A Few Words About A few words about...™ Battle Royale -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Mar 7, 2012.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Anchor Bay has released Kinji Fukasaku's 2000 Battle Royale, a move that will have many fans on line toward a purchase. This future sci-fi mini-epic, which would be the predecessor of The Hunger Games (opening March 23 in the U.S.)


    In some ways, this lowish budget Japanese production, which pits students against one another in a battle to the death, makes a film like Kill Bill look almost calm.


    This is the first time that a home video product of decent quality has been made available, and Anchor Bay's very nicely packaged set includes both the cut and un-cut version of the film on separate discs, in addition to the sequel and a fourth disc of extras.

    Quality-wise, I believe fans of the film will be thrilled, as the new Blu-ray is nicely produced, from quality elements, albeit not from what appears to be a new transfer. Resolution is very acceptable, and grain, which looks just a bit diminished, may be down by a second generation element.


    I have no idea what this film should sound like, but the track is uncompressed Dolby TrueHD.


    Personally, while I can think of more pleasurable way of spending my time than watching a group of teens kill one another, I'm the first to admit that I am not the target audience (no pun intended) for this film.


    Battle Royale is a quality package of a film for which many fans have been waiting. They're going to be more than pleased.


    RAH
     
  2. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    Thanks for covering this release. I jumped on this when Amazon was offering it for $20 pre-order.


    I'm currently on the third Hunger Games book and I miss some of the dark and subversive humor of BR.
     
  3. Jay G.

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    Another early review indicates that the quality of this release is on par with the Arrow UK Blu-ray release, which was released over a year ago. The Arrow 4-disc LE also had more extras than this Anchor Bay release.

    http://bluray.highdefdigest.com/6270/battle_royale_complete.html


    Before that, the French R2 DVD had a good anamorphic transfer (on par with Arrow's DVD version of their Blu-ray release), although it didn't have any English subtitles, so of limited use to many in the US.

    http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film3/blu-ray_reviews53/battle_royale_blu-ray.htm

    http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/DVDCompare/battleroyale-th.htm


    This Anchor Bay release is notable in that it's the first official US release of these films. Tartan UK had a R0 NTSC of Battle Royale that was imported often, but wasn't a licensed US release.



    As for the film itself, I think there's more to it than just "watching a group of teens kill one another." There's some dark humor and pointed satire here. Not to mention the parallels with Lord of the Flies, a story that could also be miscategorized by the same reductive statement.
     

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