Shogun blu ray

Shogun blu ray DEFAULT




S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r


(Jerry London, 1980)


A view on Blu-ray and DVD video by Leonard Norwitz

Shogun (mini-series) aka James Clavell's Shogun





Review by Leonard Norwitz



Theatrical: Davis Entertainment & Lion Rock

Blu-ray: Paramount Home Entertainment



Region: FREE! (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 547 min. avg. 54 min/episode

Disc Size: 50 X 3

Average Bitrate: 27-34 Mbps

Episodes: 10 in 3 Parts

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: July 22nd, 2014



Aspect ratio: 1.33:1

Resolution: 1080p

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



English & Japanese DTS-HD MA 5.1
English & Japanese Dolby Digital mono (restored)
DUBs: French, German and Japanese mono



English SDH, French, German, Japanese, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish, none




• Selected Scenes Audio Commentary by director Jerry London
• The Making of Shōgun - in SD (79:20 min)
• Historical Perspective Featurettes - in SD (15 min)
o The Samurai
o The Tea Ceremony
o The Geisha


John Blackthorne, an English ship pilot, whose vessel wrecked upon the Japanese coast in the early 17th century is forced to deal with the two most powerful men in Japan in these days. He is thrown in the midst of a war between Toranaga and Ishido, who struggle for the title of Shogun which will give ultimate power to the one who possesses it.



Journey to the brutal, thrilling world of 17th century feudal Japan with SHŌGUN, the unforgettable adventure based on the bestselling novel from James Clavell. Winner of three Golden Globes and three Emmys, the three-part miniseries starring Richard Chamberlain arrives for the first time on stunning Blu-ray July 22 from CBS Home Entertainment and Paramount Home Media Distribution. The sweeping story of love and war follows John Blackthorne (Chamberlain), an English navigator shipwrecked off the coast of Japan. Rescued, he becomes an eyewitness to a deadly struggle involving Toranaga (Toshiro Mifune), a feuding warlord intent on becoming Shogun – the supreme military dictator. At the same time, Blackthorne is irresistibly drawn into the turmoil and finds himself vying to become the first-ever Gai-Jin (foreigner) to be a made a Samurai Warrior.



The Series: 9
Critical Reception [Wikipedia]:
The miniseries was sparked by the massive success of the television miniseries Roots (1977) that had aired on the ABC Network in 1977. The success of Roots, as well as the critically acclaimed TV miniseries Jesus of Nazareth (1977), would spawn many miniseries onward through the 1980s. Shōgun, which aired in 1980, also became a highly rated program and continued the wave of miniseries over the next few years (such as North and South and The Thorn Birds) as networks clamored to capitalize on the format's success.

The success of the miniseries was credited with causing the paperback edition of the novel to become the best-selling mass-market book in the United States, with 2.1 million copies in print, and increased awareness of Japanese culture in America. In the documentary The Making of 'Shōgun', it is stated that the rise of Japanese food establishments in the United States (particularly sushi houses) is attributed to Shōgun. It was also noted that during the week of broadcast, many restaurants and movie houses saw a decrease in business. The documentary states many stayed home to watch Shōgun—unprecedented for a television broadcast.

The Japanese characters speak in Japanese throughout, except when translating for Blackthorne. The original broadcast did not use subtitles for the Japanese portions. As the movie was presented from Blackthorne's point of view, the producers felt that "what he doesn't understand, we understand.” Rotten Tomatoes gives the series a critic rating of 80%.



