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Gavin Schmitt

  1. Blu-ray Review: "Doberman Cop" (1977)

    A tough-as-nails cop from Okinawa investigates a savage murder in Tokyo's nightlife district. Originally dismissed as a bumpkin, he soon proves more savvy than the local police.

    As with many Japanese films, this one began its life as a manga series. By 1977, the mass-production of original movies slowed down in Japan, and the trend switched to converting manga to film. Because film audiences were decreasing, the industry thought it could boost attendance by converting already popular ...
  2. Blu-ray Review: "Cops vs Thugs" (1975)

    Acting boss Hirotani (Hiroki Matsukata) of the Ohara gang uses his friendship with corrupt cop Kuno (Bunta Sugawara) to usurp a staged land deal that rival yakuza gang Kawade had arranged through local politicians. Open warfare erupts between the two gangs.

    By 1975, Kinji Fukasaku had made more than 30 films, most if not all of this daunting number in the Toei studio system. Returning to the screen after completing their "Battles Without Honor and Humanity" series together, ...
  3. Blu-ray Review: "Shinjuku Triad Society" (1995)

    Amidst a Chinese and Japanese mafia war, a lawyer for the Chinese mob finds a rift forming between him and his corrupt police officer brother. Welcome to the "black society", the underworld that exists just beyond the periphery of our vision.

    In this world, many of the characters have a grey, ambiguous morality, and (in the words of Tom Mes) "nobody does what you expect them to do." In this sense, the film is not terribly far removed from the classic noir with ...