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The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film:


Extras:


Audio/3D Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )
83





Studio and Year: Universal - 2013
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 119 minutes
Genre: Action/Martial Arts

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC/MVC
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, Spanish/French DTS 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Hiroyuki Sanada, Tadanobu Asano, Rinko Kikuchi, Ko Shibasaki
Directed by: Carl Rinsch
Music by: Ilan Eshkeri
Written by: Chris Morgan & Hossein Amini
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: April 1, 2014
"Seize eternity"


Film 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 reclaim 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.


My Take:

47 Ronin is a fictional fantasy action/martial arts film based on the true story of the actual group of forty-seven ronin (master-less samurai) who lived in 18th-century Japan and avenged the murder of their master (stories, plays and other dramatic performances of the 47 Ronin story are commonly referred to as Chūshingura in Japan). The film’s fantastical take is set in a world of witches, magic, giants and monsters and centers around Kai, a half-breed, outcast who lives in the village of Ako, ruled by the benevolent Lord Asano Naganori. Discovered as a boy, lost in the woods Kai was taken in by Lord Naganori and raised within his domain. Kai even at a young age seemed to possess mystical powers/abilities of unknown origins. As he grows into adulthood he is used by village elders/samurai in a subservient manner and kept at arm’s length with the sole exception being Lord Naganori’s daughter Mika who sees from the inside.


Despite being rejected by Lord Naganori’s samurai due to his ancestry, Kai inherent abilities allow him to become a skilled warrior. Despite their differences in class and heritage Kai falls in love with Mika and she with him. Understanding that there is no future for them Kai has no choice but to reject Mika’s love and continue to serve Lord Naganori as he always has. That is until the arrival of the treacherous Lord Kira who with the help of his evil witch, Mizuki, has plans to supplant Lord Naganori with intentions of assuming control of Ako and claiming Mika as his bride. His actions set off a chain of events that will see a role reversal for Kai and the samurai as they seek vengeance and redemption. What transpires will echo throughout the ages…


While this all sounds like the makings of a decent story the truth is that 47 Ronin isn’t a very good film. The characters are cardboard cutouts, the action is mediocre and the attempts at drama are half baked at best. At nearly two hours there isn’t enough depth here to support such a runtime. It’s a shame really as I found the selection of the Japanese actors used in the movie to be excellent. They simply aren’t given anything substantial to work with which I am sure was disappointing given the nature of the subject matter. I really don’t mind Keanu Reeves but he isn’t much of an actor in that every character he plays feels the same. Based upon the flatness of the script here his stoic contribution wasn’t a problem. As a fan of the genre there were moments in the film that I enjoyed. Unfortunately it wasn’t enough to add up to a worthwhile viewing experience.


Parental Guide:


The rating is for intense sequences of violence and action, some disturbing images, and thematic elements.



AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**



Audio: 86

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Dynamics:

  • Low frequency effects:

  • Surround Sound presentation:

  • Clarity/Detail:

  • Dialogue Reproduction:

  • *Low frequency extension (non-rated element):


3D Presentation: 80

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Depth (Onscreen):

  • Dimension (Beyond the screen):

  • Realism:

  • Clarity/Detail:

  • Color reproduction:


47 Ronin 3D comes to Blu-ray Disc from Universal Studios HE featuring 1080p MVC encoded video and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.4 Mbps.


This film was shot natively in 3D utilizing a mix of live action/CGI and the reproduction of the digital effects is quite good. Depth of field onscreen is appreciable as evidenced by separation of objects and/or people layered in the foreground/background which creates a discerning sense of virtual space. Dimensionality and apparent resolution is rarely questionable regardless of the cameras perspective. Low level sequences appear dynamic with excellent contrast and refined blacks. There is a distinct lack of 3D effects that reach out beyond the screen. I didn’t notice any overt instances of crosstalk or other video related anomalies. While I think that this presentation could have benefited from better use of the 3D format I don’t think that its lack thereof detracted from it.


The lossless DTS-HD MA soundtrack has excellent dynamic range, detail rich clarity and makes ample use of the entire surround platform to drive the film’s elements. The music score, coupled along with well integrated discrete and ambient sound effects, play an intricate role in the presentation. The detection of subtle background sounds, off camera cues and spatial dimension within the room’s acoustic environment is notable. The low frequency effects channel is active as the subwoofer works in tandem with the rest of the system to convey the palpably rich bass and dynamic impact associated with the action based sequences. Dialogue is firmly planted in the center channel and clearly renders voices and effects with appropriate distinction and balance within the front soundstage. I enjoyed this audio presentation but for an action based film there was little about it that left an indelible impression on me.


