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The Hidden Fortress: The Last Princess (DVD) (Standard Edition) (Japan Version) DVD Region 2

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The Hidden Fortress: The Last Princess (DVD) (Standard Edition) (Japan Version)
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YesAsia Editorial Description

Kurosawa classic Hidden Fortress gets a blockbuster makeover in the 2008 epic remake The Hidden Fortress: The Last Princess (a.k.a. Kakushi Toride no San Akunin: The Last Princess). Director Higuchi Shinji's last two films, The Sinking of Japan and Lorelei, are good indicators of what's new on the menu. Keenly aware of how to make a film a cinematic event, Higuchi updates the classic story with thrilling action, striking special effects, and idol leads, while at the same time retaining the original's core narrative and themes. Nagasawa Masami (Crying Out Love in the Center of the World) stars as the naive spoiled princess whose eyes are opened by her journey into the real world, and popular actor Hiroshi Abe (Trick) steps into the hallowed shoes of Mifune Toshiro to play her grizzled samurai protector. Arashi's Matsumoto Jun (Hana Yori Dango: Final), in a role greatly expanded in comparison to the original film, plays the hot-blooded peasant who becomes the princess's unlikely hero and romantic interest.

After the Akizuku clan fall in defeat to rival clan Yamana, Princess Yuki (Nagasawa Masami) and general Rokurota (Hiroshi Abe), take cover in a hidden fortress, along with their clan and gold treasury. Fortuitously stumbling into the hideaways, brash young miner Takezo (Matsumoto Jun) and his bumbling sidekick Shinhachi (Miyagawa Daisuke) hatch a daring plan to help transport the gold out of enemy terrain - in exchange for a share of the stash, of course. With assassins hot in pursuit, Yuki disguises as a male and ventures into the real world with Rukurota and her peasant companions, getting her first taste of danger, toil, and budding romance with the strong-minded and willful Takezo.

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Technical Information

Product Title: The Hidden Fortress: The Last Princess (DVD) (Standard Edition) (Japan Version) 隱砦三惡人 The Last Princess (DVD) (Standard Edition) (日本版) 隐砦三恶人 The Last Princess (DVD) (Standard Edition) (日本版) 隠し砦の三悪人 THE LAST PRINCESS スタンダード・エディション (2008年度製作版)スタンダード・エディション The Hidden Fortress: The Last Princess (DVD) (Standard Edition) (Japan Version)
Also known as: Kakushi Toride no San Akunin The Last Princess Kakushi Toride no San Akunin The Last Princess Kakushi Toride no San Akunin The Last Princess Kakushi Toride no San Akunin The Last Princess Kakushi Toride no San Akunin The Last Princess
Artist Name(s): Matsumoto Jun | Nagasawa Masami | Shiina Kippei | Komoto Masahiro | Miyagawa Daisuke | Kunimura Jun | Takashima Masahiro | KREVA | Namase Katsuhisa | Kurose Manami | Abe Hiroshi | Furuta Arata | Kamikawa Takaya 松本潤 | 長澤正美 長澤雅美 | 椎名桔平 | 甲本雅裕 | 宮川大輔 | 國村準 | 高嶋政宏 | KREVA | 生瀨勝久 | 黑瀨真奈美 | 阿部寬 | 古田新太 | 上川隆也 松本润 | 长泽雅美 | 椎名桔平 | 甲本雅裕 | 宫川大辅 | 国村准 | 高嶋政宏 | KREVA | 生濑胜久 | 黑濑真奈美 | 阿部宽 | 古田新太 | 上川隆也 松本潤 | 長澤まさみ | 椎名桔平 | 甲本雅裕 | 宮川大輔 | 國村隼 | 高嶋政宏 | KREVA | 生瀬勝久 | 黒瀬真奈美 | 阿部寛 | 古田新太 | 上川隆也 Matsumoto Jun | 나가사와 마사미 | 시이나 킷페이 | Komoto Masahiro | Miyagawa Daisuke | Kunimura Jun | Takashima Masahiro | KREVA | Namase Katsuhisa | Kurose Manami | Abe Hiroshi | Furuta Arata | Kamikawa Takaya
Director: Higuchi Shinji 樋口真嗣 樋口真嗣 樋口真嗣 히구치 신지
Release Date: 2008-12-12
Publisher Product Code: TDV-18327D
Language: Japanese
Subtitles: Japanese
Place of Origin: Japan
Picture Format: NTSC What is it?
Disc Format(s): DVD
Region Code: 2 - Japan, Europe, South Africa, Greenland and the Middle East (including Egypt) What is it?
Publisher: VAP
Other Information: DVD
Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1011984815

