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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Blade of the Immortal" or "Mugen no jnin")

 

Directed by Takashi Miike

Japan 2017

 

Based on the Manga series of the same name by Hiroaki Samura, Blade stars Takuya Kimura (Love and Honour) as Manji, a highly skilled samurai, who becomes cursed with immortality after a legendary battle. Haunted by the brutal murder of his sister, Manji knows that only fighting evil will regain him his soul. He promises to help a young girl named Rin (Hana Sugisaki) avenge her parents, who were killed by a group of master swordsmen led by ruthless warrior Anotsu (Sta Fukushi). The mission will change Manji in ways he could never imagine...

This blistering samurai film matches impressive performances with an impossibly high body-count and expertly-filmed scenes of combat. Blade is set to become one of its directors most revered films, and is presented here by Arrow Video with a wealth of special features.

***

Based on the popular animated TV series from 2008, Blade Of The Immortal also owes a lot to True Grit. Even before her family was attacked, Rin was training hard to become a fighter, but she's too small to pack the necessary force into her blows. Nevertheless, she refuses to give up, or to look the other way in the face of injustice, even when it's happening to an enemy. Should she wait until she's grown and able to fight better by herself? Anotsu (Sta Fukushi), leader of the fanatics, declares early on that to rape someone as young as her would be vulgar. The message is clear: she must fulfil her quest quickly before the passing of time lowers her social status still further and puts new barriers in her way.

Inspired by the girl's courage, Manji rediscovers the passion he once found in battle. Director Takashi Miike has great fun with the fight sequences, upping the ante on his 13 Assassins because he no longer has to deal with the inconvenience of a hero who can get killed.

 Excerpt from JennieKermode at Eye For Film located HERE

Posters etc.

Theatrical Release: May 18th, 2017 (Cannes Film Festival)

Shaw Brothers-Martial Arts-Wushu or related films on Blu-ray reviewed (click review buttons to also see comparisons where applicable):

Reviews                                                                        More Reviews                                                            DVD Reviews

 

Review: Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

Box Cover

 

 

Also available on Blu-ray from Magnolia in Region 'A':

 

   

 

Limited Edition Blu-ray Steelbook (4000 copies)

 

Distribution

Arrow
Region
'B' Blu-ray

Runtime

2:21:32.275    

Video

Disc Size: 49,221,393,773 bytes

Feature Size: 31,582,408,704 bytes

Average Bitrate: 21.81 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video

Bitrate:

 

Arrow Blu-ray

 

Audio

DTS-HD Master Audio Japanese 3540 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3540 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Descriptive Track:

LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit

Commentary:
Dolby Digital Audio English 448 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps / Dolby Surround

Subtitles English, English (SDH), None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Arrow

 

Disc Size: 49,221,393,773 bytes

Feature Size: 31,582,408,704 bytes

Average Bitrate: 21.81 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:
• Takashi Miike on Blade of the Immortal, a new interview with the legendary director filmed exclusively for Arrow Video at the 2017 London Film Festival (25:37)
• Audio commentary by Asian cinema expert Tom Mes

• Manji vs. 100, behind the scenes featurette documenting the shooting of the film's opening fight scene (6:25)
• Manji vs. 300, behind the scenes featurette documenting the shooting of the film's thrilling climax (11:57)
• Nine Extensive cast interviews filmed on the set during production (1:25:10)
• Stills gallery
• Original trailers (1:59)
• Reversible sleeve featuring Arrow Films theatrical poster art and original artwork
• Illustrated collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film by Anton Bitel


Blu-ray  Release Date: April 2nd, 2018
Transparent Blu-ray case

Chapters: 13

 

Arrow's Limited Edition Blu-ray Steelbook package (4000 copies)

 

 

Comments

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

This is available from Arrow in a standard Blu-ray and a LE Blu-ray Steelbook - with the same 1080P transfer with similar contents (see Steelbook image above.).

Arrow's transfer is in the 2.39:1 aspect ratio and looks stunning - especially the black and white sequence in the beginning. While on  dual-layered disc the bitrate is supportive but at the lower end for the almost 2.5 hour film. It's a bountiful production and kudos to the cinematography (Nobuyasu Kita) and stylistic look of the film that is translated very well to BD. The black and white opening is intentionally saturated and colors rich and deep - the entire looked very impressive on my system.   

 

The audio transfer is in a robust DTS-HD Master 5.1 surround - 24-bit - in the original Japanese language. The film has a plethora of intense aggressive effects with the lengthy fighting sequences. They have a piercing high-end and power-packed depth also in the score Kji End (Rainy Dog, and Ley Lines of Miike's Black Society Trilogy, Audition, 13 Assassins, Gozu, The Bird People in China, The Happiness of the Katakuris, Three... Extremes, Sukiyaki Western Django, The City of Lost Souls ) that sounds beautifully tight in the lossless. The dialogue is clean and audible and there is the option of a descriptive track (in English). Arrow add optional English or English (SDH) subtitles on their Region 'B' Blu-ray disc.

 

Arrow add an audio commentary by Tom Mes (author of Re-Agitator: A Decade of Writing on Takashi Miike) and he spends much of the beginning of the film focusing on the misrepresentation of it being Miike's 100th film. His voice is hushed but he is frank and has plenty of interesting details about the director, this production, it's reception and much more. He is very informative and I found it rewarding to listen to. There is a new 25-minute interview with Takashi Miike discussing Blade of the Immortal filmed exclusively for Arrow Video at the 2017 London Film Festival. Manji vs. 100, is a 6-minute behind the scenes featurette documenting the shooting of the film's opening monochromatic fight scene and Manji vs. 300, is a 12-minute featurette documenting the shooting of the film's thrilling climax. There are nine extensive cast interviews filmed on the set during production with occasional input from Miike. It runs just shy of 1 1/2 hours/ There is also a stills gallery and an original trailer. Both standard Blu-ray and Steelbook Blu-ray packages have an illustrated collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film by Anton Bitel, theatrical poster art and original artwork.
 

Exhausting, elaborate, fight sequences and Wushu mythology encourage massive appeal for Blade of the immortal. It can really be over-the-top with detailed production and an immense amount of savagery and blood. It has a nostalgic-homage quality to it as well.  The film is hard not to appreciate for fans of the genre with a style, filled with close-ups, not dissimilar to pasta-westerns. Arrow's Blu-ray offers a dynamic presentation of a pristinely shot, and visually impressive, film. No reason not to use for demo purposes with the right crowd - especially the first 1/4 hour! I can see many wanting the steelbook for collectability of this extravaganza of a fantasy samurai epic. Wow. Certainly recommended! 

 - Gary Tooze

Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray


 

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 



 


 


 


 


Box Cover

 

 

Also available on Blu-ray from Magnolia in Region 'A':

 

   

 

Limited Edition Blu-ray Steelbook (4000 copies)

 

Distribution

Arrow
Region
'B' Blu-ray

 




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