)
Post #: 8
RE: 13 Assassins - 13/8/2012 3:30:51 PM   
AxlReznor

 

Posts: 1623
Joined: 2/12/2010
From: Great Britain
quote:

ORIGINAL: Phubbs

Think 'Seven Samurai' and you have this new modern film which not only equals that classic picture but in my mind it goes one step further and possibly betters it. Hard you may say, true, but this film captured me and didn't let go until the final Katana came slashing down.

Based on a supposed true incident set loosely around 1844 and a remake of the 1963 black n white film 'Jūsan-nin no shikaku', a senior government official hires twelve unemployed and poor Ronin to assassinate the Shogun's sadistic brother due to the fact he kills, rapes and maims innocent people at will. Not a terribly difficult plot to follow and none to original either, the source for many many film of this type and of course has its similarities to 'The Hidden Fortress' and 'Seven Samurai'.

The film is basically (for more than half of it) a dialog piece as Shinzaemon Shimada gets together his swordsman and plans his attack, we see how evil and careless Lord Naritsugu is as he 'plays' with peasants and we see the Samurai train for their assault. The film has subtitles for the Western audience and at first I admit I was becoming worried I may lose interest but unlike '7 Samurai' the dialog isn't too dull and the film doesn't crawl slowly, instead you have lively moments hinting at action to come. This of course is all seconded to the amazing scenery and costumes on display that truly bring 18Century Japan into your living room, the clothing worn by all looks drab and lifeless yet real, the sets are sparse and dark yet perfectly recreated (if you have been to Japan you will know) and the sparing on display is realistic and unlike your more common Hollywood fare. The film for allot of the time is a straight look at how Japanese people got along really, it shows life and hardship for most classes (Samurai were normally poor and homeless) and lets you in on the culture, if your not careful you could be fooled into thinking there will be no action hehe

As the film progresses all of the above I have mentioned simply gets better and more vivid as the Ronin make their way to the village they will turn into a blood bath, the film was shot in Northern Japan (Tsuruoka in the Yamagata Prefecture) and makes full use of the lush green countryside and woodlands, the village for the finale is slightly more your usual set affair which does lose some realistic momentum but never mind.
The final 40 min or so of the film is a relentless onslaught of flashing katana's and streams of blood as the Samurai take on Naritsugu's men with traps and skills that Sly Stallone and his 'Expendables' wished they had shown haha Yes the action is fast and hard to follow but most importantly it looks real, its muddy, messy and not pretty fancy moves...its Samurai warriors hacking their way through semi skilled soldiers all of whom both Samurai and soldier fight for honour.

As the heads roll and the Ronin run around I must say its hard to follow whats going as all the characters wear the same type of outfit in the same colours, as it would be, only certain members hair styles separate them. Alas with 13 men its hard to care for all and hard to make each member a valid part of the film, so when one dies you struggle to think who he was and thus you don't care so much, the only actor I recognise is Tsuyoshi Ihara and of course his character 'Hirayama' was the most fierce of the team so I followed him easily but other Ronin used different weapons so one or two were easily picked up on.

The best film of this genre I've seen ever I think...yes and that includes the more famous black n white films too. The last film I saw of the Samurai would have been 'The Last Samurai' with Cruise and Watanabe which was your typical Hollywood flashy view but a decent effort spoiled by the inclusion of a big ego like Cruise, '13 Samurai' is epic for its accuracy and look, there is nothing original here and at the same time nothing too over the top, accept afew scenes in the village at the end, in short its a damn fine film.


This! I'm not a fan of Miike. I feel a lot of the time he puts "extreme" things into his movies just for the sake of having them there. But 13 Assassins is a fantastic homage to classics of the past. There are a couple of things in there that are really quite disturbing, but because they are so rare they have a much stronger effect than the non-stop gorefest of the likes of Ichi The Killer.
The plot is paper thin, but when you think about it, so is the plot to Seven Samurai. Doesn't stop that being one of the greatest films of all time, and it doesn't stop this from being extremely enjoyable. The slow burn of the first two acts of the movie really helps you to feel something for the core members of the "13"... unfortunately at least half of them aren't really given much more to do than make up the numbers, but the other half are incredibly strong.
And when the third act kicks in, with 45 minutes of constant action, you can't help but be amazed at the stunningly realised action. It's possibly some of the best sword-fighting choreography ever captured on camera, and it all feels grounded (except for one section involving a wave of blood coming over a roof).
It's one of my favourite movies from last year. I haven't seen Miike's version of Hara-Kiri yet. I've heard it is nowhere near as good as this, but I still look forward to seeing it.

