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The Twilight Samurai (2002) (Blu-ray) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) Blu-ray Region A

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All Editions Rating: Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8.9 out of 10 (18)

YesAsia Editorial Description

The first film in Yamada Yoji's acclaimed samurai trilogy, The Twilight Samurai presents a touching cinematic masterpiece about love and agony starring Sanada Hiroyuki (The Last Samurai) and Miyazawa Rie. Yamada Yoji has made every effort to display the complexities of the ancient Japanese culture and the art of sword fighting, which becomes obvious in this monumental movie whose plot is based on three short stories from popular novelist Fujisawa Shuhei.

Sanada Hiroyuki plays a swordsman who has to take care of his two daughters after his wife has passed away from lung disease. As he does not engage in drinking and other merry activities, he is sneeringly nicknamed "Twilight Samurai" by his peers. Miyazawa Rie portrays his love interest, a beautiful woman with a strong will from the family of his best friend. The two protagonists become mutually attracted, but fate does not seem to be on their sides.

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Technical Information

Product Title: The Twilight Samurai (2002) (Blu-ray) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) 黃昏清兵衛 (2002) (Blu-ray) (香港版) 黄昏清兵卫 (2002) (Blu-ray) (香港版) たそがれ清兵衛 The Twilight Samurai (2002) (Blu-ray) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)
Artist Name(s): Sanada Hiroyuki (Actor) | Miyazawa Rie (Actor) | Tomita Isao | Tamba Tetsuro | Kishi Keiko | Kobayashi Nenji (Actor) | Tanaka Min (Actor) | Fujisawa Koichi | Yamada Yoji | Ishii Iwao | Naganuma Mutsuo 真田廣之 (Actor) | 宮澤理惠 (Actor) | Tomita Isao | 丹波哲郎 | 岸惠子 | 小林稔侍 (Actor) | 田中泯 (Actor) | Fujisawa Koichi | 山田洋次 | 石井嚴 | 長沼六男 真田广之 (Actor) | 宫泽理惠 (Actor) | Tomita Isao | 丹波哲郎 | 岸惠子 | 小林稔侍 (Actor) | 田中泯 (Actor) | Fujisawa Koichi | 山田洋次 | 石井严 | 长沼六男 真田広之 (Actor) | 宮沢りえ (Actor) | 冨田勲 | 丹波哲郎 | キシ,ケイコ | 小林稔侍 (Actor) | 田中泯 (Actor) | 藤澤浩一 | 山田洋次 | 石井巌 | 長沼六男 Sanada Hiroyuki (Actor) | Miyazawa Rie (Actor) | Tomita Isao | Tamba Tetsuro | Kishi Keiko | Kobayashi Nenji (Actor) | Tanaka Min (Actor) | Fujisawa Koichi | Yamada Yoji | Ishii Iwao | Naganuma Mutsuo
Director: Yamada Yoji 山田洋次 山田洋次 山田洋次 Yamada Yoji
Blu-ray Region Code: A - Americas (North, Central and South except French Guiana), Korea, Japan, South East Asia (including Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan) What is it?
Release Date: 2011-02-18
Language: Cantonese, Japanese
Subtitles: English, Traditional Chinese
Country of Origin: Japan
Picture Format: [HD] High Definition What is it?
Sound Information: Dolby Digital 2.0, Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby TrueHD
Disc Format(s): Blu-ray
Screen Resolution: 1080p (1920 x 1080 progressive scan)
Rating: IIA
Duration: 129 (mins)
Publisher: Panorama (HK)
Package Weight: 120 (g)
Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1024072539

Product Information

Director: Yamada Yoji

  Seibei Iguchi is a low-ranking samurai of the Unasaka clan in Shonai Province of northeast Japan. His wife died of tuberculosis, a frequent cause of demise in those early years of hunger and malnutrition. With two daughters, Kayano and Ito, and an aging mother to support, he and his family must survive in austerity. The moment his daily work is over, he hurries home, refusing to drink or eat with fellow samurai, and concentrates on housework and moonlighting. Behind his back, samurai teasingly call him "Tasogare Seibei (Twilight Seibei)."

