Battle Royale (Arrow Video)

Arrow week begins today!  Each day we will be looking at a different Arrow Video release!


Battle Royale
Production year:  2000
Release date: 12/13/2010
Collection number: 697

I wouldn't get around to seeing this much praised film until I received this blu-ray early last year.  There's no use in lying, I'm pretty much a novice when it comes to Asian cinema.  Sure, I've seen the classics...Enter the Dragon, Shogun Assassin, Gojira, but over the years I've been so engrossed with the Italian pictures I just haven't had the time to dedicate to that facet of film (something I plan on changing.)
 This set offers two versions of the film:  Theatrical and the Director's cut.  I personally prefer the theatrical version as I feel it's more tightly edited.  The director's cut offers up a few more scenes to give a little more life to some of the characters along with more gore thanks to some shoddy CGI.

The film opens with a piece of music called Dies Irae, which is very fitting as the follow 90 minutes is extremely intense.  The story breaks down like this:  In the near future teenagers are becoming more corrupt and harder to control.  The Government's solution?  Send a randomly selected HS class to a secluded island and make them fight until only one remains.  

Once it kicks off the movie rarely slows down with it's visual assault on the audience.  Suffice to say this is one I highly recommend.

Now that I've given the film my highest recommendation how does the discs themselves stack up?  Well as much as I love arrow, I'll be honest here, this isn't a set you'll break out to show off your newest home theater set up.  While the film sounds great and the two cuts of the film along with the bonus material will give you hours of entertainment, the high definition transfer leaves a little to be desired.  That's not to say Arrow didn't try, it's very possible they didn't have a lot to work with.  I guess will see once Anchor Bay gets around to releasing their version of the film later this year.

So I'm sure you're wondering what's included in this set?


DISC 1 – THEATRICAL CUT: SPECIAL FEATURES - ORIGINAL THEATRICAL TRAILER
- THE MAKING OF BATTLE ROYALE: THE EXPERIENCE OF 42 HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS

DISC 2 – SPECIAL EDITION [DIRECTOR’S CUT]: SPECIAL FEATURES
- SPECIAL EDITION TRAILER
- TV SPOT: TARANTINO VERSION
- SHOOTING THE SPECIAL EDITION
- TAKESHI KITANO INTERVIEW
- THE CORRECT WAY TO MAKE BATTLE ROYALE [BIRTHDAY VERION]
- TOKYO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL PRESENTATION
- CONDUCTING BATTLE ROYALE WITH THE WARSAW NATIONAL PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA

DISC 3 – SPECIAL FEATURES
- OPENING DAY AT MARU NO UCHI TOEI MOVIE THEATRE
- THE SLAUGHTER OF 42 HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS
- PREMIERE PRESS CONFERENCE
- THE CORRECT WAY TO FIGHT IN BATTLE ROYALE
- ROYALE REHEARSALS
- MASAMICHI AMANO CONDUCTS BATTLE ROYALE
- SPECIAL EFFECTS COMPARISON
- BEHIND THE SCENES FEATURETTE
- FILMING ON SET
- TV SPOTS, PROMOS AND COMMERCIALS
- KINJI FUKASAKU TRAILER REEL

That's not even including the poster, art cards, booklets...I'll just let the pictures speak for themselves.








This set is still available directly through arrow.  It is limited and a little pricey.  As mentioned earlier Anchor Bay is scheduled to release the film later this year in a deluxe box set as well, though you'd be hard pressed to beat Arrow's definitive BR set.

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