There are numerous films that simply because of their cinematographic importance, and that of their directors, that should ascend to 4k, even though the image may not call for it.

Akira Kurosawa’s 1985 Ran is one of them.

The Lionsgate release, based upon the latest Studio Canal restored master is a magnificent affair, especially at around $20 in a beautifully designed steelbook with printed transparent slipcover (via Best Buy).

Presented in Dolby Vision, with the audio via DTS-HD MA 5.1, it all works beautifully, even if there’s very little about the image that can take advantage of true 4k resolution. What’s important in this instance is that everything on the film has been captured and reproduced. The difference is resolution becomes apparent comparing the background and production imagery to titles, which appear razor sharp against less highly resolved production footage.

Color and densities are beautifully rendered. I don’t recall the original prints with any specificity, but this release has just the slightest tendency toward a warmer scale, and it’s it’s lovely.

For those unfamiliar with the work of Akira Kurosawa, or have only seen his earlier black and white classic productions, are highly advised to see this color work by a master craftsman.

Shakespeare’s King Lear meets the age of the samurais.

Image – 5 (Dolby Vision)

Audio – 5 (DTS-HD MA 5.1)

Pass / Fail – Pass

Plays nicely with projectors – Yes

Makes use of and works well in 4k – 3.75

Upgrade from Blu-ray – Absolutely

Very Highly Recommended

RAH
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Capt Cheese Pro

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There are numerous films that simply because of their cinematographic importance, and that of their directors, that should ascend to 4k, even though the image may not call for it.

Akira Kurosawa's 1985 Ran is one of them.

The Lionsgate release, based upon the latest Studio Canal restored master is a magnificent affair, especially at around $20 in a beautifully designed steelbook with printed transparent slipcover (via Best Buy).

Presented in Dolby Vision, with the audio via DTS-HD MA 5.1, it all works beautifully, even if there's very little about the image that can take advantage of true 4k resolution. What's important in this instance is that everything on the film has been captured and reproduced. The difference is resolution becomes apparent comparing the background and production imagery to titles, which appear razor sharp against less highly resolved production footage.

Color and densities are beautifully rendered. I don't recall the original prints with any specificity, but this release has just the slightest tendency toward a warmer scale, and it's it's lovely.

For those unfamiliar with the work of Akira Kurosawa, or have only seen his earlier black and white classic productions, are highly advised to see this color work by a master craftsman.

Shakespeare's King Lear meets the age of the samurais.

Image – 5 (Dolby Vision)

Audio – 5 (DTS-HD MA 5.1)

Pass / Fail – Pass

Plays nicely with projectors - Yes

Makes use of and works well in 4k - 3.75

Upgrade from Blu-ray - Absolutely

Very Highly Recommended

RAH
Love it, I'm a big follower of Kurosawa and own many of his amazing films; Throne of Bood, Hidden Fortress, Sanjuro and Yojimbo and of course the classic Seven Samurai. Great news for anyone wanting to upgrade thier collection. Many thanks!!
 

lark144

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I saw "Ran" numerous times on its first release, and my recollection is that the release prints were cooler than the color temperature here, but I also like the warmer tones. It seems to match what's going on inside the characters. Also, I've seen Kurosawa's original watercolors for "Ran" and though it was many years ago, as I recall, they too were on the warmer side.
 

Scott Merryfield

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It was a pleasant surprise to see this sitting in a pile of packages upon our return home after being away for 6 weeks. Hopefully I will have a chance to give it a spin soon -- this is an upgrade from SD-DVD for me, so it should be a tremendous improvement. Looking forward to revisiting Ran. I'm a big Kurosawa fan.
 

Robert Crawford

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Dang, I just tried to order a copy from Best Buy, but it was Store Pickup Only--no delivery. Is that a common thing with BB?
It's common, but usually the other way around. I'm thinking of using the curbside option to purchase it at my local BB.
 

JediFonger

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wished i knew more about the analog film itself. i saw Ran’s 35mm prints projected, both original untouched and also the “4k restoration” this this disc encoded from. both a different times. my impression is the very opening scenes when the blades were grass were right in front of you, both the untouched and 4k restored were the same the blades of grass were blurry. i am going to guess that due to the lens/film stock used to shoot the film that it is as much detail the film will resolve. these types of films will never look as sharp/sterile/clean as any new film from today’s age. but then it wasnt meant to, right? it was an intentional artistic choice.

but in the back of mind i always get back what kinds film stock resolved to 4k and what kinds can even yield any hdr let alone dolby vision
 

DanH1972

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My only concern is Studio Canal's compression quality on this title. More than one of their 4k "efforts" on Blu-ray is an absolute travesty of video encoding incompetence with "Total Recall" being so bad I will have to import the 4k disc from Eagle Home Video in Italy. They managed to take the same SC master and compress it properly.

Then let's not get started on their Terminator 2 4k disc. By the gods that's bad on all fronts!
 

titch

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My only concern is Studio Canal's compression quality on this title. More than one of their 4k "efforts" on Blu-ray is an absolute travesty of video encoding incompetence with "Total Recall" being so bad I will have to import the 4k disc from Eagle Home Video in Italy. They managed to take the same SC master and compress it properly.

Then let's not get started on their Terminator 2 4k disc. By the gods that's bad on all fronts!
People have to stop talking about StudioCanal as a mastering entity - they do not master any of their own titles. They farm out any restoration or mastering efforts to a variety of different companies. Some of the UHD titles published by StudioCanal are among the best-looking that have been produced. Unfortunately, not every publishing company details the people and companies involved and on StudioCanal's UHDs, the production company is usually only credited right at the very end of the end credits. For the Total Recall StudioCanal published in the UK, they used Hiventy. For Ran StudioCanal used Éclair.

Criterion's UHD of Mulholland Dr. is a collaborative effort with StudioCanal. I will be reading the booklet when I receive it, to see if they are using Pixelogic Media for their UHD mastering - Pixelogic Media seem to master most of Criterion's blu-rays.
 

sbjork

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People have to stop talking about StudioCanal as a mastering entity - they do not master any of their own titles. They farm out any restoration or mastering efforts to a variety of different companies. Some of the UHD titles published by StudioCanal are among the best-looking that have been produced. Unfortunately, not every publishing company details the people and companies involved and on StudioCanal's UHDs, the production company is usually only credited right at the very end of the end credits. For the Total Recall StudioCanal published in the UK, they used Hiventy. For Ran StudioCanal used Éclair.

Criterion's UHD of Mulholland Dr. is a collaborative effort with StudioCanal. I will be reading the booklet when I receive it, to see if they are using Pixelogic Media for their UHD mastering - Pixelogic Media seem to master most of Criterion's blu-rays.
Mullholland Drive used Pixelogic.