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Quick "Battle Royale 2: Requiem" 2-disc DVD review

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Matt Czyz, Jun 1, 2004.

  1. Matt Czyz

    Matt Czyz Supporting Actor

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    (since the new Korean Starmax 2-disc set of BR2 is an all-region affair, and is playable on all Region 1 NTSC players, I wasn't sure which forum to place this. An administrator can move it if need be.)

    Battle Royale II: Requiem
    dir: Kinji Fukasaku/Kenta Fukasaku

    I was absolutely ecstatic when this showed up in my mail the other day as I had been looking forward to seeing it ever since I read that production was underway. When I learned that Kinji Fukasaku died days into filming and his son took over the director's chair, I was more than a bit worried. Still, as there is a snowball's chance in hell of BR2 showing anytime soon in America, seeing the movie on DVD was going to be my only way to watch it. And I loved it.

    It's a completely different animal than the first Battle Royale, and the movie knows this. We don't even learn most of the new kids' names, whereas the first movie gave each student (even if just for a few seconds) a chance to grab the limelight. This is a war movie, through and through, and it heavily references American action movies such as Saving Private Ryan, The Rock, and Assault on Precinct 13. Also, watch for cameos by Beat Takeshi and Sonny Chiba.

    The DVD set itself is pretty awesome. 2-disc single-width keepcase in a cardboard sleeve. Mine came with a 26-page photo booklet (all in Korean, no English anywhere sadly) and a BR2 patch.

    Disc 1: The movie, presented in 1.85 anamorphic widescreen with removable Korean or English subs. A beautiful transfer, with a bit of grain showing up from time to time, but nothing distracting. A lot of the movie is dark, and there is also a lot of smoke in parts, but I did not notice any compression artifacts. Soundwise, this is one LOUD movie. Pretty awesome panning effects, especially when the teacher is writing on the chalkboard, of all things. High, high marks for the the audio and video.

    Disc 2: Since this is a Korean release, none of the supplements have English subtitles. Still watchable though are two trailers, an alternate "Piano" scene (which should definitely be watched by fans of the first BR), exerpts of the musical score being performed by the Warsaw Symphony Orchestra, some brief making-of footage, and a 16 picture photo gallery.

    Reviews online seem to be pretty split on whether BR 2 is a good movie or not, and I can understand most of the complaints. In my opinion, it's definitely worth checking out and I am glad that I have it sitting next to my copy of the first Battle Royale. Highly recommended.
     
  2. Brian Thibodeau

    Brian Thibodeau Supporting Actor

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    Matt

    Yours is one of the more positive reviews I've read of this release (not that I've read them all) and about the only one I've read that accepts it as something (perhaps necessarily) different than the first film. I've got the 2-Disc HK set sitting on the pile and will move it up accordingly.

    Thanks for the heads-up
     
  3. Rob Lutter

    Rob Lutter Producer

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    I don't care what anyone else says... the first Battle Royale is one of the greatest dark comedy/action films ever made and features a great message about society (the pressures of Japanese teens to succeed in life [namely be accepted to high school/college] might be enough to kill them).

    Battle Royale II is an utter piece of garbage that trys to put forth a message (basically, "Fuck the USA, oh and down with adults in Japan too") and is so poorly executed that it drags on for about the last hour of it's length and never really makes the audience believe that message.

    Works great for Mystery Science Theatre fun though! That's the only reason I am keeping my R3 HK 2-disc (only $12 too on YesAsia!) heheh
     
  4. Michael Hall

    Michael Hall Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the review Matt. I've been very interested in seeing BR2 since I first heard of it (I really enjoyed the first film), and was wondering when and if Starmax would release an NTSC/All Region/English subbed version. Am I correct in assuming that this 2-disc set is almost along the same lines as the Starmax 2-disc set for the first film? If so, I'll be looking for this version immediately.
     
  5. Matt Czyz

    Matt Czyz Supporting Actor

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    It is. I have that particular version of Battle Royale myself.

    --
    Rob,

    I think I read every online review of BR2 before I bought it, so I went in knowing what people's gripes and problems with BR2 were. As I said, I can agree with some of those points as well. However, I'm glad they just didn't have a second regular Battle Royale tournament, and they went in a completely different direction than what they could have done ("It's another class! Who's going to survive?!"). I respect the solid brass balls it took to make such a controversial film, and while it does not succeed on every level, I still enjoyed watching it immensely. Hell, I *loved* the new teacher after being prepared to despise him after reading the scathing he received in online reviews. Anyone interested should definetely read up to see if it's for them.
     
  6. Chad Ferguson

    Chad Ferguson Supporting Actor

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    Is there an directors cut on DVd or is the original editon the directors cut? I found this movie to be severly over acted and the boat scene was jsut a reason to pretend to be Saving Private Ryan. A truely wasted film, and perhaps a sequal was just not needed to a original masterpiece.
     
  7. Chris Xolotl

    Chris Xolotl Second Unit

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    extended cut should be in the japanese theaters soon
     
  8. Will*B

    Will*B Supporting Actor

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    I agree. The first 30 minutes are great (despite being a re-hash of BR1), but the rest of the film is poorly contructed, overacted, and very, very, very BORING!
     

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