Firstly, a HUGE thanks to our Patreon supporters. Your generosity touches me deeply. These supporters have become the single biggest contributing factor to the survival of DVDBeaver. Your assistance has become essential. We are always trying to expand Patron benefits... you get access to the Silent Auctions and over 10,000 unpublished screen captures (in lossless PNG format, if that has appeal for you) listed HERE. Please consider helping with $3 or more each month so we can continue to do our best in giving you timely, thorough reviews, calendar updates and detailed comparisons. Thank you so much. We aren't going to exist without another 100 or so patrons.


 

Search DVDBeaver

S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

Directed by Ryűhei Kitamura
Japan 2000

 

A relentless one-of-a-kind sensory assault chock full of hyper-kinetic fight scenes, gangster shootouts, sword-slashing violence and gory zombie horror, Versus was a key title amongst the barrage of innovative horror and action movies that appeared as if from nowhere from Japan at the turn of the millennium, leading to a new wave of appreciation for Asian extreme cinema.

A mysterious face-off in a wooded clearing between two escaped convicts and a carload of sharply dressed yakuza holding a beautiful woman captive ends in hails of bullets and showers of blood. The location for this violent encounter is the mythic Forest of Resurrection, the site of the 444th portal of the 666 hidden gates that link this earthly domain to the netherworld and it didn t get this name for nothing. As one of the surviving prisoners escapes with the girl into the darkness of the forest, disgruntled gangsters soon become the least of their worries as an earlier battle between a lone warrior against hordes of zombie samurai is carried over from a millennium ago into the present day.

Versus caused a sensation both in Japan and internationally upon its release, launching the careers of director Ryűhei Kitamura (Godzilla Final Wars, Midnight Meat Train) and action star and fight choreographer Tak Sakaguchi (Battlefield Baseball, Yakuza Weapon). Arrow Video is proud to present this mythic cult title in both its original 2000 and expanded 2004 Ultimate Versus iterations, in a brand new, director-approved restoration.

Posters

Theatrical Release: October 29th, 2000 (Tokyo International Fantastic Film Festival)

Reviews                                                                                                       More Reviews                                                                                       DVD Reviews

 

Review: Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray

Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

  

Distribution Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime

2000 Cut: 2:00:06.699

2004 Ultimate Cut: 2:10:12.679

Video

2000 Cut:

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 49,991,731,063 bytes

Feature: 30,424,902,912 bytes

Video Bitrate: 22.94 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

2004 Ultimate Cut:

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 47,793,519,417 bytes

Feature: 45,031,891,584 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.85 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

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

Bitrate 2000 Cut Blu-ray:

Bitrate 2004 Ultimate Cut Blu-ray:

Audio

2000 Cut:

DTS-HD Master Audio Japanese 4058 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 4058 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
LPCM Audio Japanese 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
Dolby Digital Audio English 96 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 96 kbps / DN -31dB
Dolby Digital Audio Japanese 96 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 96 kbps / DN -31dB

2004 Ultimate Cut:

DTS-HD Master Audio Japanese 4764 kbps 6.1 / 48 kHz / 4764 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 6.1-ES / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
LPCM Audio Japanese 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
DTS-HD Master Audio English 4129 kbps 6.1 / 48 kHz / 4129 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 6.1-ES / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
Dolby Digital Audio Japanese 128 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 128 kbps / DN -27dB

Subtitles English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Arrow

 

Edition Details:

DISC 1: VERSUS
• Audio commentary by Kitamura and producer Keishiro Shin
• Audio commentary by Kitamura and the cast and crew
• Body Slamming Body Horror, a visual essay on the career of Kitamura by Japanese cinema expert Jasper Sharp (16:04)
• First Contact: Versus Evolution, a featurette exploring the film's origins (09:39)
• Tak Sakaguchi s One-Man Journey, an archival featurette on the actor s visit to the 2001 Japan Film Festival in Hamburg (14:25)
• Team Versus, a brief look inside the Napalm Films office (01:05)
• Deep in the Woods, an archival featurette featuring interviews with Kitamura, cast and crew (24:43)
• The Encounter, an archival interview with editor Shűichi Kakesu (12:33)
• Deleted scenes with audio commentary by Kitamura, cast and crew (21:30)
• Versus FF Version, a condensed, 20-minute recut of the film (19:52)
• Behind Versus, a two-part behind-the-scenes documentary exploring the film's production (26:40)(46:06)
• Festival Screenings (02:06) (03:07)
• 'Versus' Side Stories - Nervous (06:31) and Nervous 2 (15:58), two side story (tie-in) mini-movies featuring characters from the main feature
• Featurette on the making of Nervous 2 (01:17)
• Multiple trailers
-'The Return: Down 2 Hell'
-'English Language Trailer' (01:41)
-'Making-of Trailer' (04:30)
-'Theatrical Trailer' (02:02)
-'Promo Trailer' (00:19)
• Image galleries
-Promotional Stills
-Posters
-Japanese Press Book
-Japanese Press Kit

