Written by: Michael Den Boer 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
|Approximate running time:||89m45s||92m32s|
|Aspect Ratio:||2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen||2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen|
|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|
Optimum Asia’s Region 2 DVD
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.
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.
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.
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.