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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka 'Bakuto gaijin butai' or 'Gambler: Foreign Opposition' or 'Gamblers in Okinawa' or 'Sympathy for the Underdog')

directed by Kinji Fukasaku
Japan 1971

 

From Kinji Fukasaku (Battles Without Honor & Humanity) comes this pivotal early crime drama in the celebrated career of the director who changed the face of Japanese action cinema. Stylish and hard-boiled, Sympathy for the Underdog stars Koji Tsuruta, one of Japan’s seminal figures in the Yakuza genre, as Gunji, an aging Yakuza who is released from prison after ten years. Gunji lives by a code of honor that has no place among Tokyo’s modern corporate gangs. He gets a new lease on life by reforming his former gang and taking over the whiskey trade on the island of Okinawa. But he is forced to make a final, fateful, bloody stand against the mainland gang that sent him to prison.

 

   Theatrical Release: July 6th, 1971

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DVD Review: Home Vision - Region 1 - NTSC

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Distribution Home Vision Entertainment - Region 1 - NTSC
Runtime 1:32:44 
Video 2.35:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.33 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

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

Bitrate:

Audio Japanese (Dolby Digital 1.0) 
Subtitles English, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Home Vision Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 2.35:1

Edition Details:

• Interview with Fukasaku biographer, Yamane Sadao (15:48)
• 4-page liner notes with essay by Patrick Macias

• Trailer
• Kinji Fukasaku filmography

DVD Release Date: September 7th, 2004

Keep Case
Chapters: 17

 

Comments:

Each of these Home Vision Fukasaku DVDs seem to have their own personality. Sympathy for the Underdog is not progressive and has some minor combing in spots - it can also tend to look a little over contrasted giving that usual heavy appearance that the others do. This image is probably on a par with Graveyard of Honor - trading off the tightness of the frame in Sympathy for the progressiveness of Graveyard. Street Mobster may be the best technically I have seen so far but differences for most viewers will be negligible. I actually think Sympathy may be my favorite of the films so far - but they all have strong genre appeal. As usually for HVE the subtitles and original audio are excellent. The included interview is almost 16:00 long and appears to be an extension of the other interview extras offered in the other DVDs - still a great package from Home Vision.   out of      

Gary W. Tooze

 





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Subtitle Sample

 

 


 

Screen Captures

 

Notice combing in hand movement...

 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


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Distribution Home Vision Entertainment - Region 1 - NTSC

 





 

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