Retaliation (1968)

Starring: Jo Shishido, Hideaki Nitani, Meiko Kaji & Akira Kobayashi Directed by: Yasuharu Hasebe Synopsis: A tale of gang warfare that features a raft of the period’s most iconic stars, Akira...

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Starring: Jo Shishido, Hideaki Nitani, Meiko Kaji & Akira Kobayashi
Directed by: Yasuharu Hasebe

Synopsis:
A tale of gang warfare that features a raft of the period’s most iconic stars, Akira Kobayashi is a yakuza lieutenant who emerges from jail to find his gang dispersed and his aging boss in his sickbed.  Shishido is the rival waiting to kill him and a young Meiko Kaji is the girl caught in the crossfire.

Video:
Retaliation get’s a dual-layered 1080p transfer and is treated the way it should be.  Given the soft textures seen throughout the film and the small dose of sharpness in character detail, the way the film was shot and made was to portray a softer contrast and tone.  Although I do feel that Arrow could have put in a little more effort in the transfer and I do feel that it hasn’t reached its HD potential, Retaliation has a solid viewing experience overall on blu-ray.  There are still a few traces of light fading that interrupt and distort the color, there are no problematic sharpening issues as well as instability in the picture.  Overall a satisfactory transfer from Arrow Films.

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Audio:
The blu-ray release comes from a Japanese LPCM 1.0 transfer with optional English subtitles.  The audio transfer is exceptionally well done with overall near perfect clarity and depth.  You get the most out of the audio during action sequences when the music is predominately loud and subtle.  Very little noticeable issues concerning high frequencies throughout the film that rarely distort the original LPCM audio.  Overall the audio is exceptional and Arrow once again has done its job in that department.

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Supplements:

  • Limited Edition Blu-ray (3,000 copies only)
  • Restored High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentation, on Blu-ray for the first time in the world!
  • Original uncompressed mono PCM audio
  • Newly translated English subtitles
  • Brand new interview with star Jo Shishido
  • Brand new interview with renowned critic and historian Tony Rayns
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • Gallery featuring rare promotional images
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Ian MacEwan
  • Booklet featuring new writing on the film by Japanese cinema expert Jasper Sharp, newly illustrated by Ian MacEwan and featuring original archive stills

Closing thoughts:
My overall viewing experience of this film met my expectations.  Jo Shishido never disappoints in his films and although the style of Yasuharu is different than a typical Seijun Suzuki film, I still enjoyed the film.  Yasuharu brings a gritty, artistic, crime drama to the table with some intense non over the top violence, which should please fans of Japanese film noir.  Arrow provides an authentic viewing experience on all formats and fans will not be disappointed by this release.

Technical specifications:

Disc:

Production release: Nikkatsu Studios
Video release: Arrow Films

Number of discs: 2
Region Free
Runtime: 94 minutes
Case: Standard clear amaray case
Release date: May 12, 2015

Video:
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC

Audio:
Japanese LPCM Mono

Subtitles:
Yes (English)

Extras:
Yes

To purchase this film or any other Arrow Films merchandise visit: www.mvdb2b.com

Retaliation: Purchase Link

Retail: $29.96

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