(aka "Batoru rowaiairu" or "Battle Royale")

 

directed by Kinji Fukasaku
Japan 2000

"In a future where society is on the verge of collapse, the government takes drastic action against the problem of rebellious teenagers in this violent sci-fi opus from Japan. In the year 2002, Japan's economy has taken a dramatic turn for the worse, and massive unemployment and inflation have thrown most adults into a state of chaos; the nation's youth culture responds with unprecedented violence, delinquency, and truancy. Desperate to restore order, the Japanese parliament responds by creating the Millennial Reform School Act, in which groups of junior high students are selected at random, sent to an isolated island, and forced to play a rigorous war game, in which all but one of their number are killed. Kitano (Beat Takeshi) is an embittered school instructor who guides the 44 students of the Zentsuji Middle School's Class B through the deadly game known as "Battle Royale," as they struggle to survive against the elements and each other. Battle Royale proved to be both successful and highly controversial in Japan, where it set box-office records and prompted political leaders to call for stricter controls on violence in Japanese entertainment; the film was initially rated R-15 (no one under 15 admitted), unusual for violent films in Japan, though director Kinji Fukasaku later prepared a re-edited version that earned a more lenient classification. "


Posters

Reviews    More Reviews  DVD Reviews

DVD Comparison (This is for the DIRECTOR'S CUT):

Starmax (Korea) - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Tartan- Region 0 - PAL vs. Cream (Korea) Region 0 - NTSC

Thanks to Mark Wilson for all of the screen captures

(Starmax (Korea) - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Tartan- Region 0 - PAL - MIDDLE vs. Cream (Korea) Region 0 - NTSC - RIGHT)

DVD Box Covers

 

 

Distribution

Starmax (Korea)

Region 0  - NTSC

Tartan (UK)

Region 0  - PAL

Cream (Korea)
Region 3 - NTSC
Runtime 2:01:00 2:01:16 (NO PAL speedup) 2:01:00
Video

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.97 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 4.27 mb/s

PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.94
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

Bitrate:

Starmax

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Tartan R0

Bitrate:

Cream

Audio DTS 5.1 Japanese
DD 2.0 Stereo Japanese
DD 5.1 Japanese

DD 5.1 Japanese
DD 2.0 Stereo Japanese

Subtitles English, Korean and none. English, None English, Korean and none.
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Stramax (Korea)

Theatrical Release Date: Dec 16th, 200
 

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:

Extras:

The First Term
The Book was Published
WOWOW Special
Audition
Shooting
Making of
Birthday Party
Memorial Photo Album

The Second Term
Crank Up
CG
Orchestra Recording
Tokyo Film Festival

Marketing
BR Affairs

Release
Art Gallery

The Third Term
Filming a Special Edition
Making of
Finished
Special Edition Release
Theatrical Trailer
TV Spot
WOWOW Trailer
DVD Trailer
"Movie is a War" Trailer

Cardboard Slip Case

Chapters 48

  • Double DVD (1 DVD 9, 1 DVD 5) NTSC
  • First 5000 copies included a Free map of the island
Release Information:
Studio: Taratan Video (UK)
Theatrical Release Date: Dec 16th, 2000

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:

Poster Art Collector's Card
Film Frame Card
4 page infomation booklet

Making of Battle Royale
BR Press Conference
Instructional Video: Birthday Version
Audition and Rehersal Footage
Special Effects Comparison Featurette
Tokyo International Film Festival 2000
BR Documentary
Basketball Scene Rehearsals
Behind the Scenes Featurette
Filiming on the set
Original Theatrical Trailer
Special Edition TV Spot
TV Spot: Tarantino Version
Director's Statement
On-Screen Filmography

most if not all extras are English Subbed.
 

DVD Release Date: September 23rd, 2002

Tin Case

Chapters 24

 

2 Disc Set (both Single Layer)

Release Information:
Studio: Cream (Korea)
Theatrical Release Date: Dec 16th, 2000

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:

Extras:

The First Term
The Book was Published
WOWOW Special
Audition
Shooting
Making of
Birthday Party
Memorial Photo Album

The Second Term
Crank Up
CG
Orchestra Recording
Tokyo Film Festival

Marketing
BR Affairs

Release
Art Gallery

The Third Term
Filming a Special Edition
Making of
Finished
Special Edition Release
Theatrical Trailer
TV Spot
WOWOW Trailer
DVD Trailer
"Movie is a War" Trailer

NOTE: The same extras as the R0 Starmax 2 disc version.

 

Click Case

Chapters 47

Comments:
NOTE: 2010 Arrow Blu-ray (both Theatrical an Director's Cut) compared HERE.

Not a lot to choose in the picture quality of these three anamorphic releases. There is no cropping on any of the DVDs. the colors are consistent. I find the Cream Region 3 version every so-slightly softer than the other two and the Tartan a little darker, but the differences are very negligible.

One of the major points is the subtitles. A personal preference I suppose, but I am NOT partial to the Starmax font and the Cream seems the clearest. I assume that the Tartan may be the most detailed in the translation.

All 3 versions are pretty stacked with Extras but the Cream and Starmax are identical. True fans may wish to get one of the Korean version as well as the Tartan for the extensive extras. All have 5.1 original audio. Ohhh... and chapters; Both Korean DVDs have really divided the film up nicely where Tartan has taken a shorter cut with about half as many stops.

The menus are always the least important issue for DVD buyers, but as these editions are so close, we will look at it. The Cream appears to have the clearest menu system, while the Tartan is easily the most boring. Personally I like the Starmax... but that is only me. You may have a different choice. Okay, there they are 3 Director's Cuts of "Battle Royale". The grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence as these three editions are pretty much the same.

  - Gary W. Tooze


Recommended Reading for Japanese Film Fans (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)

 

 

The Japan Journals : 1947-2004,

by  Donald Richie

The Midnight Eye Guide to New Japanese Film
by Tom Mes and Jasper Sharp

Kon Ichikawa (Cinematheque Ontario Monographs)

by James Quandt, Cinematheque Ontario

Shohei Imamura (Cinematheque Ontario Monographs, No. 1)
by James Quandt
Eros Plus Massacre: An Introduction to the Japanese New Wave Cinema (Midland Book, Mb 469)
by David Desser
The Films of Akira Kurosawa by Donald Ritchie

Tokyo Story

by Yasujiro Ozu, Kogo Noda, Donald Richie, Eric Klestadt

Ozu by Donald Ritchie

A Hundred Years of Japanese Film by Donald Richie

Check out more in "The Library"


 

 



DVD Menus

(Starmax (Korea) - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Tartan- Region 0 - PAL - MIDDLE vs. Cream (Korea) Region 0 - NTSC - RIGHT))

 

 

 

Subtitle samples

(Starmax (Korea) - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Tartan- Region 0 - PAL - MIDDLE vs. Cream (Korea) Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 

 

 


Screen Captures

(Starmax (Korea) - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Tartan- Region 0 - PAL - MIDDLE vs. Cream (Korea) Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)



(Starmax (Korea) - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Tartan- Region 0 - PAL - MIDDLE vs. Cream (Korea) Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)


(Starmax (Korea) - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Tartan- Region 0 - PAL - MIDDLE vs. Cream (Korea) Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)



(Starmax (Korea) - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Tartan- Region 0 - PAL - MIDDLE vs. Cream (Korea) Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)


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Extras: -
Menu: Starmax


 

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Gary Tooze

Many Thanks...