DVD version clarification
Blue Lew | Seattle, WA USA | 07/25/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There is no need for me to praise the movie. It's one of the best movies ever made. I am here to clarify some information so that others won't be too confused.
Last year (January 2006) Razor Digital Entertainment released the DVD version of Raise the Red Lantern, with the poorest quality one can imagine: red isn't red (Raise the Jack-o'-Lantern), black isn't black, horrific subtitles, cropped screen, etc. It wasn't a restoration of a great film, but a decomposition.
This year (July 2007) MGM World Films released the DVD, and this time, I can say the problems are fixed. This is a much much better version. (Except the subtitles. I didn't look at them this time so I didn't pay attention to see if there are many mistakes)
Some 1-star reviews posted here in Amazon were referring to the 2006 DVD quality, not the movie. Some reviews said "excellent movie but do not buy the DVD" and that's because they were talking about the 2006 DVD. Now the 2007 DVD is out, you know which version to buy."
Gong Li is the Best Unknown Actress in Movies
ZenPenguin | Los Angeles | 05/21/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If there were any fairness in Hollywood, Gong Li would have won the Academy Award for Best Actress for any one of her many movies. Besides being drop-dead gorgeous, she is an exquisite actress of the first order. The opening scene, a close-up of her face as she resigns herself to her nihilistic future, will convince anyone of this fact. Raise the Red Lantern is a thinking, engrossing movie that dispenses with special effects and overwhelming scores and concentrates on story and acting. Zhang Yimou is famous for delivering biting criticism of the oppressive, delusional aspects of Chinese society. Raise the Red Lantern shows one very strong, independent woman's attempt to overcome thousands of years of historic oppression in early 20th ca China. Women are collectables for rich men, mere objects of possession. The horrific backstabbing and betrayal is among the women themselves as they vie for most-desired-object status. When the human need for dignity and respect surface, the repercussions are catastrophic. The plot has been well documented, although this is one of those movies where the less you know going in the better. Suffice to say the first thing you'll want to do once the movie is over is to watch it again. It is disappointing to see a number of very mediocre movies receiving 4 and 5 stars simply because they shun the standard Hollywood formula, as if mainstream automatically equals bad and independent automatically equals good. The mediocrity of these films becomes apparent when compared to indy films of the highest caliber, such as Raise the Red Lantern. Highly, highly recommended."
Wonderful, beautiful movie - terrible DVD
Naturalbohemian | Oregon City, OR United States | 03/14/2006
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I must admit that I feel very hesitant to write a bad review for anything, it just isn't my style, but this DVD was so outrageously bad, I just can't help myself. This was a beautifully filmed and very captivating movie that I have waited for for years with very high anticipation to come out on DVD. I was so very excited when I preordered it, but alas, the picture quality is terrible, and filled with flaws as is the translation. I don't even know where to begin on how bad the translation on the subtitles are, but some of it is absolutely nonsensical to say the least. First of all the movie is set in the early part of the twentieth century, and it actually uses the word "groovy", and in a way that would make no sense even if you were in the correct era. There are many flaws in the sub-titles that were not in the VHS movie, such as words left out that should be there in order to make sense in English, and they have substituted the word "mister" instead of the original "master", and "savant" instead of the original "servant", overall just a very poor English translation I am sorry to say. I don't understand why they didn't just copy the translation word for word from the VHS tape?
I don't wish to discourage anyone from watching this movie, because I feel it is a must see movie, and in my eyes, a must own movie, but I would discourage anyone from buying this rendition of it on DVD. I truly hope it is made once again in a quality DVD version. I will be waiting!"
The Quality to DVD is Appalling!
T. Alanis | Azusa, CA USA | 08/27/2006
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Raise the Red Lantern is a wonderful movie with a great story. When I had heard that this movie was going to be transfered to DVD format, I was thrilled. And then I bought the DVD, and to my dismay, within the first couple of minutes into the movie, there were white lines and distortion. Since I loved the movie so much, I thought I would make an exception for the first few minutes, but as the movie continued, so did the white lines. I could not believe what I was seeing. The DVD copy of this movie, reminded me of the old movies I use to see years ago, when there were only 7 channels on TV.
And not only is the visual appearance of this movie distorted so is the sound. It's very harsh and nasally.
I am on my way out the door to return this DVD and ask for a refund."