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Watch! Keanu Reeve’s 47 Ronin Trailer!

Universal Pictures Ireland just sent over the trailer for Keanu Reeve’s 47 Ronin. The film is a heavy fictionalised version of the tail of the forty-seven masterless samurai who avenged the death of their master Asano Naganori in the early part of the 18th century. I’ll admit that I’m rather lukewarm on the decision to cast Keanu Reeves as an original (half-Japanese half-English) character to headline the film, but the story which inspired the film is intriguing.

In Japan, the story is so influential that it has even spawned its own subgenre of fictionalised accounts of the event, Chūshingura, spanning various media. It’s easy to see the appeal of the tale, and it’s great that the story is getting this sort of high-profile release and adaptation from a major studio, even if some of the concessions to the mainstream seem a little unfortunate and potentially troublesome.

I’ll keep an open mind until the film’s release in December, as it’s impossible to gauge the execution until we actually see it. From the trailer below, it seems a little heavy on the oriental exoticism, but does look visually lavish. Barring the occasionally awkward piece of CGI, it’s certainly eye-catching and vivid. The colours are striking and some of the compositions look like they could be beautiful. Anyway, check it out below and make up your own mind.

Non-Review Review: Sunshine

Sunshine is a science-fiction movie. Well, duh, you proclaim, looking at the screenshots or having read the plot synopsis, it’s about a bunch of people in space flying to the sun. Of course it’s science-fiction! It’s hardly a comedy or musical! However, I’m talking about something more essential than its setting or its superficial elements. Although the story of a bunch of astronauts planning to reignite the dying star at the centre of our solar system may distract you, Sunshine works so well because it grabs the sorts of philosophical ideas at the heart of the best science-fiction: it’s an exploration of the conflict between the rational and the irrational, the logical and the emotional and the place of man and his understanding of the world around him. It’s movie that is far smarter than it pretends to be.

Going for gold...

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