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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka 'When I Close My Eye')
directed by Shunji Iwai 
Japanese 1995

Director Shunji Iwai achieved massive commercial success with Love Letter, an achingly sentimental and poetic film about love both lost and found. TV drama queen Miho Nakayama stars as Hiroko Watanabe, a young woman who has not yet recovered from the loss of her fiance Itsuki Fujii two years earlier. While visiting Itsuki's mother, she discovers his old yearbook, and finding out that the school has been demolished, she writes a short, simple letter to Itsuki and sends it to the school's former address. She doesn't intend for the letter to reach anyone, and instead hopes that the act of writing it will help ease her own pain. But surprisingly, she gets a response! The recipient is another person named Itsuki Fujii, a female who actually went to the same school as Hiroko's fiance. The two women continue to correspond, and the memories they share with one another bring Hiroko ever closer to finding closure. But will she ever recover enough to meet this other Itsuki Fujii? Co-starring popular Japanese actor Etsushi Toyokawa, Love Letter is a heartfelt and utterly affecting motion picture that fully demonstrates Shunji Iwai's masterful ability to bring intimate human emotions to the screen. Set against the picturesque backdrop of rural Hokkaido, Love Letter is a stunningly beautiful and even magical motion picture.

 

Posters (Click to enlarge)    

 

Reviews                               More Reviews                                  Screenplay                                  DVD Reviews

Comparison:

Saerom Entertainment/SRE - Korea - Region 0 - NTSC vs. KING - Japan R2 - NTSC vs. Blue Kino - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 

1) Saerom Entertainment/SRE - Region 2 - NTSC - LEFT

2) KING (Japan) - Region 2 - NTSC  - MIDDLE

3) Blue Kino - Region FREE - Blu-ray - RIGHT

Box Covers

 

  

 

Distribution

Saerom Entertainment/SRE  

[A Korea-Based Distributor]
Region 2  - NTSC

KING ( Japan )
Region 2 (NTSC)
Blue Kino- Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:56:04 1:56:08 1:56:31.192
Video 2.35:1 Letterboxed WideScreen Anamorphic
Average Bitrate: 7.27 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s
2.35:1 Letterboxed WideScreen Anamorphic
Average Bitrate: 8.10
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

2.35:1 - 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 28,568,878,882 bytes

Feature: 24,420,261,888 bytes

Video Bitrate: 24.55 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Bitrate:

Saerom R0

Bitrate:

King Japan

Bitrate:

Blu-ray

Audio English (Dubbed) (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), Japanese (Dolby Digital 2.0)

Japanese (Dolby Digital 2.0)

DTS-HD Master Audio Japanese 1830 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1830 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Subtitles English / Japanese / Korean, None English, Japanese, None English, Japanese, Korean, None
Features Special Features: 

Running time: 116 minutes 

Region: all 

Extras:
Anamorphic Widescreen 2.35:1 ; 

  • Trailer; 
  • Synopsis; 
  • The World of Shunji Iwai; 
  • Cast & Crew Information; 
  • Animated Storyboards; 
  • Three Postcards; 
  • also comes with a bonus CD Soundtrack
Special Features: 
  • Running Time: 116 mins.
  • DVD Video
  • Color
  • Layers: single-sided/dual-layered
  • Aspect Ratio(s): 16:9/LB Cinemascope
  • Regional Encoding: 2
  • Subtitles: English Japanese
  • NTSC Format
  • Animated Storeyboards
  • Audio Track :
      Japanese /Dolby Digital /Stereo
Special Features: 

1. 콘티 영상
2. 예고편
3. CM
4. Music Video

Comments:

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

ADDITION Blue Kino - Region FREE - Blu-ray - June 2013: This came out in April of 2013. It is an Korean label and while the transfer is dual-layered, I am somewhat disappointed with the appearance. It frequently looks blotchy and I, hope, there is still a better 1080P transfer forthcoming from someone. This can be soft and the grain is uneven. I admit that it did improve over SD. I don't think, at all, that this was just an SD bump but it is just not crisp enough for my liking. Maybe this is as good as it gets? It offers English subs and great lossless audio. The menus are not in English but there are optional English subtitles on the region FREE Blu-ray. I was reminded what a wonderful film Love Letters is.

***


ON THE DVDs:
The Saerom R0 Disc has much too high black level. Even the brighter pictures appear washed out. This makes the picture look flat with very little contrast compared to the R2 Japan.

Both discs have blue-ish whites. This looks more severe on the R2 Japan but that's because the problem is obscured a bit on the R0  by the too high black level.

Edge enhancement is a problem on both discs. Especially the wider shots suffer, background detail is always lacking. R0 whites are clipping. Check out the snow on the rooftops (below) there's less detail there compared to the R2 Japan.
 
Again, I prefer the R2 Japan. One could argue that the R0 black level problem could be fixed by turning down brightness on your display but that's a no-go for me, because it messes up my calibrated grayscale. And the clipping whites just look bad.


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

Check out more in "The Library"


 

Menus
(
Saerom Entertainment/SRE - Region 2 - NTSC - LEFT vs. KING (Japan) - Region 2 - NTSC  - RIGHT)


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Blue Kino - Region FREE - Blu-ray


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

 

Subtitle Sample - Blue Kino - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 

 

1) Saerom Entertainment/SRE - Region 2 - NTSC - TOP

2) KING (Japan) - Region 2 - NTSC  - MIDDLE

3) Blue Kino - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

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1) Saerom Entertainment/SRE - Region 2 - NTSC - TOP

2) KING (Japan) - Region 2 - NTSC  - MIDDLE

3) Blue Kino - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

.


 

1) Saerom Entertainment/SRE - Region 2 - NTSC - TOP

2) KING (Japan) - Region 2 - NTSC  - MIDDLE

3) Blue Kino - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

.


 

1) Saerom Entertainment/SRE - Region 2 - NTSC - TOP

2) KING (Japan) - Region 2 - NTSC  - MIDDLE

3) Blue Kino - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

.


 

1) Saerom Entertainment/SRE - Region 2 - NTSC - TOP

2) KING (Japan) - Region 2 - NTSC  - MIDDLE

3) Blue Kino - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

.


 

1) Saerom Entertainment/SRE - Region 2 - NTSC - TOP

2) KING (Japan) - Region 2 - NTSC  - MIDDLE

3) Blue Kino - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

.

 

More Blu-ray Captures

 


Report Card:

 

Image:

Blu-ray

Sound:

Blu-ray

Extras: Saerom Entertainment- R0
Box Covers

 

  

 

 

Distribution

Saerom Entertainment/SRE  

[A Korea-Based Distributor]
Region 2  - NTSC

KING ( Japan )
Region 2 (NTSC)
Blue Kino- Region FREE - Blu-ray



 

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