Blu-ray Review “Assassin’s Creed”

Starring: Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, Jeremy Irons, Brendan Gleeson, Michael Kenneth Williams, Matias Varela
Director: Justin Kurzel
Rated: PG-13
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Release Date: March 21, 2017

Film: 2 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2 out of 5 stars

“Assassin’s Creed”, which first started as a video game, was a game that I liked but never really loved. Cool idea, deep mythology behind the characters and events of the games. Unfortunately nothing I just mentioned there was transferred into the feature film version of the game. Very disappointing in fact. I was not only uninterested in the film but flat out bored at parts. Usually, Fassbender’s roles interest me much more but this was a lame attempt all around. Who knows, if you are a die hard fan of this game, you might dig this (or hate it much more than me) but it was long and yet at the same time didn’t deliver anything worthwhile to fill that time well.

Official Premise: Cal Lynch travels back in time to 15th-century Spain through a revolutionary technology that unlocks the genetic memories contained in his DNA. There, he lives out the experiences of Aguilar de Nerha, a distant relative who’s also a member of the Assassins, a secret society that fights to protect free will from the power-hungry Templar Order. Transformed by the past, Cal begins to gain the knowledge and physical skills necessary to battle the oppressive organization in the present.

Blu-ray presentation is impressive for sure. The 1080p transfer looks solid with the visual effects but I believe that the 4K presentation would be the better way to go if you truly need to see this film. The DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 track also delivers the goods with action scenes, when they show up. Special features are light in addition. First up is “Take the Pledge: Behind the Scenes of Assassin’s Creed”, which is a complete behind-the-scenes coverage of the film. Fairly in-depth. Lastly there is a feature called “Conversations with Director Justin Kurzel” and a large amount of deleted scenes included.

Kernel Engages Assassin’s Creed fans with exclusive limited-edition merchandise,  Behind-the-scenes first-looks at the upcoming Movie, Movie Tickets and More

Beginning today, March 9th at www.kernel.com/assassinscreed, Kernel is affording Assassin’s Creed fans the opportunity to immerse themselves in the highly anticipated movie release with exclusive film merchandise, one-of-a-kind experiences, revealing behind-the-scene sneak peeks and more.

Long before the Assassin’s Creed trailer premieres and nine months before the movie’s debut,Kernel’s is offering passionate fans of the franchise a first look of key elements from the film, including the hoodie and gauntlet worn by Callum Lynch’s/Aguilar (played by Michael Fassbender),limited-edition collectibles, apparel and accessories, the film script, advanced movie tickets, tickets to San Diego Comic Con and more.

To satisfy fans’ intense interest in their favorite entertainment franchises and characters, Kernel works directly with studios, filmmakers and distributors to give visibility to the entire creative process, from script to screen.  The Santa Monica-based company has redefined fan engagement with offers such as movie ticket pre orders, access to exclusive digital content, and customized VIP-experiences.
Kernel co-founder Andy Martinez says: “We’ve curated bundles at all levels but the most important item included in each purchase is the ticket. That’s the shared piece that binds and connects all of us as Assassin’s Creed fans since the day we first plugged into the Animus and thought to ourselves,  ‘wow, this would make a great movie!’”

Part of what is unique about Kernel and this program is that it is a real honest-to-god collaboration between the movie Fox, Ubisoft, New Regency, and of course the product creators like TriForce and McFarlane whose contributions traditionally wouldn’t be surfaced until much later.

The Assassin’s Creed movie, based on Ubisoft’s best-selling franchise, stars Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard.  The film premieres December 21, 2016 from Fox Filmed Entertainment and New Regency.

Kernel’s Assassin’s Creed packages range from $15 to $1200. Once fans purchase a package, they’ll be treated to additional behind-the-scenes content, more exclusive movie merchandise and experiences that will continue to become available in the months leading up to the film’s release.

