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Street Fighter, The :Comparison (Image Entertainment vs. Optimum Asia) 
Written by: on January 30th, 2005
Theatrical Release Date: Japan, February 2nd, 1974
Director: Shigehiro Ozawa
Writer: Koji Takada
Cast: Sonny Chiba, Etsuko Shihomi, Masashi Ishibashi
Streetfighter
Streetfighter
DVD released: 1995 2005
Approximate running time: 91 minutes 86 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Non-Anamorphic Widescreen 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Rating: NR 18
Sound: Dolby Digital stereo English and Japanese Dolby Digital stereo Japanese with English subtitles
DVD Release: New Line Cinema Optimum
Region Coding: Laserdisc Region 2 PAL
Retail Price: OOP £15.99

New Line Cinema’s Laserdisc
Optimum’s Region 2 DVD

The Film :

Chiba plays Terry Tsurugi an assassin who has been hired to help fake the death of Junjou (Masashi Ishibashi). When Junjou’s brother and sister don’t have enough money to pay Terry that is when the trouble starts. Terry fights Junjou’s brother leads to Junjou’s siblings’ death. Terry sells Junjou’s sister into slavery for three million yen. Sarai (Yutaka Nakajima) learns of her father’s death she is now in charge of the family business and in danger from the mob who wants to take the business over. The mob tries to hire Terry but when he refuses the job they send in a group of henchmen to kill him. He quickly disposes of them as he leaves a trail of corpses. Terry is then forced to take the job to get the mob off of his back. Once in his grasp Sarai’s fate lies in the hands of the director of the karate school who Terry challenges to a fight. The first flashback of the movie occurs during this fight when the director of the karate school has almost defeated Terry. The flashback of his father gives him the strength to come back as they fight to a draw. Terry decides to join forces with the director of the karate school to protect Sarai from the mob. Junjou in order to save his sister from slavery must first kill Terry for the mob. Junjou anger boils over as he sees his sister enslaved and how Terry killed their brother. Mr. Bayan (Tatsuo Endo) sets up the capture of Sarai.

Video:

New Line cinema’s laserdisc print is in good shape as it is virtually free of nicks and scratches. The flesh tones do look slightly off and the image as a whole is a tad soft. New Line Cinema’s release does offer more picture information then all of the current U.S. DVD releases of The Street Fighter which are cropped. Optimum’s release brings the films flesh tones and colors to life. The black levels remain strong and constant with solid detail through out. Grain is kept to a minimum as this print is nearly flawless. Optimum’s release also offers slightly more picture information then the New Line Laserdisc.

Audio:

New Line cinema’s laserdisc offers two audio options the films original Japanese Language track and an English dubbed track. Unfortunately they have neglected to include English subtitle with the Japanese Language track. Overall the sound on this release is clean with no sign of hiss or distortion. The action sounds crisp and dialog is always easy to understand. New Line cinema’s laserdisc offers better sound quality then all of the current U.S. DVD releases of The Street Fighter. Optimum’s DVD comes with only one audio option the films original Japanese Language track and it is presented in a Dolby Digital stereo. The sound track is in amazing shape with no problems with distortion or hiss. This is the best I have ever heard Street Fighter ever sound to date. English subtitles have been included that are easy to read and follow.

Extras:

The New Line cinema laserdisc is a barebones release that doesn’t even come with the films original trailer. Optimum’s release comes with the following extras a stills gallery, a bio on Sonny Chiba and The films original trailer. Rounding out the extras are trailers for other release from Optimum is a Sonny Chiba trailer collection including the following titles Return of the Street Fighter, The Street Fighter’s Last Revenge, Yakuza Deka, Yakuza Deka Marijuana Mitsubai Soshika, The Bullet Train, Golgo 13: Kowloon Assignment and Time Slip.

Overall:

Finally a Street Fighter DVD that is worth owning after countless inferior versions from companies like Brentwood, Diamond or VCI

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