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Battle Royale [Blu-ray] (2012)

Chiaki Kuriyama , Takeshi Kitano , Kinji Fukasaku  |  NR |  Blu-ray
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (384 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Chiaki Kuriyama, Takeshi Kitano
  • Directors: Kinji Fukasaku
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: Japanese, English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: ANCHOR BAY
  • DVD Release Date: March 20, 2012
  • Run Time: 122 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (384 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B006L4MX0Y
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #68,103 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

Director’s Cut of the film with Japanese & English language tracks, plus Japanese & English subtitles!

Editorial Reviews

One Of The Most Controversial Films In History.
Now Available For The First Time Ever In America.

In the near future, the economy has collapsed, unemployment has soared and juvenile crime has exploded. Fearful of their nation's youth, the Japanese government passes The BR Law: Each year, a 9th grade class is sent to a remote island where they will be locked into exploding neck collars, given a random weapon, and forced to hunt and kill each other until there is only one survivor left. Chiaki Kuriyama (KILL BILL) and screen legend Takeshi Kitano (BOILING POINT, BROTHER) star in the movie that has been argued, acclaimed and banned around the world. More than a decade later, it remains one of the most savage, shocking and emotionally powerful films of all time. Now experience the complete Director's Cut of Kinji Fukasaku's uncompromising masterpiece -- nominated for 10 Japanese Academy Awards -- available uncensored and unrated for the first time ever in America.

''My favorite movie of the last 20 years…I wish I had made this movie.'' - Quentin Tarantino

''If you love The Hunger Games, Battle Royale sets the stage. One of the best - and most violent - genre films ever made. It's also a hell of a lot of fun.'' - Entertainment Weekly

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
100 of 107 people found the following review helpful
Format:Blu-ray
With the emergence of "The Hunger Games" phenomenon of the last few years, the inevitable comparisons between that franchise and the cult novel "Battle Royale" by Koushun Takami have been plentiful. Sure, the two do share strong thematic and narrative similarities, but each has a distinctly unique vibe and explores the back story behind the violence in a different way. The film adaptation of "Battle Royale" by director Kenji Fukasaku garnered almost instant international notoriety in 2000 for its disturbingly bleak portrait of kids set upon one another in a violent death match. Despite being banned and reviled by many, the story's visceral and emotional punch was hard to deny. It was nominated for numerous Japanese Academy Awards including Best Film, Best Actor, Best Director and Best Screenplay and won that country's "Popularity Award." The rumor that Hollywood was flirting with an American remake has been circulating for years, but some seem to think that the film adaptation of "The Hunger Games" might have hurt the likelihood of this occurrence. In any event, I never had high hopes that an American interpretation could rival the original.

"Battle Royale" is being released in two incarnations, a film only DVD/ Blu-ray or "The Complete Collection" DVD/Blu-ray.

Film Only: This includes the Director's Cut of the film. First, the story is about a future Japan whose economy is in collapse and whose crime rate is spiraling out-of-control. In an effort to temper this uptick in violence by the juvenile population, the government has sanctioned an annual contest. In the movie, forty-two middle school aged students are dropped off and left to battle one another for survival. They are armed and coerced into fighting, for there can be only one winner left alive.
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52 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars We, who are about to die... September 21, 2005
Format:DVD
"Battle Royale" is a superb film, subtle and sad and over-the-top and loud all at the same time. The story is often compared to "Lord of the Flies," but that is a bit of a misnomer. "Lord of the Flies" was about reverting to primitivism, whereas "Battle Royale" is a futuristic cautionary tale in the tune of "1984" and "Brave New World." The caution at work here is the threat of absolute bureaucracy, and the dangers of the loss of the value of life and respect in a rules-dominated society. This is a threat quite apparent in modern Japan.

The actors in "Battle Royale" all deliver excellent performances, including the amazing talent "Beat" Takeshi Kitano playing the appropriately named "Kitano." The film was not directed by Takeshi however, so it lacks his beautiful visual style. It does however feature one of his riveting paintings. There is a good range of responses from the various actors playing the students, from outright suicide, to panic, to a drive to win to a drive to help. Unfortunately, the character of Kazuo Kiriyama (the machine gun boy) is woefully underdeveloped, and instead of the fierce, cold genius of the book he is a somewhat characterless villain.

