11/24/2017  
Take Me To The River on Blu-ray & DVD Feb 5Phantom From 10,000 Leagues (1956) on Blu-ray & DVD Jan 5Condemned on DVD & Blu-ray Jan 5Broad City: Season 2 on DVD Jan 5McHale's Navy: The Complete Series on DVD No 17Return to Sender on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 29The Phantom of the Opera with Lon Chaney Blu-ray & DVD Oct 13

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Jennifer Esposito Is Your Newest NCIS Agent in Season 1...
Critics Are Split on Ghostbusters Reboot ...
'Respect is key': The Game, Snoop Dogg lead march to LA...
Kristen Stewart's Sheer Dress At 'Equals' Premiere -- S...
"A Slow Slipping Away"-- Kris Kristofferson's Long-Undi...
Fox News' Roger Ailes Sued for Sexual Harassment by Ous...
Garrison Keillor Retires from 'Prairie Home Companion' ...
Jennifer Aniston is Pregnant: Star Steps Out in Loose D...
Hiddleswift Is One Big Song Promotion -- A Theory...
Elvis Presley's daughter Lisa Marie Presley files for ...





Microsoft Store

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif



Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

Kino on Video presents
Cops Vs. Thugs (1975)

"Nothing good will come of being a yakuza."
- Kuno (Bunta Sugawara)

Review By: Jeff Wilson  
Published: June 26, 2006

Stars: Bunta Sugawara, Hiroki Matsukata, Tatsuo Umemiya, Mikio Narita, Seizo Fukumoto, Nobuo Kaneko, Yoko Koizumi, Ken Takakura, Reiko Ike, Shingo Yamashiro, Hideo Murota, Sanae Nakahara
Director: Kinji Fukasaku

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for violence, gore, nudity, sexual situations, adult themes
Run Time: 01h:40m:40s
Release Date: June 27, 2006
UPC: 738329046828
Genre: gangster


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
A B+C+C+ D+

DVD Review

Kenji Fukasaku's Cops vs Thugs (Kenkei tai soshiki boryoku) came, like Yakuza Graveyard (also released by Kino this week), in the wake of his Yakuza Papers series. Consequently, he went in a different direction with both films, focusing instead on the police who must deal with the yakuza, rather than the criminals themselves. Fukasaku's general spotlight on corruption and amorality hasn't lessened however, as the police and government are usually just as corrupt as the yakuza they battle. In Cops vs Thugs, the title doesn't necessarily refer to police against yakuza, as the thugs are both within and without the police and the yakuza itself.

Kuno (Bunta Sugawara) is a detective in Kurashima City, where he maintains a friendship with Hirotani (Hiroki Matsukata), a yakuza currently heading up the Ohara family while its leader is in jail. Kuno believes he understands the ways of the yakuza and believes also in letting them operate in their own way, without getting out of hand. His friendship with Hirotani becomes a matter of conflict when a gang war breaks out, part of a oil money landgrab scheme initiated by Tomoyasu, a local assemblyman, to benefit a rival yakuza (Mikio Narita). The war leads to the installation of Kaida (Tatsuo Umemiya), a no-nonsense anti-corruption cop, to head up the efforts against the yakuza. Suddenly, the formerly brazen Kuno is on the outside looking in, as his connections could lead to both he and Hirotani going down.

Fukasaku made plenty of outrageous films in his career, and this one slots right in among them, a boisterous cocktail of violence, sex, more violence, blood, and backstabbing. The plot is somewhat difficult to follow on occasion when watching the first time; Fukasaku's favored method of providing information via still photos and captions during the main credits might not stick with some viewers, but the overall plot is simple enough to follow, even if it's subtleties might be lost initially. Many might find the spicy bits enough to disregard any confusion in any event. The plot in and of itself is nothing out of the ordinary in the genre, as the forces of the law collide with the yakuza style of doing things and it all ends in tears for the ostensible heroes of the piece. For Fukasaku, it provides another chance to demonstrate the filthy means upon which power and money are earned, be it by yakuza or the legally chosen leaders of society.

A standard element in Fukasaku's yakuza films, indeed in many yakuza films, is the failure of the old ways against the "new Japan," often taking form in big business and government. Kuno and Hirotani do their part to carry on that tradition in their own ways, but it's doomed to fail; their dedication to outmoded ways seals both their fates and plays directly into the hands of their opponents. The supposedly straight-shooting Kaida understands the new Japan, as seen in the epilogue, where he has accepted a cushy job with the oil company headed by Hirotani's enemies. Kuno suffers for his refusal to adapt, and pays in terms of his career and his life.

