The Official Sonny Chiba Thread!

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Re: The Official Sonny Chiba Thread!

Unread postby HungFist » 14 Sep 2016, 05:56

Marc Walcow is in Japan interviewing Sonny Chiba for upcoming BD release(s?)

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- https://twitter.com/outcastmarc/status/ ... 5665736704

He also posted earlier

"Off to Tokyo for a week to interview six people about 11 Japanese films, dating from 1964-1978, all for Blu-ray release in 2017. Maybe more."
- https://twitter.com/outcastmarc/status/ ... 1384844288

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Re: The Official Sonny Chiba Thread!

Unread postby Guro Taku » 15 Sep 2016, 20:03

If those are Arrow BDs we're talking about here, I'm more afraid than excited.

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Re: The Official Sonny Chiba Thread!

Unread postby HungFist » 10 Jan 2017, 07:51

Toei will release the Sonny Chiba TV show The Bodyguard (1974) on DVD May 10, 2017.

6 Disc set, with all 26 episodes.

I've been recording this show from Toei Channel (currently broadcasting) but haven' t watched it yet other than having taken a brief look. Looks cool. Etsuko Shihomi and Jiro Chiba co-star. Reiko Ike and Masashi Ishibashi are in at least one episode.

A couple of brief TV screencaps
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Chiba
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Jiro Chiba
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Etsuko Shihomi
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Reiko Ike
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Also, I bought a new poster: A Narcotics Agent's Ballad (1972)
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One of my favourite Chiba movies.

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Re: The Official Sonny Chiba Thread!

Unread postby HungFist » 13 Jan 2017, 16:14

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Synopsis:

Shinichi "Sonny" Chiba is a martial arts "manimal" in the ultra-70's, 100% bizarre mixture of horror, action and sci-fi that is Wolf Guy, one of the rarest and most sought-after cult films produced by Japan's Toei Studio. Based on a manga by Kazumasa Hirai (creator of 8 Man), and never before released outside of Japan, it's a genre film classic waiting to be discovered and a completely unclassifiable trip into phantasmagoric funk.

Chiba stars as Akira Inugami, the only survivor of a clan of ancient werewolves who relies on his supernatural powers to solve mysterious crimes. After a series of bloody killings perpetrated by an unseen force, Inugami uncovers a conspiracy involving a murdered cabaret singer, corrupt politicians, and a plot by the J-CIA to harvest his blood in order to steal his lycanthropic powers! At the same time, Inugami also discovers the truth behind his family heritage, and that he may not be the last of his kind.

Directed by B-movie genius Kazuhiko Yamaguchi (Sister Streetfighter, Wandering Ginza Butterfly, Karate Bear Fighter), Wolf Guy truly is one-of-a-kind, with Chiba in full effect as the part-man, part-wolf, all-karate action hero and a collection of familiar 1970's Toei actors in support. Violence, action, nudity, real surgical footage, and a psychedelic musical score all work together to create an unforgettable trip to the heights of Japanese cinematic weirdness.

SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS:
• High Definition digital transfer
• High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations
• Original uncompressed mono audio
• New optional English subtitle translation
• New video interview with actor Shinichi "Sonny" Chiba
• New video interview with director Kazuhiko Yamaguchi
• New video interview with producer Tatsu Yoshida
• Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Wes Benscoter

FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Patrick Macias and a history of Japanese monster movie mashups by Jasper Sharp.


Release Date: 24th April 2017

http://www.arrowfilms.co.uk/shop/index. ... uct_id=932

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Re: The Official Sonny Chiba Thread!

Unread postby HungFist » 14 Jan 2017, 07:13

Just ordered two copies of Wolfguy. Gotta support this release! I can give the second copy as bithday present to a Japanese friend.

As anyone who's been reading the Chiba thread knows, this is my favourite Chiba film out the 130 I have seen so far (of course The Street Fighter is almost as good).

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Re: The Official Sonny Chiba Thread!

Unread postby Guro Taku » 14 Jan 2017, 10:09

I preordered it as well, telling myself that even if they screw up the transfer again, it'll still be worth the purchase for the interviews.

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Re: The Official Sonny Chiba Thread!

