The Hidden Blade (2004/Palisades Tartan Blu-ray + DVD)
B-/C Sound: B/B- Extras: B Film: B+
Katagari is an honorable samurai, and a samurai must up hold the samurai code
and honor, but when it comes to friends, rivals and revolutions where does a
samurai's loyalty stand? By his lord or
by his friends? While new and western
(modern) ideas have challenged the traditional values, the lords fear these
ideas of change, symbolic of challenging their rule. While a lord may have a samurai's loyalty, but
a samurai's heart and spirit is his own.
his family has fallen over the years, he still sticks to his moral center, protects
the weak, his friends and those he cares about, but samurai should never rise
above his caste nor can associate with those below it, including his childhood
friend and love, Kie. When a coup d'état
fails and his friend/brother samurai on the opposite losing end, his loyal is
cleared defined to his lord and a samurai's only honorable death is found only
in battle or hari-kari (seppuku), but when a lord is not honorable a samurai's
code must decide if his lord is even worthy of his service, if not, a samurai
has a duty to rid of a dishonorable ruler, even if it IS his own lord.
you like samurai characters or not, this is not a bad film. A samurai is like a western knight (for those
not in the know), they serve a lord and have a code and honor to protect, but
like all rulers and government, there are a lot of rules and red tape, while a
samurai is trained for battle they must never lust for it, and while there is
peace it doesn't always mean there is fairness.
When a lord breaks his word, he is no longer above the law nor worthy of
35mm Fuji film
eight years ago, the 1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition Blu-ray picture
looks if not great, but has some nice shots, while the anamorphically enhanced
DVD is much weaker. The DTS-HD MA
(Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix is good for its age and is warm and rich
throughout, while the DVD’s lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 could be better and cannot
compete with the DTS. Extras include
behind the scenes footage, a director’s press conference, and trailers.
- Ricky Chiang