Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Ninja Assassin Blu-ray Review

Disc Size: 22.4 GB
Film Size: 17.5 GB
Film Rating: R
Region: ABC
The Video
Ninja Assassin shines on Blu-ray with a 1080p VC-1 video presentation. Initial concern regarding this film would be the possibility of DNR, which has been present at least slightly on many Warner Bros. Blu-ray releases. Fortunately, that is not an issue with Ninja Assassin.

The movie is visually stunning and features many visual strengths. The high-def transfer includes plenty of strong detail throughout, skin textures in particular stand out. The film’s colors are also very rich and vibrant. I am also very satisfied by the strong black levels throughout, everything is inky as can be and it looks great.

The film is extremely fast-paced during action scenes and we never come across any noticeable crushing or artifacts throughout. I also popped in the included DVD to compare and was pleasantly surprised by the drastic upgrade. Everything is easily improved upon on this high-def release.

Ninja Assassin doesn’t necessarily feature locales that would make this your first choice as far as demo material is concerned, but I definitely thought the transfer is great and certainly one of the better new release visuals from Warner Bros. I’m definitely impressed. 9/10.

The Audio
An English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is the only lossless track included. Other audio options include 5.1 Dolby Digital French, Spanish and Portuguese. Subtitle options include English, French, Spanish and Portuguese.

The included English 5.1 DTS-HD master Audio track is as strong as the video presentation, featuring fantastic surround use moments throughout. The movie is definitely one that uses up your entire surround setup, although I do wish it was 7.1 as it definitely would have worked great.

Dialogue is always clear and easy to understand, but like most mixes it stays entirely front heavy. When a fight scene kicks in you become immersed into an experience that easily compares to the best mixes on Blu-ray. Your entire surround setup will become active as can be, with blood flying to the left and another fight to the right side.

The mix features fantastic direction, such as the first arrival of the ninja, where the scene is intended to be quite mysterious on who is doing the kills. The mix just feels perfectly balanced and packs quite a punch. There are better tracks out there, but this one will not disappoint, it will always impress. 9/10.

The Extras

Disc 1:

The Myth and Legend of Ninjas (18:56) (HD)
This is an almost 19-minute feature regarding the myth and combat of a ninja. This is actually quite an entertaining and interesting feature than is worth a watch.

The Extreme Sport of a Ninja (10:08) (HD)
The cast and crew talk about the talent of the actors who play the ninjas. Get a very entertaining look behind-the-scenes of how scenes were filmed.

Training Rain (9:53) (HD)
The cast and crew talk about working with Rain.

Deleted Scenes (7:43) (HD)
Six deleted scenes are included and are presented in high-definition.

Exclusive Look at the New Clash of the Titans (5:07) (HD)
Get a special look at another upcoming Warner Bros. film, The Clash of the Titans. I believe this same ‘exclusive’ is included on the original Clash of the Titans Blu-ray release.

Disc 2:

DVD Copy/Digital Copy
Certain copies of Ninja Assassin are packaged as combo packs, which are labeled via the included slip cover. If your copy does not include a slip cover, chances are it is Blu-ray only. The DVD copy and Digital Copy are both on one disc, with the Digital Copy being iTunes and Windows Media compatible.

Overall the extras are quite satisfying, I loved the behind-the-scenes look of the film, but overall I do wish more was included. A Picture-in-Picture video track comparing the filmed scenes to the final scenes would have been neat; an audio commentary would have been nice as well. The DVD/Digital Copy is a nice addition for those who manage to get this version. 6.5/10.

The Movie
Ninja Assassin is a film that many of my friends saw theatrically and most of them enjoyed it very much. Unfortunately for me, time did not allow so I never did get the chance to see the movie theatrically. Despite good reviews from friends, I was not particularly excited about seeing Ninja Assassin on Blu-ray.

After finally taking the time to watch the film over the weekend, I didn’t just like Ninja Assassin, I loved it. The film just makes for a bloody fantastic time. The movie features some amazing action sequences that I imagine the studio could possibly go back and release on 3D Blu-ray in the future. Some of the sequences in the film just have that natural 3D pop and even feature certain weapons passing by the screen with beautiful dimension.

The film stars pop-musician Rain as Raizo, which was a concern of mine originally. Mixing singers with acting doesn’t always translate well (Britney Spears in Crossroads). The singer is a surprisingly strong actor though and he really makes the character believable.

The movie travels back and forth in time; no, this isn’t a time-traveling movie, but rather flashbacks to Raizo’s childhood and teen years as a ninja in training. We get more character development this way and we learn why he got to the point where he is in present time.

The action sequences are a thing of beauty though and while the movie is far from perfect, this is by far one of the better popcorn-flicks I have seen in a long time. This is a movie anyone can enjoy, even viewers who are not fans of ninja-style films.

The movie is something I recommend everyone see. The movie was not very well received by many critics, but I couldn’t care less. I think critics tend to follow one another anyway, so if first reception is negative it all ends up negative. Sometimes critics can be very right, but I think many were definitely over-analyzed Ninja Assassin.

The movie is extremely fun and definitely bloody. The fight sequences are that which you may compare to films such as Kill Bill Vol. 1 and Vol. 2, two of my favorite Tarantino films. The movie is fantastic and something I hope isn’t overlooked by too many Blu-ray viewers. The film has its share of downfalls, but it definitely brings the fun. 8/10.

The Blu-news Summary
Ninja Assassin is a bloody fun time, featuring impressive video and audio presentations. The extras are entertaining, but there definitely should have been more. Overall the Blu-ray release is a ‘Must Own’ for fans of the film and easily ‘Recommended’ to all others.

Additional Screenshots:

To Order From Amazon.com, Click Here!

No comments: