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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Kyua")

directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa
Japan 1997

Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s arresting international breakthrough established him as one of the leaders of an emerging new wave of Japanese horror while pushing the genre into uncharted realms of philosophical and existential exploration. A string of shocking, seemingly unmotivated murders—each committed by a different person yet all bearing the same grisly hallmarks—leads Detective Takabe (Koji Yakusho) into a labyrinthine investigation to discover what connects them, and into a disturbing game of cat and mouse with an enigmatic amnesiac (Masato Hagiwara) who may be evil incarnate. Awash in hushed, hypnotic dread, Cure is a tour de force of psychological tension and a hallucinatory journey into the darkest recesses of the human mind.

***

Probably the most appealing aspect of Kiyoshi Kurosawa's "Cure" is what it did NOT do - spoon feed the audience an excess of detail. There is so much inferred and left to your interpretation that the occult elements become that much more enhanced. Great horror/thriller stories often use your own imagination to create the most intense suspense and fear. Set in and around a barren, decaying Tokyo, a series of murders have been committed by seemingly average, ordinary people who claim to have had no control or explicit memory over their horrifying actions. Detective Kenichi Takabe (Koji Yakusho of Shall We Dance and Warm Water Under A Red Bridge) places his own sanity on the line as he tries to end the wave of unexplainable homicides which are linked with a large slash across the neck/chest of the victims in the shape of an "X". Is it a form of hypnosis from a strange amnesiac drifter?... or is it something deeper.

Posters

Theatrical Release: November 6th, 1997 - Tokyo International Film Festival

Reviews                                                                          More Reviews                                                              DVD Reviews

 

Comparison:

Home Vision -  Region 1 - NTSC vs. Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray vs. Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Box Covers

 

BONUS CAPTURES:

Distribution Home Vision -  Region 1 - NTSC

Masters of Cinema - Spine #181

Region 'B' - Blu-ray

Criterion - Spine #1155

Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Runtime 1:51:08  1:51:19.964 1:51:39.442
Video 1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.68 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

Disc Size: 47,565,415,918 bytes

Feature Size: 35,558,655,360 bytes

Average Bitrate: 34.91 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video

Disc Size: 48,542,426,719 bytes

Feature Size: 33,462,423,552 bytes

Average Bitrate: 35.84 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

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

Bitrate:

 

Bitrate MoC:  Blu-ray

 

Bitrate Criterion:  Blu-ray

 

Audio Japanese (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo) DTS-HD Master Audio Japanese 3221 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3221 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
LPCM Audio Japanese 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
LPCM Audio Japanese 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
Subtitles English, None English, None English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Home Vision Entertainment

 

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.85:1

 

Edition Details:

• 16x9 digital transfer 
• 2.0 stereo 
• 20-minute interview with director Kiyoshi Kurosawa 
• filmography 
• Liner notes by Tom Mes, founder of midnighteye.com 
• Original theatrical trailer 
• New subtitles
• 1.85:1 aspect ratio 

DVD Release Date: January 6th, 2004

Keep Case
Chapters: 25

Release Information:
Studio:
Masters of Cinema

 

Disc Size: 47,565,415,918 bytes

Feature Size: 35,558,655,360 bytes

Average Bitrate: 34.91 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video

   

Edition Details:
• Kiyoshi Kurosawa on Cure (17 mins) a new video interview with director Kiyoshi Kurosawa (16:49)
• A new video interview with critic & author Kim Newman (14:13)
• An archival interview with director Kiyoshi Kurosawa, "Ordinary Demons" (19:34)
• Original theatrical trailer (01:37)
• A collector s booklet featuring an essay by Tom Mes


Blu-ray Release Date: April 23rd, 2018
Standard
Blu-ray Case

Chapters 11

Release Information:
Studio:
Criterion

 

Disc Size: 48,542,426,719 bytes

Feature Size: 33,462,423,552 bytes

Average Bitrate: 35.84 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video

   

Edition Details:
• New conversation between director Kiyoshi Kurosawa and filmmaker Ryusuke Hamaguchi (35:15)
• Interviews with actors Masato Hagiwara (20:33) and Koji Yakusho (14:27)
• Interview from 2003 with Kurosawa (19:36)
• Trailers (original - 1:11 / 4K Release Trailer - 2:00) and teaser (0:40)
PLUS: An essay by critic Chris Fujiwara


Blu-ray Release Date: October 18th, 2022
Transparent
Blu-ray Case

Chapters 23

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Criterion Blu-ray (September 2022): Criterion have transferred Kiyoshi Kurosawa's Cure to Blu-ray. It is cited as being from a "4K digital restoration, supervised by cinematographer Tokusho Kikumura". This 1080P more closely resembles the color scheme of the 2004 DVD. It appears to be sharper than the UK Blu-ray with a slight teal/blue leaning. There is a slight shift in the frame showing shade more on the top edge and a bit less on the bottom of the frame. The strong whites on the Masters of Cinema have a creamy appearance in this new 4K-restored Blu-ray. I think overall the Criterion is superior with the improved fine grain textures and a crisper image.    

