DVD Title
 Pulse
International Title
 Pulse
Movie Length: 119 minutes Original Length: 119 minutes
Company: Magnolia Release: 2006
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic: No
Region: 1Discs: 1
  
Language/Sound: Order
Japanese (2.0 Stereo)
Subtitles:
English, Spanish
Extras
· Menus (English)
· Chapters (15)
· Trailers: Pulse (Magnolia), World's Fastest Indian, One Last Thing..., HDNet, Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, Bubble, The War Within, A League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
· The Making of Pulse (41 minutes)
Captures
Review
Anthony Romero

During the Japanese horror craze, Magnolia picked up the rights to Pulse just as The Weinstein Company was preparing an American remake of the film. Four months before the US remake hit theaters, Magnolia released the original on DVD. If there was a rush to release the movie to DVD or not is unknown, but what is known is that the DVD is lacking, featuring okay audio and extras but being crippled by a poor video transfer.


 Video: Star Rating

Given that the movie was only five years old at this point, it's rather disappointing to see the video quality lack so much on this release. On the positive side, the print used is in decent shape, with no scratches or other signs of damage although there is a lot of grain present. However, the transfer in general is way, way too dark. Even the Toho logo at the start is murky looking. The colors are also pretty faint, lacking anything that could be called vibrant, which all translates to a pretty poor looking video presentation for a movie created after the DVD boom.

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


 Audio:

Pulse features one audio track, which is a 2.0 stereo of the original Japanese audio. This is a no frills presentation, but does the job it was set out to do with no inconsistencies or notable loss of audio quality. Some more options, like a surround track, would have been nice but ultimately what is included is okay.

The audio can be accompanied with, removable, English or Spanish subtitles. The subtitles, while good, are delayed. Its a bit of a jarring experience to watch as the timing is notably off between the two during the entire film.


 Extras:

The disc has a few extras, although the only notable one is a "Making of" feature. This supplement actually starts off with three Japanese trailers for the movie before jumping into the behind the scenes footage. It provides a look at shooting one scene with Ryosuke Kawashima and Harue Karasawa, before giving a small interview with director Kiyoshi Kurosawa. It then shows the filming five other sequences with glimpses of a view other segments as well. Some of these scenes are pretty mundane, and odd choices for behind the scenes material, but does end with Michi Kudo's reaction to the plane crashing down and the rather amusing way they simulate the plane with a toy that they will replace with CGI later. Oddly enough, whenever the director is talking directly to the viewer, the feature splices in scenes from his other movies which aren't always relevant. In the end, the feature seems to be more of a showcase for the director rather than the movie itself. It's not bad, if not a little misdirected, but people who are interested in Kiyoshi's work should find this interesting. The extra is done in Japanese with burned in English subtitles. Its presented in 1.33:1 or full screen.

Beyond the "Making of" feature, the disc also includes a wealth of trailers. The problem is, outside of an English trailer for Pulse, they aren't even remotely relevant and feel more like commercials than added content. In fact, whenever the disc is inserted, one is greeted to three, unskipable trailers which are: World's Fastest Indian, One Last Thing... and HDNet. The last of which is a commercial and not a movie trailer, straight up.


 Overview: Star Rating

Bottom line, this is a decent way to see the movie, but outside of actually having the "Making of" feature it feels like very little care was placed into its creation. There is a lot that could have, and should have been done better.