I liked Battle Royale quite a bit. It’s a great mix of teen movies, Lord of the Flies, and reality TV, with a little bit of adventure game inventory management thrown in. Beat Takashi was superb and he has one of my all-time favorite [spoiler!] death scenes.
I’d love to see an intelligent American remake, but I suspect it would have to be a fifth-rate throwaway thriller. In fact, it looks like Mindhunters might be along those lines. The closest American movie is probably Series Seven, but it’s nowhere near as good as Battle Royale.
So what’s wrong with the sequel, extarbags? Does it have any redeeming value?
And the problems with BR2, supposedly (and hopefully I’ll be seeing it this weekend), are that the original writer/director died in the middle of filming. His less-talented son was allowed to take over.
I read through the first few volumes of the Battle Royale manga at Barnes and Noble the other day, and found it a bit too disturbing at times. That actually surprised me, as a regular manga/anime fan - I thought I was beyond feeling disturbed by such works ( Although Grave of the Fireflies gets to me every time I see it ).
I obtained the Region 0 NTSC from www.dvdasian.com and its an official Special Edition. No English Dub. English subtitles only during the film- not during the special features. English subtitles were just fine. Very good picture quality and Dolby Digital/DTS sound.
Both of the issues go hand and hand. The only way to release BR in the US without a boatload of controversy is to dump it in theaters in an extremely limited release with no marketing or go straight to video, neither of which will be very profitable. Hence the extremely low offer that the Japanese turned down.
The only way to release BR in the US without a boatload of controversy is to dump it in theaters in an extremely limited release with no marketing or go straight to video, neither of which will be very profitable.
It was only ever going to get a limited release anyway, especially if the distributor released it uncut (which would probably warrant either an NC-17 or an unrated release, both of which limit the number of potential venues). This would’ve been just as true pre-Columbine as it would’ve been post-Columbine. The Japanese rights holder, on the other hand, expected it to play in multiplexes with a nationwide release and a huge marketing campaign – in other words they expected it to get more or less the same treatment it got in Japan. No independent distributor (the only type of distributor willing to take it on) could afford that. It wasn’t an issue of the Japanese company worrying they wouldn’t make a profit (after all, they had nothing to lose – if it tanked it would’ve come out of the U.S. distributor, not them), it was a matter of the Japanese company having unreasonable expectations for the U.S. market. For what it’s worth there are occasional rumors that some company or the other has picked it up for a U.S. DVD release but I doubt anyone is really in a hurry to do that, since everyone who wants to see this on DVD has probably already imported it from abroad.