DISC 2: ULTIMATE VERSUS
• Original lossless Japanese 6.1 and 2.0 stereo audio and English 6.1 and 2.0 stereo audio
• Optional English subtitles
• Audio commentary by Kitamura, cast and crew
• Sakigake! Otoko versus Juku, a featurette on the newly shot material for Ultimate Versus (18:22)
• FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Collector's Booklet


Blu-ray Release Date:
December 8th, 2020
Transparent Blu-ray Case inside slipcase

Chapters 13 / 13

 

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Arrow Blu-ray (January 2021): Arrow Video have released a new 2-Blu-ray set of Ryűhei Kitamura's "Versus". This release comes from a brand new 2K restoration from original film elements, approved by the director. The first Blu-ray features the film in its original 2000 form, with the second disc featuring the 2004 "Ultimate Versus'' version (featuring over 10 minutes of new and revised footage [some with CGI] as well as different music and some different color filters) A good breakdown of the different cuts can be found HERE. Disc one has the film accompanied by a supportive bitrate averaging in the low 20's (kbps), while the 'Ultimate' cut (disc 2) gets a higher average bitrate near 30kbps. The image tends to look a little soft, lacking minute detail. Certain sequences are seemingly shot on 16mm with thicker grain, giving them an intentional look. The Ultimate Edition seems to benefit most from this new transfer, though the image quality seems to be a bit hampered by the source material, most likely due to budgetary constraints during filming. Contrast is quite poor, showing a very basic range of blacks, though the film relies on the over-the-top lenses/filters/etc. All of that being said, this is miles above any SD release of the film, and fans would be wise to pick up this edition.

Arrow Video's first
Blu-ray disc of "Versus" features the options of listening to the film with the original Japanese 24-bit 5.1 DTS-HD Master audio, or linear PCM Japanese 2.0 stereo, or linear PCM English 2.0 stereo. The "Ultimate Versus" Blu-ray disc is interesting, giving us the options of 24-bit DTS-HD Master audio in 6.1 Japanese, 24-bit DTS-HD Master audio in 6.1 English, 24-bit linear PCM Japanese 2.0, or 24-bit linear PCM 2.0 English. Confused? Don't be. I would just recommend listening to the surround track that best fits your system. If you have a system capable of more than 5.1 channels, it is worth checking out the 6.1 track. The sound mixing and wild techno music from Nobuhiko Morino are all more than suitable for the linear 2.0 tracks as well. There are optional English subtitles on this Region FREE Blu-ray release from Arrow Video.

