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Thoughts on... Battle Royale (2000)

Battle Royale (Japan: Batoru rowaiaru), 2000.

Directed by Kinji Fukasaku.

Starring Takeshi Kitano, Tatsuya Fujiwara, Aki Maeda, Tarô Yamamoto, Chiaki Kuriyama and Sôsuke Takaoka.


In the not-too-distant future, a class of Japanese schoolchildren are forced to fight to the death under a tyrannical government’s ‘Battle Royale’ Act.

From Fukasaku’s prologue depicting an adolescent girl clutching a blood-spattered doll, braces discernable as she breaks into a sadistic smile at being hungrily interrogated by a crowd of frenzied reporters proclaiming her the victor of that year’s ‘game’, I could tell that this was a film I would enjoy.

Set in a dystopian Japan - a nation that has lost faith in its increasingly unstable and violent youth – Battle Royale focuses on the unruly class 3-b and their subsequent punishment under the recently instated Br Act. Overseen by their contemptuous yet darkly comedic teacher Kitano (brilliantly played by Beat Takeshi
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Battle Royale May Be Adapted for a CW Network TV Series

Battle Royale May Be Adapted for a CW Network TV Series
Back in November, producer Roy Lee told us that a theatrical remake of the 2000 cult classic Battle Royale is not happening, due to the similarities between that project and The Hunger Games. Today, we have word that the CW Network is interested in bringing this dystopian story to the small screen with a new TV series.

The network has been involved in early discussions with Hollywood representatives about adapting Koushun Takami's novel, which director Kinji Fukasaku's Battle Royale is based on, into an English-language series. Nothing is solidified yet, although the network would expand the novel into an hour-long series, if a deal is finalized.

There is one major roadblock that must be cleared if this project moves forward. According to Japanese law, the producers must secure author Koushun Takami's approval for the remake before any serious talks can happen.

Battle Royale centers on a group of
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Contest: Win The Battle Royale: The Complete Collection Blu-ray

Contest: Win The Battle Royale: The Complete Collection Blu-ray
Anchor Bay Home Entertainment is releasing Battle Royale: The Complete Collection, which includes the cult classic Battle Royale and its sequel Battle Royale II, on Blu-ray and DVD March 20, which marks the first time in high-definition for both titles. We have a contest running and we're giving away copies of this Blu-ray set to our readers. These high-def boxed sets will surely go fast, so enter this contest today.

Winners Receive:

Battle Royale: The Complete Collection Blu-ray set

Here's How To Win!

Just "Like" (fan) the MovieWeb Facebook page (below) and then leave a comment below telling us why these prizes must be yours!

If you already "Like" MovieWeb, just leave a comment below telling us why these prizes must be yours!

42 students, Three days, One survivor - No Escape. Welcome to the world of Battle Royale!

Battle Royale

In the near future, the economy has collapsed, unemployment
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Contest: Battle Royale (2000) Blu-ray & DVD: Kinji Fukasaku

Battle Royale Contest Giveaway Sweepstakes. This Battle Royale Blu-ray contest, giveaway, sweepstakes illustrates Battle Royale‘s release on DVD and Blu-ray on March 20, 2012. Kinji Fukasaku‘s Battle Royale stars Takeshi Kitano, Chiaki Kuriyama, Tatsuya Fujiwara, Aki Maeda, and Tarô Yamamoto. Battle Royale‘s plot synopsis: Based on the 1999 global best-seller by Koushun Takami, “In the near future, the economy has collapsed, [...]

Continue reading: Contest: Battle Royale (2000) Blu-ray & DVD: Kinji Fukasaku
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Battle Royale / Batoru Rowaiaru (2000): The Complete Collection Trailer

Battle Royale / Batoru Rowaiaru The Complete Collection Trailer. Kinji Fukasaku‘s Battle Royale / Batoru Rowaiaru (2000) The Complete Collection Blu-ray / DVD trailer stars Takeshi Kitano, Chiaki Kuriyama, Tatsuya Fujiwara, Aki Maeda, and Tarô Yamamoto. Battle Royale‘s plot synopsis: Based on the 1999 global best-seller by Koushun Takami, “In the near future, the economy has collapsed, unemployment has soared and juvenile crime has exploded. Fearful of their nation’s youth, the Japanese government passes The Br Law: Each year, a 9th grade class is sent to a remote island where they will be locked into exploding neck collars, given a random weapon, and forced to hunt and kill each other until there is only one survivor left.”

