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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka 'The Happiness of the Katakuris' or 'Katakuri-ke no k˘fuku')

directed by Takashi Miike
Japan 2001

From Takashi Miike, the prolific director of such shocking hits including Audition and Ichi the Killer comes The Sound of Music meets Dawn of the Dead !

The Katakuris are a family trying to run a peaceful country inn but with a lack of guests there is much excitement for their first visitor, until they wind up dead! As each guest in turn dies in strange circumstances the family agree to hide the bodies but will the coverups come back to haunt them...

In The Happiness of the Katakuris scenes of grotesque stop motion animation, surreal musical numbers and zombies combine to make one of the finest horror-comedies ever made.


Posters

Theatrical Release: October 31st, 2001 - Japan

Reviews                                                                     More Reviews                                                              DVD Reviews

 

 Comparison:

Fortex - Region 3 - NTSC vs.  Chimera / Ventura - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Ole Kofoed for the DVD Screen Caps!

1) Fortex - Region 3 - NTSC LEFT

2) Chimera / Ventura - Region 1 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) Arrow Video - Region FREE - Blu-ray RIGHT

 

Box Covers

 

 

 

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

 

      

Also available in the UK, on Blu-ray from Arrow, a week later:

Re-Released on Blu-ray in August 2017:

Distribution

Fortex (Hong Kong)

Region 3  - NTSC

Ventura
Region 1 - NTSC

Arrow

Region FREE - Blu-ray

Runtime 1:52:24 1:52:24 1:52:38.001
Video

1.75:1 Aspect Ratio


Average Bitrate: 5.16 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

1.78:1 Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 4.78 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

Disc Size: 42,064,130,706 bytes

Feature Size: 30,485,849,664 bytes

Average Bitrate: 31.99 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4- AVC

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

Bitrate:

Fortex

 

Bitrate:

Chimera / Ventura

 

Bitrate:

Arrow

Region FREE - Blu-ray

Audio Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0

Japanese Dolby Digital 5.1

LPCM Audio Japanese 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
Dolby Digital Audio Japanese 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Commentaries:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

Subtitles English, Chinese or none. English or none. English or none.
Features Release Information:
Studio: Fortex

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen - 1.75:1

Edition Details:

• Trailer (1:29).

Keep Case

Chapters: 9

Release Information:
Studio: Chimera / Ventura

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1


Edition Details:

• Making of (30:42).
• Interview with Takashi Miike (32:31).
• Commentary with Takashi Miike (In Japanese - not subtitled).
• The above commentary dubbed in English.
• Takashi Miike Bio/Filmography.
• Trailers for Happiness of the Katakuris/Audition/City of Lost Souls/Everything Put Together/Mansion of the Black Rose.

Keep Case

Chapters: 24

Release Information:
Studio:
Arrow

 

Disc Size: 42,064,130,706 bytes

Feature Size: 30,485,849,664 bytes

Average Bitrate: 31.99 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4- AVC

 

Edition Details:
• 
Audio commentary by director Takashi Miike (Japanese with Eng subs or translated)

• Audio commentary by Tom Mes
* The Making of the Katakuris - An original documentary from the film's production featuring interviews and behind-the-scenes footage with the cast and crew (30:42)
* Interviews with the Katakuris cast members Kenji Sawada (5:00), Keiko Matsuzaka (2:48), Kiyoshiro Imawano + Shinji Takeda (4:28), Naomi Nishida (2:19), Tetsuro Tanba (4:04) and Miike (38:59) (Archive - 5:03)
* Animating the Katakuris - A look at the creation of the film's stop motion effects with animation director Hideki Kimura and Miike (5:03)

* Dogs, Pimps and Agitators - a visual essay by Tom Mes on Miike (23:51)
* Trailer and TV Spots (1:45 + :20)
* Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by the Twins of Evil
* 40-page Booklet with new writing on the film by author Johnny Mains; Stuart Galbraith IV on Katakuris' star musicians Kenji Sawada and Kiyoshiro Imawano; Grady Hendrix on Katakuris and The Quiet Family, the film it remade; and a re-printed interview with Miike conducted by Sean Axmaker, illustrated with original stills.
 

DVD of the Feature

Blu-ray Release Date: June 16th, 2015
Transparent Blu-ray cases

Chapters: 12

 

Comments:

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

 

ADDITION: Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray (June 2015):  The Arrow is really Region 'A + B' but I've yet to see a region 'C'-locked Blu-ray so let's just consider this region FREE. In the static captures the Arrow doesn't dominate over the best SD (the Chimera/Ventura) but the 1080P resolution looks better in-motion and has no compression artifacts - for such a visual film the HD is the way to watch it. It's a little flat but colors are tight (grass looks vibrant!). It's dual-layered with a very high bitrate and I believe it is the best it will look on digital.