2D Video Quality:

Video: 90

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Resolution/Clarity:

  • Black level/Shadow detail:

  • Color reproduction:

  • Fleshtones:

  • Compression:


47 Ronin comes to Blu-ray Disc from Universal Studios HE featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 31 Mbps.


This film utilizes a variety of purposeful visual schemes to achieve the stylized effect based upon the directors vision. At times it has an intentionally dark and singular chromatic aesthetic and at others a brighter variant with vividly rendered color. Images predominantly lean toward darker color schemes, and grittier textures that provide the look that the filmmakers use to drive the story’s components. This is done to good effect. Shadow delineation is good overall and revealing of visible details within dark backgrounds and low lighting. Stable contrast and deep blacks allow scenes containing mixed content to appear gradationally satisfying with crisp whites and dynamic highlights. Resolution is discerning as images are characterized by intricate and definitively rendered detail that gives the video appreciable dimension and delineated texture. This is the case in all but a few instances where definition softens and doesn’t retain the same level of lucidity.


Bonus Features:


  • Disc 1:

  • 47 Ronin 3D Blu-ray (plus bonus features – see below)


  • Disc 2:

  • 47 Ronin 2D Blu-ray (plus bonus features – see below)

  • (HD) Keany & Kai – 4 minute featurette

  • (HD) Steel & Fury: The fights of 47 Ronin – 6 minute featurette

  • (HD) Myths, magic & monsters: The FX of 47 Ronin – 7 minute featurette

  • (HD) Re-forging the legend – 6 minute featurette

  • (HD) 4 deleted scenes

  • Bonus DVD

  • Ultraviolet Digital Copy




Final Thoughts:

47 Ronin is an overlong and forgettable fantasy action/martial arts film that suffers from an underwhelming script that wastes a talented Japanese cast. It comes to home video from Universal Studios Home Entertainment in this 3D Blu-ray Combo Pack that features a lackluster but serviceable 3D video presentation, excellent high definition quality and decent DTS-HD Master Audio surround sound. The accompanying bonus supplements include format exclusive content that offers a peek behind the curtain along with insights from the cast/crew. Unless you’re already a fan 47 Ronin is a pass.









Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews





Reference Review System:



JVC DLA-RS4910 3D Ready 1080p High Definition Front Projector

(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6 Meter from Spectracal )

Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Horizontal Masking System

Marantz AV8801 11.2 Channel Audio/Video Processor

Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier

B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 Seven Channel Amplifier

Oppo BDP-103D Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player (With Darbee video processing)

Panasonic DMP-BDT310 3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)

Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)

Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)

System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control

Canton "Ergo" Series speakers

Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers

SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)

APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector

Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling

Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package
 

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I actually enjoyed it more than I thought I would. Maybe I came in with really low expectations. haha. Anyway, when I saw the trailers, the CGI seemed really bad but when actually watching the movie in the theatre it seemed to work well.
 

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I have the 3D version on pre-order. As you can tell from my avatar I'm all about Japanese culture and mythology. Hopefully I'll enjoy this more than Ralph did. A bartender at my favorite watering hole (with a Masters in philosophy) loves everything samurai, and gave the film a thumbs up.


I'll find out for myself in a couple Tuesday's.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by adpayne  /t/1523269/47-ronin-3d-blu-ray-official-avsforum-review#post_24503979


I have the 3D version on pre-order. As you can tell from my avatar I'm all about Japanese culture and mythology. Hopefully I'll enjoy this more than Ralph did. A bartender at my favorite watering hole (with a Masters in philosophy) loves everything samurai, and gave the film a thumbs up.


I'll find out for myself in a couple Tuesday's.

So that's YOUR back we're seeing? Talk about "payne!"



Well, amazon reviewers seem to like it (40-something percent are giving it 5 stars, if that's any indicator), pls let us know, adpayne...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by adpayne  /t/1523269/47-ronin-3d-blu-ray-official-avsforum-review/0_20#post_24503979


I have the 3D version on pre-order. As you can tell from my avatar I'm all about Japanese culture and mythology. Hopefully I'll enjoy this more than Ralph did. A bartender at my favorite watering hole (with a Masters in philosophy) loves everything samurai, and gave the film a thumbs up.


