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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Ichi the Killer" or "Koroshiya 1" or "Koroshiya ichi")

directed by Takashi Miike
Japan / Hong Kong / South Korea 2001

Welcome to a world where violence is a virtue and depravity is a way of life. This is the underside of Shinjuku, and the Home of Kakihara, a sadistic Yakuza killer. He relentlessly tears apart the underworld searching for the man who killed his boss. The mastermind behind the plot is Jijii, an ex-cop bent on turning the gangsters of Japan against one another. His trump card is a physically powerful lunatic who is constantly on the verge of snapping. This madman is Ichi, the killer, and him and Kakihara, the streets will run red with blood.

***

A lot of severed body parts hit the floor during the grisly course of Takashi Miike's Japanese splatter comedy ''Ichi the Killer,'' including a nose, a cheek, a tongue, several heads and a face, sliced off as if it were a mask. One hapless manis slit from top to bottom by a samurai sword, his body left to peel apart like a soggy banana from its skin. None of these effects are very convincing -- if they were this film would be revolting instead of merely repulsive -- but there are enough of them to make one wonder what has happened to that once-famous Japanese sense of understatement.

Like the other recent ultraviolent films from Japan -- including Mr. Miike's own ''Audition'' and Katsuhito Ishii's recent ''Shark Skin Man and Peach Hip Girl'' -- ''Ichi the Killer'' is pitched as a protest against the rampant conformism of Japanese society.

Excerpt from Dave Kehr at the NY Times located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: September 14th, 2001 - Canada (Toronto Film Festival)

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Comparison:

WorldWide Cinema (NL) - Region 2,4 - PAL vs. Tokyo Shock/Media Blasters - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Tokyo Shock - Region 'A' Blu-ray

Big thanks to Ole Kofoed and Gregory Meshman for the DVD Screen Caps!

1) WorldWide Cinema (NL) - Region 2,4 - PAL - LEFT

2) Tokyo Shock/Media Blasters - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Tokyo Shock/Media Blasters - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

DVD Box Covers

 

Distribution

WorldWide Cinema (NL)

Region 2,4 - PAL

Tokyo Shock/Media Blasters
Region 0 - NTSC
Tokyo Shock/Media Blasters
Region 'A' -
Blu-ray
Runtime 2:03:20 (4% PAL speedup) 2:08:28 2:08:40.671
Video

1.78:1 Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.54 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.78:1 Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.22 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

Disc Size: 24,062,991,095 bytes

Feature Size: 19,041,097,728 bytes

Average Bitrate: 13.48 Mbps

Single-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video 1080P

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

Bitrate:

WorldWide Cinema (NL)

 

Bitrate:

 

Tokyo Shock/Media Blasters

 

Bitrate:

 

Tokyo Shock

 Blu-ray

Audio Japanese Dolby Digital 5.1 and English Dubbed DD 4.0

Japanese Dolby Digital 5.1 & 2.0 and English Dubbed DD 5.1

Dolby TrueHD Audio English 1276 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1276 kbps / 16-bit (AC3 Embedded: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps)
Dolby TrueHD Audio Japanese 1426 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1426 kbps / 16-bit (AC3 Embedded: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps / DN -1dB)
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Japanese 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Japanese 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB
Subtitles English, French, Dutch or none. English or none English or none
Features Release Information:
Studio: WorldWide Cinema (NL)

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
• Interview with Takashi Miike (English Subtitles) (32:24).
• Interview with Tadanobu Asano (English Subtitles)(9:39).
• Interview with Alien Sun (In English)(14:46).
• Interview with Shinya Tsukamoto (English Subtitles)(14:05).
• 7 Behind the scenes featurettes (No subs) (Total 15:51).
• Theatrical Trailer (1:42).
• European Campain Trailer (1:29)
• Electronic Press Kit (Some from the Miike Interview (6:02), Behind the Scenes / Outtakes (14:59)).
• Photo Gallery (total of 51 - Production Stills / Behind the Scenes / Campaign Artwork).
• 2-DVD Set

DVD Release Date: April 4, 2003
Keep Case in Slip-Case

Chapters 32

Release Information:
Studio: Tokyo Shock/Media Blasters

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
• Audio Commentary with Takashi Miike and Hideo Yamamoto in Japanese with optional English subtitles
• Photo Gallery (total of 28 - Production Stills / Behind the Scenes)
• Theatrical Trailers for other Tokyo Shock releases (Samurai Fiction, Pistol Opera, Versus, Visitor Q

DVD Release Date: November 18, 2003
Keep Case

Chapters 20

Release Information:
Studio: Tokyo Shock/Media Blasters

 

