http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/kurosawa.htm
Japan 1985

With Ran, legendary director Akira Kurosawa reimagines Shakespeare’s King Lear as a singular historical epic set in sixteenth-century Japan. Majestic in scope, the film is Kurosawa’s late-life masterpiece, a profound examination of the folly of war and the crumbling of one family under the weight of betrayal, greed, and the insatiable thirst for power.

Posters

Theatrical Release: September 25th, 1985 - France

Reviews    More Reviews  DVD Reviews

DVD Comparison:

Optimum (Double Disc Special Edition) - Region 2 - PAL vs. Criterion - Region 1- NTSC vs. Twister Digital Video (Russia) - Region 0 - PAL vs. Universal (1 disc rental) - Region 2- PAL vs. Warner Bros. (UK) - Region 2 - PAL vs. WellSpring (MasterWorks Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Fox Lorber - Region 1 - NTSC

Thanks to EnricoGregory Meshman and Pavel Borodin for all the Screen Caps! and Henrik Sylow for the Review!

(Optimum - 2-disc SE - Region 2- PAL)

DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

Distribution

Optimum

Region 2 - PAL

(Criterion - Region 1- NTSC LEFT vs. Twister Digital Video (Russia) - Region 0 - PAL - MIDDLE vs. Universal - Region 2- PAL  RIGHT)

DVD Box Covers

 

Distribution

Criterion Collection - Spine # 316

Region 1  - NTSC

Twister Digital Video (Russia)

Region 0 - PAL

Universal (Europe)
Region 2 - PAL

 ( Warner Bros. (UK) - Region 2 - PAL LEFT vs. WellSpring Masterworks R1 - NTSC - MIDDLE vs. Fox/Lorber - NTSC - RIGHT)

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

  

Warner Bros. (UK)
Region 2 - PAL

WellSpring

Region 1  - NTSC

Fox Lorber
Region 1 - NTSC

 

Production

Optimum

Region 2 - PAL

Criterion Collection

Twister Digital Video

Universal (Europe)

Warner Bros. (UK)

WellSpring

Fox Lorber

Runtime

2:35:38 (4% PAL speedup)

2:42:25 

2:23:50 (4% PAL speedup)

2:35:30

2:23:50 (4% PAL speedup)

2:40:00 

2:45:12

Video

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.47 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio 16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.69 mb/s
NTSC 960X540 29.97 f/s

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 4.57 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.35 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.15 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio 16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.24 mb/s
NTSC 960X540 29.97 f/s

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio 


Average Bitrate: 5.93


NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes

Bitrate:

Optimum + Criterion + Twister + Universal

 

 

  

 

 

Bitrate:

Warner +

Wellspring + Fox Lorber

 

 

  

 

Audio

2.0 Dolby Digital Japanese, 5.1 Dolby DIgital Japanese

Japanese (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround) .

Japanese (Dolby Digital 2.0), Japanese with Russian voiceover (Dolby Digital 2.0)

Japanese 5.1, English dub 2.0, German dub 2.0

Japanese (Dolby Digital 2.0)

 

Japanese (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), Japanese (Dolby Digital 5.1 Mono),

Japanese (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)

Subtitles

English, None

English, and none

Russian, none

English, German, Dutch, none

English (non - removable)

English, and none

Burnt in English

Features

Release Information:
Studio: Optimum

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.85:1

Edition Details:
 A.K. The Making of 'Ran' (1:11:35 / 1:66 16x9)
 Trailer (2:02 / 16x9)

DVD Release Date: November 20, 2006
Keep Case

Chapters 16

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion

.

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.85:1

Edition Details:
Audio commentary by Kurosawa scholar Stephen Prince
An appreciation of the film by director Sidney Lumet
A.K., a 74-minute film by director Chris Marker
A 30-minute documentary on the making of Ran, part of the Toho Masterworks series Akira Kurosawa: It Is Wonderful to Create
A 35-minute video piece reconstructing Ran through Kurosawa’s paintings and sketches, created as part of the series Image: Kurosawa’s Continuity
New video interview with actor Tatsuya Nakadai
Theatrical trailers
28-page liner notes booklet featuring film critic Michael Wilmington and interviews with Kurosawa and composer Toru Takemitsu

 

DVD Release Date: November 22nd, 2005
Double thick Keep Case

Release Information:
Studio: Twister Digital Video (Russia)


Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen letterboxed - 1.85:1


Edition Details:
• Trailer
• Biographies
• Trailers for other Twister releases

DVD Release Date: 2003
Keep case with cardoard cover
Chapters 25

Release Information:
Studio: Universal (Europe)
 

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen letterboxed - 1.85:1

 

Edition Details:
• none as this is the rental version - there is a 2-disc for sales purposes

 

DVD Release Date: June 2nd, 2005
Keep case

Chapters ?

