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Kamen Rider (Masked Rider) - The First

 Unrated   DVD

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Amazon.com: 3.9 out of 5 stars  16 reviews
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars actually about this release for a change Aug. 23 2007
By M. Nixon - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I'll describe the product in the order I saw it. Firstly, the title on the actual DVD is "Masked Rider the First", not "Kamen Rider the First" as shown/as it should have been.

Upon getting it, I was disappointed, but not surprised, to find the supposed 2-disc set was, in fact, one DVD.

The special features are surprisingly well-put together, featuring the trailers (without subtitles), trailers for other projects from years back that the company that released this DVD has apparently acquired (as is frequently done with import releases), and, shockingly, a very in depth and detailed behind the scenes feature that I really enjoyed and that was actually subtitled.

The film itself has an acceptable subbing job, and I was pleased to find that there was no poor dubbing to suffer through, I suppose they finally ran out of monotoned voices to lazily read out lines.

Picture quality is a bit off, but that might be due to transfer stuff (though I don't know why, Japan uses NTSC too), subtitles are clear and easy to read, and the sound quality is excellent

Highly recommended for the Kamen Rider fan or even just someone who has been looking for a good piece of tokusatsu to show to a friend in the hopes of getting them interested too. This flick also makes a surprisingly good date movie, it has action and romance, some slow bits where you can easily get away with a bit of making out, as well as some unintentionally funny bits

NOT for kids though, there is totally a naked dude in part of this film, parents'll want to take a look at this before showing it to the kids. Also, parents'll want to figure out if their kid is really ready to read and watch a film at the same time.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Henshin! Jan. 23 2012
By Marc - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Having never seen any of the Japanese Kamen Rider shows, this was a good buy. I first became aware of Kamen Rider via Saban's Masked Rider, though I was not aware at the time that it was based on anything. ( I was fifteen at the time and had no real clue about live action imports of anything from Japan beyond the Godzilla film series)

However I later learned of the Japanese Kamen Rider concept when I saw that Kamen Rider: Dragon Knight (which still has yet to have a DVD release, sadly), listed in its opening credits that the show was based on a show called Kamen Rider created by a man named Shotaro Ishinomori. Since I liked Dragon Knight I recently began researching the concept on wikipedia and TVTropes and a few fan sites. (This research has led me to create my own novel series inspired by the concept) I learned of Masked Rider The First via Wikipedia, and while I was leery of the name, expecting it to somehow be related to Saban's adaptation, I was more than pleasantly surprised.

From all I have learned, The First is an attempt at a condensed retelling of a 1971 show by the name Kamen Rider (literally translated, it becomes Masked Rider, as Kamen is the word for Mask and Masked in Japan), which revolves around a man named Takeshi Hongo, who is abducted by a terrorist organization called Shocker (which is apparently actually an acronym for Sacred Hegemony Of Cycle Kindred Evolutional Realm. Yeah, I don't get it either.) and transformed into a super powerful cyborg initially called Hopper since his armored mask is designed to look like a grasshopper, and brainwashed into becoming a willing servant of Shocker. He breaks free of his mind control and begins to oppose Shocker, using the powers they themselves gave him. This prompts the creation of a second Hopper, Hayato Ichimonji, who is betrayed by and in turn betrays Shocker outright.

These two characters, though never explicitly called Kamen Riders, proceed to battle Shocker's forces over the last half hour of the movie in an attempt to save a girl who is the love interest of both men, and who has seemingly gained an affection for Hopper/Rider 1. Ironically, the second Hopper, Ichimonji, was her fiance until he was apparently killed and later resurrected by Shocker as Hopper/Rider 2.

If the movie is this good (and it is. The ending song, Bright! Our Future is all kinds of awesome even if I don't understand a word of it since the song wasn't subtitled) the series must have been something else for being a show made in 1971. Well worth the money if you can find a copy.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The movie that reinventecd the classic riders. Aug. 31 2008
By Casey W. Newman - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
This movie takes a look at the first two riders that started it all Rider 1 and 2. Both were created by a group called Shocker who to start their destruction of mankind by a soldier to lead their army's, but they turn on Shocker and are considered traitors. Fans of the original riders will love this one. There is also a cameo the man who played Masked Rider V3 in the Early Rider movies and television series.
9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Another Good-Looking But Empty Remake... June 9 2008
By Jolar70 - Published on Amazon.com
Like Japan's Sentai Ranger shows, Kamen (Masked) Rider has been living on in seemingly endless iterations since 1971. This film is supposed to be a retelling of the first series, or at least the origins of the characters who inhabited that show. The evil shadow-army Shocker, and the two rogue cyborgs they created who turn against them and become heroes and protectors of Japan. Like many modern retellings, both Western and Eastern, the designs are beautiful, especially the subtle and respectful updating of the Rider costumes, and even the monsters they fight, which were also classic combatants from the original show. Also respectful was the lack of CGI effects, which are appearing in increasing amounts in the more recent Rider TV shows like "Kamen Rider Kiva". In the early years, Kamen Rider was mostly a martial arts cyborg hero with a super-motorcycle and, to its credit, this movie honors the simple fun in that.

What didn't work for me was the bland cast of pretty boys and girls (actually the boys are prettier) who seem to be pantomiming anime rather than acting as real humans. The original lead actor from the 70's, Hiroshi Fujioka, was certainly not naturalistic in his approach to the role of Takeshi Hongo either, but his dynamic presence was like watching a caged wild fire on screen. He was also very much an adult, as was his popular replacement, the always charismatic Hiroshi Miyauchi in the next series, Kamen Rider V3 from 1973. Speaking of Miyauchi, he has a tiny token cameo in this but it's so out of touch with the rest of the film that it just feels tacked on.

The point is that, the once exciting, flesh and blood leads who helped create characters we cared about have been replaced with an even younger crowd of sullen hipsters, so skinny that they barely fill out their Rider costumes! Again, I think this is more of an anime influence. However, style alone isn't enough because, like so many re-makes, this one lacks the true heart and soul of the original. It's a little darker and pushes a few tragic love plots but, essentially, it's a very old story which has already been retold in most of the Kamen Rider series (as well as countless other Japanese super hero stories, both live action and anime). In order for this material to still have a life it needs to breathe with real actors and dialogue that matters. Otherwise, lets just watch the old shows because they were already so fun and great!
5.0 out of 5 stars Henshin! June 19 2014
By Caleb Campbell - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Im a big fan of Kamen Rider, and I have been wanting to see this for a while now but the wait was over and I LOVED it!

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