Jun 012017

Cops vs. Thugs is a well made, finely acted crime-drama (with some genuinely humorous moments), that anyone interested in foreign releases would enjoy.



Cops vs. Thugs

Genre(s): Drama, Crime
Arrow Video | NR – 101 min. – $39.95 | May 23, 2017

Date Published: 06/01/2017 | Author: The Movieman


Directed by:
Kinji Fukasaku
Writer(s): Kazuo Kasahara (screenplay)
Cast: Bonta Sugawara, Hiroki Matsukata, Tatsuo Umemiya, Hideo Murota
Featurette, Visual Essay, Theatrical Trailer
Digital Copy: No
Formats Included: Blu-ray, DVD
Number of Discs: 2
Audio: Japanese (PCM 1.0)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 2.35
Subtitles: English
Disc Size: 30.9 GB
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A



It’s 1963 in the southern Japanese city of Kurashima, and touch-as-nails detective Kuno (BONTA SUGAWARA) enforces a détente between the warring Kawade and Ohara gangs. Best friends with Ohara lieutenant Hirotani (HIROKI MATSUKATA), he understands that there are no clear lines in the underworld, and that everything is colored a different shade of gray. But when random gang violence interrupts the peace and an ambitious, by-the-books lieutenant (TATSUO UMEMIYA) comes to town, Kuno’s fragile alliance begins to crumble. Greedy bosses and politicians alike seize the opportunity to wipe out their enemies, and Kuno faces the painful choice of pledging allegiance to his badge or keeping a promise to his brother.



This two-disc comes in a clear HD Keep Case. The cover is reversible revealing what looks to be the original poster artwork and inside is a 25-page booklet containing essays and pictures.

Beyond the Film: Cops vs. Thugs (9:13; HD) – This is an introduction to the film by Fukasaku biographer Sadao Tamane. Created exclusive for this Arrow Video release.

All Under the Gun (13:38; HD) is a visual essay where writer Tom Mes examines the blurred lines between cops and criminals in the films of Kinji Fukasaku.

Archive Behind-the-Scenes Footage (4:59; SD) – Here we get footage shot during the production of Cops vs. Thugs as director Fukasaku discusses the controversial use of violence in his films.

Original Theatrical Trailer (3:16; HD)


VIDEO – 3.75/5

Cops vs. Thugs debuts on Blu-ray through Arrow Video and has been given a 1080p high-definition transfer, presented in its original 2.35 widescreen aspect ratio. Based on the booklet, Arrow received this transfer from the Toei Company. As such, it’s not a terrible looking picture however detail wasn’t especially sharp but colors were quasi vibrant and I did notice some minimal instances of dust marks.

AUDIO – 4.0/5

The disc comes with a Japanese-language PCM Mono track has minor pops but otherwise comes through the center channel well enough providing for crisp, clear and clean dialogue levels. Some depth is showcased thanks to the catchy score/theme as well as some ambient noises.


OVERALL – 3.0/5

Overall, Cops vs. Thugs is a well made, finely acted crime-drama (with some genuinely humorous moments), that anyone interested in foreign releases would enjoy. This Blu-ray released by Arrow Video is one of their weaker releases, though what is there is worth checking out and the video/audio transfers are both above average.





Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

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