Written by: Michael Den Boer on January 23rd, 2005
|Theatrical Release Date: Japan, December 10th, 1983
Director: Kinji Fukasaku
Writers: Kinji Fukasaku, Toshio Kamata
Cast: Sonny Chiba, Hiroko Yakushimaru, Hiroyuki Sanada, Etsuko Shihomi
|Approximate running time:||130 minutes||136 minutes|
|Aspect Ratio:||4.3 Pan and Scan||2.00:1 Anamorphic Widescreen|
|Sound:||Dolby Digital Mono English||Dolby Digital Stereo Japanese with English subtitles|
|Region Coding:||Region 0 NTSC||Region 1 NTSC|
The Film :
Princess Shizuhime (Hiroko Yakushimaru) is forced to flee from her kingdom when the undead armies of the Hikita Clan kill her whole family. She must get to the land of her uncle before the Hikita Clan find and sacrifice her. Along her journey she meets Dosetsu (Sonny Chiba) who tells her tale about Tamazusa’s (Mari Natsuki) century-long curse with her family’s clan. Enlisting the help of the eight samurai’s who each bear a magic crystal Princess Shizuhime in now one step closer to ending the family curse.
Brentwood’s release is a mess not only is the image cropped is suffers from color bleeding and lack of detail. Adness’s release presents Legend of the Eight Samurai in an anamorphic widescreen the preserves the films original 2.00:1 aspect ratio. Adness’s DVD breathes new life into the film as their transfer showcases the films bold color palette like you have never seen it before. The amount of detail in exceptional in every frame and flesh tones finally look natural. There are no problems with compressions or artifacts.
Brentwood’s release comes with an English dubbed audio track that totally ruins the movie. There are problems with hiss and distortion on their audio source. The action sounds muffled and the dialog is so thin at times it is hard to hear. Adness’s release comes with the original Japanese language track that is presented in a Dolby Digital stereo. The audio is crystal clear and the action sounds robust through out as this audio mix makes good use of the front and rear channels. English subtitles have been included that are easy to follow and understand.
Brentwood like most budget companies DVD’s come with no extras. Legend of The Eight is part of Brentwood’s 10 Faces of Sonny Chiba set which includes nine other Sonny Chiba films. Adness for their release included the following extras a Sonny Chiba trailer collection with the following titles Legend of The Eight Samurai, Karate Bearfighter, Karate Bullfighter, Karate for Life, Shogun’s Samurai, Black Magic Wars, Killing Machine and G.I. Samurai. Most of these trailers are in their original aspect ratio. Rounding out the extras is the well written and informative liner notes written by Patrick Macias.
The Adness release presents the film for the first in North America in its original aspect ratio it and it is about six minutes longer then the Brentwood release. Adness’s Legend of the Eight Samurai is superior in every category to the Brentwood release which even by budget DVD standards looks like shit plain and simple.