Overall | Sonatine (1993) | Violent Cop (Sono otoko, kyobo ni tsuki) (1989) | Boiling Point (3-4 x jūgatsu) (1990)

Takeshi Kitano Collection (1989)

Takeshi Kitano Collection (1989)

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Released 15-Mar-2007

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Overall Package

    The Takeshi Kitano Box Set is a wonderful introduction to a master filmmaker. Violent Cop is his stunning directorial debut, a moving, beautiful, violent film of immense power. Boiling Point divided critics and fans but Kitano was still experimenting, still learning, and three years later came the magnificent Sonatine. Sonatine is, quite simply, a masterwork. Visually stunning, technically innovative, touchingly beautiful, powerful and violent, it can leave you breathless. If you are a fan of Kitano or of Scorsese's gritty films about the American mob, such as Mean Streets or Goodfellas, you owe it to yourself to take a look at the world of the Japanese Yakuza through the eyes of this master filmmaker. All films have acceptable video and audio, but limited extras. The presentation does not seem to be bettered in any other region and the three film box set allows one to track Kitano's development as a filmmaker. The box set retails for less than $40 which represents fantastic value for money

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add) NONE
Overall | Sonatine (1993) | Violent Cop (Sono otoko, kyobo ni tsuki) (1989) | Boiling Point (3-4 x jūgatsu) (1990)

Sonatine (1993)

Sonatine (1993)

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Released 13-Apr-2005

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Crime Theatrical Trailer
Trailer-Takeshi Kitano Trailers
Trailer-Eastern Eye Promotional Trailers
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 1993
Running Time 89:50
RSDL / Flipper RSDL Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Takeshi Kitano
Studio
Distributor
Shochiku
Madman Entertainment
Starring Takeshi Kitano
Aya Kokumai
Tetsu Watanabe
Masanobu Katsumura
Susumu Terajima
Ren Osugi
Tonbo Zushi
Ken'ichi Yajima
Eiji Minakata
Case Amaray-Opaque
RPI ? Music Joe Hisaishi


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Unknown Japanese Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English Smoking Yes, frequently
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Writer, actor and director Takeshi Kitano is a true genius of Japanese and World cinema. Sonatine is his fourth film and it is a masterpiece. Visually stunning, technically innovative, touchingly beautiful, powerful and violent, sometimes in the same scene, Sonatine can leave you breathless.

     Murakawa (Takeshi Kitano) is an aging Yakuza thinking about retirement. He is a violent man, capable without a second thought of torturing and drowning the owner of a business who refuses to pay him off. When his gang boss Takahashi (Ken'ichi Yajima) asks him to go to Okinawa to settle a dispute between rival yakuza factions he is reluctant, sensing there is more at stake. And he is right: after their arrival Murakawa and his men become the targets of a bombing and an attack by gunmen in a club. With his remaining men Murakawa retreats to an isolated beach house to await developments. There they entertain themselves with games, pranks, fireworks and sumo while Murakawa, despite himself, becomes involved with the lovely Miyuki (Aya Kokumai). When the group are stalked by an assassin it becomes obvious that they have been set up, so Murakawa decides to establish just who is deceiving who.

     Kitano as a filmmaker is sparse on dialogue but long on pure cinema where the vision and music predominate. Kitano's technique does not feature quick pans or jump cuts: instead there are long slow tracking shots, static camera placement, long silences and sharp, brutal action. Sonatine is a film of breathtaking imagery, whether long static takes of the isolated beach and approach road or the enhanced colour palate of bars. The visuals are supported by the sublime score of Joe Hisaishi that won Best Music Score at the 1994 Awards of the Japanese Academy. His music is sparse and minimalist, a perfect accompaniment to the film. Indeed, the film does not feature extended "action" scenes as such - instead there are slow build-ups, with the camera concentrating on close ups of faces, before violence that is quickly over. Perhaps surprisingly, Sonatine on occasion is very funny with a dead pan sense of humour. This gives the film its human moments as the gang members pass their time with games by the sea. It is this humanity, as we get to know the gang members, which gives the sudden violence and the climax its raw power.

     Sonatine is, quite simply, wonderful cinema; a filmmaking master class from a true genius of Japanese and World cinema.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    Sonatine is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1, the original theatrical ratio, and is 16x9 enhanced. The print is not perfect; there is an occasional artefact (one very obvious one at 48:12), grain (32:04) and edge enhancement (3:55) but blacks are solid and shadow detail very good. As in other films, Kitano makes use of bright light sources behind the actor which affects the sharpness (for example 2:01, 4:07) but otherwise the film looks fine. The colour palate varies, and Kitano often uses enhanced colours for dramatic effect. None of the items described are overly distracting nor spoil the enjoyment of the film.

English subtitles are the only option. They are in an easy to read yellow font and contain no obvious spelling or grammatical errors.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    Sonatine features a Japanese Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track that does what is required for a film with long silences. Directional cues are minor but music and ambient sounds in the surrounds are effective and the wonderful score of Joe Hisaishi comes over nicely. Sub woofer use is minimal and does not really support the few explosions. Dialogue is clear, lip synchronisation fine.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Theatrical Trailer

Presented in 2.35:1, Dolby Digital 2.0, 0:52 min.

