Kwaidan is an intriguing film consisting of four parables focused on the supernatural and based on the writings of Lafcadio Hearn, a Greek-Irish folklorist. The Black Hair is a tale of a samurai who discovers what true love means through his thoughtlessness. The Woman Of The Snow is an icy tale of betrayal. Hoichi, The Earless is the most grisly chapter in which a blind balladeer angers the spirits of an ancient sea battle. The final tale, In A Cup Of Tea tells of a warrior who battles the likeness of a reflection in his cup of tea. Kwaidan was released in the United States with the second episode deleted, but this colorful widescreen edition brings the film to you in its entirety. (Suzanne Hodges)
When compared to the LaserDisc reviewed in Issue 23, the anamorphically enhanced 2.35:1 DVD picture exhibits greater depth and definition, as well as sharper images. Viewed alone, images can be generally wanting in sharpness and fine detail. Like the LaserDisc, colors on the DVD can be very vibrant, but with generally weak blacks. Visual information tends to get lost in the darker scenes. Edge enhancement and source element artifacts are apparent throughout. Pixelization is occasional. While the DVD is undoubtedly preferred to the LaserDisc, viewed alone, it is generally mediocre. (Suzanne Hodges)
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