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Shinobi(Spec.Edit)Blu-Ray

Yukie Nakama , Jô Odagiri , Ten Shimoyama    R (Restricted)   Blu-ray
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 29.95
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Product Description

Product Description

For centuries, there lived warriors of darkness and shadow with strange powers and arcane skills, living only for battle. They were the SHINOBI. The year is 1614. Japan has been united under the Tokugawa Shoguns and the land is begining to feel at peace. Two remote ninja clans, the Koga and the Iga, are ancient enemies but have long been bound by a peace agreement forbidding them to fight. The heirs to the leadership of both clans have fallen in love but a tragic fate awaits them. A cruel plot is set by the Shogun to wipe these two clans from existence by breaking the peace agreement and forcing the two clans to battle. Five Ninjas of each the Koga and Iga clans will battle against each other to the death. As a great war begins it brings the two young heirs together again. But this time as enemies.

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Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shinobi - Heart Under Blade June 5 2008
By C. B.
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
Shinobi is an amazing movie with a great cast of characters, a good storyline, and quality production value. If you were to freeze the film at several points throughout, you could see how well framed and composed these shots are. I don't want to leave any spoilers, period. Just take my word for it.

If you're an anime buff, you'll find that this movie well executes the transition of elements and aesthetic normally found in Japanese animation. Each character is unique and memorable in their own way and you'll find yourself satisfied with the amount of time you see them on screen. This movie has fantasy elements woven into details based on actual existing ideas in history such as the Ninja tribes, but just forget for a moment that anything has to be plausible, realistic, or historically accurate here. This movie is what it is.

The beauty of this movie is, it ends. You don't see any cop outs leaving room open for a sequel. This film is a standalone masterpiece and I'm happy to have it in my Blu-ray collection. If you're interested, see about picking up the soundtrack because there's an amazing track by Ayumi Hamasaki (Japan's Madonna equivalent, or better) called Heaven which is worth listening to.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A gross abuse of the source material Sept. 28 2010
Format:DVD
This movie is a ghastly affront to Masaki Segawa's popular "Basilisk." The fights are boring and uninspired, the characters are thinly-developed (and almost totally different) shells of their manga selves, the overall plot maintains few elements of the source's vibrance, and the film just generally plods. Only thing worth complimenting are the production values. Save yourself much agony, and buy the volumes of "Basilisk" instead. Or watch the anime.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
I purchased and watched the anime Basilisk, which this liveaction movie is based on.

I enjoyed it to its fullest, even more because they had much more budget than your average japanese movies (and I have seen lots of them)

Keep in mind that Basilisk was a 26 episode x 20 minutes in length.

The movie is roughly aroun 90 minutes.

Even if the movie was condensed, I was happy that they cut out some of the scenes which I did not enjoy in the anime. I found them useless honestly, so that was a plus for me.

They are fights, brilliant done in my opinion, and I even found that it was fun that they slightly changed certain things in the movie, which I found interesting.

I guess you could compared it a bit to Death Note the anime vs the liveaction movies.

If you have viewed these (Death Note) and enjoyed both (aniem and liveaction movies), with the slight changes int he storylines of certains characters and unexpected things, then pick up this movie now.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
i'll keep this short and sweet. this movie was just fantastic. i don't like love stories and this one was a romeo&juliette style story but this was exceptional. just amazing and has to be seen.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  103 reviews
50 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very impressive,Japanese Romeo and Juliet with a ninja touch... Oct. 19 2006
By Woopak - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
The dvd of SHINOBI HEART UNDER BLADE U.S. version is almost an exact duplicate of the Region-3 Thai version. I have both the 3-disc Japanese region-2 copy and the Hong Kong Region-3 DTS-ES dvd. The japanese and Hk releases have the best transfers. If you have multi-region capability, buy the Japanese or Hong Kong versions. But whatever you do, do not miss this film.

The following review applies to the Hong Kong Region-3 release:

I just finished watching my dvd copy of this film and felt that I have to review this marvelously tragic but hopeful film. Mind you, this SHINOBI film does not follow any of the video-game inspired Shinobi titles, rather it is based on the JAPANESE FEUDAL LEGEND from which both the video game and the anime series "Basilisk" were based on.

In order for you to love this film, you have to have an idea of Japanese customs and their unrelenting loyalty to their emperor/leader. For them, their Emperor is like a living God-man. That is why when a new Shogunate has united feudal Japan, he fears that the wrath of the SHINOBI may upset the balance of power. SHINOBI is the elite NINJA clan, who has been trained since birth in the art of combat and warfare.

Two Ninja clans has had a truce for years that the new Lord of the shogunate has lifted this truce and has misled them into believing that each clan will help decide who will ascend to the role of shogun(in the future) should they have 5 of their greatest and most skilled warriors to battle each other in a contest to the death. Gennusuke and Oboro are the lovers caught in the middle because each have ascended to the role of chieftain in their respective clans. In truth, the Shogunate rulers wish to destroy their clans because they fear their powers/skills and that one day rise up against the Supreme Shogunate of Japan. They believe since their goal is peace and prosperity, war mongers should be extinct because they believe that without war, they have no purpose. Some members of the clans also believe this.

Each clan warrior has character and depth, with variable skills and abilities. One warrior is like a chameleon, one has simian-like agility, one has NEAR-immortality, a woman has poison that goes around her skin/breath, one is a blind psychic among others.

The film itself is very tragic and when Oboro makes the supreme sacrifice to save the children/families of both clans, even the shogunate had to believe that the SHINOBI can have more than one purpose in life.

The set designs were awesome and the characters were well designed. The special effects weren't all hokey and fit the movie's pace. As in most samurai films, the battles were quick and exciting, although not overly bloody.