 

Regarding differences in the US and UK Blu's -I suspect it as Michael Brooke informed us on Facebook about Day of Anger: 'As the producer of Arrow's release, I can confirm first hand that the UK and US discs are absolutely identical: we only paid for one master, so there's no doubt about this at all! Which means that no matter which package you buy, the discs will play in any Region A or B setup (or Region 1 or 2 for DVD - and in the latter case the video standard is NTSC, to maximise compatibility). The booklets are also identical, but there are minor cosmetic differences on the disc labels and sleeve to do with differing copyright info and barcodes, and the US release doesn't have BBFC logos.'

 

Audio is lossless (linear PCM 2.0 channel) and the score by K˘ji End˘ and K˘ji Makaino (Audition) benefits from the transfer and all sounds and effects are pretty crisp. There are optional English subtitles.

 

Arrow load the extras with the previously heard audio commentary by director Takashi Miike and offer it is original Japanese language with optional English subs or a translated dialogue version that loses nothing in translation. What is a big bonues is a new commentary by Tom Mes (author of The Midnight Eye Guide to New Japanese Film) who delves very deeply in The Happiness of the Katakuris and its independent-minded director. There is also a 1/2 hour Making of the Katakuris - an original documentary from the film's production featuring interviews and behind-the-scenes footage with the cast and crew plus over an hour's worth of interviews with the Katakuris cast members Kenji Sawada, Keiko Matsuzaka, Kiyoshiro Imawano + Shinji Takeda together, Naomi Nishida, Tetsuro Tanba and two with Miike (2015 and archive). We also get Animating the Katakuris - a look at the creation of the film's stop motion effects with animation director Hideki Kimura and Miike and a wonderful visual essay by Tom Mes, entitled Dogs, Pimps and Agitators - basically about Miike and running shy of 25-minutes. There is a trailer and TV Spots plus the package has a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by the Twins of Evil containing a 40 page bboklet with new writing on the film by author Johnny Mains; Stuart Galbraith IV on Katakuris' star musicians Kenji Sawada and Kiyoshiro Imawano; Grady Hendrix on Katakuris and The Quiet Family, the film it remade; and a re-printed interview with Miike conducted by Sean Axmaker, illustrated with original stills. Plus the Dual Format set has a DVD of the Feature (NTSC in the US and in the UK!).

 

Another impressive release from Arrow who keep rising to the occasion with their complete packages of enjoyable and non-mainstream cinema. Bravo!... and this is Blu-ray strongly recommended!

***

ON THE DVDs (2003): Easy one - The Chimera/Ventura release has better sound, picture and extras. The Fortex version is also cropped on all 4 sides. There is also an overabundance of red in the Fortex image and it is no where near s sharp as the The Chimera/Ventura release.    

- Ole Kofoed.

 


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

Check out more in "The Library"




DVD Menus

(
Fortex - Region 3 - NTSC - LEFT vs.  - Chimera / Ventura - Region 1 - NTSC - RIGHT)


 

 

Arrow Video - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 

 


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

 

1) Fortex - Region 3 - NTSC TOP

2) Chimera / Ventura - Region 1 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) Arrow Video - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

SUBTITLE SAMPLE


 

Screen Captures

 

1) Fortex - Region 3 - NTSC TOP

2) Chimera / Ventura - Region 1 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) Arrow Video - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM



1) Fortex - Region 3 - NTSC TOP

2) Chimera / Ventura - Region 1 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) Arrow Video - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Fortex - Region 3 - NTSC TOP

2) Chimera / Ventura - Region 1 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) Arrow Video - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


 

1) Fortex - Region 3 - NTSC TOP

2) Chimera / Ventura - Region 1 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) Arrow Video - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

More Blu-ray Captures


 Hit Counter


Report Card:

 

Image:

Blu-ray

Sound:

Blu-ray

Extras: Blu-ray
Box Covers

 

 

 

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

 

      

Also available in the UK, on Blu-ray from Arrow, a week later:

Re-Released on Blu-ray in August 2017:

Distribution

Fortex (Hong Kong)

Region 3  - NTSC

Ventura
Region 1 - NTSC

Arrow

Region FREE - Blu-ray

 





 

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