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Old March 13 2012, 06:28 PM   #1
23skidoo
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Original Battle Royale films getting wide DVD/BD release

One of the under-reported "battle royales" going on online is between fans of Koushun Takami's novel Battle Royale, which spawned two cult movies in Japan and a manga adaptation, and Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games, with fans of BR - which was published in 1999 - claiming Hunger Games is a rip-off, and defenders of Hunger Games coming up with sometimes-creative rationales for calling B.S. (Collins is officially on record as claiming she came up with the idea of students being forced to kill each other in a government-sponsored blood sport without ever knowing about Takami's story, and there's no reason to doubt her. And Collins' defenders make a valid point that she expanded the idea into a trilogy, whereas Takami wrote only a single novel - the Battle Royale II movie is not adapted from his book.)

But there is one good thing that has come out of all this back-and-forth. After years of fans having to rely on bootlegs, the original Battle Royale movies are hitting DVD and Blu-ray in North America on March 20. 2 days before The Hunger Games.

http://www.amazon.com/Battle-Royale-.../dp/B006L4MX4A

I was actually surprised to learn about this release, as I had heard (obviously incorrectly) that the films were technically banned in the US and Canada because of the violence involving kids and teens (the novel and manga also throws sex into the mix, which is downplayed in the films). Either no such ban existed or it was decided that Hunger Games was going to blow the lid off all that anyway, so what the hell. (EDIT: after typing that I found a blog that suggests the film might have been not so much banned but simply rejected by distributors due to it coming out so soon after Columbine.)

One good thing about the Hunger Games movie, too, is it will likely prevent a bowdlerized US remake of the original Battle Royale from being made. Which is a shame because a version starring the various Nickelodeon and Disney tween stars might actually have made for an interesting movie. I mean, Miley taking down Miranda with an Uzi? Come on!

Alex
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Old March 13 2012, 08:04 PM   #2
Peter Q Taggart
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Re: Original Battle Royale films getting wide DVD/BD release

Ordered my copy the day it was announced. I managed to get a copy of the region 2 blu-ray set that came out last year for $28 total from Amazon UK. The limited edition was originally region free. It went out of print immediately and was then re-released region locked. http://www.arrowfilms.co.uk/index.php?c=y&tle_id=476&v= The bonus disc was a dvd and therefore in PAL format. I ripped it to the computer and converted it to NTSC. It looks like the supplements from the Anchor Bay edition are mostly the same. I'm looking forwrd to this one since it has an english dub and I can finally watch the movie itself without reading the subtitles.
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Old April 11 2012, 01:50 PM   #3
23skidoo
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Re: Original Battle Royale films getting wide DVD/BD release

Peter Q Taggart wrote: View Post
I'm looking forwrd to this one since it has an english dub and I can finally watch the movie itself without reading the subtitles.
Under NO circumstances watch this with the English dub. It is one of the worst dubs I have ever heard. I always prefer the original version with subtitles but switched over to the dub out of curiosity and they aren't even speaking the original dialogue and the voices sound like the bad anime dubs of the 1980s that turned so many people off the genre (or, worse, made the genre a joke).

My strongest advice is suck it up and watch the subtitled version. Or at the very least turn the subtitles on while watching the dub so you at least know what they're really saying. I'd have expected a much better job of dubbing than this. But then I'm used to it - the utterly excellent Avalon (a science fiction film co-produced by Japan and Poland) was released a few years ago in an English dub and it destroyed the film.

Alex
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Old April 11 2012, 03:02 PM   #4
Servo
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Re: Original Battle Royale films getting wide DVD/BD release

23skidoo wrote: View Post
Collins is officially on record as claiming she came up with the idea of students being forced to kill each other in a government-sponsored blood sport without ever knowing about Takami's story, and there's no reason to doubt her...
Yeah, I don't really care one way or the other, but I'm gonna go ahead and call bullshit on that statement.

...And Collins' defenders make a valid point that she expanded the idea into a trilogy, whereas Takami wrote only a single novel - the Battle Royale II movie is not adapted from his book.
What does that have to do with anything? The fact that she "expanded the idea into a trilogy" is supposed to prove she didn't rip off the basic idea in the first place? How does that work as a valid defense?

Anyway, good news about the BR Blu-Ray.
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Old April 11 2012, 04:07 PM   #5
milo bloom
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Re: Original Battle Royale films getting wide DVD/BD release

Servo wrote: View Post
23skidoo wrote: View Post
Collins is officially on record as claiming she came up with the idea of students being forced to kill each other in a government-sponsored blood sport without ever knowing about Takami's story, and there's no reason to doubt her...
Yeah, I don't really care one way or the other, but I'm gonna go ahead and call bullshit on that statement.

...And Collins' defenders make a valid point that she expanded the idea into a trilogy, whereas Takami wrote only a single novel - the Battle Royale II movie is not adapted from his book.
What does that have to do with anything? The fact that she "expanded the idea into a trilogy" is supposed to prove she didn't rip off the basic idea in the first place? How does that work as a valid defense?

Anyway, good news about the BR Blu-Ray.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Most_Dangerous_Game

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Old April 11 2012, 04:15 PM   #6
Servo
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Re: Original Battle Royale films getting wide DVD/BD release

Your point being?
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Old April 11 2012, 06:25 PM   #7
davejames
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Re: Original Battle Royale films getting wide DVD/BD release

His point being that it's hardly an original idea.

And how the heck would a woman like Collins have ever heard of some obscure, cult Japanese movie that was only available in bootleg form at conventions? I'm pretty well clued in to nerd culture, and I never even heard of the damn thing until a handful of people started bringing it up in Hunger Games comment boards.

