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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Tampopo" or "Dandelion")

directed by Juzo Itami
Japan 1985

A fun, enjoyable window on another culture... touching, and appetizing film. I defy anyone not to build an appetite watching Juzo Itami's 1985 film 'Tampopo'. The protagonists are on a journey to produce the definable secret to the perfect noodles in soup to help the business of a small diner for its owner, a well meaning gal named Tampopo. Dubbed by some as a western, I can see it as an apt comparison, but it is really about living, fun and eating... helping out your fellow mankind. 'Tampopo' gives a humorous sampling of life in Japan with keen insights into its culture and dining habits. I would give stronger accolades to the film but like a good bowl of soup, it should be enjoyed rather than described. WARNING:  Watch it after a meal, or you will be using the pause button to break for a snack!

***

The tale of an eccentric band of culinary ronin who guide the widow of a noodle-shop owner on her quest for the perfect recipe, this rapturous “ramen western” by Japanese director Juzo Itami is an entertaining, genre-bending adventure underpinned by a deft satire of the way social conventions distort the most natural of human urges—our appetites. Interspersing the efforts of Tampopo (Nobuko Miyamoto) and friends to make her café a success with the erotic exploits of a gastronome gangster and glimpses of food culture both high and low, the sweet, sexy, and surreal Tampopo is a lavishly inclusive paean to the sensual joys of nourishment, and one of the most mouthwatering examples of food on film ever made.   

Posters etc.

Theatrical Release: November 23rd, 1985

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Comparison:

Fox Lorber - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Geneon - Region 2 - NTSC vs. Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

1) Fox Lorber - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT

2) Geneon - Region 2 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray RIGHT

8

Box Covers

 

 

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

  

Also coming to the UK, on Blu-ray from Criterion on may 1st, 2017:

Distribution Fox Lorber  Region 0 - NTSC Geneon Publishing
Region 2 - NTSC
Criterion Collection - Spine # 868 - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

One half of a beautiful two-part retrospective, this special Tatakau Onna Box (Tough Women Box) contains 5 of Itami's 10 feature films: Marusa no Onna (A Taxing Woman), Marusa no Onna 2 (A Taxing Woman's Return), Minbo no Onna (Minbo), Supa no Onna (Supermarket Woman), and Marutai no Onna (Marutai no Onna).

Second half of a beautiful two-part retrospective, this special Gambaru Box contains 5 of Itami's 10 feature films: Ososhiki (The Funeral), Tampopo (Tampopo), Ageman (Tales of a Golden Geisha), Daibyonin (The Last Dance), and Shizukana Seikatsu (A Quiet Life).

There is also a Making of Tampopo DVD from Geneon (which comes individually and also comes in one of the the Juzo Itami Boxsets below).

Runtime 1:54:32   1:53:56   1:54:33.575  
Video

1.74:1.00 Letterboxed WideScreen 
Average Bitrate: 4.9 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.83:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.00 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.85:1 1080P / 23.976 fps

Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 47,885,090,983 bytes

Feature: 28,200,443,904 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.00 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

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

Bitrate:

Fox Lorber

 

Bitrate:

 

Geneon

 

Bitrate:

 

Blu-ray

 

Audio Japanese (Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono)

Japanese (Dolby Digital 2.0)

LPCM Audio Japanese 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
Subtitles English, and none English, Japanese (small), Japanese (large) and none English, and none
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Fox Lorber
 

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen letterbox - 1.74:1

Edition Details:
• Film Credits

• Filmography

 

DVD Release Date: July 5, 2000
Keep Case
Chapters: 30

Release Information:
Studio: Geneon Publishing

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.83:1

Edition Details:

• Trailer (1:50)

DVD Release Date: September 22nd, 2005 
 
Transparent Keep Case
Chapters: 24

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion

 

1.85:1 1080P / 23.976 fps

Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 47,885,090,983 bytes

Feature: 28,200,443,904 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.00 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video


Edition Details:

The Making of “Tampopo,” a ninety-minute documentary from 1986, narrated by director Juzo Itami (1:30:08)
New interview with actor Nobuko Miyamoto (11:10)
New interview with food stylist Seiko Ogawa (15:53)
New interviews with ramen scholar Hiroshi Oosaki and chefs Sam White, Rayneil De Guzman, Jerry Jaksich, and Ivan Orkin (22:20)
Rubber Band Pistol, Itami’s 1962 debut short film (32:39)
New video essay by filmmakers Tony Zhou and Taylor Ramos on the film’s themes of self-improvement and mastery of a craft (10:04)
Trailer (1:55)
PLUS: An essay by food and culture writer Willy Blackmore

