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Saturday, February 11, 2012

Steve's Church-less Movie Of The Week: Japan Double Feature ...

I've shown this movie before on this blog but it was simply an "unofficial" showing, never an official MOTW. I'm jonesing to watch this again.

See, everyone is fawning all over The Hunger Games like it's SOOOO original. This is the REAL Hunger Games. With balls.

Enjoy ...

Yoinked from the almighty wikipedia ...

"Battle Royale (バトル・ロワイアル Batoru Rowaiaru?) is a 1999 Japanese novel written by Koushun Takami. The story tells of schoolchildren who are forced to fight each other to the death. The novel has been adapted into a film and a manga series, and translated into Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Russian, Norwegian, and Hungarian.

Battle Royale was adapted into a 2000 Japanese thriller film directed by Kinji Fukasaku based on the novel of the same name. It was written by Kenta Fukasaku and stars Takeshi Kitano. The film aroused international controversy. However, a sequel, Battle Royale II: Requiem, followed.

The film opens with the prologue text, 'At the dawn of the millennium, the nation collapsed. At fifteen percent unemployment, ten million were out of work. 800,000 students boycotted school. The adults lost confidence and, fearing the youth, eventually passed the Millennium Educational Reform Act, AKA the BR Act...'

Battle Royale grossed ¥3.11 billion domestically (around $25 million US). The film was widely acclaimed by critics, with an 83% fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes. The film was labeled 'crude and tasteless' by members of Japanese parliament and other government officials after the film was screened for them before its general release. The film created a debate over government action on media violence. Many conservative politicians used the film to blame popular culture for a youth crime wave. Ilya Garger of TIME magazine said that Battle Royale received 'free publicity' and received box-office success usually reserved for cartoons and TV-drama spin-offs.

At the 2001 Japanese Academy Awards, the film was nominated for Picture of the Year, Director of the Year, Screenplay of the Year, Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role (Tatsuya Fujiwara), Outstanding Achievement in Music (Masamichi Amano), and Outstanding Achievement in Sound Recording (Kunio Ando). In 2009, Quentin Tarantino listed the film as his favorite film released since he began directing in 1992.

The Hunger Games novel and subsequent film has been criticized for its similarities to the 1999 novel Battle Royale. Although its author Suzanne Collins maintains that she 'had never heard of that book until [her] book was turned in,' The New York Times reports that 'the parallels are striking enough that Collins’s work has been savaged on the blogosphere as a baldfaced ripoff,' but that there are enough possible sources for the plot line that the two authors might well have hit on the same basic setup independently.


Battle Royale II: Requiem (バトル・ロワイアルII 【鎮魂歌】 Batoru rowaiaru tsū: "Rekuiemu"), abbreviated as BRII (Bii āru tsū), is a 2003 Japanese, dystopian, action-thriller film. It is a sequel to the 2000 film, Battle Royale, which in turn was based upon a controversial 1999 novel of the same title by Koushun Takami. An extended version of the film is titled Battle Royale II: Revenge.

Director Kinji Fukasaku, who directed the first film, started work on the sequel but died of prostate cancer on January 12, 2003, after shooting only one scene with Takeshi Kitano. His son Kenta Fukasaku, who wrote the screenplay for both films, completed the film and dedicated it to his father.

Battle Royale II: Requiem received generally negative reviews from film critics. The film received a rating of 38% at Rotten Tomatoes with a classification of 'rotten'. Many reviewers criticized the film for having a contrived, confusing plot line and poor acting. Ilya Garger of Time said that while the film has more 'bullets, bombs and dramatic battlefield deaths' than its predecessor had, the sequel does not have the 'who'll-die-next-and-how suspense.' Garger described the characters in Battle Royale II as a simpler breed who join forces to defeat the adults."


You're welcome, world.

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