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Category:    Home > Reviews > Martial Arts Cycle > Action > Drama > 13 Assassins (2010/Magnolia/MagNet Blu-ray)

13 Assassins (2010/Magnolia/MagNet Blu-ray)
Picture: B+     Sound: B+     Extras: C     Film: B+



An elite group of samurai are gathered together to stop a spoiled, sadistic, young lord from ascending the shogunate in Takashi Miike’s 13 Assassins.  The young lord abuses the public, mercilessly orders executions, rapes and mutilates young women and children; there is no justice in his rule, if he were to rule it would mean disaster for all the people of the land.  All that stands between these 13 'ronin' samurai is an army of samurai.
This film is based on ideas of what it means to be a samurai, a samurai's first and foremost duty is his loyalty to his lord as of everyone who is underneath him, to kill for him or even die for him, but when a lord turns out to be a bastard, should a samurai still follow his lord or kill him?  A small group of samurai decides to rebel, they feel their lord is no longer fit to rule because he no longer cares about those beneath him, the must fight the majority of samurai who choose to remained 'loyal' to the lord.
If you want epic samurai battles then look no further.  12 ronin 'masterless' samurai and 1 mountain brawler must face an army of 230 samurai to kill the lord in which they want.  The final battle is a long epic battle takes place in a village in which the 13 assassins set a trap and shows how so few can take down so many.  That the true spirit of the samurai is not just fighting, but fighting knowing what they are dying for and this film explores this idea more than a mere genre film.


The 1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image is impressive throughout with fine detail and depth, while the DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) lossless 5.1 mix is impressive, though the sound effects and music overwhelm the dialogue a bit, but it is hard to tell if this is from the mixing or just how the dialogue was recorded.  Extras include Digital Copy for PC and PC portable devices, interview with the director, deleted scenes and trailer.



-   Ricky Chiang


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