Sonatine  [DVD]
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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.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
'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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very disappointing. I bought Sonatine after watching the fabulous Hana-Bi, but Sonatine is a very inferior film lacking the depth of Hana-Bi. Read morePublished 3 months ago by John Bugler
This and Zatoichi are for me the very best of Takeshi, both as actor and director
These 2 movies made me totally fall in love with his movie making aesthetic... Read more
Only problem was that it was delivered to my neighbour's house without a notice.Published 21 months ago by UeP UK
I didn't get hooked so 3 stars only.Slow throughout but has some meaningful,funny scenes.Published 21 months ago by Nice_Lieutenant
Takeshi Kitano is awesome in this a must for any fan of his films its doesnt dissapoint!Published 21 months ago by Ian Reay
Limited plot, dialogue, characterization or style. Difficult to get involved with ludicrous crowd of Japanese gangsters. Only rented because of star ratings. Read morePublished on 2 Mar. 2014 by William K Davis