The Official Sonny Chiba Thread!

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Ivan Drago
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Unread postby Ivan Drago » 12 Aug 2007, 16:01

Is the version of The Bodyguard the one with the added intro with the US karate fighters?
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saltysam
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Unread postby saltysam » 12 Aug 2007, 21:17

Ivan Drago wrote:Is the version of The Bodyguard the one with the added intro with the US karate fighters?
yes,Bill Louie & Aaron Banks.

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Unread postby Ivan Drago » 12 Aug 2007, 22:05

Cool, been waiting years to see The Bodyguard!
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Unread postby HungFist » 14 Aug 2007, 15:37

Holy shit, BCI's Dragon Princess is not only missing footage but also has an additional scene that doesn't belong to this movie. This is tasty. Wait I'll I get my comparison done.

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Um...

Unread postby Linn » 15 Aug 2007, 04:16

HungFist wrote:This is tasty.


How so?

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Re: Um...

Unread postby HungFist » 15 Aug 2007, 15:21

Linn wrote:
HungFist wrote:This is tasty.


How so?


see comparison: http://www.bulletsnbabesdvd.com/forums/ ... php?t=3839

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Unread postby Linn » 15 Aug 2007, 16:58

Cool, it's the actual original US version. And it does look a bit better than the Toei edition. Glad to see they squeezed the burning man in! :)

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HungFist
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Unread postby HungFist » 15 Aug 2007, 17:55

Linn wrote:And it does look a bit better than the Toei edition.


Someone who works for dvd companies ought not joke like that. Will scare the buyers away :wink:

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Unread postby Linn » 15 Aug 2007, 18:29

LOL, luckly I don't work for BCI. But I do prefer less "muddy" look of the BCI edition. It's just a shame it's not uncut and doesn't have original language options.

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Unread postby HungFist » 15 Aug 2007, 18:48

There was something weird going on at Toei last December as all of their Chiba releases came out soft. But I still think Toei's Dragon Princess transfer is far superior to BCI. And, unfortunately, Toei will probably remain winner in my books for a long time to come. HK Video has this on their release list but I hate their boosted transfers.

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Unread postby Linn » 15 Aug 2007, 19:44

HungFist wrote:But I still think Toei's Dragon Princess transfer is far superior to BCI.


How so? It doesn't look it from the screen caps you posted. Most of the shots of the BCI one has less of the brown tinge I see in the Toei screen shots you've posted.

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Unread postby HungFist » 15 Aug 2007, 21:15

Linn wrote:
HungFist wrote:But I still think Toei's Dragon Princess transfer is far superior to BCI.


How so? It doesn't look it from the screen caps you posted. Most of the shots of the BCI one has less of the brown tinge I see in the Toei screen shots you've posted.


answers here: http://www.bulletsnbabesdvd.com/forums/ ... php?t=3839

And don't miss this:
http://www.bulletsnbabesdvd.com/forums/ ... php?t=3840

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Unread postby HungFist » 16 Aug 2007, 20:05

Here’s my brief comments on BCI’s Karate Warriors dvd. Previously only available on abysmal full screen ”bootleg”, this marks the first time Karate Warriors has been officially made available on dvd. BCI’s new release is the same old english dub but at least the widescreen presentation does justice to the film’s great action scenes. Karate Warriors is probably best remembered for the superb slow-mo effect where Chiba does a roundhouse kick (or some other move) in slow motion and just when his foot about to hit the target the action speeds up a little bit and then quickly after goes to back to slow-motion mode. The same effect was later re-used in Norifumi Suzuki’s Shogun’s Ninja (co-starring Sonny Chiba).

The storyline is a sort of modern adaptation of Kurosawa’s Yojimbo, with Chiba playing a lonely karate warrior who arrives a small town ruled by two rivalry gangs. More conflicts are caused by a second lone wolf, a Kozure okami esque samurai warrior played by Isao Natsuyagi. The leaders of the gangs are played by Hideo Murota and Eiji Go. Karate Warriors (Kozure satsujin ken) is directed by Kazuhiko Yamaguchi (Sister Street Fighter, Wandering Ginza Butterfly) and is sometimes considered a part of The Street Fighter (Satsujin ken) series although the characters are different and there's no story connection.

The transfer is thankfully better than that of Dragon Princess. You can see it’s sourced from a poor print but it looks very much watchable. Print damage appears during cuts (first frames) throughout the movie, the image is sometimes greenish and colours look a bit pale. But on the positive side the colours rarely look too much off (although sometimes there’s a green shade on the image). The brightness level is pretty good, too. Underwhelming, but thoroughly watchable transfer and maybe more than you’d expect from a budget disc.

Audio is the english dub again. Thankfully this is one of Yamaguchi’s less serious action movies (watching Worthess to Confess dubbed would’ve been a nightmare). The sound is generally a bit shrill which is a shame but considering this only a disc for temporary it’s alright I think. I’m unaware whether this US cut is identical to the japanese version (except from the english language credits of course) but I didn’t notice any footage that didn’t seem to belong to this film. For extras / grindhouse stuff see my Dragon Princess comparison.

