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Old 05-02-2019, 02:45 PM   #1
cathexis cathexis is offline
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Default Kurosawa in 4K - Really?

So,

I'm a newer convert to 4K from Jan. 2019. In googling, "Kurosawa in 4K" I'm getting various articles from 2016 trumpeting the 4K release of Ran and 7 Samurai. But when I go to Amazon the only 4K that shows up is "Dreams." I am aware of the story that 7 Samurai original negs are lost. But my problem, as with other blu-ray vs. 4K movies, is how to thread the plethora of on-line choices to get the ones in 4K. Not always an easy task!

So what's the story? And if Kurosawa is out in 4K WHICH exact discs should I be buying?

TIA,

Cathexis
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Old 05-02-2019, 02:49 PM   #2
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There are only 1080p Blu Rays available, no UHD discs. The scan/restoration was 4K in some cases but has not been released to consumers in 4K so far.
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Old 05-02-2019, 02:53 PM   #3
Doctorossi Doctorossi is offline
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Sadly, no; not really.
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Old 05-02-2019, 03:09 PM   #4
Joseph Goodman Joseph Goodman is online now
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There have been a few 4k restorations of Kurosawa performed in the last few years; aside from "Ran" in L'immagine Ritrovata tinkle-vision, none of them have hit even standard Blu-Ray here or in Japan. Toho's recent 4k restorations of "Seven Samurai", "Yojimbo", "Sanjuro", and "Kagemusha" have only been screened in theaters over there, so far.
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Old 05-02-2019, 03:22 PM   #5
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Well, the 4K scan’s an insane improvement over how Q-Tec destroyed Seven Samurai for Toho’s BD.
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Old 05-02-2019, 03:23 PM   #6
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Would love some Kurosawa in 4K. Was watching Seven Samurai recently on the BFI blu ray (a horrid transfer, I know), but I'd love to see it get the treatment it deserves. I wasn't aware that the original negatives were lost.
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Old 05-02-2019, 03:25 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by professorwho View Post
Well, the 4K scanís an insane improvement over how Q-Tec destroyed Seven Samurai for Tohoís BD.
Better than what CC has done? Unfortunately I have to live with said horrid BFI disc. I would import a Japanese 4K disc in a heartbeat if it had English subs!
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Old 05-02-2019, 05:38 PM   #8
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^I'd import it even without subtitles, and that goes for any Ozu, Mizoguchi, or hell just about any Japanese movie from that golden era.
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Old 05-02-2019, 05:44 PM   #9
DukeTogo84 DukeTogo84 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by professorwho View Post
Well, the 4K scanís an insane improvement over how Q-Tec destroyed Seven Samurai for Tohoís BD.
Wow, comparing those two, the Criterion is about ten miles better. Wow.
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Old 05-02-2019, 05:46 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DukeTogo84 View Post
Wow, comparing those two, the Criterion is about ten miles better. Wow.
Yup. I always thought Q-Tec was ruining just anime, but theyíve destroyed life action as well.

What so funny is that both use the same film element. The difference is massive.
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Old 05-02-2019, 06:33 PM   #11
GenPion GenPion is offline
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4K remastered versions exist for several Kurosawa films. Ran is a great example (though you will need to import it).

So far there are no Kurosawa 4K UHD releases. I’d love for some to eventually be released though.
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Old 05-02-2019, 07:16 PM   #12
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I wonder why TCC hasn't come into the UHD market yet. Are their customers too niche to warrant the cost? Actually, looking at how overpriced many of their movies are, I don't wanna imagine how expensive a UHD release would be. I could do without the booklets and essays if that would bring the cost down a bit.
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Old 05-02-2019, 10:01 PM   #13
cathexis cathexis is offline
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Well,

I took a chance on this, (but see the P.S. below)
https://www.amazon.com/Ran-Tatsuya-Nakadai/dp/B01BF2766W/ref=tmm_blu_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

My 4k player is supposed to play all DVD & Blu-Ray regions, not just the discs marked "all regions" but dedicated Reg.B/2, etc. Does this disc look familiar to anyone here? If it is not known here I'll post the play results in a week when it arrives.

