Customer Review

86 of 91 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars dreadful dvd - welcome back to 1988!, 19 Jan. 2009
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This review is from: Red Sorghum [1987] [DVD] (DVD)
I can't say how pleased I was when I saw that Red Sorghum was to be released on UK dvd. At last a modern edition to replace the ancient Palace video from the late 80's. Sadly however this disc is pathetic, a disgrace - it is essentially the same old Palace version (taken I believe from an old Channel 4 broadcast) slung onto disc with no care taken as to quality control and with a picture as grainy as that implies. This also means for your money you get a film incorrectly letterboxed at about 16/9 but with the frame moved up towards the top of the screen and with burned on subs underneath. In other words if you have a widescreen TV you cannot expand the picture and have to watch the film in 4/3!
(There is a Chinese edition available which at least is letterboxed properly but unfortunately fails to subtitle the songs - which are very important dramatically - and also, at least the copy I have, is of poor picture quality.)
If the company who released this could not afford to do the film justice then they really shoudn't have bothered - or maybe they don't care and just wanted to cash in on the maker of 'Hero' and 'House of Flying Daggers.'
Sadly the wait for a proper release of this superb film goes on...
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Comments

Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-8 of 8 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 15 Feb 2009 11:56:22 GMT
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Feb 2009 11:25:01 GMT
Last edited by the author on 8 Jun 2009 13:24:43 BDT
and which parts of my review do you find inaccurate exactly? The film is great but the disc is dreadful. I think that sums it up pretty well myself. Given that this is the 3rd lousy copy of this film I've bought, and given that even the original video release from which this was taken was disappointing at the time all those years ago - Palace were releasing other titles properly letterboxed back then e.g. Jean de Florette, I don't see that I've said anything too unreasonable. Oh well...

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Jun 2009 23:19:57 BDT
G. Downs says:
I agree, brilliant film but i haven't seen such a poor quality DVD in a long time, Yimou and the incomparable Gong Li deserved much better

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Oct 2009 01:39:31 BDT
68000 says:
Thanks for the warning. I'm sorry to trouble but I wonder if you would be willing to edit your review to list the editions that are poorly mastered? I ask because Amazon has a habit of copying reviews from one edition to another, which might cause future confusion if a good edition is eventually released.

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Dec 2009 11:26:00 GMT
hi the 3 versions I have bought are the Palace video, incorrectly letterboxed, this dvd, which is taken from the old Palace master, plus the mainland Chinese release which looks similar to the other dvd version listed but without 'Zhang Yi Mou collection' written across the top . I'm tempted to try the Korean release - Korean dvd's I find are usually excellent - but I believe this one is 4/3 so probably still no luck...

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Jan 2011 16:07:24 GMT
J. Mero says:
Seldom have I seen a case of unwarranted comments so showing up the deficiencies of the complainant.
Having seen other Chinese movies where the stunning mastery of scenes and photography are crucial to the story, 72trails of smoke's critique of the DVD appears VERY sound!

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Dec 2011 01:31:30 GMT
There once was a HK VCD that actually looked pretty decent. Never found a DVD counterpart to this edition, alas.

In reply to an earlier post on 25 Oct 2013 14:25:10 BDT
Desmond Bull says:
I wish I had bothered to read these comments before I ordered this. Great film, lousy edition. To any other responders I find this person's comments to be extremely accurate!
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Location: Birmingham, UK

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