“Last Emperor” images

DVD Beaver screen captures from the theatrical version of Criterion’s new 4-disc Last Emperor box set, which hit DVD stores yesterday. As usual, an excellent assessment of the visual quality of this and past versions is provided.

12 thoughts on ““Last Emperor” images

  1. Always left me kind of cold. John Lone is not a leading man. Maybe that’s the point. Still, I’ve always felt FATAL ATTRACTION would have been a far more honest choice.

  2. Burma, I have to agree. I worked at a theater that showed EMPEROR for a couple of months and I kept waiting for it to grow on me. But although I thought it was amazingly beautiful and well-produced, the story never really moved me. Interesting and admirable, yes, but not much staying power. I would have voted for BROADCAST NEWS or MOONSTRUCK, both of which were also playing at my theater at that time. EMPEROR is one of those Best Picture winners that has been eclipsed by several of its competitors in the years since it won.

  3. And yet, Vittorio Storaro keeps on swearing on a stack of Bibles that THE LAST EMPEROR was the first film which he shot “protected” for the 2.0:1 aspect ratio…and retroactively decided to crop the 2.35:1 APOCALYPSE NOW under the exact same rationale.
    A film which he shot nearly a decade earlier. Someone needs to give him a five-toe-enema wakeup call on the virtues of modern HD resolution.
    It’s called “Blu-Ray,” Vittorio. Quit your goddamned backpedaling already.

  4. Anybody out ther have any idea when Criterion is going to start putting things on BluRay? They have to be having that discussion internally, right?

  5. RANDY – criterion has been mastering their stuff in HD for a while now, and they were very quick to jump on both the laserdisc and DVD bandwagons. that being said, they have an unprecedentedly wise and loyal clientele for their epic and life-altering DVD line, and my gut tells me that they’ll wait until at least 2009 (the year i anticipate blu-ray to really break through as a popular medium) before making the transition… and even then i’d imagine they’d release a DVD version as well. but all of this is conjecture.

  6. Storaro simply does not believe that 2.40:1 looks good on a TV. Not even a 16:9 set. He is adamant and intractable regarding the 2.0:1 aspect ratio. He will never approve a transfer at 2.40:1.
    It’s not as bothersome for a movie like The Sheltering Sky, which was shot flat in Super-35, so the 2.0:1 crop is just about adding a bit to the top and bottom and splitting the difference between full neg and the theatrical crop. But for some of the others, the spherical anamorphic images do feel slightly off. All we can do though is just accept it.

  7. The longer “TV cut,” available on the Criterion disc, is much better–smoother, more enveloping–than the theatrical version. It’s the one that sold me on the true value of the film when I picked it up in 1992, on Japanese LD (from the Tower Records in San Jose). (It was also on DVD from Artisan but that was a mess.)
    It’s never going to be a warm and fuzzy experience. But I’d give it another try. At 218 minutes it actually seems to go down quicker than the 165-minute Oscar winner.

  8. Always found it cold and uninvolving, too. When I saw it in a theater, a woman escorting five small children watched it for 20 mins. before realizing it was not, in fact, Leonard Part 6. America, don’t you just love it?

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