While a violent film, I wouldn't characterize "Battle Royale" as an action film per se. Anyone looking for a Hong Kong-style action film should realize that Japan and China are quite different countries with different approach to movies.. "Battle Royale" retains the quietude and patient pacing that is the hallmark of Japanese cinema, and which leaves some viewers bored, who are used to a quicker pacing. The bloodshed, while in great quantity, is also more cartoony in nature, which is also more typical of Japanese films, which does not favor a naturalistic approach.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No mercy February 18, 2012
Format:DVD
Imagine this: a country is run by a totalitarian government, which occasionally selects groups of teenagers to methodically kill each other. On TV. Until only one remains.

"The Hunger Games"? No, actually it's "Battle Royale," a bloody and harrowing movie that came out several years earlier, depicting an alternate Japan where the youth are forced to kill each other. It's one of those movies that is strangely fascinating and filled with social commentary, with brilliant performances from pretty much everyone concerned.

A class of high-schoolers are being transported on a bus, when they are gassed to unconsciousness. When they awake, they have electronic collars around their necks. A former teacher named Kitano explains that they have been chosen for the B.R. ("Battle Royale") Act, wherein teenagers are forced to fight each other to the death until only one is left standing.

If you don't play, try to escape, refuse to kill or stray into a "death zone," the collars explode. Each teenager is given food, water and a random item, and are set loose on a remote island.

It doesn't take long for them to fall prey to suicide, paranoia, bombs and one student's brilliant efforts to hack the system. As the teens slowly weed each other out, Shuya Nanahara and his girlfriend Noriko try to find a way out that doesn't involve death. But if they refuse to kill, then they must escape the fascist nightmare... which no one has done before.

"Battle Royale" (both the novel and the movie) was condemned in Japan for being so violent, and having a bunch of normal high schoolers killing each other off.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Find another movie like it. Kitano-san is the best!
Published 6 days ago by Allen C.
5.0 out of 5 stars Craziness in two words. Battle Royale.
Setting aside the comparison between the Hunger Games and this, this movie is insane. A foreign classic.
Published 10 days ago by justin
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Entertaining and interesting.
Published 18 days ago by corinnemart
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this film, glad to finally have a blu-ray extended version.
Great film! Hunger Games has nothing on Battle Royale :)
Published 22 days ago by Jeffrey D. Lane
5.0 out of 5 stars battle rocks
One of the greatest movies within the last 20years. This movie is fantastic in scope and pure story-telling i own several editions of Battle Royale . Read more
Published 1 month ago by Tracys
3.0 out of 5 stars Forerunner to "Hunger Games"...
This is the movie that many fans accuse "Hunger Games" of ripping off. Many similar plot points between the two films. Battle Royale is Japanese with subtitles. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Lancelot
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Fantasy
In the year 2014, Battle Royale is most commonly known as the movie that The Hunger Games ripped off. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Collin O'Donnell
4.0 out of 5 stars Close but no cigar
This movie is almost as good as its Manga and Novel counterpart but itd one flaw is that it changes some characters personalitys and because of the time restraint the cut out... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Joe Grapeseed
1.0 out of 5 stars Painfully boring
If blood and or gore and teen angst are what you want,then this is it. The story makes no sense.
Published 1 month ago by Nick Mosely
1.0 out of 5 stars Yawn.. boring...Japanese version of just kids killing kids like the...
Although I would have to say BATTLE ROYALE is better than Hunter Games because there isn't so much Hollywood dialogue and the typical romance plot to stretch the scenes out. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Happy r/c
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On the sleeve art...
Thanks for the shout-out! It's indeed a Photoshop Disaster (that site even covered it!). I'm guessing the designer and his bosses figured the printed sleeves would be dark enough to obscure the magic floating shotgun (or the shotgun-balancing penis, take your pick LOL), but when they got the... Read More
Mar 31, 2012 by Brian T |  See all 6 posts
Hollywood never stops with the racist cropping, does it?
As a huge fan of Asian cinema, I have to admit I've seen this more times than I care to admit.

As a graphic designer however, I can say with certainty that this design technique is common in advertising/marketing, and has been used on movie posters and sleeves depicting white people (especially... Read More
Feb 9, 2012 by Brian T |  See all 3 posts
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