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Customer Review

42 of 45 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An exceptional glimpse into the world of sushi, August 1, 2012
This review is from: Jiro Dreams of Sushi [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
What was attractive about "Jiro Dreams of Sushi" is that it already has this massively positive reputation. That's one of the more exciting aspects of being a critic; stepping outside of what you know, are familiar with, or expect to enjoy to find great films that weren't even on your radar. The title of the film is pretty straightforward about what to expect from the film. The documentary follows Jiro Ono, an 85-year-old sushi restaurant owner. Jiro's restaurant Sukiyabashi Jiro, is extremely popular, has its fair share of accolades and is extremely well merited, and is known to be one of the best sushi restaurants in Tokyo; sometimes considered the best by a good portion of his customers. You're shown Jiro's undying devotion to his job as he works with his 50-year-old son Yoshikazu, who is expected to take over the restaurant once his father decides to retire.

Even after watching the film for its 82-minute duration, Jiro is still kind of a mystery. He is completely devoted to sushi as he's been working with it since he was nine-years-old and never once had the urge to change occupations. His eldest son is practically primed and ready to take over the business, but Jiro just enjoys working too much to actually stop working. Jiro's legacy and never ending goal to perfect his craft is making it nearly impossible for Yoshikazu to follow in his footsteps. Jiro also has a younger son named Takashi who owns his own restaurant that literally mirrors Jiro's restaurant and has a more relaxed feel.

There seems like there's so much more to tell surrounding Jiro's life as it only very briefly mentions his wife and other than not getting along with his parents, being kicked out of the house at the age of nine, and giving up smoking, we don't get to hear much else about Jiro's past. Did he just perfect his craft all those years before meeting his wife? Jiro's devotion is extraordinary and you'll want to soak up as much information as you can about him and his restaurant.

The film highlights a routine day for Jiro and his constant work cycle. You see how sushi is prepared and the delicate process of how it gets from the market to the customer's plate. You also take several trips to the fish market as Jiro has built a working relationship with masters who specialize in one or two types of fish only (one vendor for tuna, another for shrimp, etc). What makes the entire process so extraordinary is the way it's filmed. The camera work always makes it seem like the sushi is being placed right in front of you. If you admire any type of art, whether it's drawing, painting, sculpting, or whatever, you'll find something special in "Jiro Dreams of Sushi" because sushi is very much an art form.

The relatively short length of the film works for it extremely well as it leaves you wanting more without feeling like you've been sitting around watching a movie for hours on end. "Jiro Dreams of Sushi" has a tendency to create these montages of Jiro and his team working and preparing sushi to the tune of classical music. The use of that music is given even more depth when a food writer compares Jiro's sushi serving methods to a concerto. The entire film just has this incredible flow to it that makes it easy to watch.

Speaking as someone who works with seafood on a daily basis, "Jiro Dreams of Sushi" adds a completely different aspect to the seafood business. Wanting the absolute best for your customers is one thing, but going out of your way to propose ideas to prevent overfishing is both classy and easy to relate to. Seeing this world that you're probably unfamiliar with is enchanting in a way, but also extremely appetizing. If the wardrobe to Narnia led to a restaurant full of world-class sushi, "Jiro Dreams of Sushi" would be the exquisitely shot documentary that filmed your journey.

Special features include Commentary with Director David Gelb and Editor Brandon Driscoll-Luttringer, nearly 21 minutes of Deleted Scenes, a 19 minute Masters featurette that goes into a little more detail with several of the vendors at the fish market that Yoshikazu visits (tuna, shrimp, octopus/halibut, and rice), and a Sushi Gallery.

"Jiro Dreams of Sushi" is now available on 1-disc DVD and Blu-ray from Magnolia Pictures. The Blu-ray specs include Japanese 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, English, English SDH, and Spanish Subtitles, and a 1080P High Definition 16x9 (1.78:1) presentation.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 9, 2012 3:51:19 PM PDT
I just finished watching this. Great review...but why only 4 out of 5 stars? You never explained a rating that wasn't as good as the words you spoke of the flim.
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