Battle Royale: Colect Bdrpk V2 [Blu-ray]
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One Of The Most Controversial Film Series Of All Time
Now Available For The First Time In America
In 2000, director Kinji Fukasaku unleashed BATTLE ROYALE, his violently poetic epic about an innocent group of Junior High students forced by the government to hunt and kill their classmates for sport. It was nominated for 10 Japanese Academy Awards, launched a global phenomenon, and banned from screens by frightened civic groups and distributors across America. Three years later, the equally disturbing sequel -- featuring a new class, new rules, and a brutal terrorist plot by the first film's young survivors -- triggered its own tragic firestorm around the world. Now for the first time ever, you can see it all: Experience the entire BATTLE ROYALE saga on 4 discs -- including more than 3 hours of definitive Special Features -- that forever blasts open one of the most potent, shocking and savagely influential sagas in motion picture history.
''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
With the Japanese currently leading the way in thought-provoking cinematic violence, it's only fitting that Kinji Fukasaku's Battle Royale is being touted as a Clockwork Orange for the 21st century. Based on the novel by Koshun Takami, the film opens with a series of fleeting images of unruly Japanese schoolchildren, whose bad behavior provides a justification for the "punishments" that will ensue. Once the prequel has been dispensed with, the classmates are drugged and awaken on an island where they find they have been fitted with dog collars that monitor their every move. Instructed by their old teacher ("Beat" Takeshi) with the aid of an upbeat MTV-style video, they are told of their fate: after an impartial lottery they have been chosen to fight each other in a three-day, no-rules contest, the "Battle Royale." Their only chance of survival is through the death of all their classmates. Some pupils embrace their mission with zeal, while others simply give up or try to become peacemakers and revolutionaries. However, the ultimate drive for survival comes from the desire to protect the one you love. Battle Royale works on many different levels, highlighting the authorities' desperation to enforce law and order and the alienation caused by the generation gap. Whether you consider the film an important social commentary or simply watch it for the adrenaline-fueled violence, this is set to become cult viewing for the computer game generation and beyond. --Nikki Disney
TV Spot: Tarantino Version
Basketball Scene Rehearsals
Tokyo International Film Festival 2000
Special Edition TV Spot
Original Theatrical Trailer
Battle Royale Documentary
Special Effects Comparison Featurette
Audition & Rehearsal Footage
Instructional Video: Birthday Version
Battle Royale Press Conference
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Top Customer Reviews
I suppose we have The Hunger Games to thank for that, bringing new interest to this film, as well the distance from the 2003 death of director Fukasaku Kinji. Fukasaku, a pacifist and anti-violence activist, is best known in Japan for his series Battles Without Honor & Humanity. He opposed an American release of "Battle Royale" fearing that Americans would not see the deeper message and only be excited by the violence, which was the opposite intention of his film.
Based off of the 1999 novel of the same name by Takami Koshun, Fukasaku also added his personal experience during WWII to "Battle Royale." As a child working in a munitions factory, when the Americans dropped bombs on the factory Fukasaku and the rest of the children would fling themselves into a dogpile. Afterwards the protected ones on the bottom would dig themselves out from the burned corpses on top. This experience taught Fukasaku something about the will to survive even at the cost of the deaths of friends, and lead to his hatred and distrust of government and bureaucracy that would willingly send children to their deaths in such a manner.
"Battle Royale" 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" Kitano Takeshi playing the appropriately named "Kitano." Because the film was not directed by Kitano, 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, or a horror film. 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.
Ii is important to remember that "Battle Royal" was not made for US audiences. There is an expectation of familiarity with Japanese history, as well as modern societal issues. Familiarity gives some necessary perspective to this controversial movie, and helps frame it as more than exploitation. It is a political statement, with a subtle message underlying the overt violence. Along with this, knowledge of Japanese culture deepens the understandings of certain scenes, such as when Kitano performs the prescribed exercises, and the training video shown at the beginning. Without understanding, these scenes might come off as merely quaint or odd.
This collection also features the sequel, "Battle Royale II." This was made after Fukasaku Kinji's death, and was directed by his son Fukasaku Kenta. The sequel is vastly inferior, and not even really worth watching. It is nice to have for completeness sake, I suppose, but that is the best that can be said about it.
42 young kids are told that only one may survive, and they must kill each other. Last one standing wins. That's it.
So we are then spending our time wondering who is going to die next, along with a counter on the screen. The effects on the first one, as well as the "plot" were not as good as the second. Probably due to the success of the first, they got more money to make the effects slightly more realistic. You don't find yourself rooting for anyone as you never got a chance to know any of them. It's basically like watching an episode of Big Brother, only you wish it would actually happen on that show.
I give it a higher rating for the originality and attempts. I can understand it winning awards etc. But this is a cult following type thing, especially if it does anything in the USA. It's a great package presentation, and a disc of extra features that are great. It's worth the buy as long as your expectations are low!
The only disc with an English-language option is "Battle Royale" Director's Cut. The theatrical cut of the first film, along with the second film, are not dubbed in English... the only option is English subtitles. I actually prefer watching the film subtitled, but I thought I would include that information - I know many people do not like reading subtitles.
1) BATTLE ROYALE (Director's Cut)
English Subtitles: Yes
English Dub: Yes
2) BATTLE ROYALE (Theatrical Cut)
English Subtitles: Yes
English Dub: No
3) BATTLE ROYALE II: REQUIEM
English Subtitles: Yes
English Dub: No
**Disc 4 is not a blu-ray, it is a standard DVD with bonus materials from the movie.
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