(aka 'Kabei - Our Mother' or 'Kâbê')
After the success of his
"Samurai Trilogy", renowned director Yamada Yoji draws acclaim and accolades
once more with the wartime drama Kabei - Our Mother. Based on Nogami Teruyo's
memoirs, Kabei follows a normal, loving family as their innocent, bustling lives
are forever transformed by the war. Veteran actress Yoshinaga Sayuri is the
picture of dignity and grace as a strong and elegant woman who holds her family
together in her husband's absence, while acclaimed actor Asano Tadanobu
disappears into the role of an awkward, affable writer who becomes the unlikely
hero for a struggling family. Also co-starring Dan Rei from Love and Honor,
Kabei is a triumph in humanistic storytelling, breaking hearts with its
realistic characters, sensitive depictions, and precious moments of laughter and
Theatrical Release: January 26th, 2008
DVD Review: Strand Releasing - Region 1 - NTSC
|DVD Box Cover||
CLICK to order from:
|Distribution||Strand Releasing - Region 1 - NTSC|
Average Bitrate: 5.7 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.
|Audio||Japanese (Dolby Digital 2.0)|
Strand Releasing has given us a bare-bones dual-layered DVD release of another masterful film by Yoji Yamada. It is a progressive transfer but sports burned-in English subtitles. I know there is a Japanese edition available but it is very expensive and I don't know how it compares to this one.
The image looks fairly weak - faded, lifeless and dull. Colors seem almost diffused and there are a few SD compression artifacts visible. It's not a stellar image, by any stretch, but having nothing to compare it to I'd just say that I'd like to see this film in Blu-ray. I think Kabei is an important enough film to warrant 1080P.
Audio is an unremarkable 2.0 channel but the film is passive and doesn't contain an excess of dynamic audio. It's probably not that far off from the way it was produced. The burned-in subtitles are bright yellow.
There are no viable extras only four Strand Trailers.
Home From the Sea remains my favorite Yamada but Kabei is another strong effort from the director most know for the Tora-san series. He seems to have returned to the social drama from the samurai flic and I couldn't be happier. It's quite possible that this may be the best (or even cheapest) edition available for the film but Strand have their nerve at $25.00 although the viewing experience may very well be worth it to many - the bare-bones DVD package presentation is not without it's weak points.