Based on the book by Arthur Golden, "Memoirs Of A Geisha" is the story of Chiyo (Ohgo), a girl who was forced from her family home at a young age to live her life in a geisha house. Because of jealousy and rivalry from the head geisha, Hatsumomo (Li), the lovely young Chiyo became a servant rather than a geisha. But fate stepped in and took her to the forbidden and fragile world she longed for, where she became Sayuri (Zhang), every man's fantasy and the most sought after geisha of all. (Tricia Spears)
Special features are the same as on the DVD reviewed in Issue 107 and include commentary with Rob Marshall and John Dellica and another commentary track with Costume Designer Colleen Atwood, Production Designer John Myhre, and Editor Pietro Scalia; the following 11 featurettes: "Sayuri's Journey: From The Novel To The Screen" (14 minutes), "The Road To Japan" (six minutes), "Geisha Bootcamp" (12 minutes), "Building The Hanamachi" (12 minutes), "The Look Of A Geisha" (16 minutes), "The Music Of 'Memoirs'" (10 minutes), "A Geisha's Dance" (eight minutes), "The World Of The Geisha" (eight minutes), "The Way Of The Sumo" (six minutes), "Director Rob Marshall's Story" (10 minutes), and "A Day With Chef Nobu Matsuhisa" (10 minutes); three of "Chef Nobu's Recipes"; and behind-the-scenes and costume illustrations photo galleries.
The H.264 AVC-encoded 2.40:1 Blu-ray Disc can look very pleasing, especially in brightly lit scenes, but details are often smeared with relatively poor definition. Black levels are amply deep, but shadow delineation can be limited at times, resulting in flat fields of black that should show some dimensionality. The source element is clean, and edge enhancement is not noticeable. (Danny Richelieu)
The Dolby® Digital 5.1-channel soundtrack features an exciting mix that utilizes each of the available channels well, but the front and rear stages rarely mesh into a coherent soundfield. Fidelity is good, but dynamic range is not as impressive as in the best high-definition releases will provide using more advanced audio codecs. (Danny Richelieu)