 

Some of the early items curated by Kernel include:

Spanish Crossbow from Ubi Workshop – Kernel Exclusive

Only available on Kernel, this 15th century crossbow is an exact 1:1 scale replica of the weapon featured in the Assassin’s Creed movie. Created by famed Hollywood weapon’s master Tim Wildgoose, the crossbow is 18” long and features scenes from Medieval Spain, as well as motifs from Assassin’s Creed lore. Handcrafted, numbered and limited to an edition size of 20, this piece is a worthy centerpiece of any Assassin’s Creed or movie prop collection. Comes with a signed letter of authenticity. This package also includes a ticket to see Assassin’s Creed in theaters, a digital copy of the script, and behind-the-scenes extras.  Priced at $1200.

TriForce Aguilar Premier Scale Statue

The officially licensed Assassin’s Creed: Aguilar Premier Scale Statue, masterfully sculpted, hand-finished and hand-painted to precision quality by the artisans at TriForce.  The limited-edition statue, crafted and cast in polystone, the most authentic on the market, portrays Aguilar posed on top of a 15th Century Spanish rooftop.  The package includes a ticket to see Assassin’s Creed in theaters, a digital copy of the script, and behind-the-scenes extras.  Priced at $500

Official Assassin’s Creed Hoodie – Kernel Exclusive

Only available on Kernel, Ubi Workshop’s hoodies offer fans an early look at Callum Lynch’s hoodie in the upcoming movie. The original costume was created by famed BAFTA nominated costume designer Sammy Sheldon Differ and worn by Michael Fassbender in his starring role. With its modern fit and unique hood, this unisex Hoodie is made from 100 percent polyester, features two side pockets, metal snap buttons embossed with Assassin’s Creed logo and a YKK zipper.  The packages includes a ticket to see Assassin’s Creed in theaters, a digital copy of the script, and behind-the-scenes extras. Priced at $100.

 

McFarlane Toys Aguilar Hidden Blade – First Look!

Assassin’s Creed fans can bring the movie to life with McFarlane’s new screen-accurate Hidden Blade role-play item, offered as an exclusive first look only on Kernel. Used by Aguilar, the 15th century Assassin played by Michael Fassbender, the blade is highly detailed, intricately sculpted and true to the original design.  An early unpainted sculpt is currently shown on Kernel, giving  fans a rare glimpse of McFarlane’s creative process. The final product will be fully painted and functional, including a button-activated play-action and extending hidden blade. This package also includes a ticket to see Assassin’s Creed in theaters, a digital copy of the script, and behind-the-scenes extras. Priced at $60.

 

T-Shirt + Movie Ticket + Script

Live the Creed in this exclusive Assassin’s Creed movie T-shirt with the iconic words “Work in the dark to serve the light.” T-shirt is made of 100 percent pre-shrunk cotton and features a round neck and relax fit. This package also includes a ticket to see Assassin’s Creed in theaters, a digital copy of the script, and behind-the-scenes extras. Priced at $25.

 

Movie Ticket + Collector’s Watch + Script + Aguilar & Maria Temporary Tattoos – One Week Only!

Fans can arm themselves with everything needed to countdown to the Assassin’s Creed movie release, including a smooth printed LED Collector’s Assassin’s Creed watch (with silicone band, digital readout, and month/year function), replicas of Aguilar and Maria’s tattoos as featured in the movie, an official digital copy of the script delivered on the day of the film’s release, and behind-the-scenes extras. Priced at $15, the special introductory package is available for one week only.

 

Synopsis:

Through a revolutionary technology that unlocks his genetic memories, Callum Lynch (Michael Fassbender) experiences the adventures of his ancestor Aguilar, in 15th Century Spain.  Callum discovers he is descended from a mysterious secret society, the Assassins, and amasses incredible knowledge and skills to take on the oppressive and powerful Templar organization in the present day.

 

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Kernel – @KernelFilms

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YouTube  – @KernelFilms

Blu-ray Review “Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist”

Actors: Mike Moh, Christian Howard, Mark Killeen
Directors: Joey Ansah
Number of discs: 3
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: Funimation
Release Date: October 28, 2014
Run Time: 146 minutes

Film: 4 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

After the success of “Mortal Kombat Legacy”, the video game world scrambled to find the next big web series to deliver a live action version of classic video games. After the disappointing second season of “Mortal Kombat Legacy”, I that would be the end…until creators Joey Ansah and Christian Howard gave us “Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist”. This is a 13-episode web series based on the popular Capcom videogame franchise. This release is not the web series though it is something much better. This Blu-ray contains an uncut 146 minute feature film and is absolutely awesome. If you love the web series, then you need this Blu-ray. If you think you can just watch it online and don’t need to own it then you are missing out.

