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Hidden Fortress Criterion (1 Viewer)

John Stockton

Second Unit
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Jan 9, 2000
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I saw this at local store at a bargain price and I wanted to ask anyone who has seen this DVD, how good the transfer is??


Thanks
 

Paul_Scott

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very good.
not the most impressive looking B&W disc i recall seeing, but from what i remember, quite solid.
 

WillKTaylor

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Aug 3, 2003
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I'll second Paul's opinion. Although I have a smaller display than most on this site, it's anamorphic presentation seemed very solid given the film stock's age. Criterion did a great job getting this one out there.

Although, I can't even begin to understand this would be a huge consideration in the event that you might be a Kurosawa fan. Great film, great fun and taking into account Misa Uehara's appeal as a fiesty, untempered, but grounded princess on the run, well ... hey, it's all about what you want. For me .. it was an easy choice.
 

Haggai

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Wow, ironic that this thread got started at almost the exact moment I finished watching this disc! I rented it earlier today, having never seen the movie before. I have a 48" 16X9 TV, and I thought the transfer was excellent. I remember reading in some earlier thread that black and white movies in anamorphic widescreen can be a particularly great viewing experience, and with this being the first B&W disc I've seen in full 16X9 mode (just got the TV a month ago), I wholeheartedly agree. I'll almost certainly pick up this disc at some point in the future. If it's available at a bargain price, I say it's a no-brainer, grab it!
 

Brian PB

Supporting Actor
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Jan 31, 2003
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This is my favorite of Kurosawa's samurai pictures. The disc is mostly barebones (except for the George Lucas interview). Picture quality is excellent to my eyes. My advice is to snatch it up!
 

Matt_P

Second Unit
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Sep 19, 2000
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Classic Kurosawa. I believe this was one of Criterion's first anamorphic releases (with Insomnia being the actual first). Aside from some minor print damage here and there, this is a great transfer.

The others have covered it quite well. You even get the original perspecta sound 3.0 presentation, which is neat (it's suppossed to simulate stereo, but it's really an expanded mono). Too bad Yojimbo, Sanjuro, and High and Low don't look (and sound) this good. There have been rumors of rereleases down the road...

I always get a kick out of Lucas downplaying how much of an influence this film had on Star Wars in the interview. Funny stuff.
 

Damin J Toell

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Classic Kurosawa. I believe this was one of Criterion's first anamorphic releases (with Insomnia being the actual first).
I'm not sure what other film you've got it confused with, but it's not even close. Insomnia (spine #47) was released on 7/27/99, while Hidden Fortress (spine #116) was released on 5/22/01.

DJ
 

Matt_P

Second Unit
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I'm not sure what other film you've got it confused with, but it's not even close. Insomnia (spine #47) was released on 7/27/99, while Hidden Fortress (spine #116) was released on 5/22/01.
Oops. For some reason, I thought I read a while ago this was one of Criterion's first anamorphic releases--lost track of my spine numbers. Guess my source was wrong. Thanks for the correction.
 

Rob Tomlin

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I love this movie, and it is a pretty good transfer. Actually, it's one of the better transfers of a Kurosawa film.
 

Allan Cast

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Jun 2, 2003
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Heck, this movie was visually stunning on VHS!

This is one of the best films to show to people who dont like watching B&W foreign films!

!!!BUY IT!!!
 

Sean Campbell

Second Unit
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Dec 6, 2002
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BUY IT NOW!
It's one of the best movies ever made! Everything about it, from Mifune's performance to Masaru Satoh's brilliant score, is perfect. It's one of those movies that makes you realise why you love movies in the first place! :)
 

Jason Hennigan

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No reason not to buy it. Fantastic film, solid transfer for what it is.

This isn't something that you're going to want to demo your system with, but it's still very much worth owning.
 

Matt_H

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Oct 22, 2003
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ok guys this is as good a thread to ask as any but for those people that own them are these releases worth it?I know it's criterion and all but most of their earlier kurosawa discs are nonanamorphic with sparse extras(if any). Is their a really good chance theses will be revisited? I just don't want to buy them and they are redone or criterion loses the rights and less true (even though the japanese discs are evidently more accurate sometimes) transfers are later released.
 

Garrett Lundy

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Mar 5, 2002
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Do not buy the DVD!

Rent the movie and watch it on a new BOSE Lifestyle system!

(Eww. I feel dirty now.)
 

Matt_P

Second Unit
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Sep 19, 2000
Messages
332
If you don't have any Kurosawa Criterions, their 4 Samurai Classics box set (includes Seven Samurai, Yojimbo, Sanjuro and Hidden Fortress) is a great starting point for a very good price. At least you'll get to see them, and if Criterion re-releases any, it won't be a huge hit to the wallet.

It is rumored that Criterion will be reissuing at least Seven Samurai (sourced from better elements and/or remastered) in a two disc set, and PERHAPS anamorphic versions of Yojimbo and Sanjuro (from new 35mm prints that toured with Cowboy Pictures' retrospective). The current discs of Yojimbo/Sanjuro have decent transfers, but the aspect ratio is a bit off (closer to 2.20:1).

Everything regarding rereleases is ultimately rumor at this point, but I'd expect to see a new Seven Samurai soon. Honestly, I think they'd focus on releasing the early Kurosawa pictures that are not out yet (I Live in Fear, Drunken Angel, Sanshiro Sugata, etc) before revisiting any others. I might be wrong.

Any confirmation?
 

Jason Hennigan

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I would advocate purchasing it on the quality of the film alone. As for future prospects of a reissue, I think that Criterion is going to focus on getting Kurosawa films out that they have not released already before they start redoing DVDs that are already pretty darn good.
 

Chad A Wright

Supporting Actor
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Jul 22, 2002
Messages
740
Go buy it right now, the picture is great quality. I would probably buy this one even if the picture was horrible.
 

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