Tag Archives: Hiroyuki Sanada

Suspenseful & Thrilling | Review of ‘Life’ (2017 Film)


By Cynthia Ayala

Life starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson, Ryan Reynolds, Hiroyuki Sanada, Ariyon Bakare & Olga Dihovichnaya
Columbia Pictures
Image Credit: IMDB

“A team of scientists aboard the International Space Station discover a rapidly evolving life form, that caused extinction on Mars, and now threatens the crew and all life on Earth.”

—IMDB

The alien in space movie is not new, many are failures, but others have become staples of the genre. Life is part of the latter. The premise of the film is about a team of scientists who have discovered life on Mars. At first, the creature is docile, but when provoked, the alien has entered monster territory, if only for its desire to survive. The problem is it doesn’t know when to stop feeding, creating a being that is incredibly dangerous. What makes it even more dangerous is how smart it is. It evolves, and with its evolution, it grows bigger. It’s a sinister being and the writers knew how to develop the creature, its needs and everything that made it dangerous.
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47 Ronin | Movie Review


By: Cynthia A.

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Directed by: Carl Erik Rinsch

Screenplay by: Chris Morgan & Hossei Amini

Story by: Chris Morgan & Walter Hamada

Starring: Keanu Reeves, Hiroyuki Sanada, Tadanobu Asano, Rinko Kikuchi, Kou Shibasaki, Jin Akanishi & Min Tanaka

The outcast Kai, orphaned son of a British sailor and a Japanese peasant woman, joins a group of rōnin, led by Kuranosuke Oishi, who seeks vengeance on Lord Kira, a ruthless rival daimyo who, aided by the evil sorceress Mizuki, engineers the shaming and execution of their master and the banishment of the group by the shogun. The rōnin embark on a journey to get their revenge, overcoming challenges that would defeat most warriors.

Over all, this was a beautiful movie.  As a whole the movie, story and plot of the movie flowed effortlessly from one scene of events to another.  Story wise it was done well, displaying strength and loyalty.

The story is a fictional representation of 47 samurai warriors who faced the ultimate test of loyalty as they avenge the death of their master.  It was a beautiful story because it showed a testament to the loyalty and honor that samurai warriors have.  That alone deserved to be applauded along with the beautiful special effects and cinematography.

Stylistically, this was a masterfully done movie enhanced by an all-star cast.  There was no fault with the acting nor was there any real fault with the design and set of the movie.  But the characters were a little dense at times.  The overall character growth moved in harmony with the movie, and that was at a fast paced.  Kai, played by Keanu Reeves, went from being the obedient boy he was before transforming into a warrior through the harsh cold reality that followed his masters’ death.  Although we do not get to see his transformation, we see the after effects, the man that he has become bettering the character.  He has few lines in the movie, but Keanu Reeves rarely needs lines to deliver an excellent performance.  His body language and facial expressions make him fit into this movie where his accent would otherwise make him seem out of place.  More importantly, he looks the part and actually knows Kung-Fu.  Sorry, had to do it.

As for the other characters, although their character development is limited, there is enough to make the movie work.  As samurai they have a strong sense of loyalty, of honor, that makes them who they are.  Their only change being their acceptance of not only Kai, but of their honorable deaths they know will come for disobeying the Emperor.  As a whole, they remain the same, but the trials and tests put to them do allow for change and growth, aspects that denied, would have left them as one-dimensional characters.  Their trials gave them depth.

As for the rest of the characters, the villains remained the same but the Princess grew as her life turned upside down within moments.

Looking at this movie as a whole with the non-stop action coupled with decent acting from an all-star cast, it was a well-made and put together movie, even if the character development was limited.  ★★☆☆ (B)

The Wolverine | Movie Review


image Directed by: James Mangold

Screenplay by: Christopher McQuarrie, Mark Bomback & Scott Frank

Based on Wolverine by Chris Claremont & Frank Miller

Starring: Hugh Jackman, Hiroyuki Sanada, Tao Okamoto, Rila Fukushima, Famke Janssen, Will Yun Lee, Svetlana Khodchenkova, Hiruhiko Yamanouchi & Brian Tee

Hugh Jackman returns and delivers yet another brilliant performance as the Wolverine. Taking place after the debacle that was X-Men: The Last Stand (a movie I would prefer hadn’t happened). Wolverine is suffering through the anguish he feels or killing Jean-Grey, the woman he loved, in The Last Stand. Now, living in a self-imposed exile he lives his life alone until a ghost from his past, a man whose live he saved, seeks him out to give him the gift he’s always been wanting: a cure for his immortality. But not all is what it seemed.

As Wolverine, Hugh Jackman is flawless in his performance. He had the strength and the attitude to deliver this character perfectly, as always. All that was missing was his iconiccigar smoking. Another great part of the movie was the fact that each character has within them their own fears that haunt their everyday life, giving them depth as characters. All except the Viper, played by Svetlana Khodchenkova who made her debut into the world of Hollywood with this tantalizing performance. Her acting did not falter and her facial expressions were perfect, even down to her eye rolls. Khodchenkova was a perfect choice to play this part.

Now as far as chemistry goes for this cast, there was no problem with it. Everyone has chemistry with one another and they build a strong dynamic with one another, presenting the love story between Wolverine and Mariko, an iconic story that left shockwaves for Wolverine in the Marvel Universe. The casting was great for this movie, even if the movie had flaws.

The biggest flaw in this movie had to do with the Jean Grey sequences. By the third one, I was muttering “go away Jean, no one cares”. They were excessive, didn’t build on the story, and were so annoying. There were five sequences! Five. Now I love Famke Janssen as Jean Grey but I hated these sequences. If the creative team insisted on having back then onlyinclude three sequences, one in the beginning to highlight how he’s haunted, one in the middle to show how the Viper gets to him and one in the end to show him letting go…finally.That was all the audience needed. Everything else was time and budget wasted. My second biggest issue was his claws no longer being adamantium. Now I understand the science behindwhy but considering that his adamantium claws are quite essential for him to fight Sentinals in the next X-Men movie, it seems like a big mess they are going to have to clean up.

Despite those bumps in the road, it was a well done movie, Hugh Jackman was awesome, and had what comic book movies are supposed to have, comical aspects wrapped in the seriousness. It wasn’t perfect, not exceptional like The Avengers and Captain America, but it was still fun to watch and incredibly enjoyable…not mention awesome. ★★ ½ (B+)

The Wolverine Gets An Official Plot Synopsis


By: Eric Eisenberg

The_Wolverine_32528Earlier this week we learned that The Wolverine, the latest film about the superhero played by Hugh Jackman, would be more of a standalone film and separate from X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but we still didn’t have a clear idea of exactly what the plot would entail. Today we have a much better idea.

Its been long rumored that the film would be based on the famous arc by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller, a new official plot synopsis, which was posted over on HitFix, confirms it. Here it is:

Based on the celebrated comic book arc, The Wolverine finds Logan, the eternal warrior and outsider, in Japan. There, samurai steel will clash with adamantium claw as Logan confronts a mysterious figure from his past in an epic battle that will leave him forever changed.

It’s also worth noting that director James Mangold, who is helming The Wolverine, recently joined Twitter and has been talking about the movie on his feed. Two of the most interesting Tweets he sent out were about the classic films that he is thinking about during production.

tweet one

tweet two

The Wolverine will be hitting theaters on July 26th and addition to Jackman also stars Will Yun Lee (as Silver Samurai), Hiroyuki Sanada, Hal Yamanouchi, Tao Okamoto, and Rila Fukushima.

Source: Cinema Blend