Official Premise: The genre defining, most successful and most loved fighting video game franchise of all time, Street Fighter, is finally given the epic, faithful treatment it deserves in this hotly anticipated live-action series. Following up from the sensational YouTube pilot, Street Fighter: Legacy, which received critical acclaim by press and fans alike, the series takes fans back to the formative years of iconic characters, Ryu and Ken, as they live a traditional warrior’s life in the secluded, mountain wilderness of Japan.

The 1080p transfer is fantastic and works perfectly with the action sequences. The Dolby TrueHD 2.0 is not a 5.1 track but it still packs a solid punch to it. Much better than my crappy computer speakers, that’s for sure. FUNimation is releasing this as a combo pack also with a Blu-ray and DVD included. If you want more also get ready because there is already a sequel in the cards titled “Street Fighter: World Warrior” and is aiming for release in late 2015 or early 2016.

The special features are also quite awesome. There is a great audio commentary track with the director Joey Ansah talking about all aspects of the web-series turned movie. There is “Ken’s Video Diary”, which follows the actor around the shoot. There is a solid “The Making Of…” featurette looking into the production of the series. If the additional uncut footage isn’t enough there are still additional extra scenes included, as well as outtakes. Lastly there are some trailers included.

Book Review “The Art of Assassin’s Creed III”

Author: Andy McVittie
Hardcover: 144 pages
Publisher: Titan Books
Release Date: October 30, 2012

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

The “Assassin’s Creed” video game series is one of the most unique available today.  The first game launched in 2007 and since then the first four Assassin’s Creed games have sold more than 38 million units worldwide.  The franchise quickly established itself one of the best-selling series ever. My only question is WHERE IS THE MOVIE ADAPTION? There has been a lot of hype and anticipation behind the arrival of “Assassin’s Creed III”.  This book is an exclusive art book to showcase the wonderful art that has gone into making this new installment.

If you are fan of this franchise, I cannot stress how this book is a must have.  One of the factors that makes “Assassin’s Creed” so successful is that it has some of the most original and deep art matched with storytelling in the business. The book is authored by Andy McVittie, who has been working in the video games industry for more than twenty years. He is known best for his work in well-known magazines like  Nintendo Official Magazine and PlayStation Plus.  So he knows his video games and his passion is shown throughout this book.

What makes “Assassin’s Creed III” unique in the franchise is the introduction of a  new assassin and takes place in a revolutionary world. So this book is a perfect introduction to this character and the new world that the story takes place in.  If you are hardcore fans, you are going to be drooling over the new interactive cityscapes and frozen winter landscapes showcased in this book.  Also revealed are the new threats from the natural world including weather systems that affect actual affect gameplay.  Also fans will be happy to know that all these has been perfectly and (most importantly) historically recreated by the Ubisoft studio. So get ready to completely immerse yourself in this book, since “Assassin’s Creed III” to certain to be the biggest and best yet in the series.

 

DVD Review “13 Assassins (1963)”

Directed by: Eiichi Kudo
Starring: Koutaro Satomi, Ko Nishimura, Chiezo Kataoka, Ryohei Uchida
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Distributed by: Animeigo
Release Date: June 5, 2012
Running Time: 125 minutes

DVD Score: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Film Score: 3 out of 5 stars
Extras Score: 2 out of 5 stars

When it comes to 1963’s “13 Assassins”, I know this film is the original but I liked Takashi Miike’s 2010 adaption far more. Though, this black and white adaption is virtually bloodless tough it still manages to be semi-effective. The one aspect I had major trouble with was Animeigo’s subtitles. They chose the most annoying font and they continue to change the color with each person that speaks.  This is very distracting, especially with a black and white film.  Not sure if that was the best decision here.

The film’s story is about a group of top class assassins, who set out to remove Lord Naritsugu before he enters into a political position. The Lord does follow any rules and kills anyone that crosses his path. It is up to the 13 chosen assassins to bring him down before he reaches his destination.

