Any Decent Versions of Kurosawa's "Ran"? on DVD?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Jason_Els, Jun 30, 2004.

  1. Jason_Els

    Jason_Els Screenwriter

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    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.
     
  2. Dan Rudolph

    Dan Rudolph Producer

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    There's one from Wellspring which I believe is pretty good.
     
  3. James_Shu

    James_Shu Auditioning

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    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![​IMG]
     
  4. Jason_Els

    Jason_Els Screenwriter

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    Thanks! I shall! Glad to know there's a decent release out there.
     
  5. Darren Gross

    Darren Gross Supporting Actor

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    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...
     
  6. Brian PB

    Brian PB Supporting Actor

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    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.
     
  7. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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    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.
     
  8. Matt Czyz

    Matt Czyz Supporting Actor

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    Ooh! The Philips DVP642 ($70.00 at WalMart) converts PAL to NTSC wonderfully (and has the easiest all-region hack in the world).
     
  9. Nathan V

    Nathan V Supporting Actor

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  10. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    Are you sure? It's not listed in their upcoming releases on that site.
     
  11. JonZ

    JonZ Lead Actor

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    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.
     
  12. Pat Frank

    Pat Frank Stunt Coordinator

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    There's a blurb about it on Criterion's site now as well.
     
  13. Kramer Lowry

    Kramer Lowry Second Unit

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    [​IMG]
     
  14. Darren Gross

    Darren Gross Supporting Actor

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    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.
     
  15. Kevin M

    Kevin M Producer

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    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![​IMG]

    BTW here's what they have at the site right now:
     
  16. Joe Szott

    Joe Szott Screenwriter

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    I'll leave a nice space on the shelf beside the excellent Kagemusha for it's younger sibling, RAN. Thank you again Criterion...
     
  17. Kevin M

    Kevin M Producer

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    I personally would say that in reverse, Kurosawa always called Kagemusha "a dress rehearsal for RAN" & I tend to agree.
     

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