  One day Seibei meets Tomonojo Iinuma, a childhood friend, and hears about Tomoe, the latter's sister, whose dogmatic husband Toyotaro is such a lush that she divorced him and moved in with her brother. The next day, Tomoe visits Seibei and the two enjoy reminiscing. As Seibei walks Tomoe home they encounter her ex, furiously determined to take her back. As fate would have it, Seibei, instead of Tomonojo who is a poor fencer, must duel with Toyotaro. On the day of their fight, Seibei, with only a wooden sword, easily beats Toyotaro who uses a real sword. As rumors of the duel rapidly spread, Tomoe takes to frequently calling at Seibei's residence. Seibei's daughters Kayano and Ito grow attached to her, and Tomonojo suggests that Seibei marry the girl. However, fearing he is too poor, Seibei declines, which puts an end to Tomoe's visits......
Additional Information may be provided by the manufacturer, supplier, or a third party, and may be in its original language

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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features

Professional Review of "The Twilight Samurai (2002) (Blu-ray) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)"

February 27, 2007

This professional review refers to The Twilight Samurai (Hong Kong Version)

Yoji Yamada's Twilight Samurai is perhaps not the highest grossing Japanese film of all time, but it is definitely one of the most successful ones. Having won so many awards in the country, this 77th effort (reportedly) of the prolific director proves to be a rewarding viewing experience. Although it does not have a very dramatic plot, nor are there too many sword fight scenes, it nevertheless succeeds in grabbing the heart of the audience with its charismatic and emotional story of a great father.

It is a realistic portrayal of a poor samurai called Seibei (Hiroyuki Sanada). Seibei's wife has passed away at early age of their marriage and he has to take her part. He sacrifices all his leisure time to take care of his two daughters and his senile mother. One day, his childhood girlfriend Tomie (Rie Miyazawa) returns to the neighborhood after a failing marriage. The two of them still love each other, but they are just too passive to say that out. Meanwhile, Seibei is assigned a dangerous task. Before he departs, he decides to confess to Tomie... This story is told in a very straightforward and simple manner. Director Yoji Yamada relies on a very natural and linear cinematic approach to bring out Seibei's life. From Seibei's interaction with his colleague to his daily life at home, and from the duel of the samurai to the confession of Seibei, most of these scenes are realistic yet subtle. There are no visually stunning composition or exotic editing at all. Everything just looks so plain and calm. It is quite different from the typical Hong Kong or Hollywood films in which the emotions of the characters are always blatantly presented.

The protagonist of this film, Seibei, is an appealing character. Although he is indigent and his wife has died, he never actually feels despair. He never complains about his misfortune. When the merchant refuses to buy his bamboo cage at a higher price, he just asks him to consider it again, and then he keeps working as usual. At first glance, this character seems to lack an ambition to strive for a better life, but if you see it from another perspective, you'll eventually find out that what he looks for is not physical properties, but spiritual possession. From the dialogues as well as his behaviors in the movie, it clearly shows that to Seibei, the most important asset is always his two daughters. An intact family is what this man cares most. When every family member is at home, none of them looks unhappy. They talk to each other, help each other and laugh happily. Aside from poverty, this is actually a very pleasant and lovely family. Moreover, the addition of Tomie to the family makes it even more complete by serving the long lost maternal position.

Excellent actings from Hiroyuki Sanada and Rie Miyazawa enhance the dramatic quality of the film a lot. Sanada's composure does bestow life upon his character. A respectful father is slowly built up piece by piece in the film. Rie Miyazawa does not share too much screening time, but her character is so vulnerable and captivating and therefore wins the heart of the audience easily. To a certain extent, Seibei and Tomie are almost perfect in terms of morality, which I think is little too good to be true.

The two major topics raised in Twilight Samurai, family relationship and love, are nothing new to the audience. What Yoji Yamada does is to merely display these pure and exquisite qualities of human being in an honest manner. The reason why we love this film is because we are emotional being. We always need encouragement to reassure our unsecured faith in good human nature, and that's what this film provides us.

