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The Hidden Blade Blu-ray

United States
49
2
0
Blu-ray + DVD Palisades Tartan | 2004 | 132 min | Rated R | Jun 19, 2012

The Hidden Blade (Blu-ray)
Large:


Video
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Original aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Audio
Japanese: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1

Subtitles
English, Spanish

Discs
25GB Blu-ray Disc
Two-disc set (1 BD, 1 DVD)
DVD copy

Playback
Region A (locked)

Price
List price: $29.98, Price history

Amazon: $20.98 (Save 30%)
New from: $15.71 (Save 48%)
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Movie rating
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
7.7
12
ratings.


Blu-ray rating
Video 4.0 of 54.0
Audio 4.0 of 54.0
Extras 3.0 of 53.0
Be the first to review it!

Movie appeal

 
Foreign100%
Drama72%
Romance1%
21%
popularity
101
collections
8
fans




The Hidden Blade

 (2004)

The Hidden Blade Blu-ray delivers great video and audio in this excellent Blu-ray release

An honest, low-ranking samurai, Munezo Katagiri finds himself buffeted by the confusion of old and new in mid-19th century Japan. Facing outside pressure, the Shogunate is trying to open Japan to the West and some carefully selected Western ways, while maintaining its fragile political base. Munezo, and his colleague Samon Shimada try to maintain their footing, paying heed to the demanding moral code of the samurai while also learning new military strategies, particularly the mastery of Western artillery. But Munezo also has a personal complication. He is secretly in love--so secretly, he may not even admit it to himself--with his family's maid, the sweet and beautiful country girl, Kie. His passion leads him to rescue Kie from a loveless marriage after she leaves his household; the samurai even shocks propriety by carrying away the low-caste young woman on his back. Just as Munezo starts to get his domestic situation in something to resembling order, Munezo hears devastating news. A comrade, Yaichiro Hazama, has been caught up in a plot in Edo. Their clan has sent the rebellious samurai home in the humiliating transport of a "prisoner's basket." Munezo comes under suspicion because he and Yaichiro, the clan's best swordsmen, shared a famed instructor, but Munezo refuses to cooperate with the chief retainer's witch hunt. Tension finally leads Munezo to confess his growing affection to Kie, a development that the young woman begins to hope will lead to the abandonment of caste structures. But before Munezo can realize his romantic destiny, Yaichiro escapes. Munezo is ordered to kill him, and the loyal, honorable samurai is faced with one final challenge to his principles.

For more about The Hidden Blade and the The Hidden Blade Blu-ray release, see the The Hidden Blade Blu-ray Review published by on where this Blu-ray release scored 4.0 out of 5.

Starring: Masatoshi Nagase, Takako Matsu, Hidetaka Yoshioka, Yukiyoshi Ozawa, Sachiko Mitsumoto, Tomoko Tabata
Director: Yoji Yamada

» See full cast & crew


The Hidden Blade Blu-ray, Video Quality

  4.0 of 5

Presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1, encoded with MPEG-4 AVC and granted a 1080p transfer, Yoji Yamada's The Hidden Blade arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of Palisades Tartan.

The high-definition transfer appears to have been sourced from the same master Hong Kong-based distributors Panorama had access to when they prepared their Blu-ray release. Naturally, the two look practically identical.
The film has a very unique look - it favors soft and warm colors and boasts a light yellowish tint. Light is often restricted and many of the indoor sequences look quite dark (see screencaptures #2 and 10). As I mentioned in our review of the Hong Kong release, there are clearly traces of mild filtering, but it is very difficult to tell how much of it was not intended to enhance the film's unique period look. The restricted light and the warm and subdued colors clearly point to a specific dated look (coincidentally, Yoji Yamada's The Twilight Samurai also favors very soft and natural colors). Edge-enhancement is not a serious issue of concern. There are no serious banding or aliasing patterns either. Lastly, there are no damage marks, cuts, or debris. All in all, I feel that the film could look better, but it is also quite clear to me that very specific stylistic corrections have been performed to achieve its unique look. With that in mind, I think that the presentation is indeed quite good. (Note: This is a Region-A "locked" Blu-ray disc. Therefore, you must have a native Region-A or Region-Free PS3 or SA in order to access its content).


The Hidden Blade Blu-ray, Audio Quality

  4.0 of 5

There is only one audio track on this Blu-ray disc: Japanese DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1. For the record, Palisades Tartan have provided optional English and Spanish subtitles for the main feature.

The lossless track is effective, but it will not test your audio system. It opens up the film during selected sequences, but Isao Tomita's score does add to the atmosphere as much as I was expecting it would. The dialog is crisp, clean, stable, and easy to follow. There are no high-frequency distortions or audio dropouts to report in this review. The English translation is very good.



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The Hidden Blade Blu-ray, News and Updates



The Hidden Blade Blu-ray - March 20, 2012

Independent distributors Palisades Tartan have revealed that they are preparing a Blu-ray release of Japanese director Yôji Yamada's award winning film The Hidden Blade (2004), starring Masatoshi Nagase, Takako Matsu and Hidetaka Yoshioka. The preliminary release ...


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