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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka 'Tky nagaremono" or "The Man from Tokyo" or "Tokyo Drifter")

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/suzuki.htm
Japan 1966

 

In this free-jazz gangster film, reformed killer “Phoenix” Tetsu drifts around Japan, awaiting his own execution until he’s called back to Tokyo to help battle a rival gang. Seijun Suzuki's “barrage of aestheticised violence, visual gags, [and] mind-warping color effects” got him in more trouble with Nikkatsu studio heads, who had ordered him to “play it straight this time.” Instead he gave them equal parts Russ Meyer, Samuel Fuller, and Nagisa Oshima.

 

  Posters

Theatrical Release: 1966 - Tokyo

Reviews         More Reviews        DVD Reviews

Comparison:

Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

1) Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC LEFT

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

Box Cover

   

Distribution Criterion Collection - Spine # 39 - Region 0 - NTSC

Criterion Collection Spine # 39

Region 'A'  - Blu-ray

Runtime 1:22:33 1:22:52.550
Video 2.06:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.81 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 34,158,032,586 bytes

Feature: 24,284,663,808 bytes

Video Bitrate: 39.07 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Bitrate: Blu-ray

Audio Japanese (Dolby Digital 1.0 mono)  LPCM Audio Japanese 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
Subtitles English, None English, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 2.06:1

Edition Details:

• Seijun Suzuki interview (20:08)

• 2 page liner notes by Manhola Dargis

DVD Release Date: February 23rd, 1999

Keep Case
Chapters: 29

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 34,158,032,586 bytes

Feature: 24,284,663,808 bytes

Video Bitrate: 39.07 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Edition Details:

• Video piece featuring new interviews with director Seijun Suzuki and assistant director Masami Kuzuu (12:12 in 1080i)
• Interview with Suzuki from 1997 (20:12 in 1080i)
• Trailer (2:48 in 1080i)
• PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film critic Howard Hampton

Blu-ray Release Date: December 13th, 2011
Transparent
Blu-ray Case
Chapters: 17

 

Comments:

NOTE: These Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

 

ADDITION: Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray (November 11'): The opening black-and-white sequences still has issues and I suspect that the source's density is compromised to the extent that not a lot could even be done digitally to improve the contrast. For all I know though this is a style issue.

 

NOTE: Peter from our ListServ tells us: "What you see is what was intended. The 35mm prints _deliberately_ have this opening section completely blown out and dupey looking, full of weird grain and hot spots."

 

Flaws of the 1999 SD transfer have been 'corrected' including the ratio distortion, extensively more vibrant colors (notable reds and blues), chroma is now non-existent etc. The Blu-ray may be a little cropped in comparison to the DVD but the aspect ratio clocks in at 2.35:1 (as opposed to the DVD at about 2:1). Like Branded to Kill - this is such a wide deviation from the original Criterion SD rendering that it probably seems better than it is. But while imperfect - still looks impressive.

 

Audio gets the linear PCM, lossless, treatment - remaining faithfully mono and there are optional English subtitles (new translation) on the region 'A'-locked Blu-ray disc. Hajime Kaburagi's funky music has some depth but and is also reproduced far better via the uncompressed track.

 

Supplements are a bit slim with a HD video piece featuring new (July 2011) interviews with director Seijun Suzuki and assistant director Masami Kuzuu who discuss the production of Tokyo Drifter for about a dozen minutes. There is also a 1997 interview with Suzuki running 30-minutes - recorded during a retrospective of his work by the Japanese Foundation and Los Angeles FilmForum at the Nuart Theater in L.A. Lastly we get a theatrical trailer (2:48 in 1080i) and a liner notes booklet featuring an essay by film critic Howard Hampton included in the package.

 

Tokyo Drifter is a perfect double-feature companion film to Branded to Kill with more heavy style, crime-drama and kitsch appeal. Suzuki fans are obsessive about these works and most will be thrilled to see it looking and sounding so improved. Absolutely recommended! 

 

***

ON THE DVD: This early non-anamorphic Criterion offering has some substantial flaws. The black and white sequences in the very beginning are atrocious. Even if the out-of-whack contrast were meant as a style offering, I am sure the chroma was never intentional by Seijun Suzuki. I also noticed some significant weaknesses - totally uncharacteristic of Criterion. The image also seems vertically stretched. Regardless of painful image quality, this is still a fun ride. I suggest that Criterion re-issue this and Branded to Kill at some point in the future, because when it is done properly it will look fantastic. Although, I'll wager Criterion would like to forget this particular release.   

Gary W. Tooze


Menus

1) Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC LEFT

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 


 

 

 


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Subtitle Sample

 

1) Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

Screen Captures

 

1) Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

NOTE: Chroma visible (on both coats) on DVD image.

 


1) Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

More Blu-ray Captures


Recommended Reading (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)

Check out more in "The Library"


 

Box Cover

   

Distribution Criterion Collection - Spine # 39 - Region 0 - NTSC

Criterion Collection Spine # 39

Region 'A'  - Blu-ray





 

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