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  • Battle Royale - Two Disc Special Edition [DVD] [2001]
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Battle Royale - Two Disc Special Edition [DVD] [2001]

242 customer reviews

Price: £7.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Tatsuya Fujiwara, Aki Maeda, Tarô Yamamoto, Takeshi Kitano, Chiaki Kuriyama
  • Directors: Kinji Fukasaku
  • Writers: Kenta Fukasaku, Koushun Takami
  • Producers: Kinji Fukasaku, Chie Kobayashi, Kenta Fukasaku, Kimio Kataoka, Masumi Okada
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Tartan
  • DVD Release Date: 23 Feb. 2004
  • Run Time: 109 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (242 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00013YQEW
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 48,703 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

The most controversial Japanese film of the millennium returns in a Special Edition version, featuring more violence, more characterization and an alternate ending that sheds fresh light on the events of the film. Comes in standard box packaging and now with additional DTS audio track.


With the Japanese currently leading the way in thought-provoking cinematic violence it’s only fitting that Kenta Fukasaku’s Battle Royale is being touted as A Clockwork Orange for the 21st century. Based on the novel by Koshun Takami, the film opens with a series of fleeting images of unruly Japanese school kids, whose bad behaviour provides a justification for the "punishments" which will ensue. To be honest, anyone who has grown up with Grange Hill will view these aggressive teenagers’ acts as pretty moderate, but in the context of Japanese culture, their lack of respect is a challenge to the traditional values of respecting ones elders.

Once the prequel has been dispensed with, the classmates are drugged and awaken on an island where they find they have been fitted with dog collars that monitor their every move. Instructed by their old teacher ("Beat" Takeshi) with the aid of an upbeat MTV-style video, they are told of their fate: after an impartial lottery they have been chosen to fight each other in a three-day, no-rules contest, the "Battle Royale". Their only chance of survival in the "Battle" is through the death of all their classmates. Some pupils embrace their mission with zeal, while others simply give up or try to become peacemakers and revolutionaries. However, the ultimate drive for survival comes from the desire to protect the one you love.

The film looks like a war-flick on occasions, with intense Apocalypse Now-style imagery (check out the classical score blasted over the tannoys with sweeping shots of helicopters). Yet, Battle Royale works on many different levels, highlighting the authorities’ desperation to enforce law and order and the alienation caused by the generation gap. But whether you view the film as an important social commentary or simply enjoy the adrenalin-fuelled violence, this is set to become cult viewing for the computer game generation and beyond. --Nikki Disney --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By "bottlebank2" on 10 Feb. 2003
Format: DVD
I was excited when I heard about this film, apprehensive as to whether it would hold up to the good press it has received or just degenerate into another violence for kicks gore show. I was in for a shock. The film opens with a powerful introduction, dark, menacing and setting the tone of the film throughout. With teenagers behaviour crossing the line for the authorities action is taken in the form of a winner takes all competition. What initially appears to be a vague and outlandish plot with school children fighting for their lives, pitted against each other in a frantic tale of survival becomes a gripping and frightening tale of normal people pushed to far.
The films action sequences are many and varied, never loosing their originality or their power. The director produces an insightful cinematic production and a host of skilled young actors take challenging roles, which could have easily become farcical, and produce harrowing and realistic characters, each as engrossing as the others. The introduction of two unidentified characters (both outstanding performances) feel a little out of place early in the story but settle well as their backgrounds are developed.
Overall this is a violent and bloody story, it plot remains a step beyond the believable but this doesn't hamper the shocking and insightful nature of the piece. It will appeal to those who are looking simply for a fight flick with plenty of gore on show, but on another level it can become frightening, engrossing and truly original. To say any more about the plot would be to take away from the film; but if you can accept the violence necessary to the story line and like your pictures dark and sinister then this film is a must see. I look forwards to future works from the production team and actors alike. Excellent!
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Boing TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 20 Dec. 2010
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
There was no way I was NOT going to like a Blu-Ray version of this masterpiece, but even so Arrow Videos have absolutely wowed me with their considered and generous treatment of the release. The packaging is robust and well-designed, the video extras are numerous and non-filler, and the extra gifts ("Parents' Day" comic, the two booklets, the poster, and film stills) are all well presented and very well picked.

The box is very strong hard card in a matte finish, with front cover art that features a "school lockers" motif and a rear which is devoted to describing the set. Inside the box are five folding cardboard sleeves which share the locker motif on their rears. Two of the sleeves contain all the printed extras, and have the special edition posters on their fronts. The other three sleeves contain the Blu-Ray discs and the fronts feature stylised artwork of Kiriyama (Theatrical Release), Kawada (Director's Cut), and Mitsuko (Additional Extras), along with their weapons of choice. In short a strong but not overpowering artistic theme is maintained throughout the set which I think declares "someone who cares about the film designed me".

The Amazon product description actually does a good job of listing the content but the set specifications could be better. Specs are:

* Running time (theatrical) = 114 minutes;
* Running time (director's) = 122 minutes;
* Language/Subs = Japanese/English;
* Aspect Ratio = 1.85:1;
* Audio = DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 / Stereo.

It's interesting to note that the subtitles for the Director's Cut have been entirely re-translated. This creates trivial semantic differences between many bits of dialogue in the two versions of the film, but puts an entirely new spin on a minority of other scenes.
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61 of 64 people found the following review helpful By "deadlypen" on 15 Mar. 2006
Format: DVD
The Place: Japan. The Time: The not-so-distant-future. Faced with the prospect of losing control over the nation's young people, a totalitarian government decides upon a ruthless demonstration of power. The Battle Royale Act annually sends a randomly-selected class of highschool students to an uninhabited island where they are compelled to kill each other until only one of their number survives.
The reasoning behind this bizarre piece of legislation is perhaps the weakest part of the plot - but the Director deftly causes us to suspend disbelief by drawing us surely and touchingly into the feelings of the young cast. Unlike many western movies which trot out a body count of simplistic characters who are only there to die horribly for our entertainment, Battle Royale somehow manages to rapidly introduce us to the story's potential victims and make us care about them.
We are deliberately disoriented by blackly humorous elements - most notably the video taped instructions delivered by a relentlessly hyper female presenter; like a living cartoon character, she mockingly tells the children to think of her as their new big sister and urges them to ‘fight with gusto’. As the class is issued with their survival packs (containing food, water, a flashlight and a randomly-issued weapon which might be as deadly as a shotgun or as useless as a paper fan), we see them react in a variety of realistic ways - some are numbed with terror; some decline to kill; others rush outside and prepare to ambush their former friends.
You will read reviews that describe this film as excessively violent. I believe that this is a gross overstatement.
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