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on 31 March 2017
Fantastic eastern horror loads of blood and guts.
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on 18 April 2017
Bloodthirsty, brutal and laced with dark humour... What's not to love?
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on 20 December 2010
There was no way I was NOT going to like a Blu-Ray version of this masterpiece, but even so Arrow Videos have absolutely wowed me with their considered and generous treatment of the release. The packaging is robust and well-designed, the video extras are numerous and non-filler, and the extra gifts ("Parents' Day" comic, the two booklets, the poster, and film stills) are all well presented and very well picked.

The box is very strong hard card in a matte finish, with front cover art that features a "school lockers" motif and a rear which is devoted to describing the set. Inside the box are five folding cardboard sleeves which share the locker motif on their rears. Two of the sleeves contain all the printed extras, and have the special edition posters on their fronts. The other three sleeves contain the Blu-Ray discs and the fronts feature stylised artwork of Kiriyama (Theatrical Release), Kawada (Director's Cut), and Mitsuko (Additional Extras), along with their weapons of choice. In short a strong but not overpowering artistic theme is maintained throughout the set which I think declares "someone who cares about the film designed me".

The Amazon product description actually does a good job of listing the content but the set specifications could be better. Specs are:

* Running time (theatrical) = 114 minutes;
* Running time (director's) = 122 minutes;
* Language/Subs = Japanese/English;
* Aspect Ratio = 1.85:1;
* Audio = DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 / Stereo.

It's interesting to note that the subtitles for the Director's Cut have been entirely re-translated. This creates trivial semantic differences between many bits of dialogue in the two versions of the film, but puts an entirely new spin on a minority of other scenes. It's worth watching both films back-to-back to see how the feel of certain character interactions changes.

With regard to new footage, I don't want to spoil anything. But I will say the only additional parts which I thought added anything essential to the film were a flashback to Mitsuko's childhood (be assured it's as creepy as one might reasonably expect), and a re-telling of Noriko's dream in one of three "Requiems" at the end of the film. Having said that, nothing in the Director's Cut detracts from the film and I felt that it was a slightly superior cut.

With regards to the Blu-Ray quality, the sound is tremendous. The picture quality is pretty good and has scrubbed up well for a film of its age, especially considering that a lot of it was shot in the dark and the pouring rain, both of which create serious issues for cinematographers! I noticed that some of the killings have had blood-spatter digitally added - it's incredibly obvious but since most of the deaths were nowhere near as messy as they should have been it sort of helps. There are all sorts of rumours going around on the internet that this is an "up-scaled Standard Definition" version of the film. I've not seen anyone provide convincing evidence either way on that, and personally I found the picture quality to be excellent compared to the previous releases.

One scene in the Director's Cut sticks out as looking utterly un-restored; I'm not sure if they tried and failed or somehow missed it. When Mitsuko takes Hirono's gun after their confrontation in Megumi's shack, and Hirono turns to run, it is clearly obvious that the footage has not been touched. Doesn't really make much difference, it just sticks out like a sore thumb when the rest of the film has been polished to such a shine.

In conclusion, if you are any kind of a fan then for the price you simply cannot get a better presentation of this unique and epic film. You should definitely buy this before the 10,000 copies are gone for good. I am so glad I bought this set, and even though I am not that fond of the sequel I'll be buying that film too if it gets the same treatment! This special edition set is truly essential, and it's how all special editions should be put together - with the appropriate care, attention to detail, and the deserved reverence!
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on 29 December 2012
Product as described.

Major let down is the fact that the subtitles are white and when there is any white in the film it obscures the subtitles. The DVD doesn't seem of particularly great quality, especially for those used to HD/blu ray.

Film itself hasn't aged well in my opinion. Watched it again after seeing the glam rock version (aka hunger games) and unfortunately I prefer the latter, no matter how ripped off it is.
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on 23 September 2016
Watching Battle Royale I felt my respect for The Hunger Games trilogy becoming lower and lower with each minute. It isn’t that the books and films can’t stand on their own, they’re certainly fairly strong examples of film and literature. It’s just that my previous viewing of the works as highly original has disappeared, and I feel with certainty the author’s claims of not being familiar with the material to be an outright, shameless lie. I honestly feel cheated, and it doesn’t help that Battle Royale is just better in every way.

I can’t even explain why the movie is so good that easily, to me it isn’t really the politics of it, it’s just the kind of film that belongs in the hard to reach upper echelon of filmmaking, an almost faultless movie from every perspective that just works from start to finish without a single moment that takes you out of the story or lessens the emotional impact. What the entire cast and crew managed to achieve is remarkable, to me it’s an undeniable classic, a grandiose and daring achievement and an essential viewing even for the squeamish among you.

