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Battle Royale: The Complete Collection [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

Beat Takeshi    DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: £14.46
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Region 1 encoding (requires a North American or multi-region DVD player and NTSC compatible TV. More about DVD formats.)

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Product details

  • Actors: Beat Takeshi
  • Format: Colour, DVD-Video, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: Japanese, English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Classification: Unrated (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: Starz / Anchor Bay
  • DVD Release Date: 20 Mar 2012
  • Run Time: 368 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B006L4MWTQ
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 218,980 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars No mercy, only death 22 Feb 2014
By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
Imagine this: a country is run by a totalitarian government, which occasionally selects groups of teenagers to methodically kill each other, until only one remains.

"The Hunger Games"? No, actually it's "Battle Royale," a bloody and harrowing movie that came out several years earlier, depicting an alternate Japan where the youth are forced to kill each other. The first film one of those movies that is strangely fascinating and filled with social commentary, but the sequel falls short with its clunky message and suspenseless violence.

"Battle Royale": A class of high-schoolers are being transported on a bus, when they are gassed to unconsciousness. When they awake, they have electronic collars around their necks. A former teacher named Kitano explains that they have been chosen for the B.R. ("Battle Royale") Act, wherein teenagers are forced to fight each other to the death until only one is left standing.

If you don't play, try to escape, refuse to kill or stray into a "death zone," the collars explode. Each teenager is given food, water and a random item, and are set loose on a remote island. As the teens slowly weed each other out, Shuya Nanahara and his girlfriend Noriko try to find a way out that doesn't involve death. But if they refuse to kill, then they must escape the fascist nightmare... which no one has done before.

"Battle Royale II: Requiem" takes place a few years later -- another group of teenagers are gassed, and wake with the explosive electronic collars. But their Battle Royale is a little different: they're put in pairs and given 72 hours to storm a remote island stronghold and kill Shuya Nanahara (who has since become a terrorist).
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Format:DVD
The 2 movies are great but the 3rd disc has no english subtitles which is a little disapointing since im a big fan of the films. But the boxset does look really cool
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good But Not Great 30 May 2009
Format:DVD
I bought this box set because it was actually cheaper than just buying the first film on it's own at the time. Needless to say I was pleased, but I was annoyed after watching the films.

Battle Royale I - absolutely incredible film. It's by no means perfect but I would easily give it five stars on it's own. the acting is good, the characters are good and the premise is good.

Battle Royale II - poor film. The main character with the bleach blonde hair always seems to look as if he's about to hulk out. The acting's bad, the character's aren't that good. The whole idea is pretty rubbish. The guy who was their teacher acts terribly and looks like some sort of cartoon character. It's completely overacted. If they really wanted the guy from the first film dead, they wouldnt make it so easy for the battle royale students to die.

If you want to see a great film, buy battle royale I, if you are a completist however, then you'll want this box set. It's worth the £15 i paid for it I would say... Maybe
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars livraison 12 Feb 2013
By motoko
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
dans l'ensemble nickel , sauf que la livraison est 1 peu long surtout quand ça vient des usa et qu'il faudrait mettre en mode accéléré
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Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  154 reviews
176 of 185 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Shocking Japanese Classic Available As A Stand-Alone Or In A Four Disc Set 22 Jan 2012
By K. Harris - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Blu-ray|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
With the emergence of "The Hunger Games" phenomenon of the last few years, the inevitable comparisons between that franchise and the cult novel "Battle Royale" by Koushun Takami have been plentiful. Sure, the two do share strong thematic and narrative similarities, but each has a distinctly unique vibe and explores the back story behind the violence in a different way. The film adaptation of "Battle Royale" by director Kenji Fukasaku garnered almost instant international notoriety in 2000 for its disturbingly bleak portrait of kids set upon one another in a violent death match. Despite being banned and reviled by many, the story's visceral and emotional punch was hard to deny. It was nominated for numerous Japanese Academy Awards including Best Film, Best Actor, Best Director and Best Screenplay and won that country's "Popularity Award." The rumor that Hollywood was flirting with an American remake has been circulating for years, but some seem to think that the film adaptation of "The Hunger Games" might have hurt the likelihood of this occurrence. In any event, I never had high hopes that an American interpretation could rival the original.

"Battle Royale" is being released in two incarnations, a film only DVD/ Blu-ray or "The Complete Collection" DVD/Blu-ray.