Unread postby HungFist » 14 Jan 2017, 12:24

Guro Taku wrote:I preordered it as well, telling myself that even if they screw up the transfer again, it'll still be worth the purchase for the interviews.


My thoughts exactly. I'm relatively confident they won't screw it up since a) this one already has a decent HD scan available, and b) I'm pretty sure they learned something from last time.

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Re: The Official Sonny Chiba Thread!

Unread postby saltysam » 14 Jan 2017, 14:45

Looks bonkers,i'll pick this up. Any other english-friendly Chiba blu's about?
working class blu-ray fan

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Re: The Official Sonny Chiba Thread!

Unread postby HungFist » 14 Jan 2017, 16:44

saltysam wrote:Looks bonkers,i'll pick this up. Any other english-friendly Chiba blu's about?


Arrow might release something more since they licensed "about a dozen Toei titles" but no announcements yet. Someone said they're going to release a film series by Kazuhiko Yamaguchi, so that should be either Sister Street Fighter, Delinquent Girl Boss, or the Oyama films.

Walcow also interviewed Sadao Nakajima, so perhaps Okinawa Yakuza War?

Bullet Train recently came out in the US.

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Re: The Official Sonny Chiba Thread!

Unread postby HungFist » 15 Jan 2017, 12:11

Marc Walcow (the producer of the Wolfguy BD) summarized the film perfectly.

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- https://twitter.com/Patrick_Macias/stat ... 7340416000

That's actually exactly what happened in one of the 35mm screenings I attended a few years ago. A Japanese gent was sitting quietly till the end, but as soon as the ending kanji hit the screen he burst into uncontrolled laughter which echoed in the lobby and stairway for a good while as he left. I didn't go see, but I always imagined there was an ambulance waiting for him at the door that took him to a mental hospital. The film's greatness must have been too much for the poor fella.

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Re: The Official Sonny Chiba Thread!

Unread postby HungFist » 11 Mar 2017, 06:44


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Re: The Official Sonny Chiba Thread!

Unread postby HungFist » 18 Mar 2017, 03:31

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Never before released on video outside of Japan, Doberman Cop is a unique entry in the career of director Kinji Fukasaku.

Pre-order your copy in the UK: http://bit.ly/2nNbK9r
North American pre-orders links should be live soon!
Release Dates: 26/27 June

Released just as the popularity of yakuza movies was waning in Japan, and as the country's film industry was undergoing some fundamental shifts, Doberman Cop is a unique entry in the career of director Kinji Fukasaku (Battles Without Honor and Humanity, Cops vs Thugs), and reunited him with star Shinichi "Sonny" Chiba (The Street Fighter, Wolf Guy) in an American-style crime movie that mixes gunplay and pulp fiction with martial arts and lowbrow comedy to create one of their most entertaining films.

Based on a popular manga by "Buronson" (creator of Fist of the North Star), Doberman Cop follows the fish-out-of-water adventures of Joji Kano (Chiba), a tough-as-nails police officer from Okinawa who arrives in Tokyo's Kabuki-cho nightlife district to investigate the savage murder and mutilation of an island girl who had been working as a prostitute. Initially dismissed as a country bumpkin (complete with straw hat and live pig in tow!), Kano soon proves himself a more savvy detective than the local cops, and a tougher customer than anyone expected. As he probes deeper into the sleazy world of flesh-peddling, talent agency corruption and mob influence, Kano uncovers the shocking truth about the girl, her connection to a yakuza-turned-music manager (Hiroki Matsukata), and a savage serial killer who is burning women alive.

Made to appeal both to the youth market with its biker gangs and popular music, as well as to old-time yakuza movie fans, Doberman Cop is an surprising oddity in Fukasaku's career, his sole film adapted directly from a manga and never before released on video outside of Japan. Featuring Chiba at his charismatic best — channeling a Japanese Dirty Harry while doing all his own stunts — and Fukasaku at his most fun, deftly showcasing the combined talents of his "Piranha Army" stock company of actors and other regular players — Doberman Cop is a classic action comedy and a missing link in 1970's Japanese cinema deserving of rediscovery.

