"It is truly a burden being a Samurai..." says Shinzaemon Shimada in his death throes.
This is hands down, the best movie of the year. While it has a 50 minute final battle sequence, and never a dull moment within that, it is at its heart a drama, not an action picture, so everything is building to the confrontation = Which is EPIC.
Rarely has a film made you loathe the bad guy, Lord Naritsugu Matsudaira, this much.
Commodus in GLADIATOR is a rank amateur in comparison. Every time you think he couldn't get any worse-he does, and yet its all still believable. Naritsugu as a privileged junior Shogun believes people only exist to serve him. I did not find his villainy cartoonish but rather all too frightening as entirely possible in the wrong/right circumstances.
Desperate to halt his forthcoming rise to power, and yet not dishonor the royal family, the Shogun's most senior advisor asks a trusted Samurai, to "Take care of Naritsugu".
This isn't a one man job, hence 13 Assassins.
As I said earlier this is a drama, because everything hinges upon a code of Honor and Duty to an extreme beyond the usual western mindset. My favorite other character beyond Shimada was Hirayama, Shimada's Ronin student, if anyone evokes that Toshiro Mifune characteristic in the film its him.
The other thing I liked was just the slight hint of the fantastic-like was that guy a ghost or not? You're not sure and the director intends for you to make up your own mind on what happened in a few spots.
Visceral and bloody, 13 Assassins is thus far, the best movie of 2011 in my book.
David J. West writes dark fantasy and weird
westerns because the voices in his head won’t quiet until someone else can hear
them. He is a great fan of sword & sorcery, ghosts and lost ruins, so of
course he lives in Utah in with his wife and children.
The Heroes, by Joe Abercrombie This Crooked Way, by James Enge The Arabian Nightmare, by Robert Irwin The Darkeness that Comes Before, by R. Scott Bakker Tides of War, by Steven Pressfield Night of Knives, by Ian C. Esselmont The Pirate King, by R. A. Salvatore Deadhouse Gates, by Steven Erikson El Borak, by Robert E. Howard Swords Aginst Death, by Fritz Leiber Lies of Locke Lamora, by Scott Lynch Lord of the Silver Bow, by David Gemmell Bloodstone, by Karl Edward Wagner
Heroes of the Fallen Book Trailer
“An epic tale of valor and degeneracy where heroes are beset on every side by wicked schemers whose plots, like a flood, threaten to drown them all." (Daron D. Fraley, Author of The Chronicles of Gan: The Thorn)