I am very happy to see these films finally released on dvd. These three films made in the 80s and 90s are markedly different from his earlier ganster films. While many of his early movies contained weird images, the 3 films in this trilogy are full-blown examples of surrealism. So it is not a certainty, even if you are a fan of "branded to kill" or "tokyo drifter", that you will love these later films. If you liked those early films as gonzo action flicks, you may not like these arthouse movies.
These are NOT action movies. They are long, each well over 2 hours, and require a great deal of patience. However, if you like experimental movies, you will want to check these out. They are a remarkable twist on familiar surrealist themes, eg, death, sexuality, identity. More emotionally involving than classic european surrealism, but retaining its obsession with bizarre images - and equally preoccupied with sex, violence, and death.
These 3 films constitute a trilogy only in a conceptual sense. None of the movies are sequels to any other. They are only related in approach, style, and historical setting. Set in the 50s, the stories fall in familiar terrain of decadence and moral decline. In other words, the emotions and actions and morals of the characters are as chaotic and bizarre as the images.
As for the dvd set itself, this is really a bare-bones package. The picture quality is good, but i have seen better (and worse). The extras are minimal. Included in the first disc is an interview with seijun suzuki, but it is not particularly insightful, mostly questions and answers about rather mundane issues. All the discs include trailers for the respective films. Bios and filmographies are text sent to your tv screen. A lot of this junk is the same material on all the discs.
The first 2 films are not widescreen, but i believe that is consistent with the original aspect ratio of the actual movies. Yumeji however is a widescreen presentation,
No audio or subtitle options. Audio is japanese. IMPORTANT WARNING! The english subtitles are part of the picture. There is no way to turn them off. If you are japanese and/or speak japanese, you might look for a different edition - assuming one can be found (perhaps ebay?).
Unfortunately, like most "foreign films", they are rather pricey, over 20 bucks per disc with the discounts.