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The Woodsman and The Rain (BluRay) 
Written by: on February 5th, 2013

Theatrical Release Date: Japan, 2011
Director: Shuichi Okita
Writers: Shuichi Okita, Fumio Moriya
Cast: Koji Yakusho, Shun Oguri, Kengo Kora, Kanji Furutachi, Asami Usuda

BluRay released: January 28th, 2013
Approximate running time: 129 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive
Rating: 12 (UK)
Sound: DTS-HD 5.1 Japanese
Subtitles: English
BluRay Release: Third Window Films
Region Coding: Region B (UK)
Retail Price: £13.99

Synopsis: A first time filmmaker making a movie about zombies enlists the locales from a remote village near where he is shooting his film.

What starts off as a film within a film quickly transforms into a film about relationships and how they define the person we become. At the heart of this film is story about two characters, who are pitch perfect examples of opposites that are eventually form a bound. These two characters are a first time director named Koichi, who is in his mid-20’s and a sixty year lumberjack named Katsuhiko. A chance encounter brings these two characters together and Katsuhiko reluctantly agrees to work on Koichi zombie epic appropriately titled Utopia.

Content wise, though this is a film about a film that revolves around zombies. This film is never flashy or remotely scary. Also don’t expect to see any gore, since the zombies are almost an afterthought to the main story at hand. The evolution of the two main characters relationship. The events which unfold in this film are best summed up as a cross between melodrama and black humor. And at just over two hours the films does a have a very deliberate pacing that many viewers are sure to find challenging.

This is a film that relies heavily on the performances of its cast and in this instance, especially the performances of its two main characters. Thankfully the performances in this film deliver and then some. With this film most remarkable performance coming from Kôji Yakusho (Cure, Tokyo Sonata) in the role of Katsuhiko. Ultimately The Woodsman and The Rain is a deeply rewarding film about the simple things in life that all of us far too often overlook.

The BluRay:

The Woodsman and The Rain comes on a 50 GB dual layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive anamorphic widescreen. Colors and flesh tones look accurate, black and contrast levels look consistently good throughout. Details look crisp, there are no problems with compression or DNR. In all another very strong transfer from Third Window Films.

This release comes with one audio option, a DTS-HD 5.1 mix Japanese and removable English subtitles have been included with this release. The audio sounds clear and balanced throughout, with the more ambient aspects of the soundtrack being well represented.

Extras for this release include a trailer for the film (1 minute 18 seconds – anamorphic widescreen, in Japanese with English subtitles), deleted scenes (14 minutes 39 seconds – letterboxed widescreen, in Japanese with English subtitles) and interviews the cast and the director (28 minutes 26 seconds – anamorphic widescreen, in Japanese with English subtitles). This interview does a very good job covering all the main areas of this film’s production. Other extras include trailers for Kotoko and Tetsuo.

Overall The Woodsman and The Rain gets a solid release from Third Window Films.

Note: This film is also being released by Third Window Films on DVD.

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