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G.I. Samurai :Comparison (Adness vs. Optimum Asia) 
Written by: on September 6th, 2005
Theatrical Release Date: Japan, December 5th, 1979
Director: Mitsumasa Saito
Writer: Toshio Kamata
Cast: Sonny Chiba, Jun Eto, Toshitaka Ito, Haruki Kadokawa, Hiroshi Kamayatsu

G.I. Samurai

G.I. Samurai

DVD released: 2005 2005
Approximate running time: 139 minutes 139 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Rating: NR 18
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo Japanese with English subtitles Dolby Digital Stereo Japanese with English subtitles
DVD Release: Adness Optimum Asia
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC Region
2 PAL
Retail Price: $19.95 £12.99 ($22.84)

Adness’s Region 1 DVD
Optimum Asia’s Region 2 DVD

Adness’s Region 1 DVD


Optimum Asia’s Region 2 DVD


The Film :

A squadron of Japanese soldiers are transported into the past were Shoguns and Samurai’s rule the land. Lt. Yoshiaki Iba (Sonny Chiba) tries to keep his men in line while he thinks of a way to get them back home. Kagatore (Isao Natsuki) is an ambitious samurai who aspire to be the next shogun and when he sees Lt. Yoshiaki Iba weapons of mass destruction he forms an alliance. Does Kagatore have ulterior motives or will he help Iba and his men find their way back home?

Video:

Both releases present G.I. Samurai in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the films original 1.85:1 aspect ratio and they are both progressive scan transfers. The main difference between the two releases is most apparent when comparing their colors and flesh tones. In this respect I would give the edge the Optimum Asia release which boasts stronger colors and their flesh tones look healthier. The image looks slightly sharper to my eye on the Adness release then the Optimum Asia, still the overall difference is minimal. Overall both releases are in great shape as there are no problems with compression or artifacts.

Audio:

Both releases come with only one audio option the films original Japanese language track that is presented in a Dolby Digital stereo. The dialog is clean and the music and effects sound evenly mixed on both releases. They are both free of any hiss or distortion and overall they sound pretty near identical. Both releases also come with English subtitles that are easy to read and follow. Out of the many comparisons that I have done it is amazing just how close these two releases mirror the other quality wise in the audio department.

Extras:

Adness’s release comes with the following extras a Sonny Chiba trailer collection with the following titles G.I. Samurai, Karate Bearfighter, Karate Bullfighter, Killing Machine, Shogun’s Samurai, Black Magic Wars, Karate for Life and Legend of The Eight Samurai and liner notes written by Patrick Macias. Optimum Asia’s release comes with the following extras the films original theatrical trailer and a bio on Sonny Chiba. Other extras include a gallery of original Japanese poster art that includes the following films The Street Fighter, Return of the Street Fighter, The Street Fighter’s Last Revenge, Yakuza Deka, Yakuza Deka: The Assassin, The Bullet Train, The Killing Machine and two posters for Golgo 13: Kowloon Assignment. Rounding out the extras is a Sonny Chiba trailer collection that includes the following titles The Street Fighter, Return of the Street Fighter, The Street Fighter’s Last Revenge, Yakuza Deka, The Killing Machine, Yakuza Deka: The Assassin, Golgo 13: Kowloon Assignment and Bullet Train.

Overall:

This is one the closest comparisons that I have done to date with the main differences between the two releases being so minimal, still I would have to give the edge to the Adness release since it is completely uncut and Optimum Asia release is cut about forty seconds worth of footage.

Note: G.I. Samurai is also available as part of Optimum Asia’s Sonny Chiba collection volume 2 which also includes Golgo 13: Kowloon Assignment and Bullet Train.

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