Battle Royal DTS-Check it out!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jeff Kleist, Sep 29, 2001.

  1. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    Just released (official and licensed) in HK is Battle Royal, a Japanese film that caused a huge uproar in Japan last year. The film is about a totalitarian future, where children do not respect their elders. The elders fight back by randomly selecting one class per year to kidnap, and force to fight to the death. It's a scary, and sobering film. Think Lord of the Flies meets Running Man
    The DVD is non-anamorphic widescreen with English subs, and Japanese Stereo,5.1 and DTS tracks
    It's marked Region 3, but preliminary reports put it as region-free
    Best place to get it is http://www.dddhouse.com, $13 shipped. They pride themselves in not dealing with bootleggers
    Jeff Kleist
     
  2. Matthew Chmiel

    Matthew Chmiel Cinematographer

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    If it's region-free, I'm all for that.
    If it's not, time to make my player code free. [​IMG]
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    [Edited last by Matthew Chmiel on September 29, 2001 at 01:42 PM]
     
  3. Bjoern Roy

    Bjoern Roy Second Unit

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  4. Matthew Chmiel

    Matthew Chmiel Cinematographer

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    The version on the HK VCD/DVD is the "special edition" 114 minute cut, it deletes some of the gore (so younger people in Japan could see it, but the film is still pretty gory even with some gore edited) and adds in a few extra mintues of plot.
    The original uncut version is a few minutes shorter then the "special edition" cut, but it keeps all the gore intact.
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    [Edited last by Matthew Chmiel on September 29, 2001 at 02:03 PM]
     
  5. James_Kiang

    James_Kiang Screenwriter

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    Can anyone confirm if this is indeed region-free? I wanted to see this when I first heard about it but figured it would never get any sort of widespread play here in the U.S. This would finally give me the chance to see it.
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  6. Bjoern Roy

    Bjoern Roy Second Unit

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    Thanks Matthew,
    the version my friend has on VCD (official, no bootleg) has to be that original uncut version then.
    I haven't seen it yet, but he says the over-the-top violence is amazing.
    For this kind of movie i take the uncut violent version over extended story (for the faint hearted) any time [​IMG] Too bad its not available on DVD yet.
    Regards
    Bjoern
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    [Edited last by Bjoern Roy on September 29, 2001 at 02:10 PM]
     
  7. Matthew Chmiel

    Matthew Chmiel Cinematographer

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    Hopefully we might see a US DVD sometime soon, especially since Japan will be putting out a DVD of Battle Royale soon (and as most of us know: Japan companies won't let anybody else have the same material as them on DVDs untill they have put their own out).
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  8. MilesH

    MilesH Stunt Coordinator

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    You're confused. The version on the Hong Kong dvd/vcd and Japan dvd is the "original version". The "special version" is the version that was cut. See imdb: http://us.imdb.com/AlternateVersions?0266308
    The "special version" has not been released on dvd yet. Reviews of the Hong Kong dvd and Japan dvd have been posted in asiandvdguide.com forums.
     
  9. Jussi Tarvainen

    Jussi Tarvainen Second Unit

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    I saw a post at the asiandvdguide.com forums that mentioned another (Japanese?) DVD release with lots of extras but no English subtitles.
    Is it likely that a future U.S. DVD release will have these extras? Or are there any news of this extra-packed DVD being released anywhere with English subs?
    The current barebones release is tempting, but if somebody knows more, I might want to hold out for the time being.
     
  10. Matthew Chmiel

    Matthew Chmiel Cinematographer

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    Well I just placed an order for a copy from DDDHouse.
    Hopefully the DVD is region free, or I'll have to spend some extra money to make one of my DVD players region free or I'll just sell it on eBay.
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  11. Anthony Thorne