The DVD is presented in widescreen with an aspect ratio of 2.35:1. It also only included a Japanese audio track with its Dolby Digital Stereo, no dub track. There are a few special features but nothing worth checking out. Included are Trailers, Program Notes, Cast & Crew Bios and Image Gallery. Overall if you are fan of samurai films, it is worth checking out but definitely not my favorite. I prefer the 2010 remake for sure.

Blu-ray Review “Assassin’s Creed: Lineage”

Directed by: Yves Simoneau
Starring: Romano Orzari
Distributed by: New Video Group
Running time: 36 minutes

Overall Score: 4 out of 5 stars

If you are fan of the video game series “Assassin’s Creed”, you shouldn’t even be reading this review. This is a must purchase for any fan of the series. If you are not familiar with the series than this is a good starting point especially since it is a prequel to “Assassin’s Creed II” and “Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood”. This film is complied of three short films made by Ubisoft, so you know it is loyal to the series and it is not just fan films. The production value is very well done and the prequel story is a great setup for the game.

The story centers on Giovanni Auditore, the father of the game’s main character, Ezio Auditore. Giovanni is an Assassin get involved with a government conspiracy that is being plotted to overthrow the powerful Medici family and destroy a unified Italy. Giovanni finds that the plot is deeper that expected and could even go as far at the Vatican. I was totally digging this film and I only wish (as I am sure everyone does) it was longer. This could have been a really kick ass feature. I guess we will have to see what Sony does with their hopefully-upcoming big budget live action adaption. But for now, this is what we have and it certainly kicks some ass.

Now I am sure you are asking if this is really worth purchasing just for the 36 minute film, well the answer is no…it is also jammed packed with extras. The extras are really the main draw for this Blu-ray for sure. “The Making of Assassin’s Creed Lineage” delves into the production of these short films and how they were created with focus on visuals. There is a eight minute motion-comic called “Assassin’s Creed: Ascendance”, which was really cool and also comes with an making of it as well. There also is a sneak preview for the upcoming “Assassin’s Creed: Revelations” game.

Next up there are two separate sections for “Assassin’s Creed” game bonus features. There are three “Developer Diaries” featurettes focusing on Artistic Direction, Freedom and Story. There are various trailers like the TV Launch, E3, Templar and Ubidays trailer. The “Assassin’s Creed II” game bonus features contains six “Developer Diaries”. The first is called “Ezio: A New Assassin”, “Power to the People”, “All Roads Lead To”, “All’s Fair in Love and War”, “Clothes Make the Man” and “Home Sweet Home”. There are two focus features on “Assassination Arsenal” and Factions”. There also is an interview called “Renaissance” featuring Margaret Meserve, Historian from Notre Dame. Lastly there are many trailer from the Teaser/Launch, E3 and Gamestop trailers.

DVD Review “Bodyguards and Assassins”

Directed by: Teddy Chan
Starring: Donnie Yen, Nicholas Tse, Leon Lai, Wang Xueqi, Tony Leung Ka-fai, Cung Le
Distributed by: We Distributions
Rating: Not Rated
Running time: 138 minutes

Film: 3 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3 out of 5 stars

Donnie Yen is known best for his recent roles of “IP Man 1 & 2” and he is really one hell of martial artist. I could even watch him make a batch of pancakes for two hours. Even though in this film, Donnie is not the primary focus of the film, it is still a good film. The running time clocks in a just sky of 2 hours and 20 minutes, which feel a little long. The action in the film is good and features an hour long battle sequence, which is unreal.

Set in 1905 in China, we are watching the beginning of the revolutionary moment. When political representative, Sun Yat-Sen is planning a meeting that will shape the future of the country, the plot is out for his assassination. It is up to a motley crue of men and women who are entrusted to protect him at any cost. They will be pushed to the test because these people will stop at anything to see that this meeting does not happen.

The film is a mix of politics, personal sacrifice, as well as fantastic martial arts. The rest of the cast is amazing and really adds a lot of heart to the film, especially in its second act. If you follow MMA, keep an eye out for the fighter Cung Le as well. Overall once the film gets started it kicks some major ass and definitely delivers…if it could have done it a little quicker it would have been perfect. Worth a watch for sure if you are fan of Donnie Yen and martial arts films.

