Magnolia Home Entertainment have a treat for sushi fans this week with the Blu-ray release of the documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi on July 24th 2012.
The film follows Jiro Ono, an 85 year old sushi master and owner of Sukiyabashi Jiro in Tokyo Japan.
The movie is a celebration of Sushi, and the lengths taken to make the perfect sushi.
The movie was an official selection of the Tribeca Film Festival in 2011.
Jiro Dreams of Sushi the Movie
Sukiyabashi Jiro is an unassuming 10 seat sushi restaurant in the basement of the Tsukamoto Sogyo Building in Ginza.
It is also a Michelin Guide 3-star restaurant – the first to be awarded three Michelin stars.
For roughly $350, you can sit at the Sushi bar and be served what is considered by many to be the best Sushi in the world.
Every meal is chef’s choice, served at Jiro Ono’s discretion, resulting in the best possible Sushi experience on the given day.
At the time of filming, Jiro was 85 years old, and shows no sign of slowing down.
Jiro has been recognised by the Japanese government as a living national treasure for his contributions to Japanese cuisine.
The restaurant achieves its super high standards buy using only the best possible ingredients, combined with the skill and techniques Jiro learned and developed over the years.
The fish for the restaurant are from the best sources, purchased from the masters of their trade at the Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo.
Even the rice for the sushi sees high scrutiny from Jiro and is cooked using his specialized techniques to get the exact flavour and texture.
The film is a window into the incredible effort that the restaurant team puts in to create the best Sushi on the planet.
Jiro Dreams of Sushi is more than a look at the restaurant though – here you get an in depth look into Jiro’s personal philosophy, and the family dynamics.
Jiro describes how he continues to strive for perfection, a goal that he feels he will never reach.
His entire life revolves around the sushi as he constantly comes up with new and better recipe ideas, to the extent of even invading his dreams as sleeps.
Jiro’s elder son Yoshikazu still works with his father and will be expected to inherit his legacy.
Can Yoshi possibly live up to the expectations?
The film also visits with Jiro’s younger son Takashi, who runs a mirror-image version of the restaurant, and is said to have a more relaxed atmosphere.
The movie also features interviews with a major Japanese food critic, one of Jiro’s former apprentices, and the various masters at the fish market.
There are many interesting themes that run through the movie, including the strong work ethic that Jiro demonstrates.
All in all it is a great little documentary film, with a fascinating focus and an insightful view into high end sushi in Japan.
Jiro Dreams of Sushi was produced and directed by David Gelb.
The film received almost entirely positive reviews, with a Rotten Tomatoes score of 98% and an IMDb score of 7.7/10.
Jiro Dreams of Sushi had a fairly strong limited release in the cinema, earning $2.5M at the US box office.
Jiro Dreams of Sushi on Blu-ray Disc
The video on the disc is an AVC 1080p encode at 19 Mbps, and is presented at 1.78:1 aspect ratio, filling the HDTV screen.
The film was shot on a variety of equipment, including a Canon DSLR and the Red digital cinema camera.
In general the image quality is pretty good, though being documentary it works with available light and real life environments.
This affected the focus and noise level sometimes, though in general the images are bright and crisp.
Check out the details page for Jiro Dreams of Sushi to see full resolution PNG screen captures taken directly from the disc.
The main audio is lossless DTS-HD Master Audio with 5.1 channels – 16 bits resolution at 48 kHz.
The disc is a single layer BD25, with 22.5 GB used and is coded for Region A.
Jiro Dreams of Sushi on Blu-ray Disc – The Bonus Features
The main insight into the development and creation of the movie is the audio commentary with director David Gelb and editor Brandon Driscoll-Luttringer.
The inspiration for the movie and the way the film developed is presented here, though they also give scene specific commentary at times.
The remainder of the supplements are pretty much all additional footage.
The deleted scenes run around 20 minutes and are pretty interesting for the most part.
They are mainly interviews that didn’t make the final cut.
The Masters supplement is more of an extended version of the interviews with the experts that sell their products to Jiro.
These vendors include the Tuna, Shrimp, Octopus, Halibut, and even the rice vendor.
In fact it is pretty amazing just how much these guys have to say about rice.
The Sushi Gallery runs just a couple of minutes and is a montage of all of the sushi that appear in the movie, including a couple that maybe didn’t make the cut.
The theatrical trailer is also included here.
Jiro Dreams of Sushi on Blu-ray – Final Thoughts
Jiro Dreams of Sushi is an excellent documentary film that presents an interesting topic along with strong, positive themes.
The Blu-ray release from Magnolia Home Entertainment is technically strong, with supplements including an insightful director commentary.
The retail price is $29.98, or order it right now at Amazon for $20.86, saving 30%!
- Commentary With Director David Gelb And Editor Brandon Driscoll-Luttringer
- Deleted Scenes
- Sushi Gallery
- Theatrical Trailer
Jiro Dreams Of Sushi is the story of 85 year-old Jiro Ono, considered by many to be the world’s greatest sushi chef. He is the proprietor of Sukiyabashi Jiro, a 10-seat, sushi-only restaurant inauspiciously located in a Tokyo subway station. Despite its humble appearances, it is the first restaurant of its kind to be awarded a prestigious 3 star Michelin review, and sushi lovers from around the globe make repeated pilgrimage, calling months in advance and shelling out top dollar for a coveted seat at Jiro’s sushi bar. Jiro Dreams Of Sushi is a thoughtful and elegant meditation on work, family, and the art of perfection, chronicling Jiro’s life as both an unparalleled success in the culinary world, and a loving yet complicated father.