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Any Decent Versions of Kurosawa's "Ran"? on DVD? (1 Viewer)

Jason_Els

Screenwriter
Joined
Feb 22, 2001
Messages
1,096
Are there any good versions of Ran on DVD? I recall that the first DVD was supposed to be very poor but I saw another version done by Starlight (or some name like that). I'd love to have a copy of this film but I'm worried about getting a poor version. If there isn't a good version out there well then ok, I'll wait.

BTW, I did a search but found the use of the term "Ran" to be impossible to sift through and Kurosawa came up with nothing when paired with it.
 

James_Shu

Auditioning
Joined
Jun 2, 2004
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9
After the terrible Fox Lober release (the first one that you refer to), the Wellspring (Masterworks Edition) DVD is a Godsend. It even has a restoration demo:


I don't know of any other future releases of Ran so pick it up!:emoji_thumbsup:
 

Darren Gross

Supporting Actor
Joined
May 16, 2001
Messages
516
Jason,

I highly advise against both current releases of RAN. They're utterly terrible and are nowhere near acceptable. There's a PAL disc that came out recently that supposedly was a port over from the superior Japanese transfer of the film...

This film really needs a transfer worthy of the film. Wellsprings is a contrasty, ugly mess loaded with digital noise, artifacts, extremely poor colors and incorrect framing to boot...
 

Brian PB

Supporting Actor
Joined
Jan 31, 2003
Messages
671
I would avoid both the Fox Lorber (a certifiable mess) and the Wellspring Masterworks (better, but still flawed). The colors are wrong on both (although the Wellspring Masterworks has improved picture quality). The current best version on the market is the recent Region 2 PAL release from Warner in the UK. It also includes Chris Marker's wonderful documentary, A.K.: The Making of Ran.

See the comparisons at DVD Beaver.

If you are not all-region capable, the Wellspring Masterworks is the only decent choice. As a consolation, there's an excellent commentary track by Stephen Prince.
 

Rich Malloy

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Apr 9, 2000
Messages
3,998
Don't get the Wellspring version, as there's no reason to be stuck in R1. Quality all-region, PAL>NTSC converting players can be had for well under $100 (for less than some folks weekly DVD budget around here!). The Toshiba 4900 is one good choice, but there are many.
 

Matt Czyz

Supporting Actor
Joined
Jun 5, 2003
Messages
902
Real Name
Matt Czyz
Ooh! The Philips DVP642 ($70.00 at WalMart) converts PAL to NTSC wonderfully (and has the easiest all-region hack in the world).
 

JonZ

Senior HTF Member
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Dec 28, 1998
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7,799
I think it was Digital Bits who said that as well.

Ran confirmed from Criterion this year. No release date but should be 3rd or 4th Q

As for region free, I got the 363K Pioneer for $175 online. GREAT player.
 

Darren Gross

Supporting Actor
Joined
May 16, 2001
Messages
516
The best one right now is the Japanese R2 disc without subs. I take it Criterion will use the same transfer and do additional clean up/touch up work on it.
 

Kevin M

Senior HTF Member
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Feb 23, 2000
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Kevin Ray
Criterion? Oh HELL YEAH! I'll be keeping my Wellspring version for the fine commentaries but...damn...first Kagemusha and now (eventually) RAN, right on Criterion!:emoji_thumbsup:

BTW here's what they have at the site right now:
 

Joe Szott

Screenwriter
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Feb 22, 2002
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Joe S.
I'll leave a nice space on the shelf beside the excellent Kagemusha for it's younger sibling, RAN. Thank you again Criterion...
 

Kevin M

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Feb 23, 2000
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5,172
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Kevin Ray
I personally would say that in reverse, Kurosawa always called Kagemusha "a dress rehearsal for RAN" & I tend to agree.
 

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