Time Out London:
Startled blue eyes above silky beard, Richard Chamberlain in a kimono looks more like an actor on his way to the bathroom than a grizzled English seafarer, cast ashore in 17th century Japan, where he turns samurai and becomes romantically and actively involved in a violent political intrigue. Based on James Clavell's huge novel, Shogun was originally a 10-hour TV mini-series. Shamefully hacked down to 151 minutes (still a yawning long haul), the plot has been rendered action-packed but utterly incomprehensible. Though production credits and cast point to a lively synthesis of oriental/occidental interests, the end result reduces the complex moral codes of feudal Japan to an inexplicable death wish. The threat of harakiri follows Chamberlain's illicit hanky-panky with the Lady Mariko (Shimada) as surely as day follows night, and yet again that rising sun blobs onto the screen like a pulpy tangerine. -
One of the best things about a quality mini-series is quite simply that of sheer volume; if you're having a great time with the first hour of Shogun, lucky you! There's over eight more hours to enjoy! And you'll have to search far and wide to find a made-for-television production that boasts this sort of quality. The costumes, the set designs, the majestic Maurice Jarre score, and the obvious respect for even the smallest cultural detail of 17th century Japan combine to create an entirely engrossing, not to mention lengthy, tale. That the viewer is not even offered subtitles when the Japanese characters speak is an indication of the respect the filmmakers have for their audience; those who are paying attention simply won't need the subtitles in order to follow the drama. With his performances in Shogun, The Thorn Birds (1983), and a handful of other (less celebrated) mini-series, Richard Chamberlain became known as the king of multi-chapter TV dramas, and his work here represents some of the finest of Chamberlain's career. And of course you can expect nothing but a truly regal presence when you have Toshiro Mifune as your intensely noble feudal warlord. - Scott Weinberg
Everything about Shogun is big and impressive, from its running time (nine hours) to the large cast, superb location shooting, and obvious care taken with the sets and costumes (the castle sets were constructed using traditional peg and groove methods; every kimono was unique). The story is set in a crucial period in Japanese history as nearly 150 years of civil unrest were about to come to an end with the establishment of the Tokugawa shogunate in 1603. . . Despite being filmed entirely in Japan and featuring an impressive cast of Japanese actors. . . Shōgun is concerned primarily with Blackthorne’s story while the distinguished Japanese cast is reduced to being supporting players in the heroic tale of a white guy making good in a foreign land. . . [and] while the Japanese characters behave as if they were living in the period of the story, Blackthorne appears to have popped out of a time machine, because his values are more typical of the late-20th century than the early-17th. - Sarah Boslaugh


1980 - The year I bought my first VCR - a Sony Betamax. I wanted it expressly to record this series, which for reasons I have since forgot, imagined would be a keeper. And so it was, allowing me to watch the entire series again about the time that it went into syndication, which loped off a couple hours of program and substituted Jane Alexander for Orson Welles as Narrator. Eventually, my copy became unwatchable - not from overplay, as it happened, but from underuse. Much the same fate awaited more titles in my library than I care to admit. It was not 2003 that Paramount brought out a proper DVD of the original broadcast plus some pretty good bonus features, all of which are on this Blu-ray edition as well, though, sadly, not upgraded to HD in any way. The DVD image was good and the sound quality passable, no worse than I remembered my Beta copy to be, but the new Blu-ray, while apparently struck from the same source as the DVD, betters it in small ways which, accumulatively, make for a more satisfying viewing experience.

There was a curious gap in my television watching history: I was present during its earliest years, but absent all through college and beyond, from 1960-1972. I mention this because I didn’t really know from Richard Chamberlain all that much. I never watched Dr. Kildare. Still haven’t, and not likely to. He always struck me as trying too hard to impress. Still, he had a certain charisma, a kind of commanding presence despite his relatively light frame and his reliance on intensity. Not having read the book, and knowing Japanese actors primarily through Toho films, especially the always impressive Toshiro Mifune, what I was not prepared for was Yôko Shimada. Totally unknown to me prior to Shōgun, Shimada absolutely swept me off my feet, as she did Blackthorne, with her directness, grace, innocence and oriental beauty.

