Blu-ray Review “The Twilight Samurai (2002)”

twilight samuraiStarring: Rye Miyazawa, Ren Ohsugi, Mitsuru Fukikoshi, Hirouki Sanada, Nenji Kobayashi
Directed By: Yoji Yamada
Distributed by: Twilight Time
Run Time: 129 minutes
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Release Date: November 11, 2014

Film: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 1.5 out of 5 stars

“The Twilight Samurai” was nominated for the Academy Award, Best Foreign Language Film back in 2002. It didn’t win but it did end up winning 12 Japanese Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Screenplay. It deserves the praise cause it is a fantastic samurai period film. Star Hirouki Sanada has since gone on to big things in the U.S. as well including “The Wolverine” and “47 Ronin”. This Blu-ray release is an Screen Archives Entertainment Exclusive and is a Limited Edition release with only 3000 copies produced. So if you are a fan, get it quick before they sell out.

Official Premise: The Twilight Samurai (2002) is a contemplative character study of Seibei (Hiroyuki Sanada), a traditional samurai reduced—in a rapidly modernizing Japan—to working as an accountant. A widower, Seibei has to care for his senile mother and his two young daughters; his financial problems are so severe that he finally, humiliatingly, must pawn his sword. And then, his clan comes to him with one last job. Directed by veteran Yoji Yamada, best known for helming Japan’s beloved “Tora-san” films.

Twilight Time is releasing this film on a region free Blu-ray disc. The 1080p transfer is solid and really looks solid. There is only a Japanese audio DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track included. The special features include an Isolated Score Track in DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 by Isao Tomita (“Zatoichi”). Lastly there are the film’s Original Theatrical Trailers. Also like with all of Twilight Time’s releases be sure to enjoy the extensive Julie Kirgo liner notes included to enjoy. I just wish there was a little more here in the extras department.

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