Product Information

タイトル:隠し砦の三悪人 THE LAST PRINCESS スタンダード・エディション





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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features

Professional Review of "The Hidden Fortress: The Last Princess (DVD) (Standard Edition) (Japan Version)"

May 31, 2010

This professional review refers to The Hidden Fortress: The Last Princess (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)
Hidden Fortress: The Last Princess is a big budget remake of Akira Kurosawa's 1958 classic The Hidden Fortress, the film often credited as providing the inspiration for George Lucas's Star Wars series. This new version was directed by Higuchi Shinji's best known for popcorn blockbuster hits such as The Sinking of Japan and Lorelei which should give a pretty good idea of what to expect, as should its injection of more action and romance, and indeed the cast, which includes young stars Nagasawa Masami (Crying Out Love in the Center of the World) and Matsumoto Jun (member of the Japanese pop band Arashi, and who also featured in Hana yori Dango: Final) as the leads, and Hiroshi Abe (Trick) in the role played by the legendary Mifune Toshiro in the original.

Set in Feudal Japan, the film begins with the Akizuku clan being overrun in battle by the more warlike Yamana clan, forcing Princess Yuki (Nagasawa Masami) and her samurai protector general Rokurota (Hiroshi Abe) to take refuge in a secret hideaway. Their paths cross with those of a young miner called Takezo (Matsumoto Jun) and his conniving friend Shinhachi (Miyagawa Daisuke, Gachi Boy). Disguising the princess as a boy, Rokurota strikes a deal with the two rogues to help sneak the Akizuku clan's gold out through enemy territory by passing themselves off as wood peddlers. Of course, not everything goes to plan, and the princess soon finds herself in danger as her eyes are opened to the harsh realities of the world.

Although the very idea of a Hidden Fortress revamp, especially with a director like Shinji at the helm is likely to inspire howls of "sacrilege" from enraged cinephiles, The Last Princess actually sticks pretty close to the themes of the original by focusing on the experiences of everyday people caught up in conflict and momentous events rather than just on nobles and warriors. This helps to set the film apart from the usual Japanese samurai outings, and indeed most other recent Asian big budget period epics, as it considers not only the effects of war on the general populace, but also of the exploitative social structure and the abuse of the people by the upper ruling classes. This is explored not only through the characters of its two common rogues, but by the way that the film depicts the lives of the villagers and peasants that they encounter, most of whom suffer at the hands of the samurai.

Shinji manages not to overdo the comic relief elements, and it's here that the extent to which Star Wars really borrowed from the original becomes clear. The bickering and bantering between Takezo and Shinhachi is amusing and earthy, and never really grates, giving the film an all important common touch, with Matsumoto Jun, and to a lesser extent Miyagawa Daisuke turning in likeable performances. Nagasawa Masami is similarly acceptable as the princess, whose role thankfully expands beyond that of either damsel in distress or heroine, as she gradually becomes aware of her responsibilities and the consequences of her actions. Thankfully, the film doesn't play too much on her being disguised as a man, with her still being cute and obviously feminine even when in vague male drag and muddied. Yuki's relationship with Takezo works well enough, mainly due to it being underplayed, and Shinji wisely avoids heading off into too much romance or melodrama. Hiroshi Abe has the toughest job in trying to fill the shoes of Mifune Toshiro, and though he doesn't quite add the right level of stoic depth to make his swordsman truly interesting, his constant glower is at least amusing.

Although at nearly two hours the film is a touch overlong and sags in the middle, it has a decent amount of action and thrills, and for the most part this helps to keep things moving along at a good pace. The film generally avoids extravagant set pieces until the end, and pleasingly does not show the same reliance on computer effects of many of its peers, something which helps to give it a more grounded feel despite its obviously high budget and slick production values. The film does have a tendency to throw in gratuitous shots of epic, sprawling vistas, often accompanied by an overblown swelling of the soundtrack and characters needlessly pointing at the horizon, though again since these are mostly unsullied by obvious CGI work, this is forgivable.

Certainly, the film's visuals and more markedly blockbuster friendly elements never get in the way of its themes and human story, and whilst it would be going too far to accuse Hidden Fortress: The Last Princess of any real substance, this does make it considerably more engaging and entertaining than some of the more vacuous period epics of late. As such, it stands as a surprisingly worthy remake of the original, and one which should be enjoyed by newcomers and Kurosawa devotees alike, with the source material lending itself well enough to a modern revisioning.

by James Mudge -

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