Pulse

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released from Arrow and the films on them.

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Ribs
Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2014 1:14 pm

Pulse

#1 Post by Ribs » Fri Sep 09, 2016 10:12 am

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Award-winning filmmaker Kiyoshi Kurosawa delivered one of the finest entries in the "J-Horror" cycle of films with this moody and spiritually terrifying film that delivers existential dread along with its frights. Setting his story in the burgeoning internet and social media scene in Japan, Kurosawa's dark and apocalyptic film foretells how technology will only serve to isolate us as it grows more important to our lives.

A group of young people in Tokyo begin to experience strange phenomena involving missing co-workers and friends, technological breakdown, and a mysterious website which asks the compelling question, "Do you want to meet a ghost?" After the unexpected suicides of several friends, three strangers set out to explore a city which is growing more empty by the day, and to solve the mystery of what lies within a forbidden room in an abandoned construction site, mysteriously sealed shut with red packing tape.

Featuring haunting cinematography by Junichiro Hayashi (Ring, Dark Water), a dark and unsettling tone which lingers long after the movie is over, and an ahead-of-its-time story which anticipates 21st century disconnection and social media malaise, Pulse is one of the greatest and most terrifying achievements in modern Japanese horror, and a dark mirror for our contemporary digital world.

SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS:

High Definition digital transfer
High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations
Original 5.1 audio (DTS-HD on the Blu-ray)
New optional English subtitle translation
New interview with writer/director Kiyoshi Kurosawa
New interview with cinematographer Junichiro Hayashi
The Horror of Isolation: a new video appreciation featuring Adam Wingard & Simon Barrett (Blair Witch, You re Next)
Archive Making of documentary, plus four archive behind-the-scenes featurettes
Premiere footage from the Cannes Film Festival
Cast and crew introductions from opening day screenings in Tokyo
Trailers and TV Spots
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Tommy Pocket
FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector s booklet featuring new writing on the film by critic Chuck Stephens

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domino harvey
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Re: Pulse

#2 Post by domino harvey » Fri Sep 09, 2016 10:28 am

No Kristen Bell version, no sale

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rapta
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Re: Pulse

#3 Post by rapta » Fri Sep 09, 2016 2:17 pm

More J-horror, and yet another one I now need to buy (already planning to get Dark Water soon). Oh yeah, and I have two Kiyoshi Kurosawa films in my sights from MoC as well. He must be having a good year!

Still waiting patiently for my favourite J-horror though (Ju-on: The Grudge).

PS: now wondering if Eureka or Arrow managed to get Daguerrotype...

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colinr0380
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Re: Pulse

#4 Post by colinr0380 » Sat Sep 10, 2016 5:29 am

domino harvey wrote:No Kristen Bell version, no sale
I'd argue that the 2006 Pulse remake is one of the most interesting of the recent Japanese horror remakes. Even if it misses (or inverts) the point of the original entirely, it does so in a way that feels telling of different cultural approaches towards existential horror! (I also think that the way that the remake follows the recent budgetary trend of filming in Central Europe with only Americans in the main cast and trying to pass everything off as being located in America adds its own weird sense of dislocation. It might be unintentional but it kind of works anyway! Plus the remake is strangely even more depressing than the original!)

While the original is still the better film overall, the remake did help me to appreciate the original's strengths a lot more! Particularly the way that Kurosawa is filming almost all the scenes with other characters or key objects just slightly out of frame, then doing an insistent slight pan over to catch their presence. That framing approach adds a lot to the creepiness factor - it happens in a lot of the pure dialogue scenes too, and then when you get the big horror moments of the water tower suicide or the airplane, that camera move feels like a continuance of a filming approach that has been taken throughout the course of the film. In comparison the remake blocks and films its characters a lot more classically, which makes the moments when it literally copies the camera tilt of the water tower scene (because part of the shock is the camera tilting from top to the ground all in one move) stand out all the more.

(Now if Arrow ever release the 1988 Pulse, I'd be ecstatic! I wrote about that one a bit during the horror project and its the kind of film that anyone who might be disappointed that there is no actual, literal killer electricity in the Kurosawa film should watch!)
Last edited by colinr0380 on Sun Sep 11, 2016 6:52 am, edited 3 times in total.

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colinr0380
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Re: Pulse

#5 Post by colinr0380 » Sat Sep 10, 2016 5:38 am

rapta wrote:Still waiting patiently for my favourite J-horror though (Ju-on: The Grudge).
On that note I see that there is going to be a long haired supernatural girl face-off soon in Sadako vs Kayako (or The Ring vs The Grudge!), so if whoever has the home video rights have the possibility of doing so it would make sense to re-release the Ju-on and Ring films around that the time that film comes out. I'm definitely looking forward to the film but it does sound like the equivalent of Alien vs Predator (or perhaps more appropriately a female horror icon duel to match Freddy vs Jason. Or even more appropriately the Godzilla vs.... brawls!), in which neither side can really have their iconic antihero lose!

