Sonny Chiba Collection (Legend of the Eight Samurai / Ninja Wars / G.I. Samurai / Resurrection of Golden Wolf)
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Over the last few years many different Sonny Chiba collections have been released on DVD. Some of them are good, some not so good. This one, The Sonny Chiba Collection, is one of the better releases. BCI has again teamed up with Adness to release anamorphic widescreen versions of some of Sonny Chiba's best movies....along with a couple titles that don't really belong in a "Sonny Chiba Collection."
First, the classic Japanese hijacking/extortion film (and the basis for the movie Speed), Bullet Train is included in both the international edit (English dub, 115 minutes) and the original Japanese version (152 minutes). The sound on the international version is pretty thin and tinny, and English dubs of Asian movies is usually mediocre at best - although this one isn't too bad. The Japanese version, however, is very good. The picture quality is excellent for a non-restored print of a 35 year old movie, and the sound is more than acceptable for a film of that vintage. The only downside to this movie (as part of this set)? Not a lot of Chiba. He has a major supporting role, but is not the main character (that role went to the great Ken Takakura). Still, this is a classic thriller (and I would have paid $[...] for an anamorphic widescreen release of the Japanese version by itself).
Golgo 13 is a top notch Chiba movie, where he plays an international hit man.Read more ›
GI SAMURAI is the only film in this set that can be truly said to STAR Sonny Chiba. He plays a JSDF commander zapped back to in time to feudal Japan along with his squad and some very heavy artillery. Their only way to return home . . . is to f%#& up history! Chiba is absolutely glorious in his role as the unstable commander. Some awe inspiring action and touching meditative moments mix with cheeseball J-Pop and an EXTREMELY meandering storyline to create a one-of-a-kind experience. GI SAMURAI!
LEGEND OF THE EIGHT SAMURAI is a no-holds-barred epic fantasy filled with demons, monsters, romance, tragedy, and THE EIGHT SAMURAI! Sonny Chiba has a strong supporting role and gets to mix it up with the demon army. No real karate stuff here, though.
RESURRECTION OF GOLDEN WOLF is a sleazy crime thriller about a brutal thief who lives a daring double life. And that thief is . . . NOT Sonny Chiba! Chiba plays a minor supporting character with an important role in a subplot. The film is very good regardless, and very weird too! "When do we get to Jupiter?"
NINJA WARS, aka NINJA DEATH or DEATH OF A NINJA, is another dark fantasy feature in the vein of EIGHT SAMURAI. Sonny Chiba is onscreen for a grand total of maybe five minutes, but there's enough twisted visions and dark doings [head swapping, puking monks, HELL] to make up for that. Think of it as an unrelated bonus film in the Sonny Chiba Collection.
With anamorphic transfers and the original Japanese audio, you can't go wrong dropping $$$ on this set! [Aside from Mill Creek's awful new packaging - very slick looking on the outside, but the disc storage isn't very practical!]
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Sonny Chiba Collection (Legend of the Eight) = a *4* star Movie!!!Published 16 days ago by A Roger Zelazny Fan
Good action, eight hours of Sonny Chiba for a low price. Worthy pick up.Published 3 months ago by Morpheus
Entertaining Sonny Chiba collection bought as a gift for Martial Artist's recuperation process. Delivered quickly.Published 4 months ago by Jmori
Kind of boring. I was expecting better story lines and better acting. Disappointing.Published 8 months ago by ophewathun