 

Release Information:
Studio: Warner Bros. (UK)
 

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen letterboxed - 1.85:1

 

Edition Details:
• 2 Disc Special Edition
• Disc 2: 'A.K. - The Making of Ran' by the celebrated director Chris Marker (71 mins)

 

DVD Release Date: May 5, 2004
Double keep case

Chapters 20

 

Release Information:
Studio: Wellspring Media, In

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.85:1

Edition Details:
• Commentary by film historian Stephen Prince, author of The Warrior's Camera: The Cinema of Akira Kurosawa
• Commentary by filmmaker and Japanese specialist Peter Grilli, producer of Kurosawa
• New high-definition transfer, digitally restored
• Production notes
• Restoration demo
• Kurosawa filmography
• European and home video trailers
• Widescreen anamorphic format

 

DVD Release Date: September 23, 2002 in the Kurosawa Box Set or April 15, 2003 individually.
Keep Case

Release Information:
Studio: Fox Lorber

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen letterbox - 1.85:1

Edition Details:

Ttrailer - Eng narrative with Eng subtitles 1:30
• Awards
• Widescreen letterbox format

 

DVD Release Date: April 16, 2002
Keep Case

 

 

Comments: ADDITION: Optimum (2-disc) - Region 2- PAL - This new transfer by Optimum is very beautiful. It differs significantly from the previously UK Region 2 Warner transfer, as the Warner appears to have some contrast boosting affecting the colors. It also differs from Criterion Region 1 transfer, as Criterion has a richer, darker image, yet is more compressed than Optimum, as when you zoom in, Criterion reveals more visible compression artifacts than Optimum. To be honest, I do not recall the deep colors of Criterion from my theatrical experience many years ago. To me, there always have been a pale element to the colors, thus I am inclined to favor the Optimum.

Sound is a remixed and cleaned 2.0 Dolby Digital Mono, which has no noise and is very solid. There also is a 5.1 Dolby Digital track, but I do prefer the 2.0 Mono, as there is no real surround or separation on the 5.1.

The additional material is the same as on Warners R2, namely the 71 minute documentary by Chris Marker, here presented in 1.66:1 16x9. It is a superb documentary and needs no comments.

 - Henrik Sylow

***

ADDITION: Criterion - November 2005 - Initial first impressions are- The Criterion has the sharpest appearance (see capture # 2- the clothes) and the colors have the most natural, non-manipulated look. At times the image is much darker than the other 5 releases although this is not consistent. There doesn't appear to be any cropping on the Criterion release and of course the package is super-stacked with extras. From what I have heard of the commentary so far it sounds wonderful, but I will report back when I have more time to thoroughly get to all the extra features. I've seen Marker's 'AK' and it alone is a magnificent addition. It appears that all other releases show varying degrees of contrast boosting (generally speaking). This Criterion DVD looks just fabulous on my system and I am confident that they have once again risen to the occasion and given us another definitive edition of a masterwork film in the digital medium. Bravo!

******

ADDITION (APRIL 2005 - Universal R2) - I'm a little confused these days so I can't really decide on this issue. The Universal screen captures sent to us are from the rental edition - a single disc with no extras, soon to be sold as a double disc package HERE. It looks excellent. It is not as bright as the corresponding Warner, which I am unsure whether it has had a small degree of contrast boosting or not. Skin tones look better to my eye in the Universal (pinkish red in the Warner). But knowing Kurosawa's penchant for vibrant colors I also lean towards the Warner, although to be honest I leave it to you to decide yourselves between the more muted Universal or the brighter Warner. No other editions are as sharp as these two. When we can obtain the listing of extras in the upcoming Universal we will post them here.   

