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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Bushido Man - Seven Deadly Battles [Blu-ray]

 

(Takanori Tsujimoto, 2013)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Universal

Video: Shout! Factory

 

Disc:

Region: 'A' (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:27:37.752

Disc Size: 22,732,609,717 bytes

Feature Size: 20,163,557,376 bytes

Video Bitrate: 20.57 Mbps

Chapters: 12

Case: Standard Blu-ray case inside cardboard slipcase

Release date: June 10th, 2014

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.78:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

LPCM Audio Japanese 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
DUBs:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 3772 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3772 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 2137 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2137 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

 

Subtitles:

English, none

 

Extras:

• Making Bushido Man: From the Fantasia Film Festival (11:17)

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: Eat and Fight. Upon returning from a pilgrimage across Japan, the warrior Toramaru arrives with tales of seven epic battles against Japan’s most legendary fighters. As Toramaru’s philosophy dictates that he ’know the enemy by eating his food, ’ each masterfully-choreographed fight is preceded by a helping of his prey’s favorite dish. Designated successor to Master Gensai and leading proponent of the all-round martial-arts discipline, The Cosmic Way, Toramaru tells the tales of The Seven Deadly Battles as Master Gensai eagerly listens to the lavish and violent details of Toramaru’s adventures!

***

 

Upon returning from a pilgrimage across Japan, the warrior Toramaru arrives with tales of seven epic battles against Japan’s most legendary fighters. As Toramaru’s philosophy dictates that he “know the enemy by eating his food,” each masterfully-choreographed fight is preceded by a helping of his prey’s favorite dish.

 

 

The Film:

As it opens, martial-artist Toramaru (Mitsuki Koga) is returning to his master Gensai (Yoshiyuki Yamaguchi) reporting that he has, as instructed, gone out in the world to challenge a half-dozen martial-arts masters: Yuan Jian (Kensuke Sonomura), the Kobe kung-fu master; Mokunen (Naohiro Kawamoto), the stick-fighter, in Kyoto; Rinryu (Masaki Suzumura), who wields nunchucks in Okinawa; blind Hokkaido samurai Muso (Kazuki Tsujimoto); yakuza knife artist Eiji Mimoto (Masanori Mimoto); and gun-toting Billy Shimabukuro (Kentaro Shimazu), who (like Eiji) hails from Osaka. As he relates these confrontations, he connects them to the food he and his opponents ate to prepare, as this detail naturally reflects their fighting styles.

Folks for whom one action movie is much like any other may not find themselves overly excited by that description of Toramaru's itinerary, but enthusiasts of the genre will note that it includes six very different types of combat. The food, in a way, is something of a hook to get the audience thinking about different flavors of action, so that when the see what director Takanori Tsujimoto and fight choreographer Kensuke Sonomura have cooked up, they'll appreciate not just how good each fight is, but how individual they are, with a little something for everyone.

Excerpt from Jay Seaver at eCritic located HERE

In Bushido Man Tsujimoto tones down the violence in favor of martial arts. The concept is like an amusing variation of the Shaw Brothers film Heroes of the East. The protagonist (Mitsuki Koga) pilgrims around Japan looking for masters of martial arts to challenge. In each fight he has to adapt a new fighting style or weapon. The opponents are kung fu master, stick fighter, nunchaku expert, blind samurai, knife specialist, revolver man, and a woman with special weapon. In preparation the hero always heads to a restaurant first. “Learn about your opponent through his diet”.

Excerpt from SketchesofCinema located HERE

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

Bushido Man comes to Blu-ray from Shout! Factory.  The film looks to have been shot in HD. And it can show a few more of the deficiencies of that format that we may be used to for the more higher-end HD shot efforts. It seems to look soft at time in-motion and doesn't handle brightness well.  This is single-layered with a modest bitrate. I don't mean to be overly critical of the presentation. It can frequently look impressive in close-ups and some of the outdoor landscape scenes are very crisp. It is in the 1.78:1 aspect ratio and I saw no noise. Even for HD this looked to have some visual weaknesses - inherent in the original production.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Shout! Factory offer a linear PCM 2.0 channel track at 2304 kbps in original Japanese. It had some depth in the aggressive segments but, obviously, no surround separation. There are two, untested, optional English DUBs - one in 5.1. There are optional English subtitles on the region 'A' Blu-ray disc.

 

Extras :

The only extra is n 11-minute Making Bushido Man: From the Fantasia Film Festival. It is fairly off-the-cuff from a trip arriving at the airport in Montréal to a casual three-man quasi-interview.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
It doesn't happen often - but I just could not get into this film. I had real trouble buying into all these tough-guy, pre-fight, scowls. It all seemed silly. The food-angle and fight sequences didn't impress me.  Perhaps if I was in a different mood, or was a devout Martial Arts fan - I might have embraced it enough to get a positive vibe.  The Shout! Factory Blu-ray presentation isn't flawed as much as the film is, IMO. I'd have to say 'pass'. 

Gary Tooze

May 22nd, 2014

 

About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

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60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
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Gary W. Tooze

 

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