Cool guy(s) - Hiroyuki Sanada, Rie Miyazawa


Reviewed by Kantorates - Cinespot.com

November 26, 2005

This professional review refers to Tasogare Seibei (The Twilight Samurai) (Japan Version - English Subtitles)
Based on the work of author Jujisawa Shuhei, The Twilight Samurai tells the story of one Iguchi Seibei (Sanada Hiroyuki), a widower with two daughters and a senile old mother, all of whom must survive on what little salary Seibei receives as a low-level samurai. Every day, once his duties are complete, Seibei rushes home to see to his family and begin work on his sideline job in order to make ends meet. Although his coworkers often ask him to go out drinking with them, his always refuses. Eventually, this pattern of bolting home as night falls earns him the nickname of "Twilight Seibei" among his colleagues.

Things start to pick up when Iinuma (Fukikoshi Mitsuru), one of Seibei's closest friends re-enters his life. Iinuma tells him of the fate of his sister, Tomoe (Miyazawa Rie), who has just recently divorced her abusive husband Toyotaro (Osugi Ren) and taken up residence with Iinuma. Soon enough, Tomoe pays a visit to Seibei, and the two catch up on old times. Things seem to be getting off to a good start for both Tomoe and Seibei, but when Toyotaro shows up at Iinuma's home to lay claim to his ex-wife, Seibei must intervene, eventually getting himself involved in a duel with the drunken samurai. With nothing but a wooden sword, Seibei faces Toyotaro at the appointed time, and in a very entertaining scene, bests the man in one-on-one combat. In the succeeding days, Tomoe begins visiting Seibei more often, tending to the chores, playing with the children, and generally bringing an overwhelming sense of happiness and warmth to the Iguchi household.

Considering how well things are going, the natural next step for Tomoe and Seibei, both of whom share a genuine affection for one another, would be for the two of them to get married. However, while there is nothing more Seibei would like than to marry Tomoe, he fears that his lowly status would be far too much for Tomoe to bear in the long run. Making matters worse, the clan is undergoing some intense internal drama that may end up having some major consequences for Seibei. Once his superiors learn of his sword-fighting abilities, they order him to kill the "rebel" Yoga Zenemon, who is a master swordsman in his own right. Clearly, Seibei's death would prevent any chance for a "happily ever after" ending with Tomoe. Will he survive? And will Tomoe, who has received numerous proposals, even be available if he does?

What is remarkable about The Twilight Samurai is that it is the type of samurai film that does not rely on swordfights or bold displays of heroism to win over its audience. Instead, the film's focus is on character, Seibei's in particular. The heart and soul of the film is Seibei's relationship with his loved ones, and Sanada Hiroyuki brings a sense of dignity, honor, and humanity to the role. Rather than gear us up for swordfights that would provide viewers with vicarious thrills, The Twilight Samurai gives us a compelling depiction of Seibei's home life, a narrative decision that makes the world of the samurai feel more threatening, since one clan order or one unnecessary duel could end Seibei's life, thus impacting the lives of the people he cares about. By adding this level of danger, The Twilight Samurai proves to be a marvelous change of pace from films in which the protagonist has absolutely nothing to lose and the duels are meant to provide nothing more than sword-slashing thrills.

This focus on characterization and realism is perhaps best illustrated in the film's climax. Seibei's duel with Zenemon begins with a conversation, one that questions the samurai code in a way that most chambara films do not. This dialogue soon erupts into a close-quarters, claustrophobic duel, one in which the audience becomes increasingly unsure of whether Seibei will survive. Reminiscent of Clint Eastwood's Unforgiven, Yamada's film marks the end of an era. It's a deconstruction of the genre, one that mocks the hypocrisy of the samurai code, yet at the same time, through the characters of Seibei, it is also a celebration of the ideals of that very same code, as it gives a wonderfully humane rendering of one honest man struggling to survive in a chaotic world.

