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1. Tora! Tora! Tora!
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2. Shogun's Samurai - The Yagyu Clan
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3. Street Mobster
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4. Samurai Reincarnation:Maki Tensho
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5. Graveyard of Honor
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6. Black Rose Mansion
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7. Blackmail Is My Life
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8. If You Were Young: Rage
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9. The Yakuza Papers, Vol. 4 - Police
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10. Sonny Chiba Samurai
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11. Tora! Tora! Tora!
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12. Legend of the Eight Samurai
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13. Tora! Tora! Tora!
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14. Sympathy for the Underdog
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15. The Yakuza Papers, Vol. 1 - Battles
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16. Fall Guy
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17. Legend of the Eight Samurai
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18. The Yakuza Papers, Vol. 2 - Deadly
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19. The Yakuza Papers, Vol. 3 - Proxy
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20. Legend of the Eight Samurai

1. Tora! Tora! Tora!
Director: Toshio Masuda, Richard Fleischer, Kinji Fukasaku
list price: $14.98
our price: $11.24
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000059HAI
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 1232
Average Customer Review: 4.59 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (151)

3-0 out of 5 stars A great factual account of Pearl Harbor... to a fault.
There's no denying the grand effort that went into making this historical presentation of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Taking accounts of both sides of the war equally, made respectively by both United States and Japanese production crews, Tora! Tora! Tora! is a great documentation of how the attack really occurred. Unlike the recent Pearl Harbor film, which tries to tell the historical story (with many flaws), a love story and a disaster story, Tora! Tora! Tora knows what is meant to be, and strictly follows the historical angle.

Unfortunately, this dedication to fact is the films major weakness. There are no real characterizations of any of the major roles, no central character the audience can connect with, either on the American or Japanese forces. This lack of a so called staring role (which both sides should have had) makes the film feel more like a documentary then a movie. What characters the film does center on are all flat and rather uninteresting. Not to mention poorly acted.

Despite this, the film provides a great understanding of how the attack really occurred, and gives a wonderful visual feast of the disaster. For 1970, when this film was released, the visual effects are outstanding. Definitely worth at least one viewing, more if you're a World War II buff.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Definitive Pearl Harbor Film -- Not To Be Missed
A unique collaboration between American and Japanese filmmakers, "Tora, Tora, Tora" remains the definitive Hollywood portrayal of the tragic events of December 7, 1941. Perhaps the greatest compliment ever paid to this film was provided by none other than Jerry Bruckheimer and Michael Bay, the "masterminds" behind the disastrous "Pearl Harbor", who stated that "Tora" played too much like a documentary. Well, how about that? No meandering love story, no Hallmark script, just cold, hard facts. "Tora" places us smack dab in the middle of a lethal chess game played by politicians in Washington and Tokyo throughout the Fall of '41. The political stalemates and blunders which inevitably lead to war are the meat and potatoes of "Tora". The climax is, of course, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor which is masterfully and accurately re-created. Vintage airplanes and actual ships are seemlessly juxtaposed with miniature models. The results are a spectacular cinematic experience which still holds up by today's standards. (Digital effects didn't exist when "Tora" was released in 1970.) Several big names-- Joseph Cotten, Martin Balsam and E.G. Marshall -- assume starring roles, yet wisely let the story be the "star" of the film. Credit the filmmakers for steering the focus toward the "event" without getting sidetracked in typical Hollywood fashion. To objectively portray the events of Pearl Harbor through the eyes of both sides, while keeping finger-pointing to a minimum, was no small task. In turn, the ability of the viewer to experience the preparation and strategy of both sides makes "Tora" truly unique. This is an important film which treats a monumentally tragic event with the respect and accuracy it rightfully deserves. Essential cinema -- not to be missed.

5-0 out of 5 stars Superb!
After seeing Das Boot for the first time recently, my interest was piqued for another WWII movie. I remember when Tora! was in the theater while I was in high school...and that I had no interest in seeing it at the time. This is a serious-minded, fact-based film of epic proportion. It has similarities to Das Boot in that part of the story is told from the US enemy's point of view. And, oddly enough, I found the structure of the film to be somewhat reminiscent of The Deer Hunter, or even King Solomon's Mines [1950], in that there is a long, detailed build-up of the story prior to any action sequences. And once the action arrived, I sat there thinking, "How did they do this?" Especially considering the fact that this was 1970. But the biggest reward for me is the story itself, and the non-Hollywood way in which it is told here. No one would get financial backing today for a film of this expense coupled with such a non-fiction approach.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best Movie Ever Made About Pearl Harbor
Tora! Tora! Tora! is the single best movie ever made about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. It features excellent performances from such actors as James Whitmore, E.G. Marshall, Jason Robards and Martin Balsam. The special effects are far more convincing than what's in modern movies. It also has some of the best movie music of all time. Best of all, the movie shows the sheer complacency on the U.S. side that enabled the Japanese to successfully mount the surprise attack.

Tora! Tora! Tora! is far superior to any other movie ever made about Pearl Harbor. In fact, it is one of the absolute best movies ever made about World War II. It is a classic motion picture in its own right.

On a scale of 1 to 5, it really merits a 10.

