Stuart Galbraith IV has written yet another excellent review of a Kurosawa DVD for DVD Talk, this time for the to-be-released Drunken Angel by Criterion. His assessment of Criterion’s latest venture into the Akira Kurosawa catalogue is positive, although he does not delve into much detail regarding the technical aspects that the readers of akirakurosawa.info are perhaps most interested in, considering that we have probably all seen and own the film already in a few different formats.
What Galbraith does say about the quality is pretty much the following:
the film looks better than this writer’s ever seen it, and it is about on par with other early postwar films, all of which were shot on nitrate stock and stored in less than ideal conditions. A master positive was used and both it and the mono soundtrack have been substantially scrubbed digitally. Viewers with widescreen TVs will be disappointed that the entire film is slightly windowboxed, but this seems less extreme than earlier Criterion releases. The Dolby Digital 1.0 mono has been directed to the center channel.