The film is one of the best ASIAN fantasy-epic films I've seen thus far. The dvd I have was mastered in High-def widescreen(EXTREMELY SHARP transfer) with 5.1 (DTS)digital audio(I didn't get mind in AMAZON). I highly recommend this film, now I have to cry for a PREQUEL about the warring clans before! 4.5 stars all the way!!
Kagero ROCKS!!
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

ADDED: I managed to see the U.S. region-1 release by Funimation. It is less than 2 minutes shorter than the region-3 DTS-ES Hong Kong release. Nothing relevant was missing, except for an extended beginning and Oboro's encounter with one of the Kouga warriors. The video of the Asian release is a lot sharper/crisper than the Funimation transfer. As I thought, the Funimation transfer was derived from the Thai version.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Live action Anime that's not for geeks March 17 2007
By P. Dagenais - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
In the same spirit of Crouching Tiger and Hidden Dragon, Shinobi goes very deep into cultural roots with a heavy dose of "Animé" like action to create a compelling love story rich with visual fanfare.

Though the romantic plot is not as powerful as Crouching Tiger or House of Flying Daggers, it is still a compelling story for which you will want to know how it ends. But frankly, the real meat and potatoes of this movie is about the combat and the very Animé inspired characters. There are other live action animés out there, but this has quickly taken it's place to my number one favorite amongst them. Bonus points for making this accessible to the open non-initiated public. Naruto fans should find the same kind of interesting character concepts, save for the fact that everything is taken with a very mature tone (no teen aged ninjas here). Anyone who liked Warriors of Zu Mountain or Storm Riders will definitely want to pick this up.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, Unique Combination of Genres! March 31 2011
By Christopher D. Powell - Published on Amazon.com
While the other user here's comment is notable, that it does not state that it is dubbed in English, I find it deplorable that because of this one reason he rated such an excellent movie 1 star.. This is an injustice to this great movie.. I know that we lazy Americans want a one-stop-shop so we expect to find 100% of the info we need here on Amazon when renting a movie, but even though Amazon didn't include that one detail of information.. I mean.. Come on... It's a foreign film (of Japanese culture I believe?) and most all foreign films are either entirely or partially in their native language. If you really want to be a bugger about it, then pop open a new window, hit up […], type in for example "Shinobi Heart Under Blade," the IMDB will come up in the first few listings, click on it and look for language and subtitles. Takes less than one minute..

Okay.. Rant over.. This is an amazing movie, absolutely amazing. It is a great martial arts movie with a few aspects of wire-fu (i.e. Hero, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, etc.) and the rest of plain old martial arts, but good martial arts! The fight scenes are awesome. There is a Romeo and Juliet type love story as well for the romantics. The two featured on the cover are the heirs to each of the two Shinobi tribes which have always warred with one another, more particularly now so that there is peace among the land and their culture knows nothing but fighting. The movie has aspects of mysticism as well, almost sci-fi. There are some parts that seem to hint or directly imply magic, and other parts that feel like a foreign X-Men film. The back story and primary story is worthy of a classic foreign epic. Maybe not in the top best of all time, but definitely one of the better. (I watch a lot of foreign films and this movie ranks up there with the best I've seen in this year next to The Warlords with Jet Li, Red Cliff, and IP Man).

So maybe this will help any moviegoers interested in a great movie with a variety easily appealing to all genders, ages and races. Other than the actual stated fact that this is dubbed in English please disregard the other users rating, this movie is a 4.5 out of 5 minimum.. ENJOY! =)
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun experience but missed opportunity in storytelling March 8 2007
By A. Lung - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Since I am drawn to the subject of ninjas in general, I had to check out this film no matter what. While I do not regret purchasing this DVD, for it's certainly well-produced and visually pleasing. I can't help but think that this story would've been served best by using a mini-series format that could've fleshed out the characters more thoroughly and further develop the drama and details of this saga (as hinted by the characters' histories in the Official Movie website). It was certainly a pleasant experience albeit without any real plot twists or surprises.
21 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Our stars are crossed... Jan. 11 2008
By Zack Davisson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
"Shinobi" is Japan's attempt to make a big martial arts fantasy epic, obviously inspired by the success of "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" and the revived interest overseas in Chinese wuxia flicks. The problem is, martial arts fantasy isn't really Japan's forte. Japanese period films tend to focus more on the duty/passion conflict inherent in the samurai, whose sword-skills are precise rather than flashy. A single-cut kill is the apex of the art of the samurai, not flying around on trees and flinging millions of little knives all at once.

As source material, the 1959 novel "The Koga Ninja Scrolls", previously adapted as the anime series "Basilisk", was a good base, using the traditional conflict between the Iga and Koga ninja villages with a Romeo/Juliet love story thrown in for good measure. (The director is sure to hammer this point home, even stating several times that the two are "star-crossed lovers"). Director Ten Shimoyama was also a good choice, having experience in the Chinese action film industry, and was able to supply some of the dramatic action that is a hallmark of that genre. The lead actress Yukie Nakama brought some star power, being probably the most popular actress in Japan today. They were even good enough to skirt around her inability to fight, as Yukie has all the martial arts ability of a broom stick. But she does have an awfully pretty face, which was used to full effect.

All in all, "Shinobi" is a good flick, better than I had expected. There is not really the experience there, either on the part of the actors or the director, to produce a really moving martial arts fantasy, but everyone worked with what they had, keeping the action low-key and making the emotions of the characters the focus. Because the basis of the story is the Romeo/Juliet conflict, nobody is really expecting a happy ending, but even with that in mind the character's deaths have impact, and even then not everything turns out exactly as expected. Some of the choices were odd, and I am not really sure what is the point of including legendary warriors Hattori Hanzo and Jubei Yagyu in the plot without sending them into battle, and they serve as little more than recognizable set decoration.
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