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Review: The Assassin (Well Go USA)

The Assassin
The Assassin
3 stars

Starring: Satoshi Tsumabuki, Chen Chang

Directed: Hou Hsiao-Hsien

Release Date: January 26, 2016

Run Time: 106 Minutes

Format: Blu-Ray Color: Color

Audio: Mandarin Subtitles: English

Distributor: Well Go USA


Back with his first film in 8 years, legendary Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-hsien wowed this year’s Cannes Film Festival (where he won Best Director) with his awe-inspiring THE ASSASSIN – a wondrous take on the traditional wuxia film. The story is simple, if elusive – in 9th-century China, Nie Yinniang is a young woman who was abducted in childhood from a decorated general and raised by a nun who trained her in the martial arts.

After 13 years of exile, she is returned to the land of her birth as an exceptional assassin, with orders to kill her betrothed husband-to-be. She must confront her parents, her memories, and her long-repressed feelings in a choice to sacrifice the man she loves or break forever with the sacred way of the righteous assassins. Rich with shimmering, breathing texture and punctuated by brief but unforgettable bursts of action, THE ASSASSIN is a martial arts film like none made before it. – Well Go USA


Audio Language: Mandarin
Subtitles: English

The Sound Quality is good. Love all the nature sounds in the background which you don’t hear much. Dialogue is low as the actors are speaking low and more delicate or I should say soft.

Rating: 4 stars


Picture Quality

Disc Format: Blu-Ray

The Picture Quality is Good but not a 5 star. The film brings its uniqueness out by the way its shot as its shot on 35 mm. I Love the way it looks as colors are not super popping and we get a good amount of grain. Not 5 star but I enjoyed How this film Looked. Sharpness is great on closeups.

Rating: 4 stars

Note: Equipment used to watch the film can be found below

Theatrical release Date: August 27, 2015 (China)
Disc release Date: January 26, 2016 (USA)
  • Behind the Scenes
  • Trailer
My Thoughts

The Assassin Is a minimalist stylized action film with hints of Wuxa and cool cinematography. The Story is fine but wished it was told more in the earlier period of the film lie the whole training to be an assassin. When saying Minimalist I mean that the film is shot with not much dialogue with dialogue spoken softly.

The film can be 50/50 for its views. It will ether bore you or you will be entertained at the whole style of the film. I loved the style of the film, the way its shot, the visual of the film as its shot on 35 mm film. But i was also board at portions with scenes that are drawn out and a good portion of scenes with no dialogue. The bad spots of the film for me would be some of the editing as some action scenes will cut away in the middle of the action and some times we are giving weird cuts during the action itself.

The film has its ups and downs but I’m still loving the cinematography, the colors and details. I wish we have gotten more action, more story or Character build up. Action wise, yes its a small amount but fight scenes are still fun to watch and well choreographed.

Over all the film was slow but great to look at style wise. Action was fun but wished we had more and the story is the same way. Shorten the drawn out scenes and add more action and character build up and we have got a way better film. Not saying this a bad film but I can see why some one would say it is.

I Give The Assassin a 3 out of 5 stars for its style, its uniqueness and the action when it hits its fun. I say give it a shot if slower movies don’t bother you or if you would like to see a cool stylized cinematography film.


Rating – 5 Star System




3 stars
4 stars
4 stars


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This Film was Played on the listed Equipment below

Click Here To Drop Down the List of Equipment

Samsung (UN46C6900) 46-Inch 1080p LED HDTV

DVD/Blu-Ray Player

OPPO BDP – 103 (Highly Recommended)

Click here to Learn More

Stereo Receiver

Pioneer VSX-516-K 7.1-Channel

Click here to Learn More

(1) Center Speaker

Pioneer S-HF 11C

Click here to Learn More

(2) Front Speaker

KLH 9250B Floor – 350 watts

(4) Surround sound Speakers

KLH 100 watt Bookshelf

(1) Subwoofer

Sony SA-W3000 180 Watt 12″ sub

Click here to Learn More

Note: I Know my speakers are way outdated. OPPO Blu-Ray Player is one of the best around and used in most home theaters. The Receiver is pretty good but on the line of out dated. Subwoofer is good with tons of bass but not the theater quality from a $400 Sub. Front speakers are fun with tons of power and are good for standalone’s but higher end sound (Hz) is lower quality. Overall I need to update on all speakers granted I do get decent sound out of them just the higher end falls short.


My Setup

About Masked Avenger

CEO/Webmaster of The Name Is James and I love Film ranging from Silent 20's to highly CGI Blockbusters of today. Westerns, Horror, world film, basically anything that peaks my interest I own it But Asian Films are what I Prize the most and Half of My collection Consists of Asian Films. Thanks to the Film 5 Deadly Venoms

I Hail From The US, Maryland Is where The Ninja Studies and views the Scrolls of Film That Shine on his 46" Screen. I own a sword, I can do a thousand upside down situps, and I randomly disappear in smoke when I'm not writing movie news and or reviews.

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