4-0 out of 5 stars Should have been 5 if...
...this movie, which got awesome air scenes and very well documented background info (politic, diplomatic, and military), had been a couple of minutes longer at the end of 1st part. And showed how Roosevelt, who was informed of the results of the (fantastic) Intelligence work -they even could pin the time of the attack- decided to keep it under wraps: so that, without any prior warning, the damage would be maximum, and the shock upon American people would be such as to suppress the reluctance they still got towards entering the war. One of the best examples of "The end justify the means". The Pearl Harbor story could as well have as title "They were expendable". ... Read more


2. Shogun's Samurai - The Yagyu Clan Conspiracy
Director: Kinji Fukasaku
list price: $19.99
our price: $17.99
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Asin: B0001XAKC4
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 6982
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3. Street Mobster
Director: Kinji Fukasaku
list price: $29.95
our price: $26.96
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Asin: B0002KPHUQ
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 29997
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Description

In the tradition of Takeshi Kitano, Sergio Leone, and George Romero, Japanese action director Kinji Fukasaku (Battle Royale I and II, The Yakuza Papers) brings to life Street Mobster, the story of a violent killer who will stop at nothing to satisfy his lust for blood.Released from prison, gangster Isamu Okita plans to start his own gang and begins a reign of terror using beatings, prostitution, stabbings, and murders to fight his way to the top of the gangland world. Street Mobster is a look into the dark realm of Japan's criminal underworld, where anything can be had for a price. ... Read more


4. Samurai Reincarnation:Maki Tensho
Director: Kinji Fukasaku
list price: $19.95
our price: $17.96
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Asin: B0001Z3ID0
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 24600
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (3)

3-0 out of 5 stars Iga Ninja vs. Rock-Ridge
This film is an essential purchase for all Chiba fans. Most of the cast of this film also starred in 'Ninja Wars'....the English overdubs were highly amusing(they just changed the voices around!!) Story: a homosexual samurai is brought back from the dead, rejects Christianity, worships Satan, gets a possé of suicidal sword-masters, goes on the rampage.....its the same as all the others, however, it a cross between Ninja Wars and that [terrible] Gunslinger flick with Sharon Stone in it. Sonny Chiba is Jubei and the son of a minor noble who succumbs to the [samurai's] magick. Chiba kills all of the possé exept the monk-alcoholic who has fantisies of killing women. The film must have been cut. Only buy this on DVD 'cos the American VHS version had the picture quality of a thrice-pirated '70's porno!!!! ...

4-0 out of 5 stars Very good despite a terrible dub
I thought at first this was filmed for the asian TV market because of the obvious set design and film quality at the beginning(reminiscent of Dark Shadows). However, the film slowly builds in pace and scope until it's climax: a duel in an inferno, the burning remains of the mansion of the shogun. It is easily up to the par of the low budget asian action movies of the period. The mythology of the film is quite interesting, both in the time period it is placed and the characters that are included. The samurai that Toshiro Mifune brought to western audiences, Musashi Miyamoto, plays a key part. The only significant flaw to this film is the previously mentioned dub. Not only are the voices not timed properly but almost all the voice actors are VERY poorly chosen and seemingly refuse to emote with their characters. There are some moments with dramatic overacting but anyone seeking information on a film titled Samurai Reincarnation shouldn't be seeking subtlety. Also of note, many of the key players of this film including Sonny Chiba and the Director himself were involved in the film The Legend of the Eight Samurai, a film much like this one with similar qualities and flaws(including the dub).

5-0 out of 5 stars If you like japanese swords you will like this film
Very good plot. Very good action . Very entertaining. I saw this film in a theatre.I am buying it now in video.Unfortunately i dont know if this version have english subtitles.However there is a version dubbed in English The hero is not of the family Yagiu and Chiba is Jubei.It is difficult to tell if his Tsuba(gard) is an Yagiu tsuba.In any case as you know he never used the Tsuba.Very good swordsman ... Read more


5. Graveyard of Honor
Director: Kinji Fukasaku
list price: $29.95
our price: $26.96
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Asin: B0002KPHV0
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 21696
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Description

Action director Kinji Fukasaku (Battle Royale, Tora! Tora! Tora!) created one of his most unusual yakuza films with Graveyard of Honor, a highly stylized account of the life of Rikio Ishikawa, a strong arm man who works for one of Japan's biggest crime families. In one brutal scene after another, Fukasaku documents the downward spiral of a sociopathic thug who will do anything to survive in Japan's decadent underworld of drugs, murder for hire, and prostitution. Graveyard of Honor is a brutal and unsparing look at the modern Japanese yakuza—men who live without a code of honor. ... Read more


6. Black Rose Mansion
Director: Kinji Fukasaku
list price: $24.98
our price: $22.48
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Asin: B000083C5B
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 40780
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7. Blackmail Is My Life
Director: Kinji Fukasaku
list price: $29.95
our price: $26.96
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Asin: B0000YEENK
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 24141
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

The breakout success of 2000's fantastic Battle Royale resulted in long-overdue global recognition of the films of Kinji Fukasaku, and Blackmail Is My Life is a perfect example of the director working in his prime. By the time this unconventional crime thriller was released in 1968, post-war Japanese culture was caught in a vice-grip of cynicism and corruption well suited to Fukusaku's singular penchant for gritty, stylized action and unhappy endings that could only be attempted under the more liberal-minded aegis of Shochiku studios. Tautly paced and fueled by a trendy soundtrack synthesis of whistled themes and electric rock, Blackmail centers on a quartet of young daredevils who've discovered blackmail as a means to enjoy the booming economy from which they've been excluded. When they try to squeeze both Yakuza kingpins and government officials by threatening to air their dirty laundry, they quickly confront the lethal consequences of their headstrong bravado. In addition to giving lead actor Hiroki Matsukata an opportunity to move away from the Yakuza-thriller roles he'd grown famous for, Fukusaku's raw energy incorporates a variety of compelling nihilistic touches, not the least being the use of adrenalized crime as an effective aphrodisiac. Above all, his astonishing finale serves as both moral warning and scathing criticism of public apathy--a bloody wake-up call to Japanese culture and budding criminals everywhere! --Jeff Shannon ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars A brilliant early piece from Battle Royale's Kinji Fukasaku!
Blackmail Is My Life is, unquestionably, one of the best yakuza films ever made. From it's visuals to its performances to its ingenious script, there's really no area where this film will leave you wanting. It's chock-full of snap zooms, freeze frames, and voice over, but all of it is handled so well that any cheese factor goes unnoticed (except where Fukasaku wanted a bit of cheese). There really isn't much more to say about this film, as it's certainly one of those that you must see to come to any understanding of its brilliance. It might not be for everyone, but any fans of old school Japanese yakuza films or film noir in general is likely to be blown away.

