Friday, September 6, 2013

47 Ronin ~ International Trailer

47 Ronin - Keanu Reeves | A Constantly Racing Mind
Hollywood is intent on adapting the popular cultural story from Japanese history. The story of the 47 ronin was handed down in various forms throughout history. Retold in many forms, the story has been adapted by the Japanese cinema about 7 times now. Universal Pictures has added a fantasy element to the story and cast an American actor as the lead. 

The story of the "47 Ronin" is about the men left without a leader when their daimyo is killed by Lord Kira.  Without a leader, the ronin seek revenge of their lord and spend the next two years planning and carrying out mission, as they felt honor bound to do. 

The film stars Keanu Reeves ("The Matrix" trilogy, "The Day The Earth Stood Still") as Kai. as a half British, half Japanese outcast. Kuranosuke Ôishi played by Hiroyuki Sanada ("Sunshine," "Ringu," "The Last Samurai") leads the group of 47 the loyal and dutiful samurai n their quest for vengeance and honor. Lord Kira, the reason for vengeance is played by Tadanobu Asano ("Battleship").Adding additional layers to this traditionally male story are Rinko Kikuchi from Guillermo del Toro's "Pacific Rim," and Kō Shibasaki from 2000's "Battle Royale" making her Hollywood film debut as Kai's (Reeves) love interest

This is an English, Japanese fantasy film and is the seventh film adaptation of the 47 Ronin story, however, this is the first version in English.

In the trailer (below) Kai (Reeves) battles against Mizuki, a witch, played by Rinko Kikuchi ("Pacific Rim")  .The trailer is in Russian, however, like the trailer the cast is international. Reeves is a Hawaiian-American, while others in the cast are Dutch, Canadian, Chinese, and of course, Japanese..

I tend to like cross-cultural films no matter how imperfect that they are. Films that show the main character out of their element, who somehow rises above the handicap of language, ritual, and culture rise to find his place in a foreign society. "47 Ronin" seems to me to be much like this.  When the miniseries "Shogun" came out in 1980, I was hooked. I got access to some 3/4" Sony video recordings of the film and watched it over and over. When Tom Cruise starred with Ken Watanabe in "The Last Samurai," I went on a study binge of the beginnings of the Meiji era.  Hiroyuki Sanada ("Wolverine") who plays Ôishi also starred in "The Last Samurai."

The story and screen writers have an impressive set of credentials. First there is Chris Morgan, who is responsible for writing  the "Fast & Furious" franchise films, and the Angelina Jolie and James McAvoy action-thriller, "Wanted."  Second is Hossein Amini who wrote "Snow White and the Huntsman," "Drive," and "Killshot." Finaly, Walter Hamada who has served as producer or executive producer on films such as 2010's "A Nightmare on Elm Street,"  and "Friday the 13th." Hamada is also an executive producer for "47 Ronin."

Universal plans on releasing "47 Ronin" in U.S. theaters on Christmas day, 2013. The U.K. premiere is on December 26th, 2013.


Movie Data

Genre: Action, Drama, Fantasy
Year:  2013
Staring: Keanu Reeves, Rinko Kikuchi, Hiroyuki Sanada, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Tadanobu Asano, Kō Shibasaki
Director: Carl Rinsch
Producer(s):  Pamela Abdy,Eric McLeod, Scott Stuber
Writer: Chris Morgan, Hossein Amini, Walter Hamada
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: Unknown
Release Date:  12/25/2013

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