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DVD Times reviews Optimum’s ‘Ran’

Kevin Gilvear at DVD Times has reviewed Optimum’s Region 2 release of Ran, which is due out on November 26th. Rather than spending any time with the movie itself, the review concentrates on the question which release of Kurosawa’s Ran is the best: the Criterion, Warner Bros. or Optimum one? The verdict seems to be that one should go with this new Optimum release because of its superb picture quality.

The review comes with a set of screenshots comparing the three releases, and I must personally say that I am not entirely convinced about the verdict. In fact, in all but one of the screenshots I prefer the warmer colours of the Criterion release.

Proceed to DVD Times for the full review.


Discussion

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Jeremy

I think the Studio Canal/WB DVD to be the best one yet, based off the review I dont think I’ll pick up the Optimum as I dont see much difference.
The Criterion one I own, to me it does have too much red saturation, The warmer image plays well it your watching to the movie with some lights in the room, but when I watch it in a small room turned theater and no lights the warm colors are noticeable and distracting, and some cases the reds slighty bleed into other colors.

I dont understand the whole region locks on DVDs and Video Games. The good things is all higher end DVD players have ways of removing the region lock

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Vili Maunula

Indeed, for the end user region codes are more of an annoyance than anything else.

Of course, in a way I suppose it makes sense that if you live in country X you cannot (theoretically) buy a DVD from country Y before the film is even released where you live. And it also helps those who own regional copyrights to enforce their rights better. But whether we love international copyright laws is of course a whole different matter.

I certainly always make sure that the DVD player I am buying (I’ve had three so far) can be made region free without any trouble.

Thanks also for the point about the “warmer” Criterion colours looking not that brilliant on a home theatre screen. I suppose much also depends on your individual projector/TV settings, though?

I don’t know if anyone has noticed, but I have recently been working on the “Kurosawa’s Movies on DVD” section of this website. It is still not finished, but I think that it is going to the right direction, finally.

Do tell me if you disagree with some of my opinions there.

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Jeremy

The DVD section of the site, is well organized, easy to read and the inclusion of the box cover look s professional.
Your statements about the DVDs is more-less fact and is good that you pointed out the video transfer quality and sub title accuracy/problems.
The links to Amazon are nice along with the mention of the region codes.

I know you have got to it yet, but perhaps, you should mention quickly that the Criterion “The lower depths” includes Jean Renoir’s version.
Its neat that even though both Kurosawa and Renoir both adapt from Gorky, they make completely different movies, showing how a directors/ writers take of the same subject can differ so much. In my opinion you can see the better skilled Kurosawa, take a more effective approach, making a masterpiece while Renoir a talented director, doesnt really pull off anything great. To me it illustrates the brilliance of Kurosawa.

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Vili Maunula

I have actually been wanting to get that double feature DVD, as I haven’t seen Renoir’s version, and my copy of the Kurosawa film is quite bad. It is certainly an interesting idea to release them together. It probably also makes good marketing sense.

Thanks also for the comments about the DVD page itself. I think I can still do something with the formatting, as it is now a bit plain. Not that I would like to fill it with shapes and colours, either.

I’m happy to hear that the Amazon links are helpful. I actually live in a perpetual fear that the various modes of advertisement I use on this site (Amazon, Adsense, Allposters) make the site look like a one huge ad, rather than something serious to deal with Kurosawa. But as they bring in the occasional dollar, contributing to the server costs, I don’t really like to drop them, either.

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Jeremy

I despise ads on informative sites, but in this case, I dont really consider Amazon and All Posters unnecessary ads, as there more resources directly related to the subject. Having a link to Amazon is the best way to get the movies mentioned, and if you can make a small amount of money off the links then so be it.

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