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AK 100: 25 Films by Akira Kurosawa - The Criterion Collection

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AK 100: 25 Films by Akira Kurosawa - The Criterion Collection

Old 09-17-09, 04:30 PM
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AK 100: 25 Films by Akira Kurosawa - The Criterion Collection

Originally Posted by The Digital Bits
Okay folks... here's a title that Doogan and I have been hoping to see arrive on DVD for more than a decade now! Our friends over at Criterion have just announced that they're going to be releasing AK 100: 25 Films by Akira Kurosawa on DVD on 12/8 (SRP $399, but it's available for pre-order on Amazon for just $299). This extraordinary set will come enclosed in a linen-bound box and will include an illustrated companion book. Released on the 100th anniversary of the legendary Japanese director's birth, the set will include 25 of his films on 25 DVDs - the most complete such set ever released in the U.S. - 4 of which have never been available on the DVD format in this country. Included will be:

The Bad Sleep Well (1960), Dodes'ka-den (1970), Drunken Angel (1948), The Hidden Fortress (1958), High and Low (1963), I Live in Fear (1955), The Idiot (1951), Ikiru (1952), Kagemusha (1980), The Lower Depths (1957), Madadayo (1993), The Men Who Tread on the Tiger's Tail (1945 - new to DVD), The Most Beautiful (1944 - new to DVD), No Regrets for Our Youth (1946), One Wonderful Sunday (1947), Rashomon (1951), Red Beard (1965), Sanjuro (1962), Sanshiro Sugata (1943 - new to DVD), Sanshiro Sugata, Part II (1944 - new to DVD), Scandal (1950), Seven Samurai (1954), Stray Dog (1949), Throne of Blood (1957) and Yojimbo (1961)

Each of these films is presented with a restored digital transfer, with audio in the original Japanese and English subtitles. The companion book features an introduction and notes on each of the films by Stephen Prince (The Warrior's Camera: The Cinema of Akira Kurosawa) and a remembrance by Donald Richie (The Films of Akira Kurosawa). Here's what this magnificent box will look like (note that the packaging isn't final, so what you see is subject to change)...


Holy crap! The only minor detraction is that you lose the other two Seven Samurai discs (is that all you lose?), but I imagine it will come out on Blu eventually, so it's not that disappointing.

Last edited by tylergfoster; 09-17-09 at 04:36 PM.
Old 09-17-09, 04:50 PM
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Re: AK 100: 25 Films by Akira Kurosawa - The Criterion Collection

The discs have been stripped of their extras, correct?
Old 09-17-09, 05:44 PM
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Re: AK 100: 25 Films by Akira Kurosawa - The Criterion Collection

Originally Posted by droidguy1119 View Post
Holy crap! The only minor detraction is that you lose the other two Seven Samurai discs (is that all you lose?), but I imagine it will come out on Blu eventually, so it's not that disappointing.
No it looks like it'll have little or none of the extras, as it's only 25 discs, and a bunch of AK sets from Criterion are 2 discs sets. They don't even mention any extras apart from the book, so there probably won't be any, which makes sense, since 25 Criterions would cost closer to $600 rather than $400. And I doubt it will ever come on Blu-ray.

I wonder if they'll sell the book separately like they did for Essential Art House.
Old 09-17-09, 06:00 PM
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Re: AK 100: 25 Films by Akira Kurosawa - The Criterion Collection

Originally Posted by droidguy1119 View Post
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Holy crap! The only minor detraction is that you lose the other two Seven Samurai discs (is that all you lose?), but I imagine it will come out on Blu eventually, so it's not that disappointing.
awesome, gotta save up for this one
Old 09-17-09, 06:57 PM
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Re: AK 100: 25 Films by Akira Kurosawa - The Criterion Collection

Any word on if the new titles will be available individually? I've been waiting for the two Sanshiro Sugatas, and The Men Who Tread on the Tiger's Tail for a while.
Old 09-17-09, 07:43 PM
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Re: AK 100: 25 Films by Akira Kurosawa - The Criterion Collection

Also, Madadayo is included in this set, so we know who has the rights to it now!
Also, realize that "Ran" is not part of this set, along with the "lost" The Quiet Duel.
Old 09-17-09, 08:37 PM
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Re: AK 100: 25 Films by Akira Kurosawa - The Criterion Collection

Originally Posted by slop101 View Post
No it looks like it'll have little or none of the extras, as it's only 25 discs, and a bunch of AK sets from Criterion are 2 discs sets. They don't even mention any extras apart from the book, so there probably won't be any, which makes sense, since 25 Criterions would cost closer to $600 rather than $400. And I doubt it will ever come on Blu-ray.