Shimada first appears at Toranaga’s bidding from a hidden door of sorts, gliding past Mifune to rest just alongside and behind him. A simple move, but one that relays to us, however subliminally, the relationship her character has to Toranaga and to Blackthorne, something that the Englishman never quite comes to terms with - until it is too late. This is perhaps the most carefully prepared scene in the drama, one that director Jerry London lingers on at length to allow the dynamics, however subtly portrayed, to sink in for his audience. It comes near the end of the second hour where Blackthorne is finally presented to Toronaga following a series of interactions with local island leaders, incarcerations and transports to various locations. Unlike the village where Blackthorne first awakens to his local hosts, Toronaga’s castle is an exalted piece of work, both in terms of sheer elegance and mystery. Blackthorne has been until now utterly dependent on intermediaries of the “enemy” - he, English, Anglican; they, Portuguese, Jesuit & Catholic.

Father Martin Alvito (Damien Thomas) sits about halfway between Toronaga and Blackthorne and well off and to the side, permitting a clear view by all the participants. Father Alvito proposes himself as translator, but Blackthorne insists that he does not trust him to act for him. As if by magic, at the mere ring small bell, Toronaga produces Lady Toda Mariko (Shimada), whom Blackthorne accepts as translator, not only because he sees no reason not to but because he is blinded by her presence. He is also blinded to the fact of what she is doing at this moment, which is to whisper her translation of Blackthorne’s words into Toronaga’s ear, a fact that Blackthorne accepts as mere formality. However, it is much more than that. Not that she is distorting his meaning but that Blackthorne sees her as apart from Toronaga and in relation to himself when the reverse is more the case.

What Blackthorne fails to see is that Toronaga anticipated the Englishman’s mistrust of Alvito, a man who presents himself to Blackthorne as having Toronaga’s confidence, and had Lady Mariko waiting for just this reason. Mariko, in her way, is just as strategically important to Toronaga as Alvito has been, and Blackthorne will become. Toronaga is fully aware of her story, her pain and her loyalty, all of which glides past Blackthorne with her very entrance on the stage, just as the sliding doors move in every home and castle.

Reviewers are often quick to point out that the Japanese characters who do not speak English (almost all of them in this case) are not subtitled so as to further “our” identification with Blackthorne’s plight. For our part, we have endured the stranded seaman’s various humiliations, mutually incurred insults, threats of death to himself and his surviving crew. We - meaning: the English speaking audience - identify with him and, once he gets past his initial posturing just this side of fanatical fervor, he sees in Lady Mariko a respite and oasis from his journey. It must be seductive and unnerving in equal measure that she does not lower her gaze in feigned embarrassment as other women commonly do - or did, even Europeans, I assume - unless they have designs. Naturally, he falls in love with this oasis or should I say: mirage, with consequences predictable to a Japanese audience, but not to us. . . which leads us to the most intriguing and most profound aspect of this drama: translation.

From the moment he awakens to the “Japans” Blackthorne is thrust into a situation not unlike that of a person who suddenly loses their sight. He depends on others to find his way, even to survive – add to this the responsibility he feels for his crew – yet he trusts no one. As the worst possible luck would have it, the very first person he comes across that speaks English and Japanese is a Jesuit priest who sees Blackthorne as mongoose to his cobra, or vice-versa, depending on who has the upper hand – nearly always the priest. There is a moment a little later on that ripples throughout the story in which Blackthorne becomes aware of, and gives expression to, his dis-ease by demanding that his translator makes clear to his captives that he does not trust him to translate for him. Blackthorne’s predicament seems unresolvable – yet he cannot simply tolerate the crisis. You would think the matter could be resolved rationally, but the concept of “natural enemies” seems ordained from Genesis, as resonances in this story with Biblical and present day Middle East are enough to make you cry. We, the audience, must ask ourselves at this point and at countless times throughout the drama, what we would do and say in a similar position.

