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13 Assassins [Blu-ray] (2010)

Koji Yakusho , Takashi Miike  |  R |  Blu-ray
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (580 customer reviews)

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Region 31533 encoding (This DVD will not play on most DVD players sold in the US or Canada [Region 1]. This item requires a region specific or multi-region DVD player and compatible TV. More about DVD formats.)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Koji Yakusho
  • Directors: Takashi Miike
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Blu-ray, Closed-captioned, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Japanese
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Magnolia Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: July 5, 2011
  • Run Time: 125 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (580 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004XQO8R8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,622 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "13 Assassins [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

Cult director Takashi Miike (Ichi the Killer, Audition) delivers a bravado period action film set at the end of Japan's feudal era. 13 Assassins - a masterful exercise in cinematic butchery (New York Post) is centered around a group of elite samurai who are secretly enlisted to bring down a sadistic lord in order to prevent him from ascending to the throne and plunging the country into a war torn future.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
262 of 279 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Impressed Native Japanese March 29, 2011
Format:Amazon Instant Video|Verified Purchase
Being native Japanese, I can be a little nit-picky about movies that are era-centric especially when it comes to feudal Japan. This movie did not insult my intelligence, was true to form with depicting the nature of Japan pre-Meiji era and gave me goosebumps with its intensity. This movie is both entertaining, intelligent and brings to life a culture (Samurai) that few today may be aware of. This is a true Samurai movie in form and delivery without being over the top. Thank you Amazon for making it available online. This is a definite must add to my movie collection.
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98 of 109 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic samurai action May 2, 2011
Format:Blu-ray
I caught this on HDnet movies last week and was thoroughly impressed with everything about it. Great action sequences, great acting and dialogue (although I don't know Japanese - going by the subtitles), and the cinematography is amazing. Japan is a beautiful country and you certainly see this in wondrous HD.

The build up to the final battle scene is a little slow and the gruesome scenes which setup the evil nature of the protaganist's target might be a little bit overly done (the target practice on the remaining Mamiya family in particular). I would have actually liked to see more character development with the original samurai and the couple of ronin but then the movie would have been over 3 hours long.

Visually a few CG elements look less than stellar (flaming cattle and horses falling from an exploding bridge), I am guessing this is probably more to do with the CG production than anything else.

Despite a few qualms I wouldn't take a star off because the final, extremely long battle scene is just incredibly awesome. I haven't seen the original B&W version from 1963 but I might have to try to find it, if its half as good.

Even now with the movie sitting on my DVR I am looking forward to picking up Takashi Miike's masterpiece on bluray as soon as it comes out.
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing May 15, 2011
Format:DVD
This gets off to an acceptable start. A sadistic warlord stands way too close to the throne - bad enough what he does to the commoners around him, it would be vastly worse if the whole nation were his plaything. A band of 12 assassins is enlisted, and they're off. We establish personal loyalties and conflicts early on, compressed into traditional forms by the rigid code of bushido. Although well executed, this seemed ordinary up to about the half-way point, when an improbable thirteenth joins the band.

The group picks a small town for their ambush. They buy out the village and turn it into their trap. The villagers bait the trap with themselves, lure the warlord and his retainers in, then escape to safety as the trap springs. The rest of the movie, a solid 45 minutes, presents one of the most incredible fight scenes in cinematic history. I mean, the fighting is believable - no flying swordsmen or outlandish weaponry - but I've never seen a movie sustain an adrenaline rush for so long. And, despite the fast-moving action, it never turns repetitive. The 13th, although the comedic element, brings his own contribution to the mayhem as well.

The ending comes in suitably heroic (and Japanese) style, with a brief reminder of just why the world would be better off without that warlord. Then, in a final moment, we suddenly wonder just who or what that 13th might be.

A world with Kurosawa in it has very high standards to meet. Maybe "13 Assassins" doesn't meet the very highest, but its a good one anyway, and worth coming back to.

-- wiredweird
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Finding Honor In Committing The Dishonorable May 31, 2011
By MadMacs
Format:DVD
The strength of the story alone will carry along most viewers. But to fully appreciate the tale that 'Assassins' is crafting, you have to understand the Samurai - their machinations for power, political infrastructure and shared heritage.

In this period, prior to the West's forced entry into Japan via Commodore Perry, the samurai culture had just past its zenith. Peace had ruled the land for so long that the warrior class were mostly that in name alone - few had tasted real combat. Fewer still wanted it. Luxury and prestige were often chosen above stark training and an ascetic life. And the ultimate glory, to die in battle, was considered poetic by many who carried the 'daisho' (two swords), not a literal truth as in the past.

Additionally, absolute loyalty without question was honored above all else. The entire structure of governance was based on this concept, and without it, chaos would ensue.

So when an unspeakably horrific monster, born into the family of the Shogunate (the warrior ruling class), was about to be promoted as the Shogun's primary advisor - it was inconceivable that the retainers would do anything to rid themselves of this human cancer; not without bringing terrible shame and dishonor to themselves and their families. And, by default, destabilizing the very structure of their existence and potentially plunging the country back into civil war.

The question is, and the crux of this film, what do you do?

Borrowing heavily from the true story of 'The Forty-Seven Ronin' - very special men, old school samurai if you will, would take on the task of killing this living demon in human form.
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YET another dodgy cover, covering "Asian" eyes? Ridiculous.
Who cares? It's a bad-ass cover regardless.
Jul 7, 2011 by Amazon Customer |  See all 8 posts
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