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Golgo 13: Comparison (Optimum Asia vs. Ronin Entertainment) 
Written by: on August 21st, 2006

Theatrical Release Date: Japan, 1977
Director:
Yukio Noda
Writers:
Takeshi Matsumoto, Nobuaki Nakajima, Takao Saitô
Cast:
Sonny Chiba, Etsuko Shihomi, Callan Leung

DVD released: 2005 2006
Approximate running time: 89m45s 92m32s
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Rating: 18 NR
Sound:  Dolby Digital Stereo Japnese with English subtitles Dolby Digital 5.1 & Stereo Japnese & English with English subtitles
DVD Release: Optimum Asia Ronin Entertainment
Region Coding: Region 2 PAL Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: £12.99 $24.98

Optimum Asia’s Region 2 DVD

Ronin Entertainment’s Region 1 DVD

Optimum Asia’s Region 2 DVD

Ronin Entertainment’s Region 1 DVD

Optimum Asia’s Region 2 DVD

Ronin Entertainment’s Region 1 DVD


The Film :

On behalf of the U.S. drug syndicate Ricky Brown hires notorious hit man Golgo 13 (Sonny Chiba) to assassinate Chow Lui Fung who has had falling out with the syndicate. Captain Sminny (Callan Leung) currently has Chow Lui Fung under surveillance for drug trafficking and he is about to make arrest when his partner Lin-Li (Sue Shihomi) goes missing. Golgo 13 has found the prefect time and place to dispose of Chow Lui Fung at the dedication ceremony being held on his behalf. Golgo 13 is unable to complete the job when another assassin completes the job right before his eyes. The police now are on the look out for Golgo 13 who is now being blamed for a murder he didn’t commit. Golgo 13 now seeks revenge against those who have double crossed him as he tries to stay one step ahead of the law.

Video:

Both releases present the film in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the films original aspect ratio. Both releases have no noticeable print damage and the image looks sharp and stable through out. The colors and flesh tones look distinctly different between the two releases with the slight edge going to the Optimum Asia release which also looks brighter in most scenes. The Optimum Asia release has some minor instances of blurring that is present during scenes that contain a lot of movement. This problem doesn’t occur or at least it is not as obvious on the Ronin Entertainment release.

Audio:

Optimum Asia’s release comes with one audio option the films original Japanese language track which is presented in a Dolby Digital stereo. The audio sound evenly sound balanced and it is free of any sound defects. The Ronin Entertainment release comes three audio options a Dolby Digital 5.1 and Dolby Digital stereo mixes in Japanese and a Dolby Digital stereo mix in English. The Japanese language tracks sound clean and are free of any sound defects. The Dolby Digital stereo English audio mix on Golgo 13 has some noticeable hiss and some minor distortion issues. Both release come with removable English subtitles.

Extras:

Optimum Asia’s release comes with the following extras 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, Bullet Train and G.I. Samurai. Ronin Entertainment’s release comes with the following extras a collection of Sonny Chiba trailers The Shogun’s Samurai, The Killing Machine, Karate Bearfighter, Karate Bullfighter, Karate for Life, Shogun’s Shadow, Shogun’s Ninja, The Executioner, The Executioner 2: Karate Inferno, Legend of the Eight Samurai, G.I. Samurai and Ninja Wars all in Japanese with English subtitles. Also included are the English language trailers for Legend of the Eight Samurai and Ninja Wars. This set comes with a DVD insert that talks briefly about each film and the version included for this release.

Overall:

Both release present Golgo 13 uncut and in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the films original aspect ratio. There are pro and cons for both releases with the slight edged going to the Ronin Entertainment release of Golgo 13 which also comes with Virus and Bullet Train at a more then affordable price for all three films.

Note: Optimum Asia’s Golgo 13 release is also available as part of their Sonny Chiba collection volume 2 which also includes Bullet Train and G.I. Samurai. Ronin Entertainment’s Golgo 13 release is only available as part of their Sonny Chiba Action Pack which also comes with Virus and Bullet Train.

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