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45 of 46 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lies, Cons And The Case
Ronin is, in my opinion, is John Frankenheimer's best film - even picked up a few awards along the way. Robert De Nero's take on Sam is excellent, and even Sean Bean does well in this, as the crazy gun toting Spence. The star of the movie has to be Natascha McElhone as Deirdre; desperate to get that case no matter what. Was really pleased to see Jean Reno in this, his...
Published on 13 Mar 2008 by DL Productions UK

versus
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Great film but poor blu-ray
Ronin is one of my all time favourite films. I decided to replace my dvd copy with the blu-ray. Big mistake. I can't see any improvement in picture quality over the dvd. And the special features are inferior, lacking the 'making of' documentary.

If you don't have it, buy it by all means, it is a great film. But if you are thinking of upgrading from dvd I...
Published on 20 Oct 2010 by Majick


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45 of 46 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lies, Cons And The Case, 13 Mar 2008
By 
DL Productions UK (Merseyside, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Ronin [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Ronin is, in my opinion, is John Frankenheimer's best film - even picked up a few awards along the way. Robert De Nero's take on Sam is excellent, and even Sean Bean does well in this, as the crazy gun toting Spence. The star of the movie has to be Natascha McElhone as Deirdre; desperate to get that case no matter what. Was really pleased to see Jean Reno in this, his French flair being a centrepiece.

If you don't know what Ronin is about then prepare for a whirlwind plot, dodgy plans and wasted opportunities (by the gang, not direction), oh and probably the best car chases I've seen in the 90s. The best one being in Paris, closely followed by the one in Nice.

The film has a lot of twists and turns, and is a pleasure to watch, with De Nero, Reno and Bean this is an all star cast, with a great landscape and storyline.

The blu-ray is a total let down, only the film and the trailer is included. This is a joke as the Definitive Edition has an alternative ending, so why can't this BD? After all, it's only a 2hr film, and it's in MPEG-2 running at a steady 20Mbps - AVC would have been so much better. The uncompressed PCM is a blessing though, and it's commendable of Fox to use it. I would have liked MORE extras though, they should have included them no matter what definition they were in. The alternative ending is as good as the original, some have even argued better, so why oh why did they omit it?

Not a very good BD, if you have a passion for this film, then get it, it's all you could ask for movie wise. Otherwise if you want extras, and are not fussed about HD then do get the Definitive Edition, which is nearly a tenner cheaper and richer in content. The difference between the two transfer wise is noticeable, but only to the avid eye, and the sound is obviously better on blu-ray.

4/5 for the film, 2/5 for the blu-ray extras, 4/5 for HD transfer.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Great film but poor blu-ray, 20 Oct 2010
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This review is from: Ronin [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Ronin is one of my all time favourite films. I decided to replace my dvd copy with the blu-ray. Big mistake. I can't see any improvement in picture quality over the dvd. And the special features are inferior, lacking the 'making of' documentary.

If you don't have it, buy it by all means, it is a great film. But if you are thinking of upgrading from dvd I would save your cash.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Post Cold War Samurai Soldiers, 6 Jan 2003
By 
taking a rest - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Ronin [DVD] [1998] (DVD)
"Ronin", is for everyone who enjoys Robert DeNiro, a great spy tale, a host of great supporting actors, and some of the more amazing car chases filmed on Europe's very narrow, pre-automotive designed streets. The word Ronin describes a Samurai who has lost his master, and in this film, the word serves as a metaphor for cold warriors that no longer have the same Cold War to fight. The threats are not gone only changed, so the great games that have played host to a variety of films and movies are still available to talented writers and directors who can adapt.
A great deal of the action takes place at high speed on either very narrow urban roads, or wildly twisting mountain stretches that lack the same manner of safety barriers we are accustomed to in The USA, that make the chase scenes all the more amazing. The director and other key players who made the film have racing backgrounds which allowed them to bring a type of realism that goes beyond the typical Hollywood chase.
Jean Reno, Natascha Mcelhone, Stellan Skarsgard, Sean Bean, and Jonathan Pryce all make for a wonderful ensemble cast. The chase is for a case, and the cast that is assembled are allegedly a team in the hunt for a box that no one knows the contents of. The traditional players like the Russians are involved, the CIA, and then the new Russians along with the Irish, and members of agencies that either are active or are not, you never know until the film ends. And even when it does, the DVD offers an alternate ending that changes in a very dramatic manner how the film you just watched concluded.
"Ronin", is a very good film, a definite cut above the average, and well worth the one minute and two hours of your time it will occupy.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent, taught post cold-war thriller. A superb treat!, 4 Mar 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Ronin [DVD] [1998] (DVD)
An action espionage thriller directed by none other than the masterful John Frankenheimer, an all-star stellar cast what more can you ask for? All i can say is that the acting is great (especially from a beautiful Natascha McElhone), the tension and suspense magnificently controlled, the action sequences (particularly the car chases) breath-taking and the music, cinematography and script exceptional. If you want a good film to see on a friday/saturday night, this is the one. A well-crafted severely underated film.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Superb car chases, Intelligent story; Well worth a look, 17 May 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Ronin [DVD] [1998] (DVD)
This is an exciting look at European espionage, with many an excuse for great car chases. The precision of Frankenheimer's set is intoxicating, and I love the Robert De Niro, Jean Reno combination.
The DVD itself is adequate enough - MGM DVDs tend to easily overshadow that of Warner Bros. and the deleted scenes, director's commentary and behind the scenes look at the making of the movie prove a useful insight.
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29 of 34 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great film, pointless extras, 18 Nov 2004
By A Customer
There's no denying it, this is a fantastic film. It's the closest that Holywood's got to making a Luc Besson style film. The acting's great, the pace never gives up, and the car chase scenes are fantastic.
However, to discontinue the original 1-disc version of the DVD in favour of this 2-disc "Special" edition has been a terrible idea.
The special features simply aren't worthy of having their own disc, this has simply been a way for the studios to re-release a 6 year old film at a premium price.
If you can still find the original 1-disc version, save yourself some money, and go for that instead.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great car chases; OK movie., 16 Nov 2007
This review is from: Ronin [DVD] [1998] (DVD)
There is a federal law that any movie car chase through city streets has to obliterate at least a few fruit and vegetable stands along the way. (Smashing up tables at a sidewalk café scores bonus points.) Ronin is well in compliance with this statute. It features two breathtaking car chases (one in Nice, the other in Paris) that demonstrate good old-fashioned stunt driving at its best. The one with two cars going the wrong way down a busy freeway has to be seen to be believed. One of my favorite moments occurs at this point, when a passenger in one of the cars nonchalantly decides it's well past time to buckle up the old seat belt. Ronin is something of a throw-back to spy thrillers that used to take themselves seriously and didn't wink at the audience or indulge in comic book style action (i.e., well before Arnold Schwarzenegger or Bruce Willis). It's your basic mercenary caper movie with double-crosses and triple-crosses (and in that sense it's a bit reminiscent of The Usual Suspects) with a blink-or-you'll-miss-it romantic subplot and some quasi-sentimental male bonding between Robert De Niro and Jean Reno. That Ronin would be such a satisfying entertainment should be no surprise since its director is John Frankenheimer, who made The Manchurian Candidate and The Train.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless, 28 May 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Ronin [DVD] [1998] (DVD)
I bought this DVD just because I wanted the film in the right ratio compared to when it's shown on television. Its average price is a fiver now but it's well worth it to have a 70s throwback of an action film with great car chases and other action and where the motivations of these lead characters aren't laboured over 45 extra minutes than the film requires.

