|Battle Royale: Director's Cut (Collector's Edition)
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With the Japanese currently leading the way in thought-provoking cinematic violence, it's only fitting that Kinji Fukasaku's Battle Royale is being touted as a Clockwork Orange for the 21st century. Based on the novel by Koshun Takami, the film opens with a series of fleeting images of unruly Japanese schoolchildren, whose bad behavior provides a justification for the "punishments" that will ensue. Once the prequel has been dispensed with, the classmates are drugged and awaken on an island where they find they have been fitted with dog collars that monitor their every move. Instructed by their old teacher ("Beat" Takeshi) with the aid of an upbeat MTV-style video, they are told of their fate: after an impartial lottery they have been chosen to fight each other in a three-day, no-rules contest, the "Battle Royale." Their only chance of survival is through the death of all their classmates.
Some pupils embrace their mission with zeal, while others simply give up or try to become peacemakers and revolutionaries. However, the ultimate drive for survival comes from the desire to protect the one you love. Battle Royale works on many different levels, highlighting the authorities' desperation to enforce law and order and the alienation caused by the generation gap. Whether you consider the film an important social commentary or simply watch it for the adrenaline-fueled violence, this is set to become cult viewing for the computer game generation and beyond. --Nikki Disney
- School Field Trips Were Never This Rough!
Directed by the late Kinji Fukasaku, "Battle Royale" is a truly magnificent film, and is highly recommended. I first saw the film a few years ago at the urging of a friend and was not disappointed in the least. The film itself is based on the novel by Takami Koshun, which I have not yet had the chance to read. The films narrative deals with the escalating violence among the youth in Japan, and in particular, with the violence in schools. Is the violence that bad? Are things really going to hell in the classrooms? The Japanese authorities seem to think so. So how do the authorities set about disciplining the youth? Detention and expulsion? No, that won't work. With high unemployment, the youth will just wander the streets and cause mayhem. Something much more harsh and drastic must occur in order to capture the present youths attention.
Moreover, the very fabric of the nation is at stake. How are the Japanese authorities going to set an example which will reverberate within their society? Well, for starters they pass a new law. So what! There are already laws on the books dealing with this kind of behavior---Right?. How will this new law change student behavior? Well, for starters, this is no ordinary law. This new law enacted by the government allows a quasi-military type militia to abduct students from selected schools and send them to an isolated island. But what ever for? Surely not a youth camp? There are enough of those already. No, this is something much more draconian and drastic.
Further, things are about to get very extreme in this new youth controlled government. For starters, this militia has complete control over these students lives, and they will force the youth to play out a very twisted and cruel game. One like no other they have ever played. [With the exception of two ringers who volunteer for the game]. As these students are sent to an undisclosed site, they must face a horrifying reality: Schools out--welcome to Battle Royale. Director Fukasaku made the right decision to have actor Takeshi Kitano as the former school teacher who is the one in charge of this latest group of competitors. Who better for the role?. As the former school teacher of this new group chosen to compete in this years game of survival, he makes it a point early in the film to set the tone by letting the students know that this BATTLE ROYALE is no joke.
And the point Takeshi Kitano makes with a couple of students in the beginning of the film is not lost on the other students. The students must kill each other in order to survive. Only when ONE of the students is left standing will the game come to an end. It is here where you see loyalties and friendships part ways, or strengthen. I like the way Kinji Fukasaku directed the film. This is not like "Lord of the Flies" as I read in one of the reviews. "Battle Royale" is a totally different take on a future 21st-century society of ADULTS, that have come to see unruly students as having to be dealt with severely in order to conform to a Japanese society that THEY feel is being threatened. This is a truly great film. Highly Recommended!...more info
This is a really cool movie with an actual budget, and its something only the Japanese would make. Hollywood doesn't have the balls to put out something like this. A story of an over-populated Japan and a government bill called Battle Royal, what better way to solve the problem then send all the teenagers to an island and have them battle it out? This is a VERY violent movie, all students are each given weapons and nobody leaves until there's only one left, so there are many deaths, well, with over 50 students on the island, you do the math. Highly recommended....more info
- Another over rated movie
Please do not compare this with Clock Work Orange. It's shame. This movie is shame on director. Cutting many heads or killing more bodies does not prove movie is good. This movie is like B grade stuff.
Plot is good, but not the direction or screen play....more info
- Koreans Do It Better
Just as the Korean Version of the ring (ringu) and The Grudge were superior films to their Johnny-come-lately English counterparts, Battle Royale is superior to every single American Made film in the "most dangerous games" motiff.
Trust me, I bought them all; The most dangerous game, Bloodlust,Hard Target, the Running Man, Game of Death 1+2, Series 7, Surviving the Game and scores more including the new release of the Condemned, which is the American version of battle (in my opinion).
