Which Battle Royale version did I just buy?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by MikeNeuman, Jun 2, 2004.

  1. MikeNeuman

    MikeNeuman Auditioning

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    I'm new to the whole multi-region DVD thing. Anyway I bought a version of Battle Royale on ebay that I can't find on any of the comparison sites. The ebay ID number is: 4192388257. (it wont let me post links). Anyway, which version is this, and is it a good version to buy? Thanks
     
  2. Brian Thibodeau

    Brian Thibodeau Supporting Actor

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    It appears to be the Korean 2-Disc Director's Cut, as seen here at Yesasia:

    http://us.yesasia.com/en/PrdDept.asp...ection-videos/

    I don't personally have this version, but I do have the both the original HK R3 single disc release and the British 2-disc Director's Cut tin set, which has many (possibly all) of the features on the Korean set, though I'm not sure if the Korean set has English subs on the bonus material.

    Either way, you appear to have got a legit version as I've seen this version in two big Toronto record stores with gargantuan "import" markups.

    One word of warning: the director's cut is so-called due to footage that was filmed after the film's premiere and inserted for a theatrical re-release (or "cash-grab" as I like to call it). As such, the footage provides background on the students (one or two in particular) and is inserted at key points in the narrative. Many would argue, myself included as I have both versions, that this extra footage hurts the pace of the tighter, original film. In fact, much of the footage is of a school basketball game attended by nearly all the students that ultimately end up in Battle Royale, which is visually at odds with the original film's presentation of the kids as borderline delinquents when it comes to their studies, their respect for their superiors, and their school. If you are able, try to see the shorter cut as well (preferably first if you can find it cheap), as it plays much better.
     
  3. MikeNeuman

    MikeNeuman Auditioning

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    So you don't think this one has the option of viewing the original cut?
     
  4. Brian Thibodeau

    Brian Thibodeau Supporting Actor

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    It might, but I haven't heard. The British version only allows viewing of the extended cut, but perhaps they changed that on the Korean release. I'm not sure if Korea ever put out a DVD release of the first cut, so perhaps this edition you've purchased allows for viewing of both, but I wouldn't bet money on it. Perhaps the extended bits are individual chapters as they are on the U.K. release, so upon second viewing you could chapter ahead during the basketball game and the flashback to one particular girl's nasty childhood with a perverted family friend (or Uncle, can't recall) to get a feel for the tightness of the original cut.

    Either way, it's still a fantastic, thought-provoking and intriguingly culturally-specific piece of cinema.

    Incidentally, the single-disc HK R3 edition is still probably the cheapest way to go. Many have complained about it in comparison to later releases, but I was more than happy with the picture quality and sound (5.1) just to be able to have and see the film. DDDhouse.com should have it fairly cheap, probably under $10 U.S.
     
  5. MikeNeuman

    MikeNeuman Auditioning

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    Thanks for all the help. Any other good recommendations for imports? I picked up Ken Park and Nightmare City yesterday. I am going to get Visitor Q and Audition soon.
     
  6. Brian Thibodeau

    Brian Thibodeau Supporting Actor

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    Depends on what you're into, really.

    As an Asian film junkie, I'm liable to recommend anything since I'm willing to give everything a try, and with Asian cinema, my particular needs have often been met.

    That said, I'd once again recommend surfing around Hong Kong-based DDDhouse.com for some very reasonably priced movies from Hong Kong, Korea, Japan, Thailand and the U.S. They only sell titles that have been released on Hong Kong labels, but the prices always drop considerably over time. They also have separate listings for Korean, Japanese and "western" (ie: American) films, with prices rarely rising above $10 U.S. (except for brand new releases). They also have a "Weekly Cheap Sale" that has been much discussed in the "Asian Cinema on DVD" thread over in the HT DVD software forum.

    I also recently imported the Region 2 Pink Panther Box Set from France rather than buy the American release as the French box came with several extra features lacking on the U.S. box (plus it looks cooler, too).

    If you're partial to Japanese action/fantasy movies after viewing BATTLE ROYALE, you might check out some of the following as good examples of contemporary Japanese pop cinema:

    Sci-Fi
    RETURNER (available in many regions now)
    CROSS FIRE
    GAMERA (1995)
    GAMERA 2 (1997)
    GAMERA 3 (1999) (all 3 available stateside, too)

    Horror
    PULSE (aka KAIRO)
    DARK WATER
    THE RING
    RING 2
    CURE
    TALES OF THE UNUSUAL

    Comedy
    MESSENGERS
    BLAME IT ON THE NURSES
    BAYSIDE SHAKEDOWN

    Action:
    SEOUL

    Most of these can be ordered quite cheaply from DDDHouse.

    I'd also heartily recommend a few films from Korea, where the quality of popular filmmaking has equalled that of the United States in less than a decade. Some of these are also available on Hong Kong labels, and thus fairly cheap at DDD, but in most cases, the Korean releases outshine virtually all other editions. For more on these, again check the "Asian Cinema on DVD" thread. Several are discussed within the first 3 pages, while I rave about TALE OF TWO SISTERS on page 13.

    TALE OF TWO SISTERS (psychological horror)
    SHIRI (action)
    TUBE (action)
    2009 LOST MEMORIES (sci-fi action)
    MY SASSY GIRL (romantic comedy)
    JAKARTA (caper flick)
    JAIL BREAKERS (comedy)
    SEX IS ZERO (sex comedy)
    NATURAL CITY (sci-fi)
    WONDERFUL DAYS (animated sci-fi)

    Hopefully, some of these recommendations are useful, and perhaps others can post recommendations of European titles if these aren't what you're after.
     
  7. Asif

    Asif Auditioning

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    I highly recommend Kim ki duk's SPRING, SUMMER, FALL, WINTER and SPRING.[​IMG]
     
  8. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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    The R1 versions of both of the Miike films are arguably the best, on balance. I don't want to sound all definitive on this, but do some research amd make your comparisons before spending the money on the imports.

    I also greatly prefer the original cut of "Battle Royale" (which I have on a NTSC/R0 disc from Tartan). I think I'm a bit more adamant on this point than Brian, and I've never heard a good argument on behalf of the inclusion of the "new" scenes. Anybody?
     
  9. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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    The R1 versions of both of the Miike films are arguably the best, on balance. I don't want to sound all definitive on this, but do some research amd make your comparisons before spending the money on the imports.

    I also greatly prefer the original cut of "Battle Royale" (which I have on a NTSC/R0 disc from Tartan). I think I'm a bit more adamant on this point than Brian, and I've never heard a good argument on behalf of the inclusion of the "new" scenes. Anybody?
     
  10. Brian Thibodeau

    Brian Thibodeau Supporting Actor

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    Oh, I'm more in favour of the original than you might think, Rich!

    I've shown the movie to several people and I always show them the original first, then IF they're interested in seeing the additional scenes, I pop in that disc and show them the extended bits.

    Personally, I think they extended scenes drag the movie to a grinding halt to expand on character backgrounds we don't really need to know. The young performers are so good in this film, it's easy for the viewer to attached his or her own experiences to the characters and their plight - maybe you see a bit of yourself in a character, maybe some of your own friends and classmates in others. It could be different for everyone since Fukasaku wisely gave us little backgrond beyond the lead boy, a bit with his girlfriend and a technical flashback to the guy who survived the previous game. Adding in all those basketball game scenes was just plain opportunistic, as the whole sequence is at odds with a youth culture that just doesn't care about school anymore.
     

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