Here's Hoping,
Cathexis

P.S. Why in HELL is the Criterion 2Disc Ran going for almost $200 U.S.???
Oh, and since I bought the last one the link may not work right. I bought this:
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 81Uw3jOJ7CL._SL1500_.jpg (92.8 KB, 7 views)

Last edited by cathexis; 05-02-2019 at 10:08 PM.
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Old 05-03-2019, 12:07 AM   #14
dwk dwk is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cathexis View Post
P.S. Why in HELL is the Criterion 2Disc Ran going for almost $200 U.S.???
Oh, and since I bought the last one the link may not work right. I bought this:
Because the 4K restoration was never released on disc in North America and, in some ways, Criterion's DVD is better than Lionsgate's Blu-ray.
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Old 05-03-2019, 04:14 PM   #15
cathexis cathexis is offline
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Would you care to details the benefits of the Criterion 2 disc version?

Thanks for your reply,
Cathexis
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Old 05-04-2019, 12:14 AM   #16
dwk dwk is online now
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Mostly the special features:
Criterion:
• Audio commentary by Kurosawa scholar Stephen Prince
• An appreciation of the film by director Sidney Lumet
• A.K., a 74-minute film by director Chris Marker
• A 30-minute documentary on the making of Ran, part of the Toho Masterworks series Akira Kurosawa: It Is Wonderful to Create
• A 35-minute video piece reconstructing Ran through Kurosawa’s paintings and sketches, created as part of the series Image: Kurosawa’s Continuity
• New video interview with actor Tatsuya Nakadai
• Theatrical trailers
• 28-page liner notes booklet featuring film critic Michael Wilmington and interviews with Kurosawa and composer Toru Takemitsu

Lionsgate:
• AK (1:11:35)
• Akira Kurosawa: The Epic and The Intimate (41:49)
• Art of the Samurai (41:11)
• The Samurai (52:47)

In terms of the transfer, the Blu-ray is sharper, with a bit more detail, but is wholly underwhelming. Again, even with its issues, the 4K master is the way to go, but it hasn't been released in North America.

I don't think the OOP DVD is worth paying $200, but I also don't think anyone should waste their money on the lousy Lionsgate Blu-ray.
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Old 05-04-2019, 11:05 AM   #17
Pans Pans is offline
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Many years ago I remember checking screenshot comparisons of the transfers used for the High and Low DVDs and the Critereon release featured a cropped version while it turned out an Australian release had the original framing.

Have been skeptical of Critereon Kurosawa releases since. Searched caps-a-holic but both versions compared are Critereon so unsure if they ever improved it for the BD versions.
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Old 05-04-2019, 12:24 PM   #18
cathexis cathexis is offline
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Well,

Checking out the NEW prices on the amazon link I posted above, it could be cheaper to buy a dedicated B/2 player and this disc (sez it has Eng. Subs) than to buy the Criterion 2 disc set. You'd lose the extras but gain on the image, possibly for less money. Even if not cheaper it could be a worthy investment since it opens up a much bigger slice of the pie.
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Old 05-04-2019, 12:57 PM   #19
Grethiwha Grethiwha is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cathexis View Post
Well,

I took a chance on this, (but see the P.S. below)
https://www.amazon.com/Ran-Tatsuya-Nakadai/dp/B01BF2766W/ref=tmm_blu_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

My 4k player is supposed to play all DVD & Blu-Ray regions, not just the discs marked "all regions" but dedicated Reg.B/2, etc. Does this disc look familiar to anyone here? If it is not known here I'll post the play results in a week when it arrives.

Here's Hoping,
Cathexis

P.S. Why in HELL is the Criterion 2Disc Ran going for almost $200 U.S.???
Oh, and since I bought the last one the link may not work right. I bought this:
You bought the 2016 UK release, which is the superior 4K-remastered blu-ray edition, which is also region B-locked.

The 2005 Criterion release is 200 dollars because it's been out of print for a decade. It's also a DVD and there's no reason to buy it. If you can't play region B blu-rays, then your only option is the 2010 US blu-ray. The PQ is bad by blu-ray standards, but it's at least marginally better than the Criterion DVD.

Both blu-ray editions have special features that the Criterion edition doesn't have, and vice versa. You get a strong selection of extras no matter which option you pick.

Last edited by Grethiwha; 05-04-2019 at 01:06 PM.
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Old 05-04-2019, 02:49 PM   #20
dwk dwk is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pans View Post
Many years ago I remember checking screenshot comparisons of the transfers used for the High and Low DVDs and the Critereon release featured a cropped version while it turned out an Australian release had the original framing.

Have been skeptical of Critereon Kurosawa releases since. Searched caps-a-holic but both versions compared are Critereon so unsure if they ever improved it for the BD versions.
No, the Australian release absolutely shows too much on the sides (look at the lighter caps, that black line on the left should be cropped out)
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