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(aka "Deadly Outlaw: Reeka" or "Jitsuroku And˘ Noboru ky˘d˘-den: Rekka" or "Violent Fire" or "The True Story of Noboru Ando the Outlaw")

 

directed by Takashi Miike
Japan 2002

 

When a hitman for the Otaki clan takes out the head of the Sanada clan (Tetsur˘ Tanba, YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE), surrogate son/chief hitman Kunishada (Riki Takeuchi, who starred in Miike's DEAD OR ALIVE trilogy prior to this) wants revenge; however, he is told to stand down as the two groups plan to negotiate a truce - mediated by the Bando group - rather than risk a range war. Kunisada takes out the head of the Otaki group, but the younger members of both clans - in conjunction with the Bando group - use that to their advantage and try to make Kunisada into a scapegoat to further their own ends. Seeing this as a betrayal of Sanada by his own group, Kunishada - with the help of a buddy (Ken'ichi End˘, VISITOR Q) - goes after every member of the Otaki and Sanada. In turn, the Otaki send two hitman after Kunishada. STREETFIGHTER's Sonny Chiba co-stars. Scored with songs from the 1971 album of Japanese progressive rockers Flower Travelling Band, DEADLY OUTLAW: REKKA is not over-the-top for Miike, but it certainly is for HK-esque gangster action flicks (the hitman still has his victim's severed hands clutched around his throat after the first killing and Kunishada busting out a bazooka in the midst of a gunfight evokes titters while simultaneously amping up the action, especially when the force of the blast shocks even Kunisada). It lacks the slickness of Miike better-known films like AUDITION but the action makes up for it (the editing to the rock score is not always successful - and its placement in the mix sounds more like background music than scoring - but the music does atypical scoring does energize the film and distinguish it from other low budget action flicks). The theme of Yakuza politics clashing with family honor causes one to question the actions of the absolutely insane Kunishada (another character says "I never knew a man who was so fucked in the head," and he's pretty spot on), who would rather start a bloodbath than prevent one; even his figurative godmother - Sinada's wife - tells him that he should not waste his life on a dead man).

Eric Cotenas

Poster

Theatrical Release: 21 September 2002 (Japan)

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DVD Comparison:

Arrow Video - Region 0 - PAL vs. Tokyo Shock/Media Blasters - Region 1 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for all the Screen Caps!

(Arrow Video - Region 0 - PAL - LEFT vs. Tokyo Shock/Media Blasters - Region 1 - NTSC - RIGHT)

DVD Box Covers

 

 

 

 

Distribution

Arrow Video

Region 0 - PAL

Tokyo Shock/Media Blasters
Region 1 - NTSC
Runtime 1:35:45 1:35:42
Video

1.82:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.9 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.83:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.43 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

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

Bitrate:

 

Arrow Video

 

Bitrate:

 

Tokyo Shock/Media Blasters

 

Audio Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo

Japanese Dolby Digital 5.1; Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo

Subtitles English,none English, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Arrow Video

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.82:1

Edition Details:
• Interview with director Takashi Miike (4:3; 18:11)
• Deadly Outlaw: Miike (16:9; 30:24)
• Theatrical Trailer (4:3; 1:19)

DVD Release Date: November 22nd, 2010
Amaray

Chapters 12
 

Release Information:
Studio: Tokyo Shock/Media Blasters

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.83:1

Edition Details:
• Interview with director Takashi Miike (4:3; 18:01)
• Theatrical Trailer (4:3; 1:19)
• Still Gallery
• Trailers for ICHI THE KILLER, VISITOR Q, ALIVE, and SAMURAI REINCARNATION

 

DVD Release Date: 14 September 2004
Amaray

Chapters 24

 

Comments

Arrow's anamorphic transfer is unfortunately an NTSC-PAL standards conversion. The Media Blasters release is also interlaced but includes a 5.1 mix in addition to the stereo mix. While the Media Blasters edition is 1.83:1 with mattes on three sides of the image, the Arrow version is 1.82:1 and has mattes on all four sides (while it doesn't exploit the whole width of the larger PAL image size, the fact that it is a standards conversion means that it is enlarged from NTSC anyway).

Arrow has ported over Media Blaster's once-exclusive interview with Miike, but they have also included a half-hour multi-part documentary on the film. Although the Media Blasters transfer has a higher bitrate, picture quality is very similar (since they're both interlaced, it's really a toss-up as to which looks worst during fast motion); however, the Arrow release includes an additional relevant extra. Only a check disc was provided for view but the finished release containing a "booklet featuring stills and an essay on the film by Tom Mes, author of ‘Agitator: The Cinema of Takashi Miike’; notes on prog rockers Flower Travellin’ Band, the stars and providers of the soundtrack to the film, written by Sam Jones." Arrow's painted cover art may actually suit the film more than the slicker Media Blasters artwork.

 - Eric Cotenas

 



DVD Menus
(
Arrow Video - Region 0 - PAL - LEFT vs. Tokyo Shock/Media Blasters - Region 1 - NTSC - RIGHT)
 

 


 

Screen Captures

(Arrow Video - Region 0 - PAL - TOP vs. Tokyo Shock/Media Blasters - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)
Subtitle sample

 


(Arrow Video - Region 0 - PAL - TOP vs. Tokyo Shock/Media Blasters - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


(Arrow Video - Region 0 - PAL - TOP vs. Tokyo Shock/Media Blasters - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


(Arrow Video - Region 0 - PAL - TOP vs. Tokyo Shock/Media Blasters - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


(Arrow Video - Region 0 - PAL - TOP vs. Tokyo Shock/Media Blasters - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


(Arrow Video - Region 0 - PAL - TOP vs. Tokyo Shock/Media Blasters - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


(Arrow Video - Region 0 - PAL - TOP vs. Tokyo Shock/Media Blasters - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 


 

Report Card:

 

Image:

Media Blasters

Sound:

Media Blasters

Extras: Arrow
Menu: Draw
DVD Box Covers

 

 

 

 

Distribution

Arrow Video

Region 0 - PAL

Tokyo Shock/Media Blasters
Region 1 - NTSC



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