47 Ronin

Below the Line


They were confused making it; shouldn’t I be confused watching it?
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Reported on 21st of January, 2014

One day a bus passed by with this interesting looking fellow.

Skully

What fellow? Come on. Here he is.

asoneheanosut

Can’t tell that he’s super tattooed guy with an 18C musket? Well that’s the point. He made it to the bus poster, and yet in the film itself, he appears for all of five seconds, without a line. Well, I shouldn’t say that. He kind of turns at the camera and goes: grr.

Damn, Like The Harry Hill Movie, I’m making it sound much better than it is.

47 Ronin

31 December 2013 @ The Cineworld Brighton


$0.50 or, if one must be jejune, and one must... 
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

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Below the line, which everyone reading this knows, refers to the non-directors and non-producers and non-actors and non-writers (and that sentence is not a half-assed dig at the directors and producers and actors and writers, by the way). It’s the musicians and dressers and riggers and painters and so on. The talented ones. The one’s who spend hours and days and years of their life planning, drawing, rendering, only to have an idiot like me use it in the corner of the shot out of focus (sorry Nathan). Normally this is fine; like an Army, there’s some reassurance that it’s there, and we totally could have used it. Against the audience, if we extend the metaphor.

How fighting for money became a trope, I’ll never know. Why not dry cleaning? That seems like a much more punishing job. And so much redemption! I’m referring to the coupons, but still.

47 Ronin was never going to be great, but it could have at least the decency to be insane, like The Raven, or mildly neurotic with pre-schizoid affect like The Lone Ranger. Given the amount of disastrousness surrounding the project, I was expecting a bit more than the bland affair before me. They were confused making it; shouldn’t I be confused watching it?

A movie about the honor of mass suicide was going to have a tough time with 21C audiences, who get upset enough when Bella has to choose between a pause and really meaningful pause. But, and now we get to the title, actually it seems were getting to it in the next paragraph, it could have been visually appealing, at least until that moment when they all stick swords into their own bellies in a PG-13 film that you brought your eight year old to see.

No, really, they did. Hey, it’s Christmas, and American Hustle was the only other new film. You wouldn’t want young Brandonelinafer to see breasts now, would you?

31 minutes of trailers and commercials! They did it! They broke the record!

31 minutes of trailers and commercials! They did it! They broke the record!

As far as it actually being a movie that one would watch, there is some appeal in a caste society romance. This is the great excuse of Jane Austin, that we can’t because society says so. How much we would love to return to that excuse for our romantic failings, instead of, you know, our increasing ineptitude.

So no pleasure to be found in weird incompetence and even weirder competence, what’s left? Well, it’s cinema. Show me something pretty. Please. I never feel cheated by ridiculous CGI spectacles because the money’s on the screen. They spent a lot of money, and it, well, no, that’s the point. It doesn’t show. In the case of 47 Ronin, it really wasn’t. You get the impression that the elaborate costumes and sets and CGI nonsense are there, but it’s shot by a Channel 4 DP whose never seen the sun, edited by drum machine, and composed, well, it’s awkward isn’t it? It’s the aesthetics of a proscenium shot by Ed Wood, only slightly to the right, left, forward or backward, usually all four at once.

I kept thinking about the scene shortly followed by the three second appearance in the background of tattoo guy. Mr. Reeves, all sad and banished, goes the way of so many movie characters before him and fights for money. How this became a trope, I’ll never know. Why not dry cleaning? That seems like a much more punishing job. And so much redemption! I’m referring to the coupons, but still.

Anyway, being that this is a mystical tale some of the time, and sometimes not, Mr. Reeves fights, and defeats, a ogre/giant guy, killing him quickly so we can get to the story. Poor ogre guy, I thought. They brought him in from, well, Ogreland, I guess, at great expense no doubt. I mean are they charging people to stand around and yell and hold up money? Do they get a cut? How do they advertise? Anyway, the ogre, himself (itself) a complex, tedious and long task of CGI modelling and motion capture is that below the line guy, actually in the movie, appearing, barely visible, then gone.

What, I asked the screen, is your business model? And now, having left and ranted, another completely different question. What, I asked the screen, is your business model?

The Take

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Profits!
I wonder if they’ll zoom into Japan after the universal logo…oops, there they go.
$2.00
I wonder if they’ll cut back to the shot of the fox with the different colored eyes when we see the woman with the different…oops, there they go.
$1.00
They count as profit, because of the pleasure of being right.
As stated, honor is a good milieu for pulling at the heart strings. Signing your name with a bloody fingerprint in scroll of honor, come on. I’m not an ogre.
$3.00
Total Profits
$6.00
Losses!
Yeah, don’t have the dragons from the Simpsons go to China be your final boss.
$3.00
So they ambush a guy who killed their master with ‘magic’, and then kill themselves…for honor. Is this Gatsby-ing?
$2.50
Total Losses
$5.50

$0.50

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