Review: 13 Assassins

Based on actual events that served as the inspiration for the 1963 film of the same name, Takashi Miike’s 13 Assassins follows a group of noble samurai as they seek to slay a tyrannical, politically connected lord before he seizes control of the entire country. Japan, 1844: as the era of the samurai winds to a close, a sadistic young lord uses his powerful political ties to commit heinous atrocities against the common people. Recognizing the dangers to both his country and its citizens should the lord manage to gain any more power, a concerned government official secretly recruits 13 of the most skilled swordsmen he can find to defeat the evil lord once and for all.

Samurai in the Gentlemen era, and men have to take steps to protect the honor of the people. It takes a while to build through the occasionally dull and hard-to-follow historical exposition of the over-talky opening scenes. But once the Seven-Samurai-style band of brothers is assembled, 13 Assassins is pure pleasure: and it culminates in a magnificent 45-minute showdown that has to be the best final battle sequence in cinema since, oh, Kill Bill at least. A bit of a slow start but once the action begins you won’t think of anything else, 13 men stand against an army. This movie is not for people who can’t take the sight of blood and gore, it isn’t Tarantino style but it gets messy.

Link: IMDB

Review: Red Cliff

Cao Cao is usurping the thrown of the Han Dynasty playing the role of the Prime Minister controlling the Han army under the guise of protecting the king. Cao Cao is trying to wipe out his last opponents Lui Bei, the uncle of the King, and Sun Quan the ruler of the Southern Kingdom. Once they are pacified he will have full control of all of China, but they will not stand down under these great numbers, they will fight with so many brave generals fighting against Cao Cao. Directed and written by John Woo, I do love all movies John Woo is involved in. The cast is nothing short of amazing with their acting and martial arts skills. Those who are familiar with Dynasty warriors will know all the characters, and this movie really is a work of art. There is going to be a sequel, those who watch it will understand.

Link: IMDB