Doberman Cop aka "Doberuman deka" [Blu-ray]
(Kinji Fukasaku, 1977)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Toei Company
Video: Arrow Video
Region: FREE (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 34,448,621,304 bytes
Feature Size: 22,456,885,248 bytes
Video Bitrate: 29.99 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: June 26th, July 4th, 2017
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
LPCM Audio Japanese 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
•Beyond the Film: Doberman Cop, a new video appreciation by Fukasaku biographer Sadao Yamane (8:54)
• New video interview with actor Shinichi ''Sonny'' Chiba (17:53)
• New video interview with screenwriter Koji Takada (17:56)
Description: Released just as the popularity of yakuza
movies was waning in Japan, and as the country's film
industry was undergoing some fundamental shifts, Doberman
Cop is a unique entry in the career of director Kinji
Without Honor and Humanity, Cops vs Thugs),
and reunited him with star Shinichi ''Sonny'' Chiba (The
Wolf Guy) in an American-style crime movie that
mixes gunplay and pulp fiction with martial arts and lowbrow
comedy to create one of their most entertaining films.
The protagonist is Joji Kano, a detective employed by the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department's special crimes division, which handles serious criminal cases. His gun of choice is a customized .44 Magnum-caliber Ruger Blackhawk. Kano's harsh method are the subject to criticism by the media, but he doesn't mind the reputation at all. While Kano has no pity for serious criminals, he holds a respect for children and elderly people, as well as former criminals who want to reform themselves for their prior misconducts.Excerpt from Wikipedia located HERE
Chiba's use of the .44 Magnum is skillful & interesting, but the film
breathes more life when he is showing his stuff with karate, not
bullets. He is an admitted "crazy" cop from Okinawa who arrives in Tokyo
intent on finding a missing girl from his hometown.
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Doberman Cop gets a transfer to Blu-ray from Arrow Video. It is dual-layered with a high bitrate in the 2.35:1 aspect ratio. Like other, older, Japanese films, we see a green cast over the visuals. It's hard to know whether this is the way it was shown theatrically. Also, this is typically, a very heavy image - softish, thick, relatively flat with no gloss, crispness or depth. There are some very dark scenes but I see no noise. The image quality is consistent throughout and it is very clean without speckles or damage marks. This Blu-ray video is far from demo, but doesn't effect the enjoyment of the film and is likely the best transfer the film will ever receive.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Arrow use a linear PCM 2.0 channel (16-bit) in the original Japanese. Effects punctuate as you might anticipate with heavy depth. There is a lively score by Kenjiro Hirose (Lady Snowblood 2: Love Song of Vengeance) and it sounds supportive in the lossless. There are optional English subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region FREE playable world-wide.
Arrow add some good supplements. Beyond the Film: Doberman Cop, is a new, 9-minute, video appreciation by Fukasaku biographer Sadao Yamane, recorded, by Arrow, in September 2016. It provides a good introduction and short analysis of the film. There are also new video interviews with screenwriter Koji Takada and actor Shinichi ''Sonny'' Chiba - which is actually a second part of Sonny Chiba: A Life in Action piece (the first part found on Arrows' Wolf Guy Blu-ray.) Both run about 17-minutes each. Extras finished with a trailer and the package has a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Chris Malbon. The first pressing only received an illustrated collector s book featuring new writing on the films by Patrick Macia.
July 8th, 2017
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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