Tag Archive: 47 Ronin


 

In the graphic novel 47 Ronin, independent comics pioneer Mike Richardson (Star Wars: Crimson Empire) and Japanese-born American legendary comics artist Stan Sakai (Usagi Yojimbo) re-created the famed 1700-1701 historical event of a group of loyal Japanese ronin (leaderless samurai) who avenged the death of their leader.  The award-winning book from Dark Horse Comics is filled with action and intrigue, a dramatic account of the importance of loyalty, sacrifice, persistence, and honor that influenced the culture of Japan ever since.  Initially released in hardcover, at last the graphic novel is getting its first trade paperback edition.  The more affordable edition is available for pre-order now here at Amazon and we have a look inside for borg readers below.

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47 Ronin movie poster

The legend of the 47 Ronin has been told and retold and numerous books and at least seven movies.  This includes a Dark Horse comic book titled 47 Ronin which just wrapped up its five-issue series last month.  The unrelated Universal Pictures movie 47 Ronin was originally scheduled for release November 21, 2013, then it got bumped to this February and now to December 25, 2013.  Usually that kind of movement signals a potential bomb.  The trailer for the film has some surprisingly good elements, however, despite some obvious quirks.

The first questionable element is star Keanu Reeves, who in past performances never seems to play anyone other than the same Keanu Reeves character we’ve seen over and over again.  Maybe beyond the goofy teen in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, but not far off the characters he played in Parenthood, Point Break, Dracula, Much Ado About Nothing, Speed, The Devil’s Advocate, The Matrix Trilogy, Constantine, The Day the Earth Stood Still.  You could almost say he is like John Wayne or Arnold Schwarzenegger in this regard, but he’s not remotely as iconic and has yet to have a standout performance despite heading up some big films.

Keanu Reeves 47 Ronin

The trailer shares a lot in common with the preview we showed here at borg.com of The Wolverine, starring Hugh Jackman, released just last week–both centering around a fish-out-of-water white man in Japan.  Was 47 Ronin pushed because the studio didn’t want it to compete with The Wolverine?  Reeves has his fan base, but his popularity wouldn’t seem to stack up against the multi-faceted Jackman.

The new film also seems to echo elements of Tom Cruise’s character and story in The Last Samurai.  The creators had to have contemplated audiences making this comparison.  Again, fish-out-of-water white guy in Japan with ancient cultural themes.  It begs the question of whether Hollywood only thinks American audiences can get sucked into Japanese warrior-themes films without an American or Australian (for Jackman) as designated film tour guide.  The long-term success with American audiences of Akira Kurosawa films such as Seven Samurai, which needs no Anglo character hook, should at some point lead us to create a big-budget picture without the hook.

Check out the trailer for 47 Ronin:

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This is The End still

Before teasers and trailers are released, the Hollywood studios start the process for marketing new releases, developing the sales pitches and trying on movie summaries in expectation of the release of posters, trailers, and early online buzz.

This week we at borg.com ran across five new movies that piqued our interest that we wager you haven’t heard of yet, certain to be followed soon by full movie trailers we plan to preview here once they are released.  They are all genre films, and feature big name actors like Ethan Hawke, Rachel McAdams, Bill Nighy, Denzel Washington, Mark Wahlberg, Edward James Olmos, Lena Heady, Keanu Reeves, James Franco, Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen, and Emma Watson.  The marketing for these films is in such an early stage the only photos we could track down are the above still and two movie posters.

Check them out:

About Time — Release Date: May 10, 2013 (Universal)

Genre: Comedy Cast: Domhnall Gleeson, Rachel McAdams, Bill Nighy, Tom Hollander, Margot Robbie
Written and Directed by: Richard Curtis

“At the age of 21, Tim Lake (Domhnall Gleeson) discovers he can travel in time… The night after another unsatisfactory New Year party, Tim’s father (Bill Nighy) tells his son that the men in his family have always had the ability to travel through time. Tim can’t change history, but he can change what happens and has happened in his own life—so he decides to make his world a better place…by getting a girlfriend. Sadly, that turns out not to be as easy as you might think.  Moving from the Cornwall coast to London to train as a lawyer, Tim finally meets the beautiful but insecure Mary (Rachel McAdams).  They fall in love, then an unfortunate time-travel incident means he’s never met her at all.  So they meet for the first time again—and again—but finally, after a lot of cunning time-traveling, he wins her heart.  Tim then uses his power to create the perfect romantic proposal, to save his wedding from the worst best-man speeches, to save his best friend from professional disaster and to get his pregnant wife to the hospital in time for the birth of their daughter, despite a nasty traffic jam outside Abbey Road.  But as his unusual life progresses, Tim finds out that his unique gift can’t save him from the sorrows and ups and downs that affect all families, everywhere.  There are great limits to what time travel can achieve, and it can be dangerous too.  About Time is a comedy about love and time travel, which discovers that, in the end, making the most of life may not need time travel at all.”

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