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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Film
One of my favourite Samurai films, great action, stunning sets and very well directed. A great addition to any collection
Published 15 months ago by Lee Byrne

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A film of two halfs
Many violent films are let down by poor character development but make up for it with fantastic action scenes. 13 Assassins was the other way round. The first hour did a fantastic job of building up the tension. It's very atmospheric and well acted. The bit with the decapitated girl really sent a chill down my spine. You really got a sense of how evil this man was. It...
Published 5 months ago by H.E.Cox


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5.0 out of 5 stars Seven Samurai for the modern age, 31 July 2012
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This review is from: 13 Assassins [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
This fanatastic samurai epic from director Takashi Miike, is possibly the best I have seen since Kurosowa's legendary seven samurai. A tale spun from the end of the shogunate era, detailing the dedication, for better or worse of the samurai to thier chosen masters. Emotionally provocative and visually spectacular I beleive that this is a must see film for anyone even remotely interested in samurai culture or the cinema of Japan.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Samurai film, 1 July 2012
This review is from: 13 Assassins [DVD] (DVD)
I have seen many samurai films and many of Takashi Miike's films. As a director I have found him to be very inconsistent. I thought Audition is a great film and I also enjoyed The Happiness of the Katakuris, Dead Or Alive and Graveyard of Honor. I hated Gozu and thought Sukiyaka Western was just terrible. With 13 Assassins it seems that the director has finally grown up and delivered arguably his best work. A group of skilled samurai undertake a suicidal mission to kill a sadistic Lord and in the climatic showdown must fight his army of hundreds of men. The first two thirds of the film build the story, characters and suspsense artfully. It is well acted and shot in a classic style with excellent cinematography. The Lord is shown at his most merciless raping and killing for pure sadistic enjoyment. In the last forty minute or so we are treated to one of the most epic and brilliantly staged battle scenes ever put on film. It is relentless, bloody, realistic (mostly) and moving. Miike handles the action superbly without ever reverting to the rather adolescent shock tactics or silliness that have spoiled some of his other films. I enjoyed every minute of this film and it is now on of my all-time favourites. The only minor flaw is a slightly dodgy CGI shot of cattle on fire (yes, that's what I said) but it's a minor quibble. A wonderful film.
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5.0 out of 5 stars 13 Assassins, 18 Feb 2012
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This review is from: 13 Assassins [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Konnichiwa
This is an excellent film, a little in the genre of the 7 samurai. Good acting, incredible medieval sets, realistic action (swordplay- no wires)great atmosphere throughout.
The action is very graphic and well choreographed, the characters are all played straight and believeable. Its a story of revenge and honour,Japanese style. If you liked 'The last samurai'
and lots of action - you'll like this too.
sayonara
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!, 13 Feb 2012
This review is from: 13 Assassins [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Went in blind and came out reborn, what a roller-coaster ride it was too!. totally went with the redemption, to which I was rewarded with just that (and the last half of the movie with a full on battle!).

Well recommend the Blu Ray, subsequently watched Netflicks and a DvD version and the quality (without stating!) needs the HD treatment.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Film of Two Halves, 12 Jan 2012
By 
Syriat - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: 13 Assassins [DVD] (DVD)
13 Assassins is a remake of an old black and white samurai film with Takashi Miike directing. I am new to the film and to Miike so this is a great introduction to both. The set-up is simple. Corrupt and evil young lord is hunted down by 13 samurai who know that they must succeed or else their lands will eventually be under the control of the young heir. Their mission isn't legal and their mark knows they are coming.

The first half (just over actually) is a set-up for the final 50 minutes. Its dialogue heavy and covers the formation of the 13 and their plans to ambush their mark and his troops. If there is one criticism of the first half then it would be that not all the characters are fleshed out enough that you discern them in the last part. However, its brilliantly shot and paced. Pace is something this film does well. Then once our 13 have set the trap we get to the second half of the film. The last fifty minutes. I read that the last fifty minutes was an extended fight sequence and struggled to believe this. Having watched it I can vouch that it is a thrilling, bloody and brilliant battle that lasts throughout with pace and planning. The whole sequence works and it is incredibly well planned and executed. Whilst its hard to follow the characters at times it fizzes along with an ever increasing body count until we get to the conclusion. Its hard not to feel a little dazed by the whole battle at the end.

The film works on two levels. Firstly it shows the cultural side of the era and also the slow paced political manoeuvrings that happened. In the first half this really worked for me and I enjoyed that aspect a lot. However, when the film cuts loose it really does so with style and vision and you are left in awe of the production planning. If you don't mind subtitles and blood and want something other than a traditional action film then you will be well served by this and can certainly do worse than investing your time and money in watching 13 Assassins.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Movie, 1 Jan 2012
This review is from: 13 Assassins [DVD] (DVD)
I am no expert in japenese films however i have watched quite a few oriental movies and this is one of my favourites so far, the story is very interesting, there is a great build up to the final showdown which is exceptionally long and certainly very compelling, a great film which I shall watch time and time again, well directed and I can find no faults in it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars 13 Assassins, 10 Nov 2011
This review is from: 13 Assassins [DVD] (DVD)
An excellent depiction of the samurai class in all its brutal glory.
A plausible story delivered with believable action scenes.Martial Arts
fans will not be disappointed.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Twilight of the Samurai, 14 Jan 2012
By 
Paul Tapner (poole dorset england) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: 13 Assassins [DVD] (DVD)
First up: It's a Japanese film. It's in Japanese. Not English. You can though watch it either with or without English subtitles.

