|S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r|
Massacre Gun aka "Minagoroshi no kenjű" [Blu-ray]
(Yasuharu Hasebe, 1967)
Review by Gary Tooze
Video: Arrow Video
Region: FREE (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 34,284,691,378 bytes
Feature Size: 26,048,702,016 bytes
Video Bitrate: 34.94 Mbps
Case: Transparent Blu-ray case
Release date: April 7th, 2015
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
LPCM Audio Japanese 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
•Brand new interview with star J˘ Shishido (17:38)
• Interview with renowned critic and historian Tony Rayns (36:26)
• Original theatrical trailer (2:25)
• Gallery featuring rare promotional images
• Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Ian MacEwan
• Booklet featuring new writing on the film by Japanese cinema expert Jasper Sharp, newly illustrated by Ian MacEwan and featuring original archive stills
Description: Genre icon J˘ Shishido stars in this tense and
violent yakuza yarn from genre stalwart and Seijun Suzuki's
former assistant, Yasuharu Hasebe (Female Prisoner
Scorpion: #701 s Grudge Song).
Fine, jazzy, Japanese yakuza crime drama from 1967 and as cool as it gets. Starring, Jo Shishido (Branded to Kill and Youth of the Beast) Tatsuya Fuji (In the Realm of the Senses and Empire of Passion) and one of the first films directed by, Yasuhari Hasebe (Female Prisoner 701 Scorpion - Grudge Song and the Stray Cat series) who is considered the creator of the violent pink sub genre. Some pedigree then and not a disappointment, with non-stop action and surely more bullets than I've ever seen (or heard!) for it must have taken about 20 to 50 for each death. Performances are excellent all round, direction tight and confident with splendidly stylish photography. Low key jazz score helps maintain the atmosphere and this would be a great introduction to the world of Japanese 60s crime movies.Excerpt from Chris Underwood at Letterboxd.com located HERE
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Massacre Gun gets a 1080P transfer to Blu-ray from Arrow Films in both the UK and North America. It is dual-layered with a max'ed out bitrate. I wouldn't say the black and white visuals are always crisp (there is a shade of waxiness) but there is some appealing texture and a few shots exports some depth. It is quite smooth in-motion and there is no noise in the darker sequences. The 1080P supports acceptable contrast with impressive use of the 2.35:1 frame. It's clean and there are really no flaws with the rendering. This Blu-ray does as good a job as we are likely to see for this genre title.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Standard and authentic linear PCM mono track at 1152 kbps. There is plenty of gunfire but it lacks the depth of modern films. Naozumi Yamamoto (Branded to Kill, Gate of Flesh and many of Yoji Yamada's Tora-San series) does the jazz score and it suits the heavy style of the visuals. There are optional English subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region FREE playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.
Arrow add some supplements including a new, 18-minute, interview with star J˘ Shishido who recounts some of his 45-year career highlights including Massacre Gun. There is also a revealing, 36-minute, interview with renowned critic and historian Tony Rayns who goes right back to the origins of Nikkatsu, Kenji Mizoguchi and much more. There is an original theatrical trailer and gallery featuring rare promotional images and the package has a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Ian MacEwan and a liner notes booklet featuring new writing on the film by Japanese cinema expert Jasper Sharp, newly illustrated by Ian MacEwan and featuring original archive stills.
April 1st, 2015
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.
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze
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