Book & Film Reviews


Akira Kurosawa's Ran needs no introduction - a world cinema classic in every respect: the best adaptation of King Lear for the screen, an epic of the senses with a true heart of darkness and a mesmerizing showcase for Tatsuya Nakada. What it is not is a satisfying experience on this Blu Ray version.

Once you get past Studio Canal's annoying ident complete with tweeting birds and a still image during the credits we can judge the picture quality, which is...okay but not great, it looks nowhere near as good as Kubrick's films in the new format or indeed something like From Russia With Love which looks absolutely stunning and that film was made in 1962! The forced susbtitles in this day and age is unforgivable but they are also far too low on the screen. The main menu is tiny and hard to read, the extras are decent but nowhere near the quality of the Criterion dvd.

On the upside the 5.1 mix is well balanced and mixed - there's lots of cicadas chirping away in the background, some great battles in surround sound and Toru Takemitsu's score sounds incredible without any signs of distortion. Overall you'd be better off with Warner's Region 2 dvd or indeed the Criterion disc. 1/5

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