It was great in the cinema and I'm glad I finally own it, though like another reviewer said, where did those ten years go?!
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "...If You Don't Mind...I'm Gonna Pass Out Now...", 23 July 2009
By 
Mark Barry "Mark Barry" (London) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Ronin [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
For the first 20 minutes of John Frankenheimer's 1998 brilliant chase movie, you look at the BLU RAY box and wonder where the hell is the improvement? At the time they made it, they weren't of course thinking about future formats and their picture quality exposing limitations - they were just thinking about getting the mood right and setting up the plot. Filmed in a dark alley and then a dim French cafe at night, and staying there for quite a while - the opening clarity isn't great and I find that the BLU RAY format only accentuates this - the deficiencies of indoor lighting. But once you get to the daytime scenes that follow, then the fabulous city locations after that and especially to the close-up shots of the actor's faces, things improve dramatically.

And like that other genius caper movie of the Nineties "The Usual Suspects", not only could you not pay for such a stunning and diverse cast now - "Ronin" has admirably stood the test of time. It bears repeated viewing which of course makes it ideal BLU RAY replacement-fodder.

For the most part, I thoroughly enjoyed the picture improvements - Nastasha McElhone's gorgeously huge eyes - De Niro's mole - Jean Reno's stubble - Sean Bean's sweaty brow - it's all there and amplified. And those fantastic car-chases that "Bourne" surely aped... There's even an unintentionally funny moment when Stellan Skarsgard is in his car with a gun and silencer about to trade the silver case to some dodgy type - you can see the lipstick accentuating his lips - its looks comical. And then that famous De Niro scene where he instructs Michael Lonsdale and Jean Reno to surgically remove a Teflon-laced bullet from his stomach without anaesthetic so he can remain conscious throughout and direct them properly - is just priceless (the title of this review is the dialogue De Niro speaks after the operation is over).

But as other reviewers have noted, the big let down is the lack of extras - and especially the absence of the startling brutal alternative ending where Natasha McElhone's Belfast character 'Deirdre' is involved - it's missing - and many thought it a better ending than the one used in cinema's.

And worse than that - there's no insights? I mean if ever a film deserved commentaries and a more than a few making-of features - then it's "Ronin".

Still - a great film - now visually improved - and as wicked a movie as you remember it.

Despite its bare-bones presentation - it's recommended.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars cars guns and a briefcase...what more could you want?, 24 Feb 2005
anyone out there looking for a pure "action" film in every sense of the word will be more than mpressed with Ronin - the latest addition to my DVD collection.
Ronin is the story of 5 freelance killers, who are mysteriously employed to obtain a briefcase before it is sold to "The Russians"
fast paced, and well executed from the start, this film did a lot for me and would be the perfect accompanyment to any night when there is bugger-all on the telly.
DeNiro delivers a typically slick performance to go along with another from Jean Reno, which confirms what already knew - he is one of the best actors in the world.
i must say i was dissapointed with Sean Bean's character, not because of hs acting (which was brilliant) but with his character. Being English i took a little bit of offense at the insinuation that an ex-SAS soldier could be so inept, but maybe that was just me. i am afterall used to seeing Bean in roles such as Sharp from the TV series of the same name, so it seems wrong for him to be such a snivveling coward. if you have never seen Bean in any other role (have you been living in a cardboard box behind marks and spencer?) then you would never know his "action man" past; he performs so well in hs role in Ronin. it just goes to show that he is a talented and adaptive actor.
the highlight of the film is it's beautiful carchase in and around Paris.
all in all Ronin s a solid action thriller. it loses something in the plot and a few details seem to be skipped over quickly but this makes the film fast paced and action packed.
the 2 hours will pass all too quickly
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