I wonder if they'll sell the book separately like they did for Essential Art House.
Not this set. I meant the stand-alone Criterion of Seven Samurai will probably come out on Blu, meaning I could have this and then get the extras by buying the BD.

Here's to hoping the extras are included from the 1-discs.
Old 09-17-09, 09:28 PM
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Re: AK 100: 25 Films by Akira Kurosawa - The Criterion Collection

I was really excited about this, and the packaging is awesome. But the cutting down of extras is disappointing. Since they said they have new transfers, I wonder if they are also referring to the films included in the Eclipse line. I doubt it unless they consider the versions released as new transfers. In addition, The Hidden Fortress really needs an upgrade.

I already have 11 of these releases, so I hope the unreleased movies get released separately down the line.
Old 09-17-09, 09:37 PM
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Re: AK 100: 25 Films by Akira Kurosawa - The Criterion Collection

While I don't have many Kurosawa movies in my collection (as of right now, I just have Ran and Rashomon), I'll probably just get the individual releases (what can I say, I'm a completist when it comes to disc content), and hope the four unreleased ones get separate releases soon (which I think would be pretty likely, even if they're just released under the EAH banner; I can't imagine too many people double dipping to get this package, even if they are Criterion aficionados).
Old 09-17-09, 09:46 PM
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Re: AK 100: 25 Films by Akira Kurosawa - The Criterion Collection

Originally Posted by MTRodaba2468 View Post
While I don't have many Kurosawa movies in my collection (as of right now, I just have Ran and Rashomon), I'll probably just get the individual releases (what can I say, I'm a completist when it comes to disc content), and hope the four unreleased ones get separate releases soon (which I think would be pretty likely, even if they're just released under the EAH banner; I can't imagine too many people double dipping to get this package, even if they are Criterion aficionados).
Yeah... I'll wait for the EAH set (I'm definitely expecting them to put another one out) for the missing four Kurosawa's. This is a nice package but I already own too many to even consider this set. It's a definite pass as nice as it is.
Old 09-17-09, 09:58 PM
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Re: AK 100: 25 Films by Akira Kurosawa - The Criterion Collection

I will buy this for sure if they come out with a Blu edition.
Old 09-17-09, 11:56 PM
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Re: AK 100: 25 Films by Akira Kurosawa - The Criterion Collection

Originally Posted by bluetoast View Post
I was really excited about this, and the packaging is awesome. But the cutting down of extras is disappointing.
I don't think we know for sure all the extras are missing. It's just being presumed since it wasn't mentioned.
Old 09-17-09, 11:57 PM
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Re: AK 100: 25 Films by Akira Kurosawa - The Criterion Collection

i may get some flak here, but while this set looks very sweet in the box with the book, linen box, and all (i really do dig limited sets like this), is it me? or is criterion diluting their products a bit too much? for example and as mentioned re hidden fortress, will there be another release of it remastered and in blu sometime after this release? plus sanjuro, yojimbo, and seven samurai were re-released not long ago. im guessing there is at least one of these in one of those essential art house collection sets too maybe?

i like that cc is getting less expensive and penetrating the mainstream a lil more this way (i guess?), but im just a lil concerned about the product in the long run. as much as id love to grab criterions at big lots lol, this actually should not happen imho.
Old 09-18-09, 12:00 AM
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Re: AK 100: 25 Films by Akira Kurosawa - The Criterion Collection

Originally Posted by Groucho View Post
I will buy this for sure if they come out with a Blu edition.
Well, of course. I would too.
Old 09-18-09, 12:32 AM
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Re: AK 100: 25 Films by Akira Kurosawa - The Criterion Collection

my first kneejerk reaction to this is that I want it. Honestly though...I'd only want it if the features were on there. And as it is...I already own all most of the CC Kurosawa flicks. So..sadly it'd be a waste of cash.
Old 09-18-09, 12:45 AM
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Re: AK 100: 25 Films by Akira Kurosawa - The Criterion Collection

Toho is releasing 3 boxsets of Kurosawa's works throughout October to January. Shochiku have released theirs. After Kadokawa releases the Daiei films, all his films will be on Bluray in Japan, without English options of course.
Old 09-18-09, 01:31 AM
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Re: AK 100: 25 Films by Akira Kurosawa - The Criterion Collection

Originally Posted by droidguy1119 View Post
I don't think we know for sure all the extras are missing. It's just being presumed since it wasn't mentioned.
Well, the press release states that it's 25 films on 25 discs, meaning that each movie gets one disc. Some Kurosawa films under Criterion have had single disc releases, yes, but the following have had multi-disc releases:

