Excerpt: Magnolia chose to cut out a whole sub-plot. From the deleted scenes it's clear that Koyata the hunter is indeed a woodland spirit, a tanuki. The only reason that in the Magnolia cut it seems "open to interpretation" is because Magnolia cut out all the scenes that signal his real nature, for example, a scene alluding to his insatiable sexual appetite (the big testicles thing; don't worry, nothing explicit is shown).
Summary: The film starts off fairly normal then after about 10mins you remember it's a Miike! The first half is slow but still plenty going on to keep you interested. It is a long film in at over 2hrs but you hardly notice it. Miike is fairly reseverd in comparison to some of his other projects, paying homage to that era rather than using it as a backdrop for another shocking, ott spectacle.
Summary: I was blown away by this film. Visually stunning. The detail in the costumes, weapons and other props is amazing. The shots of the Japanese lanscapes and historical buildings are a visual delight. This is all there to take in along with the amazing fight scenes and sometimes amusing script. This film is very violent and dark in some places, but if you can't handle that then don't watch it.
Summary: The last 40 minutes of this film is given over to a frantic 'impossible odds' running battle. Not unlike the Seven Samurai in concept, the preceding 70 minutes is taken up with gathering the gang together and ensuring you see the bad guy as a truly despicable, conscienceless sadist who has power he doesn't deserve just because of who his dad was. Not even close to being a classic, but OK if you're partial to samurai films.
Summary: This story owes a lot to 'Seven Samauri', but is in every way worse. A highly improbable background and it is all about struggles within the elite, ignoring ordinary people. There is also some gruesome and unnecessary stuff at the start, and some essential elements of the plot are only in the Deleted Scenes of the DVD. There is some quite good martial-arts in the second half, but the 'bad guys' are improbably incompetent. And the only non-Samauri improbably tough.
Summary: Great movie; watched it twice already. It's along the lines of Seven Samurai or Magnificent Seven. I always enjoy stories about the Japanese feudal culture; this one has a good story, acting, and vibrant scenes. I strongly recommend if you are into Asian action. -- This is not your typical kung-fu in which you grow action numbed by the end of the first scene. The action is well spaced, paced, and emphasized by the interesting story throughout.
Summary: 13 Assassins works on numerous levels, as a sumptuously rich period drama, as an action-packed historical epic, as a complex political thriller and as a moral tale of revenge and honour. The film follows a small group of samurai and ronin who band together to bring down a diabolical, but politically untouchable warlord.
Summary: Granted, i watched it at midnight, the only showing in our area. Still, the movie was engaging. There is a deep level of violence that will be difficult for most - think kill bill. The story however unfolds brilliantly and somehow i don't think i noticed the time pass.
Summary: Right away you could tell it should be taken seriously. Nothing fantastical or Hollywood about it. Very well shot and has an excellent story, as well as, enthralling dialogue. You are so invested in the story that when the action arrives it seems like a bonus. The action itself is fast-paced and gritty with very little c.g.i. Once the major battle ensues it continues unwavering until a completely unique and creative ending. Easily my favorite Japanese film ever!