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  • Battle Royale (Special Edition) [Director's Cut]
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Battle Royale (Special Edition) [Director's Cut]


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Product Details

  • Actors: Beat Takeshi Kitano, Masanobu Ando, Ai Maeda, Chiaki Kuriyama, Kou Shibasaki
  • Directors: Kinji Fukasaku
  • Format: Widescreen, DTS Surround Sound, Surround Sound, Subtitled, NTSC, Import
  • Language: Japanese
  • Subtitles: English, Korean
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Starmax
  • DVD Release Date: May 15, 2007
  • Run Time: 122 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (406 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000A2WDEO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #406,649 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

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Editorial Reviews

Detailed item info In a future where society is on the verge of collapse, the government takes drastic action against the problem of rebellious teenagers in this violent sci-fi opus from Japan. In the year 2002, Japan's economy has taken a dramatic turn for the worse, and massive unemployment and inflation have thrown most adults into a state of chaos; the nation's youth culture responds with unprecedented violence, delinquency, and truancy. Desperate to restore order, the Japanese parliament responds by creating the Millennial Reform School Act, in which groups of junior high students are selected at random, sent to an isolated island, and forced to play a rigorous war game, in which all but one of their number are killed. Kitano (Beat Takeshi) is an embittered school instructor who guides the 44 students of the Zentsuji Middle School's Class B through the deadly game known as "Battle Royale," as they struggle to survive against the elements and each other. BATTLE ROYALE proved to be both successful and highly controversial in Japan, where it set box-office records and prompted political leaders to call for stricter controls on violence in Japanese entertainment; the film was initially rated R-15 (no one under 15 admitted), unusual for violent films in Japan, though director Kinji Fukasaku later prepared a re-edited version that earned a more lenient classification.

Customer Reviews

The movie was just made really well.
Bryan Lim
It is one of the greatest and most influential films of all time with it's gritty story, violent images, and strong character morals in the film.
Jason Acosta
This is one of the best films I have ever seen and ranks high in my favorite films of all time.
Steve67

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

103 of 111 people found the following review helpful By K. Harris HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on January 22, 2012
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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53 of 57 people found the following review helpful By Zack Davisson HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 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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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 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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