This movie is sensational. I have seen Battle Royale multiple times. I have not seen the Director’s Cut though. I have given this film to people as Christmas presents. If only we weren’t
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Battle Royale: The Complete Collection Blu-ray Debuts March 20th

Battle Royale: The Complete Collection Blu-ray Debuts March 20th
Battle Royale. A title that has shocked, thrilled and unnerved audiences. A film whose fiendishly simple premise has inspired many imitations, including the upcoming The Hunger Games motion picture. Based on the 1999 global best-seller by Koushun Takami, the futuristic tale first came to the screen in 2000, directed by the legendary Kinji Fukasaku. Authors, filmmakers and film fans the world over consider the film and its 2003 sequel Battle Royale II sacred cinematic classics. And now, fans can own them on high-definition Blu-ray and DVD!

On March 20th, Anchor Bay Entertainment proudly brings the Battle Royale: The Complete Collection to Blu-ray and DVD for the first time in North America. Featuring state-of-the-art HD transfers, hi-res audio and a wealth of bonus features that delve deep into this truly international phenomenon - the three disc Blu-ray plus bonus DVD set has an Srp of $49.99 and an Srp $44.98 for the four disc DVD.
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(Video) Must Have Asian Horror Battle Royale Gets Us Release

Battle Royale aka Batoru rowaiaru often referred to an Asian treasure in the forums and has received great reviews from our community members: "A brilliant, disturbing film" by our very own Ossuary member SunlightGardener and "I love this movie--one of the most fun of the Asian movies I've seen" by Pumpboy The film is about a group of students that are selected to fight the Battle Royale. They are taken to an island, given survival bags, and told they have three days to murder every other student to become the winner. Battle Royale is directed by Kinji Fukasaku and stars Tatsuya Fujiwara, Aki Maeda and Tarô Yamamoto
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Battle Royale Remake Won't Happen Because of The Hunger Games

Battle Royale Remake Won't Happen Because of The Hunger Games
I recently visited the set of CBS Films' upcoming thriller 7500, which is working towards an August 28, 2012 release date. While on the set in Los Angeles, we were able to speak with producer Roy Lee, who gave us updates on a slew of his upcoming productions, including the Oldboy remake. Here's what he had to say about Oldboy, which is gearing up to start shooting in March.

"We are planning to shoot Oldboy in March and that should start preproduction in late January. This is a completely new version written by Mark Protosevich."

Chan-wook Park's original Oldboy is based on the manga by Nobuaki Minegishi. Roy Lee said that screenwriter Mark Protosevich has come up with new elements that don't stem from the original movie or manga. He also revealed the ending will be much different, and there is a new take on the famous hallway scene from the original.
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Battle Royale

Two days of nonstop teen vs. teen mayhem referenced by onscreen graphics that identify the three dozen-plus young corpses that pile up with the goal of only one combatant surviving, Japanese director Kinji Fukasaku's 60th film, "Battle Royale", has proved so controversial that media watchdogs in Japan have harshly criticized its brutality. The film received an R-15 rating, which prohibits viewers age 15 and under. The Japanese rating system, like the American one, is voluntary. Business has been brisk since its mid-December opening.

Before the U.S. premiere of "Battle" at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood on Thursday night, Fukasaku joked that his rating for the film would be "R-50", with viewers over the age of 50 denied admittance. Along with his son Kenta, who wrote the screenplay based on a 1998 novel by Koshun Takami, Fukasaku attended this sold-out opener to the American Cinematheque's 15-film retrospective of his work. Given the controversy elsewhere, the reaction afterward was positively tame.

During the movie, however, there was wave after wave of boisterous laughter during some of the most grisly action, and many showstopping moments by star "Beat" Takeshi Kitano got a big rise from fans. While some kind of domestic distribution makes sense, "Battle" is not likely to repeat its boxoffice success in Asia so far. Still, there is a following for Fukasaku (whose works include co-directing the Japanese segments of "Tora! Tora! Tora!" and extreme cult favorites like 1973's "Battles Without Honor and Humanity"), and "Battle" should have a lively ancillary career.