I am not going to give spoilers, if you have read this far you know damn well what it is about. I am going to say that it is the best subtitled film I own and a top twenty staple in my collection. The characters are lifelike, the action is more raw than any big budget, overproduced American film of the genre because of little nuances such as the fact you can't tell what is going to happen next by the musical cues. And perhaps most importantly, you will never guess who will live through this thing, by now I can usually pick a winner and this film proved me wrong and I love it for beating me at my (it's) own game, so to speak.
As most Asian movies it's suggestive as torn lace, but ultimately sexless. Yet the violence which is both premeditated as it is random and horrific make this worth owning. So enjoy this movie of hapless indivuduals thrust into an all or nothing game of survival, but as Letterman used to say...Please no wagering!
- an action movie that is worth it
Tired of shallow plots and over computerized action? Just a straight action film....more info
- a world that should never be
This is a sad story, classmates forced to fight each other to the death. Sure you might wish death on some of your classmates, but here we see classmates succumb to paranoia and full on survival instinct. A boy totally enamored by a fellow classmate and on the verge of raping her in this end of the world scenario is stabbed in the groin repeatedly by the dream that turns into a nightmare. A boy seeking out the girl of his dreams is killed by his dream. violence is the god of this movie, and to see friends kill each other is the libation for this new religion. This is definately not a movie to be missed....more info
- 3 stars out of 4
The Bottom Line:
Far superior to The Condemned, the American quasi-remake/rip-off, Battle Royale takes the inherently-compelling premise of a group of people stuck in a isolated place forced to fight to the death and milks it for all its worth; if you're the type of person who finds that plot description appealing (you know who you are!) then rent or buy this very interesting film....more info
- One of my top five favorite movies - Everyone should see this at least once
Battle Royale is the absolute best sub-titled film. The underlying philosophical points in the movie provide plenty of food for thought, but even if you ignore them, there's plenty of action to keep you on the edge of your seat. At the VERY least, find someone who has this, and watch it....more info
- grusomely great
great movie. alot of parts are different from the book but its still a great movie. alot of blood, grusome. ...more info
- A Masterpiece
If you are looking at this web page right now, then you need to buy this movie immediately.
It is a masterpiece in every way. If you are tennative because of the film's reputation for violence, have no fear. This film is, in fact, not particularly violent, much less than Kill Bill or Seven. The only difference is that the protagonists are teenagers instead of adults, which is the reason this film was temporarily banned.
Nominated for the Japanse Academy Award for Best Picture, Battle Royal is both an insightful take on groupthink and hegemony in the world today, and a gripping suspense/drama that is thoroughly entertaining and completely satisfying....more info
- Finally on legal US DVD
I've been waiting a long time for this on dvd. It doesn't disappoint. The changes made by the director that differ from the book are a little odd, but not terrible. Still a great story even with the odd moments....more info
- One of the best
One of my personal favortie movies. Easily a good watch, even if you don't normally like subtitles. This movie will keep you up at night, asking yourself "What if..."
What if you were forced to kill your entire high school class? what if you watched your best friend die right in front of your face? what would you do? would you run, hide, and wait things out, or would you strategize, fight your friends, or fight the system.
Tatsuya is a phenominal director, and has fantastically created this movie to seem very much like real life, much as was done in 28 Days Later.
The movie is a fantastic display of human nature. everyone has a story. I also highly suggest that you read the book or the manga, as it is far more detailed.
and as for those who have already read the book, you, unfortunately, will be disapointed to find that many parts of the book are summed over.
However, Battle Royale is still a fantastic book, and a great dvd with plenty of exciting extras.
highly suggested...more info
- Don't Believe the Hype...?
I'm not sure what all the fuss is surrounding this movie. Sure, it is violent, but the violence itself was nothing more than slightly-creative killing with computer-added blood splashes. Really. Lots of gunshots, stabbings, but considering that all the kids were wearing explosive neckbands, you'd think there'd be "heads-a'-poppin.'"
In fact, though the countdown of deaths throughout the movie was a nice touch (adding to the "game" feel), the directors didn't spend much time exaggerating death or making it outlandishly violent. Rather tame by other Japanese films' standards. So, if the violence isn't the pull of this movie, then what is?
There is a small undertone of loyal friendship and personal justice interwoven to the story. While it's a bit far-fetched and poorly acted, it exists. Even the "bad guy" of the film comes off as being a little sentimental at the end. It doesn't work in the film, but it was possibly an attempt to make the movie more mature than it was coming off as.
Purely a fantasy movie due to the content and story, I had hoped the violence and the atmosphere were also more creative. This could have been an ultra-violent bloodbath, but for some reason, the directors chose to keep the violence simple and try to make us sympathize with certain characters. Unless you've got a keen eye and a knack for memorizing Japanese names, you may find yourself confused as to who you're supposed to "root for" and who you are supposed to dislike. (These kids look a lot alike.)
I give the film a solid three stars because it was interesting, but it was very, very weak in many parts. Violence was weak, story was underachieving and the ending was probably more sappy than it was poignant.
