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Ran [DVD]

64 customer reviews

Price: £9.50 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
Only 9 left in stock (more on the way).
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Product details

  • Actors: Tatsuya Nakadai, Akira Terao, Jinpachi Nezu, Daisuke Ryû, Mieko Harada
  • Directors: Akira Kurosawa
  • Writers: Akira Kurosawa, Hideo Oguni, Masato Ide, William Shakespeare
  • Producers: Hisao Kurosawa, Katsumi Furukawa, Masato Hara
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Studiocanal
  • DVD Release Date: 20 Nov. 2006
  • Run Time: 155 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000I5XNJC
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 16,964 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Akira Kurosawa’s final masterpiece, Ran is a reworking of Shakespeare’s King Lear, set in feudal Japan.

Ran tells the story of Hidetora Ichimonji (Tatsya Nakadai – Yojimbo, Kagemusha) an aging warlord who, after spending his life consolidating his empire, decides to abdicate and divide his Kingdom amoungst his three sons Taro (Akira Terao - Letter from the Mountain, Dreams), Jiro (Jinpachi Nezu – The Man in White, Red Shadow: Akakage) and Saburo (Daisuke Ryu - Tono monogatari, Gojo reisenki: Gojoe).

When Saburo voices concerns about the wisdom of his father’s plan, claiming that treachery within the family will be inevitable, Hidetora mistakes these comments for a threat and when his servant Tango comes to Saburo's defense, he banishes both of them. This allows Taro and Jiro to take the reigns of power unopposed, leading to a brutal and bloody struggle for the absolute power of the warlord.

Majestic in scope, Ran is a profound examination of the folly of war and the crumbling of one family under the weight of betrayal, greed, and the insatiable thirst for power.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

65 of 69 people found the following review helpful By A LISTER on 3 Nov. 2004
Format: DVD
The recent UK 2 disc edition (which isn't listed here yet despite the fact I've seen it in the shops) is an insult to our inteligence by being the dubbed version.
This US version in Japanesse with subs is a far superior edition and I'd urge all fans of the film in the UK to go for this instead.
Theres no region listed on the box and I've tried it in 3 players and it worked in all of them. I'm therefore pretty certain that this is an ALL REGION disc.
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50 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Walter C. Dent on 2 Oct. 2009
Format: Blu-ray
This import Studio Canal is no better than an upscaled DVD. Detail is lost, or non-existent. I had hopes for this transfer since Criterion lost the rights to remaster and this appears, no, shows, that the DVD master was transfered directly to Bluray.

Don't waste your money if you have the DVD. Criterion is one of the few who values quality. Hopefully, Criterion will have rights to remaster this great work properly. The film's opening credits are fuzzy yet the English subtitles are sharp. I believe Studio Canal used the original DVD master and only upgraded the subtitles for this release. I suspected that this would be the situation when I haven't seen any feedback about this release. I will think twice before I pre-order again.

Criterion's excellent release of "In The Realm of the Senses" makes this Studio Canal transfer look worse than Gladiator. I truly regret paying so much for an import that isn't a true highdef product. This total disregard for quality is what makes the average person think that paying extra for high def when this is the result is foolish, and they are correct when this is an example of what is being released.

Avoid at all costs and hope for a Criterion release.

My setup:
47" 1080P LCD
Panasonic BD30 and Momitsu Bluray
Oppo 983H DVD
Onkyo 605 HDMI HD Receiver
Definitive Technology Speakers and Subwoofer's
Sitting 6.5 feet away from the screen.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Cesar on 15 Oct. 2009
Format: Blu-ray
The first impression that I got from watching this BD was that the PQ looked just like dvd. And if that's the first impression that a High Definition movie gives you, you're in trouble.

Now, to be fair, I did a little comparison with the Criterion dvd. And, for the first time I noticed that the Criterion dvd is not one of the best picture quality they have released. Which makes me wonder: is there a limitation inherent to the original cinematography that won't allow a decent transfer for Blu Ray standards?

Of course the only way to prove this wrong is if someone else (Criterion?) releases a blu ray of the movie with a more noticeable improvement.

I can say that the Studio Canal Blu Ray release offers more image estability, vivid colors and improve the detail somehow, when compared to the dvd. But the fine detail that distinguishes high definition is completely absent. And that's what most people will resent (myself included). The improvement over the dvd is there, but if it's justified to do the upgrade, will depend on personal judment, and definitely is not an objective fact.

EXTRAS INCLUDED:

"Art of the samurai". Interview with a japanese art of war expert.
Portrait of Akira Kurosawa by japanese cinema expert Catherine Cadou.
"The epic and the intimate". Documentary on the director.
"A.K.". Documentary from director Chris Marker. (Which was also included in the Criterion dvd).
"The samurai" Documentary on Samurai art.
BD- live

NOTE: This release is REGION A + B. Even the EXTRAS will play with no problem on american or region A players.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Dr T on 23 Oct. 2009
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Like other reviewers I was disappointed with this Blu-ray. It's never a good sign when you immediately think to check the Blu-ray against the DVD version because you can barely tell the difference. I also suspect some poor digital effects have been added throughout, as some of the details and edges look a bit off in the wider shots. The packaging is nice but doesn't make up for the average picture and audio quality (plus it has the same problem as the Deer Hunter Blu-ray in that it lacks a clasp or closing mechanism). I agree with another reviewer that this kind of release certainly makes you think twice about pre-ordering old remasters on Blu-ray. Still it's a good film and this probably is the best version of it at present. A missed opportunity though, I feel. (Edit: Just compared the Blu-ray to the 2004 Warner/Studio Canal 2-disc DVD upscaled to 1080p. The Blu-ray is only marginally better. There are less compression artefacts around the actors and in land and sky areas, plus slightly more finer detail is visible, e.g. eyes of characters in wider shots. I didn't notice much difference in colour richness however and overall the minimal difference remains disappointing.)
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful By JDB11 on 2 Jun. 2007
Format: DVD
Akira Kurasawa is a monolithic figure in world cinema and this film is in my view his very best work. The story, as is well known, is simply a reworking of Shakespeare's King Lear. The Great Lord decides to abdicate and divide his empire between his three sons, one of whom says this is madness as greed will destroy the family and is promptly exiled. Kurasawa brilliantly captures the melodrama at the centre of Shakespeare's play and lays it on thick. There is no subtly to the acting or the plot, as this is not faithful to the material, but the spirit is well realised.

It is the quite simply breathtaking cinematography that really makes this stand out. From shots of mounted samurai on the green and otherworldly slopes of mount Fuji to the beautiful castle interiors Kurasawa paints a wonderful picture. The colours are vibrant and the shot composition is extremely clever. I am personally most impressed by the first lavish battle scene which conveys the horror of war and its brutality so vividly with blood running from the castle walls and storms of arrows. This however, is no simple battle as you would find in a hollywood film. Eerie music plays over the top and troops are portrayed running backwards and forwards in such a way as to give the impression of the noise and activity of the battle without actually showing it.

Ran is also a wonderful advert for the extreme folly of war. King Lear is quite bleak, but Kurasawa's imagining of this element is heart wrenching. The way that the film reaches its conclusion and each character is killed off is deeply moving, and perhaps the final shot of the one character who survives is the worst of all.

If you are looking for a clever innovative plot then this is not the sort of film to look out for.
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