The extras on the disc are good with five behind the scenes featurettes. I also love these for martial arts films because you get a really cool look of how they do all the amazing work that they do in the film. Next we have extended interviews with cast and crew, which I always enjoy a good interview being an interviewer myself. The international trailer is included as well. Lastly, there is a QR code on the disc which includes even more additional bonus materials. I think that this is a great way to include the new barcode technology and also a great way to include more content not on the disc.

“Bodyguards and Assassins” DVD Giveaway [ENDED]

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“Bodyguards and Assassins” will be released on DVD on July 26th, 2011, MovieMikes would like to giveaway THREE COPIES of this film on DVD. If you would like one of these, please leave us a comment below or send us an email and let us know you about your favorite Kung Fu movie. This giveaway will be open until Tuesday July 26th at Noon, Eastern Time. Once the giveaway ends, Movie Mikes will randomly pick out winners and alert the winners via email.

5 hours. 13 blocks. To Save a Nation’s Future
They Must Protect One Man From its Past

Winner of 8 Hong Kong Film Festival Awards including Best Film and
Starring Martial Arts Superstar Donnie Yen

“Bodyguards And Assassins” releases on DVD July 26th

(Los Angeles, CA) – Indomina Releasing proudly announces that its debut home entertainment release, BODYGUARDS AND ASSASSINS, (Best Film Award, Hong Kong Film Festival), will be available on DVD July 26th. BODYGUARDS AND ASSASSINS tells the story of a motley group of ordinary men turned revolutionaries in an epic, action-packed, historical drama. Teddy Chen (Twenty Something, Purple Storm, The Accidental Spy,) directs and global superstar Donnie Yen (Blade II, Hero, Ip Man) stars in BODYGUARDS AND ASSASSINS, available on DVD at an SRP of $19.97 and is distributed through Vivendi Entertainment.

Sun Yat-sen is on the verge of merging the provinces to rise up against the Qing Dynasty. A secret planning meeting in the city of Victoria is set to take place, but it will all be for naught if they can’t get him in and out of the city in one piece. Word of his presence in the British Colony of Hong Kong, brings with it a trove of assassins with only an order to make sure he does not leave the city alive. The bodyguards work together knowing there isn’t freedom without sacrifice.

The motley crew of bodyguards includes Cantopop superstar Leon Lai (Seven Swords) as the opium addict trying to redeem himself from a family shame; Wang Xueqi (Warriors of Heaven and Earth) as the Tycoon, a secret sponsor of the revolution who is suddenly asked to compromise way beyond his comfort zone; Teen idol Nicholas Tse (The Medallion, Storm Warriors) as the rickshaw driver, a humble man following his heart and love for the family he serves; Tony Kai-fe Leung (L’Amant, The Missing) as the Revolutionary, who strives to protect Sun Yat-sen at all costs. Also featured, is former NBA player (Raptor’s, Spurs and Nuggets) Mengke Bateer as the honorable Tofu Vendor who uses his towering size and fighting skills to take on the highly trained assassins, led by Hu Jun (Red Cliff).

The epic film took ten years to complete (Documented in the film “Documentary Hell.”) including the construction of the biggest 1:1 scale set of Hong Kong ever built. Sun Yat-sen is known as the Founding Father of the Chinese Republic, and the main catalyst for the Xinhai Revolution of 1911 which saw the overthrow of the Qing Dynasty, the last imperial dynasty in China.

Synopsis:
Donnie Yen (Blade II, IP Man, Hero) and MMA fighter Cung Le star in this gripping martial arts blockbuster set in the bustling metropolis of Hong Kong in 1905. The revolutionary movement has spread throughout China, but the corrupt Qing dynasty will do anything to hold on to its power. As Sun Yat-Sen prepares for a historic meeting that will shape the future of the country, a motley crew of men and women are entrusted to protect him from a group of deadly assassins who will stop at nothing to kill him. Winner of eight Hong Kong Film Awards, including Best Film, and featuring an hour-long battle sequence unlike anything attempted before, it’s a pivotal action epic that’s being hailed as “a satisfying mix of politics, personal sacrifice and death-or glory combat” (Richard Kuipers, Variety).