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Last Days of the Boss
SPECIFICATIONS
  • 2.35:1 Widescreen
  • 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
  • Japanese Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono
  • Japanese PCM Mono
  • English subtitles
  • 2 Discs
FEATURES
  • Clsosing Stories, a new interviews with screenwriter Koji Takada, about his work on the film
  • Teaser Trailer
  • Theatrical Trailer

Last Days of the Boss

Dual-Format Edition
Reviewed by: Chris Galloway

Directed By: Kinji Fukasaku
1975 | 94 Minutes

Release Information
Blu-ray | MSRP: $99.95 | Series: Arrow Video
MVD Visual

Release Date: August 29, 2017
Review Date: September 7, 2017

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SYNOPSIS

In the early 1970s, Kinji Fukasaku's five-film Battles Without Honor and Humanity series was a massive hit in Japan, and kicked off a boom in realistic, modern yakuza films based on true stories. Although Fukasaku had intended to end the series, Toei Studio convinced him to return to the director's chair for this unconnected, follow-up trilogy of films, each starring Battles leading man Bunta Sugawara and telling separate, but fictional stories about the yakuza in different locations in Japan. In Last Days of the Boss, Sugawara plays Nozaki, a laborer who swears allegiance to a sympathetic crime boss, only to find himself elected his successor after the boss is murdered. Restrained by a gang alliance that forbids retributions against high-level members, Nozaki forms a plot to exact revenge on his rivals, but a suspicious relationship with his own sister (Chieko Matsubara from Outlaw: Gangster VIP) taints his relationship with his fellow gang members.


PICTURE

Arrow Video presents Kinji Fukasakuís Last Days of the Boss on Blu-ray in a new dual-format edition, available exclusively in their New Battles without Honor and Humanity Trilogy box set. The film receives a 1080p/24hz high-definition encode on a dual-layer disc, presented in its original aspect ratio of 2.35:1. Arrow is using a master supplied to them from Toei.

Similar to the other films in the set the master has been supplied to Arrow, pretty much ďas-is,Ē and because of that we do receive a fairly mediocre final presentation. The image is still a bit soft, lacking the sharp details Iíve pretty much come to expect from the format. It looks better than a DVD (and the DVD included here) but thatís about the best I can really say about it. Colours are still a bit dull, with only the occasional pop of red or blue, and black levels are again very murky, killing off details in the shadows.

The print is, at least, fairly clean with only a few remaining marks scattered about. But in all itís on par with the rest of the set, which is ďfine.Ē

6/10

All Blu-ray screen captures come from the source disc and have been shrunk from 1920x1080 to 900x506 and slightly compressed to conserve space. While they are not exact representations they should offer a general idea of overall video quality.

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AUDIO

The lossless PCM 1.0 monaural Japanese soundtrack is, like the others, flat and slightly distorted, though thankfully not to the extent that the audio for The Bossís Head is. Still, dialogue is lifeless, lacking fidelity, and the filmís music and effects can be a little edgy.

6/10

SUPPLEMENTS

Arrow spreads special features over the three films in the box set. Last Days of the Boss only comes with one significant feature itself, a continuation of the interview with screenwriter Koji Takada found on the previous disc. During this 17-minute portion he explains how the increased freedom he was allotted that allowed him to take this film in a different direction, making it more of a mystery film. He also explains why the film can feel like itís all over the place: various real-life incidents influenced him as he was writing, calling for him to go back and change things around.

The supplements then close with the filmís original theatrical trailer.

Paired with his portion on the previous disc, Takadaís interview proves to be a fascinating bit of insight into the direction this new series took in comparison to the previous 5-film series but I still have to admit to being underwhelmed by the minimal number of supplements here and in the set as a whole.

2/10

CLOSING

Pretty much on par with the rest of the set, we get an okay presentation and a decent interview.




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