Just as writers Clavell & Bercovici and director London invite the audience to learn something of seventeenth century Japanese language and culture, Toronaga wants the same of Blackthorne to the extent this is possible and permitted. Toronaga instructs Mariko to be the Englishman’s teacher and for a considerable part of the story they have interchanges of unusual lyricism that are nothing short than the language of love, all the more tender because of its contrast to Blackthorne’s previous interactions on this island, save the Portuguese pilot, Rodriguez. (The intimacy and attention this form of interaction requires makes for an effective template we see in the kind of here and now communication that has become so popular in recent decades.) As the Englishman becomes more fluent he comes to an interesting crossroads: whether or not to revert to his former style of personal power politics. In the beginning we see Blackthorne as a man who places his pride - of self, of country, of religion - above all else, even the safety of his crew. As he falls in love with Mariko, as with all men in such a state, his pride gives way to adoration – both slippery and dangerous slopes – and as he becomes fluent in her language he deceives himself that his understanding of her is equal to his command of the language. Because he wants what he wants, he feels she will comply with his desires, an illusion that men have of women so basic and primal that only tragedy can result, a misapprehension familiar to us all.



Image: 8   NOTE:The below Blu-ray captures were ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc.
I expect there will be those who will come down on this Blu-ray for not being HD full frame - i.e., 1.78:1 - but despite being shot on 35 mm film and, as I recall, matted for potential theatrical presentation, what we have here is the aspect ratio as we saw it 1980, except that the film has been rescanned for high-definition viewing. Paramount’s DVD edition was already very decently color corrected with good contrast control and noise spec’s. I would have said there was nothing about that image, unlike its lackluster audio mix, that cried out for renewal on standard definition terms. All the same, the new hi-definition transfer is improved, if not by leaps and bounds. Despite its softness, the image suggests the motion picture film from which it was struck and, as such, must look more impressive than on its original outing on television over thirty years ago.

Density and resolution is very good, with facial textures and fabrics like the shoulder roll on Blackthorne vest and the fine silk of a kimono or the metallic ornamentation of the Japanese headgear, come through wonderfully – not so much that they bring attention to themselves, but that they offer a tangible reality merely suggested by the DVD. Color is of a similar palette as the DVD but a bit less murky and a skosh brighter and deeper. Contrast, especially in outdoor scenes where there are light values across a wide spectrum, are just about perfect, showing off what well composed and properly lit 35 mm photography can do. There are no transfer anomalies or enhancements to get in the way. Noise is pretty much non-existent and the picture looks wonderful projected in motion and standing still onto a large screen. There are a very few fleeting patches of bewildering mushiness and the occasional source damage (see top of the frame of #30) that we wouldn’t have expected to be repaired. I observed that the difference between DVD and Blu-ray is seen to better advantage projected with my JVC RS-57, which likely benefits from some extra judicious processing, than my iMac display, which only slightly exceeds HD spec.



The 70s and 80s saw the start of the epic movie miniseries phenomenon that we have all come to love. If you remember the the miniseries 'Roots', you would have remembered that it played over a few nights and wasn't considered a film nor a series, but an actual television event. It won numerous awards back in 1977 and is still one of the ultimate tales of that time period. If we fast forward three years later to 1980, we would have another television event miniseries that spanned five nights on NBC.

This monumental and milestone in television was called 'Shogun', which is still the only American television show to be completely filmed in Japan. Producer James Clavell and director Jerry London did an outstanding job 34 years ago with this epic five-part series and it still holds up to the test of time, despite a few flaws. 'Shogun' won tons of awards at several different ceremonies in 1980 and is still considered one of the greatest accomplishments in television history. It's budget, foreign landscapes, and attention to detail of the 17th Japanese culture would set the stage for many television series to come and set the bar pretty high, just for our entertainment.

That being said, this series was made 34 years ago, and it lacks the twists, turns, and action beats that come with modern day shows. There are slow moments that build character, and there isn't a whole lot of visual effects either. And actor Richard Chamberlain's performance as John Blackthorne hasn't really stood the test of time over the past 34 years. However, 'Shogun' is still an amazing and visually stunning series, despite those small flaws. And it even had Orson Welles narrate the entire series, which was a feat of its own. 

