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High and Low Blu-ray

United States
Tengoku to jigoku / 天国と地獄 / The Criterion Collection Criterion | 1963 | 143 min | Not rated | Jul 26, 2011

High and Low (Blu-ray), temporary cover art
Large:


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

Audio
Japanese: DTS-HD Master Audio 4.0

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
8.5
129
ratings.


Blu-ray rating
Video 3.8 of 53.8
Audio 4.0 of 54.0
Extras 4.0 of 54.0
Based on 1 user review

Movie appeal

 
Drama100%
Foreign67%
Crime10%
Thriller-
77%
popularity
1316
collections
29
fans




High and Low

 (1963)

High and Low Blu-ray offers solid video and great audio in this excellent Blu-ray release

An executive mortgages all he owns to stage a coup and gain control of the National Shoe Company, with the intent of keeping the company out of the hands of incompetent and greedy executives. He needs the same money, though, to pay the ransom that will possibly save a child's life. His resolution of that dilemma -- the certain loss of the company vs. the probable loss of the child -- makes for one distinct drama, and an ensuing elaborate police procedure makes for a second.

For more about High and Low and the High and Low Blu-ray release, see High and Low Blu-ray Review published by on where this Blu-ray release scored 4.0 out of 5.

Starring: Toshirô Mifune, Tatsuya Nakadai, Kyôko Kagawa, Tatsuya Mihashi, Isao Kimura, Takashi Shimura
Director: Akira Kurosawa

» See full cast & crew


High and Low Blu-ray, Video Quality

  3.5 of 5

Presented in its original aspect ratio of 2.35:1, encoded with MPEG-4 AVC and granted a 1080p transfer, Akira Kurosawa's High and Low arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of Criterion.

The following text appears inside the booklet provided with this Blu-ray disc:

"This high-definition digital transfer was created on a Spirit 4K Datacine from a 35mm fine-grain master positive and, for the color sequence, a 35mm interpositive. Thousands of instances of dirt, debris, scratches, splices, warps, jitter, and flicker were manually removed using MTI's DRS system and Pixel Farm's PFClean system, while Digital Vision's DVNR system was used from small dirt, grain, and noise reduction.

Telecine supervisor: Lee Kline.
Telecine colorist: Josh Olive/Technicolor, New York."

I have mixed feelings about the presentation. Many of the outdoor sequences look notably stronger here than they do on Criterion's SDVD re-release of High and Low - they lack some but not all of the shimmering and plenty of the light noise (see screencapture #5). Though not overly consistent, there is also a layer of light grain that is present throughout the entire film. Unfortunately, traces of mild to moderate sharpening could be seen in a number of different scenes. Some of the most obvious ones are during the first half of the film, where Gondo is seen debating whether or not to pay the kidnapper. While at least some of the soft halo-like effects could be attributed to Kurosawa's experimentation with extremely bright lights, which is discussed in detail in one of the supplemental features included on the disc, it is fairly obvious that the overwhelming majority of the sharpening has a different origin (see screencapture #11). There are a couple of minor frame skips as well, though overall there are no serious stability issues to report in this review. Finally, the blacks have been boosted a bit, but color reproduction is satisfactory. (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).


High and Low Blu-ray, Audio Quality

  4.0 of 5

There is only one audio track on this Blu-ray disc: Japanese DTS-HD Master Audio 4.0. For the record, Criterion have provided optional English subtitles for the main feature.

The following text appears inside the booklet provided with this Blu-ray disc:

"The 4.0 surround soundtrack was remastered at 24-bit from the original 4-track stems. Clicks, thumps, hiss, and hum were manually removed using Pro Tools HD. Crackle was attenuated using AudioCube's integrated workstation."

The Japanese DTS-HD Master Audio 4.0 track is solid. I ran a couple of quick tests with the SDVD release of High and Low and was immediately able to recognize the improved dynamic amplitude and depth of the loseless track (if you already have the SDVD, compare the bar scene in the final third of the film). Also, the dialog appears slightly crisper. For the record, I did not detect any problematic pops, cracks, or audio dropouts to report in this review.



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High and Low Blu-ray, News and Updates



Criterion Blu-ray in July: Cocteau, Melville, Leigh, Ray, Kurosaw... - April 15, 2011

The Criterion Collection has announced six titles for Blu-ray release in July. On July 12th, the independent studio will release Naked (Mike Leigh, 1993). A week later, it will release The Music Room (Satyajit Ray) and Beauty and the Beast (Jean Cocteau, 1946). ...



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