Film Only: This includes the Director's Cut of the film. First, the story is about a future Japan whose economy is in collapse and whose crime rate is spiraling out-of-control. In an effort to temper this uptick in violence by the juvenile population, the government has sanctioned an annual contest. In the movie, forty-two middle school aged students are dropped off and left to battle one another for survival. They are armed and coerced into fighting, for there can be only one winner left alive. As often as I've seen this movie, it never fails to shock and disturb me as it is exceptionally intense and powerful. Some complain that it isn't as "good" as the source novel (which is a pretty common argument with most translations from the page to the screen), but I think this is a daring and audacious film that succeeds fully on its own merits. I'm not, however, a huge fan of the Director's Cut. I don't think the extra footage adds appreciable value to the movie and I don't love the extended finale. This version has no special features.

Complete Collection (4 discs): The four discs are (1) Director's Cut of the film (see above), (2) Theatrical Cut, (3) 2003's "Battle Royale II" and (4) Bonus Content Disc. While I would certainly consider the original "Battle Royale" as a classic, its sequel is less so. It carries the same concept over to a new class with some variations on the original theme, but the major difference is that an underground plot by an unexpected terrorist cell plays a large part in this year's action. It's solid enough, I like it. It just lacks the emotional kick of the first film.

Bonus Disc Content included in Complete Collection only. This is on a standard DVD even in the Blu-Ray set (but all three films are on Blu-ray). The Making Of BATTLE ROYALE, BATTLE ROYALE Press Conference, Instructional Video: Birthday Version, Audition & Rehearsal Footage, Special Effects Comparison Featurette, Tokyo International Film Festival 2000, Battle Royale Documentary, Basketball Scene Rehearsals, Behind-The-Scenes Featurette, Filming On-Set, Original Theatrical Trailer, Special Edition TV Spot, TV Spot: Tarantino Version. It's a lot of Bonus Material, but it has been used on Special Edition International versions of the DVD and is not new to this set (although now it is subtitled appropriately). Blu-Ray films have 1080p video and Dolby TrueHD 5.1 soundtracks. KGHarris, 1/12.
55 of 59 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars We, who are about to die..., 16 Mar 2012
By Zack Davisson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Blu-ray
So. At long last, the controversial film "Battle Royale" gets an official US release.

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.
20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Packaging, Crisp Picture, Nice Sound: what a Box Set Should Be 22 Mar 2012
By TorridlyBoredShopper - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Blu-ray|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is more of a set review than a movie breakdown because i like knowing what my boxset looks like and how it sounds when getting something I have wanted this long and I have wanted this a long time. I've been holding onto my set of Battle Royale discs from Korea for so long that I had almost given up on the movies having an American release. Its a beautiful thing to have, and on BluRay no less. I could not believe how much better the first movie looked this way and how nice the sound was when ported into after being mixed properly.

As far as the set goes, it comes with Battle Royale theatrical and director's cut, Battle Royale 2, theatrical cut, and a "bonus disc."
Battle Royale. Director's Cut, is in Japanese: TrueHD 7.1, English: Dolby TrueHD:5.1.
The Battle Royale, Theatrical, and Battle Royal 2, Theatrical, are both in Japaense Dolby TrueDd 5:1.
All are in widescreen and all have English subtitles.

The bonus disc is a normal DVD, which doesn't really matter considering what is on it. The material includes:
"The Making Of Battle Royale," "Battle Royale press conference," "Instructional Video: Birthday Version," audition & rehearsal footage, special effects comparison featurette, Tokyo International Film Festival 2000, Battle Royale documentary, basketball scene rehearsals, behind-the-scenes featurette, filming on-set, original theatrical trailer, special edition TV spot, TV spot: Tarantino version.

I'm not normally a fan of packaging for a DVD set, but I really, really, really like the packaging for this as well. Its hard to see it from pictures alone, but the set is designed just like a book and, when closed, it looks the part. Opening it, you get the picture of the complete group on the first divide. The second has a montage of smaller battle pictures with a map of the island on the left side and the main people's faces on the right. The third, left, is an even more detailed breakdown of the island, breaking it into areas. The adjoining right side is a class photograph. The rest is basically more pictures, a line-up of the second movie's people, and the "obsession" picture form the first film. These are nice, actually, and make a nice DVD set look and feel BUT you have to be careful. The packaging can be tight and the DVDs could scratch easily when removed. This just means watching the excitement a little when handling.

For anyone who does not know what Battle Royale is about, skipping the spoilers, Japan passed a self-defense act after riots broke loose. Each year, a class of middle schoolers is selected to participate in an exercise that basically pits everyone in it, friend or foe, against each other. There are complex rules you would enjoy seeing more than reading here and connections the characters have that make the loses personal. The 2nd movie is not as good as the first and, being technical, the director's cut is a bit better than this version. Still, having it in this set is the best way I know of to get them. There has not been an American release before.

