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Ninja Hunter (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

January 10, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

Seiji Chiba’s “Ninja Hunter” has plenty of action scenes and will no doubt entertain popcorn action fans.  But as an overall film, it was an average film at best.

Images courtesy of © 2017 Funimation. All Rights Reserved.


TITLE: Ninja Hunter

FILM RELEASE: 2015

DURATION: 101 Minutes

BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition, 16:9, Japanese Dolby TrueHD 2.0, Subtitles: English

COMPANY: Funimation

RATED: TV 14

Release Date: November 14, 2017


Directed by Seiji Chiba

Executive Producer: Tadashi Osumi, Toshihiro Takahashi

Produced by Kazunori Moriguchi, Tetsuya Shimokado, Kiwamu Sato, Seiji Chiba

Line Producer: Koichi Maehashi, Koji Inagaki

Director of Photography: Kenji Tanabe and Atsushi Yoshida

Music: Kuniyuki Morohashi

Costume Designer: Sachi Harada/


Starring:

Masanori Mimoto as Tao

Mei Kurokawa as kei

Mickey Koga as Mitsuki Koga

Kentaro Shimazu

Kazuki Tsujimoto


Tao, a ninja from the Iga clan, wakes up in a cave surrounded by dead bodies, including a beautiful female ninja. Suffering from amnesia, he can’t remember how or why he’s there, or if he’s the one responsible for this massacre. His task at hand is to retrieve a document that will reveal the killer’s identity. Who is the killer? Was one of his clan a traitor? Who is the female ninja?

As Tao fights various other ninja, he begins to piece together his memories with their stories. But instead of solving the enigma, a web of betrayal unfolds.


 

From Seiji Chiba, the director of “Alien vs. Ninja” and “The Kunoichi: Ninja Girl” comes his 2015 film “Ninja-gari” (Ninja Hunter) which was released in November 2017 in the U.S. courtesy of Funimation.

The film stars Masanori Mimoto (“Alien vs. Ninja”, “Yakuza Apocalypse”) as Tao, a ninja from the Iga Clan.  When Tao wakes up he finds another ninja who tells him that he killed all the ninjas laying around and including a female ninja.

Suffering from amnesia, Tao doesn’t know what happened and those responsible for the massacre try to manipulate him into thinking that he was responsible.

But as Tao can’t believes that he could have killed Kei (portrayed by Mei Kurokawa), a female ninja that he cares about.  He slowly starts to regain his memories.


VIDEO:

“Ninja Hunter” is presented in 1080p High Definition and is a film that looks great in HD.   Makeup designers play a big part in the film in creating the scars of Tao and his enemies.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“Ninja Hunter” is presented in Japanese Dolby TrueHD 2.0, so this is a front-speaker driven soundtrack with crystal clear dialogue, a lot of sword clanging and music.

SPECIAL FEATURES

“Ninja Hunter” comes with no special features but a trailer.

EXTRAS:

“Ninja Hunter” comes with both the Blu-ray and DVD version of the film.


Seiji Chiba knows how to make budget-based ninja films with a lot of action.

While h is films are far from being memorable ninja films, one can admit that he is able to direct numerous over-the-top ninja films such as “Alien vs. Ninja” and “The Kunoichi: Ninja Girl”.

“Ninja Hunter” was no doubt low budget.  Blood splatters are added digitally, despite no matter how many ninjas are slashed to death, there is no blood on the ground and even the female ninja, Kei has highlights in her hair.

Primarily shot inside a cave, the film relies heavily on fight choreography.

In fact, the film is mostly about the action and takes place inside the cave with the occasional shot of the ninjas in a forest area but you can see how Chiba was able to keep costs down by directing a film that lies primarily in one location, reusing a lot of actors to make it seem like there is an onslaught of ninjas.

The film no doubt feels like a B-movie that aims to satisfy popcorn action fans that want to see ninjas fight but I have to say “Ninja Hunter” was probably Chiba’s most action-driven film with awesome sword-fighting scenes but at the same time, story-wise, was among his weakest films in his oeuvre.

The Blu-ray is a barebones Blu-ray release with no special features but it does come with a Blu-ray and DVD.

Overall, Seiji Chiba’s “Ninja Hunter” has plenty of action scenes and will no doubt entertain popcorn action fans.  But as an overall film, it was an average film at best.

 

Bushido Man: Seven Deadly Battles (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

June 7, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

bushidoman

 “Bushido Man: Seven Deadly Sins” may not be the greatest martial arts film and far from being a great Japanese martial arts film, but for those who appreciate wild and crazy Japanese martial arts films with mindless action, awesome and creative fight choreography, will find the film to be entertaining and all-out fun! Otherwise, if you are looking for a deep storyline to go along with the martial arts action, then this film may not be for you.

