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Zatoichi: The Blind Swordsman (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray + DVD]


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Zatoichi: The Blind Swordsman (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray + DVD] + Ran [Blu-ray]
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Product Details

  • Actors: Shintaro Katsu
  • Format: Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 27
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: Criterion
  • Release Date: Nov. 26 2013
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00EO2I6OM
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #22,393 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)

Product Description

Product Description

The colossally popular Zatoichi films make up the longest-running action series in Japanese history and created one of the screen’s great heroes: an itinerant blind masseur who also happens to be a lightning-fast swordsman. As this iconic figure, the charismatic and earthy Shintaro Katsu became an instant superstar, lending a larger-than-life presence to the thrilling adventures of a man who lives staunchly by a code of honor and delivers justice in every town and village he enters. The films that feature him are variously pulse-pounding, hilarious, stirring, and completely off-the-wall. This deluxe set features the string of twenty-five Zatoichi films made between 1962 and 1973, collected in one package for the first time. SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES • New digital restorations of all twenty-five films, with uncompressed monaural soundtracks on the Blu-rays • The Blind Swordsman, a 1978 documentary about Zatoichi portrayer and filmmaker Shintaro Katsu, along with a new interview with its director, John Nathan • New interview with Asian-film critic Tony Rayns • Trailers for all twenty-five films • New English subtitle translations • PLUS: A book featuring an essay by critic Geoffrey O’Brien, synopses of the films by critic, novelist, and musician Chris D., “The Tale of Zatoichi,” the original short story by Kan Shimozawa, and twenty-five new illustrations inspired by the films, by twenty-five different artists

Special Features

SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES • New digital restorations of all twenty-five films, with uncompressed monaural soundtracks on the Blu-rays • The Blind Swordsman, a 1978 documentary about Zatoichi portrayer and filmmaker Shintaro Katsu, along with a new interview with its director, John Nathan • New interview with Asian-film critic Tony Rayns • Trailers for all twenty-five films • New English subtitle translations • PLUS: A book featuring an essay by critic Geoffrey O’Brien, synopses of the films by critic, novelist, and musician Chris D., “The Tale of Zatoichi,” the original short story by Kan Shimozawa, and twenty-five new illustrations inspired by the films, by twenty-five different artists

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Most helpful customer reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By MyEgoTripped on Jan. 2 2014
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My favorite purchase this year, the box design is beautiful and having all 25 films(in both dvd and bluray format) from 1962-1974(The final Zatoichi film with Katsu Shintaro from 1989 is not included) is indispensable. Not a lot of extras although an hour long documentary on the Katsu during the time he was making the TV series is very revealing.

The one detail I must comment on is how this release fixes a problem from the previous HVE DVD release of the first film "The Tale of Zatoichi". That release, despite being widescreen, had images where important visual details seemed cut off around the edges, in particular the duel on the bridge near the end where in some shots the characters heads were cut off at the top of the frame, and I've read some comments on boards criticizing the filmmakers for this. But here we see that the HMV release, for some reason, actually cropped the entire frame, losing about 5-10% of the image along all four sides and since it was filmed with very tight shots close to the edge any loss of image would have a noticeable effect. Anyway that has been corrected here and it is a relief to finally watch the original properly, that alone made with release worthwhile to me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Papo el animador on Jan. 22 2014
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Love the series! The sound and image quality are awesome! I Would love to find the TV series w/ the same quality.
I strongly recommend this series, and for those who are on the fence, or have never seen any of it, to give a chance.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By David Begoray on Jan. 2 2014
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Shintaro Katsu makes the Zatoichi: The Blind Swordsman worth watching. The 25 movies in this series are truly worth watching at least once. I have seen them many times and still enjoy them. These restored films on DVD and Blu-Ray due justice to the series. Added to these films is a small booklet which gives a synopsis of each film in the series. If You have a love of Japanese films You need these films to add to Your collection.
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I've been a fan of the Zatoichi films for years and it's great to get them in blue ray all in one collection.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sanjay Lakhana on Feb. 7 2014
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Beautifully packaged, labour of love box set of Zatoichi: The Blind Swordsman episodes. Makes me wish I had all the free time in the world!
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