I hope we get more of Fukasaku's films on dvd! ... Read more


8. If You Were Young: Rage
Director: Kinji Fukasaku
list price: $29.95
our price: $26.96
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Asin: B0000YAEHU
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 37939
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Description

With the same visual flare used in his distinctive yakuza films, director Kinji Fukasaku (The Yakuza Papers) tells the riveting story of five kids who come to Tokyo for work in If You Were Young: Rage.

In the 1960s, Japanese teens were often sent from rural areas to Tokyo and other major cities, helping to fuel Japan’s rapid economic development. Fukasaku shows the shocking consequences for idealistic youths whose dreams are soon torn apart in a chaos of class turmoil and youthful indiscretion.
... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars The lost Fukasaku film
Director: Kinji Fukasaku
Duration: 89 minutes

For the most part I believe individuals who are familiar with the name Fukasaku Kinji probably know it through the excellent movie _Battle Royale_, however, of course, during his 40+ year career as a film director, he created a number of other noteable films including _Blackmail is My Life_ and _Tora! Tora! Tora!_ a joint venture with director Richard Fleischer, director of _Soylent Green_, _20,00 Leagues Under the Sea, etc. _Rage_, however, definately is not one of Fukasaku's better known films. In fact it was thought to be lost until only a few years ago.

The film stars five friends who, unable to find work in their seaside home, move to Tokyo in order to find work, however, because of their lack of education, they are unable to find decent jobs. After the group of friends is put in prison because the main character, Asao, attacks a man heckling his friend, Ryuji, during a boxing match, they come up with the idea to buy a dumptruck and eventually expand their business. Unfortunately, Ryuji is killed by police when he comes to the defence of a striking workers, Ichiro gets a woman pregnant and is forced to drop out of the group, and Kiyoshi is put in jail for beating up a security guard. On the other hand, Asao and Kikuo are able to get a truck and it seems that their lives are on the road to improvement until friends and family of the past begin to show up.

At first I did not know what to think of this film because of the campy music and the overwhelming good cheer of Asao and Kikuo. However, when Kiyoshi mother and sister show up looking for their relative, the movie takes on a much more serious tone. This is a good film that gives the viewer a good view at the Japanese lower working class and their everyday struggles, and while the film has a note of optimism about overcoming ones obstacles, it also shows that no matter how much one struggles to improve, one might never accomplish anything worthwhile.

If I sound a bit negative here it is because I am only paraphrasing Fukasaku in the director's commentary. ... Read more


9. The Yakuza Papers, Vol. 4 - Police Tactics
Director: Kinji Fukasaku
list price: $19.95
our price: $13.97
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Asin: B0002V7O24
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 30088
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Description

As Japan gears up for the 1964 Olympic games, the cops start to crack down under pressure from the public and the press, adding a new dimension in the war for power among the yakuza families of Hiroshima.Akira Kobayashi's Takeda tries to keep a lid on things, but hotheaded underlings create chaos, with one boss whacked in neutral territory, and the craven boss, Uchimoto, informing on an assassination attempt by his own minions.While the police round up hundreds of yakuza foot soldiers, Bunta Sugawara's Shozo Hirono plots to finally take out longtime nemesis, boss Yamamori. ... Read more


10. Sonny Chiba Samurai
Director: Kinji Fukasaku
list price: $6.97
our price: $6.97
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Asin: B0000A02UY
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 17721
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11. Tora! Tora! Tora!
Director: Toshio Masuda, Richard Fleischer, Kinji Fukasaku
list price: $29.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 6305622957
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 29393
Average Customer Review: 4.59 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

"Sir, there's a large formation of planes coming in from the north, 140 miles, 3 degrees east." "Yeah? Don't worry about it." This is just one of the many mishaps chronicled in Tora! Tora! Tora! The epic film shows the bombing of Pearl Harbor from both sides in the historic first American-Japanese coproduction: American director Richard Fleischer oversaw the complicated production (the Japanese sequences were directed by Toshio Masuda and Kinji Fukasaku, after Akira Kurosawa withdrew from the film), wrestling a sprawling story with dozens of characters into a manageable, fairly easy-to-follow film. The first half maps out the collapse of diplomacy between the nations and the military blunders that left naval and air forces sitting ducks for the impending attack, while the second half is an amazing re-creation of the devastating battle. While Tora! Tora! Tora! lacks the strong central characters that anchor the best war movies, the real star of the film is the climactic 30-minute battle, a massive feat of cinematic engineering that expertly conveys the surprise, the chaos, and the immense destruction of the only attack by a foreign power on American soil since the Revolutionary war. The special effects won a well-deserved Oscar, but the film was shut out of every other category by, ironically, the other epic war picture of the year, Patton. --Sean Axmaker ... Read more

Reviews (151)

3-0 out of 5 stars A great factual account of Pearl Harbor... to a fault.
There's no denying the grand effort that went into making this historical presentation of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Taking accounts of both sides of the war equally, made respectively by both United States and Japanese production crews, Tora! Tora! Tora! is a great documentation of how the attack really occurred. Unlike the recent Pearl Harbor film, which tries to tell the historical story (with many flaws), a love story and a disaster story, Tora! Tora! Tora knows what is meant to be, and strictly follows the historical angle.