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Last edited by HungFist on 26 Jul 2009, 20:46, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread postby Shingster » 18 Aug 2007, 02:30

Recieved shipping notification from CDwow about my Shadow Warriors set today. Looks like my optimism paid off. 8)

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Unread postby HungFist » 28 Aug 2007, 17:08

Panorama's Triple Cross dvd really does look bad:
http://10kbullets.com/?p=993

While I don't agree with the film review I find it very surprising he doesn't mention the car chase sequences. Triple Cross is probably one of the three most remarkable car chase films of the 90's.

R2J caps here (not the same scenes, but doesn't matter)

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Unread postby Classique » 28 Aug 2007, 20:09

HungFist wrote:Panorama's Triple Cross dvd really does look bad:
http://10kbullets.com/?p=993

While I don't agree with the film review I find it very surprising he doesn't mention the car chase sequences. Triple Cross is probably one of the three most remarkable car chase films of the 90's.

R2J caps here (not the same scenes, but doesn't matter)


Now I really want to see this after that last thing about the car chases.

Someone gave me a burn of the HK dvd a long time ago and after about 5 minutes I just threw it in the trash so I never got to see it.

Gonna put the r2j in my wish list now.One of the few subbed Fukasaku movies I haven't seen.
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Unread postby HungFist » 06 Sep 2007, 20:57

The Bodyguard (1976)

The Bodyguard is best known for a scene that doesn’t even belong to the movie. Bodyguard Kiba was originally released in 1973 but before it hit the US grindhouses it had not only been blessed with a typically poor english dub but also some extra flesh. Starting with the famous opening monologue, ”...and I will execute great vengeance upon them with furious anger, who poison and destroy my brothers, and they shall know that I am Chiba the Bodyguard when I shall lay my vengeance upon them...”, and cutting to actual movie with the legendary ”By the way, where is Sonny Chiba?” line after some 5 minutes of hilariously bad added fighting footage with Aaron Banks and Bill Louie, The Bodyguard is a hard movie to review. Quite honestly I don’t know where the influence of The Bodyguard ends and where Bodyguard Kiba begins, who is to blame for the movie’s flaws, and which movie I’m supposed to review here.

The original film (directed by Tatsuichi Takamori) was based on manga by Ikki Kajiwara (which was later adapted by Takashi Miike in the 90’s Bodyguard Kiba films). The movie features a healthy dose of manga esque ultraviolence with decent technical execution. The cinematography and music are hardly exceptional but feature some nice spaghetti western imagery. The ending especially is impressive. The storyline on the other hand is a mess. There were even moments when I though I was watching an added scene till familiar actors appeared on screen and proved me wrong. Out of all Chiba’s starring role movies I’ve seen this is maybe his weakest, at least in this form. That is still not to say the movie is bad... a fan like me enjoyed it enough to grad it a 3/5 rating, although just barely.

Etsuko Shihomi fans should be noted that despite the BCI cover art promises she does not appear in the movie. So, why would BCI print her name in the back cover with bolded letters? One possible explanation is that they were relying on IMDB which wrongly claims that she is in the movie. There is one ass kicking karate lady in the movie though, but that is the beautiful Yayoi Watanabe, not Etsuko Shihomi. The rest of the cast features the ever excellent Eiji Go as one of the villains, Hideo Murota as the airplane hijacker, Mari Atsumi in the female lead and most notably Ryohei Uchida as the sneaky business man. Pinky violence fans will also recognize some familiar gaijins as the American G.I.’s. More notably Chiba’s real life master, Masutatsu Oyama, appears in a brief cameo during the opening credits.

The technical quality of the BCI Grindhouse dvd is quite decent aside the language issues. The movie looks pale but not too bad. Interlaced again but considering the budget price the transfer is notably better than you’d expect. The english audio doesn’t feature any major problems. The trailers shown between the movies (Sister Street Fighter being the second half of this double feature) are for Ninja Wars, Burnout, Kill Point and Kidnapping of the President.

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Hideo Murota
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Eiji Go
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Ryuhei Uchida
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Mari Atsumi
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Yayoi Watanabe
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Last edited by HungFist on 06 Sep 2007, 21:18, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread postby HungFist » 27 Oct 2007, 12:31

Trailer time

Resurrection of the Golden Wolf. One of the best crime films ever made, anywhere.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=75mO5ysfwAc

Shogun's Shadow. If you haven't bought this already, you will after this fantastic trailer. The film is equally good.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3CVUWarqLRM

Legend of the Eight Samurai. One of Fukasaku's most entertaining films. Starring Hiroko Yakushimaru, Hiroyuki Sanada, Shinichi Chiba, Etsuko Shihomi... Theme song by John O'Banion.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2FmSkwwiio

Ninja Wars. Starring another sweet 80's Kadokawa idol, Noriko Watanabe, as a young ninja girl. Sanada plays the male lead, Chiba supports.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2_9gqfVouwE

