47 RONIN Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 11 days ago

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The story of the Forty-seven Ronin is well known in Japan, and has been since the historical event occurred early in the 18th century.  It’s not nearly as common knowledge on these shores, but that’s something that Carl Rinsch’s 47 Ronin adaptation looked to change.  Keanu Reeves stars in this tale that reimagines the factual story of revenge, honor, and loyalty as one set within a world rich with the fantastical elements of Japanese folklore.  In its theatrical release, 47 Ronin was a box office dud, never coming close to making its reported $175 million budget back.  Perhaps it was simply a case of the wrong movie at the wrong time.  Since the quality of the production is surprisingly high, 47 Ronin might find new life on home video.  Hit the jump for my 47 Ronin Blu-ray review.

TOP 5: THOR: THE DARK WORLD, DALLAS BUYERS CLUB, Marvel Live-Action Series Coming to Netflix, 47 RONIN Set Visit, Blockbuster Video Is Dead

by     Posted 161 days ago

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Although I hate to naysay, I’ve gone on record several times with my lack of excitement for the upcoming RoboCop remake (here’s one example although I’m sure there are more). This past week MGM and Sony released the new trailer for the film and while I think the cast has the potential to be great, in general the movie just keeps digging itself into a bigger hole with every bit of new footage that I see. Whereas Paul Verhoeven‘s original was laced with social critique that was often ahead of its time if not at least skillfully deployed, this latest trailer goes out of its way to show that it too has something to say about social issues with on the nose references to the idea of using American resources to promote peace abroad rather than at home and the invasive nature of corporate marketing/branding. You keep up with current affairs, we get it. Speaking of marketing, probably my biggest beef with this latest cut comes in its final seconds when it shows RoboCop making a grandiose landing that essentially says “You guys liked the Iron Man movies, right?! You should definitely check this out then because it has a guy in a futuristic suit too!”. Thanks but no thanks, MGM and Sony.

Now that I’ve levied more criticism on a 2:30 trailer than is likely fair, let’s move on to something more positive. This week’s Top 5 features Thor: The Dark World interviews with Tom Hiddleston and more, Dallas Buyers Club interviews with the likes of Jared Leto, the news that Marvel will bring live-action series to Netflix featuring Daredevil and others, a recap of Steve’s 47 Ronin set visit, and a farewell to the once massive video rental chain, Blockbuster Video. If I haven’t lost you yet, a brief recap and link to each of the above can be found after the jump.

47 RONIN Set Visit with Video Blog Recap and New Images

by     Posted 166 days ago

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I feel like I’ve been transported back hundreds of years to medieval Japan.  In front of me are over a hundred samurai warriors with each group in its own color (red, gold and purple) and we’re standing inside an ancient warlord’s castle.  As I stand near a cherry blossom tree, I watch as the visiting Shogun Warrior dressed in Gold, with his own group of golden Samurai, inform the kneeling Samurai of Ako Castle they are now all Ronin.  As he says this, I look at the 3D cameras and the large crew standing nearby, and can’t believe everything is make believe.

Let me back up a second.

It’s June 8, 2011 and I’m flying back to Los Angeles from London.  Yesterday I spend most of the day on director Carl Rinsch’s first feature, 47 Ronin, with a few other online reporters.  While I knew going in the movie would be based on the very famous Japanese story of the 47 Ronin, I wasn’t sure how much would be fact, and how much Hollywood fiction they would mix in.  However, what I saw on set tells me that the filmmaking team might have figured out a great way to tell this well-known story.  Hit the jump for so much more.

Director Carl Rinsch Talks His Approach to 3D, Making His Directorial Debut on a Big Tentpole, Not Changing the Original Ending, and More on the Set of 47 RONIN

by     Posted 166 days ago

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While you might not know the name Carl Rinsch, you’ve probably seen his work.  Over the past few years, he’s directed plenty of commercials using CGI to amplify his storytelling, and he also directed a very cool short film called The Gift, which we wrote about here.  If you’ve seen any of his stuff, you know he’s a talented director.

47 Ronin opens December 25th, and it marks Rinsch’s directorial debut.  When the production was filming outside London back in 2011, I got to participate in a group interview with Rinsch in between set ups, and what I found was someone more than willing to share his thoughts.  He talked about filming in 3D, the story of the 47 Ronin, how they built huge practical sets that will be amplified with CG, working with a Japanese cast, how they’re not softening the ending, and so much more.  Hit the jump for what he had to say.

New Japanese Trailer for 47 RONIN Starring Keanu Reeves and Hiroyuki Sanada

by     Posted 234 days ago

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A new international trailer for Universal’s upcoming tentpole 47 Ronin has landed online.  The Carl Rinsch-directed film stars Keanu Reeves and centers on a troupe of banished samurai who long to restore their honor and find vengeance against the treacherous Lord Kira (played by Tadanobu Asano) who was responsible for the death of their master.  This Japanese trailer is considerably shorter than the domestic cut, but we do see a few bits of new footage and the focus is on Hiroyuki Sanada’s character rather than Reeves’.  I’m still not entirely convinced that this isn’t just a bloated samurai riff on 300, but at the very least the film’s near-$200 million budget looks to be all on the screen.

