Plot: What’s it about?
The world of mixed martial arts has several venues, but few can come close to the intense realm that is the Pride Fighting Championships. Pride hosts some of the world’s most renowned combatants and places them on an even stage, where the men can showcase their skills against fighters from all across the world. You can see kickboxers, karate experts, jiu-jitsu masters, and all kind of other warriors, all with a single goal, to defeat all comers. I’ve seen a lot of Pride events and while most of them are terrific, The Return of the Warriors is excellent, with a nice selection of matches included. A lot of big names entered this competition, which means some great matches between skilled veterans. I was pleased to see such names as Ken Shamrock, Renzo Gracie, Kazushi Sakuraba, Vanderlei Silva, Igor Vovchanchyn, and Gary “Big Daddy” Goodridge, among a host of other memorable warriors. This is a superb card and you’ll find about three hours of content here, which means a lot of value for the price. I recommend this excellent release to fans of mixed martial arts, or anyone who loves to watch a good fight. Below is a list of the matches found on this impressive card, The Return of the Warriors.
1. Kazushi Sakuraba vs. Renzo Gracie
2. Ken Shamrock vs. Kazuyuki Fujita
3. Mark Kerr vs. Borisov Igor
4. Enson Inoue vs. Igor Vovchanchyn
5. Ricco Rodriguez vs. “Giant” Ochiai
6. Gilbert Yvel vs. Gary Goodridge
7. Vitor Belfort vs. Daijiro Matsui
8. Ryan Gracie vs. Tokimitsu Ishizawa
9. Guy Mezger vs. Vaderlei Silva
Video: How does it look?
The event is presented in a full frame transfer, as intended. As with most of the other Pride discs, I was able to notice some compression errors, but on the whole, this looks terrific and should please fans. I found the image to be much sharper than on television, with a cleaner look and more detail evident. The colors seem to be in fine form, while flesh tones are warm and normal at all times as well. I saw no troubles with contrast either, as black levels allowed plenty of detail to surface, but not at the expense of overexposure. I wish the hints of compression were gone, but even as it stands, this is a solid visual presentation.
Audio: How does it sound?
As this is a no hold barred fighting competition, as opposed to a feature film, the audio is natural and lacks intense power. But that’s how it should be, as gimmick use of the surrounds just lessens the impact of things, if you ask me. The sounds from the fights come across well enough, with a nice overall texture, but never forced at all. The crowd noise is clear and adds to the atmosphere, while the announcers are never hard to understand. Not too memorable of a mix, but for what it is, not much else you could ask for, in truth.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This disc includes a selection of event highlights, as well as a history of Pride featurette.