Reviews, articles, rants & ramblings on the darker side of the media fringe

Posts tagged “Samurai

The Wolverine by my 7 year old Son ****½

The Wolverine_Poster ArtA delayed review from my son as he wasn’t really that interested in seeing The Wolverine on initial release. I couldn’t understand why as it seemed to have most of the ingredients he likes: Comic book superheroes battling bad guys… When I asked why he wasn’t keen, he said that “Wolverine just ‘complains’ all the time, it’s boring” Anyway, we eventually saw it, here’s the inevitable review… albeit more synopsis than review:

The Wolverine starts in an army prison in Japan, the Wolverine is a soldier and he’s locked in an empty iron well. A nuclear bomb gets dropped on a Japanese city (Nagasaki) and Wolverine saves one of the Japanese soldiers.

A few years pass and Wolverine is in the mountains with a beard. He is friends with a bear, then some guys kill the bear with poison arrows. Wolverine takes one of the poison arrows and stabs it in the guys hand and he says “It’s poison” then pours some beer on his hand.

Then a Japanese girl, who is like a Ninja, arrives and takes him to Japan where he meets the soldier that he saved in Japan. The old guy dies and Wolverine gets a haircut and at the funeral Wolverine won’t get back in line because he is suspicious of some bad  guys. Soon an army of bad guys come to the funeral to take the old mans grand-daughter away but Wolverine and an archer save her. Then he is on a bullet train and washes his wounds , just then he fights some bad guys!

He wakes up and Viper takes some of his mutant power away so he wont heal. He takes the girl to her old house which is where the old prison was. He does work chopping up a tree on the road, then some bad guys take the girl away. When he’s on his way to save the girl that’s when Wolverine fights 40 Ninjas but he gets about 23 poisoned arrows in his back and he gets caught.

SPOILER ALERT: He then has to fight a giant adamantium Samurai the ninja girl fights Viper. Viper shedded her snakeskin. Wolverine sees that inside the adamantium samurai is the dead old Japanese man.

I give it 4½ stars. Because there’s not much fighting and a lot of talking.


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The Wolverine – Poster Art

The Wolverine_Poster Art


13 Assassins ****

In 1844 Japan, a sadistic young Shogun, Lord Naritsugu Matsudaira is in line to ascend to the Shogunate where he will become second in command. The swearing in ceremony is scheduled to take place at the Akashi domain. Determined to stop him before he arrives at his destination is master Shogun Samurai Shinzaemon Shimada. He enlists the help of 11 Samurai and they head to the town of Ochlai where they plan to ambush Naritsugu and his army of 70 men. On their journey they get lost in the jungle and enlist the help of a local hunter as their guide and the 13th Assassin of the title.

As they prepare the small town of Ochlai for the ambush, they learn that although Naritsugu has delayed his journey, his arrival is imminent, and he now is now travelling with a 200 strong army. Massively outnumbered, the 13 would be assassins must battle against the odds to complete their suicide mission…

Takashi Miike, the controversial cult director behind ‘Audition’ and ‘Ichi the Killer’ has made one of his more accessible movies. That’s not to say that 13 Assassins doesn’t have some disturbing scenes and a lot of violence, it has those in abundance, however it is also a very traditional story about loyalty and honour. These principles are displayed by the contrasting beliefs of the two high ranked Samurai in the film. Our hero, Shinzaemon favours the belief that the Samurai are protectors of justice for the people of Japan, and his direct opponent and rival Hanbei, Lord Naritsugu’s number one, believes that a Samurai’s duty lies in complete and total servitude to their master.

Having said that, the main reason most will watch this film is for the action, and it delivers, the final battle sequence alone runs for almost 50 non-stop minutes! It is incredibly well choreographed and beautifully shot.

There are a few disturbing moments, this is a Takashi Miike film after all. They involve the cruelty of Naritsugu and are perhaps a little too extreme for this type of film; the first involves him shooting an entire family at close range with arrows and most disturbingly, we see the results of a girl he tortured by chopping off her arms, legs and cutting out her tongue. Miike makes Naritsugu so despicable that he’s almost a caricature of a bad guy.

The film will draw comparisons to Kurosawa’s ‘Seven Samurai’ however although a good movie and worth the effort, it’s not in the same class.

Quality: 4 out of 5 stars

Any good: 4 out of 5 stars