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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quick Reviews!
As a lover of all things Japanese, originating from a childhood love of martial arts and monster movies, I am perhaps slightly biased when it comes to reviewing the latest Samurai movie. There have been quite a few good samurai movies in recent years, and tonnes of bad ones but possibly the best was Takeshi Kitano's Zatoichi- the leatest in a long line of films based on...
Published on 17 Sep 2009 by carlosnightman

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars BARGAIN! Good Watch
ok there are better films out there.... but come on for 3 you cant go wrong. I admit it doesn't come close to House of Flying Daggers but as a 'general' watch its great. If you like your martial arts films with a little bit of comedy,action, romance and tears then you wont be disappointed.
Published on 4 Sep 2011 by lilsue


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4.0 out of 5 stars ICHI - Justice Is Blind, 22 Aug 2009
By 
Mellow Yellow (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ichi [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
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This DVD came this morning and I watched it straight away and I have to say that whilst this is not generally the type of movie I normally go for, this is a well constructed, brilliantly writen and superbly acted film.

Whilst the film has Japanese audio, there are English subtitles which does not affect the viewing of the film despite it being fast paced.

The story revolves around a blind musician called "Ichi" that wonders around from town to town in period Japan with her traditonal guitar and a walking stick which hides a deadly weaopon. She is desperately trying to find the blind man that trained her in martial arts and looked after her when she was young. On her journey she comes accross many people trying to take advantage of her disability such as theives and rapists who are completetly unaware of her impressive ability to fight back. She later meets up with a cowardly Samurai called "Touma" and when the pair gets attacked by a group of bandits, Ichi has to rescue the pair of them! However, the town immediately comes to the conclusion that the Touma is the hero when in fact she had to save both of them! The gang want revenge!

Ichi unwittingly becomes stuck between 2 rival gangs each hoping to gain control of the town, however when she discovers that one of the leaders knows the whereabouts of the very person she is seeking then she becomes involved in the conflict as the outcome of the war may determine the fate of the man she is looking for.

This is obviously a film with alot of realistic violence so be warned!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ichi the beautiful killer, 26 Sep 2009
By 
Cartimand (Hampshire, UK.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ichi [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
**** slight spoilers ****

Not to be confused with Takashi Miike's visceral opus, this Ichi, played by the strikingly beautiful Haruka Ayase is a blind wandering minstrel on a quest. Cast out from the sheltered sanctuary of the Goze for having 'known' a man (in reality having been raped) she is obliged to rely on the kindness and charity of those she encounters. Unfortunately, human nature what it is, many people are neither charitable nor kind! About to suffer assault or worse at the hand of some brutal gang members, a sympathetic (but psychologically frail) samurai steps in to save her - only to find that Ichi is a remarkable swordswoman when pushed to defend herself. This is where your average Western viewer may have to suspend their disbelief a bit. We all know that deprivation of one sense results in heightened ability in other senses, but Ichi's astonishing spatial awareness when in combat makes it hard to believe she needs to tap tap tap her way along with a stick at other times. But enough minor quibbles! The plot unfolds as the feud builds between rival gangs scrapping over control of a small town (ringing faint echoes of a Fistful of Dollars/Yojimbo). Ichi is undeniably beautifully filmed. The combat, whilst reasonably gory, is wonderfully choreographed and verging on the balletic. The sets are sumptuous and the main characters are well-rounded, each with their own illuminating backstory. Even the 5.1 surround sound is excellent. Ichi has poignancy in abundance and the viewer genuinely starts to care about the leading characters. Perhaps just a tad overlong, but nonetheless worthwhile and the transformation of Haruka Ayase from a waif in rags to the immaculately presented musician was a gorgeous and memorable vision!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 23 July 2014
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This review is from: Ichi [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
Excellent just what I wanted. A great price and fast shipping form an excellent seller. Highly recommended A +++++++++++
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the chop-socky action I was expecting, 16 Dec 2009
By 
Ash (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ichi [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
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I am a big fan of Chinese, Japanese and Korean action movies, particularly the classic kung fu movies of the 1970s and '80s. I also enjoyed Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon and the other movies that followed in a similar style, such as Hero. I also like other genres from the East, such as the Tartan Extreme films like Old Boy and Battle Royale, and the beautiful animation of Studio Ghibli.
So it was with some anticipation that I took delivery of Ichi. I liked the sound of the historical setting and the female protagonist. However, I was disappointed by what I consider to be average, lacklustre cinematography which has clearly been done on a tight budget. This in itself is ok - kung fu movies like The Prodigal Son were notorious for being made on shoddy sets. But Ichi looks a lot like it was made with a handy cam in someone's garden, to me.
The second thing was the lack of action - there are very few fights and none of these are memorable.
Now I realise that it isn't all about the violence, but the front cover of the DVD case clearly gives the impression of huge pitched battles. So I was somewhat let down.
Its by no means an awful film. The acting is ok, and the soundtrack is reasonable too. It just wasn't what I expected so this inevitably coloured my enjoyment.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Another great looking film from the far east., 6 Dec 2009
By 
N. Gratton "Writer & Photographer" (Exeter) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ichi [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
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While this film looks great - in the tradition of many oriental martial arts flicks - it's not a pure action film - and the fight scenes are usually short and to the point.

Much of the film is at a gentle, complentative pace and the music and cinematography are extremely effective; The casting and acting seem well judged for this type of film. Overall, it's an underplayed romantic tragedy.

