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RAN 1985

4.3 out of 5 stars (71) IMDb 8.3/10

Kurosawa takes Shakespeare's King Lear to feudal Japan. The Great Lord steps aside for his three sons. His wish is to live out his years as a guest with each son. While the older two flatter him, the youngest warns of the folly of expecting them to be united.

Starring:
Tatsuya Nakadai, Akira Terao
Runtime:
2 hours, 35 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Military & War, Drama, Action & Adventure, International, Historical
Director Akira Kurosawa
Starring Tatsuya Nakadai, Akira Terao
Supporting actors Jinpachi Nezu, Daisuke Ryû, Mieko Harada, Yoshiko Miyazaki, Hisashi Igawa, Pîtâ, Masayuki Yui, Kazuo Katô, Norio Matsui, Toshiya Ito, Kenji Kodama, Takashi Watanabe, Mansai Nomura, Takeshi Katô, Jun Tazaki, Hitoshi Ueki, Takao Zushi, Yoshitaka Zushi
Studio STUDIOCANAL
BBFC rating Suitable for 12 years and over
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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.
3 Comments 67 of 72 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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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.
2 Comments 51 of 56 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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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.
Comment 11 of 12 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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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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By rob crawford TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 6 Jun. 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I saw this when it was released and have wanted to own it ever since. This is Kurosawa's great late masterpiece, a summing up of the themes in his entire oeuvre - war, power, self destruction, history - in an unforgettable retelling of Lear, but with deep references to Japanese culture. I watched this with my son (12), both in a state of utter fascination at the panorama of life and death in this long film. (He was full of questions!) It was an utter delight.

***spoiler alert*** I assume the reader knows the story already.

The story takes place in the 16C or so, a time of upheaval and disorder worldwide. An old war lord has spent his life ruthlessly crushing enemies nearby, stopping at nothing in his striving to dominate. Perhaps as a result of his deteriorating mind, perhaps out of guilt at the terrible things he has done, he makes a catastrophically stupid decision - to divide the power of his armies between his sons in order to retire. Only one son opposes this course of action, which his father finds violently offensive. The son is banished, along with a faithful aide.

Almost immediately, the two remaining sons begin to flex their muscles, first by humiliating their father - denying him access to their castles with his reduced entourage - and then by besieging him. This is one of the most horribly graphic war scenes I have ever seen, hiding nothing of the blood and meaningless deaths. The father begins to lose his mind, paralyzed in despair and appearing like a popular demon with his ashen face. Once his forces are annihilated and his concubines have committed suicide, he stumbles out of the burning palace.
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