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SPECIFICATIONS
  • 1.33:1 Standard
  • Japanese Mono
  • English subtitles
  • 1 Disc
FEATURES
  • Theatrical Trailer

Samurai II: Duel at Ichijoji Temple

1998 Edition
Reviewed by: Chris Galloway

Directed By: Hiroshi Inagaki
Starring: Toshiro Mifune, Koji Tsuruta, Kaoru Yachigusa, Mariko Okada, Michiyo Kogure, Mitsuko Mito, Akihiko Hirata, Daisuke Kato, Kuroemon Onoe, Sachio Sakai, Kokuten Kodo
| Minutes | Licensor: Toho Co.

Release Information
DVD | MSRP: $29.95 | Series: The Criterion Collection | Edition: #15 | Out of print
RLJ Entertainment

Release Date: July 21, 1998
Review Date: April 1, 2009

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SYNOPSIS

Hiroshi Inagaki's acclaimed Samurai Trilogy is based on the novel that has been called Japan's Gone with the Wind. This sweeping saga of the legendary seventeenth-century samurai Musashi Miyamoto (powerfully portrayed by Toshiro Mifune) plays out against the turmoil of a devastating civil war. The Trilogy (whose first part won an Academy Award®) follows Musashi's odyssey from unruly youth to enlightened warrior. In the second and most violent installment, Duel at Ichijoji Temple, Musashi beats a samurai armed with a chain-and-sickle and is later set upon by eighty samurai disciples-orchestrated by the sinister Kojiro-while the two women who love him watch helplessly.

Forum members rate this film 7/10

 

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PICTURE

Criterionís release for the second title in Hiroshi Inagakiís Samurai trilogy, Samurai II: Duel at Ichijoji Temple, is again presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.33:1 on this single-layer disc and amazingly the image is a little worse than the disc for the first film.

Again there is a lot in the way of print damage, with plenty of marks, tears, and jumps during transitions. Colours are also worse, leaning even heavier towards a yellowish/greenish hue. Black levels are way too dark and night sequences are even harder to see this time around. And again the image is filled with artifacts, more obvious edge-enhancement, and objects can look like theyíre floating on occasion.

Itís bad, amazingly worse than the image found on the disc of the first film, but even more shocking itís not the worst looking of the series.

3/10

All DVD screen captures are presented in their original size from the source disc. Images have been compressed slightly to conserve space. While they are not exact representations they should offer a general idea of overall video quality.

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AUDIO

Again itís a weak sounding track. The Japanese mono tracks on all three releases are weak and sound fairly compressed. Music is edgy and bland, sound effects are weak, and everything just sounds hallow overall.

3/10

SUPPLEMENTS

And again this is pretty much barebones, presenting only a theatrical trailer and an essay by Bruce Eder. Thankfully the essays (which are written by Eder on all three releases) are decent reads.

1/10

CLOSING

Amazingly even worse than the Criterion DVD for the first film, yet still not the worst of the three. The image is a compressed mess, the audio is lousy and it lacks supplements. All three titles were released on their own originally but were rereleased in a boxset with slightly different cover later on. Unfortunately nothing was changed about the discs themselves and all three are still some of Criterionís weakest titles. Lackluster in every regard.


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