13 Assassins [Blu-ray]
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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.
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I enjoyed myself thoroughly through the film, though sometimes I was repulsed by the graphic depictions of some of the terrible acts perpetuated by the young noble. I felt that while the movie paced itself well, the build to the actual battle took a while so some patience is required. The battle was magnificent and it's a great enough fight that it merited that I watch it twice. As a picky but average movie goer, I can recommend this film to anyone who enjoys a decent action film with a lot of political intrigue.
One of the coolest scenes, for me, was when the main character is visited in his home by a former colleague and friend now in the Lord's employ. The other assassins are forced to hide in a darkened room. As the two men argue, you're given a scene of the room next to them. It is filled with eleven samurai, hands on their swords, ready to pounce. A very short, and very powerful scene. Just like other Hideo Gosha movies this film is a scathing critique of the military culture the Japanese forges for themselves. If you like this genre of movie, get this film. You will never regret it.
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