(in reply to Phubbs)
Post #: 9
RE: 13 Assassins - 2/9/2012 8:12:17 PM   
Fluke Skywalker


Posts: 9540
Joined: 23/4/2006
From: the dark side of the sun

quote:

ORIGINAL: AxlReznor

And when the third act kicks in, with 45 minutes of constant action, you can't help but be amazed at the stunningly realised action. It's possibly some of the best sword-fighting choreography ever captured on camera


I have to disagree with these points, the action was fairly standard sword-fare and didn't stand out as anything particularly amazing. There was an absolute ton of it though

(in reply to AxlReznor)
Post #: 10
RE: 13 Assassins - 2/9/2012 8:27:47 PM   
elab49


Posts: 54624
Joined: 1/10/2005
quote:

ORIGINAL: AxlReznor

his! I'm not a fan of Miike. I feel a lot of the time he puts "extreme" things into his movies just for the sake of having them there.


I think that's just a reflection of work in different genres rather than for the sake of it. But watching some of those, 13 Assassins, older stuff like Bird People in CHina and Ace Attorney, which is pretty much a kids film it's a pretty impressive range.

And that kind of 'extreme' wouldn't seem unusual in Japan - perhaps it's just that Miike is one of the better known, but fewer, examples internationally?


_____________________________

Lips Together and Blow - blogtasticness and Glasgow Film Festival GFF13!

quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation] LIKE AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS TOO. IT MADE ME LAUGH A LOT AND THOUGHT IT WAS WITTY. ALSO I FEEL SLOWLY DYING INSIDE. I KEEP AGREEING WITH ELAB.


Annual Poll 2013 - All Lists Welcome

(in reply to AxlReznor)
Post #: 11
RE: 13 Assassins - 2/9/2012 8:39:32 PM   
Fluke Skywalker


Posts: 9540
Joined: 23/4/2006
From: the dark side of the sun

quote:

ORIGINAL: elab49

quote:

ORIGINAL: AxlReznor

his! I'm not a fan of Miike. I feel a lot of the time he puts "extreme" things into his movies just for the sake of having them there.


I think that's just a reflection of work in different genres rather than for the sake of it. But watching some of those, 13 Assassins, older stuff like Bird People in CHina and Ace Attorney, which is pretty much a kids film it's a pretty impressive range.

And that kind of 'extreme' wouldn't seem unusual in Japan - perhaps it's just that Miike is one of the better known, but fewer, examples internationally?



He does like to shock at times but the level of horror in some of his movies has been matched with the dire Torture Porn 'genre' of recent years - his films are more serious though, the likes of Audition for example - bloody horrendous what happens in that film

Looking at his filmography on IMDB I've actually not seen the vast majority of his films!

What would you guys rate as his best stuff


(in reply to elab49)
Post #: 12
RE: 13 Assassins - 2/9/2012 11:16:37 PM   
Deviation


Posts: 27284
Joined: 2/6/2006
From: Enemies of Film HQ

quote:

ORIGINAL: Fluke Skywalker


quote:

ORIGINAL: elab49

quote:

ORIGINAL: AxlReznor

his! I'm not a fan of Miike. I feel a lot of the time he puts "extreme" things into his movies just for the sake of having them there.


I think that's just a reflection of work in different genres rather than for the sake of it. But watching some of those, 13 Assassins, older stuff like Bird People in CHina and Ace Attorney, which is pretty much a kids film it's a pretty impressive range.

And that kind of 'extreme' wouldn't seem unusual in Japan - perhaps it's just that Miike is one of the better known, but fewer, examples internationally?



