Criterion‘s new blu-ray edition of Akira Kurosawa’s High and Low is available for purchase today.
As with Criterion’s other blu-ray updates of Kurosawa’s films, the blu-ray High and Low does not contain any additional content that was not already included on their 2008 DVD edition. Of course, the picture quality has definitely improved (again), so anyone living in the high definition era may want to consider upgrading, even if you already own the 2008 DVD reissue.
DVD Beaver calls the new release “one of the easiest recommendations of the year”, and DVD File agrees that the new blu-ray will now be the definitive version of the film on home video in the English speaking world. Svet Atanasov, writing for Blu-ray.com agrees with that sentiment, but notes that the transfer is in fact not entirely successful, with some grain artefacts having apparently been created by using too much sharpening in Criterion’s restoration process. In fact, whether or not the improvements are dramatic enough to warrant purchasing the blu-ray if you already own the 2008 DVD is a good question, and the answer probably depends on your personal preference. Glenn Abel, reviewing for Screen & Stream, seems to think that the differences, while noticeable, are not necessarily quite worth buying another copy. But then again, can you really live knowing that you don’t own the definitive version of High and Low…
For more information about Criterion’s DVD and blu-ray High and Low, see the Criterion product page. For more information about the film’s availability and Kurosawa releases in general, see the Kurosawa on blu-ray and Kurosawa on DVD sections of this website.