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Castle Of Cagliostro (Blu-ray + DVD) 
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“A Hilarious Mix of Hitchcock and the Marx Brothers” -- Hollywood Reporter
The Castle of Cagliostro is the first feature film directed by Hayao Miyazaki. Now available for the first time on Blu-ray and in stunning high-definition, the film is also part of the hugely popular Lupin III animated TV series of which Miyazaki had written and directed a number of episodes.
Here, our iconic super-thief Lupin pulls off a thrilling heist at a Monte Carlo casino, only to discover the spoils are counterfeit. Lupin traces the fake bills to the country of Cagliostro where an evil Count is generating forged money and distributing it worldwide. With partners in tow (including a retired gangster, a modern-day samurai, and a beautiful female thief) Lupin heads to Cagliostro where he also finds a promise of hidden treasure and Clarice, a beautiful Princess in need of rescuing from the Count’s dastardly clutches.
Maintaining the lineage of the Lupin III franchise, Miyazaki also imbues the proceedings with his customary wit and sense of the romantic - Miyazaki’s heroes are always ready to come to the aid of a damsel in distress. Moreover, the film is lovingly detailed with the storybook kingdom of Cagliostro being beautifully redolent of the director’s equally inspired later works.
The delightful 1979 adventure yarn The Castle of Cagliostro was the first international hit for Hayao Miyazaki (Princess Mononoke, My Neighbor Totoro). Quick-paced, high-spirited and loaded with wit, Cagliostro is a dandy throwback to the caper pictures of the 1960s. International man of mystery Lupin III stumbles back into the picturesque European duchy of Cagliostro with his faithful and gruff sidekick, Jigen. They will encounter, in no particular order, a runaway bride, a magical ring, an evil count with a dastardly plan, an inspector bent on catching Lupin, perilous rooftop chases, hooded guards with superhuman powers, a well-used dungeon, a counterfeiting scheme, and an ancient mystery promising grand treasure. Lupin deploys an array of Bond-type gadgets, razor-sharp wit, and a surprise up both his sleeves. Despite the hail of bullets, this caper is great fun, never taking itself seriously. Miyazaki's career illustrates how limiting the term animé can be for these films; there are hardly more than 10 live-action films of this genre as entertaining. Far less mean than Hollywood fare, it nevertheless is for ages nine and up since it contains adult-orientated language and gunplay. The Lupin character has been featured in other animé films, but never as successfully or with as much fun as in Miyazaki's. The new English-language dubbing is excellent to boot. --Doug Thomas, Amazon.com --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Cagliostro's Castle was my introduction to anime, and it's hard to imagine a better transition-- if this were live-action, it would be world-famous. The hero, Wolf (Lupin in Japanese, I believe), is a likeable rogue with impossible gadgets, a bizarre streak of chivalry and a determined policeman on his tail, and if that doesn't sound like a recipe for great fun I'm not sure what does. Throw in an eternally unruffled swordsman, a matter-of-fact sharpshooter, a refreshingly love-to-hate villain, a sassy lone agent and a beautiful 19-year-old damsel in distress, and you've got this amazing film, which mixes romance and action with comedy and doesn't waste a single minute.
One word of advice: get used to EITHER the subtitled OR the dubbed version, don't try to like both-- they seem to have been based on scripts at different stages of production, and as a consequence don't always match up even at crucial moments. If you speak fluent Japanese, fine.
There are other editions of this film including streamline and manga editions.
This is the Optimum Asia release. This Optimum re-release marks a general improvement over the previous Manga edition. Whereas that version came without anamorphic enhancement and was essentially lacklustre in the visual department, here we find a fine clarity, superb colours and anamorphic transfer. That said, we also arrive at an NTSC-PAL conversation which results in some noticeable - if never overt - ghosting. The film remains watchable, but then this was never a problem with the Manga disc for all its other flaws. As for the soundtrack we arrive at both Japanese and English options in DD2.0 form. Both remain clean enough and technically sound though no doubt the purists will go for the Japanese original (which comes with optional English subtitles of the white variety, unlike some of Optimum's other Ghibli offerings). The English dub is the old Streamline edition and not the newer re-recording which appeared on the Manga disc. The Manga edition used David Hayter (the voice for Solid Snake in the Metal Gear Solid games) as the voice for Lupin, which I do think sounds better than Bob Bergen, who voices Lupin in this Optimum edition using the older streamline soundtrack.
This DVD edition still sounds great though and the voice acting is still brilliant. I would definately recommend it.
For the uninitiated, Lupin III is the grandson of Arsene Lupin, the gentleman thief, created by Maurice Leblanc in the Twenties. He's always breaking into some impenetrable vault, or has a zillion gadgets up his sleeve to help with escaping if things go awry. He's also rather wacky and buffoonish, which makes his antics a joy to watch.
Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away, Howl's Moving Castle), in his movie debut, tones down the out of control wackiness of the Lupin III TV show and gives Lupin a rather decent plot to dig his teeth into. This is not an excuse to string together a bunch of insane set pieces.
Seconds after robbing a Monte Carlo casino, Lupin and Jigen discover that every dollar note they have swiped is a fake. Only one place in the world is known to make these counterfeits and Lupin's underworld knowledge leads them to the tiny European country of Cagliostro (think Luxembourg, only much, much smaller).
Half a moment after crossing the border, Lupin and Jigen are involved in a car chase and rescue the Lady Clarisse from a bunch of goons. But she's promptly kidnapped again, though manages to leave Lupin a clue in the form of a strange wedding ring.
Their suspicions over the kidnapping lead them to the titular castle where they discover that an evil Count has seized control of the country, using - guess what? - funny money. And the ring is the key to a great treasure that can only be uncovered when the Lady Clarisse is married to the Count.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Okay we didn't watch this as it seemed dated and we lost interest very quickly. Music was a big put off and sound quality was like something from the 80's okay I know it was not a... Read morePublished 26 days ago by Kath
Hayao Miyazaki directorial debut and its fantastic
the film is about a theif named Lupin the third (known as "Wolf" in the English dub) comes to the small European... Read more
The best Lupin film to date.
Fantastic animation combines with superb background art its almost a work of art in itself.
If you like Lupin this is a must. Read more
Great film from the makers of Totoro, my daughter's a big fanPublished 8 months ago by Marisa Sadler
Arrived when expected, and is as described. Very happy with this product.Published 11 months ago by Jhiya Brooks
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