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The Warrior’s Way—It Has Ninjas, How Could I Resist?

July 9, 2011

While in general I'm against rules (especially in journaling) I have a couple rules by which I live.

My movie going/viewing rule is—always go to 3D movies before they downgrade to flat; always see any sci-fi movie or special effects ground-breaker on the biggest screen to which you can get; if it's a Western with wide vistas, ditto on the biggest screen; anything else, flat and on TV is fine.

You will begin to see from this rule that I am a fan of certain types of movies: Westerns, Samurai/Martial Arts, and Science Ficition. Some would argue, and I'd be one of them, that there really is only one category on my list. There's a reason for all this, we'll chat about it at another time. (I do also love comedies, dramas, thrillers—you get the idea. I'm a movie slut. But most movies I can simply watch on the small screen.)

Best Overhead Theater Comment EVER: Grandmother to 7-year-old boy as they are walking out of the first "Star Wars" movie—"No, I didn't like it at all. I don't like space."

Well I wish I had not broken my own movie-viewing rule. The Warrior's Way should be seen on the large screen. It's there that you're going to really appreciate the frame by frame gorgeousness and graphic-novel quality of this movie. But since it's already on pay-per-view, and chances are you won't see it on the big screen, see it anyway. It is one of the most visually stunning films I've seen. And of course, when the ninjas leap up, your heart will do a little leap too. (Fast feet however are no match for a gatling gun. That's just common sense, not a plot spoiler.)

Dong-gun Jang is impressive to watch, as much when he's simply standing still, as when he's moving. Geoffrey Rush has a small but pivotal role as a town drunk with "skills" (I won't spoil it). He pretty much steals all the scenes he's given. The plot is a little threadbare: a warrior assassin refuses a job and becomes the hunted—ending up in a showdown in a small "badlands" town which has its own marauder issues.

In many ways the real star of this movie is the negative space in each shot, as it defines the characters. I have to repeat myself: Watching this movie is like turning the pages in a beautifully drawn and painted graphic novel. Movement is often implied. Always exquisite.

  1. Reply

    Hey Roz, please include rating as to the amount of blood and violence in your movie reviews! Some of us are one-pint viewers. Anything more than that, and I get squeamish and faint.

  2. Reply

    Have you seen Hero? 2002 directed by Yimou Zhang? Excellent and beautiful. I shall watch your recommendation.

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