Seven Samurai
High And Low
Ikiru
Ran (although in fairness, this one isn't included, due to it's OOP nature)
Kagemusha

We know that those movies won't have all the extras included (hell, by the sounds of it, Seven Samurai will be back to only one disc). The jury's still out on whether the others will have their extras included as well. Furthermore, we know that these either have Blu-Ray releases out now (Kagemusha) or will likely have Blu-Ray out eventually (I've heard Rashomon thrown out there more than once), leading me to just go ahead and pick up the individual titles out now (or to wait for the eventual Blus).
Old 09-18-09, 09:53 AM
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Re: AK 100: 25 Films by Akira Kurosawa - The Criterion Collection

I asked if they're cutting extras on their Facebook page (no, I'm not a 15 year old girl), and their response:

"There are no supplements on the discs in the Kurosawa box. If you're one who values our special features, you may want to stick to the full Criterion special editions and supplement with the Postwar Kurosawa Eclipse set, but if you just want to immerse yourself in the life's work of one of the greatest filmmakers of all time, this box is going to be a great way to do it: a gorgeous object and the most cost-effective to fill out your Kurosawa library."
Old 09-18-09, 10:41 AM
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Re: AK 100: 25 Films by Akira Kurosawa - The Criterion Collection

NO way would I buy this if it doesnt have the special features. Fuck that.
Old 09-18-09, 10:44 AM
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Re: AK 100: 25 Films by Akira Kurosawa - The Criterion Collection

Originally Posted by reefa View Post
I asked if they're cutting extras on their Facebook page (no, I'm not a 15 year old girl), and their response:

"There are no supplements on the discs in the Kurosawa box. If you're one who values our special features, you may want to stick to the full Criterion special editions and supplement with the Postwar Kurosawa Eclipse set, but if you just want to immerse yourself in the life's work of one of the greatest filmmakers of all time, this box is going to be a great way to do it: a gorgeous object and the most cost-effective to fill out your Kurosawa library."
Nothing wrong with having a Facebook page.

That's kind of what I expected. Like I said, I'll pass.
Old 09-18-09, 06:59 PM
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Re: AK 100: 25 Films by Akira Kurosawa - The Criterion Collection

Originally Posted by droidguy1119 View Post
I don't think we know for sure all the extras are missing. It's just being presumed since it wasn't mentioned.
I was just assuming that something was cut down due to Seven Samurai being cut down to 1 disc, Ikiru to 1 disc, etc. But I suppose it's possible they put all the extras on that one disc, but that would be a lot of compression.

Edit: Looks like it's official. Hoped they would have done this a bit better, and that makes me wonder whether the unreleased movies will a.) be distributed via the Eclipse line down the road or under Criterion and depending on that b.) have decent transfers

Last edited by bluetoast; 09-18-09 at 07:04 PM.
Old 09-18-09, 10:40 PM
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Re: AK 100: 25 Films by Akira Kurosawa - The Criterion Collection

Originally Posted by Solid Snake PAC View Post
my first kneejerk reaction to this is that I want it. Honestly though...I'd only want it if the features were on there. And as it is...I already own all most of the CC Kurosawa flicks. So..sadly it'd be a waste of cash.
My thoughts exactly. The possible exception being if they release it on blue and i can find it for cheap.
Old 09-18-09, 11:23 PM
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Re: AK 100: 25 Films by Akira Kurosawa - The Criterion Collection

Originally Posted by bluetoast View Post
that makes me wonder whether the unreleased movies will a.) be distributed via the Eclipse line down the road or under Criterion and depending on that b.) have decent transfers
Well, the Eclipse line is supposed to be used for films that haven't been released in R1 before, so I doubt that the new films in the box will later be released under that line.

It wouldn't surprise me if Criterion gave them their own spine number later on, but if they were to be released under a different line, I'd expect it to be the Essential Art House line.
Old 09-19-09, 09:57 AM
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Re: AK 100: 25 Films by Akira Kurosawa - The Criterion Collection

I'm hoping Netflix will carry the four previously unreleased films. Is that likely? Does anyone remember if they carried the then-exclusive titles in the Janus box?
Old 09-19-09, 10:02 AM
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Re: AK 100: 25 Films by Akira Kurosawa - The Criterion Collection

sorry but for the money it doesn't make sense not to include the exta discs that are available from their prior editions. a newby of kurosawa is not going to drop the money on this and someone who is into the master would already have most or all of the ones released by criterion like most here and I do.

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