Unfortunately, this dedication to fact is the films major weakness. There are no real characterizations of any of the major roles, no central character the audience can connect with, either on the American or Japanese forces. This lack of a so called staring role (which both sides should have had) makes the film feel more like a documentary then a movie. What characters the film does center on are all flat and rather uninteresting. Not to mention poorly acted.

Despite this, the film provides a great understanding of how the attack really occurred, and gives a wonderful visual feast of the disaster. For 1970, when this film was released, the visual effects are outstanding. Definitely worth at least one viewing, more if you're a World War II buff.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Definitive Pearl Harbor Film -- Not To Be Missed
A unique collaboration between American and Japanese filmmakers, "Tora, Tora, Tora" remains the definitive Hollywood portrayal of the tragic events of December 7, 1941. Perhaps the greatest compliment ever paid to this film was provided by none other than Jerry Bruckheimer and Michael Bay, the "masterminds" behind the disastrous "Pearl Harbor", who stated that "Tora" played too much like a documentary. Well, how about that? No meandering love story, no Hallmark script, just cold, hard facts. "Tora" places us smack dab in the middle of a lethal chess game played by politicians in Washington and Tokyo throughout the Fall of '41. The political stalemates and blunders which inevitably lead to war are the meat and potatoes of "Tora". The climax is, of course, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor which is masterfully and accurately re-created. Vintage airplanes and actual ships are seemlessly juxtaposed with miniature models. The results are a spectacular cinematic experience which still holds up by today's standards. (Digital effects didn't exist when "Tora" was released in 1970.) Several big names-- Joseph Cotten, Martin Balsam and E.G. Marshall -- assume starring roles, yet wisely let the story be the "star" of the film. Credit the filmmakers for steering the focus toward the "event" without getting sidetracked in typical Hollywood fashion. To objectively portray the events of Pearl Harbor through the eyes of both sides, while keeping finger-pointing to a minimum, was no small task. In turn, the ability of the viewer to experience the preparation and strategy of both sides makes "Tora" truly unique. This is an important film which treats a monumentally tragic event with the respect and accuracy it rightfully deserves. Essential cinema -- not to be missed.

5-0 out of 5 stars Superb!
After seeing Das Boot for the first time recently, my interest was piqued for another WWII movie. I remember when Tora! was in the theater while I was in high school...and that I had no interest in seeing it at the time. This is a serious-minded, fact-based film of epic proportion. It has similarities to Das Boot in that part of the story is told from the US enemy's point of view. And, oddly enough, I found the structure of the film to be somewhat reminiscent of The Deer Hunter, or even King Solomon's Mines [1950], in that there is a long, detailed build-up of the story prior to any action sequences. And once the action arrived, I sat there thinking, "How did they do this?" Especially considering the fact that this was 1970. But the biggest reward for me is the story itself, and the non-Hollywood way in which it is told here. No one would get financial backing today for a film of this expense coupled with such a non-fiction approach.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best Movie Ever Made About Pearl Harbor
Tora! Tora! Tora! is the single best movie ever made about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. It features excellent performances from such actors as James Whitmore, E.G. Marshall, Jason Robards and Martin Balsam. The special effects are far more convincing than what's in modern movies. It also has some of the best movie music of all time. Best of all, the movie shows the sheer complacency on the U.S. side that enabled the Japanese to successfully mount the surprise attack.

Tora! Tora! Tora! is far superior to any other movie ever made about Pearl Harbor. In fact, it is one of the absolute best movies ever made about World War II. It is a classic motion picture in its own right.

On a scale of 1 to 5, it really merits a 10.

4-0 out of 5 stars Should have been 5 if...
...this movie, which got awesome air scenes and very well documented background info (politic, diplomatic, and military), had been a couple of minutes longer at the end of 1st part. And showed how Roosevelt, who was informed of the results of the (fantastic) Intelligence work -they even could pin the time of the attack- decided to keep it under wraps: so that, without any prior warning, the damage would be maximum, and the shock upon American people would be such as to suppress the reluctance they still got towards entering the war. One of the best examples of "The end justify the means". The Pearl Harbor story could as well have as title "They were expendable". ... Read more


12. Legend of the Eight Samurai
Director: Kinji Fukasaku
list price: $9.99
our price: $9.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0000AC8MO
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 36438
Average Customer Review: 2.57 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (7)

2-0 out of 5 stars I'M QUITE DISSAPOINTED IN THIS MOVIE
A PRINCESS AND 8 SAMURAIS BATTLE THE HIKIMA CLAN. THE MOVIE HAS SOME GOOD SWORDFIGHTS, BUT THE MOVIE'S ALSO TOO LONG, TOO SLOW MOVING AT TIMES, AND IT'S JUST A TRIAL TO SIT THROUGH AT TIMES!NOT TO MENTION, THE DUBBING IS HORRENDOUS. MARTIAL ARTS FANS SHOULD SKIP THIS ONE. THERE'S MUCH BETTER MOVIES OUT THERE THAN THIS.

2-0 out of 5 stars Legend of the Eight Morons
This film had all the makings of a Kung Fu classic. It definately has a style of an ancient Japanese legend, and the style and storytelling only add to that. However...its marred by several things.

One is character development. OK, so each of the eight samurai are different some how, that doesn't really help the fact that most of them we only get to know for about five minutes.

The second is development of the story. This thing drags on forever, and one reason being the princess - whom the Samurai are supposed to PROTECT - gets KIDNAPPED every other minute! I'm not kidding. She must get kidnapped or attacked four or five times in this movie, the last being by the main villainess who takes the princess back to her castle. Doh! Good one samurais! They're supposed to be the eight greatest in Japan, but the Planeteers are more competant than these guys!

