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Sonny Chiba Mega Review Thread

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    Spaghetti Monkey
    Senior Member

  • Spaghetti Monkey
    replied
    Amazon has this set up for pre-order. Only $50, I'm in.

    Leave a comment:

  • BW Haggar
    Senior Member

  • BW Haggar
    replied
    To quote Sam Cooke... ain't that good news, man, ain't that news.

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  • Ian Jane
    Administrator

  • Ian Jane
    replied
    I'm all over this!

    Coming to Blu-ray 11/15 from Shout Select - Sonny Chiba Collection

    YAKUZA WOLF: I PERFORM MURDER (2.35:1, DTS-HD Master Audio Mono, 87 min.)

    In this riveting Western, a vengeful man is after the Japanese yakuza for killing his boss and selling his sister into slavery. This exciting thrill-ride is "one of Chiba's most enjoyable films" (Chris D., Guns And Swords).

    YAKUZA WOLF 2: EXTEND MY CONDOLENCES (2.35:1, DTS-HD Master Audio Mono, 85 min.)

    In this fantastic sequel, Chiba is sent to prison after being betrayed by a yakuza underboss. Once out, he looks to get his revenge in this exciting film directed by Buichi Saito (Lone Wolf And Cub: Baby Cart In Peril).

    DISC TWO:

    BODYGUARD KIBA (2.35:1, DTS-HD Master Audio Mono, 87 min.)

    Based on the anime by Ikki Kajiwara, Bodyguard Kiba follows a martial arts fighter (Sonny Chiba) who takes on the yakuza. This film was released in the US theatrically as The Bodyguard with the slogan "Viva Chiba!"

    BODYGUARD KIBA 2 (2.35:1, DTS-HD Master Audio Mono, 88 min.)

    This terrific sequel opens with our hero in prison. Upon his release, he takes a bodyguard position at a nightclub ... and his new employer ends up being the one who had him imprisoned!

    DISC THREE:

    SHOGUN'S SHADOW

    (1.85:1, DTS-HD Master Audio Stereo, 112 min.)

    A young man on a journey to Edo to mark his passage to manhood is accompanied by seven master samurai charged with getting him there safely ... against the wishes of a powerful shogunate.

    SAMURAI REINCARNATION (1.85:1, DTS-HD Master Audio Mono, 122 min.)

    When a resurrected demon assembles a team of undead samurai warriors to overthrow the Tokugawa shogunate, only one person can defeat them: Jubei Yagyu (Sonny Chiba).

    DISC FOUR:

    SWORDS OF VENGEANCE (2.35:1, DTS-HD Master Audio Mono, 160 min.)

    Director Kinji Fukasaku (Battle Royale, The Yakuza Papers) teams up with Sonny Chiba to present a daring and violent version of Japan's most epic myth, "The 47 Loyal Retainers."

    https://shoutfactory.com/product/the...roduct_id=7930

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  • Derrick King
    Waterfall Puncher

  • Derrick King
    replied
    Shout Factory's November releases have leaked and one of them is a Sonny Chiba box set containing: Yakuza Wolf, Yakuza Wolf 2, Bodyguard Kiba, Bodyguard Kiba 2, The Fall of Ako Castle, Samurai Reincarnation, and Shogun's Shadow.

    I just saw that Takuma was the one to ID the titles based on the cover. Of course. hahaha.
    Derrick King
    Waterfall Puncher
    Last edited by Derrick King; 08-28-2022, 11:55 AM.

