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Blu-ray Review: Criterion's Outstanding Remastering of 'The Samurai Trilogy'

It was released almost two months ago, but I finally got around to savoring Criterion's Blu-ray restoration of Hiroshi Inagaki's The Samurai Trilogy over the last couple of weeks. I've made mention of it in a few posts here and there, but i wanted to make a special point to give it it's own space considering the massive upgrade we are talking about here over the previously released 2004 DVD editions. I can't remember how long ago it was that I bought the DVD editions, but I bought them blind without having seen any of the three films -- Musashi Miyamoto (winner of the 1955 Best Foreign Language Oscar), Duel at Ichijoji Temple and Duel at Ganryu Island -- but watching them those years ago I remember enjoying the films, but not at all moved by the imagery. The DVD presentations were hardly impressive and Criterion's packaging doesn't suggest they were remastered in any way.
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