The film also suffers from some corny moments, the biggest being at the end when the female assassin samurai is told by one of the bad guys she knew only in a five second fight before: "I have always loved you!" and dies. Before she dies, she clasps the wall and cries out: "I have never in my life been loved!" and then dies. And the audience, of course, is left thinking, "Where in the hell are these two related to each other?!"

Then there's the ending. The whole point of the Eight Samurai protecting the princess is so that her family bloodline can continue and her clan may flourish, but at the end of the movie the princess runs to the handsome, young samurai and declares: "I don't care about the clan, I just want to live with you!"

WHAT THE HELL?! Why didn't she do that at the beginning of the movie? What was the whole point of the two hours we just went through?!

So the film definately became a downer for me shortly after that moment. Its not a kung-fu classic and I wouldn't even suggest renting it. Wait until it comes on late at night on TBS or some thing, and then decide for yourself if you want to own a copy.

3-0 out of 5 stars wonderful visuals butthe Japanese script was better
I first saw this film in the original Japanese as "Satomi Hakenden." I was not disappointed in the visuals but I couldn't help cringing at the awful American "translation." They got the basic idea right but the language they chose took a powerful coming of age story and made it sound ridiculous. If you can't get the original, get this just for the visuals and play it with the sound turned down.

3-0 out of 5 stars Suprisingly good fantasy epic
Eight mysterious crystals from the body of a long dead princess now identify the eight samurai who are destined to help a beautiful young princess overcome a curse on her royal family. They are set against an evil queen who is immortal.

The queen and her son live in a castle assisted by two ghouls, first, a blind witch , and second, a snake charmer, and a legion of anonymous samurai. The eight samurai (called ninja in the film due to the popularity of ninja in the 80's) have individual skills that the princess will require to defeat the queen and the demon who gives the queen her power.

Borrowing greatly from Kurosawa's Seven Samurai, Sonny Chiba's character relies on the earlier portrayal of Kambai. The story focuses however on the love story between the princess and one of her samurai, a very Kikuchyo-esqe farmer turned samurai who fights like a madman in the finale.

The photography is borderline excellent and especially vibrant. Swordfights are frequent and dazzling, most involve the samurai being vastly outnumbered. Choreography, although not up to modern standards, is adequate and exciting. Certain scenes are staged very well, including the brief fight in a garden with flowered trees where the wind blowing during the fight cause the petals to fall like snow.

Despite frequent location changes the story seems to flow rapidly and evenly except that the revenge story comes to a halt at a few points to build the Kikuchyo like eighth samurai character who becomes the love interest. This is the only part of the film that creates empathy for any of the characters, but since the acting can be described as hammy, and the dubbed translation drops most of the emotion from the acting, this part can get tedious.

Other notable flaws are poorly puppeted rubber creatures, some poorly voiced dubbing, and an intrusive 80's love song that plays during the "love story" part of the movie. Also, at one point it calls attention to an object that, because of the reduced size (TV format)isn't on screen. I normally don't mind standard screen size if it is edited properly, but this film deserves widescreen.

The movie as it has been released is a 3 star, If it were redubbed, the love song removed, and released in widescreen, it may deserve a 31/2 or 4 stars.

2-0 out of 5 stars Legend of the 8 reasons not to buy this movie.
If you are a real hard core Sonny Chiba Collector, then this is not worth your time, because he doesn't do really anything in this flick! Why is it not in widescreen? Why is there no original language track? This is DVD right? If you still want this movie to fill the gap in your Chiba collection try to find it in its original format & quality. ... Read more


13. Tora! Tora! Tora!
Director: Toshio Masuda, Richard Fleischer, Kinji Fukasaku
list price: $19.98
our price: $17.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0000AC8LL
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 21937
Average Customer Review: 4.59 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Reviews (151)

3-0 out of 5 stars A great factual account of Pearl Harbor... to a fault.
There's no denying the grand effort that went into making this historical presentation of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Taking accounts of both sides of the war equally, made respectively by both United States and Japanese production crews, Tora! Tora! Tora! is a great documentation of how the attack really occurred. Unlike the recent Pearl Harbor film, which tries to tell the historical story (with many flaws), a love story and a disaster story, Tora! Tora! Tora knows what is meant to be, and strictly follows the historical angle.

Unfortunately, this dedication to fact is the films major weakness. There are no real characterizations of any of the major roles, no central character the audience can connect with, either on the American or Japanese forces. This lack of a so called staring role (which both sides should have had) makes the film feel more like a documentary then a movie. What characters the film does center on are all flat and rather uninteresting. Not to mention poorly acted.

Despite this, the film provides a great understanding of how the attack really occurred, and gives a wonderful visual feast of the disaster. For 1970, when this film was released, the visual effects are outstanding. Definitely worth at least one viewing, more if you're a World War II buff.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Definitive Pearl Harbor Film -- Not To Be Missed
A unique collaboration between American and Japanese filmmakers, "Tora, Tora, Tora" remains the definitive Hollywood portrayal of the tragic events of December 7, 1941. Perhaps the greatest compliment ever paid to this film was provided by none other than Jerry Bruckheimer and Michael Bay, the "masterminds" behind the disastrous "Pearl Harbor", who stated that "Tora" played too much like a documentary. Well, how about that? No meandering love story, no Hallmark script, just cold, hard facts. "Tora" places us smack dab in the middle of a lethal chess game played by politicians in Washington and Tokyo throughout the Fall of '41. The political stalemates and blunders which inevitably lead to war are the meat and potatoes of "Tora". The climax is, of course, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor which is masterfully and accurately re-created. Vintage airplanes and actual ships are seemlessly juxtaposed with miniature models. The results are a spectacular cinematic experience which still holds up by today's standards. (Digital effects didn't exist when "Tora" was released in 1970.) Several big names-- Joseph Cotten, Martin Balsam and E.G. Marshall -- assume starring roles, yet wisely let the story be the "star" of the film. Credit the filmmakers for steering the focus toward the "event" without getting sidetracked in typical Hollywood fashion. To objectively portray the events of Pearl Harbor through the eyes of both sides, while keeping finger-pointing to a minimum, was no small task. In turn, the ability of the viewer to experience the preparation and strategy of both sides makes "Tora" truly unique. This is an important film which treats a monumentally tragic event with the respect and accuracy it rightfully deserves. Essential cinema -- not to be missed.