Hit the jump to watch the new trailer.  The film also stars Rinko Kikuchi, Kou Shibasaki, and Jin Aksanishi47 Ronin opens in 3D on December 25th.

Keanu Reeves Is Once Again the Chosen One in First Trailer for 47 RONIN

by     Posted 269 days ago

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Universal has released the first trailer for director Carl Rinsch’s upcoming fantasy-adventure 47 Ronin.  The film stars Keanu Reeves and centers on a troupe of banished samurai who long to restore their honor and find vengeance against the treacherous Lord Kira (played by Tadanobu Asano) who was responsible for the death of their master.  As you’ll see from the trailer, there’s a heavy supernatural element as well, and sadly, it doesn’t do much for me.  The classic historical tale of Chūshingura seems to be dwarfed by special effects, and not particularly imaginative ones at that (swooshing fabric turns into monsters).  I want to be convinced this could be a good movie, but trailers that try to turn kazoos into rock music are a bit of turn-off.

Hit the jump to watch the trailer, and click here for four character posters.  The film also stars Hiroyuki Sanada, Kô Shibasaki, and Rinko Kikuchi47 Ronin opens in 3D on December 25th.

New Promo Posters for 47 RONIN Starring Keanu Reeves

by     Posted 1 year, 87 days ago

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Universal’s 3D samurai tentpole 47 Ronin has had a bit of a troubled road through production and post-production, but if all goes according to plan, we’ll be seeing Keanu Reeeves wielding his sword in theaters this coming December.  In anticipation of the pic, some promo posters have gone online that feature the cast doing their best samurai poses.  Reeves stars as one of the 18th century samurai who seek to avenge their master’s death, lending some starpower to the movie.  I don’t imagine we’ll see a trailer until closer to this summer, but these promo posters offer a nice tease of what’s to come.

Hit the jump to check out the promo posters.  Directed by Carl Rinsch, the film also stars Hiroyuki Sanada, Tadanobu Asano, Kô Shibasaki, and Rinko Kikuchi47 Ronin opens in 3D this Christmas. [Update: The images have been removed at the studio's request.  Sorry if you missed them!]

Universal Removes Director Carl Rinsch from 47 RONIN Editing Room as Budget Hits $225 Million

by     Posted 1 year, 211 days ago

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47 Ronin is an intriguing project, in part because Universal plucked Carl Rinsch from relative obscurity to direct the 3D samurai tentpole.  It seems the studio regrets that decision, and wants to heighten the intrigue in all the worst ways a cinephile can imagine.  Rinsch has reportedly been removed from the editing room; Universal co-chairwoman Donna Langley will oversee the final cut.  A source involved with the production said the budget escalated from the planned $175 million to a prohibitive $225 million, although the studio denies that number.  Keanu Reeves stars as one of the 18th century samurai who seek to avenge their master’s death, which lends some star power to the movie.  But the rest of the cast—featuring Hiroyuki Sanada, Tadanobu Asano, Kô Shibasaki, and Rinko Kikuchi—is mostly Japanese.  [Edit: To clarify, I have no problem with the nationality of the other actors. See explanation in the comments.]  Add in the period setting and the lack of built-in brand awareness, and it is surprising Universal trusted an unproven director with so much money in the first place.

But Universal is ready to rectify that.  Find out how after the jump.

47 RONIN Pushed Back to February 8, 2013

by     Posted 1 year, 358 days ago

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Universal certainly has an ambitious film on their hands with the samurai pic 47 Ronin, but it was announced today that they’ve decided to move the pic off of its pre-Thanksgiving release date.  Previously slated to open on November 11th, 47 Ronin will now be released on February 8th, 2013 (per Box Office Mojo).  Directed by Carl Rinsch, the 3D film stars Keanu Reeves and centers on a troupe of banished samurai who long to restore their honor and find vengeance against the treacherous Lord Kira (played by Tadanobu Asano) who was responsible for the death of their master.  We recently brought you a look at a fire-infused promo poster for the film from CinemaCon, which you can check out right here.

The release date change actually makes sense.  The November date had the action-centered film going up against Alfonso Cuaron’s highly anticipated sci-fi pic Gravity, and opening two weeks before The Hobbit and Les Miserables.  In February, 47 Ronin has a showdown with the Nicholas Sparks adaptation Safe Haven.  I don’t really see much cross-pollination happening between the audiences for 47 Ronin and a Nicholas Sparks movie…

New Promo Poster for 47 RONIN Starring Keanu Reeves [Updated]

by     Posted 1 year, 362 days ago

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CinemaCon gets underway this Monday, but Steve is already in Las Vegas snapping pictures of all the cool promo posters, banners, and standees he can find.  For those unaware, CinemaCon is a convention put on for all the major theater owners in order to get a look at what the studios have to offer for the rest of the year; it’s basically Comic-Con for theater owners.  While walking the floor, Steve found a new promo poster for director Carl Rinsch‘s 47 Ronin.  The pic stars Keanu Reeves and it’s about a troupe of banished samurai long to restore their honor and find vengeance against the treacherous Lord Kira (played by Tadanobu Asano) who was responsible for the death of their master.  We got a look at a different promo poster at the 2011 Licensing International Expo, but this one has 100% more fire and plays up the 3D aspect of the action film.