ADDITION (MAY 2004 - Twister and Warner R2) - It is not as noticeable in the reduced screen caps, but the Warner is a pretty clear winner in image. The Twister also looks quite good, and we thought both transfers were from StudioCanal, but they are different. Maybe for some reason Twister recompressed their transfer slightly. In the battle scene with the large volume of smoke there are some slight compression artifacts visible. The Warner Region 2 appears to have been worth the wait. That is our selection.

The Fox/Lorber edition is a mess. The colors have been fiddled with, contrast turned up in spots and subtitles are VERY poorly displayed as well as burnt in.  The WellSpring MasterWorks edition in the Kurosawa Boxset ( also set for individual release in April - 03 ) is anamorphic with two well-done commentaries / option for 5.1 and original soundtracks and a much tighter image. Each capture below shows further evidence of the improved WellSpring quality. This is an easy choice for Kurosawa fans. I cannot explain the discrepancies in the times unless the Masterworks edition did not adjust for the PAL speedup. 

 - Gary W. Tooze



DVD Menus

(Optimum - 2-disc SE - Region 2- PAL)

 

(Criterion - Region 1- NTSC LEFT vs. Twister Digital Video (Russia) - Region 0 - PAL - RIGHT)
 

 

 

 

Criterion - Disc 2

 

   

 

(Universal - Region 2- PAL LEFT vs. Warner Bros. (UK) - Region 2 - PAL - RIGHT)

 

 


(
WellSpring Masterworks R1 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Fox/Lorber - NTSC - RIGHT)

 


Screen Captures

 

(Optimum -2disc- Region 2- PAL TOP vs. Criterion - Region 1- NTSC 2nd vs. Twister Digital Video (Russia) - Region 0 - PAL - 3rd vs.  Universal - Region 2- PAL 4th vs. Warner Bros. (UK) - Region 2 - PAL - 5th vs. WellSpring Masterworks R1 - NTSC - 6th vs. Fox/Lorber - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 



(Optimum -2disc- Region 2- PAL TOP vs. Criterion - Region 1- NTSC 2nd vs. Twister Digital Video (Russia) - Region 0 - PAL - 3rd vs.  Universal - Region 2- PAL 4th vs. Warner Bros. (UK) - Region 2 - PAL - 5th vs. WellSpring Masterworks R1 - NTSC - 6th vs. Fox/Lorber - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


(Optimum -2disc- Region 2- PAL TOP vs. Criterion - Region 1- NTSC 2nd vs. Twister Digital Video (Russia) - Region 0 - PAL - 3rd vs.  Universal - Region 2- PAL 4th vs. Warner Bros. (UK) - Region 2 - PAL - 5th vs. WellSpring Masterworks R1 - NTSC - 6th vs. Fox/Lorber - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


(Optimum -2disc- Region 2- PAL TOP vs. Criterion - Region 1- NTSC 2nd vs. Twister Digital Video (Russia) - Region 0 - PAL - 3rd vs.  Universal - Region 2- PAL 4th vs. Warner Bros. (UK) - Region 2 - PAL - 5th vs. WellSpring Masterworks R1 - NTSC - 6th vs. Fox/Lorber - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


 

(Optimum -2disc- Region 2- PAL TOP vs. Criterion - Region 1- NTSC 2nd vs. Twister Digital Video (Russia) - Region 0 - PAL - 3rd vs.  Universal - Region 2- PAL 4th vs. Warner Bros. (UK) - Region 2 - PAL - 5th vs. WellSpring Masterworks R1 - NTSC - 6th vs. Fox/Lorber - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


Hit Counter


Report Card:

 

Image:

Optimum / Criterion

Sound:

WellSpring MasterWorks + Optimum (optional 5.1)

Extras: Criterion
Menu: Criterion

 


Recommended Reading for Kurosawa Fans (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)

Check out more in "The Library"


DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

Distribution

Optimum

Region 2 - PAL

DVD Box Covers

 

Distribution

Criterion Collection - Spine # 316

Region 1  - NTSC

Twister Digital Video (Russia)

Region 0 - PAL

Universal (Europe)
Region 2 - PAL

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

  

Warner Bros. (UK)
Region 2 - PAL

WellSpring

Region 1  - NTSC

Fox Lorber
Region 1 - NTSC



 

 

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Gary Tooze

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