5-0 out of 5 stars Superb!
After seeing Das Boot for the first time recently, my interest was piqued for another WWII movie. I remember when Tora! was in the theater while I was in high school...and that I had no interest in seeing it at the time. This is a serious-minded, fact-based film of epic proportion. It has similarities to Das Boot in that part of the story is told from the US enemy's point of view. And, oddly enough, I found the structure of the film to be somewhat reminiscent of The Deer Hunter, or even King Solomon's Mines [1950], in that there is a long, detailed build-up of the story prior to any action sequences. And once the action arrived, I sat there thinking, "How did they do this?" Especially considering the fact that this was 1970. But the biggest reward for me is the story itself, and the non-Hollywood way in which it is told here. No one would get financial backing today for a film of this expense coupled with such a non-fiction approach.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best Movie Ever Made About Pearl Harbor
Tora! Tora! Tora! is the single best movie ever made about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. It features excellent performances from such actors as James Whitmore, E.G. Marshall, Jason Robards and Martin Balsam. The special effects are far more convincing than what's in modern movies. It also has some of the best movie music of all time. Best of all, the movie shows the sheer complacency on the U.S. side that enabled the Japanese to successfully mount the surprise attack.

Tora! Tora! Tora! is far superior to any other movie ever made about Pearl Harbor. In fact, it is one of the absolute best movies ever made about World War II. It is a classic motion picture in its own right.

On a scale of 1 to 5, it really merits a 10.

4-0 out of 5 stars Should have been 5 if...
...this movie, which got awesome air scenes and very well documented background info (politic, diplomatic, and military), had been a couple of minutes longer at the end of 1st part. And showed how Roosevelt, who was informed of the results of the (fantastic) Intelligence work -they even could pin the time of the attack- decided to keep it under wraps: so that, without any prior warning, the damage would be maximum, and the shock upon American people would be such as to suppress the reluctance they still got towards entering the war. One of the best examples of "The end justify the means". The Pearl Harbor story could as well have as title "They were expendable". ... Read more


14. Sympathy for the Underdog
Director: Kinji Fukasaku
list price: $24.95
our price: $22.46
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0006Z2NBS
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 19050
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Description

From Kinji Fukasaku (Battles Without Honor & Humanity) comes this pivotal earlycrime drama in the celebrated career of the director who changed the face of Japanese action cinema. Stylish and hard-boiled, Sympathy for the Underdog stars Koji Tsuruta, one of Japan’s seminal figures in the Yakuza genre, as Gunji, an aging Yakuza who is released from prison after ten years. Gunji lives by a code of honor that has no place among Tokyo’s modern corporate gangs. He gets a new lease on life by reforming his former gang and taking over the whiskey trade on the island of Okinawa. But he is forced to make a final, fateful, bloody stand against the mainland gang that sent him to prison. ... Read more


15. The Yakuza Papers, Vol. 1 - Battles Without Honor and Humanity
Director: Kinji Fukasaku
list price: $19.95
our price: $13.97
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0002V7O1K
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 7947
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Description

In the teeming black markets of postwar Japan, Shozo Hirono (Bunta Sugawara) and his buddies find themselves in a new war between fractious and ambitious yakuza.After joining boss Yamamori, Shozo is drawn into a feud with his sworn brother¹s family, the Dois.But that¹s where the chivalry of traditional yakuza film ends and the hypocrisy, betrayal, and assassinations begin.A rare and critical perspective on the history of Japan after World War II, BATTLES WITHOUT HONOR AND HUMANITY is a tour-de-force that revolutionized the yakuza genre and launched Kinji Fukasaku and Bunta Sugawara to international stardom. ... Read more


16. Fall Guy
Director: Kinji Fukasaku
list price: $24.95
our price: $22.46
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0006Z2NC2
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 45968
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Description

Winner of five awards from the Japanese Academy, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, and Best Actress, internationally acclaimed director Kinji Fukasaku’s Fall Guy is a moving love story and a heartfelt valentine to the movies. Morio Kazama stars as Ginshiro, a vain and selfish actor whose stardom is threatened by rising star Tachibana (Daijiro Harada).In a desperate bid to burnish his image, Ginshiro compels a devoted member of his entourage, Yasu (Mitsuro Hirata), to marry Ginshiro’s pregnant mistress, Konatsu (Keiko Matsuzaka). To support his new wife, the devoted Yasu becomes a stunt man, performing increasingly dangerous stunts. Konatsu is torn between Yasu and Ginshiro, who compels his loyal disciple to perform a death-defying stunt that could save the film and Ginshiro’s career. ... Read more


17. Legend of the Eight Samurai
Director: Kinji Fukasaku
list price: $4.99
our price: $4.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0000640UV
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 15464
Average Customer Review: 2.57 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Reviews (7)

2-0 out of 5 stars I'M QUITE DISSAPOINTED IN THIS MOVIE
A PRINCESS AND 8 SAMURAIS BATTLE THE HIKIMA CLAN. THE MOVIE HAS SOME GOOD SWORDFIGHTS, BUT THE MOVIE'S ALSO TOO LONG, TOO SLOW MOVING AT TIMES, AND IT'S JUST A TRIAL TO SIT THROUGH AT TIMES!NOT TO MENTION, THE DUBBING IS HORRENDOUS. MARTIAL ARTS FANS SHOULD SKIP THIS ONE. THERE'S MUCH BETTER MOVIES OUT THERE THAN THIS.

