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[Review] Samurai Fiction

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[Review] Samurai Fiction

Old 06-26-01, 03:04 AM
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Just checked out Samurai Fiction DVD tonight and really enjoyed it!

The Movie
The story is a simple one, a valuable sword is 'stolen' from a village and the son of the Chancelor sets out to get it back. Along the way he his injured and taken under the wing of an older great swordsman. The Chancelor's son is ready for a fight, but the elder swordsman is tired of killing and seeks another way to get the stolen sword back

Samurai Fiction often looks and feels like a classic Samurai movie. Shot in black and white (with color in some key scenes) it often looks like it could be something straight out of an Akira Kurosawa film. Japanese video Director Hiroyuki Nakano takes the classic look and story of a Samurai move and fuses it with modern themes, sounds and camera styles.

What's really distinguishing about Samurai Fiction is its soundtrack. As with the film style it ranges from very classic Japanese music to very modern Heavy Metal and touches on Jazz Guitar and 60's lounge music along the way. It's definitely a unique experience watching a Samurai sword fight set against the sound of wailing electric guitars.

The Picture
Samurai Fiction is a very well done DVD. The transfer is excellent and sports 16:9 enhancement. The black and white images are crystal clear with sharp blacks and clear whites. The scenes that have color are sharp and vibrant.

The Sound
The box for Samurai Fiction indicated that it was in 5.1 Dolby Digital, but when I played the DVD the only audio track I could get 2.0 Dolby Pro Logic Japanese. Although a 5.1 track would have been nice, I have absolutely no complaints about the 2.0 track. The sound was strong and full, and when it used the surrounds the sound was very enveloping.

Of all the aspects of the DVD, the thing that impressed me the most were the subtitles, they simply rocked! The subtitles are player generated and were perfectly clear and timed. It was so easy to get sucked in to Samurai Fiction because the subtitles just flowed. There were no awkward translations or made up english words.

All the menus on the Samurai Fiction DVD are in English which makes getting to the special features even easier. The Samurai Fiction DVD features the theatrical trailer, a TV spot, a making of feature (unfortunately only in Japanese), 4 out takes, 2 scenes shown in their original color (before they were converted to black and white), cast and crew bios (all in Japanese) and an 'About The Movie Section' (also in Japanese)

Final Thoughts
I enjoyed Samurai Fiction on many levels. If anything it was a really good reminder to me just how much I like Samurai films. I really enjoyed the style it was shot in, and how it fused the classic with the modern. Samurai Fiction is considered a comedy but for me it hit on many more levels than you'd think of when you think 'comedy'. There are some really funny moments in the film, but also some really good dramatic ones. Although action isn't at the core of Samurai Fiction I thought the fight scenes were really well done. The unique soundtrack was certainly a risky move, but I think it really works.

All in all an enjoyable movie and a very well done DVD.
Old 06-26-01, 08:05 PM
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Its a very lovely film, where the story is nice and the acting is also nice.Got to own this disk!
Old 07-14-01, 01:11 AM
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Where's a good site (i.e. reliabel and cheap) to get this from?
Old 07-15-01, 03:38 PM
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