If you're unfamiliar with 'Shogun', which is based of the novel of the same name, the series starts when John Blackthorne's (Chamberlain) ship crashes off the coast of Japan in the 17th century. Now Blackthorne is an Englishman, but has to disguise himself as something else, due to the religious and political times back then. He comes across a war lord named Toranga (Toshira Mifune), who is hell-bent on becoming Shogun, which is the supreme military leader.

Toranga and Blackthorne form an unlikely alliance and begin to work together as Blackthorne learns the way of the Samurai. Toranga gives Blackthorne an interpreter by the name of Lady Mariko (Yoko Shimada), as they secretly fall in love with each other, but it's a doomed relationship from the start, because Mariko is already married to someone powerful. Through battles, lessons, love, loss, betrayals, and friendships, we see this 17th century Japanese culture through the eyes of an outsider who is trying to get back home and find himself and a family. 

One thing is for sure, 'Shogun' is very dramatic. Some would say it is overly dramatic, but at this point in time, that is what people expected. Mifune and Shimada's performances were excellent, however Chamberlain's performance bordered on being to over-the-top and not acting natural like his co-stars did, and in today's standards, it comes across as laughable. But the set designs and production value are out of this world. The pacing for the show is decent enough with some slow patches here and there, but the sheer scale of the series and its amazing script make this still worth watching, even though most audiences back in 1980 would have appreciated it more. 

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James Clavell's ShōgunParamount Pictures | 1980 | TV Mini-Series | 547 min | Not rated | Jul 22, 2014

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 1.34:1
Original aspect ratio: 1.33:1


English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
English: Dolby Digital Mono
French: Dolby Digital 2.0
German: Dolby Digital 2.0
Japanese: Dolby Digital 2.0

English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
English: Dolby Digital Mono
French: Dolby Digital 2.0
German: Dolby Digital 2.0
Japanese: Dolby Digital 2.0


English SDH, French, German, Japanese, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish

English SDH, French, German, Japanese, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish (less)

Blu-ray Disc
Three-disc set (3 BD-50)

Slipcover in original pressing

2K Blu-ray: Region free

List price: $42.99
Amazon: $29.99 (Save 30%)
New from: $25.49 (Save 41%)
In stock now, FREE shipping

Buy Shogun on Blu-ray

TV show rating







 (TV) (1980)

Shogun Blu-ray delivers stunning video and great audio in this excellent Blu-ray release

John Blackthorne, a 17th Century English navigator shipwrecked off the coast of Japan, becomes an eyewitness to a deadly struggle involving Toranaga, a feuding warlord intent on becoming Shōgun - the supreme military dictator. Irresistibly drawn into the turmoil, Blackthorne finds himself vying to become the first-ever gai-jin (foreigner) to be made a samurai warrior.

For more about Shogunand the Shogun Blu-ray release, see Shogun Blu-ray Reviewpublished by Kenneth Brown on July 21, 2014 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.0out of 5.

Director: Jerry London
Writer: James Clavell
Starring: Richard Chamberlain,Toshirô Mifune,John Rhys-Davies,Michael Hordern,Miiko Taka,Nobuo Kaneko
Narrator: Orson Welles
Producers: Eric Bercovici,James Clavell

» See full cast & crew

Shogun Blu-ray Review

“Only by living at the edge of death can you understand the indescribable joy of life.”

Reviewed by Kenneth Brown, July 21, 2014

After largely lying dormant for the better part of a decade, the television miniseries is making its comeback. In the 1970s, though, in the earliest stages of the miniseries' popularity, it was a different story. The National Dream(1974), Rich Man, Poor Man(1976), Jesus of Nazareth(1977) and, most notably, Roots(1977) swept a hungry viewing public by storm, paving the way for grander spectacles and more sprawling adventures released throughout the '80s and '90s. Which brings us to one of the most influential of the miniseries' second generation: director Jerry London and producer James Clavell's Shōgun, a sweeping 17th century epic originally broadcast in five parts that not only earned widespread acclaim and commanding ratings, but numerous Golden Globe and Emmy nominations and wins, among them Best TV Series and Outstanding Limited Series. Shot entirely on location in Japan, Shōgunboasted then- unparalleled production values and cinematic flourish, changing the way networks would approach the format for years to come.

