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Harakiri Blu-ray

United States
Seppuku / 切腹 / The Criterion Collection Criterion | 1962 | 133 min | Not rated | Oct 04, 2011

Harakiri (Blu-ray)
Large:


Video
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 2.34:1
Original aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Audio
Japanese: LPCM Mono

Subtitles
English

Discs
50GB Blu-ray Disc
Single disc (1 BD)

Playback
Region A (locked)

Price
List price: $39.95, Price history
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Movie rating
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
9.0
96
ratings.


Blu-ray rating
Video 4.5 of 54.5
Audio 4.5 of 54.5
Extras 3.8 of 53.8
Based on 1 user review

Movie appeal

 
Drama100%
Foreign76%
71%
popularity
1003
collections
41
fans




Harakiri

 (1962)

Harakiri Blu-ray delivers stunning video and audio in this exceptional Blu-ray release

Set in 17th-century Japan, director Masaki Kobayashi's HARAKIRI stars Tatsuya Nakadai (RAN) as masterless samurai Hanshiro Tsugumo. Structured in a series of flashbacks, the film opens in a period of serenity that has brought about a consolidation of power in Japan, resulting in the release of many samurai from their feudal obligations. These men--Hanshiro included--are in desperate straits, struggling to avoid poverty and starvation. According to their code, they must appear at clan estates and offer to commit seppuku, or ritual disembowelment, and often the clan retainer will offer them work or alms. When Hanshiro arrives at such an estate, the chief retainer Kageyu Saito (Rentaro Mikuni) tells him a cautionary tale about the fate of samurai Motome Chijiiwa (Akira Ishihama), who was forced to commit seppuku with a dull bamboo sword as punishment for dishonoring the samurai code.

For more about Harakiri and the Harakiri Blu-ray release, see Harakiri Blu-ray Review published by on where this Blu-ray release scored 4.5 out of 5.

Starring: Tatsuya Nakadai, Akira Ishihama, Shima Iwashita, Tetsurô Tanba, Masao Mishima, Yoshio Inaba
Director: Masaki Kobayashi

» See full cast & crew


Harakiri Blu-ray, Video Quality

  4.5 of 5

Presented in an aspect ratio of 2.34:1, encoded with MPEG-4 AVC and granted a 1080p transfer, Masaki Kobayashi's Harakiri arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of Criterion.

Criterion's high-definition transfer appears to have been sourced from the same Shochiku master which British distributors Eureka Entertainment had access to when they prepared their Blu-ray release of Harakiri. Naturally, the two share some similar characteristics. However, they are not identical.

Detail is once again very impressive, especially during close-ups. Criterion's transfer is also slightly darker, but during the indoor scenes, where most of the time light is restricted, clarity is again very good. The small color pulsations from Criterion's SDVD release of Harakiri have been effectively addressed. As I expected, however, Criterion have strengthened black levels and also adjusted sharpness levels during selected sequences. The grays also tend to be slightly stronger, though they do not appear drastically different than the ones seen on the UK Blu-ray release; the whites are slightly better saturated. As a result, Criterion's release has a marginally richer but also occasionally harsher look (see screencapture #1). Lastly, there are no traces of excessive noise reduction. Unsurprisingly, there is a layer of fine grain throughout the entire film. There are no large cuts, debris, stains, or warps to report in this review. (Note: This is a Region-A "locked" Blu-ray disc. Therefore, you must have a native Region-A or Region-Free PS3 or SA in order to access its content).


Harakiri Blu-ray, Audio Quality

  4.5 of 5

There is only one audio track on this Blu-ray disc: Japanese LPCM 1.0. For the record, Criterion have provided optional English subtitles for the main feature. When turned on, they appear inside the image frame.

I compared selected scenes - and specifically scenes where the biwa solos are prominent - from the Criterion release and the UK Blu-ray release (which features a Japanese DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 track). As far as dynamic intensity and crispness are concerned, the two are practically identical. The dialog is also equally clean, stable, and easy to follow. However, I did notice some very minor differences in the English translation.



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Harakiri Blu-ray, News and Updates



Criterion's October Blu-ray Line-Up: Korda, Shindo, Antonioni, Ke... - July 15, 2011

Criterion has announced a new batch of titles that will debut in October. They include Kaneto Shindo's Kuroneko, Zoltán Korda's The Four Feathers, Michelangelo Antonioni's Identification of a Woman and Erie C. Kenton's Island of Lost Souls. Past titles getting ...




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