Criterion’s brand new blu-ray release of Seven Samurai is out today! The release was originally scheduled to coincide with Kurosawa’s centenary this spring, but was at the time replaced by Yojimbo and Sanjuro.
No new material is included in the box set compared to their 2006 DVD package, but considering the awesomeness of that package, the region A (the Americas, parts of East Asia) blu-ray release is certainly nothing less than one of the best high definition releases ever!
As expected, reviews are overwhelmingly positive. DVD Beaver praises the release: “smoother, less damage (speckles, scratches) than ever… and grain. Brighter whites, richer blacks… This is, BY FAR, the best digital presentation”. Meanwhile, DVD Verdict notes: “Maybe Criterion should have included a reproduction samurai sword? That’s the only way I can think to make this Blu-ray release better.” The other reviews are pretty much the same, so I don’t feel the need to repeat them here. (You all can google, after all.)
For availability, check out the Akira Kurosawa Blu-rays page.
If you are looking for more Kurosawa films in high definition, check out Kurosawa on blu-ray. For information about DVD releases, I have compiled a Kurosawa DVD guide.