(aka "Yume")

Japan 1990


Review by Byung Joo



Dreams is one of the last films directed and written by the late legendary director Akira Kurosawa, who I don’t think needs an introduction.  I had been waiting for the film’s release on DVD ever since the upstart of DVD media.  The content of the events in Dreams is reported to be the real dreams of Kurosawa himself.  And his dreams are very vivid as one would expect from the genius, which almost requires viewing it on a nicely transferred film on DVD.  I will not review the movie itself as I am not a movie critic, but following is the graphic and technical review of the DVD itself. 


Byung Joo

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 DVD REVIEW: Warner - Japan - Region 2 - NTSC

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Distribution Warner - Japan - Region 2 - NTSC 
Runtime 1:59:24  minutes

1.78:1.00 Letterboxed WideScreen 16X9 enhanced
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

Bit-rate: 5.55 bps


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

Audio Japanese 2.0 Channels
Subtitles  English, French, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Thai, Portuguese, Spanish (removable)

 The picture transfer on this DVD is just short of spectacular. A dream come true (no pun intended). The images are sharp (although some edge enhancement is noticeable) and the colors are vivid and deeply saturated, and it’s never looked better since its theatrical run.  If you’ve only seen the VHS version of this film, you’ll just be stunned at the colors in the film.  There occasional nicks and pops are evident throughout the film, but not enough to annoy the viewer. Considering the age of the film, we couldn’t ask for a better transfer.  A run on my 16:9 widescreen TV, it fits the screen exactly.  So yes, it is anamorphic and 16x9 enhanced.  There are multiple subtitles including English in white, and sound presentation is in Japanese stereo, which serves the purpose.  One big negative aspect about this DVD release is the lack of extras, just the cast and awards info.


Although this edition doesn’t include much extras, Dreams DVD is likely to be an eye candy to you fans of this movie as you will not be disappointed with the splendid picture quality of this R2 Japanese Warner release on DVD.  Warner’s Region 1 DVD is set to be released in early march and I would assume that it would be the exact same transfer and sadly same extras or lack thereof.  For those of you impatient like myself, the region 2 Japanese DVD can be obtained at several US and Japanese based websites for about $25. 



Distribution: Warner Brothers Japan

Running time: Listed as 120 minutes

Actual Running time of the film itself was 1:59:24 minutes


Release Information:
Studio: Warner Brothers
Theatrical Release Date: October, 1990( Japan )


Edition Details:

Region 2 Encoding

Widescreen Anamorphic 1.78:1 aspect ratio
Interactive Menu

Cast and Awards Info

DVD Release Date:  December 18, 2002

Keep case

Chapter stops: 31


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



The Japan Journals : 1947-2004,

by  Donald Richie

The Midnight Eye Guide to New Japanese Film
by Tom Mes and Jasper Sharp

Kon Ichikawa (Cinematheque Ontario Monographs)

by James Quandt, Cinematheque Ontario

Shohei Imamura (Cinematheque Ontario Monographs, No. 1)
by James Quandt
Eros Plus Massacre: An Introduction to the Japanese New Wave Cinema (Midland Book, Mb 469)
by David Desser
The Films of Akira Kurosawa by Donald Ritchie

Tokyo Story

by Yasujiro Ozu, Kogo Noda, Donald Richie, Eric Klestadt

Ozu by Donald Ritchie

A Hundred Years of Japanese Film by Donald Richie

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