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Sonatine [1993] [DVD]


Price: £9.85 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
Only 2 left in stock.
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Sonatine [1993] [DVD] + Violent Cop [1989] [DVD] [1993] + Hana-Bi [DVD] [1998]
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Product details

  • Actors: Takeshi Kitano, Aya Kokumai, Tetsu Watanabe, Masanobu Katsumura, Susumu Terajima
  • Directors: Takeshi Kitano
  • Writers: Takeshi Kitano
  • Producers: Kazuyoshi Okuyama, Masayuki Mori, Ritta Saitô, Takio Yoshida, Toshio Nabeshima
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Lighthouse
  • DVD Release Date: 22 April 2002
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000063KMR
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 54,670 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Original and elegaic Yakuza drama from cult actor-director Takeshi 'Beat' Kitano. Murakawa (Kitano) is a powerful and trusted gangster who is persuaded to travel to Okinawa to help clear up a dispute between rival gangs. The task proves anything but easy, and as bloody conflict erupts around him, Murakawa realises that he has been set up, and decides to retreat to a secret seaside hideaway, where he and his friends kill time and play games as they wait for their enemies to arrive.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 18 Jan. 2004
Format: DVD
The movie is great, my favorite Beat Takeshi movie, unfortunately the DVD itself is quite bad.
First, it's not an anamorphic transfer, so you have to use the zoom if you have a widescreen TV. Motion in dimly lit scenes is smeared, colors aren't saturated enough, and the whole image is very soft, without crisp details.
I also have the VHS from ICA Projects, and it actually looks better overall than the DVD.
The second problem are the subtitles, the translation is horrible at times when compared to the VHS. One great piece of dialog goes something like this:
- You're the stupid one
- No, you are the stupid thing
There are also US and Hong Kong DVD releases of Sonatine, but I haven't had the chance to check them out yet.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By YC on 15 April 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Attention, the note does not aim at judging the movie, which is of course excellent, but the DVD itself and its overall quality ; it is indeed disrespectful towards one of the greatest movies ever made by Takeshi Kitano. You can tell the item has been produced very quickly, it feels cheap on every level. The image quality is quite bad, so is the sound : you can't even distinguish all the layers of certain tracks (cf. sumo scene on the beach) On another topic, the translation job is not that good either, often mistranslating or missing some parts of a sentence, or even small pieces of dialogue (same problem on Violent Cop)

Still, I could have made my peace with all of that, had the movie not stopped during the very last scene... I simply have not been able to watch the end of the movie, that last chapter won't work on any DVD player, yet the DVD is brand new, and was only unsealed a minute before getting inside the DVD player. It won't work even after a gentle cleaning, so it may be the consequence of a bad DVD burning job. Selling such cheap material is utterly ridiculous, of course Amazon can't be blame on the poor quality of this item, but it is necessary to report such problems.

I do hope some people will step on and actually produce DVDs worth of Kitano's talent, and respectful of his work.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 28 Mar. 2002
Format: DVD
I first saw this movie on tv, and had no expectations. It remains one of the most memorable films I have seen in the past 7 years, with Takeshi Kitano putting forth a superb performance. The lack of dialogue in many scenes displays fine acting rather than being boring. Being quite a dark movie, Sonatine put many Kitano fans off - some called it his worst - but it is definitely worth a look if you like him, or even if you've never heard of him. Be prepared for some wonderful imagery, a dark sense of humour and a little violence. Not for "Gone in 60 seconds" fans!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Anthony Peckham on 11 July 2003
Format: DVD
For those of you who have never entered the world of Beat Takeshi Kitano, you couldn't go wrong with Sonatine. Outbursts of explosive violence at the beginning and end, is interspursed with tranquil sentementality. I can't remember a mob film where the hero is so down on his luck he has to flee or face the consquences, and Kitano makes his acting as this particular mobster look like an artform. Sonatine is will go down as a classic Japanese cult classic and leaves it's Hollywood counterparts in the shade, relegating similar films into average thrillers, where as this film injects intellegence into a tried and tested formula. Buy it!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Leeam on 1 Dec. 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is a great film from Takashi Kitano that combines the familiar gangster conventions with his usual technical minimalism, quirky humour and a real sense of disregard for the value of life in the criminal world. Kitano's character is sent to a remote beach with a few men to hide out while a gang war/misunderstanding is resolved. My favourite parts of the film take place at the beach where the characters mess around to kill time with bouts of sumo wrestling, russian roulette and firework fights. They also dig pits in the sand for each other to fall into. It's a very funny and clever segment of the film. The Kitano character is a guy who is on a path of self-destruction and doesn't care less. In the scenes of violence the gang members shoot guns at each other and don't even bother to move or try to get out the way. They don't care about life. The film uses lots of beautifully framed widescreen compositions and Kitano has a very artistic eye. It's a unique film and distinctly a Kitano film. I dont think it has the emotional depth of Hana-bi but its my second favourite of his films although I also recommend Zatoichi.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Ernie on 4 July 2010
Format: DVD
Sonatine tells the story of middle aged yakuza boss Murakawa who is ordered to take his gang to Okinawa to settle a minor gangland conflict and return peace to the area. However, when they arrive they are attacked and are forced to retreat to the beach and wait until they get further orders from their Tokyo bosses. While the gang members seem content to relax and play on the beach, their fun comes to an abrupt end as they find themselves being bumped off one by one until Murakawa decides to face his rivals head on.
If you've never experienced a Takeshi Kitano film before then 'Sonatine' is a good indicator as to what to expect; beautifully shot, minimal dialogue, absorbing characters, sensitive, witty, stylish, emotional and spellbinding to watch. The term 'genius' is used far to liberally these days, but in Takeshi Kitano's case it's very well deserved, it's hard to think of any other contemporary director who consistently makes films of such high quality and in years to come will be considered some of the most significant in world cinema.
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