On the disc side of things, the BluRay from Arrow offers a splendid, faithful presentation. Make sure you properly set up your television and BluRay player to enjoy it in the best possible way.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 18 November 2010
Battle Royale is first and foremost a movie that is likely to provoke a hate reaction in at least a fraction of the viewers. People who were disturbed by something like Festen: 10th Year Anniversary Edition [DVD] [1998], Gozu [DVD] [2003] or Oldboy [DVD] [2003] might better skip BR, too. There is a reasonable amount of graphic violence, the prospects for a satisfying ending are grim at best, and the main premise is disturbing. However you will probably be doing yourself a disservice by not seeing it (if you can stomach violence, that is).

The movie shows a somewhat dystopian Japanese near future, where the teenagers increasingly turn into out of control little monsters. The heavy handed adult response is the Battle Royale act - packing off a randomly selected class of students onto a remote and deserted island, with the basic rule being that only one will leave the island alive after three days. The premise is chilling and will have you struggling with the implications and with what you would do in a similar situation. Again this probably only works if you are capable of suspending disbelief and placing yourself into such a position in the first place.

The reactions are of course mixed, as the different students of course have very different psychological make-ups and personal histories - you will get everything from mutual suicide, to gleeful sociopaths who revell in the revenge and killing, to people fighting for survival, not yet aware of the psychological consequences of their actions. In that sense I find the movie very well done, probably on a similar plane to Das Experiment [DVD] [2001].

The actors and some of their motives are definitely realistic, as is their range of reactions to the killing (certainly on another plane than boycotting a class or slapping / cutting a teacher). The protagonists are also fairly convincing teenagers with the gripes and angsts of the age, and not actors in their late 20s, as could be expected in a more Hollywood style production. Some scenes, such as the hyper presenter, asking for attacking the task at hand with 'gusto' at the start of the film or the shooting in the lighthouse are likely to become classics in their own right.

Some have compared this to a more modern, Japanese version of A Clockwork Orange [1972] [DVD] and while some comparisons can definitely be made between the two on the surface, I find that BR does not go quite as far as the latter; also it is much more focused on the 'what would you do in the situation' than the societal effects of teenage anarchy and the repression thereoff. I would certainly put it closer to something like Audition (Collector's Edition) [DVD] [2001] for both effect, concepts and some of the execution.

Apart from the somewhat poor picture quality, the only potential gripe is the ending, which is less of a 'bang' and more of a potential intro for a sequel.
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on 28 July 2002
When I first saw this film it was because my cousin jaz said it was a good film, I believed I was going to see another overrated film.
But this film proved me wrong, forget big brother this is what reality TV should be, directed by Kinji Fukasaki. The film centers around a futuristic Japan were the pupils have got so bad and out of control that once a year a class is chosen to take part in the 'Battle Royal'. A no holds barred contests were the only way to leave the island is to be the last one alive. So the pupils are giving food supplies and an assortment of weapons, they have 3 days to kill each other or their futuristic collars they wear will blow their heads off and so they are forced into mortal combat with friends and loved ones.
And so the begins a mass slaughter of pupils by pupils, but unlike most films the story had me griped and it dose make you real feel for the main cast even the psychos and the peace makers as well. The quality of the DVD was superb and the sound quality made the fight scenes sound very realistic, the special features include the normal commentary and a film trailer. Which for most Japanese films in the UK is like gold, other stuff includes Star and Director Filmographies, Stills Gallery and a
Asia Extreme Trailer Reel which shows off some pretty cool films. In all it is a very good film, which shows Hollywood how, it should be done and shows what a real horror film should be, bye it now.
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on 9 November 2014
Arrived promptly. Bit blood thirsty, but a good movie non the less.
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on 4 August 2003
Simply put this is the most thought provoking movie I have ever seen, the acting is superb, the plot is almost perfect and it really make's you think "What If?", what if you were put in a situation where the only way you could survive is to kill your friend's and maybe even the person you secretly love?, we get to see this same question answered scene by bloody and emotional scene.
Some of the character's in this movie are really well thought out and acted to perfection and at time's make's you really feel for them, even the seemingly heartless Mitsuko has a tragic presence in the end especially with the added childhood flashback included in this special edition.
I dont want to give to much away so I'll leave it at this, it's basically a social satire mixed with a blood soaked shocker and even a tragic romance thrown in for good measure.
A must see that put's Hollywood to shame and I cant wait to get the book.
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on 11 November 2014
good dvd,speedy service
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