(aka 'The Taste of Tea' or 'Cha no aji')

Directed by Katsuhito Ishii
Japan 2004

 

  The Taste of Tea is a whimsical, lovely movie about the members of a strange family and their concerns, fantasies and relationships. I can’t say it truly breaks new ground, but the surrealistic flights of fancy are a welcome touch to the genre, and the incidents of the family’s life are treated with such tenderness, wit and charm, that it is hard not to fall a little bit in love with the Todorokis.

The Taste of Tea is set in a small, rural town, and primarily follows the Todoroki family over the course of a summer. All the family members are distinct individuals, though the primary focus is on the two young children. Maya Banno, who plays the daughter, Sachiko, is simply adorable without ever becoming cloying, and Ishii coaxes a fine performance out of her. Sachiko, though haunted (or perhaps annoyed is the better word) by visions of her onlooking giant self, never for a moment feels like less than a real girl. Hajime (Takahiro Sato) is a shy and introverted teenager, who alternates between being obsessed by girls and frightened by them. Two scenes with Hajime: one in which he can’t contain his excitement at the idea of sharing a hobby with the new girl in school, and another in which some other students try to play a prank on him, are great examples of the light touch with which Ishii handles his material.

Excerpt from Cinema Strikes Back (David Austin) located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: May 13th, 2004 - Cannes Film Festival

Reviews    More Reviews    DVD Reviews

DVD Review: VIZ Pictures (2-disc Limited Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC

DVD Box Cover

   

CLICK to order from:

Distribution VIZ Pictures - Region 1 - NTSC
There is also a single-disc version of the film by VIZ Pictures released at the same time, with, no doubt, the same interlaced transfer.

           

The Japanese DVD version (WITH English subtitles) from Big Time Entertainment is most likely the best version on DVD.

Thinking of buying from YesAsia? CLICK HERE and use THIS UPDATED BEAVER PAGE to source their very best...

Runtime 2:23:15 
Video 1.66:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.24 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

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

Bitrate:

Audio Japanese (Dolby Digital 5.1) 
Subtitles English, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: VIZ Pictures

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.66:1

Edition Details:

• 'Making of...' (1:31:09)
• SUPER BIG - trailer? (2:47)

DVD Release Date: July 3rd, 2007

White Keep Case
Chapters: 24

 

 

Comments:

We seem to be seeing a lot of this lately - a dual-layered transfer that is interlaced. This reminds me of a HK DVD (of a Japanese film) - prevalent combing (see last capture), slightly washed colors and somewhat hazy at times. CRT acceptable only. It is a shame because the film is a real winner and North American audiences aren't given the chance, with this release - and Viz's single disc counterpart - to see the film in its best light. Subtitles appear acceptable to some degree with only a couple of errors, but are very bright yellow and distracting. They are removable though and the 5.1 audio sounds competent though rarely tested. 

Disc 2 contains the extras - a 1.5 hour English subtitled 'Making of...' documentary that had me drifting after about 20 minutes (it wasn't that bad - I just wasn't into it) and a weird animation trailer entitled SUPER BIG (no subtitles) for about 3 minutes. Definitely not worth the extra $10 in my opinion.

I'm considering the Japanese DVD version as I enjoyed the film so much but it is pricey at $45 US. A quirky, enjoyable movie that we recommend seeing if you get the chance.  

Gary W. Tooze

 

 



DVD Menus


 

Disc 2 Menus


 


Subtitle Sample

 

 


 

Screen Captures

 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 

 


 

 


 

 


Combing...
 

 


DVD Box Cover

   

CLICK to order from:

Distribution VIZ Pictures - Region 1 - NTSC
There is also a single-disc version of the film by VIZ Pictures released at the same time, with, no doubt, the same interlaced transfer.

           

The Japanese DVD version (WITH English subtitles) from Big Time Entertainment is most likely the best version on DVD.

Thinking of buying from YesAsia? CLICK HERE and use THIS UPDATED BEAVER PAGE to source their very best...




 

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Gary Tooze

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