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Takashi Miike's Dead or Alive Trilogy (2004)

Shô Aikawa , Riki Takeuchi , Takashi Miike  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Shô Aikawa, Riki Takeuchi, Renji Ishibashi, Hitoshi Ozawa, Shingo Tsurumi
  • Directors: Takashi Miike
  • Writers: Hitoshi Ishikawa, Ichiro Ryu, Masa Nakamura, Yoshinobu Kamo
  • Producers: Katsumi Ono, Ken Takeuchi, Makoto Okada
  • Format: Box set, Color, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Kino Video
  • DVD Release Date: November 25, 2003
  • Run Time: 290 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000E6FNU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #318,838 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Takashi Miike's Dead or Alive Trilogy" on IMDb

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Top quality Miike June 22, 2006
Takashi Miike's rapidly expanding oeuvre includes something from nearly every genre (including a family picture and a musical?!). The Dead or Alive trilogy find him with his familiar Yakuza genre, but these films aren't your typical Japanese gangster flicks. Miike's style are all over these films. The opening montage in DOA1 is some of his finest work - eight minutes of rapid fire violence, drugs, car chases, assassinations, and death. Sergi Eisenstein would be proud. The ending is also particularly amazing. How to end a 100% insane yakuza ultra-violent movie? Miike finds the perfect way.

The films are a trilogy in name only. All three stories are completely different, but use the same leading actors. I haven't seen many of their other films, but it's my understanding (from reading Tom Mes's great book on Miike), that these are two of Japan's biggest action stars, working together for the first time. In DOA1, they're enemies. In DOA2, they're best friends. In DOA3, one of them is an android. All three stories are unique and all have interesting qualities. I would agree with the other reviewers that the third is the weakest, but I wouldn't go so far as to say it's lacking in quality. It's reminiscent of Miike's City of Lost Souls.

While the films are available separately, the three disc collection is definitely the way to go. They're all very good films and the first two are definitely among Miike's best work. Be sure you don't accidentally purchase the "R" rated versions. You want the unrated version with all of Miike's balletic, Peckinpahnian violence intact.

These films are known as action movies, but they all have fairly slow middle sections where the characters have time to develop and evolve. Whatever else he does, Miike always tells a good story.
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11 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One Third Of An Excellent Trilogy February 3, 2006
I was on a real Miike kick when I bought this, and I seriously doubt that anyone could have convinced me to do what I'm about to suggest to you. Don't buy this trilogy, only the first movie is really worthwhile. Two and Final don't compare with the excellence of the first Dead Or Alive (which rates 5 stars). Have you ever seen a sequel, by a director you respect and found that ol' magic just ain't there any more? You sat there, watching helplessly as they tried (and you could tell by watching that they were trying really HARD) unsuccesfully to catch lightning in a bottle one more time. Depressing, yes? Save yourself the pain of watching this happen twice. Better to spend your money on Visitor Q or Fudoh The New Generation. Still, if you've gotta see all three...
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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great collection April 17, 2005
By Omkar
A great collection.. must have for any Miike's fan.. the only complaint is the second DVD of the trilogy, Birds, has some heavily censored scenes.

As for the movies themselves, Riki Takeuchi and Sho Aikawa carry themselves extremely well.. the trilogy presents the conflict between these two characters over a wide range of social, political and futuristic scenarios.. its hard to choose my favorite among the three, all three are awesome have their own rewarding experiences, but I'd narrowly pick the second one, its got a very unique flavor to it.. never expected Miike to be such a sucker for "childhood nostalgia".. somewhat reminscent of Kitano's Kikujiro.

Anyway, I would highly recommend viewers unfamiliar with the Yakuza-related genre of Japanese action-cult flicks to first sample this trilogy before venturing into many other works of Miike (Ichi, Gozu, audition).
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