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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Bakuchiuci: Sch Tobaku" or "Big Time Gambling Boss" or "The Great Casino")

 

Directed by Ksaku Yamashita
Japan 1968

 

Tokyo, 1934. Gang boss Arakawa is too ill and a successor must be named. The choice falls on Nakai, but being an outsider he refuses and suggests senior clansman Matsuda instead. But Matsuda is in jail and the elders wont wait for his release, so they appoint the younger and more malleable Ishido to take the reins. Clan honour and loyalties are severely tested when Matsuda is released, resulting in an increasingly violent internal strife. An atmospheric tale of gangland intrigue written by Kazuo Kasahara (Battles Without Honour and Humanity) and starring Tomisaburo Wakayama, (Lone Wolf and Cub, The Bounty Hunter Trilogy) and genre legend Koji Tsuruta, Big Time Gambling Boss is one of the all-time classics of the yakuza genre. Paul Schrader called it the richest and most complex film of its type, while novelist Yukio Mishima hailed it as a masterpiece. Radiance Films is proud to present this crucial re-discovery for the first time ever on Blu-ray.

***

Tokyo, 1934. The boss of the clan that controls gambling agonizes and some of his followers propose to Nakai to take his place, but he refuses the offer and suggests they choose Matsuda, who is in prison.

Posters

Theatrical Release: 1968

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Review: Radiance Films - Region FREE - Blu-ray

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Bonus Captures:

Distribution Radiance Films - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:34:39.298         
Video

2.35:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 36,472,311,634 bytes

Feature: 27,635,309,952 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.85 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

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

Bitrate Blu-ray:

Audio

LPCM Audio Japanese 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit

Subtitles English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Radiance Films

 

2.35:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 36,472,311,634 bytes

Feature: 27,635,309,952 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.85 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

Visual essay by genre expert Chris D on the film and its place within the period and genre (2022) (25:24)
Ninkyo 101: A masterclass with Mark Schilling, author of The Yakuza Movie Book (2022) (14:36)
Gallery
Trailer (3:07)
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by maarko phntm
Limited edition booklet featuring new writing on the film by author Stuart Galbraith IV, and critic Hayley Scanlon
Limited edition of 2000 copies, presented in full-height Scanavo packaging with removable OBI strip leaving packaging free of certificates and markings


Blu-ray Release Date: January 17th, 2023

Transparent Blu-ray Case

Chapters 10

 

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Radiance Films Blu-ray (January 2023): Radiance Films have transferred Ksaku Yamashita's Big Time Gambling Boss to Blu-ray. It is on a dual-layered disc with a max'ed out bitrate and looks very good. There is a nice texture and only a modest amount of green hue - as we see in many Japanese films of this era. There is depth, and colors are passive but look true. The overall 1080P image is a bit dark, which may also be authentic. It looks very film-like on my system. 

NOTE: We have added 60 more large resolution Blu-ray captures (in lossless PNG format) for DVDBeaver Patrons HERE

On their Blu-ray, Radiance Films use a linear PCM mono track (24-bit) in the original Japanese language. Big Time Gambling Boss has a handful of aggressive sequences that come through authentically flat with surprising bass. The score was by Toshiaki Tsushima (Street Mobster, The Green Slime, The War in Space, Three Outlaw Samurai, Sword of the Beast, Battles Without Honor and Humanity) heightening tension appropriately. Radiance Films offer optional English subtitles on their Region FREE Blu-ray.

The Radiance Films Blu-ray includes a new 25-minute visual essay by genre expert Chris D on the film and its place within the period and genre plus there is Ninkyo 101, a masterclass with Mark Schilling, author of The Yakuza Movie Book running 1/4 hour. The disc also has a gallery and a trailer for Big Time Gambling Boss plus the package has a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by maarko phntm, a limited edition booklet featuring new writing on the film by author Stuart Galbraith IV, and critic Hayley Scanlon and is described as a limited edition of 2000 copies, presented in full-height Scanavo packaging with removable OBI strip leaving packaging free of certificates and markings.

Ksaku Yamashita's Big Time Gambling Boss is one of the best of its genre from 60's Japanese cinema. It's a Godfather-esque look, with modest, if often fatal, violence, focusing on the inner workings and codes of Yakuza clans, advancement, power struggles, respect and traitorous, usurping, maneuvers. It's quite fascinating and never ventures to the nuts and bolts of how they make money. I am very happy with the Radiance Films Blu-ray - pleasing a/v and wonderful extras - and it bodes well for physical media advocates as well as future releases. NOTE: We have also reviewed their A Woman Kills Blu-ray, also positively.

Gary Tooze

 


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Box Cover

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Bonus Captures:

Distribution Radiance Films - Region FREE - Blu-ray


 


 

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