The first
Blu-ray in this 2-disc set from Arrow Films includes 2 commentaries. The first is with Kitamura and producer Keishiro Shin. The second features Kitamura and the cast and crew. The second Blu-ray disc also features a commentary with Kitamura and the cast and crew for the longer cut. All three commentaries feature optional subtitles, and have quite a laid-back laugh-filled quality to them. It is my understanding that these commentaries were recorded years prior for DVD editions of the film. "Body Slamming Body Horror" is a newly constructed 16-minute long visual essay on the work of director Ryuhei Kitamura and the early 2000's rise of 'Asia Extreme Cinema'. This piece is narrated by Japanese cinema expert, Jasper Sharp. "First Contact: Versus Evolution'' is a 10-minute wordless archival featurette set to electronic music, this contains some behind-the-scenes footage, but is most-likely not worth your time. "Tak Sakaguchi's One-Man Journey'' is another archival featurette, this time spending 14-minutes with actor Sakaguchi on his visit to the 2001 Japan Film Festival in Hamburg. The self-filmed footage is on the light and humorous side of things, though also tedious (watch the star eat breakfast! watch the star do pushups in his hotel room!. Watch the star ride the subway!) There is a funny little pay-off at the end, but it's a chore getting there. "Team Versus" is a 1-minute piece showing the people at the Napalm Films office just goofing off with a punching bag. "Deep in the Woods" is a 25-minute archival featurette (apparently for French audiences (though it is in English) featuring interviews with Kitamura, cast and crew. This is less 'goofing off' than the last set of featurettes, featuring more of the dry, press junket fare, though the director shares some interesting tidbits, especially regarding the casting of Minoru Matsumoto. The director also admits that he believes "Commando" is Schwarzenegger's best work, while stating that it is probably the first non-stop action film (I find this hard to believe but who knows). "The Encounter" is an archival (2002) French featurette with editor Shűichi Kakesu, a real force in editing both anime ("Cowboy Bebop: The Movie", "Ghost in the Shell") and kinetic wild cartoonish action like "Electric Dragon 80.000 V". This interview also features producer Shin Keishiro. Next up is 12.5-minutes of deleted scenes with commentary from Kitamura, as well as the cast and crew. There are subtitles available for these scenes. The deleted scenes are still time-stamped with film info at the top and bottom of the frame, and looking to be rather poor video quality. That being said, they are worth looking at for fans of the film, and the commentary is a welcome addition, lending some context to what we are seeing and where it would have fit in the film, with the cast and crew seemingly having a good time reminiscing. "FF Version" is a condensed 20-minute recut of the film. "Behind Versus" is a two-part behind-the-scenes documentary exploring the film's production. Part 1 (26:40) is entitled "Birth of a Dark Hero" and Part 2 is "Versus the Legend" (46:06). Both feature talking-heads as well as behind-the-scenes footage from the making of the film, scars and all. "Festival Screenings" are two clips featuring about 5-minutes of poor-quality handheld camcorder footage set to electronic music, why this was included is beyond me. "'Versus' Side Stories" features three playable options, "Nervous", "Nervous 2", as well as "The Making of Nervous 2" which is just one minute of a few stills with some text, neither a making-of nor a trailer. Just odd. "Nervous" and "Nervous 2" are two side story (tie-in) mini-movies featuring characters from the main feature. Next up are some trailers and image galleries rounding out Blu-ray disc one. Disc two features another archival featurette, "Sakigake! Otoko versus Juku" explores the newly shot material that was used for the "Ultimate Edition" which is also included on the second Blu-ray. The first pressing of this release also features a collectors booklet.

Arrow Video's release of "Versus" and "Ultimate Versus" features both films in new 2K restorations from original film elements, approved by director Ryűhei Kitamura. The sheer amount of bonus features looks like a lot to dive into, though only perhaps the commentaries are really worth anyone's time. Not my cup of tea, but fans might be pleased with these
Blu-ray presentations.

Colin Zavitz

 


Menus / Extras

 


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

 

1) e-m-s Premium Edition Switzerland - Region 2 - PAL TOP

2) Legend Home Entertainment (Tin Edition) Germany - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

3) KSS-Films Japan - Region 2 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Versus Director's Cut - Media Blasters USA - Region 1 - NTSC - FOURTH

5) Arrow (2000 Cut) - Region FREE - Blu-ray - FIFTH

6) Arrow (2004 Ultimate Cut) - Region  FREE - Blu-ray  BOTTOM

 

 


Subtitle Samples

 

1) Arrow (2000 Cut) - Region FREE - Blu-ray - FIFTH

2) Arrow (2004 Ultimate Cut) - Region  FREE - Blu-ray  BOTTOM

 

 


1) Arrow (2000 Cut) - Region FREE - Blu-ray - FIFTH

2) Arrow (2004 Ultimate Cut) - Region  FREE - Blu-ray  BOTTOM

 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 
Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

  

Distribution Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray


 


 

Search DVDBeaver

S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

 

Hit Counter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DONATIONS Keep DVDBeaver alive:

 CLICK PayPal logo to donate!

Gary Tooze

Thank You!