Saturday, July 25, 2015

A Movie You Should Watch (That You've Probably Never Heard Of)

Last night we sat down to watch a movie we’d never heard of before. It was a 2015 release, starring big names like Morgan Freeman and Clive Owen. At first I thought it was historical, but no; it was more like a historical movie set in a fantasy world. I was amazed as we watched – this movie held almost everything I want in a movie. The cinematography was stunningly beautiful. The pacing was perfect. The acting was spot-on. The costumes and the architecture and the designs were so detailed I could have spent hours looking at them. The politics, character interaction, subtlety and symbolism were beautiful.

The whole time we watched, I thought, “This is like a Western Japanese film. It’s like a Western version of the forty-seven ronin,” and as the credits rolled, I saw the movie had  Japanese director, and it was pretty much driven by a Japanese/South Korean team. (Which explained why there were two Korean actors and one Japanese actor starring in the film whom my sister and I were able to recognize by name.) The film was called ‘Last Knights,’ and it was, in fact, based on the legend of the forty-seven ronin. (For those of you who think I’m talking about the terrible Keanu Reeves movie in which the only saving grace was Akanashi Jin, I’m not. I’m talking about the actual historical account, which you should look up. It’s a fascinating read.)
The movie received negative reviews from film critics, and on one hand, I understand their main complaint – predictability. I dislike predictability, because we want to be surprised. However, the entire movie was not predictable. There were moments where I was surprised. If you dislike the movie because it has predictable moments, I can only tell you that you’re missing out on every other amazing thing about it. (Besides, since it’s clearly based on the forty-seven ronin, there are only so many places they could take it; and they did a stunning job with what they had.)

The movie was rated R, but it was an R-rating done right. There was no language, the violence and sexuality were discreet. Honestly I think it could have been given a PG-13 rating, but I’m telling you not to worry – if you’ve seen movies like King Arthur, the Lord of the Rings, the 13th Warrior, Gladiator, etc. then you can definitely handle ‘Last Knights.’ I highly recommend you give it a try. Have you seen 'Last Knights'? Is there a straight-to-dvd release that deserves more attention?


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