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Cronenfly
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Re: Pulse

#6 Post by Cronenfly » Sun Oct 23, 2016 1:30 am

Delayed until February 27 of next year, according to Arrow's site and Amazon UK (I assume this goes for the US release as well).

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repeat
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Re: Pulse

#7 Post by repeat » Wed Jan 11, 2017 7:13 am

Pushed back again :( But I trust it'll be worth the waiting!
orders@arrowfilms.co.uk wrote:We’re writing to inform everyone that due to unforeseen circumstances, we’re unable to meet the projected release date of Feb 27th 2017. Our revised release date will now be July 10th 2017.

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domino harvey
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Re: Pulse

#8 Post by domino harvey » Wed Jan 11, 2017 12:23 pm

Wonder if criticisms of Dark Water led to them going out of their way to make sure this master doesn't look like that?

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What A Disgrace
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Re: Pulse

#9 Post by What A Disgrace » Wed Jan 11, 2017 1:28 pm

domino harvey wrote:Wonder if criticisms of Dark Water led to them going out of their way to make sure this master doesn't look like that?
One can only hope this also leads to a better master of Dark Water, too.

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colinr0380
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Re: Pulse

#10 Post by colinr0380 » Wed Jan 11, 2017 1:34 pm

I'm willing to bet that the 'unforeseen circumstances' involved all the people watching the film melting away into despairing piles of ash that then get blown away in a cloud by mysterious, invisible winds.

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tenia
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Re: Pulse

#11 Post by tenia » Wed Jan 11, 2017 4:54 pm

domino harvey wrote:Wonder if criticisms of Dark Water led to them going out of their way to make sure this master doesn't look like that?
In the case of Arrow, I think that most (if not all) of their serious delays were to get access to better materials. With the Dark Water backlash AND the Female Scorpion one before that, it seems indeed to point towards this scenario.

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Jean-Luc Garbo
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Re: Pulse

#12 Post by Jean-Luc Garbo » Wed Jan 11, 2017 10:41 pm

Maybe Kurosawa had to re-schedule his interview?

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Banasa
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Re: Pulse

#13 Post by Banasa » Fri Apr 21, 2017 1:25 pm

Current Release date updated to 10th July 2017


No notice or change for any content on the disc, so I can assume that the delay had nothing to do with the reaction to Dark Water. I think Arrow Video fans are going to realize soon that their Japanese releases outside the Arrow Academy line and occasional title like Audition or Katakuris are not going to be remastered like Zombi or The 'Burbs.

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Morbii
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Re: Pulse

#14 Post by Morbii » Fri Apr 21, 2017 1:43 pm

I was pleasantly surprised to see this on amazon recently and pre-ordered, it being my absolute favorite J-horror and all.

Arrow kicks some serious ass.

Maybe surprised is the wrong term as Arrow is now one of my favorite labels. Sort of reminds me of the good ole days of Anchor Bay.

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Banasa
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Re: Pulse

#15 Post by Banasa » Tue Jul 11, 2017 11:53 pm


Werewolf by Night

Re: Pulse

#16 Post by Werewolf by Night » Thu Jul 13, 2017 6:05 pm

Has anyone in the US received this? I've had it on pre-order at Amazon for months and they're showing it as "usually ships within 1 to 2 months" and my order says "Arriving Jul 26 - Aug 23." Low stock? Delayed release? What's up?

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swo17
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Re: Pulse

#17 Post by swo17 » Thu Jul 13, 2017 6:11 pm

My Bird with the Crystal Plumage preorder behaved similarly. I think it eventually shipped out about a week after the scheduled release.

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Big Ben
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Re: Pulse

#18 Post by Big Ben » Thu Jul 13, 2017 7:07 pm

I can confirm what swo is saying as my order of Bird with the Crystal Plumage was delayed for whatever reason as well. It gave me almost a month plus estimate and one day it simply shipped.

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Morbii
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Re: Pulse

#19 Post by Morbii » Thu Jul 13, 2017 9:28 pm

I'll give a second confirmation. Got the pulse email and my crystal plumage blu had the same issue.

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colinr0380
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Re: Pulse

#20 Post by colinr0380 » Sun Jul 16, 2017 12:56 pm

Mondo Digital - I like the comment about the 'trapped in amber' effect to crystallising a particular moment of the internet at the turn of the millennium (especially those almost instructional scenes on how to connect to the internet and access websites that also turns up in something like Perfect Blue). How long until the dial-up modem sounds over the opening logos (shifting seamlessly into the crashing waves of the sea) have to be explained to younger viewers who've only known broadband?
Last edited by colinr0380 on Mon Aug 07, 2017 4:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Finch
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Re: Pulse

#21 Post by Finch » Sun Jul 16, 2017 4:10 pm

It's a pity this wasn't restored either by the rightsholder or Arrow themselves. Chances of Cure being released on anything other than a dated master are practically non-existent. Shame really because both Pulse and Cure are deserving of a restoration.

