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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Shinkansen daibakuha" or "The Bullet Train")

directed by Junya Sato
Japan 1975

 

The basis for the 1994 American hit, Speed, The Bullet Train (Shinkansen Daibakuha, 1975) stars the wonderful Ken Takakura (The Yakuza) as a mad bomber who plants a device on a high-speed Japanese train, programmed to detonate if the train’s speed drops below 80 kilometers per hour. His design: to collect a multi-million-dollar ransom. Also starring martial arts hero Sonny Chiba as the train’s clever engineer; directed by Junya Satô (The Silk Road).

***

A group of terrorists announce, that they have placed a speed-triggered bomb onboard a bullet train, which will explode if the train drops below a certain speed. Sonny Chiba has to save the day in a nail biting thriller, which not only predates "Speed" by over twenty years, but also is superior.

Henrik Sylow

A terrific central concept: a bomb is planted on one of Japan's 200 mph Shinkansen expresses, primed to explode as soon as the train slows to a certain speed. Savour it, because it's virtually all there is; the clumsy plotting, low-octane direction and muffled performances certainly don't add up to much of a movie. All that's required from Ken Takakura (as the chief bomber) is his presence, which he delivers adequately.

Excerpt from TimeOut located HERE

Poster

Theatrical Release: July 5, 1975

Reviews                                                                     More Reviews                                                           DVD Reviews

 

Comparison:

Optimum (The Sonny China Collection Vol. 2) - Region 2 - PAL vs. Twilight Time - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 

1) Optimum - region 2 - PAL - LEFT

2) Twilight Time - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

Big thanks to Henrik Sylow for the DVD Review!

Box Covers

 

Distribution

Optimum

Region 2 - PAL

Twilight Time
Region 'A' -
Blu-ray
Runtime 2:32:11 2:32:11
Video

2.28:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.44 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

Disc Size: 45,869,389,143 bytes

Feature Size:  40,745,920,512 bytes

Average Bitrate: 29.99 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video

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

Bitrate

Bitrate Blu-ray

Audio 2.0 Dolby Digital Japanese

DTS-HD Master Audio Japanese 1996 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1996 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Isolated Score:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1665 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1665 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

Subtitles English, None English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Optimum

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.28:1

Edition Details:
• Poster Gallery and trailers for following Optimum Chiba releases
• The Killing Machine (2:53 / 16x9)
• Street Fighter (2:52 / 16x9)
• Return of Street Fighter (3:01 / 16x9)
• Street Fighter's Last Revenge (2:55 / 16x9)
• Yakuza Deka (2:41 / 16x9)
• Yakuza Deka The Assassin (2:41 / 16x9)
• Bullet Train (1:29 / 16x9)
• G.I. Samurai (3:20 / 16x9)
• Golgo 13 (3:04 / 16x9)
• Biography (text)

DVD Release Date: September 19, 2005
Keep Case

Chapters 20
 

Release Information:
Studio:
Twilight Time

 

2.35:1 aspect ratio

Disc Size: 40,258,274,139 bytes

Feature Size:  37,936,773,120 bytes

Average Bitrate: 35.99 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

• Isolated Music & Effects Track
• Big Movie, Big Panic: Junya Sato on The Bullet Train (24:41)
• Liner notes by Julie Kirgo
Limited to 3,000 Copies!


Blu-ray Release Date:
December, 2016
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters 24

 

 

 

Comments

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

ADDITION: Twilight Time Blu-ray - January 17':  Firstly, this is not an error - this is a Region 'A'-locked Blu-ray from Twilight Time. Their new 1080P transfer of The Bullet Train is quite a leap beyond the 2005 PAL DVD. The visuals are significantly richer in color and contrast. The frame shows a bit less information on the right and bottom edges but notably more on the left edge. We lose the greenish cast of the DVD and the Twilight Time has the thick, heavy look that many 60s and 70s Japanese films do. It is consistent, clean, a shade dark, predominantly flat with some texture and gives a solid HD presentation. It is accurately in the film's 2.35:1 ToeiScope ratio.

Twilight Time use a DTS-HD Master stereo mix at 1996 kbps (24-bit) in the original Japanese and the train-related effects sound strong with depth as does the disciplinary 'yelling'. The score is by Hachirô Aoyama - the most notable of the 16 films he composed for. It supports the film adequately and is also offered as an isolated music and effects track by Twilight Time. There are optional English subtitles and the Blu-ray disc is region 'A'-locked and limited to 3,000 copies.

NOTE: Both PAL DVD and Blu-ray have the same running time making me think that the DVD is a PAL-NTSC conversion. I detect no speed-up issues on the BD.

Aside from the isolated score option and the usual liner notes there is a 25-minute, Twilight Time produced, video piece - Big Movie, Big Panic: Junya Sato on The Bullet Train with the 84-year old director talking about the production.

Great film - lost to most western audiences and, as Henrik points out, significantly better than its 20-year later Hollywood remake. Great to have this in 1080P - absolutely recommended!

***

ON THE DVD (September 2005): Based on a new digital master from the original 35mm print, this is the first DVD release of the original 152 minute version. Colors are the original Japanese green-ish scheme and AR is almost its original 2.35:1 ToeiScope.

There is no PAL Speed-Up, but surprisingly no either ghosting or combing issues. The only points of critic is that the image is a bit soft and that colors blend a little. Compression artifacts are at a minimum. Overall a great transfer.

Part of the 3-disc "Sonny Chiba Collection Vol. 2", along with "G.I. Samurai" and "Golgo 13".

 

 - Henrik Sylow


DVD Menus
 

 

Twilight Time - Region 'A'- Blu-ray

 

 


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

 

Screen Captures

 

 

1) Optimum - region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Twilight Time - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Optimum - region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Twilight Time - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM


 

1) Optimum - region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Twilight Time - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM


 

1) Optimum - region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Twilight Time - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM


 

1) Optimum - region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Twilight Time - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM


 

1) Optimum - region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Twilight Time - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

More Blu-ray Captures

 

 

Box Covers

 

Distribution

Optimum

Region 2 - PAL

Twilight Time
Region 'A' -
Blu-ray




 

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