NOTE: We have added 48 more large resolution Blu-ray captures (in lossless PNG format) for DVDBeaver Patrons HERE

On their Blu-ray, Criterion use a linear PCM stereo track (24-bit) in the original Japanese language. No 5.1 surround bump option. As Colin says "There are many creepy atmospheric sound effects that carry significant weight. The score perfectly suits the creepy nature of the film.". The film's music is by Gary Ashiya, who worked with Kurosawa on License to Live and Charisma. The audio is consistent, clean and clear in the uncompressed transfer. Criterion offer optional English subtitles on their Region 'A' Blu-ray.

For supplements, Criterion include a new 35-minute conversation, filmed in May 2022, featuring director Kiyoshi Kurosawa discussing Cure with filmmaker Ryusuke Hamaguchi (Drive My Car), a former student of his. Also included is a September 2020 interview with Masato Hagiwara which showcases the actor's memories of his performance as Mamiya in Cure. It runs 20-minutes. There is also a 1/4 minute interview, filmed at the same time, with actor Koji Yakusho who reminisces about his lead role in Cure. Also included from 2003 in Toronto, is a 20-minute interview with Kiyoshi Kurosawa details the director's thoughts about Cure. Lastly are an original theatrical trailers, a 4K release trailer and teaser. The package a liner notes booklet with an essay by critic Chris Fujiwara.

Colin stated: "Cure" established Kiyoshi Kurosawa as a force to be reckoned with. The film was released in 1997 but has easily held the test of time. Any fans of David Fincher's darker output would be wise to check this out, if they haven't already." Agreed - an apt comparison. "Cure" was part of the new wave of Japanese horror but I always appreciated it to be highly intelligent and less reliant on graphic imagery. South Korean director Bong Joon-ho (Mother, Memories of Murder, Parasite, Okja, The Host) listed "Cure" as one of the greatest of all time. He cited it as having had a strong impact on his career. Criterion gives us a 'cinematographer supervised' 4K-restoration Blu-ray transfer of this dark, chilling, masterwork of atmosphere. It also has great extras and a super cover. This package of "Cure" is strongly recommended!

GaryTooze

***

ADDITION: Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - April 2018: Cure arrives on Blu-ray from The Masters of Cinema group in the UK. This is dual-layered with a max'ed out bitrate and the visuals, shot on 35mm at 1.85:1, are quite detailed and an appropriate amount of grain exists. The contrast looks solid, especially in darker scenes and interior shots. It is not too waxy but there are few pops of color, which is probably the intent of the director and cinematographer, Tokush˘ Kikumura. Kikumura is also notable for having worked on Ju-On: The Grudge. The muted color palette is reminiscent of David Fincher's Se7en.

The audio is transferred via a DTS-HD Master 5.1 surround with the option of a linear PCM 2.0 channel track (both 24-bit.) There are optional English (SDH) subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'B'-locked.

"Ordinary Demons" is a 20-minute archival interview with Kurosawa discussing the film's origins and the intentions behind his style. His discussion of framing is quite eloquent. Next up is a brand new 17-minute interview with Kurosawa. In this piece he talks about his entry into commercial film via Pink movies and straight to video genre pictures. Eventually Kurosawa discusses how Cure came to be. It is a fascinating interview and a welcome addition for fans. Next up is a brand new interview with critic and author Kim Newman. Newman is an expert on genre films and it is always a pleasure to hear him speak. He speaks of Kurosawa's recent return to genre making and this is a very informative interview. The two Kurosawa interviews are in Japanese with optional English subtitles. Newman's is in English (no subtitles). There is also a trailer for the film as well as a 24-page collector's booklet featuring an essay by Tom Mes.

Colin Zavitz

***

ON THE DVD: Solid work from Home Vision on an acutely interesting film. Clear anamorphic image with very few flaws. Colors are bright although seem a trifle inconsistent (beach scenes) at times. Sound is sharp and audible. Good contrast and Home Vision kept it visible even though it is a very dark film. Subtitles appear well translated. For the film and HomeVision bringing this to DVD, I give this  out of           

Gary W. Tooze


DVD Menus


 

Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

 

 

Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 

 


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Subtitle Samples

 

1) Home Vision- Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

1) Home Vision- Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Home Vision- Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Home Vision- Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Home Vision- Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Home Vision- Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Home Vision- Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


Examples of NSFW (Not Safe For Work) CAPTURES  (Mouse Over to see- CLICK to Enlarge)

 

More full resolution (1920 X 1080) Blu-ray Captures for DVDBeaver Patreon Supporters HERE

Box Covers

 

BONUS CAPTURES:

Distribution Home Vision -  Region 1 - NTSC

Masters of Cinema - Spine #181

Region 'B' - Blu-ray

Criterion - Spine #1155

Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 

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