Disc Size: 24,062,991,095 bytes

Feature Size: 19,041,097,728 bytes

Average Bitrate: 13.48 Mbps

Single-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video 1080P

 

Edition Details:
• Audio Commentary with Takashi Miike and Hideo Yamamoto in Japanese with optional English subtitles

• 6 Cast/Crew Interviews

• Featurette "The Cult of Ichi" (10:21 in SD) 

• Eli Roth on Ichi (7:09 in SD)
• Memories of Ichi  (48:53 in SD)

• Ichi Gallery (total of 28 - Production Stills / Behind the Scenes)
• Original Trailer

 

Blu-ray Release Date: February 23rd, 2010
Standard
Blu-ray Case

Chapters 20

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Tokyo Shock - Region 'A' Blu-ray - April 2010: This release was delayed a couple of times but now appears available.

I can't really comment on the colors - but the Dutch DVD still appears to be boosted - but perhaps more true - I don't know. The Tokyo Shock Blu-ray has, presumably, come from the same source as their DVD and hence improves in all areas with the 1080P resolution. It is sharper, a shade brighter, better contrast and a tad more information in the frame... than it's SD counterpart. I wouldn't say it is a particularly engaging film appearance regardless of the HD rendering. It's only single-layered with a very low bitrate (for hi-def).

It offers a lossless, if low-key, HD sound track (both Japanese and English DUB). It has some buoyancy but separations aren't as deft as more modern film-transfers in the new medium. There are optional English subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it is being Region 'A'-locked.

There are a couple of new extras (brief cast and crew interviews, 3 new featurettes) and the commentary is still there.

It's totally your call on which edition you'd lean to. Because of the Blu-ray supplements and improved resolution - adopters of the new medium may wish to go that route - it may be the best the film will look, but I think it could look improved with dual-layering and, perhaps, a cleaner source.

****

ON THE DVDs: The WorldWide Cinema release appears to be sharper and the colors seem truer than the Tokyo Shock edition - but it is also boosted. The Tokyo Shock is washed out and  boosted which has really made the image hazy in comparison to the WorldWide Cinema. The Tokyo Shock image is slightly cropped on both edges. Both releases have strong Extra Features with the Tokyo Shock having a director commentary. The WorldWide Cinema DVD has an extensive interview with Miike (30:00), with 3 other cast/crew  interviews, 7 'Behind the Scenes' featurettes and more. Both have original Japanese 5.1 audio and both offer and English DUB track. the WorldWide has more subtitle options, but they both offer removable English. The WorldWide release is the way to go, but fans may also want the Tokyo Shock for the commentary.

NOTE: (From Phil Quail)

I have both versions, and I just wanted to point out something interesting (to me, anyway!) about the English audio tracks: on the Dutch R2 the voiceover actors have Dutch accents, but on the American R1 the accents all sound British! I'd love to know where the tracks originated. Either way, you're best off with the Japanese audio of course.

 


Recommended Reading in Chinese/Hong Kong/Taiwanese Cinema (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)

Check out more in "The Library"


 

DVD Menus

(WorldWide Cinema (NL) - Region 2,4 - PAL - LEFT vs. Tokyo Shock/Media Blasters - Region 0 - NTSC - RIGHT)
 

 


 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Screen Captures

 

1) WorldWide Cinema (NL) - Region 2,4 - PAL - TOP

2) Tokyo Shock/Media Blasters - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Tokyo Shock/Media Blasters - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


1) WorldWide Cinema (NL) - Region 2,4 - PAL - TOP

2) Tokyo Shock/Media Blasters - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Tokyo Shock/Media Blasters - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


1) WorldWide Cinema (NL) - Region 2,4 - PAL - TOP

2) Tokyo Shock/Media Blasters - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Tokyo Shock/Media Blasters - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


1) WorldWide Cinema (NL) - Region 2,4 - PAL - TOP

2) Tokyo Shock/Media Blasters - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Tokyo Shock/Media Blasters - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) WorldWide Cinema (NL) - Region 2,4 - PAL - TOP

2) Tokyo Shock/Media Blasters - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Tokyo Shock/Media Blasters - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


1) WorldWide Cinema (NL) - Region 2,4 - PAL - TOP

2) Tokyo Shock/Media Blasters - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Tokyo Shock/Media Blasters - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


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Report Card:

 

Image:

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Sound:

Blu-ray

Extras:

Blu-ray

 

DVD Box Covers

 

Distribution

WorldWide Cinema (NL)

Region 2,4 - PAL

Tokyo Shock/Media Blasters
Region 0 - NTSC
Tokyo Shock/Media Blasters
Region FREE -
Blu-ray



 

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