G.I. Samurai. Modern army meets the samurai, with some of the most intense war sequeces I have ever seen. Cameos by Yakushimaru and Sanada.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pH-MNHM9U64

The Executioner. Possibly Chiba's most brutal film. Courtesy of madman Teruo Ishii. Stars, Chiba Kurata, Murota, Sanada, Go, Sato...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vDYW5DRZqdI

The Bodyguard. Tariler one with the Ezekiel speech. Trailer two (amazing) with the "Viva Chiba! Viva Chiba!! Viva Chiba!!! Viva Chiba!!!! Viva Chiba!!!!!" - part
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KOEukHWm7rg
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZcZT86YXQEM

Finally, BCI is releasing a new Chiba box set, including
"Bullet Train", "Golgo 13", "Dragon Princess", "The Bodyguard", "Karate Warriors", and "Sister Street Fighter". Bullet Train will be uncut and original language this time.

If you didn't buy BCI's Grindhouse discs yet and don't own uncut Bullet Train, then this could be a good purchase. The price is only $15 at pacific, so it's just about right considering what you'll get. Lets see the options for each film (assuming the new BCI discs will be the same as their/Ronin Entertainment's old releases:

Golgo 13: Optimum has superior transfer, but the Ronin is okay too and orig language.

Dragon Princess: Toei has superior, although very soft transfer. BCI is the US cut, and dubbed in english.

The Bodyguard: BCI is the only release available. US cut.

Karate Warriors: BCI is eng dub (US/JP cut???) but the only release available.

Bullet Train: Optimum (conversion), IVL (Toei port, but subs translated from chinese), old Ronin (US cut, eng dub). This new BCI release is uncut and orig language, could be a winner depending on the transfer.

Sister Street Fighter: Toei beats everything, but BCI is alright transfer wise, too. They've released both eng dubbed and orig language versions (with different transfers) on dvd, I don't know which one they'll use this time. Both versions are uncut.

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Unread postby HungFist » 29 Oct 2007, 15:19

Back to off-topic, with a new Etsuko review. Chiba does not appear in the movie.

The Great Chase (Karei naru tsuiseki) (1975)

The Great Chase has a real promising premise, but the film is unfortunately one of the lesser efforts on director Norifumi Suzuki’s career. More than a Suzuki film The Great Chase an actor, or actress, vehicle. Etsuko Shihomi has certainly done better movies on her career, but her cuteness is used more efficiently here than usual. The spy movie-esque storyline of a race driver turned govenment agent allowes her to jump from one silly disguise to another, making sure she won’t spend more than 5 minutes in one set of clothes. And yes, the school girl outfit is included.

The rest of the cast plays much for the same purpose. Suzuki has gathered up an impressive collection of Toei action film regulars, including Eiji Go, Bin Amatsu, Fumio Watanabe, Masashi Ishibashi and many others, all of them criminally underused. They do have their moments, but none of them really get to shine, parly because of the limited screentime given to each player.

Considering the film’s easy going nature the gruesome violence comes as a surprise. Dagger to the eye shots are basic stuff in Shihomi movies but in The Great Chase such graphic images feel almost out of place. Action wise the movie is a few kicks behind what we’ve come to expect from Shihomi. Most of the fighting is a bit stiff, with the exception of the ending. The last 20 minutes offer an exhilarating action finale, packed with stunts, music and karate.

The Great Chase is not a bad movie by any means, but it doesn’t reach the level of excellence you’d exepect from this director / cast combination. Suzuki’s direction is notably less inventive than what he’s capable of. For fans of Shihomi the movie however offers 80 minutes of solid, even if not very ambitious entertainment. She even gets to speak two words of bad but kinda cute english.

Toei’s recent release is the only dvd available for the film. The transfer is clearly on the soft side, although otherwise natural and free of any edge enhancement. Extras consist of original trailer (which begins with Sister Street Fighter footage) and picture gallery. The cover art is quite fantastic but unfortunately the reverse side is left empty. Toei used fill them with great production stills but it seems they’ve given up on the practice.

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Unread postby HungFist » 09 Nov 2007, 21:43

Shinichi and Etsuko turn blue

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Both coming 1/8/2008
- http://www.roninentertainment.com

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Unread postby saltysam » 10 Nov 2007, 15:12

the sister streetfighter one is daft.why not release a blu-ray of the box set?
working class blu-ray fan

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Unread postby Linn » 14 Nov 2007, 05:33

Most likely, that will come with Dragon Princess.

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Unread postby EvaUnit02 » 10 Dec 2007, 14:41

What're the best releases of the Street Fighter trilogy with English subs? Thanks.

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HungFist
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Unread postby HungFist » 10 Dec 2007, 14:56

I believe Optimum are the only releases with english subs. And they beat the HK Video discs anyway.

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Unread postby EvaUnit02 » 10 Dec 2007, 14:58

Madman put a DVD of Last Revenge, any idea of the quality?

EDIT: I should've guessed, uses Optimum's masters. Probably better encoded too.
http://www.michaeldvd.com.au/Reviews/Re ... sp?ID=7031


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