Alas, one does not confuse "Battle" with other difficult-to-watch films that it fleetingly reminds one of -- serious works of divergent cinema that many despise and others claim are masterpieces of the movie industry's darkest impulses, including "THX 1138", "A Clockwork Orange" and "Natural Born Killers". For comparison, one also could throw in a few clunkers such as "Quintet" and "No Escape" because Fukasaku's graphic sci-fi fable fleetingly indulges in convincing character development to go with its bleak assessment of humanity.

The story concerns a group of 42 ninth-grade students who are taken by the their teacher and a few trigger-happy soldiers to a small jungle island. Each is given a pack with supplies and weapons, running off into the night to be victim or killer. The near future, it seems, is not going well, with students by the hundreds of thousands revolting against elders in an economic depression. Like such genre nuggets as "Soylent Green" and "Silent Running", the leap from a hard-line fascistic government with a nasty attitude to some grand spectacle like the wholesale slaughter of girls and boys in their school outfits with various weapons is none too convincing. Certainly, some kids don't accept it and invariably fail to survive.

Leading the operation in another of his trademark off-kilter characterizations is renowned actor-director "Beat" Takeshi. His stone-faced character uncreatively is called Kitano and morphs from harried teacher to scout leader from hell. In one long, viciously executed sequence -- further enlivened by a jokey instructional video -- Kitano briefs the assembled, terrified students, all of whom have explosive neck collars that track their whereabouts and can deliver harsh punishments for straying into constantly shifting "danger zones" on the island.

With the help of a public address system, Kitano gives the rapidly dying-off lineup of students regular updates as to who is left, while the screenplay works in most of the onscreen violence that includes many deaths by firearms and hasty exits via poison, knives, hatchets, jumping off cliffs, crossbows and, as a warm-up, fatal head wounds when the collar is detonated. Once the battle has officially started, several bewildered participants are quickly dispatched in the struggle to get good weapons.

Many of the students, including Shuya (Tatsuya Fujiwara) and his girlfriend, Noriko (Aki Maeda), are given trick weapons, which help the them survive at crucial moments. Of the remaining major characters -- keeping in mind that the Fukasakus over and over try pretty hard to make one care about, say, five surviving girls in a lighthouse who blow each other to bits with guns -- a veteran of a previous Battle Royale, Kawada (Taro Yamamoto), rates as a good guy. Wild-haired loner Kiriyama (Masanobu Ando) is the most formidable player as he shoots a lot of bullets and takes no prisoners.

A special mention goes to witchy, throat-cutting Mitsuko (Kou Shibasaki), who makes it to the final 10, and athlete Chigusa (Chiaki Kuriyama), whose butchering of a sappy boy who loves her represents arguably the film's harshest moment. Of course, a chief attraction to theatrical audiences is to have loads of laughs over the black comedy aspects and not take it too seriously. The audience at the Egyptian was very accommodating.

Opting for a disappointing happy ending, the film has no special agenda beyond the Fukasakus' reliance on intense feelings of gloom and despair to imagine a cartoonish rite of passage that is briefly softened with several comfy flashbacks. Technical credits are tops. The spraying blood and many shredding bodies in the action sequences easily out-gross the last dozen or so Hollywood slasher movies.


Toei Co.

Director: Kinji Fukasaku

Screenwriter: Kenta Fukasaku

Based on the novel by: Koshun Takano

Producers: Masao Sato, Masumi Okada, Teruo Kamaya, Tetsu Kayama

Executive producer: Ikuro Takano

Director of photography: Katsumi Yanagijima

Production designer: Kyoko Heya

Music: Masamichi Amano



Shuya: Tatsuya Fujiwara

Noriko: Aki Maeda

Kawada: Taro Yamamoto

Kiriyama: Masanobu Ando

Mitsuko: Kou Shibasaki

Chigusa: Chiaki Kuriyama

Kitano: "Beat" Takeshi Kitano

Running time -- 113 minutes

No MPAA rating

See also

Credited With | External Sites