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Category:    Home > Reviews > Fantasy > Japan > Kitaro (2007/Blu-ray + DVD-Video/BCI Eclipse)

Kitaro (2007/Blu-ray + DVD-Video/BCI Eclipse)


Picture: B/C+     Sound: B/B-     Extras: C-     Film: C+



Some films are so bizarre, you have to see them to believe them and when they even get as bad as Katsuhide Motoki’s Kitaro (2007) is one of those increasingly rare films in these overly digitized, prepackaged, overprocessed blockbusters with no point.  Like Steven Chow’s CJ-7 (reviewed elsewhere on this site) we get “cutesy digital creatures” (making up for the lack of complex, current digital animation) in a story that offers much more of a fantasy world, though don’t expect Pan’s Labyrinth either.


This world has the usual humans and spirits dubbed “yokai” plus also has a combination of both (but no one says half-breed) in a world of battles that will remind you more of Sid & Marty Krofft or Super Inframan (also reviewed on this site) than anything you’d take seriously.  Yet, even if you don’t land up liking it, it is still a hoot.  The human cast is mostly children and this is amusing, but is worth a look if you are interested or have children who you think might like something different.  Though not rated, I would give it a PG-13.


The 1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image on the soft side, with some good color, but the digital work adds to the softness and the anamorphically enhanced DVD is poorer with more Video Black issues than the Blu-ray and has less detail in a way that makes it hard to watch after seeing the Blu-ray version.  Both versions offer DTS 6.1 ES and Dolby Digital 5.1 EX mixes, with the DTS having the edge in both cases, but the dialogue can be an issue in all cases and is only saved by the good use of surrounds.  Extras in both formats include a making of featurette, TV special, TV spots and original theatrical trailer.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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