Friday, January 10, 2014

Battle Royale - Book Wyrm's Pick

6 of 6 viewers "Liked" "Battle Royale (Director cut)" (2000, Japan)
Here's what the citizens of the Overlook Theatre had to say:

Lord Battle - "Unlike most director cuts this one actually makes the narrative clearer.  A masterpiece in genre film making." - 4 1/2 Stars

Book Wyrm - "I consider this a timeless classic. I've seen it at least six times and it doesn't get old. The directors cut just enhanced the experience & watching it is always refreshing." - 5 Stars

The Berkeley Blazer - "A classic from youth that holds up as highly entertaining & poignant satire. Kitano's deadpan humor is a perfect contrast to the earnest, awkward expression of lore, violence and terror we see from the doomed students." - 3 1/2 Stars

Math Mage - "Strikes a perfect balance between genre camp and tragic drama." - 4 1/2 Stars

The Great Hornito - "I really liked this movie much more the second time and I liked the added scenes from the directors cut. This is a very good example of how I imagined a tyrannical future world government. All the characters and their behavior in this situation is very believable as well." - 4 Stars

Ice Giant - "One of the few movies that have an almost mythical status and has not diminished at all." - 4 1/2 Stars

The Overlook Theatre Final Rating*

I chose this as my first citizens choice pick simply because it's my favorite movie. My first memory of Battle Royale was waiting to get my little sister from her elementary school and sitting in the car with my mom after school while she read the "forbidden book" she found while working at the airport. Like most children, I was dying to get my hands on it simply because I wasn't allowed to read it, and once I did, my life would never be the same. Like I mentioned in my review above, I have seen this film at least six times and I wouldn't be surprised if the count is actually higher than that. I think what I like so much about Battle Royale is that although a lot of it is just mindless killing and gore, there is a story hidden in there. Many people don't give it a chance because it's another one of those "kids forced to kill each other" archetypes. And yes, that is what it is, but it is also much more than that. It's a story of camaraderie between classmates and the horrors they go through as their bitter middle school teacher plunges them into despair by enlisting them in the Battle Royale Survival Program. Something in this story just pulls me in, and the movie did an excellent job of capturing the essence of the novel. The directors cut added the deleted scenes in  and actually made the story even more enjoyable and cohesive for the rest of the citizens and me simply because it filled in a lot of the blanks from the movie and also helps to explain some of the things from the sequel. There is not one person who I have shown this movie to who has not enjoyed it to some extent and I highly recommend you check out this classic piece of Japanese film history.
-Book Wyrm


"Battle Royale" is a masterful genre film. Hidden in the drama and gore are many themes and ideas that contrast beautifully. Childhood and adulthood, chaos and freedom, right and wrong are among the most prevalent and powerful. Another thing that all great genre films do is poke fun at the fact that they are, in fact, genre films. In "Battle Royale" this is most apparent when (Takeshi Kitano) defies all logic and cheats death to answer his phone one last time and eat one last cookie. Despite what many people have said, this scene isn't a bad joke or poor writing, it's a brilliant way to say "This is a movie and all in fun, so cheer up!".
- Lord Battle

*Based on the star ratings turned in by character reviewers, others viewed and got to "Dislike" or "Like" but that does not effect the rating.

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