    Anthony Thorne Supporting Actor

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    BATTLE ROYALE (that's the correct spelling from memory, but I'm happy to be advised otherwise if I'm wrong) is an amazing movie. I watched the VCD of it at a friend's house a couple of weeks ago and was blown away. It's now one of my two favourite films of the year, along with BROTHERHOOD OF THE WOLF - ROYALE is truly a great movie, and it's amazing that director Kinji Fukasaku is in his 70's.
    Most reviews of ROYALE that I've seen omit to mention one of the best qualitites of the movie. The film is violent, yes, and gory in places, yes, but it's also extremely thoughtful, well acted and very solid and impactful as a story. The characterisations are several degrees more realistic and complex than you'd expect from the synopsis, the various deaths all have an impact and there are a lot of memorable characters. It's also great to see Takeshi Kitano (director/star of SONATINE, HANA-BI and BROTHER)having fun in a major role. Without slighting the dozens of great new American movies I enjoy each year, my friend and I commented on how any Stateside remake would inevitably sanitise and dumb down the elements that we enjoyed most about the movie.
    The VCD was of a better quality than I'd expected, similar to VHS as far as picture went but with a strong and clear stereo soundtrack. (The music in ROYALE is great, BTW). I think that the new subtitled HK DVD is from the same company (Universe?), and they seem to typically receive good reviews about the quality of their product. (Lack of 16x9 enhancement aside, I've read an early review of the HK disc that seemed quite happy with the picture and sound quality). A Japanese DVD is due out in a few weeks which will probably be anamorphically enhanced, but it will definitely NOT have English subtitles, which is a shame.
    The licensed HK DVD of BATTLE ROYALE is very cheap to pick up, around $14 if I remember correctly. (I was initially suprised that it was just a couple of dollars more expensive than the VCD). It's worth stating again that the HK DVD is NOT a boot, and folks here should feel comfortable in picking it up if they want to see the movie. I've read no news at all about a possible Stateside theatrical release or DVD. I think BATTLE ROYALE is worthy of Criterion treatment but there might be a long wait before a decent Region 1 disc hits the market. The movie has my highest recommendation so I urge folks who are keen to consider picking up the HK disc.
    Just thought I'd add the following - a good interview with the director of BATTLE ROYALE is available here...
    http://www.midnighteye.com/interview...fukasaku.shtml
    - and here's a thoughtful review of the movie.
    http://www.midnighteye.com/reviews/battroyl.shtml
    [Edited last by Anthony Thorne on September 29, 2001 at 06:18 PM]
     
  12. Alex Spindler

    Alex Spindler Producer

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    Thanks for the heads up. I've got one incoming as well. I would buy Brother as well, but I know that a really superior DVD is available in the UK. Hopefully we may see an uncut Region 1 release that is also Anamorphic.
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  13. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    Artisan holds the US rights. Of course, current political climates make when they're ever going to release it a HUGE question mark [​IMG]
    The Japanese DVD IS anamorphic, but no subs. It's out right now. It also lacks the DTS track
    I too have the VCD, and the quality is great. Of course, I just got it a month ago [​IMG] The DVD is only $2 extra, DOH!
    Jeff Kleist
     
  14. Matthew Chmiel

    Matthew Chmiel Cinematographer

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  15. Mark Cappelletty

    Mark Cappelletty Cinematographer

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    Great, great film. I have a, ahem, "gray-market" VHS copy of this and am very interested in any reviews of the DVD. It's very violent, yes, and occasionally comical, but overall played very straight and is surprisingly moving. Beat Takeshi is at his best here-- he's much better in this film than in Brother, IMHO.
    Highly recommended.
    Keep us informed if/when your HK DVD arrives, gents!
     
  16. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    Mark, I'll be happy to sell you my VCD, $10 shipped
    Artisan bought the rights a long time back, around the time of its theatrical run. I guess I could be wrong on this one, but I SWEAR that I heard they got it.
    I can imagine why no studio wants to touch this title now
    Oh well, I'll enjoy the HK disc with the suprisingly good translation [​IMG]
    Jeff Kleist
     
  17. richard plumb

    richard plumb Stunt Coordinator

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    Battle Royale is currently having a limited theatrical run in the UK - uncut.
    So we should have the DVD early next year.
     
  18. John P Grosskopf

    John P Grosskopf Second Unit

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    Battle Royale will be playing in Austin, Texas later this year as part of a director retrospective sponsored by the Austin Film Society.
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  19. Tom Oh

    Tom Oh Second Unit

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    I watched HK Battle Royal over the weekend. It is definetly a region 3 disc, I checked it out on my R1 player. I'm not too sure what the big deal on this film is. It is good mindless action for passing time.
    The transfer looks very soft. As for the DTS soundtrack, I'm not too sure that this film warrants it. It seems more like a marketing gimmick than anything else on THIS film. If you must buy, the Japanese version is the way to go with more extras and an anamorphic transfer. I'm not too sure if it has an English subtitles, which the HK version has.
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  20. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    The film is soft to begin with from what I could tell. I agree that DTS is kind-of wasted, but I can't wait to her Dragon Ash in 5.1 [​IMG]
    Jeff Kleist
     

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