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H D - S E N S E I

A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Our Little Sister aka "Umimachi Diary" [Blu-ray]

 

(Hirokazu Koreeda, 2015)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Toho Company

Video: Artificial Eye / Curzons

 

Disc:

Region: 'B' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 2:07:07.661 

Disc Size: 41,805,994,194 bytes

Feature Size: 40,992,851,520 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.90 Mbps

Chapters: 12

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: June 13th, 2016

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

LPCM Audio Japanese 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
DTS-HD Master Audio Japanese 3618 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3618 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), English, none

 

Extras:

Theatrical Trailer (1:59)

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: Three sisters - Sachi, Yoshino and Chika - live together in a large house in the city of Kamakura. When their father - absent from the family home for the last 15 years - dies, they travel to the countryside for his funeral, and meet their shy teenage half-sister. Bonding quickly with the orphaned Suzu, they invite her to live with them. Suzu eagerly agrees, and a new life of joyful discovery begins for the four siblings...

 

 

The Film:

This sweetly tender movie from Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda is superbly unforced and unassuming, finding delicate notes of affirmation and optimism and discreetly celebrating the beauty of nature and family love. It is watercolour cinema with nothing watery about it, in the classic “family drama” vein that you might associate with Yasujir˘ Ozu, though in conversation at Cannes last year – where I first saw this – the director told me his inspiration was more Mikio Naruse. Our Little Sister is not as challenging and overtly painful as his previous films I Wish or Like Father, Like Son, and there might be some who find it a bit tame or even sentimental; I can only say there is something subtly subversive in the emotional dynamic Kore-eda creates with having three or four women on screen.

Excerpt from The Guardian located HERE

For years now, Japanese director Kore-eda Hirokazu has been making films which have an uncommonly humanist core. Often emotional, sometimes openly feel-good even, his films somehow never become the saccharine dross they would undoubtedly be in lesser hands. One of the best examples of this is his new film Our Little Sister, an adaptation (written by Kore-eda himself) of Yoshida Akimi's popular novel Umimachi Diary.

In it, three twenty-something sisters live by themselves in a large house. Their father ran away when they were young, and their mother moved away later, when the girls reached adulthood. All are employed (of sorts) and have boyfriends (of sorts), but the three form a family unit, with Sachi as the oldest looking after the others.

Excerpt from Twitch located HERE

 

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

Our Little Sister gets an impressive transfer to Blu-ray from Artificial Eye.  It is dual-layered with a max'ed out bitrate for the 2 hour feature. Colors are brighter and truer than SD could relate and the 1080P image is basically flawless. The transfer supports solid contrast exhibiting healthy, rich black levels and some minor depth in the 1.85:1 frame.  It's pristinely clean showcasing some hi-def detail. This Blu-ray probably looks like exactly the theatrical version of the film Our Little Sister. It provides an extremely pleasing video presentation.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Artificial Eye give the option of a linear PCM 2.0 channel track or a DTS-HD Master 5.1 - both in original Japanese (and both 24-bit). It sounds excellent but without an abundance of effects or separations in the surround (a few). The score by Y˘ko Kanno (Woman of Water, Honey and Clover, tokyo.sora, Ghost in the Shell Stand Alone Complex) supports the film well and is clean and flawless via the uncompressed transfers. There are optional English subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'B'-locked.

 

Extras :

Only a theatrical trailer.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
Our Little Sister is a beautiful film with Koreeda again evoking some of the past masters of Japanese social dramas. The Artificial Eye Blu-ray provides an excellent a/v presentation although light on the supplements. For fans this is an easy recommendation. I can't wait to see it again. 

Gary Tooze

June 11th, 2016


 

About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze

 

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