DVD Title
Under the Flag of the Rising Sun
International Title
Under the Flag of the Rising Sun
DVD Length Original Length
96 Minutes 96 Minutes
Company Year of Manufacture
HVE 2005
Language Subtitles
Japanese English
Region Number of Discs
1 1
Aspect Ratio Sound
2.35:1 (Anamorphic) 2.0 Mono
Extras
.
Menus (English)
.
Chapters (20)
.
Trailers: Under the Flag of the Rising Sun
.
Interview with Sadao Yamane (23 minutes total)
.
Commentary with subtitler Linda Hoaglund (English)
Captures
Review

HVE is known for their attention to both video and audio quality, and their release of Kinji Fukasaku's Under the Flag of the Rising Sun doesn't disappoint in either of these areas. In fact, HVE has done a excellent job of restoring Fukasaku's movie, matching both the video and audio to how they were likely originally presented. The company has also stocked the release with a nice supply of extras, and the fact that they went out of their way to produce two of them on their own accord is also very appreciated.


 Video: Star Rating

HVE does it again with another great video presentation, especially given the 33 year age of the film. Granted, it's not a flawless transfer, but the disc deserves high marks none the same. Unfortunately, the colors are one of the less impressive aspects, as they lack a vibrant array or any true definition. It would appear that this is on account of the source material likely being a little washed out, but it still looks reasonably good, and nearly half of the film is showcased in black and white anyway. In terms of the brightness level, it appears to be set at the appropriate level. Some of the flashbacks are a little hard to make out, but all of the color scenes are readily visible. Other aspects of the video quality also fair well, without any noticeable digital inconsistencies and the film looking naturally sharp; furthermore, the print used in the transfer is in excellent shape as well, with no noticeable grain and very few scratches. There does appear to be an odd texture, like a slight patchwork pattern, to the movie; however, this is very faint, and far less distracting then the average amount of grain present on films this old.

Under the Flag of the Rising Sun is presented in its original aspect ratio of 2.35:1, and is Anamorphic for widescreen TVs.


 Audio:

The audio presentation here, which is two channel mono, is a faithful recreation of the audio track that was originally released with the film. In terms of quality, there are a few moments where the musical track reaches high pitches that cause it to sound harsh, but it's nothing too noticeable. The dialogue comes through crystal clear, which is what's important, although some remixed stereo or surround tracks would have made for some nice additions.

The audio track here is accompanied by, removable, English subtitles.


 Extras: Star Rating

HVE packs their Under the Flag of the Rising Sun release with a good selection of extras for those interested in exploring the production further. First off on the disc is the film's original theatrical trailer, in excellent shape I might add, with English subtitles that are toggleable. Next up is an interview with Fukasaku scholar Yamane Sadao that is in Japanese with toggleable English subtitles. Sadao's interview covers numerous aspects of the film, including changes from the novel and the filming style of the movie, while production stills are cycled through. Finally, the last extra is an audio commentary by subtitler Linda Hoaglund. Overall, the commentary is very informative, both with what's going on in the film and with background information on the war, but, sadly, has far too many gaps of silence during the runtime.


 Overview: Star Rating

Bottom line, this disc has some small problems with it, but is, overall, a great presentation of the 1972 movie. HVE's efforts to include some added content, although not in tremendous quantity, is appreciated as well, especially given how hard it can be to produce extras for movies of this age.

- Anthony Romero  
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