Articles

Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - April, 2014

ARTICLE INDEX

"47 Ronin" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Jim Milton

movies-apr-2014-Ronin

Synopsis

Keanu Reeves stars in the action-adventure epic, 47 Ronin. After a treacherous warlord kills their master and banishes their kind, 47 leaderless samurai vow to seek vengeance and Joreclaim their honor. This band of ronin must seek help from Kai (Reeves)—an enslaved half-breed they once rejected—in their ultimate fight for redemption in a savage world of mythic and wondrous terrors. Kai becomes their most deadly weapon and the heroic inspiration for these outnumbered warriors to confront their enemy and seize eternity.

Specifications

  • Universal Studios
  • 2014, Color, PG-13, 1 hour 51 minutes
  • Aspect Ratio 2.40:1
  • 1080P
  • 5.1 DTS-MA
  • Starring: Keanu Reeves,Hiroyuki Sanada, Tadanobu Asano, Rinko Kikuchi
  • Directed by: Carl Rinsch
Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Yes
  • Sex: No
  • Language: No

Commentary

Here's an example of a classic tale that gets messed up in the telling. This movie tries too hard to be an epic. In order to become an epic, you need characters that you really care about. Reeves character is too shrouded and one dimensional, so by the end of the movie, you still can't connect with his character. The CGI in the movie is a bit over the top, and in some instances, very amateurish and fake looking. Again, a movie that relies heavily on CGI monsters and panoramic vistas of a fantastical countryside do not a movie make. (Avatar anyone?) Not that some of the action sequences were not fun, but the "get vengeance for our defamed master" route has been traveled a lot lately. The movie just kind of collapses under its own pretentiousness by the end. A rental at best.

Technical

Sound is very good with lots of surround fun and deep bass rumble from the war drums. The picture quality was generally sharp and clean, but some scenes were awfully grainy and the deep contrasts were washed out. Not enough to ruin the movie, but it can be distracting at times. Because of the picture inconsistency, I knocked it down a mark. Also, as I mentioned before, some of the CGI looks great and then other times it is bad enough to take you out of the moment.

Extras

Sorry, no 47 extras. Some deleted scenes, Re-forging the Legend, Keanu & Kai, Steel Fury: The Fights of 47 Ronin, Myths, Magic & Monsters: The FX of 47 Ronin. Also a digital copy and DVD version are included.