Though it would have been a throw-away shockfest, I would have prefered it to be an all-out killing spree movie. At least that way, it would have made more sense.
- Disappointing Director's Cut
Before you type out a retaliatory positive review- read on!
I want to start off by saying I absolutely LOVE Battle Royale- It is most certainly on my list of favorite movies. HOWEVER- this 'Director's Cut' is total garbage.
Sadly, as with the case for many 'Special Edition' DVDs, Battle Royale: Director's Cut adds unnecessary footage that does nothing to enhance the film. The end is extending by 8 minutes or so - and delves into a sort of epilogue and series of dream sequences.
The Battle Royale wiki explains the changes here: (...)
No attempt was made to clean up the subtitles: I can ignore misspellings and incorrect conjugations - however at one point the subtitles ran off the screen. The subtitles in the added scenes were far worse than that of the rest of the movie.
I am not bashing Battle Royale; I want people to buy the regular version and forget that this Director's Cut is even an option....more info
- Shogun of the Flies
Awesome flick, a Japanese adaptation of Lord of the Flies. Very bloody with a fantastic range of characters....more info
- good times, good times.
fantastic concept. The movie was executed really well, the idea is really original. They do a good job developing the movie and the characters even though some are only there shortly....more info
- finally, an accurate high school movie !
forget about the social commentary or disturbing content. the real reason this movie is good is because it has cute japanese schoolgirls violently murdering each other. and at the end of the day, isnt that what every heterosexual male wants to see? ...more info
- A nightmare come true or an astonishing film? May be both.
Although the setting of the story is a little bit overstretched in terms of reality (a whole class of teenagers is punished to take the "Battle Royale" course of self-extermination in futuristic Japan) the result is a very powerful film which presents the feelings and behavior of ordinary youths put under extreme stress in a fascinating way. There is a profusion of blood and brutal violence in some scenes but the film is so terrific that fixes you in your seat. Expect a big surprise in the finale! ...more info
- Not as violent as I thought it would be
an above average movie with a rather creative story but and decent acting, the dialouge is nothing to marvel at but it isn't unbearable, it seems have a decent lesson to be learned and accuratley depicts in my opinion what would really happen in a time of desperation some would go crazy some would turn to there lovers some would admit secrets never told before and some would reflect. I didn't love the ending, could easily have been refined. overall : 4 stars...more info
- Book Into Movie
I saw the movie which got me interested in the book. The movie was gerat, but the book was better. This movie is a MUST SEE!!!!!! One of my favorite movies, it is a fun movie for all those people who like violent japanese movies. The only thing i do not like about it, is the cover art. :P...more info
- Great Intro into Asian cinema
Having never seen any Asian based films, I was skeptic of actually making this purchase. However, after hearing many great things, I decided to check this out, and was I glad. Likened to the asian version of Lord of the Flies, this film contrasts both teenage violence with a great storyline. A great film!...more info
- Good for What it Is
I am a huge fan of the book, but this movie is only mildly entertaining in comparison. It is good for what the director was aiming for-to adapt it to movie screenplay as a thriller. However, the movie leaves out almost all of the crucial character background stories and key character details, as well as many deep themes. This movie turned a groundbreaking piece of literature into a gorefest, but if you watch it just to enjoy it, without obsessing over accuracy, it is still, in itself, a good movie. ...more info
- Quality of Copy
Very good copy, which includes the newly added basketball requiem scenes and no major subtitle errors like other versions of this movie. Picture quality is good and the special features come with SOME english subtitles. Mitsuko has a background story in this version!!...more info
- Depiction of the brutality of the young generation.
While some may think of this movie as tawdry entertainment or a bizarre horror flick, it is really not so different from the state of the young today. More at
- EXCELLENT MOVIE!!
This is a great movie. it's most likely my favorite. it is not exactly like the book but the director did a great job adapting the text into the film. it is definitely a must have if you are a fan of japanese movies....more info
- DVD may not play in American DVD players.
(Please ignore the 3 star rating. I haven't seen the movie yet, so I'm using the middle grade.)
My DVD won't play in either of my DVD players. One error message tells me it is from another area. I am waiting for the seller to swap it for a functional copy. ...more info
- See it.................
Director: Kinji Fukasaku.
A stunningly original, if intensely graphic satire, Kinji Fukasaku's Battle Royale is based around the concept of 42 school children being taken to a remote Pacific island to engage in a very real death match. Set in a Japanese colony of the very near future, the action follows those youngsters as they are dispatched on the island where with three days worth of arms and food, they must fight to the death. The ultimate winner - and, of course, there can be only one - is then deemed fit to retake their place in Japanese society. In equal measures, violent and humourous, Battle Royale ignores the accepted parameters of the average action movie, and instead offers a savage critique of the pressures and motivations of young people in today's society. As you'd expect for a movie with killing as its central theme, there's a tremendous amount of bloodshed in Battle Royale but, believe it or not, it's thoughtfully handled by the director.