47 Ronin: Looks Japanese, Tastes Like Hollywood

So, I’m back to reviewing films again for Juice. Now that I’m practically a working screenwriter and part of the industry, it isn’t really a good idea for me to be reviewing Filipino films as it might be considered unethical. I’m now part of the industry and some of these people might be friends and anything I will say will be taken against them, myself, or not deem me credible. But since I’m not part of the international film community; I did just write one little film, it is safe to say, I’m still writing reviews for foreign films.

And thank goodness too, because I love what I do.

So, when the Metro Manila Film Festival ended (thank God), I went to see what was showing and I saw 47 Ronin.

it only looks Japanese, but it isn't at all

it only looks Japanese, but it isn’t at all

And I wrote my review for Juice which came out and you can read it here: 47 Ronin: Looks Japanese, Tastes Like Hollywood.

This review is very personal to me because of my love for everything Japanese. I didn’t think that this film captured Japanese culture at all. It was like the wild, wild, west but the majority of the actors were Japanese and they all wore kimonos and carried a katana. It is so disappointing for me because I love Japanese culture. They didn’t get it right at all. They didn’t even try. It was straight-up Hollywood and everyone was acting all western in their mannerisms and sensibilities.

I expected more from Keanu, to be honest. Sad, very sad.

7 thoughts on “47 Ronin: Looks Japanese, Tastes Like Hollywood

  1. You’re absolutely right. I love Japanese culture too. The film would have been much more successful if it was a Japanese production containing Japanese actors. It would have brought a more authentic feeling to the film and drew more people into the story. The one thing I don’t understand about Hollywood is that they like to Americanize foreign films. Check out my website http://internationalwayne101.wordpress.com and let me know what you think. I would love to discuss your favorite films and thoughts about Japanese culture as a whole.

    • I don’t mind Keanu Reeves being in it; they gave an explanation to his backstory that worked for me — it’s just that none of the cultural aspects of Japanese life came into play.

      The quiet dignity of the samurai (which we’ve seen in The Last Samurai and many an Akira Kurosawa films) got lost in the Hollywood-ization of this film.

      The whole concept of On (the face) was not at all imbibed and everyone was acting as if they were in the wild, wild west and that kind of turned me off from the film. It’s really unfortunate because I thought the production design was lovely.

      (Though I knew they didn’t shoot in Japan because Japan does not have those mountain ranges, and I saw the credits and they shot in Budapest — go figure)

        • Might be cheaper and it allowed them that sort of terrain/geography that they wanted. Unfortunately, it wasn’t like how when they shot The Last Samurai in New Zealand, it still looked like Japan. The rolling mountain ranges of Budapest was obviously not Japan and destroyed the illusion for me.

        • Hollywood? So I guess that means Kurosawa doesn’t count, huh?

          I remember seeing Black Rain a long time ago and thought, “Wow! The Japanese are scary!” I also really liked “The Last Samurai” of Ken Watanabe and Tom Cruise.

          I’ll have to really think of this one because if I wanted real Japanese stuff, I’d watch the Japanese films. I saw a lot of Akira Kurosawa when I was growing up. So that’s my basis.

          Do you have an e-mail? Want to discuss over e-mail? 😀

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