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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Samurai III: Duel on Ganryu Island" or Miyamoto Musashi kanketsuhen: kettô Ganryûjima" or "Musashi and Kojiro" or "Samurai 3: Ketto Ganryujima" or "Bushido" )

directed by Hiroshi Inagaki
Japan 1956

A disillusioned Musashi Miyamoto (Toshiro Mifune) has turned his back on the samurai life, becoming a farmer in a remote village, while his nemesis Kojiro (Koji Tsuruta) now works for the shogun. Circumstances bring them back together for one final face-off. Though it’s marked by a memorably intense final battle sequence, the rousing conclusion to the Samurai Trilogy is engaged with matters of the heart as well, as Miyamoto must ask himself what it is that makes a warrior and a man.

***

This, the third and final film of the trilogy, is the best of the series – even if watched by it self. The strength of the story is of course based on, that now all lose ends are tied up and everything reaches an either solution or conclusion.

It is also the saddest part. In the two prior, we always had some sort of hope. With the conclusion of the story, we can only contemplate their fates.

The story circulates around and up to the final duel between Musashi and Kojiro, with the now central subplot where Otsu and Musashi are struggling to come to terms with their love.

The film is more intimate than the previous two. Where reflection always has been a major theme, it mostly had to do with the past, now it is more about the future, especially for Otsu and Kojiro, and if there is a nuance between reflection and contemplation, then its what we experience here. We spend more time which each character in an almost “time out” situation, which is supported by moving closer thru close-up.

While there are a great deal more close up compositions now, it frame almost erupts in the final duel. Nothing is spared, even the historical revision of Musashi gets a notch up. It is here everything is concluded, it is here is emerges as the supreme legend. Where Kojiro stands firmly on land, Musashi walks the waves, literary is a ronin (wave man). And while Musashi fought with the sun in his back to blind his opponent, here its depicted as him almost evoking the sun god to aid him. And again, we get these wonderful transition shots between long shots and extreme close ups.

The Musashi legend has been told many times on film, and recently in a rather interesting version on Japanese TV with Kitano as Musashi’s father, but this three parter from Toho still is the best version of the story.

 

Henrik Sylow

Theatrical Release: January 1, 1956

Reviews            More Reviews         DVD Reviews

 Comparison:

Criterion Collection - Region 0 - NTSC vs. ArtsMagic - Region 2 - PAL vs. Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Henrik Sylow for all the DVD Screen Caps!

 

1) Crash Cinema - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT

2) ArtsMagic - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

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

 

 Box Covers

 

 

 

 

You may also buy the Three Samurai films (Samurai I: Musashi Miyamoto, Samurai II: Duel at Ichijoji Temple, Samurai III: Duel at Ganryu Island) in a Criterion Boxset - saving over purchasing individually.

               

Distribution

Criterion Collection Spine #16

Region 0 - NTSC

ArtsMagic
Region 2 - PAL
Criterion Collection - Spine #16 - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:45:02 1:44:21 1:44:48.699
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.45 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.57 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 22,935,251,947 bytes

Feature: 21,690,365,952 bytes

Video Bitrate: 23.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

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

Bitrate:

Criterion Collection

 

Bitrate:

 

ArtsMagic

 

Bitrate:

Blu-ray

 

Audio 1.0 Dolby Digital Japanese Monaural

2.0 MPEG Japanese Monaural

LPCM Audio Japanese 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
Subtitles English, None English (burned) English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Criterion Collection

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• 4 page insert
• Original Japanese Trailer (3:21)

DVD Release Date: July 21, 1998 (Reissue: May 18, 2004)
Amarey

Chapters 38
 

Release Information:
Studio: ArtsMagic

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Trailers:
• Samurai 1 (2:25)
• Samurai 2 (1:47)
• Samurai 3 (1:34)
• Red Lion (2:00)
• Ambush at Blood Pass (1:46)
• Zatoichi the Outlaw (1:31)
• Biographies for Hiroshi and Mifune
• Cast gallery
• Artwork for Babycart Assasin, Zatoichi and Lady Snowblood
• Notes of Musashi's 'Book of 5 rings': The Wind Book and The Void Book