•High Definition digital transfer
•High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations
•Original uncompressed mono audio
•Optional English subtitles
•Beyond the Film: Doberman Cop, a new video appreciation by Fukasaku biographer Sadao Yamane
•New video interview with actor Shinichi "Sonny" Chiba
•New video interview with screenwriter Koji Takada
•Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Chris Malbon

FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector’s book featuring new writing on the films by Patrick Macias

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Re: The Official Sonny Chiba Thread!

Unread postby Guro Taku » 18 Mar 2017, 12:41

I haven't watched that film since the Toei DVD came out ages ago. A definite upgrade for me if they don't screw up the transfer.

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Re: The Official Sonny Chiba Thread!

Unread postby Guro Taku » 02 May 2017, 20:00

HungFist wrote:Release Date: 24th April 2017

http://www.arrowfilms.co.uk/shop/index. ... uct_id=932


I was wondering where my copy of WOLF GUY was at and upon checking the Arrow website saw they pushed it back to May 22nd.

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Re: The Official Sonny Chiba Thread!

Unread postby HungFist » 28 May 2017, 07:02

I received my Wolfguy BD earlier this week. I haven't had time to re-watch the film (I've seen it 5 times!) but I went through the extras.

The interviews are pretty good, especially the one with very outspoken producer Tatsu Yoshida. I was also amused by the fact that Kazuhiko Yamaguchi didn't even remember Yayoi Watanabe was in the film, and figured they must have hired her because she had big breasts. Chiba for some reason doesn't say anything about Wolfguy and just explains about his acting philosophy. Good stuff, although I wish the interviews were longer (they are just 10-14 min each) and sometimes I wished Arrow had asked tougher questions (something like "how do you think women / actresses were treated in 70s films / on the set?" or "Chiba-san, what did you wife think about you sticking your head between Yayoi Watababe's breasts?"

The booklet is ok. Macias didn't really mention anything that I didn't already know, but maybe that's just because I know too much (hah). The monster movie essay by Sharp doesn't relate so much to Wolfguy.

I was more pleased by the inclusion of the original trailer, which wasn't listed in the early specs.

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Re: The Official Sonny Chiba Thread!

Unread postby HungFist » 06 Jul 2017, 18:57

I received my Doberman Cop BD yesterday and watched the extras. Much like on the Wolfguy BD, the Chiba interview is actually less interesting than the other extras. The (screenwriter) Koji Takada interview is quite excellent with some funny and very honest comments about filmmaking back in the 60s and 70s. The introduction to the film by Sadao Yamane is also excellent, with him explaining how the film industry and distribution system in Japan was changing around the time Doberman Cop was released.

I took a quick glance at the film transfer as well and spotted no evident problems.

The new cover art, for once, is pretty good, better than the original poster actually.

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Re: The Official Sonny Chiba Thread!

Unread postby HungFist » 04 Aug 2017, 14:01

Toei just announced The Gorilla Seven (1975) DVD Box Set for December 6, 2017. 6 disc set, with all 26 episodes.
- https://www.amazon.co.jp/dp/B074H2WXR6

I wasn't expecting this because Toei just finished broadcasting the series on Toei Channel and it was the old, poor quality TV masters. The DVD set, however, says "digitally remastered version".

I'll be writing more about the series soon. I just finished watching episode 24. Basically, it's a sort of follow up to superior The Bodyguard, with almost the same cast. Stars Sonny Chiba, Etsuko Shihomi, Jiro Chiba, Yuuki Meguro, Isao Natsuyagi, and Akira Nishikino. Teruo Ishii directed a couple of episodes.

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Re: The Official Sonny Chiba Thread!

Unread postby HungFist » 05 Sep 2017, 17:19

Toei will release Shadow Warriors IV and V on DVD. No subs of course. New HD masters.

Shadow Warriors IV: Part 1 (2017/12/06)
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Shadow Warriors IV: Part 2 (2018/02/07)
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Shadow Warriors V (2018/4/11)
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Extras are 12 page booklets for each. In addition, Shadow Warriors IV episodes 1 and 27 will be the original 90 minute versions, not the 45 minute versions seen on TV "during re-broadcastings". Toei says they have recently discovered the original 16mm negatives. I can't check my recordings from Toei Channel from last year right now, but I think those were the 45 min versions as well.
- https://www.toei-video.co.jp/special/kage-no-gundan/


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