47 Ronin (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD with UltraViolet)
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Top Customer Reviews
Unlike another reviewer who chose to discuss and judge the values of that time rather than the movie itself, those values must be respected as an historical accuracy. That review would be much like giving "Gone With the Wind" one star for the South's reliance on slavery. One must deal with those values, and one must judge the film based on how good it is, not on the moral code of the times. This is a good action movie with some historical accuracy.
This movie stays fairly close to the original, adds in beautiful sets, action and adventure, and ends as it should.
I can see why mainstream America and the media misunderstood it - Asian protagonists, brooding tone, tragic romance, a plot driven by foreign ideals like "honor" and "shame." People with no exposure to a traditional Japanese world might scratch their head at the notion of seppuku, or leaving your wife to avenge lost honor, but if you are worldly enough to embrace different cultures and values, you will be rewarded by this richly imagined film.
Thematically, this movie is smart. First, the film is refreshingly devoid of any irony or post-modern humor that can weaken the modern blockbuster, which always seems to try to be all things to all people. So while the plot may be simple, it is still told in surprising ways. One can never entirely predict the next thing to happen throughout the movie, another novel way the movie is better than expected.
And the execution of this revenge yarn is layered with heavier topics like class, morality, equality and freedom. One of the two main protagonists is a low-class "half-breed" (actually half-demon) while the rest are pure Japanese. This intriguing character faithfully serves his masters while tolerating their cruelty, finally proving by the end to be transcendentally superior to all of their humiliation and ignominy. With a movie about slavery likely to take home Best Picture for 2013, it's a shame that this particular genre film is so easily dismissed by critics although it also delves into the difficult subject with an insightful and intelligent perspective.Read more ›
It is very exciting and moving. The loyalty of the ronin to their fallen lord is inspiring.
The love story between two of the characters was touching as well without being overbearing, it did not hijack the plot which happens in many films. They also stayed true to feudal japanese societal rules to a greater degree than many movies.
For example some movies set in feudal japan will have a peasant "half breed" (keanu reeves character) somehow have status and respect from samurai which is highly unlikely bordering on absurd. In this film the half breed is considered much lower than the samurai and he accepts this. Its not until they become ronin that they get closer to equals and then the half breed starts talking back instead of just quietly accepting his lower status. This is much more reasonable, helps plot development, and is smart of the writer/director to understand the feel of feudal japan.
The special effects and mythical elements are very well done! There is a magical witch and a few spirits and creatures from classical japanese mythology.
The fight scenes are really well done and well choreographed.
I have nothing bad to say about this movie other than it could have been longer! Its already two hours but could have used another to give background on the samurai's lives and the elements of japanese mythology.
I already knew these things going in so hearing the name of a japanese mythological entity or when a person is asked to be anothers "second" for sepukku, i was primed for what came next. However the person who saw it with me had no idea what these things were and is in fact the one who gave the critique that it could have been longer to give more detail on these points.
Overall amazing film. Its now on my top ten list!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Got this as a gift for my son for Christmas. He LOVES this movie for the concepts of "honor" and "integrity" demonstrated to the ultimate degree.Published 3 days ago by Elaine May
I love this movie! New favorite movie! If you like Asian inspired movies, definitely check this one out. Read morePublished 4 days ago by Amazon Customer
Awesome movie! I watched it 3 times in a row the first day I bought it highly recommendedPublished 4 days ago by Amazon Customer
Great movie but I have noticed that folks who aren't into Japanese style stories don't get it even with the slightly western slant.Published 8 days ago by Frequent Shopper