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  • Ian Jane
    Administrator

  • Ian Jane
    replied
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  • Takuma
    Senior Member

  • Takuma
    replied


    Love School (Japan, 1962) – 3.5/5
    A charming love comedy with young Sonny Chiba in a solid supporting role. Best friends Yoshiko Sakuma and Mayumi Ozora go boy hunting (looking for dates) with the former at one point finding herself harassed by an old geezer. To rescue comes young man Chiba, driving a vintage vehicle that looks like a slightly upgraded version of T-Ford. It's crush at first sight for Chiba, but Sakuma is torn between a wealthier businessman advocated by her conservative mom, and penniless Chiba who gets blessing from the liberal grandmother (Tokyo Story’s Chieko Higashiyama as a totally awesome character frequently taking a piss out of her nervous daughter). This is quite a progressive youth film for Toei, all the way from trendy English title (though spelled Renai gakko in kanji, the intended furigana reading is Love School) to a charmingly modern heroine and an underlying message 'follow your heart, not your family'. For Chiba fans these romantic films predating his tough mofo reputation by a decade are a most pleasant discovery. He’s a little inexperienced and less convincing than his co-stars, but he's such pretty boy serial-smiler Duracell bunny that he instantly wins over the audience's sympathies. It's no small part either, with lots of screentime and good scenes (as ‘cute love interest’). Best of all, it comes in a thoroughly enjoyable, fun and stylishly shot city romance film.

    * Original title: Love School / Rabu sukuuru (furigana title), 恋愛学校 (kanji title)
    * Director: Setsuya kondo
    * Chiba's role: Major supporting role
    * Film availability: None (review format: 35mm)







    Takuma
    Senior Member
    Last edited by Takuma; 06-23-2022, 08:39 AM.

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  • Takuma
    Senior Member

  • Takuma
    replied
    Originally posted by Takuma View Post
    More importantly, however, they will also be releasing the incredible The Yagyu Clan Conspiracy (柳生一族の陰謀) (1978-1979) TV series on DVD in March (Vol. 1, with EP 1-19) and April (Vol. 2, with EP 20-39) 2022. This series is sometimes / often considered the greatest work of Chiba's entire career.
    A spectacularly amateurish artwork for Vol. 1.


    - https://www.amazon.co.jp/dp/B09FJPH1D5/

    And yes, I believe it really will be that low resolution. I saw The Gorilla 7 DVD set in a shop and the cover looked like crap. The explanation here is that while "Toei releases" (sales agency), these come via a company called Best Field (publisher). They've been putting out a lot of Toei stuff in the recent years. The only releases that I own are The Bodyguard DVD set and New Seven Color Mask DVD set. They also had some cover art issues (though not that bad) but the content on the discs was fine.
    - https://www.bestfield.com/product-list?c=toei&q=

    There is another topic of concern besides the artwork. The Yagyu Clan Conspiracy is currently airing on Jidai Geki Channel on TV and while the HD image looks nice, the audio track has a lot of hiss on it (a lot more than the old SD broadcastings on Toei Channel had). Also, the opening credits sequence has been shortened. The original airings apparently had sponsor info played at the end of the opening credits, while the later Toei Channel SD airing deleted the sponsor info but left the footage otherwise intact, resulting in a super-epic musical interlude. The Jidai Geki Channel HD version cuts that part out entirely.

    Will either of those be fixed for this DVD release remains to be seen. Also what about Toei Channel? Surely they will air the show in HD at some point as well. They already showed the two follow-up shows Yagyu abaretabi (1980-1981) and Yagyu Jubei abaretabi (1982-1983) in HD this and last year, but bizarrely skipped the first show. Perhaps they sold the HD premiere rights to Jidai Geki Channel?

    Speaking of Yagyu abaretabi, Best Field also announced they will be releasing that on DVD on May 11, 2022. It will be a 6 disc set will all 26 episodes.
    - https://www.amazon.co.jp/dp/B09RK3VYCP/

    Leave a comment:

  • AngelGuts
    Senior Member

  • AngelGuts
    replied
    Sounds pretty horrific. :-)

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  • Takuma
    Senior Member