2-0 out of 5 stars Legend of the Eight Morons
This film had all the makings of a Kung Fu classic. It definately has a style of an ancient Japanese legend, and the style and storytelling only add to that. However...its marred by several things.

One is character development. OK, so each of the eight samurai are different some how, that doesn't really help the fact that most of them we only get to know for about five minutes.

The second is development of the story. This thing drags on forever, and one reason being the princess - whom the Samurai are supposed to PROTECT - gets KIDNAPPED every other minute! I'm not kidding. She must get kidnapped or attacked four or five times in this movie, the last being by the main villainess who takes the princess back to her castle. Doh! Good one samurais! They're supposed to be the eight greatest in Japan, but the Planeteers are more competant than these guys!

The film also suffers from some corny moments, the biggest being at the end when the female assassin samurai is told by one of the bad guys she knew only in a five second fight before: "I have always loved you!" and dies. Before she dies, she clasps the wall and cries out: "I have never in my life been loved!" and then dies. And the audience, of course, is left thinking, "Where in the hell are these two related to each other?!"

Then there's the ending. The whole point of the Eight Samurai protecting the princess is so that her family bloodline can continue and her clan may flourish, but at the end of the movie the princess runs to the handsome, young samurai and declares: "I don't care about the clan, I just want to live with you!"

WHAT THE HELL?! Why didn't she do that at the beginning of the movie? What was the whole point of the two hours we just went through?!

So the film definately became a downer for me shortly after that moment. Its not a kung-fu classic and I wouldn't even suggest renting it. Wait until it comes on late at night on TBS or some thing, and then decide for yourself if you want to own a copy.

3-0 out of 5 stars wonderful visuals butthe Japanese script was better
I first saw this film in the original Japanese as "Satomi Hakenden." I was not disappointed in the visuals but I couldn't help cringing at the awful American "translation." They got the basic idea right but the language they chose took a powerful coming of age story and made it sound ridiculous. If you can't get the original, get this just for the visuals and play it with the sound turned down.

3-0 out of 5 stars Suprisingly good fantasy epic
Eight mysterious crystals from the body of a long dead princess now identify the eight samurai who are destined to help a beautiful young princess overcome a curse on her royal family. They are set against an evil queen who is immortal.

The queen and her son live in a castle assisted by two ghouls, first, a blind witch , and second, a snake charmer, and a legion of anonymous samurai. The eight samurai (called ninja in the film due to the popularity of ninja in the 80's) have individual skills that the princess will require to defeat the queen and the demon who gives the queen her power.

Borrowing greatly from Kurosawa's Seven Samurai, Sonny Chiba's character relies on the earlier portrayal of Kambai. The story focuses however on the love story between the princess and one of her samurai, a very Kikuchyo-esqe farmer turned samurai who fights like a madman in the finale.

The photography is borderline excellent and especially vibrant. Swordfights are frequent and dazzling, most involve the samurai being vastly outnumbered. Choreography, although not up to modern standards, is adequate and exciting. Certain scenes are staged very well, including the brief fight in a garden with flowered trees where the wind blowing during the fight cause the petals to fall like snow.

Despite frequent location changes the story seems to flow rapidly and evenly except that the revenge story comes to a halt at a few points to build the Kikuchyo like eighth samurai character who becomes the love interest. This is the only part of the film that creates empathy for any of the characters, but since the acting can be described as hammy, and the dubbed translation drops most of the emotion from the acting, this part can get tedious.

Other notable flaws are poorly puppeted rubber creatures, some poorly voiced dubbing, and an intrusive 80's love song that plays during the "love story" part of the movie. Also, at one point it calls attention to an object that, because of the reduced size (TV format)isn't on screen. I normally don't mind standard screen size if it is edited properly, but this film deserves widescreen.

The movie as it has been released is a 3 star, If it were redubbed, the love song removed, and released in widescreen, it may deserve a 31/2 or 4 stars.

2-0 out of 5 stars Legend of the 8 reasons not to buy this movie.
If you are a real hard core Sonny Chiba Collector, then this is not worth your time, because he doesn't do really anything in this flick! Why is it not in widescreen? Why is there no original language track? This is DVD right? If you still want this movie to fill the gap in your Chiba collection try to find it in its original format & quality. ... Read more


18. The Yakuza Papers, Vol. 2 - Deadly Fight in Hiroshima
Director: Kinji Fukasaku
list price: $19.95
our price: $13.97
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0002V7O1U
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 15432
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Description

Repeatedly beat to a pulp by gamblers, cops, and gangsters, lone wolf Shoji Yamanaka (Kinya Kitaoji, who went on to star as Rhett Butler in the Tokyo stage version of GONE WITH THE WIND), finally finds a home as a Muraoka family hit man and falls in love with boss Muraoka¹s niece. Meanwhile, the ambitions of mad dog Katsutoshi Otomo (Sonny Chiba, KILL BILL) draws our series¹ hero, Shozo Hirono (Bunta Sugawara), into a new round of bloodshed, culminating with the tragic demise of the young Yamanka. ... Read more


19. The Yakuza Papers, Vol. 3 - Proxy War
Director: Kinji Fukasaku
list price: $19.95
our price: $13.97
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0002V7O2O
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 15387
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Description