Blu-ray Release Date: April 24th, 2017
Transparent Blu-ray Case

Chapters 23

 

 

 

Comments

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

ADDITION: Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray - March 2017: This is from a "New 4K digital restoration" and makes the old SD transfer look sick by comparison. The contrast (brighter whites, deeper blacks), richer colors and overall darker look make this a revelation after the interlaced, faded, dull DVDs of over a decade ago. Gone are the haze and digital artifacts and we get a dynamically attractive and impressive Blu-ray image. It has exceed my expectations - there is plenty of depth, skin tones warm, fine grain - it's fabulous.

Criterion use an authentic liner PCM mono track (24-bit) in the original Japanese. There are comedic effects but most of the audio-joy comes from It's a lively, fun, score from Kunihiko Murai - known for his work on Zatoichi and Lone Wolf and Cub films. It has a very western-theme to the music - lots of ragtime-like piano - it's boisterous and toe-tapping-ly crisp in the uncompressed transfer. There are optional English subtitles and the Blu-ray disc is region 'A'-locked.

Criterion add a massive amount of extras. The Making of “Tampopo” is a ninety-minute documentary from 1986, narrated by director Juzo Itami with behind the scenes footage shot during the production. There is a new interview with actor Nobuko Miyamoto where she talks about playing the title role, working with, her husband, Juzo Itami. It runs over 11-minutes and was recorded by Criterion in 2016. There is also a new interview with food stylist Seiko Ogawa who talks about details of her work on Tampopo for 16-minutes. We get new interviews with ramen scholar Hiroshi Oosaki and chefs Sam White, Rayneil De Guzman, Jerry Jaksich for 22-minutes - it is entitled The Perfect Bowl. Rubber Band Pistol (Gomudeppou) is Itami’s 1962 debut short film running over 1/2 an hour. I enjoyed the new 10-minute video essay by filmmakers Tony Zhou and Taylor Ramos on the film’s themes of self-improvement and mastery of a craft entitled The Amateur and the Craftsperson. Lastly included is a, new, restoration, trailer and the package has a liner notes booklet with an essay by food and culture writer Willy Blackmore.

Absolutely, the most loveable, foodie, film I've ever seen. It's so watchable and something you can throw on anytime. Criterion's Blu-ray is at their lofty standards and fans will greatly appreciate the 4K restored video, uncompressed audio and many extras. What a treat! Our highest recommendation!

 

***

ON THE DVD: This is one of those unfortunate circumstances where the screen captures, with one resized and the other native resolution, don't really do justice to the superior release. The Fox Lorber has a lot of deficiencies; non-anamorphic and non-progressive, it has boosted contrast, has frame shifting combing, artifacts, edge enhancements, cropped on the side edges and is completely weak next to the Geneon edition.

 

The Japanese release looks better if faded and dull, where the Fox/Lorber... looks like a Fox/Lorber DVD. If you are a fan of this film we suggest buying the Geneon, but if the Fox/Lorber is at a garage sale for $5 - well, that's about what it's worth. It does have removable subtitles and is moderately acceptable on a small tube. The Geneon is obviously much closer to Tampopo's theatrical presentation if still appearing somewhat sub-standard. 

 - Gary Tooze


Menus

(Fox Lorber - Region 0 - NTSC LEFT vs. Geneon - Region 2 - NTSC RIGHT)


 
 

 

 

Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 

 


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

 

1) Fox Lorber - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Geneon - Region 2 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

8

Subtitle Sample

 

NOTE: Not exact frame



1) Fox Lorber - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Geneon - Region 2 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

8


1) Fox Lorber - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Geneon - Region 2 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

8


1) Fox Lorber - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Geneon - Region 2 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

8


1) Fox Lorber - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Geneon - Region 2 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

8


1) Fox Lorber - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Geneon - Region 2 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

8

More Blu-ray Captures


 

 

Box Covers

 

 

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

  

Also coming to the UK, on Blu-ray from Criterion on may 1st, 2017:

Distribution Fox Lorber  Region 0 - NTSC Geneon Publishing
Region 2 - NTSC
Criterion Collection - Spine # 868 - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

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Report Card:

 

Image:

Blu-ray

Sound:

Blu-ray

Extras: Blu-ray





 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Gary Tooze

Many Thanks...