Family 1&2 DVD Review
PictureNow I know that many of the image qualities are intentional but that doesn't change the fact that it still looks for the most part, terrible. Dark scenes display horrendous digital artefacts in the form of blocking. The image contains more grain than a wheat field and detail is lost almost completely due to the bleaching effect of many scenes. It really does look like a very bad VHS copy and is definitely not one to show off your quality display. Black levels are painfully low and as mentioned, when there is a large area of blacks or shadows, they are filled with digital blocking not helped by the relatively low bitrate level of just 4.8Mbps
Artistic the image may well be, technically proficient it most certainly is not!
SoundJust a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack here and it sounds awful! Voices carry a terrible sibilance to them and every 's' spoken comes over as a 'shhhh' instead. Not that you really need to hear the voices as there is only a Japanese language audio track, but this does become very irritating to listen to. The dynamic range of the sound is woefully low and all aspects suffer because of it. None more so than the bass frequencies which carry no weight at all. Explosions sound more like a whoopee cushion than dynamite in fact, although it is in stereo, many times I felt like I was listening to a mono soundtrack especially during scenes containing only speech. Had it not been for the occasionally panning shots across the front and the metal music, you'd struggle to determine this is a stereo soundtrack at all. Also, some sites have listed this issue as having a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack but this is definitely not the case. It only has a Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo soundtrack
ExtrasBoth discs contain trailers for movies including Goth, Autopsy: A Love Story, Vampire Sisters, Biohazardous, MPD-Psycho, Lucky, Invitation, The Maki Collection and Hollywood Vampyr. Nope, I'd never heard of any of them either! The only problem is both discs contain exactly the same trailers so that's all the extras you get, repeated.
VerdictFamily 1&2 are not what I would call entertaining. Actually, I wouldn't even call them very good. Visually disturbing and technically flawed, these movies rely on shock tactics to impress and their depiction of violence on women is sickening. Family is only for those who already know and like Takashi Miike's work, for everyone else, stay well clear.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £19.99
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