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HK Kurosawa DVDs

Old 05-14-01, 06:40 AM
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Many of Kurosawa's films are available on DVD from HK distributors. How is the quality of these transfers?
Old 05-14-01, 11:33 PM
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Kurosawa DVDs from HK

Well, let's just say that these DVDs aren't exactly Criterion quality. The Mei Ah DVDs are basically standard HK quality, and when compare to most Region 1 DVDs, that's not very good. I don't have all of the HK Kurosawa DVDs, but I have "Dodes Kaiden," "Throne of Blood," "Lower Depths," and "The Bad Sleep Well." I have the Criterion versions of "Sanjuro," "Yojimbo," and "Seven Samurai," and I suggest you go with Criterion on those titles as well.

Many of these DVDs are not in their correct aspect ratio (i.e. full screen), and I apologize that I'm not able to recall which ones are letterboxed and which ones aren't.

The subtitles are TERRIBLE, I really need to emphasize this, so keep that in mind if you don't speak Japanese. The subtitles are removable, and that's really the only nice thing I can say about them. [Sidenote: Stay away from the Rashomon DVD, as it has no English subtitles at all] I watched "Throne of Blood" and many of the subtitles were completely incomprehensible. I wouldn't have been able to follow the movie if it weren't for the fact that my girlfriend reads Chinese and was able to read the Chinese subtitles and translate them for me (which apprently made more sense than the English subtitles). Also, since the English subtitles are translations of the Chinese subtitles (a translation of a translation), all of the Japanese names are renamed with Chinese names, which is weird.

Will I still buy more of the HK Kurosawa titles? Yes. Even after all of the rotton things I've said about these DVDs, I'm still fairly certain that many of these will never be released on Region 1 DVD ever. I really love Kurosawa, so to me it's better than nothing.

I recomend that you take a look at http://www.asiandvdguide.com as they have some reviews and info on some of the DVDs.
Old 05-15-01, 12:00 AM
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...allow me to second magnetichuman's remarks about these discs - 'iffy' transfers at best, some are much worse than that, laughable subs - I, too, suggest that if you absolutely have to have these you pick only those titles that are not otherwise currently available (e.g. from Criterion, or -shudder!- from Fox/Lorber)...

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