I'll find out for myself in a couple Tuesday's.

Greetings,


I look forward to your thoughts...




Regards,
 

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I am so glad I went to a dollar theater to watch this movie because it was well horrible in my opinion, lacking so much in the story and just overall wasnt planned out very well but when you have an actor that has the emotional expressive capability of a penny thats not surprising lol... and its no wonder a lot of Japanese people and culturalist was very upset with this movie and what it did with its historical stories and legends, I would have been pissed too lol..
 

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Thanks for the write-up. I'm going to get it anyway. Maybe my low expectations will help.
 

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I watched this movie at the theaters in 3D and it is POS. Like Ralph said it is a pitty as very good actors were lined up...
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taranteacher  /t/1523269/47-ronin-3d-blu-ray-official-avsforum-review/0_100#post_24503238


Bummer... Was really expecting a lot more from this one.
Thanks for taking another one for the team, Ralph!

I agree with Taranteacher I was also expecting something good with this film but I will pass on it. Thanks Ralph
 

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I have to agree with the OP. This film, though visually stunning (accept for fairly cheesy CGI, at times) falls flat. The story is non-existent and the acting is really bad and not believable. I thought the action scenes and soundtrack were okay. I don't feel like I wasted two hours of my life I'll never get back, but I wouldn't watch it again and I certainly wouldn't buy it. Enter at your own risk.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taranteacher  /t/1523269/47-ronin-3d-blu-ray-official-avsforum-review#post_24504045


So that's YOUR back we're seeing? Talk about "payne!"



Well, amazon reviewers seem to like it (40-something percent are giving it 5 stars, if that's any indicator), pls let us know, adpayne...

Yep, that's my back.


Seems to be a like it or hate kind of film. I'm pretty forgiving on plot points if there is enough visual/auditory stimulus.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph Potts  /t/1523269/47-ronin-3d-blu-ray-official-avsforum-review#post_24504312


Greetings,


I look forward to your thoughts...




Regards,

Will do.
 

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Hmmm! this isn't good news at all , I was hoping this one would be good, Oh well I guess I'll put it on the back burner for awhile and catch it later ,having recently watching the "Grandmaster" and "Saving General Yang" I don't want to ruin a good run!


Thanks Ralph and all for the heads up
 

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I'm gunna give this a rent. When I seen the previews I was really excited. Always hate hearing about plot issues tho. Still excited to view it. Thanks for the review.
 

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Zero desire to see this one. Thanks for taking one for the team Ralph!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Greetings,


Not a problem Dave. I am sure you have taken one or two yourself..




Regards,
 

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Well, I've seen the 3D version now.


I'm kind of at a loss for all the hate for this movie. I expected some dis-jointed mess that was hard to follow, but that wasn't the case at all. In fact, besides the magic/halfbreed themes, it seemed like a traditional Japanese story to me: Honor, revenge, respect, death etc. It was a simple story, but I still enjoyed it.


The 3D was very good, as was the picture quality and audio.


RT has it at 13% (70 reviews), while IMDB has it at 64% (45,000+ votes).


BTW, the guy with the skull/skeleton tattoos....those are all real. I saw him interviewed in a magazine a few years ago. He's only in the film for a minute though. I guess they thought he'd look good in the advertising.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by adpayne  /t/1523269/47-ronin-3d-blu-ray-official-avsforum-review#post_24568423


Well, I've seen the 3D version now.


I'm kind of at a loss for all the hate for this movie. I expected some dis-jointed mess that was hard to follow, but that wasn't the case at all. In fact, besides the magic/halfbreed themes, it seemed like a traditional Japanese story to me: Honor, revenge, respect, death etc. It was a simple story, but I still enjoyed it.


The 3D was very good, as was the picture quality and audio.


RT has it at 13% (70 reviews), while IMDB has it at 64% (45,000+ votes).


BTW, the guy with the skull/skeleton tattoos....those are all real. I saw him interviewed in a magazine a few years ago. He's only in the film for a minute though. I guess they thought he'd look good in the advertising.

Thanks for sharing! Now I all of a sudden so want to see this 3D!
I'll just turn the expectation notches all the way down I guess...
 

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Redbox rental, watching it tonight, we'll see.
 
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