Even today, some thirty-four years later, the series retains a surprising amount of power. It isn't nearly as stunning, groundbreaking or engrossing as it once was, mind you -- particularly when swords are drawn or warriors charge into battle -- and some of its performances, Richard Chamberlain's in particular, haven't withstood the test of time as well as others. Yet Shōgunremains a TV milestone worth preserving and revisiting; one Paramount has made that much easier to experience and enjoy, even savor, thanks to this excellent 3-disc Blu-ray release.

From best-selling author James Clavell ("King Rat," "Noble House") comes the sweeping award-winning story of love and war, set against the spectacular background of feudal Japan at the beginning of the 17th Century. Richard Chamberlain (TV's "Dr. Kildare," "The Thorn Birds") stars as John Blackthorne, an English navigator shipwrecked off the coast of Japan. Rescued, he becomes a witness to a deadly struggle involving Tornaga (Toshira Mifune, Rashomon), a feuding warlord intent on becoming Shogun, the Supreme Military Dictator. At the same time Blackthorne is drawn into the turmoil, he finds himself vying to become the first-ever Gai- Jin (foreigner) to be a made a samurai warrior, an honor he seeks with the help of the beautiful Lady Mariko (Yôko Shimada, Crying Freeman).

Chamberlain's delivery relies a bit too much on pomp and melodramatic stagecraft than his Japanese co-stars, chief among them the disarming Shimada, who holds such sway over her audience that her presence becomes a crucial component to the miniseries' impact and resonance. It's effective, positioning Blackthorne as an even more obvious fish out of water, but a few too many dramatic beats are overplayed. Shimada inadvertently steals entire scenes from Chamberlain, and it's hard not to see her as an equal player for the majority of the miniseries. Mifune is a terrific addition to the cast too, effortlessly conveying an authority and unspoken intensity essential to almost everything that defines Blackthorne's growth and journey. Shimada and Mifune are so engaging, in fact, that the lack of subtitles, though thematically and narratively justifiable at the beginning of the story, proves a tad more frustrating than it's meant to. (While London and Clavell specifically chose to forego subtitles to place viewers squarely in Blackthorne's English-speaking shoes, it proves problematic in later scenes, when Blackthorne has learned the language. Why the subtitles remain MIA, and why Orson Welles' narration is subsequently used to provide exposition and illumination, continue to be points of contention, even among fans.)

The story itself is no less compelling, though, and the boldness of some of these more unorthodox moves -- the lack of subtitles is jarring today; imagine it in 1980 -- continues to make Blackthorne's experiences and encounters more immersive from the outset than they might otherwise be. Clavell, London and screenwriter Eric Bercovici's vision of the sometimes tenuous shift from feudal to Edo-era Japan unfolds with such deliberate sincerity and captivating hints of romanticism that any pacing problems are quickly forgotten as cultures clash, merge and clash again in unexpected and unexpectedly satisfying ways. Blackthorne is all at once an alien and a bastard son, and it's in these moments where internal crises of conscience conflict with external collisions of culture that the miniseries gains momentum and exudes potency and poignance. Yes, Shōgunmade a bigger splash in 1980 than it could ever make today. It's a bitter pill, but one that needs swallowed. That said, it's weathered its thirty-four years better than many other miniseries of the era and offers a heartier meal than most newcomers will assume. On the one hand, it's most definitely a product of its time. On the other, its story is more timeless than its weaker trappings suggest. There's an epic worth exploring, despite its age, and a journey worth taking, despite its flaws.