The direction and performances all are assured; it seems to me an unsure actor would get swept away in one of these films, and everyone is on form here. Bunta is The Man, of course, a guy i could watch all day. Matsukata has more opportunity to go a little over the top, which he takes advantage of. Reiko Ike (strangely left unbilled on the box) has a small role that displays her, um, assets. Fukasaku's direction is immediate and gripping as usual. Toshiaki Tsushima's wakka-chikka '70s guitar-oriented score is primo stuff also.

Rating for Style: A
Rating for Substance: B+

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio2.35:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicyes


Image Transfer Review: Presented in its original scope ratio, Cops vs Thugs looks only okay, but somewhat faded color and detail. The image seems a little too noisy in darker scenes, but I didn't catch any major artifacting.

Image Transfer Grade: C+

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
MonoJapaneseno


Audio Transfer Review: The original mono sounds much like the picture looks: okay, serviceable but nothing special. Not as bad as Yakuza Graveyard, but nothing to show off, either.

Audio Transfer Grade: C+

 

Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 12 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
Packaging: unmarked keepcase
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. Photo gallery
  2. Insert with theatrical poster art
Extras Review: The anamorphic if unsubtitled trailer is the main extra; it's too bad this wasn't subbed, as it features Bunta and Matsukata narrating and looks pretty intense. A photo gallery with about 8 or 10 images wraps things up. The nicest touch is an insert replicating the original poster art.

Extras Grade: D+

 

Final Comments

Cops vs Thugs packs a brutal punch, with enough shootings, stabbings, and beatdowns to fuel couple more films. There's even a quality beheading on tap, head bouncing down stairs and all. It's in the service of a standard plot, but the acting and direction serve to make this film a visceral pleasure. Kino's DVD is okay if no great shakes, but it will do.

 


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search

DVD REVIEW ARCHIVE


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90

 



Microsoft Store

Keywords

television, jennifer esposito, blue bloods, ncis, mark harmon. duane henry, wilmer valderrama, michael weatherly, bull, movie, ghostbusters, comedy, chris helmsworth, melissa mcarthy, kristen wiig, celebrity, rap, game, shoop dogg, jayceon terrell taylor, alton sterling, kristen stewart, equals, jonathan simkhal, nicholas hoult, music, kris kristofferson, country music hall of fame, alzheimers, lyme disease, fox news, gretchen carlson, fox and friends, steve doocy, roger ailes, the real story with gretchen carlson, radio, garrison keillor, a prairie home companion, jennifer anniston, baby bump, justin theroux, taylor swift, tom hiddleston, calvin harris, lisa marie presley, michael lockwood, riley and benjamin keough, danny keough, michael jackson, nicolas cage, tom affleck, boston fan, bill simmons, hbo show, any given wednesday, tom brady, deflategate, hamilton, lin-manuel mianda, periscope, heart tweet machine, hamilton mixtape, cable, hbo, curb your enthusiasm, larry david, bernie sanders, saturday night live, maya and marty, christina grimmie, murdered, plaza live, before you exit, marcus grimmie, nashville, cmt, president brian phillips, the tonight show, jimmy fallon, president obama, the roots, hillary clinton, tim mcgraw, faith hill, maggie mcgraw, humble and kind, ellen degeneres show, titi pierce, coldwell banker robbins & free realty, hairspray live!, tracy turnblad, york theatre company, john waters, jennifer hudson, harvey fierstein, martin short, derek hough, j.k. rowling, harry potter and the cursed child, noma dumezweni, emma watson, judd apatow, paul freig, melissa mccarthy, romance, history channel, roots, remake, anika noni rose, t.i., malachi kirby, josh duhamel, transformers, fergie, black eyed peas, axl, double dutchess, abc, music city, grand ole opry, chip esten, lennon stella, the voice, alisan porterm, christina aguilera, ceelo green, ariana grande, sia, the little big town, 2016 billboard music awards, pink, just like fire, pamela neal, warrior princess, send my love (to your new lover), billboard music awards, adele, patrick daughters, bryan cranston, lbj, all the way, melissa leo, frank langella, todd weeks, hard sell, kristin chenoweth, wicked

On Facebook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too

Visit:

Zarabesque.com

Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store