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"The Princess Blade"

Directed by Shinsuke Sato.
Written by Kei Kunii and Shinsuke Sato. 
Starring Hideaki Ito and Yumiko Shaku.
Release Year:  2001 
Review Date:  4/29/02 


The man that brought you “Iron Monkey” choreographed the action sequences in this sorta-futuristic action film, based on a comic book that apparently has been done in a few different films before this one.  Here, a woman named Yuki is the youngest of a band of ronin-styled assassins that will kill for cash in a time not far from now in Japan.  Being that the film is supposed to be “cool”, these assassins all wear leather and instead of following logic and using handguns, explosives, Jedi magic or crossbows, they would much rather cut your head off with medieval two-handed broadswords.  Yuki realizes that her boss sold her out (don’t they always?), so she ends up in a feud to the death with her fellow assassins.  The action scenes are wicked, baby!  Too bad the story reads like something right out of American mainstream action films.  Also, it will be noted that no matter what language a film is shot in, no matter what the year, no matter who the director...if a lead character loses someone that they love mid-to-late film, they will scream for no reason while looking at the ceiling or sky for four seconds.

Rating:  Matinee


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Bellview Rating System:

"Opening Weekend":  This is the highest rating a movie can receive.  Reserved for movies that exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development, setting...or Salma Hayek.  Not necessarily in that order. 

"$X.XX Show":  This price changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently, it is the $9.50 Show.  While not technically perfect, this is a movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.  "Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca", but you'll have a great time watching.  The $9.50 Show won't win any Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see "Office Space"). 

"Matinee":  An average movie that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.  Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about yourself.  A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave the theater saying "That wasn't too, did you see that Lakers game last night?" 

"Rental":  This rating indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one."  Mostly forgettable, you couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the video store was out of copies of "Ronin."  If you can, see this movie for free.  This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a half stars." 

"Hard Vice":  This rating is the bottom of the barrel.  A movie that only six other human beings have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen.  A Shannon Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a movie.  Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or "Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!  (Warning:  strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard Vice"-rated movies.)

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The "fine print":
All material by Justin Elliot Bell for SMR/Bellview/ except where noted
© 1999-2009 Justin Elliot Bell This site was last updated 01/08/09