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The Samurai Trilogy Blu-ray

United States
Musashi Miyamoto / Duel at Ichijoji Temple / Duel at Ganryu Island |The Criterion Collection Criterion | 1954-1956 | 3 Movies | 302 min | Not rated | Jun 26, 2012

The Samurai Trilogy (Blu-ray)
Large:


Video
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: see individual releases
Original aspect ratio: 1.37:1

Audio
Japanese: LPCM Mono

Subtitles
English

Discs
50GB Blu-ray Disc
Two-disc set (2 BDs)

Playback
Region A (locked)

Price
List price: $69.95, Price history
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Rating


7.5
/10
90
ratings


Blu-ray rating
Video 4.0 of 54.0
Audio 3.5 of 53.5
Extras 2.8 of 52.8
Based on 1 user review

Movie appeal

 
Drama100%
Foreign76%
Martial arts21%
Period19%
History17%
Biography12%
Adventure-
Action-
73%
popularity
1101
collections
n/a
fans




The Samurai Trilogy

 (1954-1956)

The Samurai Trilogy Blu-ray delivers great video and solid audio in this excellent Blu-ray release

The Samurai Trilogy, directed by Hiroshi Inagaki and starring the inimitable Toshiro Mifune, was one of Japanĺs most successful exports of the 1950s, a rousing, emotionally gripping tale of combat and self-discovery. Based on a novel thatĺs often called Japanĺs Gone with the Wind, this sweeping saga fictionalizes the life of the legendary seventeenth-century swordsman (and writer and artist) Musashi Miyamoto, following him on his path from unruly youth to enlightened warrior. With these three filmsŚ1954ĺs Oscar-winning Musashi Miyamoto, 1955ĺs Duel at Ichijoji Temple, and 1956ĺs Duel at Ganryu IslandŚInagaki created a passionate epic thatĺs equal parts tender love story and bloody action.

For more about The Samurai Trilogy and the The Samurai Trilogy Blu-ray release, see the The Samurai Trilogy Blu-ray Review published by on where this Blu-ray release scored 4.0 out of 5.

Starring: Toshir˘ Mifune, Mariko Okada, Kaoru Yachigusa, Kuroemon Onoe, Koji Tsuruta, Mitsuko Mito
Director: Hiroshi Inagaki


This Blu-ray bundle includes the following titles, see individual titles for specs and details:

Samurai I: Musashi Miyamoto (Blu-ray)

Samurai I: Musashi Miyamoto Blu-ray


Miyamoto Musashi / The Criterion Collection
Criterion | 1954 | 93 min | Not rated | Region A (B, C untested) | No Release Date

With his closest friend, Matahachi, Takezo (the town's wild, orphan kid) leaves his village to join an army on its way to battle. After their side loses, they seek shelter in the isolated home of a widow, Oko, and her daughter,...

Action / Adventure / Biography / Drama / Foreign / History / Martial arts / Period


Samurai II: Duel at Ichijoji Temple (Blu-ray)

Samurai II: Duel at Ichijoji Temple Blu-ray


Zoku Miyamoto Musashi: Ichij˘ji no kett˘ / The Criterion Collection
Criterion | 1955 | 104 min | Not rated | Region A (B, C untested) | No Release Date

After years on the road establishing his reputation as Japan's greatest fencer, Takezo returns to Kyoto. Otsu waits for him, yet he has come not for her but to challenge the leader of the region's finest school of fencing. To...

Action / Adventure / Biography / Drama / Foreign / History / Martial arts / Period


Samurai III: Duel at Ganryu Island (Blu-ray)

Samurai III: Duel at Ganryu Island Blu-ray


Miyamoto Musashi kanketsuhen: kett˘ Ganryűjima / The Criterion Collection
Criterion | 1956 | 105 min | Not rated | Region A (B, C untested) | No Release Date

A humble and simple Takezo abandons his life as a knight errant. He's sought as a teacher and vassal by Shogun, Japan's most powerful clan leader. He's also challenged to fight by the supremely confident and skillful Sasaki...

Action / Adventure / Biography / Drama / Foreign / History / Martial arts / Period

The Samurai Trilogy Blu-ray, Video Quality

  4.0 of 5

Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, encoded with MPEG-4 AVC and granted 1080p transfers, Hiroshi Inagaki's Samurai I: Musashi Miyamoto, Samurai II: Duel at Ichijoji Temple, and Samurai III: Duel at Ganryu Island arrive on Blu-ray courtesy of Criterion.

The screencaptures included with our review appear in the following order:

1. Samurai I: Musashi Miyamoto: 1-14.
2. Samurai II: Duel at Ichijoji Temple: 15-27.
3. Samurai III: Duel at Ganryu Island: 28-39.

The following text appears inside the booklet provided with The Samurai Trilogy:

"These new high-definition digital transfers (for the three films) were created on a Spirit Datacine from 35mm low-contrast prints struck from the original camera negatives. Wherever possible, we have corrected the occasional color fluctuations inherent in the now decades-old Eastmancolor stock on which these films were originally shot. In addition, thousands of instances of dirt, debris, scratches, splices, and warps were manually removed using MTI's DRS and Pixel Farm's PFClean, while Image Systems' Phoenix and PFClean were used for small dirt, grain, noise reduction, jitter, and flicker.

Telecine supervisor: Lee Kline.
Colorist: Allan Rogers/Post Logic, New York."

The upgrades in quality are quite impressive. Every single area we typically address in these reviews, from detail to clarity to color reproduction, reveals substantial improvements which essentially give the films an entirely new look. In fact, there are large sections of the films that look very different because of the dramatic detail and clarity improvements. Certain limitations, however, remain. For example, grain isn't always evenly distributed, and extremely light edge flicker occasionally pops up. There are some light color pulsations as well. Virtually all of these noticeable limitations, however, are inherited. The best news is that there are no traces of problematic sharpening corrections, contrast boosting, or other lab tinkering that could have degraded the image quality. Naturally, the three films have solid organic looks. Lastly, there are no large cuts, damage marks, stains, or debris to report in this review. To sum it all up, despite some age-related limitations the three films in the collection have benefited enormously from the transition to Blu-ray and undoubtedly look the best they ever have. (Note: The two Blu-ray discs in the collection are Region-A "locked". Therefore, you must have a native Region-A or Region-Free PS3 or SA in order to access their content).


The Samurai Trilogy Blu-ray, Audio Quality

  3.5 of 5

Each of the three films in The Samurai Trilogy arrives with a Japanese LPCM 1.0 audio track. For the record, Criterion have provided optional white English subtitles for each film.

The following text appears inside the booklet provided with this release:

"The original monaural soundtracks were remastered at 24-bit from the 35mm optical positives. Clicks, thumps, hiss, and hum were manually removed using Pro Tools HD. Crackle was attenuated using AudioCube's integrated workstation."

The lossless tracks for the first and third films are very good. Generally speaking, the dialog is clean, stable, and free of distortions. Ikuma Dan's music score has also benefited from the lossless treatment, particularly when some of the traditional string instruments have important solos. In the second film, however, I noticed some light to moderate mid-range hiss that plagues the dialog from time to time. It is not overly distracting, but it is fairly easy to hear. There are no audio dropouts.



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The Samurai Trilogy Blu-ray, News and Updates



Criterion Blu-ray in June: Chaplin, Ashby, Boyle, Soderbergh, Hit... - March 16, 2012

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The Samurai Trilogy Blu-ray, Forum Discussions



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