The successor to Hiroshima¹s most powerful yakuza family, the Muraokas, is whacked in broad daylight on a busy city street. What unfolds is a yakuza succession crisis, as the weaseley Uchimoto (Takeshi Kato) dithers and the slimy, backstabbing boss Yamamori steps in as the Muraoka's new boss. Bunta Sugawara's would-be independent yakuza, Shozo Hirono, is caught in the middle, having to play powerbroker. But the opposing factions seek support from powerful families in Kobe, making all out war inevitable. ... Read more


20. Legend of the Eight Samurai
Director: Kinji Fukasaku
list price: $6.99
our price: $6.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00005CDV7
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 47654
Average Customer Review: 2.57 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Reviews (7)

2-0 out of 5 stars I'M QUITE DISSAPOINTED IN THIS MOVIE
A PRINCESS AND 8 SAMURAIS BATTLE THE HIKIMA CLAN. THE MOVIE HAS SOME GOOD SWORDFIGHTS, BUT THE MOVIE'S ALSO TOO LONG, TOO SLOW MOVING AT TIMES, AND IT'S JUST A TRIAL TO SIT THROUGH AT TIMES!NOT TO MENTION, THE DUBBING IS HORRENDOUS. MARTIAL ARTS FANS SHOULD SKIP THIS ONE. THERE'S MUCH BETTER MOVIES OUT THERE THAN THIS.

2-0 out of 5 stars Legend of the Eight Morons
This film had all the makings of a Kung Fu classic. It definately has a style of an ancient Japanese legend, and the style and storytelling only add to that. However...its marred by several things.

One is character development. OK, so each of the eight samurai are different some how, that doesn't really help the fact that most of them we only get to know for about five minutes.

The second is development of the story. This thing drags on forever, and one reason being the princess - whom the Samurai are supposed to PROTECT - gets KIDNAPPED every other minute! I'm not kidding. She must get kidnapped or attacked four or five times in this movie, the last being by the main villainess who takes the princess back to her castle. Doh! Good one samurais! They're supposed to be the eight greatest in Japan, but the Planeteers are more competant than these guys!

The film also suffers from some corny moments, the biggest being at the end when the female assassin samurai is told by one of the bad guys she knew only in a five second fight before: "I have always loved you!" and dies. Before she dies, she clasps the wall and cries out: "I have never in my life been loved!" and then dies. And the audience, of course, is left thinking, "Where in the hell are these two related to each other?!"

Then there's the ending. The whole point of the Eight Samurai protecting the princess is so that her family bloodline can continue and her clan may flourish, but at the end of the movie the princess runs to the handsome, young samurai and declares: "I don't care about the clan, I just want to live with you!"

WHAT THE HELL?! Why didn't she do that at the beginning of the movie? What was the whole point of the two hours we just went through?!

So the film definately became a downer for me shortly after that moment. Its not a kung-fu classic and I wouldn't even suggest renting it. Wait until it comes on late at night on TBS or some thing, and then decide for yourself if you want to own a copy.

3-0 out of 5 stars wonderful visuals butthe Japanese script was better
I first saw this film in the original Japanese as "Satomi Hakenden." I was not disappointed in the visuals but I couldn't help cringing at the awful American "translation." They got the basic idea right but the language they chose took a powerful coming of age story and made it sound ridiculous. If you can't get the original, get this just for the visuals and play it with the sound turned down.

3-0 out of 5 stars Suprisingly good fantasy epic
Eight mysterious crystals from the body of a long dead princess now identify the eight samurai who are destined to help a beautiful young princess overcome a curse on her royal family. They are set against an evil queen who is immortal.

The queen and her son live in a castle assisted by two ghouls, first, a blind witch , and second, a snake charmer, and a legion of anonymous samurai. The eight samurai (called ninja in the film due to the popularity of ninja in the 80's) have individual skills that the princess will require to defeat the queen and the demon who gives the queen her power.

Borrowing greatly from Kurosawa's Seven Samurai, Sonny Chiba's character relies on the earlier portrayal of Kambai. The story focuses however on the love story between the princess and one of her samurai, a very Kikuchyo-esqe farmer turned samurai who fights like a madman in the finale.

The photography is borderline excellent and especially vibrant. Swordfights are frequent and dazzling, most involve the samurai being vastly outnumbered. Choreography, although not up to modern standards, is adequate and exciting. Certain scenes are staged very well, including the brief fight in a garden with flowered trees where the wind blowing during the fight cause the petals to fall like snow.

Despite frequent location changes the story seems to flow rapidly and evenly except that the revenge story comes to a halt at a few points to build the Kikuchyo like eighth samurai character who becomes the love interest. This is the only part of the film that creates empathy for any of the characters, but since the acting can be described as hammy, and the dubbed translation drops most of the emotion from the acting, this part can get tedious.

Other notable flaws are poorly puppeted rubber creatures, some poorly voiced dubbing, and an intrusive 80's love song that plays during the "love story" part of the movie. Also, at one point it calls attention to an object that, because of the reduced size (TV format)isn't on screen. I normally don't mind standard screen size if it is edited properly, but this film deserves widescreen.

The movie as it has been released is a 3 star, If it were redubbed, the love song removed, and released in widescreen, it may deserve a 31/2 or 4 stars.

2-0 out of 5 stars Legend of the 8 reasons not to buy this movie.
If you are a real hard core Sonny Chiba Collector, then this is not worth your time, because he doesn't do really anything in this flick! Why is it not in widescreen? Why is there no original language track? This is DVD right? If you still want this movie to fill the gap in your Chiba collection try to find it in its original format & quality. ... Read more


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