Jiro Dreams Of Sushi (2011/Magnolia Blu-ray)/Roy Clarke’s Last Of The Summer Wine 1992 (BBC DVD Set)
B-/C Sound: C+ Extras: B-/C- Main Programs: B-/C-
drink are always concurrent themes in film and TV, whether the works are
dramatic and scripted or documentaries, but some programs get more centered on
them and this occurs in all kinds of ways.
Gelb’s Jiro Dreams Of Sushi (2011)
tells the interesting and sometime amazing story of the now 85-years-old chef
of the title, who owns a small 10-seat restaurant in a corner of the subway in Japan that it
turns out makes some of the best seafood in the world. Michelin shocked the international food
community when it gave this small eatery its rare three-star highest rating and
this surprise hit documentary that is not only about the food, but a character
study of the man, the business, Japan and how the world has changed since Jiro
grew up and became a cook.
the program is spent examining his life outside of cooking than expected, but
we also see how that life brought him to this one and some remarkable
success. He has made great food and art
and even if you do not eat or like this kind of food, the points made here are
undeniable. This only runs 82 minutes
(it should have been longer) and parallels the recent Le Cirque: A Table In Heaven (2009, reviewed elsewhere on this
site) about a very successful restaurateur in New York City in his twilight years that also
considers changes in the world at large.
good too and deserves the good reputation it has, so definitely know the hype
is mostly accurate.
include a feature length audio commentary track by Gelb and Editor Brandon
Driscoll-Luttringer, a Theatrical Trailer, piece on Masters, a Sushi Gallery
and Deleted Scenes; some of which should not have been cut.
tying food and drink to old age, the seemingly endless Roy Clarke’s Last Of The Summer Wine 1992 series from the BBC
series is a comedy whose title is a metaphor for the twilight years of the
characters featured. For me, it has long
become a one-note show and not as good as similar British series, but someone
liked it and this latest set is an exclusive from the BBC Store. If you must see the show, start with its
debut season, but you’ll have nine half-hours here if you get this set.
extra (we’ll count it as such) is the 1992 TV special Stop That Castle.
1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image on Jiro
was shot on at least two different HD sources that are noticeable. We get some nice shots here and there, but we
also get more than our share of shaky camera work and motion blur. Still, that is what one expects from
documentary production like this these days, so that is no surprise. The 1.33 X 1 image on Wine is soft and likely comes from older video masters. The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 Japanese lossless
mix is on Jiro has its audio coming
from the center channel far too often and only music seems to fill the
surrounds. I have not experienced a mix
like this since some of Woody Allen’s films, so it is no surprise that the
lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo on Wine
is its equal despite it age and the simplicity of its mix.
- Nicholas Sheffo