47 Ronin

I booked a ticket for this film and thought that the showing time was 18:20. I finished editing my website earlier at 18:15 and left to get to the car, which is never parked close to my house. On the way I looked at my reservation time for the cinema and it said 18:15 showing. This meant I had 5 minutes fewer to get to the cinema than I had thought and I was already late.

It turns out I got to the cinema and in my seat with two trailers to spare. Pretty efficient timing! I managed to miss the adverts and other trailers. While I’m waiting for the film I don’t watch the screen anyway. I read a book on my Kindle app on my phone. I’m currently reading about NASA’s contributions to computational fluid dynamics over the last 50 years. Fascinating.

The film, 47 Ronin.

This is based on a true story, which I’ve just found out [thanks Wikipedia]. It’d be more interesting to create a film about the discovery of this story and its manipulation over time to create societal values. Anyway, this film was ok. Just ok. I haven’t rated it on IMDB yet but when I do it will be a 6/10.

Keanu Reeves. Why? I’m amazed that this guy gets paid for doing what he does. I don’t think I’ve seen him act yet. Well, maybe in Bill and Ted’s? Is he the big name there because everyone else is Japanese and no-one will know them? Or perhaps it’s because he has black hair. Whatever, a good actor he is not. Fortunately the story did not need him to act  he just had to stare.

The rest of the cast were good. I particularly liked the witch. I thought she was brilliantly seductive.

Problems [potential SPOILERS]

  • Lazy editing, or possibly for an American audience. We see the wolf’s eyes and a bit later the witch. Later when Keanu recognises the witch we get a flashback. SERIOUSLY? Are the audience that stupid that they won’t remember the eyes from earlier. I nearly screamed out.
  • I don’t know where it was filmed but it was stunning and I hope that it wasn’t CGI. The locations were brilliant although at times the backdrops used for studio shots were a bit obvious. See below more details.
  • MAGIC. Is it necessary to have magic? Isn’t this a good enough story without magic? If I realise I’m watching a fairy tale then I can cope with magic but this seemed a little annoying. The film would have been far superior with a better script without magic but then the effects probably wouldn’t have been needed.
  • Alien creatures? Really. Lizard people living in an enchanted forest? And, the TEST. Poor writing. It was obvious. Have another go at this one people.
  • Dutch Island was cool and I liked the idea but it probably never happened. I have been reliably informed that it existed, thanks Pom, although its depiction in the film was nothing like the real thing.

Overall this is a film for the modern generation who have loved the Lord Of The Rings and want more of the same. This could have been a brilliant film but failed.

Moral Rights
So much of the film relies on the Japanese codes of honour and trust. I found myself drifting off halfway through into thoughts of moral truths. We, as a society need moral codes and this film and story are there to inform us of these values. We should be truthful, we should be honest, we should care and we should keep our honour. These values come from us being humans and tribal creatures rather than from any book or religion. Religions and their books [and politicians or any two-bit celebrity] seem to be allowed to have their views on moral rights and wrongs. I find this amusing. Surely it’s up to society to decide? For example, when did what the Prime Minister earns become a benchmark for peoples salaries? Blah, blah, blah. Time to stop.

Have checked with IMDB for the locations of filming and I feel cheated.
Ronin Locations