Images courtesy of © 2014 The Klockworx Co. Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: Bushido Man: Seven Deadly Battles

FILM RELEASE: 2013

DURATION: 88 Minutes

BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition, 1:78:1, Japanese and English 5.1 Dolby TrueHD, Subtitles: English

COMPANY: Shout! Factory

RATED: Not Rated (Contains Adult Content)

Release Date: June 10, 2014

Directed by Takanori Tsujimoto

Produced by Yohei Haraguchi, Miku Kikuchi

Co-Producer: Mitsuki Koga, Kensuke Sonomura, Takanori Tsujimoto

Executive Producer: Itaru Fujimoto

Assistant Producer: Ema

Music by Hikaru Yoshida

Cinematography by Tetsuya Kudo

Edited by Kensuke Sonomura, Takanori Tsujimoto

Starring:

Mitsuki Koga as Toramaru

Yoshiyuki Yamaguchi as Gensai

Masanori Mimoto as Eiji Mimoto “Yakuza”

Kentaro Shimazu as Billy Shimabukuro “Gun Master”

Kazuki Tsujimoto as Muso “Blind Samurai”

Ema as Denko

Kensuke Sonomura as Yuan Jian “Kung Fu Master”

Masaki Suzumura as Rinryu “Nunchaku Master”

Naohiro Kawamoto as Mokunen “Bojutsu Master”

Marc Walkow as Boss “Bounty Hunter”

Yasutaka Yuuki as Yu “Bounty Hunter”

Takashi Tanimoto as Tani “Bounty Hunter”

Taiju Nemoto as Nemo “Bounty Hunter”

Takanori Tsujimoto as Yakuza Brother

Eat and Fight.

Upon returning from a pilgrimage across Japan, the warrior Toramaru arrives with tales of seven epic battles against Japan’s most legendary fighters. As Toramaru’s philosophy dictates that he ’know the enemy by eating his food, ’ each masterfully-choreographed fight is preceded by a helping of his prey’s favorite dish.

Designated successor to Master Gensai and leading proponent of the all-round martial-arts discipline, The Cosmic Way, Toramaru tells the tales of The Seven Deadly Battles as Master Gensai eagerly listens to the lavish and violent details of Toramaru’s adventures.

When it comes to martial arts films, the majority of the films are from Asia, typically China/Hong Kong, Korea and Thailand.

For Japan, the years of Japanese martial arts cinema has not been apparent in live action films but primarily in animation.

But for Takanori Tsujimoto, director of “Kill”, “Hard Revenge, Milly: Bloody Battle” and “Monster Killer” comes his latest film “Bushido Man: Seven Deadly Battles”, a frenetic and stylish martial arts film that behaves as it was like it was made primarily for a video game.

And now Takanori Tsujimoto’s wild and crazy martial arts film, “Bushido Man: Seven Deadly Battles” will be released on Blu-ray in June 2014.  Courtesy of Shout! Factory!

“Bushido Man: Seven Deadly Battles” revolves around a samurai warrior named Toramaru (portrayed by Mitsuki Koga) who has went through a pilgrimage across Japan, going up against many of Japan’s legendary fighters.

As Toromaru visits his Master Gensai, the leader of the martial arts known as “The Cosmic Way”, Toramaru explains how he conquered various martial arts rivals including a blind samurai; a yakuza member; an English speaking Japanese gun master; a Kung-Fu master, a Nunchaku master, a Bojutsu master and more.

But in order to prove himself to Master Gensai, he must provide his Master with a scroll which documents him defeating the martial arts rival.

But how will Master Gensai feel about Toromaru’s fighting  adventures?

VIDEO:

“Bushido Man: Seven Deadly Battles” is presented in 1080p High Definition (1:78:1 aspect ratio).  It appears that there was intentional high contrast shots, while close-ups feature amazing detail.  If anything,  the look and style of “Bushido Man” appears to change with each battle but for the most part, picture quality is fantastic.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“Bushido Man: Seven Deadly Battles” is presented in Japanese LPCM 2.0 and English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and LPCM 2.0.  Personally, it is a preference of mine to watch martial arts films in their original language.  But with that being said, the English dub is good and because of its 5.1 lossless soundtrack, you get better dynamic range.

Subtitles are in English.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Bushido Man: Seven Deadly Battles” comes with the following special features:

  • The Making of Bushido Man: From the Fantasia Film Festival – (11:17) Director and a few talent visit the Fantasia Film Festival and take part in a Q&A.

If I had to describe “Bushido Man: Seven Deadly Battles”, for those who are familiar with fighting video games, I would bring up the what if you choose a character and it was a character discussing each battle and what you are watching are the full on chaotic battles.

Somehow, that is how I feel about “Bushido Man: Seven Deadly Battles”, it’s a film that will not be remembered for its storyline, because basically there is not much there…if anything, the film relies on its chaotic, fierce battles featuring actor Mitsuki Koga and watch the awesome fight choreography as the character of Bushido Man, takes on a slew of enemies with different fighting styles.

If anything, this is a film for those who are content with all-out fighting and less of a story.  Similar to a fighting video game, there are those who could care less for the story and are more into the overall fighting.

“Bushido Man: Seven Deadly Battles” is that type of film where the story follows the adventures of Toramaru taking on various rivals in order to get their scroll and present it to his master.

And while this may seem boring, it never gets boring because the fighting is really intense, far-out, stylish and just a lot of fun.

For example, Toramaru takes on Eimi Mimoto of the yakuza and both engage in a dangerous duel of knives.  Another features Toramaru trying to find Denko, a woman who specializes on weapons that activate on punches and kicks.

And while the film looks like a period film, when Toramaru arrives in a city, you realize that this is a melding of modern and traditional-style filming and leaving it to the cast and fight choreographers to come up with something amazingly fierce and all-out awesome.

“Bushido Man: Seven Deadly Sins” also looks wonderful in HD.  Colors feature high contrast, close-ups feature amazing detail and both Japanese and English dub are well-done and feature crystal clear audio.

Overall, “Bushido Man: Seven Deadly Sins” may not be the greatest martial arts film and far from being a great Japanese martial arts film, but for those who appreciate wild and crazy Japanese martial arts films with mindless action, awesome and creative fight choreography, will find the film to be entertaining and all-out fun! Otherwise, if you are looking for a deep storyline to go along with the martial arts action, then this film may not be for you.

 

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