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Sonatine [1993] [DVD]

4.2 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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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 (27 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000063KMR
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 26,953 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

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

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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By Chunky Monkey TOP 500 REVIEWER on 1 Jan. 2016
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Firstly, unlike others, I have had no issues with the dvd. Plays fine. The movie itself is classic "beat" kitano and still my favourite film he has made. He has a style like no other. He plays a yakuza enforcer sent to take care of business. It is a great mix of typical recurring kitano themes; gangsters, playful sometimes child-like humour and joy at life and graphic jarring explosions of violence. For a character with zero facial expressions (think Roger Moore with botox!) it's a tribute to his presence and talent as an actor that he is so gripping to watch. It is his unpredictability. Must brilliant.
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I love Takeshi Kitano ! He is a true artist, painting with the light, colour & movement of film instead of paint. His films range from the ultra-violent dark action-movies to the downright tender art-house ("Dolls" is an example) When these two meet in the middle - as they do in Sonatine - the effect is stunning...

'Sonatine" is a fascinating, atmospheric, evocative, beautiful & strange film. Each scene is a little work of art - in fact, I sometimes feel, watching his films, that I could press the pause button at any moment & the randomly-captured still would almost certainly be beautiful...He frames each shot so wonderfully & with such a delicate attention to detail, the overall effect is magical.

"Sonatine" is the film which first introduced Western audiences to Takeshi-the-director... Against a tragic background story of revenge, the film is a carefully & evocatively realised depiction of the Japanese character - & it's inscrutabe elements of stoicism, its strange humour, occasionally childish pleasures & exuberance, its tendency to cruelty...altogether, its paradoxes & strangeness, especially to a Western viewer.
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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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