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3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 8 November 2016
In this 2003 supernatural fantasy drama 22 year old Mina has been murdered and her detective fiance sets out to kill the serial killer but when the ‘spirit’ of Mina arrives at the “The Gate of Resentment” she is given three choices by the gatekeeper Izuko, and has 12 days in which to make her ultimate choice. Returning as a spirit she too seeks to answer why she was murdered and by whom, but can she stop her fiance from killing her murderer and thus stop his soul going to Hell?
The opening scenes have a feel of ‘Blade Runner’ mixed with ‘Resident Evil’ yet the film has nothing in common with those films, other than atmosphere. As the viewer we are thrown into a surreal world of Ghosts and protectors of the gateway to heaven & Hell in a plot that would not be out of place in ‘Mortal Kombat’, where the characters have to balance and assess their actions to reap their reward or suffer dire consequences.
The disc offers play, scene selection, extras [theatrical trailers, cast interviews, making of, other releases] and set up [2.0/5.1, subtitles on /off]. Rated 15, this has no apparent swearing, sex or nudity but does have some gruesome violent and martial arts style fight scenes, although not as many as most ’Manga’ fans would like. This is more a detective fantasy with fight scenes added. The first 15 minutes are a little confusing until you get ‘into’ the story, then it really grips.
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on 9 June 2017
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on 15 June 2008
if like me you were expecting blood and death all over the place like versus and azumi then you will be disappointed
this is a much slower relationship based film and as such it works very well
as an action film it fails on almost every level as the direction is still superb but the actors look very uncomfortable in these sections
the story is tragic and beautifully told and the real winner and surprise offering here
when they are unarmed the actors do a cracking job and reduced my better half to tears at its conclusion
this film really does pack quite a punch
yes ok it may be a little bit too long and the action is disappointing but the real emphasis is away from action and into the people and with that in mind it succeeds in droves
well worth a look
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on 9 August 2005
I found this movie purely on a general browse through all the latest releases and found this. Having never heard of any background information about this movie and realising that the director had also directed such amazing epics such as Azumi and the ever popular Versus i thought i would give this movie a try. The front cover also looked very inticing so i embraced it with such optimism, and thinking that this was going to be a samurai action flick (Telling by the front cover) i was very surprised to realise that its a very spiritual movie based on the choices made in the afterlife and the accomplishent of good over evil. It is also a strong romantic and emotional movie with a message of the choices that you make in life.
The movie itself is taken from the popular japanese tv series of the same name which is also taken from the manga comic and was made in to a movie after such a high demand by the fans.
The storyline itself which i wasnt expecting is of a spiritual fantasy when an evil force takes the lives of a specific person and takes away their heart shown graphically in the scenes, but nothin too gory from the likes of what the director hasnt shown us before. Anyway the purose of this is to ressurrect the evil guys one true love and each heart that is taken gives him superhuman powers. But however, one of those hearts he succeeds in taken is of the leading characters role named Mino(a very cute actress i might add)also played in princess blade. She is then transferred to the afterlife where she has to make three choices. Her lover then seeks his revenge upon her death. I wont say anything more as i dont wanna spoil anything...
My opinion of this movie however is that it delivers quite a strong message and gave me a more insighful view on the spiritual side such as the afterlife which is explained in the movie. Its quite hard to get in to at first as the storyline is quite complex and unexpected. Im not a great fan of fantasies myself but the intense romance and action sequences does it justice for me especially the style of the fight scenes. One thing i was dissapointed in was the choreography of the samurai sword fighting sequences, looked rather bleak and unconvincing that they were really trying to even kill each other. It gets very emotional at the end as the good and evil are fighting for the same thing which is to fight for the ones they love. Overall this is a good movie to see if you like action/romance/fantasy all served in to one.
But this movie isnt for everyone especially those who arent open minded to the spiritual side of the film and this will ruin the movie all together. Another reason i wasnt dissapointed in this movie was that i approached it with no expectations as i had no knowlede what so ever of what this was goin to be like. Very stylish with a clever plot! Just watch this movie if your a fan of asian cinema and just approach it with an open mind and enjoy!!
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on 26 January 2010
This is a pretty good film,a bit slow getting going,but the swordfights when they come are worth waiting for.T he story focuses on love and reincarnation more than action,but there is still a fair amount of action.An interesting little film.
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on 6 December 2009
A complex structure in the storyline kept me focusing on the dialogue, while the visuals, swordsmanship and action drew me away into the excitement of the film. An exhausting but immensely enjoyable experience. Recommended
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on 29 May 2014
This movie takes a long time to get going, pretty much the first forty minutes could be EASILY condensed down to make them take twenty. It really didn't need that long to set everything up since when I hit the forty minute mark I felt like I was a few hours in because it dragged so much and was just dull.

However, after the forty minute mark, the film takes a turn for the better. The plot advances quickly, some actual action takes place, we see some of the more Supernatural elements of the film. It really gets better. Although some of the sword-fights take a while to actually get to the actual fight, there is a moment between two female characters where they both just prance around a room for ten minutes making various ridiculous poses and maybe one or twice striking each others blades, after this however it really does pick up and leads to some of the best moments in the movie.

The acting and directing are both below what I would expect, some of the camera work is also excessively shoddy. Although, one actor stands out above the rest by a pretty huge margin, the guy who played the villain. My god, he did a simply amazing job, y'know how I can tell? I HATED that guy, he made me want to strangle him, I found myself muttering "Go on, die. Just get shot. Just die" during his fight scenes because the actor played him so well that I just couldn't stand him, he just needed to die.

Overall, not a bad movie, not an amazing one, but it will stay on my shelf and I'll probably give it a re-watch every now and again.
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on 6 February 2011
This film was not quite what I expected. I expected a samurai flick such as Azumi or a violent flick such as Versus. This film does have some samurai sword fighting and a little gore but it more based on the whole spiritual side of life. Why are we here and what is the meaning of life, I wasn't expecting that. It is a good film but not great as the sword fighting was quite posy and the a touch slow and over long but it curtently quite thought provoking.
You have a chose now, 1 go though the gate and move on to your next life. 2 return to the world as a ghost. 3 kill one person but spent eturnity in hell.
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on 28 February 2016
Japanese movie at its best, and I can understand that nowadays Japanese movies are getting more popular then Hollywood, and why not? Japan movies now has a lot of new interesting movie ideas meanwhile Hollywood is stuck with remake, reboot, and making money. This movie is a proof of why Japan is more more popular now, great story, great action, funny and likable characters, you can identify yourself with them. And it's great to see Japan has become block buster feelings now then they did in the 90s, this movie is epic, and I love every minute of it.
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on 11 March 2011
Not the worst movie I've seen, but far, far from great. My first thought after watching this was that it could have been really good. There are interesting parts, but the acting and directing are terrible! The villians come across as shallow and stupid, even though they supposedly almost caused armagedden. Do yourself a favor and watch an episode of Supernatural, it may be cheesy but it beats this movie!
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