The Sonny Chiba Collection: Volume 2 [DVD]
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Triple-bill of Japanese action thrillers starring Sonny Chiba. In 'Golgo 13' (1973), Golgo 13 (Chiba) is the underworld's top hitman, but when he is hired to kill a drugs lord in Hong Kong, he is shocked to find that a rival assassin has beaten him to it. Even worse, it looks as if Golgo 13 has been set up, and before long the police are hot on his tail, led by crusading cop Detective Smith (Callan Leung), who will stop at nothing to bring him down. In 'The Bullet Train' (1975), when a deranged madman places a bomb on the Tokyo to Hataka bullet train, a bomb that will detonate if the train drops to below 80 kilometres per hour, heroic conductor Aoki (Chiba) races against time to disarm it, before it's too late. Finally, in 'G.I. Samurai' (1979), a group of Japanese soldiers find themselves mysteriously transported back in time to the sixteenth century and become embroiled in an ongoing fued between rival samurai clans to install their leader as the supreme Shogun. With their modern weapons, will the soldiers be a match for the highly-skilled samurai?
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Top Customer Reviews
This film is not quite typical Sonny Chiba fare, but contains enough manliness and violence to satisfy any Chiba fan. I have not read the comic that this film is based on, but it is obvious that the film takes a lot from the James Bond series. It oozes style especially thanks to its funky soundtrack, and while Chiba doesn't get as much screen time as in his other films, when he is present he really dominates the screen with his strong silent charisma. I highly recommend this film to any fan of Sonny Chiba and to anyone with a passing interest in gangster films. As with the street fighter, he's not exactly a 'good guy' but he really commands respect.
THE BULLET TRAIN:
This film is rather out of place in this boxed set, seeing as Sonny Chiba doesn't have a starring role. It still comes highly recommended and may be the best 'thriller' I've seen, but don't expect a bone-cracking action flick. It's basically like later Hollywood film SPEED, but with less cheese and it has story flashbacks typical of Japanese films. I won't say anything more about the plot.
This film is fantastically violent, with tanks, rocket launchers and armies of samurai. What's more it has Sonny Chiba! Seriously, this film is so manly it will make you cry. The only thing wrong with it is the god awful japanese pop music soundtrack, and half of it is sung in english in a 'trendy' kind of way. Still, this can be overlooked given the sheer arse-kickery going on.
All three films come with a Japanese language track and well scripted, easily read english subtitles. All three films come in their seemingly original aspect ratios, have been remastered and the picture is nice and sharp.Read more ›
Personally, apart from The Street Fighter trilogy, G.I. Samurai and Golgo 13 are my favorites of Chiba's. It's worthy to note that the version of G.I. Samurai in this collection is FULLY UNCUT.
If you're not familiar with Chiba, though, I suggest you pick up The Street Fighter Box Set first: The Street Fighter / Return Of The Street Fighter / The Street Fighter's Last Revenge [DVD]
Pop quiz #2: you're a part of the modern armed forces in peacetime on routine manoeuvres and you find yourself thrown back in time with a chance to change history. What do you do? Well, if you're a Hollywood studio, you change the Japanese G.I.s in G.I. Samurai (aka Timeslip) to the crew of an American aircraft carrier, have them debate stopping Pearl Harbour for 90 minutes and then go home and hope that no-one reminds you that Japan did it first and with more balls in 1979 with this Sonny Chiba movie (and this time, he DOES kill people: lots more people).Read more ›