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colinr0380
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Re: Pulse

#22 Post by colinr0380 » Mon Aug 07, 2017 4:38 am

It still looks pretty impressive on this Blu-ray though. The image is murky and fuzzy without having compression artefacts, or at least any that I could make out, and the few moments of vivid colour stand out very well. (Plus I've always loved the obviously fake back-projection bus rides to the first friend's apartment! It reminded me that a couple of the Pulse remake's sequels played around with this aspect a little by setting some of the action on obvious digital sets (around the same time as and a little bit like Alex Cox's Repo Chick film), but the problem with that was that it showed the fine line between 'obviously fake with a point to make' and 'just fake and poor looking CGI with the actors 'fuzzy felted' on top of a backdrop'! I'm willing to give Pulse 2 and 3 the benefit of the doubt on that, but I'd completely understand if a more casual viewer did not feel the same way, and not be as charitable to the final result!)

I still think that, perhaps more than ideas of suicidal depression or the spoooooky internet, that this film has some interesting things to say about fears of immigration, assimilation and displacement. Of having your world 'invaded' by some action or event (maybe even just a thought) that colours your perception and makes you look at events through different eyes. Not exactly opening someone's eyes, but more lifting the veil of perception such that things cannot go back to the innocent way they were before. I think I talked about the way that it seems that Kiyoshi Kurosawa's films often seem as if they feature characters who have had their place in life 'usurped' from them in some way, and in Pulse its as if the characters have had their will to live deadened through their encounters with the ghosts (though thankfully its not as literal as having their actual joie de vivre soul sucked out, as happens in the remake!) and are left purposeless after their face to face encounters, trapped in a limbo state of being neither alive and present in the world as anything more than a shadow on a wall (or a picture online), yet not entirely dead and absent either. Because everyone has left traces.

In some ways I'd bracket Pulse in less with contemporary Japanese horror films Ring and The Grudge (though in an early moment it does seem to allude to those films with the television set going haywire!), than with something like Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Similarly to the Body Snatchers films, it is always fun to try and pinpoint the particular moment at which the world shifts from being mostly normal with some unnerving elements, to being entirely populated by 'the other'. In Pulse the pivot point probably occurs around the scenes in the library where we start getting an 'explanation' for the ghosts, which then starts getting followed up by the world being depopulated faster and faster. When even your older boss doesn't bother to show up to work, or there's nobody in the store to ring up your shopping, that's when you know something seriously, potentially irreversibly, wrong has happened!

I love the idea of ever growing 'ghetto' areas having to be ceded and sealed off to the new ghostly inhabitants, because to interact with them would be to get 'infected' by the 'disease of futility' that limbo represents. That you can be oblivious (or at least accommodating!) for a while to the change and the disappearances, especially in a big city like Tokyo. But that there comes a tipping point, submit or flee (slightly different from fight or flight!) moment of being unable to ignore the magnitude of the situation any more.

I mentioned it in an earlier post but this is something that can get validly read on lots of levels, personally, supernaturally and politically. The ship bookends feel both bleak (because of having been forced out of the country to become nomadic in the face of the land becoming, at least psychologically, toxic), but also suggests that it might only be so in the short term until some way of co-existing (assimilating and/or converting) can be found. Would that mean the end of a particular kind of human existence though or is that continual apocalyptic crisis situation just another facet of life? (In some ways that ambivalent ending feels like it also bears comparison to Greg Bear's Blood Music).
Last edited by colinr0380 on Mon Aug 21, 2017 3:55 am, edited 3 times in total.

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MichaelB
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Re: Pulse

#23 Post by MichaelB » Mon Aug 07, 2017 5:32 am

Since so much of the murkiness is clearly deliberate, I'm not sure what benefit a full restoration would achieve with this particular film. Normally you want an image that's clear as possible, but in the case of Pulse I'm really not convinced that it would be an improvement.

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tenia
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Re: Pulse

#24 Post by tenia » Mon Aug 07, 2017 6:30 am

Except if it was shot on a material that wouldn't allow a benefit in HD, I don't recall any photography having prevented a new restoration to yield a better PQ than such an old one (providing, of course, it's competently performed for some good material).
I mean, that's the kind of things that was always said about movies like Texas Chainsaw Massacre ("ooh, it's always been murky, no way a 4K restoration will help"), and look how the new 4K restoration turned out.
Or Mulholland Dr. "it was shot for TV, it will always be soft".

IMDB states that Pulse was shot on 35mm. If this is correct, a new 2K restoration from the OCN would at least be better than an old HD restoration from god-knows-what that definitely shows its age. At least, you'd get rid of the overall coarseness it has.

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MichaelB
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Re: Pulse

#25 Post by MichaelB » Mon Aug 07, 2017 6:49 am

I see you ignored my use of the phrase "this particular film" in favour of boilerplate talking points about restoration in general.

So I'll repeat the phrase in bold: this particular film.

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