This Week In Home Entertainment: Anchorman 2, Fargo, 47 Ronin And More
47 Ronin Blu-rayCredit needs to be given to Universal Studios for hiring an a-list cast and giving an exorbitant budget to a film with an outside-the-box premise and fantastical elements. Samurai movies donít often get big budgets, and an outside-the-box premise like the one offered in 47 Ronin really needs an attention to detail that only a large-ish budget can offer. It was a gamble that didnít pay off for the company in its theatrical release, but if you are intrigued by the idea of mixing fantasy and history, you can catch 47 Roninís home entertainment release, starting today.
The film is a fictional account of the famed 47 Ronin in Japanese history. However, in the world created by writers Chris Morgan and Hossein Amini, the ronin must fight off mystical beasts, contend with witches and spirits, along with dealing with the strict rules in 18th century Japanese culture. Itís also a story about forbidden love between a half British, half Japanese orphan named Kai (My Own Private Idahoís Keanu Reeves) and (Mika Kou Shibasaki), as well as a story about defending honor. In short, thereís a lot going on, and it takes nearly two hours to get to the real samurai action audiences should be waiting for.
While itís nice to see fantasy projects get a big budget nod, a first time director and a full-length budget may have been the filmís undoing. With a plot based around outcast samurais and plenty of wild creatures from mythology, 47 Ronin would have been better as a fun B-movie romp, but unfortunately it takes itself too seriously to ever quite get there.
You can order 47 Ronin over at Amazon.
Best Special Feature:
Universal Studios Home Entertainment always has a really nice menu layout, with options to peruse stacked on the left side of the screen. We checked out the Blu-ray release for the film, but those who nab a copy of the Blu-ray 3D release will get a few extra bonus features, including a featurette about the legend and a set of deleted scenes. It also sports a much cooler 3D cover.
On the Blu-ray, the best feature is probably "Steel Fury: The Fights of 47 Ronin. Say what you will about the movie, but some of the choreography and fight sequences are jaw-dropping. This special takes a look behind the process a little bit. We get interviews with the choreographer, some of the stunt men and even that gigantic eight foot tall warrior Keanu Reeves (The Replacements) fights.
Other Bonus Features:
"Keanu & Kai"
"Myths, Magic & Monsters: The FX of 47 Ronin"
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