And there's no dubbed version.

If that puts you off: bye.

If not:

13 Assassins is set in mid 19th century Japan. When the country is largely at peace and the age of the Samurai is seemingly on the wane. But a Lord with connections is rising in power. And he happens to be an evil psychopath prone to random and nasty acts of violence against anyone in his path.

Which poses a problem for the rulers of the country. And for his personal Samurai. The former need to do something about him. The latter are bound by honour and duty to serve their lord. Even though he behaves the way he does.

Acting under secret orders, a group of Samurai come together, and plot to assassinate him. But timing requires them to strike whilst he is on a journey. Accompanied by two hundred soldiers.

To even the odds, the assassins set an ambush in a village they've evacuated. And rigged to the hilt with booby traps.

Their honour demands a total massacre. The honour of the Lord's Samurai and troops demands they defend him.

It's a fight to the death.

This runs for two hours and the fighting doesn't commence till a little into the second half. The first half has to set the scene. The moral dilemmas. The run up to the battle. And introduce the characters. There are a couple of short fight scenes in this but nothing more. Even so, it's pretty decent drama and very watchable, and moves along at quite a decent pace.

There are a lot of characters though and some get better introductions than others but you may struggle to take all of them in, simply because of how many there are.

The battle scene when it does kick off is spectacular, superbly directed, and very memorable. One moment may not go down well with animal lovers although it is quite obviously achieved with visual effects so you shouldn't worry about it.

Again, though, the sheer number of characters mentioned earlier means the final fate of many may not quite have the impact that it should.

But that's the only problem with what is a very satisfying epic. Offering moral food for thought, good dramatic scenes of strong dialogue in it's first half, spectacular battle action, and even - thanks to one character - occasional comedy, it's a very memorable viewing experience.

Dvd extras are as follows:

Twenty two minutes worth of deleted scenes. These are mostly very short but have to be watched all in a row. There is no option to watch them individually.

An eighteen minute long interview with the director [which does mention one of the deleted scenes, although it clearly hadn't been deleted at the time of the interivew, so you will need to watch both extras to appreciate them fully].

And the cinema trailer for the film.

The comments about language and subtitles at the start of this review apply to the extras also.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absoultely brilliant!, 9 Sep 2011
By 
Mr. R. W. Graham (Lincoln, U.K.) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: 13 Assassins [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
After a slow but tense start, 13 Assassins turns into a superb action epic, the kind of film that asian cinema does so well and which puts hollywood to shame. Very well acted and made, this is the story of 13 samurai who team up to fight an evil warlord. While hollywood often does the dumb but fun action movie well, this is far more thoughtfull and subtle and more intelligent than most hollywood blockbusters. The last 45 minutes have some of the most amazing and insane action scenes you'll ever see. An excellent movie, one of the best of 2011.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Two films for the price of one, 24 Oct 2011
By 
R. P. Wright "Mr Skinner" (Essex, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: 13 Assassins [DVD] (DVD)
What starts out as a revenge movie with a tight plot, interesting protaganists and a lot of tension, turns into a slug fest suffering badly from reverse ninja syndrome (see below). The first 70 minutes builds very nicely and is also a great exposition of Bushido code and at the same time a damning indictment of it (from a modern perspective). The samurai behaving most closely to the way of the warrior are in fact the villains- Naritsugu is a lunatic who decides he wants to kick off the sengoku jidai (warring period) again, whilst Hanbei follows the code of Bushido religiously- he knows his lord is a psychotic lunatic but still obeys him as it is his duty to serve.

Shinzaemon, our hero, is actually quite community focused and one of his expositions, in discussion with his old friend and rival Hanbei, concerns the philosophy of whether the samurai serves the people of Japan or their master, unquestionably. He also shows his detatchment from Bushido when he initially rejects an applicant to join his plot on the basiis he is too young to die- this strange decision quickly being queried by his peers and duly reversed.
So far so good and our heroes once formed race off to assasinate Naritsugu on his way to his home lands. We have a great set piece at a bridge where Naritsugu is forced to divert into a trap but once he gets there the film loses the plot.

Instead of a realistic, set piece battle, we have 45 minutes of our 13 heroes cutting up an escort of 200 almost at will. As the key characters run around it is clear that their opponents, the Akashi samurai, are incompetent beyond belief. This might be explained to a degree by the comment earlier in the film that Samurai don't much get to use their swords anymore (the film is set in the 19th Century) and thhe Akashi are facing 13 chosen experts, but nevertheless not only is the sword fighting incompetent, it looks it too. Naturally (and I am sure I'm giving away nothing here) the assassins die one by one as they cut down Naritsugu's retinue and we end with a final face off between Shinzaemon annd his nemesis and target.

It's still a good, enjoyable film but the tone changes so much from a tense thriller into a gory/ silly actioner, it is quite jarring. Absolutely what could have been a classic film is damaged by the silliness of the conclusion.

Reverse Ninja Syndrome- Basically the more nija that attack you the safer you are as for each additional ninja added to an attack, the group's overall capabilities decline exponentially. So a single ninja will cuase yo ua lot of problems, but if attacked by 20 of them, it's a cake walk.
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13 Assassins [DVD]
13 Assassins [DVD] by Takashi Miike (DVD - 2011)
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