Worth watching.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enigmatic but underwhelming, 16 Sep 2009
By 
All of them Witches (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ichi [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
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Ichi is the story of a blind female minstrel (the Ichi of the title) banished by her compatriots for 'being with a man' after being raped by the male householder where she dwelled and her journey to find her former mentor who trained her in the art of fighting. Despite being blind she is accomplished with the sword thanks to her otherwordly sensory abilities and frquently despatches several armed enemies at once who are foolish enough to confuse her blind female status as vulnerabilities.
Whilst well choreographed, the fighting is quite standard, over very quickly and over reliant on the use of cgi blood splatters with varying degrees of effectiveness. The characters are rather variable also with the villains particularly one dimensional with their faux evil laughs and sneering. Ichi herself is ok, playing it enigmatically throughout. The story runs along the theme of 'Seven Samurai' whereby a village being terrorised by local bandits enlists the assistance of an outsider to help them defeat their enemies, although it's nowhere near as good as that cinematic classic.
It was a shame that more wasn't made of the Japanese landscapes asides from the occasional glimpse of a wood or a snow covered path. The filming mainly concentrated around specially constructed sets and was particularly disappointing during the final showdown between the villagers and the bandits which occurred within a narrow strip of land between two rows of buildings (the village) and would have been far more effective and cinematic if it had been filmed in a more open, natural environment. No doubt this was due to budgetry and creative constraints but added to the underlying feel of a lack of authenticity to me throughout.
Not bad but of limited appeal perhaps.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Zatoichi - the TV movie of the week version, 1 Aug 2010
By 
Philip (Stafford, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ichi [Blu-ray] [2008] (Blu-ray)
I imagine most people coming to this movie will have already seen Takeshi Kitano's excellent take on the familiar Zatoichi story. Here we have a twist - Zatoichi is now just 'Ichi', and is a woman. The story is fairly standard stuff- a hard upbringing, some revenge here and there, a kind hearted but fairly useless sidekick, and so on. Nothing really stands out, other than the all too common problem in Japanese films of horrible over acting from certain cast members.

The film also suffers from low production values, which give the cinematography an uninspired, flat, dull appearance. Battles too are all very small scale and unimpressive. Compared to the kind of historical epics which China seems able to put out every other week, this looks like a TV movie of the week and never like something which belongs on the big screen.

As if that wasn't enough, this blu-ray is a weak effort too. The film is presented as it should be, - in Japanese with English subs, but the subs are absolutely enormous, and are burned into the picture. (so cannot be turned off) It's as if it was intended to be viewed on tiny TVs. The low bit rate video isn't a big issue as the film is naturally very drab and flat looking, but the True HD audio track is also disappointingly dull. There are no extras on the disc at all.

If you want a good historical epic from the far east I'd try some of China's recent output long before going anywhere near this, or if for some reason you've never seen Takeshi Kitano's Zatoichi, then by all means see that one instead.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 13 Aug 2014
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This review is from: Ichi [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
A brilliant DVD t
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Potential..., 16 Sep 2009
This review is from: Ichi [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Ichi is a film with a lot of potential but doesn't quite hit the mark for me. There are some strong areas, but a lot of it falls flat and holds back what could potentially be a very enjoyable film.

Ichi isn't a bad film, but it's not astounding either. The story is fairly simple; a blind wandering-musician searches for her former swordsmaster, and winds up protecting a village under threat from a bandit gang. The twists and changes in the story are slowly revealed to an ending that isn't overly exciting. The plot could use a lot more development, and although the characters are interesting and portrayed well by their respective actors and actresses, it seemed as though the weak storyline limited them.

The fight scenes were very good, and even blood flying from a defeated opponent looked visually stunning. However, I couldn't help but laugh everytime certain villians came on screen, as they looked more humurous than sinister with their over-the-top hair and comic facial expressions.

It thankfully picked up in pace towards the end, but the first half of the movie was very slow-moving, and although the pace can sometimes be appreciated, those looking for a non-stop action film will find themselves easily bored.

If you're interested in martial arts films then you may enjoy this. Ichi never fully achieves its potential, and could have been so much better.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars not traditional, 29 Aug 2009
By 
P. McCauley - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ichi [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Ichi, a story about a blind girl searching for her former blind mentor who taught her how to do use a sword.

The story has it's usual bunch of characters, each serving their purpose to the unveiling story. With most asian or japanese films I watch I'm very taken aback by the complexity of the story lines and the excellent plots and twists. This story though has a very basic plot with not much complexity at all. The story slowly reveals itself throughout the film, but at times it feels like things are happening just to get the story over with. The story itself is not that interesting, and I found myself getting bored.

The film quality is budget standard and doesnt have the nice look to many of the shots has most big films do. I was impressed by the dvd cover, but the film doesnt look quite like it im afraid.

I found at many times during the film parts move very slowly. I am someone who likes the calmness, and reflection periods of films where you can appreciate something or have time to think. Some parts in this film where nothing has happened, nor nothing is happening, in the stillness there to warrant in even having these really slow moving shots. I think the director didnt understand this concept fully, and it comes across as some poor film making.

Overall the film is not too bad, and worth a watch. I expected it to be a lot better, and really wished it had been as I did like the basic plot of it, but it was just really thin and rushed so many parts of it because it wasted so much time on the slow shots.

3 stars was the highest I could give this film as it really let down by quite a few things. It does have some nice sword fighting, plenty of gore (although the blood out of the mouths did seem a bit too much), and some nice acting I must add.
Good for the japanese film lovers or those of sword fighting, but dont expect a great film as it's not.
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Ichi [DVD] [2008]
Ichi [DVD] [2008] by Fumihiko Sori (DVD - 2009)
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