Hit the jump to check out the promo poster, and be sure to check back over the next few days for all our coverage from CinemaCon 201247 Ronin opens on November 11th in 3D.

UPDATE: Found a better version of the 47 Ronin poster.  It’s been added after the jump.

Director Carl Rinsch’s 47 RONIN Starring Keanu Reeves to be Produced and Released in 3D

by     Posted 3 years, 132 days ago

We’ve received word that Universal plans to shoot and release the upcoming Keanu Reeves action film 47 Ronin in 3D. Director Carl Rinsch, who has previously been attached to the upcoming Alien prequel as well as a Logan’s Run remake, will make his feature film debut on the project. The project officially got a greenlight last month, as well as a release date of November 21, 2012. There’s no word as to whether the entire film will be shot in 3D, or if some of the footage will be filmed in 2D and then post-converted like the upcoming Transformers: The Dark of the Moon.

Based upon a true story, 47 Ronin is the tale of 18th century samurai who head out to avenge the death of their master. It’s the most famous tale of the samurai code of honor, “bushido.” For a director who has yet to make his feature film debut, Rinsch has been attached to some decidedly high-profile projects, and Reeves’ work on The Matrix trilogy has him well-versed in martial arts (“I know kung-fu”). Needless to say, this flick sounds fairly bad-ass on paper. We’ll find out if Rinsch lives up to his reputation come November 2012.

Alex Garland in Talks to Write Carl Rinsch’s Remake of LOGAN’S RUN

by     Posted 3 years, 307 days ago

Screenwriter Alex Garland (28 Days Later) is in negotiations to pen the screenplay for Carl Rinsch’s remake of the 1976 sci-fi film Logan’s Run.  The plot centers on a future where people must die when they reach a certain age.  Anyone who refuses is a “runner” and they’re hunted down by operatives known as “Sandmen”.  Logan is a Sandman who is forced to become a runner.  According to Heat Vision, producers Joel Silver and Akiva Goldsman are looking for the new film to incorporate the expanded world presented in William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson’s 1967 novel.

Garland’s most recent screenplay credit is for Mark Romanek’s upcoming Never Let Me Go.  Rinsch is attached to multiple projects including The Gift, a remake of Creature from the Black Lagoon, and 47 Ronin.

Carl Rinsch Attached to Direct LOGAN’S RUN Remake

by     Posted 3 years, 328 days ago

Director Carl Rinsch has been hired to helm the remake of the 1976 sci-fi flick Logan’s Run.  Here’s the brief synopsis of the film per Heat Vision:

The premise sees a future society that demands the death of everyone upon reaching a certain age. Anyone who veers from that destiny is dubbed a “runner” and is hunted by operatives known as Sandmen. Logan is a Sandman who is forced to go on the run.

Rinsch first garnered attention as he was previously attached to helm the prequel to Alien.  He was then replaced by Ridley Scott.  But that defeat was short-lived as he is now attached to a slew of projects.  First, he got on board the feudal Japan flick 47 Ronin.  Then he was hired to direct a remake of Creature From the Black Lagoon.  Rinsch then directed a short film called The Gift that ignited a bidding war for a feature film adaptation.  But Rinsch is only the latest in a long line of Logan’s Run directors.  Hit the jump for more and click here for the interview with producer Joel Silver who provided several updates on the project.

Carl Rinsch’s THE GIFT Ignites Bidding War for Feature Film Adaptation

by     Posted 4 years, 11 days ago

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Carl Rinsch’s The Gift, which we showed you earlier today, is attracting attention from multiple studios who want to adapt it into a feature film.  Heat Vision reports that Warner Bros. and Fox are in a bidding war to adapt the property.  HV gives Fox the slight edge because Rinsch directed the short as part of RSA, Ridley Scott’s commercial house, and Scott has a longtime association with Fox.  I wonder if Fox is having second thoughts about giving the Alien prequel to Scott instead of Rinsch when Scott has fifty other projects he could choose from.

For those that haven’t watched the short, I’ve once again included it after the jump.  The best way to describe the film is robot-Jason Bourne meets MacGuffin meets Half-Life 2 in Moscow.

THE GIFT: A Slick Short Film by Carl Erik Rinsch

by     Posted 4 years, 11 days ago

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Carl Erik Rinsch recently directed a cool short film recently for the electronics manufacturer Philips as part of Ridley Scott’s RSA team.  For those that need a brief refresher on Rinsch, he was the guy who almost directed the Alien prequel.  Instead, Rinsch is now attached to direct 47 Ronin and a remake of Creature from the Black Lagoon for Universal.

The short film is part of the Parallel Lines project where five of RSA’s hottest up-and-coming directors each had to make a film and the only requirement was that they include the dialogue, “It’s a unicorn.”  This leads me to believe that Philips is building the world’s first unicorn.

Hit the jump to see Rinsch’s sci-fi short, “The Gift” which debuted on /Film.  After you see it, you’ll want to keep him on your radar.

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