Besides, they're both so radically different in style that it's hardly worth comparing the two. Battle Royale is this crazy, nutso, over the top satire where Hunger Games is more of a grim survival story told from one girl's perspective.
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Old April 11 2012, 06:49 PM   #8
Kestrel
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Re: Original Battle Royale films getting wide DVD/BD release

^ Exactly. There's no good reason, other than fannish distrust over anything super-popular, to think Collins was influenced by Battlefield.
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Old April 11 2012, 07:26 PM   #9
Servo
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Re: Original Battle Royale films getting wide DVD/BD release

davejames wrote: View Post
His point being that it's hardly an original idea.
And at what point did I contest that notion? I even said in my first post that I didn't care either way. My questions were based around why her defenders are claiming that her making a trilogy, versus Takami only writing a single book, somehow acts as proof that she didn't rip the idea off. I even deliberately wrote it in English so as not to confuse.

And how the heck would a woman like Collins have ever heard of some obscure, cult Japanese movie that was only available in bootleg form at conventions? I'm pretty well clued in to nerd culture, and I never even heard of the damn thing until a handful of people started bringing it up in Hunger Games comment boards.
Oh well, if you've never heard of it...

Maybe things are different where you're from, but here in the UK Battle Royale is widely known. It's on Film4 practically every other month, and I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of people I've met who haven't either seen it or at least heard of it. Nerds and non-nerds alike.
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Old April 11 2012, 07:53 PM   #10
davejames
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Re: Original Battle Royale films getting wide DVD/BD release

Well it's never aired over here in the US, and she's a mother of two who lives in Connecticut. So I'm pretty sure she would fall into that "never heard of it" camp.
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Old April 11 2012, 10:28 PM   #11
milo bloom
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Re: Original Battle Royale films getting wide DVD/BD release

Servo wrote: View Post
davejames wrote: View Post
His point being that it's hardly an original idea.
And at what point did I contest that notion? I even said in my first post that I didn't care either way. My questions were based around why her defenders are claiming that her making a trilogy, versus Takami only writing a single book, somehow acts as proof that she didn't rip the idea off. I even deliberately wrote it in English so as not to confuse.

And how the heck would a woman like Collins have ever heard of some obscure, cult Japanese movie that was only available in bootleg form at conventions? I'm pretty well clued in to nerd culture, and I never even heard of the damn thing until a handful of people started bringing it up in Hunger Games comment boards.
Oh well, if you've never heard of it...

Maybe things are different where you're from, but here in the UK Battle Royale is widely known. It's on Film4 practically every other month, and I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of people I've met who haven't either seen it or at least heard of it. Nerds and non-nerds alike.
Yeah, it's not very well known in the US at all. I only know about because I constantly lurk DVD forums where this type of film flourishes in the community, but in the mainstream US it's basically unknown.

Edit to add: Servo, you're aware of how often we have school shootings over here right? Even though the USA has culture that worships guns, we still flip our shit when somebody shoots up a school (and of course we don't blame the guns, usually something like the lack of school prayer).
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Old April 12 2012, 04:59 PM   #12
Mooch
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Re: Original Battle Royale films getting wide DVD/BD release

davejames wrote: View Post
And how the heck would a woman like Collins have ever heard of some obscure, cult Japanese movie that was only available in bootleg form at conventions? I'm pretty well clued in to nerd culture, and I never even heard of the damn thing until a handful of people started bringing it up in Hunger Games comment boards.
The novel has been generally available in North America since 2003. Since she is a novelist, it seems reasonable for her to have heard of it before.
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Old April 12 2012, 10:15 PM   #13
milo bloom
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Re: Original Battle Royale films getting wide DVD/BD release

Mooch wrote: View Post
davejames wrote: View Post
And how the heck would a woman like Collins have ever heard of some obscure, cult Japanese movie that was only available in bootleg form at conventions? I'm pretty well clued in to nerd culture, and I never even heard of the damn thing until a handful of people started bringing it up in Hunger Games comment boards.
The novel has been generally available in North America since 2003. Since she is a novelist, it seems reasonable for her to have heard of it before.
Say, I knew a guy that once went to Canada, do you know him?

See how that works?


As I said earlier, this property is basically unknown in the US. Her being a novelist doesn't mean she knows about every single book that comes out in North America.
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Old April 12 2012, 10:35 PM   #14
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Re: Original Battle Royale films getting wide DVD/BD release

It is a rather good book, and can often be found on "staff rec" shelves and the like, but I'm willing to believe she had never read it. I wouldn't be surprised if a friend had once described it or she read the back in a store years earlier though; just enough to plant the seed. The world will never know.

For the record though, "The Most Dangerous Game" is a whole other animal.
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Old April 13 2012, 03:49 AM   #15
Mooch
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Re: Original Battle Royale films getting wide DVD/BD release

milo bloom wrote: View Post
Say, I knew a guy that once went to Canada, do you know him?

See how that works?


As I said earlier, this property is basically unknown in the US. Her being a novelist doesn't mean she knows about every single book that comes out in North America.
I was merely illustrating that Battle Royale is more than a "obscure, cult Japanese movie".

I'm sure she isn't familiar with every book that comes out. I'm certainly not, although I imagine I read more than the average person. And I had heard of Battle Royale even before I saw the novel. And my copy is the eighth printing, and I've had it for 8 years!

Even if Collins hadn't heard of BR, I'm surprised her publisher or her editor didn't know of it and mention it to her. Anyway, it's not like I think she's lying, I just think it's weird.

Edit: According to this article from the New York Times, her editor did know about Battle Royale. So that's cool.
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