BD 181 Cure

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released by Eureka/Masters of Cinema and the films on them. If it's got a spine number, it's in here.
Forum rules
Please do not clutter up the threads for MoC titles with information on pre-orders. You can announce the availability of pre-orders in the MoC: Cheapest Prices / Best Places to Buy / Pre-Orders thread. Any posts on pre-orders in any other thread will be deleted.
Message
Author
User avatar
Lost Highway
Posts: 508
Joined: Thu Aug 29, 2013 7:41 am
Location: Berlin, Germany

Re: BD 181 Cure

#26 Post by Lost Highway » Thu May 03, 2018 4:03 am

I'll never understood people confidently stating that Kurosawa's (or Nakata's, or Shimizu's) J-horror films are supposed to look like this, having never seen a theatrical presentation. Going by "feelings" based on poor home video presentations, from masters which are now close to two decades old and looked like crap even on DVD. These films were shot on 35mm and they were distributed that way. How does 35mm film look like that ? Why would an entire generation of Japanese genre film makers shoot their films on 35mm to make them look like SD video, with grey blacks, no shadow detail, blown out contrast and no definition ? It's the type of logic I expect on blu-ray.com but not here.

User avatar
tenia
Posts: 3461
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 11:13 am

Re: BD 181 Cure

#27 Post by tenia » Thu May 03, 2018 4:52 am

M Sanderson wrote:fair enough, but I wonder who would be willing to undertake such restorations when they are likely to make only the most subtle of differences.
I'm not so sure about the subtlety of the differences it would yield, though I suppose it would of course less than some more conventional-looking movies. But still. We've seen older masters we thought were OK get beaten to oblivion by newer restorations.
Lost Highway wrote:I'll never understood people confidently stating that Kurosawa's (or Nakata's, or Shimizu's) J-horror films are supposed to look like this, having never seen a theatrical presentation. Going by "feelings" based on poor home video presentations, from masters which are now close to two decades old and looked like crap even on DVD. These films were shot on 35mm and they were distributed that way. How does 35mm film look like that ? Why would an entire generation of Japanese genre film makers shoot their films on 35mm to make them look like SD video ? It's the type of logic I expect on blu-ray.com but not here.
The same is true in the other way : it's very hard for me pinpointing exactly how unfaithful this might be, because I've never seen theatrically these movies (nor have I seen most of the movies I'm reviewing since my parents weren't even born when most of them had their theatrical run !).

It's not an exact science at all to assess that, but the quality gaps between older masters and newer restorations can be assessed for many other movies, and I'm surprised too by how older HD masters characteristics could be perceived as being actually part of the original intentions. It'd be not very different than thinking that many movies had indeed this thick grain and magenta-push visible on many MGM or Universal back-catalog.
Except we now know much better.

Older HD masters have their typical aspects, with some markers being the thicker grain and the color gradings (especially how the gamma is handled), and these BD releases of Asian movies definitely look like that. Sure, it's easier to pinpoint it for, say, the Fukasaku movies because they probably were graded in a more conventional way, but to me, they're mostly sharing the same limitations. We've seen how these limitations were alleviated during newer restorations, so we kind of can feel how these limitations are unfaithful to how the movies should look.

Now, I don't want to shun off people who are happy with these releases, technically speaking. It might be that indeed, even through the use of dated masters, the results are close enough to the original look of these movies. It's just that I doubt it.


As for blu-ray.com, some of their reviewers are who they are, but they have members I like to read a lot and whose opinions I share more often than not. They're very well able to see through these things and have tackled many legitimate complaints in a concrete and measured way that I'd love to see spread wider around some discussion boards.

User avatar
JSC
Posts: 72
Joined: Thu May 16, 2013 9:17 am

Re: BD 181 Cure

#28 Post by JSC » Thu May 03, 2018 8:50 am

This release felt like a bit of a rushed job to me. Apart from the booklet missing
a page, a few things stuck out.

1.) Having watched the film on a projector, the master didn't look new. In fact
I detected some slight frame juddering for the first fifteen minutes or so.

2.) The subtitles were not MOC's standard lettering, so I have to assume they
were ported from elsewhere (they're also incomplete).

2.) The old Kurosawa interview and the US trailer are simply ported from the old
HVE DVD (and both look worse than on the DVD).

3.) The 'Kurosawa on Cure' extra utilizes bits of the interview available on
Arrow's release of Pulse where Kurosawa mostly talks about his early
years as a director, with some random stills from Cure interspersed
throughout.

M Sanderson
Posts: 182
Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2016 3:43 am

Re: BD 181 Cure

#29 Post by M Sanderson » Fri May 04, 2018 3:50 am

Lost Highway wrote:I'll never understood people confidently stating that Kurosawa's (or Nakata's, or Shimizu's) J-horror films are supposed to look like this, having never seen a theatrical presentation. Going by "feelings" based on poor home video presentations, from masters which are now close to two decades old and looked like crap even on DVD. These films were shot on 35mm and they were distributed that way. How does 35mm film look like that ? Why would an entire generation of Japanese genre film makers shoot their films on 35mm to make them look like SD video, with grey blacks, no shadow detail, blown out contrast and no definition ? It's the type of logic I expect on blu-ray.com but not here.
Well, one reason that I raised was because Kurosawa does use interesting aesthetic touches like minimising colour (Cure is almost a monochrome film) and detail (deliberately hiding characters in shadows). Yet, I wasn’t confidently stating. And, yes, there is a nagging suspicion that this could look better.

Even in his more attractive looking films he will play around with detail and colour levels, such as an example I gave in Tokyo Sonata, a scene that began with a murky visual style is subsequently brightened up, revealing gradually more detail.

I believe in Arrow’s booklet for Pulse, they stated that Kurosawa’s visual style is supposed to look like SD DVD, something like that, which has added to the controversy.

In all, I do feel that no one has been entirely happy with films from, take for instance, Metro Tartan’s catalogue released by Arrow (that includes Fonda’s western The Hired Hand, with beautiful colour intact yet marred by edge enhancement). Indeed, few are entirely satisfied with Blu ray releases of any major Asian title, either due to aged masters or controversial colour timing in the ones that are restored... from these two areas, I can only think of Miike’s Audition that has been acclaimed for its restoration work.

Post Reply