A slick and sick piece of live action Manga from Takashi Miike, the sort of guy you wouldn't employ to video a baptism.
I first saw Ichi at the London Film Festival a few years ago, having been a fan of Audition and Dead or Alive, and couldn't believe my senses. Leaving the cinema I made a beline for the bar. On DVD, the film looks tamer, and having been cut by three minutes or so, it's not too surprising. Various scenes are shorter than before (beatings, torture, rape etc.), and the most notorious scene (which, for prudence sake, I won't describe here, but comes near the end just before the detective dons his dog-ears - fans of the film will know what I mean), actually this last scene made me feel pretty queasy when I saw it in full, so I confess I don't really miss it that much, although it does screw with the continutiy. Confusingly, the commentary track refers to the uncut version and seems to have been edited slightly to account for the gaps. This is particularly odd when the protagonists are discussing a scene which 'a lot of people had problems with' and you're watching a pair of gangsters standing by a door.
Having said all of that, Premiere Asia have done a stirling job with the DVD, after all, it's not their fault that the BBFC took the scissors to the movie and it's obvious that they have made a effort to compensate for this. This two disc set is well presented and features plenty of bits and bobs to keep you occupied. The commentary is quite entertaining, although Bey Logan's knowlege of Japanese cinema isn't a patch on his knowlege of Hong Kong movies and he makes up the lost time by flirting with Alien Sun. More amusing than informative (unless you want to flirt with Alien Sun, of course).
Summing up: fun film, good disc, shame about the cuts, but I'd probably be covering my eyes at those scenes anyway...