DVD Title
 Hana & Alice
International Title
 Hana & Alice
Movie Length: 135 minutes Original Length: 135 minutes
Company: HVE Release: 2007
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic: Yes
Region: 1 Discs: 1
  
Language/Sound: Order
Japanese (2.0 Surround)
Subtitles:
English
Extras
· Menus (English)
· Chapters (12)
· Trailers: Hana & Alice (TV Spot)
· Behind-the-Scenes Featurette (65 minutes)
Captures
Review
Anthony Romero

This DVD of Hana & Alice by HVE (Home Vision Entertainment) is another nice one from the firm. There isn't really a hallmark area of the disc to hail, but it does pretty well across its video, audio and extra presentations, which in the end make it a solid release.


 Video: Star Rating

HVE has a pretty good track record for the video quality on their Japanese titles, and Hana & Alice is no exception. The video is a bit harder to critique, though, due to the source material. Shunji Iwai, who edited the movie as well as directed it, tends to love a multitude of editing techniques such as blur, color tints, and over saturation. This makes the material a bit harder to "grade" for the transfer process, but despite this one can still conclude that the release has excellent colors, with very vibrant shades when the movie permits. There is some slight grain, but nothing too bad while the print used features no scratches or other overt signs of film damage. The movie could have stood to look a little sharper, but still contains a good amount of detail.

Hana & Alice is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.78:1, and is Anamorphic for widescreen TVs.


 Audio:

The DVD has one audio track, which is the movie in two channel surround. The directionality isn't all that impressive, but then the movie isn't really the variety to utilize it that much. What can be said is that the audio track included is in perfect condition, without any snaps or crackles that one would associate with older productions, and features no notable inconsistencies.

The audio is complimented by removable English subtitles. The subtitle job is adequate, but sometimes leaves out a word or two and could have probably done with a final proof reading.


 Extras:

The disc contains two extras. The first is a very short TV spot for the production, roughly 16 seconds. The second is a very lengthy and well done featurette looking at the making of the film. This covers nearly every angle of the production, doing a behind-the-scenes look at a huge number of scenes from Hana & Alice. Aspects such as ballet practice and interviews with the staff and cast are also sprinkled in, making this a very interesting supplement for fans of the film to busy themselves with.

On a tech side note, the featurette includes removable English subtitles and is presented in a 1.33:1 aspect ratio, or full screen.


 Overview:

Bottom line, HVE has done a pretty stellar job with this release. It has no real weaknesses, and has a pretty strong showing across the board. It does sell for a slight premium price, but this is nothing new for Japanese cinema DVDs and the actual contents of the disc are produced with a good level of care here from the company.