Written by: Michael Den Boer on December 25th, 2004
Theatrical Release Date: Japan, 1973
Director: Kinji Fukasaku
Writers: Kazuo Kasahara, Koichi Iiboshi
Cast: Bunta Sugawara, Hiroki Matsukata, Tatsuo Umemiya, Tsunehiko Watase, Nobuo Kaneko
|Approximate running time:||99||99|
|Aspect Ratio:||2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen||2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen|
|Sound:||Dolby Digital Mono Japanese with English subtitles||Dolby Digital Mono Japanese with English subtitles|
|DVD Release:||Eureka Video||Home Vision|
|Region 1 NTSC|
Eureka Video’s Region 2 DVD
Home Vision’s Region 1 DVD
Shozo Hirono (Bunta Sugawara) an ex-solider living in Hiroshima after World War II. Hirono is sent to prison for killing a man and while there he Hirono meets Wagasugi (Tatsuo Umemiya). They become blood brothers which lead tories are fought for and Hirono quickly learns that betrayal and murder like loyalty are par Hirono’s introduction into the world of the yakuza. Battles erupt as gangs as territot of the yakuza code.
Unlike their previous Kinji Fukasaku releases that had been plagued with all sorts of problems Eureka’s Battle without Honor and Humanity looks pretty good. This release offers a great amount of detail in every frame with solid colors and natural flesh tones. Home Vision’s release offers a superior color palette and I prefer how the flesh tones look on their release vs. Eureka’s. The amount of detail is exceptional in the Home Vision release which is ever more evident in night time/darker scenes. Framing wise both releases look to be about the same and the both present the film in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the films original 2.35:1 aspect ratio.
Both releases come with a Dolby Digital mono Japanese audio track and English subtitles that are easy to read and follow. Both releases audio tracks are clean and free of any hiss or distortion. The action is always clean and easy to follow. Home Vision subtitles are more accurate then Eureka’s.
Eureka’s release includes the following extras a photo gallery and director’s profile. Home Vision’s release includes the following extras. Trailers for the Yakuza Papers (Volumes 1-5), Graveyard of Honor, Street Mobster, director filmography and a booklet called the Family Tree that is a comprehensive story guide that helps sort out the Yakuza Papers series complicated plot. Both releases fall short in the extras department with the slight edge going to Home Vision for their comprehensive story guide for the Yakuza Papers series.
Even though Eureka finally delivers with one of their better transfer’s to date for a Kinji Fukasaku film they still fall short in terms of quality when compared to Home Visions Battle without Honor and Humanity release which offers a superior transfer and slightly more extras.