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The Woodsman and the Rain(2011)
No synopsis for The Woodsman and the Rain.
For more about The Woodsman and the Rain and the The Woodsman and the Rain Blu-ray release, see the The Woodsman and the Rain Blu-ray Review published by Dr. Svet Atanasov on January 13, 2013 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.0 out of 5.
Starring: Koji Yakusho, Shun Oguri, Tsutomu Yamazaki
Director: Shûichi Okita
» See full cast & crew
The Woodsman and the Rain Blu-ray Review
Reviewed by Dr. Svet Atanasov, January 13, 2013
Japanese director Shûichi Okita's "Kitsutsuki to ame" a.k.a "The Woodsman and the Rain" (2011) arrive son Blu-ray courtesy of British distributors Third Window Films. The supplemental features on the disc include the film's original trailer; video interview with director Shuichi Okita and actors Koji Yakusho and Shun Oguri discuss; and a gallery of deleted scenes. In Japanese, with optional English subtitles for the main feature. Region-B "locked".
Aging lumberjack Katsuhiko (Kôji Yakusho, Shall We Dance?, 13 Assassins) has been a widower for nearly two years. He has regained the balance he used to have in his life - mostly by working as hard as can and ignoring the world around him - but has not managed to rediscover the enthusiasms he once had for it. There are days when he simply lives on autopilot.
Katsuhiko's life dramatically changes when a small film crew arrives in his sleepy town to shoot a zombie film. At first he becomes seriously frustrated with the seemingly lethargic young director Koichi (Shun Oguri, Crows Zero, Space Brothers), but then becomes fascinated with the shooting process. And when he is eventually asked to assist the crew during the shooting of a small sequence, Katsuhiko completely loses interest in his old job.
In the days that follow Katsuhiko and Koichi begin spending time together – initially discussing the film, its script and the cast, and then talking about life. Katsuhiko slowly begins to realize what has been missing in his life after the death of his wife, while Koichi begins to see his role as a director from an entirely different angle.
Meanwhile, concerned about his well-being, Katsuhiko's lumberjack buddies decide to pay him a visit. All of them are enormously surprised when they discover that he has joined the film crew and even appeared in a short scene as a zombie. One of the lumberjacks suggests that Katsuhiko may well be on his way to become a star.
A few days before the shooting comes to an end, Katsuhiko is visited by family members who have come to participate in a traditional ceremony that would honor his late wife. At this time the entire town is already zombified - young and old have painted their faces to look like zombies and many have requested to appear in the film's final zombie battle.
Shûichi Okita's The Woodsman and the Rain is a charming little film that tiptoes the fine line that separates comedy and drama. It is about two very different people who slowly discover the simple pleasures in life while learning from each other about their generations.
There are hilarious scenes throughout the entire film, but there is also a degree of seriousness in it that prevents it from being a straightforward comedy. Prior to meeting, Katsuhiko and Koichi both seem locked in their private worlds where sadness and loneliness are facts of life. Later on, as they warm up to each other, they begin to open up to real world, which they have largely ignored (Katsuhiko by working as hard as possible; Koichi by spending most of his time writing the script for his zombie film).
The film is slow and extremely relaxed. But as soon as one gets used to its tempo, it becomes very enjoyable. Perhaps this is exactly how life in rural Japan is - calm, deliberate, completely free of modern trills.
Kôji Yakusho and Shun Oguri are very convincing in their respective roles. The veteran actor's slow character transformation produces some of the most memorable scenes in the film, such as the one where he practices his zombie skills in an empty public bath.
Note: In 2011, The Woodsman and the Rain won the Special Jury Prize (Shuichi Okita) at the Tokyo International Film Festival. In the United States, the film was screened at the Hawaii International Film Festival.
The Woodsman and the Rain Blu-ray, Video Quality
Presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1, encoded with MPEG-4 AVC and granted a 1080p transfer, Shuichi Okita's The Woodsman and the Rain arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of British distributors Third Window Films.
The Woodsman and the Rain, which appears to have been shot digitally, looks quite impressive on Blu-ray. The overwhelming majority of the close-ups, for instance, convey outstanding detail, with a few also boasting impressive sharpness. The larger panoramic shots also convey excellent fluidity. Generally speaking, colors are warm and very natural, at times almost causing the film to look like a documentary feature (see screencapture #14). Additionally, there are no purely transfer specific anomalies. As a result, when blown through a digital projector, the film truly makes an impression with the consistently solid visuals and wide range of natural colors. Indeed, this a very fine presentation. (Note: This is a Region-B "locked" Blu-ray disc. Therefore, you must have a native Region-B or Region-Free PS3 or SA in order to access its content).
The Woodsman and the Rain Blu-ray, Audio Quality
There is only one standard audio track on this Blu-ray disc: Japanese DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1. For the record, Third Window Films have provided optional English subtitles for the main feature.
The Woodman and the Rain does not have a prominent soundtrack. Surround activity is also very limited. The dialog, however, is always crisp, stable, and very easy to follow. Occasionally, there are some nature sounds or random noises that stick out, but overall this is a film with fairly modest and well balanced sound design. Needless to say, the lossless track serves it very well.
The Woodsman and the Rain Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
The Woodsman and the Rain Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
The Woodsman and the Rain is a charming little film about two very different people who rediscover their passion for life. It has a very unique sense of humor that may take a little bit of time to get used to, but it is quite enjoyable. Veteran Japanese actor Koji Yakusho is excellent as the aging lumberjack. As usual, Third Window Films' technical presentation is excellent. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
The Woodsman and the Rain Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Upcoming Third Window Films Releases - December 17, 2012
Independent British distributors Third Window Films have revealed plans to bring to Blu-ray a number of films in 2013. Some, such as The Woodsman and the Rain and Vulgaria, were already announced, but there are some exciting new additions.
• Third Window Films Brings Vulgaria and The Woodsman and the Rain ... - September 12, 2012
Independent British distributors Third Window Films have confirmed that they are planning to release on Blu-ray Pang Ho-Cheung's Vulgaria (2012), starring Chapman To, Ronald Cheng and Dada Chan, and Shûichi Okita's The Woodsman and the Rain (2011), starring Kôji ...
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