Shogun Blu-ray, Video Quality

  4.5 of 5

Clavell's 1980 miniseries looks every bit as good as one might hope, with both a notably faithful remaster and a striking 1080p/AVC-encoded video presentation to match. Colors are rich and beautifully saturated, with lifelike skintones, lavish primaries, deep black levels and wonderfully filmic contrast. White specks and other blink-and-you'll-miss-em print marks appear throughout, dotting the original elements, but more significant damage, scratches and other eyesores are few and far between. (The worst haunt Disc 2, and even those are minimal.) Moreover, any restorative techniques (noise reduction et al) that have been utilized have been employed judiciously and without any glaring side effects. Grain has been carefully preserved, detail is unhindered, edges are crisply defined and clean on the whole, fine textures are commendably well-resolved, and delineation is as revealing as it was meant to be. There are several soft shots and sequences, a small handful of which border on blurry, but each one is a product of cinematographer Andrew Laszlo's photography and the original source, not the studio's remaster or encode. Artifacting and banding are also nowhere to be found, other anomalies are held at bay, and the entire image oozes integrity. It's as if the decades have, in part, melted away. I was impressed.

Shogun Blu-ray, Audio Quality

  4.0 of 5

Shōgun's DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track isn't as remarkable as its video presentation, but only because the miniseries' sound design isn't as absorbing as its cinematography. Voices are clear and intelligible, prioritization is smartly coordinated and dynamics are strong. There's just an abundance of negligible oddities, from muffled lines to tinny effects to a score that's slightly disjointed from the rest of the soundscape. It's all a product of the miniseries' age, of course -- we're dealing with a television production that hails from 1980, not a feature film from 2014 -- and something most, if not all, viewers will easily and rightfully forgive from the outset. The rear speakers are used sparingly but wisely, with some nice ambient presence that allows swords to ring out and horses to circle convincingly, and LFE output is restrained but able-bodied, making the most of its opportunities. Ultimately, the 5.1 experience clings to its roots while broadening its sonic horizons. There are no miracles to be had here, but no real disappointment either. Just a solid, uncompromising lossless track that capably bolsters a noteworthy AV presentation.

Shogun Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation

  4.0 of 5

James Clavell's Shōgunisn't television's preeminent miniseries, or even the best miniseries of its era. Nor is it as remarkable today as it was thirty-four years ago. However, it remains an important influence, a powerful clash-of-cultures drama and, above all, an epic that still has the ability to grab hold of an audience. There are gaps in its armor -- pacing and Chamberlain's performance, among others -- but its locations, production design, cinematography, script, story and performances (particularly Shimada and Mifune's) remain compelling enough to make it all worth discovering or revisiting. Paramount's Blu-ray release is excellent as well, with a striking remastered video presentation, solid DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track, and decidedly decent selection of extras. The 3-disc set's initial price may be a bit high, but don't let that stop you from adding Shōgunto your cart or wish list.

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Shogun Blu-ray, News and Updates

• Shogun Blu-ray: Exclusive Giveaway - July 21, 2014 and Image Entertainment are offering members the opportunity to win a Blu-ray copy of executive producer James Clavell's Shōgun, starring Richard Chamberlain, Toshiro Mifune, Yoko Shimada, John Rhys-Davies, Frankie Sakai, Damien Thomas and Orson ...

• Shôgun Blu-ray Detailed - June 20, 2014

Paramount Home Entertainment has detailed the Blu-ray release of executive producer James Clavell's Shôgun, starring Richard Chamberlain, Toshiro Mifune, Yoko Shimada, John Rhys-Davies, Frankie Sakai, Damien Thomas and Orson Welles. The landmark 1980 NBC miniseries ...

• James Clavell's Shogun (1980) Blu-ray - May 13, 2014

Paramount Home Entertainment has announced the Blu-ray release of executive producer James Clavell's Shogun, starring Richard Chamberlain, Toshiro Mifune, Yoko Shimada, John Rhys-Davies, Frankie Sakai, Damien Thomas and Orson Welles. The landmark 1980 NBC miniseries ...

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