These movies are violent and tragic and beautiful in a lot of ways, housing much of what the book brought to life. There are differences, sure, but it still does a lot to bring out just how terrible this could be. Paired with flashbacks of how people know each other and ambitions and wants, sometimes even the worse person can be understood and empathized with. To me, that's beautiful and rare.

I give this a solid 5/5.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Pros and Cons of the Anchor Bay Release (From Someone Who Owns it As Well As The Arrow Blu-ray Special Edition) 17 Mar 2012
By stryper - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Blu-ray
PRO: This edition has an English language dub on the Director's Cut of the film only (it's a pretty typically bad English dub done using voice actors that don't do the film justice, but it's there for the people that want to see the film but don't want to read the subtitles).

CON: Several; the BIGGEST and STUPIDEST is the fact that Anchor Bay forgot to add a, "Signs Only" English subtitle option, as this film has a lot of onscreen text (i.e. the opening scrawl and an ongoing update of who's died in the game as it progresses, etc.) so what you have to do is keep the English subtitles on while you listen to the English track, but the problem with this (and the one thing that Anchor Bay got right, though without the "Signs Only" subtitle option, this can be a tad annoying) is that the English dub track and the English subtitles differ which can be a tad disconcerting when watching them together (like you have to if you're watching with the English language dub and also want to get the subtitles for the Japanese text that appears throughout the film).

PRO: The picture quality is the best I've seen this movie look, even better than the European Arrow special edition Blu-ray (which is kind of odd, as the subtitles seem to be a direct port from the Arrow edition in content and timing, but the Anchor Bay picture quality is better, nowhere is this more prevalent then in the cave sequence near the beginning of the film; in the Arrow version there's a milky haze to the darkness as the two lead characters make their way into it, where as in the Anchor Bay version, the milky haze is gone).

CON: This edition claims to be the "Complete Edition" but is missing the superior director's cut of the second film called, Battle Royale 2: Revenge (I'm not counting the resent 3D version of the first film because it doesn't add any new content, where as the second film has 20 minutes added to it's running time in the Director's cut).

CON: This set comes housed in one of those "Book" type packages, where the discs are slid into the ends of hard cardboard pages, and upon trying to extract the discs from their housing, fingerprints where unavoidable as were scratches on the fourth disc (which is a DVD which doesn't have the extra durability coating that the Blu-ray's have) so once the discs are out, you may want to do as I did and put them in CD cases. The dumb thing is that the set's packaging resembles a book, but for what reason I don't know as there is no book used in the film to tie this in with (a cookie tin wrapped in cellophane would have made more sense if you know the film, or even a backpack).

CON: "THE GLITCH". Yes, every gosh darn version of the first film (be it Theatrical or Director's cut) has this stupid "GLITCH" near the beginning of the movie (during the first class pandemonium scene where everyone is running around the classroom, there's this pause like "GLITCH", you'll know it when you see it) which I had hoped would be fixed in this version (as it really is nothing more than a "GLITCH" and shouldn't be in the film). I have several different Asian versions of this film on DVD and every single one has this stupid "GLITCH" left in (kind of resembles a really bad DVD layer change).

So there you have it, hope this helps (oh, and the 4 star rating out of 5 is because of the screw up with the subtitles where the English language dub track is concerned, as well as the bad dub itself which could have been done a lot better).
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Taboo and Compelling 27 Jan 2012
By D. C. Obraztsov - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Blu-ray
This is a great time to release this collection, with the hype of the Hunger Games and all. I read this book and movie long before the Hunger Games, and when I started to read those books, I swore it must have been based on Battle Royale! Although the author of Hunger Games completely denies knowing of Battle Royale's existence before writing them, the premise is hauntingly familiar. Throw children into very dangerous territory, and the last one alive is the winner.

Why would anyone want to watch such a demented film about children slaughtering each other? Curious minds and taboo stuff draws many people's attention. If it's done right, it can be an ominous masterpiece. And that's how I would classify Battle Royale. It is provocative, destined to cause controversy, and makes you think about the world in a not-so-great light. This is actually Quentin Tarantino's favorite film since he began directing in 1992, and you can see why. With the non-stop, gritty, brutal action and interesting characters, this is a taboo must-see.

While the Hunger Games is good, it seems a little fluffy compared to this. This is very gritty and not for the faint of heart. If you are a Hunger Games fan and curious about this though, you'll definitely love it. Cult classic!
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