Most helpful critical review
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
A response from the distributor
on March 10, 2006
I was so upset about this DVD that I wrote to the distributor, and I've posted their reply here for everyone to read. They claim that they haven't gotten any other negative comments about the DVD (I doubt that) and I wrote them back and informed them about the 92 one-star reviews here on Amazon.com. Please write them and express your dissatisfaction with this DVD! Here is their response (sounds like making a lot of excuses to me):
This is Shelley Praamsma, our company, MagicPlay, has the privilege from Chinese filmmakers to re-release "Raise Red Lantern" on DVD again.
I am so sorry to hear that the video quality of "Raise Red Lantern" is somewhat a disappointment to you and perhaps to others who didn't share their comments with us. I would like to take this opportunity to express our apology as well as to explain and hopefully you will continue to love indi / foreign films and continue to support our efforts in bringing more foreign programs to you.
Yes, you are all very sharp recognized the video quality isn't good. It was a huge frustration for us to bring "Raise Red Lantern" onto DVD with an understanding that we may receive negative reviews toward this program, because the current licensor couldn't provide good quality of the master. However, we, ourselves, are the big fans for Gong Li, Zhang Yimou and have the privilege and the responsibility to make this program possible to consumers.
It is shame that there aren't "Good Quality" masters of "Raise Red Lantern" currently in the procession of Chinese licensors. It is no longer a problem of poor transfer, it simply a problem by worn master. We have gone through all the film prints and Beta kept in Chinese studio, they are all overplayed and have way too many more passes used on the film print than worth of keeping.
Even the VHS version released by Orion (MGM) and various DVD versions ever released in different labels, they all had poor video quality.
By this time when we re-issue "Raise the Red Lantern" again, the Beta master has already been worn. Chinese filmmakers wish to release "Raise Red Lantern" and make it available to consumers outside of Asia. We felt passionate to re-treat the film print and make it possible to consumers.
Sad to say that all the film have been prints kept in Chinese studio are also in poor conditions because of lacking temperature control and had way too may passes. We did the best we could to have film transferred onto beta, then compressed onto DVD. Unfortunately, the video quality can't be improved much.
At this time, we are checking in other country such as Japan or Europe if we could locate another film print or Beta whose video quality is better than what Chinese studio could provide. So that we could transfer the video and re-create a new DVD master.
We will keep you posted with the searching progress and will send you a new DVD we could locate a better master in any possible way. I hope that you will share this with your friends who also like our Foreign Film catalogue and continue your supports to independent films. More importantly, we appreciate very much for your comments whether they are critiques or complements and hopefully your foreign film library will grow along with ours.
Thank you very much for your understanding and supports.
MagicPlay Entertainment Corp. (WA location)
3312 Rosedale St., Bldg # 101, Suite #6, Gig Harbor, WA 98335
Tel: (253) 858 2483 / (253) 310 4751
Cell: (818) 468 3132 Fax: (253) 858 2071
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