  • Takuma
    replied
    OL sennyu! Nippon fuzoku meisho (Japan, 1989) - 2/5
    Sonny Chiba and Jun Miho are tabloid reporters uncovering a murder case in a mostly miserable, but strangely watchable TV film. The opening sees Chiba taking newcomer Miho to a love hotel for educational reasons (but of course), just in time to see a murderer flee and leave a dead prostitute behind. The key to solving the case is fellow paid woman Momoko, who had introduced the dead girl to her customer, but isn't willing to speak for she's got her own tale of love, deception and corrupt corporate politics to keep out of daylight. In true travel show fashion, the mystery takes them through Japan's sightseeing spots (and red light districts) in Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyushu. The 91 min movie aired on June 17, 1989 in TV Asahi's famed "Saturday Wide Theater" slot that ran from 1977 to 2017. Poorly acted (by Miho in particular), shot on video and composed by someone who wouldn't qualify for elevator music, there isn't much to recommend here aside the somewhat functional storyline, Chiba's amusing interactions with his wife, and the relevance to the era (made just before the bubble burst, and when love hotels were becoming a mainstream phenomena). Cinematically it suffices as evidence of the change of times: former top action star paired with the cutest girl of the just-buried Roman Porno, and all they do is talk (the brief JAC action bit at the end doesn't involve Chiba). There's not even nudity (which once used to be commonplace in Japanese TV) despite the topic matter.

    * Original title: OL sennyu! Nippon fuzoku meisho (OL潜入!ニッポン風俗名所)
    * Director: Yuichi Harada
    * Chiba's role: Starring role
    * Film availability: None (review format: TV)

    Saturday Wide Theater




    Chiba and Miho








    Miho undercover




    JAC action
    Takuma
    Senior Member
    Last edited by Takuma; 01-06-2022, 09:12 AM.

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  • Jason C
    Senior Member

  • Jason C
    replied
    I was revisiting some of Takuma's Chiba reviews and it compelled me to finally catch up with Bodyguard Kiba 2. My opinion isn't too different from Takuma's but I wasn't quite as let down by its lesser qualities. That might be because I haven't been watching as many Chiba films over the couple of years as I should, and I'm in a more forgiving place right now. The beginning of the film kinda floored me. It was so cool and interesting. While the film does slow down and gets less interesting as it goes on, I didn't get bored and there was plenty of cool moments. I especially enjoyed Chiba stopping a throwing knife with the bottom of his shoe. I was also digging a lot of the cinematography. There are so many really cool shots and use of shadows. I picked up on a lot of Spaghetti Western style shots that made me happy as well. I do wish there had been more Shihomi and while Eiji Go looked amazing the entire film, the fight with him at the end didn't live up to the buildup. Still Bodyguard Kiba 2 might be one of my favorite Chiba flicks as I dig his character in this film more then some of his other more popular films, like The Street Fighter.

    Leave a comment:

  • Takuma
    Senior Member

  • Takuma
    replied
    Toei just announced they will be releasing The Street Fighter's Last Revenge (逆襲!殺人拳) (1974) and Karate Warrios (子連れ殺人拳) (1976) on DVD in Japan in December 2021. More importantly, however, they will also be releasing the incredible The Yagyu Clan Conspiracy (柳生一族の陰謀) (1978-1979) TV series on DVD in March (Vol. 1, with EP 1-19) and April (Vol. 2, with EP 20-39) 2022. This series is sometimes / often considered the greatest work of Chiba's entire career.

    - https://www.toei-video.co.jp/special/chibashinichi/

    * if you're wondering why The Street Fighter's Last Revenge and Karate Warriors are coming as a pair, it's because A) those are two films Toei had not yet released on DVD in Japan and B) in Japan Karate Warriors is (often, as in here) considered the 4th film in the Street Fighter series.



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  • Takuma
    Senior Member

  • Takuma
    replied
    Originally posted by Ian Jane View Post
    [ATTACH=CONFIG]26862[/ATTACH]
    Got this on my wall, btw!

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  • Ian Jane
    Administrator

  • Ian Jane
    replied
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  • Ian Jane
    Administrator

  • Ian Jane
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  • Zaibatan
    Senior Member

  • Zaibatan
    replied
    Nice upgrade! Hopefully Toei will release it on a triple-feature DVD5 with the other two films in the series soon.

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