He does like to shock at times but the level of horror in some of his movies has been matched with the dire Torture Porn 'genre' of recent years - his films are more serious though, the likes of Audition for example - bloody horrendous what happens in that film

Looking at his filmography on IMDB I've actually not seen the vast majority of his films!

What would you guys rate as his best stuff




The Bird People of China is in my opinion his greatest work, and not much violence in it. Only two scenes which are quite mild even when compared to The Expendables.

_____________________________

quote:

ORIGINAL: Dpp1978
There are certainly times where calling a person a cunt is not only reasonable, it is a gross understatement.

quote:


ORIGINAL: elab49
I really wish I could go down to see Privates

(in reply to Fluke Skywalker)
Post #: 13
RE: 13 Assassins - 3/9/2012 12:30:53 AM   
MonsterCat


Posts: 7934
Joined: 24/3/2011
From: St. Albans, Hertfordshire

quote:

ORIGINAL: Fluke Skywalker

What would you guys rate as his best stuff



Visitor Q; Audition; Happiness of the Katakuris; Shinjuku Triad Society; Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai; Imprint; Ichi the Killer.

_____________________________

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Films watched in 2013

(in reply to Fluke Skywalker)
Post #: 14
RE: 13 Assassins - 3/9/2012 11:48:13 AM   
Fluke Skywalker


Posts: 9540
Joined: 23/4/2006
From: the dark side of the sun
quote:

ORIGINAL: MonsterCat


quote:

ORIGINAL: Fluke Skywalker

What would you guys rate as his best stuff



Visitor Q; Audition; Happiness of the Katakuris; Shinjuku Triad Society; Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai; Imprint; Ichi the Killer.


Cheers MC + Dev!

(in reply to MonsterCat)
Post #: 15
RE: 13 Assassins - 3/9/2012 12:17:49 PM   
elab49


Posts: 54624
Joined: 1/10/2005
I really like Bird People in China as well. I admired both of this recent films - 13 Assassins was more fun than I expected and Hara-Kiri was certainly interesting if not a patch on the original.

_____________________________

Lips Together and Blow - blogtasticness and Glasgow Film Festival GFF13!

quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation] LIKE AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS TOO. IT MADE ME LAUGH A LOT AND THOUGHT IT WAS WITTY. ALSO I FEEL SLOWLY DYING INSIDE. I KEEP AGREEING WITH ELAB.


Annual Poll 2013 - All Lists Welcome

(in reply to Fluke Skywalker)
Post #: 16
RE: 13 Assassins - 4/9/2012 12:21:07 AM   
Deviation


Posts: 27284
Joined: 2/6/2006
From: Enemies of Film HQ
I think I will avoid Hara-Kiri, all I will think is that this isn't as good as the original (which is one of my faves) and that it is a pointless exercise. Yes, I'm pre-judging but it is a remake of Hara-kiri damn it!

_____________________________

quote:

ORIGINAL: Dpp1978
There are certainly times where calling a person a cunt is not only reasonable, it is a gross understatement.

quote:


ORIGINAL: elab49
I really wish I could go down to see Privates

(in reply to elab49)
Post #: 17
RE: 13 Assassins - 4/9/2012 10:47:45 AM   
AxlReznor

 

Posts: 1623
Joined: 2/12/2010
From: Great Britain
I'd heard people talking about how 13 Assassins is also a remake. But I haven't been able to find any information whatsoever on the original.

(in reply to Deviation)
Post #: 18
RE: 13 Assassins - 4/9/2012 12:11:29 PM   
Deviation


Posts: 27284
Joined: 2/6/2006
From: Enemies of Film HQ

quote:

ORIGINAL: AxlReznor

I'd heard people talking about how 13 Assassins is also a remake. But I haven't been able to find any information whatsoever on the original.


http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0057212/

There you go. I don't mind this so much though, it was quite less known and wasn't directed by one of the greatest directors to ever come out of Japan.

_____________________________

quote:

ORIGINAL: Dpp1978
There are certainly times where calling a person a cunt is not only reasonable, it is a gross understatement.

quote:


ORIGINAL: elab49
I really wish I could go down to see Privates

(in reply to AxlReznor)
Post #: 19
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