Helping the story along is actress Miyazawa Rie, who makes great use of her seemingly limited screen time. Tomoe's positive influence on Seibei's life is not merely a case of a subservient female coming in to take care of "women's work," but instead, her role runs far deeper than that. Tomoe's warmth, compassion, and genuine affection for Seibei and his family, only increases the sense that she is the missing element in the Iguchi home. Her relationship with Seibei is well-developed and adds an ample amount of poignancy to the would-be couple's possibly final conversation towards the film's ending.

The Twilight Samurai may be somewhat low key, even simple, in terms of execution, but it is still deserving of every honor it has been awarded. In giving us such a sincere, honest protagonist in Seibei, the film shows how his personal code is out of step with the times, critiquing an era in which self-interest and self-preservation – not honor and compassion – are of utmost importance to those in power. Yet it also delivers romance, and yes, even a couple of good swordfights to keep us glued to our seats. Well-executed, surprisingly realistic, and infinitely compelling, Yoji Yamada's The Twilight Samurai is nothing less than a modern classic.

By Calvin McMillin

This original content has been created by or licensed to YesAsia.com, and cannot be copied or republished in any medium without the express written permission of YesAsia.com.

Customer Review of "The Twilight Samurai (2002) (Blu-ray) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)"

Average Customer Rating for All Editions of this Product: Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8.9 out of 10 (18)

John
See all my reviews


March 3, 2011

This customer review refers to The Twilight Samurai (Hong Kong Version)
Counter-culture samurai Customer Review Rated Bad 4 - 4 out of 10
The low-ranking samurai has secret fighting skills but loves peace. He ain't rich. His tribulations are multitude: he just lost his wife, he has 2 young daughters who he wants to see educated beyond traditional standards, an alzheimers mother -- and too small a stipend. What's a samurai to do. Well... he talks alot. The cover art of the DVD I saw promises action. It's a lie. There's about 1 minute of very reluctant fighting in a 2 hour movie. Still, it should be mildly interesting for adults. Amusing for philosophers. Obligatory if you're an aging hippie.
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Amy
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November 13, 2010

This customer review refers to The Twilight Samurai (Hong Kong Version)
Great film, okay release Customer Review Rated Bad 6 - 6 out of 10
I bought this copy by Panorama because I've been told the American release was a poor release and that I'd be better off with this one, and though the film is aptly transfer with okay image and sound, and even proper aspect ratio, the extra material is hardly worth it... for the price.
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Steve Rees
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February 17, 2008

This customer review refers to Tasogare Seibei (The Twilight Samurai) (DVD) (Limited Edition) (English Subtitled) (Japan Version)
great movie Customer Review Rated Bad 9 - 9 out of 10
This movie is very good, and a different take on the world of the samuri. If anything it is a slow paced film, but you really get to know the chacters, and there is some good elements of comedy in there to. There is little action but what action there is, is very clever. Basically about a poor samuri who has to bring up his two daughters and look after his mum. You need to be in a relaxed mood to watch this one, but you will like it...
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Phoenix Lin
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April 7, 2007

This customer review refers to The Twilight Samurai (Hong Kong Version)
Your classic Samurai drama Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8 out of 10
This is a great Samurai movie, not so much in the action (since there really isn't any) but the story, the drama & personality of this character continues the romanticism of a classic Samurai story. Perhaps a little long and drawn out with a lengthy death scene monologue but the performance by the actors give you chills & makes your soul or depths of your being ache with sorrow.
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SAyaka
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April 19, 2006

This customer review refers to Tasogare Seibei (The Twilight Samurai) (1 DVD Edition)(Japan Version - English Subtitles)
1 people found this review helpful

so good! Customer Review Rated Bad 10 - 10 out of 10
This is one of my favorite movies ever, i own this movie, and its so good to see more than once. The Last Samurai movie was not very good, but Seven Samurai was a good movie, and Twilight Samurai is the best Samurai movie! It was so sad, i cried at the ending of the movie. what a touching story. and i love the traditional Japanese song that played in the background, it is so beautiful like a harp is. the twilight samurai is such a nice character, the story is so sad.
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