 

DVD Release Date: November 19, 2001
Keep Case

Chapters 11

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion Collection

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• New interviews with translator and historian William Scott Wilson about the real-life Musashi Miyamoto, the inspiration for the hero of the films

• On Musashi Miyamoto Part 3 (9:52)
• Trailer (3:22)
• PLUS: A booklet featuring essays by film historian Stephen Prince and Wilson

Blu-ray Release Date: June 17th, 2012
Transparent Blu-ray Case

Chapters 23

Comments

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray (June 2012): I'll make the same comments for all three - 1954’s Oscar-winning Musashi Miyamoto, 1955’s Duel at Ichijoji Temple, and 1956’s Duel at Ganryu Island on Criterion Blu-ray look tremendous. You only need to view the screen captures to see the huge difference and superiority over the green video-like SD-DVD versions. It makes them look unwatchable. Grain, detail, colors - what a triumph. Parts one and two are on the first, a dual-layered, Blu-ray and part three is one a second disc single-layered  Blu-ray. The audio goes via a linear PCM and the uncompressed monaural soundtracks sound superb if not dynamic. Supplements offer interviews with translator and historian William Scott Wilson about the real-life Musashi Miyamoto, the inspiration for the hero of the films and a trailer for each film plus a booklet featuring essays by film historian Stephen Prince and Wilson. Incredibly impressive all-round and it was like seeing the film from scratch - the transfer was that good. Bravo to Criterion - a rousing thumbs up. Don't miss these masterpieces in 1080P!

Gary Tooze

***

ON THE DVDs: This is the best looking of the three DVDs, both for the Criterion and for the ArtsMagic. Still lacking definition and sharpness, the source is much better than the one on the previous two DVDs. As the ArtsMagic also is better, this suggests that the basic problem is the source and then the transfer.

Once again, the same problems with scratches on sound and poor image. And once again, the trailer simply looks great.

 - Henrik Sylow

 


Recommended Reading for Japanese Film Fans (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)

 

The Japan Journals : 1947-2004,

by  Donald Richie

The Midnight Eye Guide to New Japanese Film
by Tom Mes and Jasper Sharp

Kon Ichikawa (Cinematheque Ontario Monographs)

by James Quandt, Cinematheque Ontario

Shohei Imamura (Cinematheque Ontario Monographs, No. 1)
by James Quandt
Eros Plus Massacre: An Introduction to the Japanese New Wave Cinema (Midland Book, Mb 469)
by David Desser
The Films of Akira Kurosawa by Donald Ritchie

Tokyo Story

by Yasujiro Ozu, Kogo Noda, Donald Richie, Eric Klestadt

Ozu by Donald Richie

A Hundred Years of Japanese Film by Donald Richie

Check out more in "The Library"


Menus

(Criterion Collection - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT vs. ArtsMagic - Region 2 - PAL - RIGHT)

 

Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 


 

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

 

Subtitle Sample

 

1) Crash Cinema - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) ArtsMagic - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

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

 

 


Screen Captures

 

1) Crash Cinema - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) ArtsMagic - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

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

 

 


 

1) Crash Cinema - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) ArtsMagic - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

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

 

 


 

1) Crash Cinema - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) ArtsMagic - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

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

 

 


 

1) Crash Cinema - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) ArtsMagic - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

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

 

 


 

1) Crash Cinema - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) ArtsMagic - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

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

 

 


Hit Counter


Report Card:

 

Image:

Criterion Blu-ray

Sound:

Criterion Blu-ray

Extras: Criterion Blu-ray

 

 Box Covers

 

 

 

 

You may also buy the Three Samurai films (Samurai I: Musashi Miyamoto, Samurai II: Duel at Ichijoji Temple, Samurai III: Duel at Ganryu Island) in a Criterion Boxset - saving over purchasing individually.

               

Distribution

Criterion Collection Spine #16

Region 0 - NTSC

ArtsMagic
Region 2 - PAL
Criterion Collection - Spine #16 - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 


 

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Gary Tooze

Many Thanks...