Takeshi Kitano Trailers

All trailers are presented in 2.35:1 & Dolby Digital 2.0. Included are Violent Cop (2:11 min), Boiling Point (2:08 min) and Hana-bi (1:56 min).

Promotional Trailers

Numerous trailers presented in diverse aspect ratios and Dolby Digital 2.0. A number are anime and manga titles, including children's titles, which seem unlikely to be attractive to Kitano fans. Included are the Eastern Eye Promo Reel, (music only, 2:21 min., features Bichunmoo, The Eye, Avalon, Bangkok Dangerous, Seven Samurai, Infernal Affairs and Princes Blade), Throne of Blood (3:46 min), Musa (1:24 min), Ong Bak (1:49 min), Zatoichi Meets the One-Eyed Swordsman (this incorrect title is on the disc menu - the correct title is Zatoichi Meets the One-Armed Swordsman) (2:12 min), Godzilla vs Megaguirus (1:18 min), Fat Albert (0:58 min), His and Her Circumstances (1:31 min), Ikki Tousen (also as Ikki Tosen) (1:26 min), Paranoia Agent (1:55 min), Saiyuki (1:36 min) and Blue Gender: The Warrior (3:16 min).

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    In Region 1 Sonatine has been released only in a 2 disc set with The Blind Swordsman: Zatoichi. It is 16x9 enhanced, with Dolby Digital 2.0 only and includes interviews with Kitano and an introduction and summation by Quentin Tarantino. However, reviewers do not rate the Tarantino section highly. Other releases in Region 2 and Region 3 (Hong Kong) are not 16x9 enhanced. If you already have The Blind Swordsman: Zatoichi stick to our Region 4. In addition, you can purchase three Kitano films (Violent Cop, Boiling Point and Sonatine) in this one box set for less than $40 which represents fantastic value for money.

Summary

    Sonatine is, quite simply, a wonderful film. Visually stunning, technically innovative, touchingly beautiful, powerful and violent, Sonatine can leave you breathless. The video and audio presentation is acceptable (and does not seem to be bettered elsewhere at present) with minimal extras. Yet, the DVD is worth it for the film alone: do yourself a favour and see Sonatine. It is a filmmaking master class from a true genius of Japanese and World cinema.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S350, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 42inch Hi-Def LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add) NONE
Overall | Sonatine (1993) | Violent Cop (Sono otoko, kyobo ni tsuki) (1989) | Boiling Point (3-4 x jūgatsu) (1990)

Violent Cop (Sono otoko, kyobo ni tsuki) (1989)

Violent Cop (Sono otoko, kyobo ni tsuki) (1989)

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Released 16-Mar-2005

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Crime Theatrical Trailer
Trailer-Promotional Trailers
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 1989
Running Time 98:21
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Takeshi Kitano
Studio
Distributor
Shochiku
Madman Entertainment
Starring Takeshi Kitano
Maiko Kawakami
Makoto Ashikawa
Shirō Sano
Shigeru Hiraizumi
Mikiko Otonashi
Hakuryu
Ittoku Kishibe
Case Amaray-Opaque
RPI ? Music Daisaku Kume


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Unknown Japanese Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English Smoking Yes, frequently
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Writer, actor and director Takeshi Kitano is the genuine article, a true genius of Japanese and World cinema. Violent Cop is his stunning directorial debut; a moving, beautiful, violent film of immense power. The Japanese title of Violent Cop is Sono otoko, kyobo ni tsuki which is roughly "Beware, this man is wild". To reinforce this warning the Japanese title, in white but underlined in red over a black background, stays on the screen for a full 8 seconds before dissolving into the first shot of the film, a derelict being assaulted by a group of teenage boys. Kitano is Azuma, the "wild man" of the title. Azuma is a Police Officer: a loner who serves out justice his own way with his fists. He is an honest Cop always short of money and looks after his mentally impaired sister Akira (Maiko Kawakami). Loyal to his fellow Policemen, things start to unravel for Azuma and his partner Kikuchi (Makoto Ashikawa) when in the course of an investigation into a drug related killing he discovers that it is the police, especially his friend Iwaki (Shigeru Hiraizumi) in the Vice Squad, who are the main drug suppliers for Yakuza boss Nito (Ittoku Kishibe) and his murderous associate Kiyohiro (Hakuryu). As the bodies pile up, Azuma is dismissed from the Police after his vicious beating of Kiyohiro; and then it all gets very, very personal.

     Violent Cop is, well, violent. Yet in Kitano's world the violence is neither stylish nor graceful, as per a Peckinpah or John Woo, and although Violent Cop does feature one sequence filmed in slow motion this is not something Kitano makes a habit of. Instead the violence is brutal, bloody, painful and short. This depiction of violence can be contrasted with Kitano's frequent use of long static takes, such as that of Azuma walking towards the camera across a bridge near the start of the film (5:50 - 6:31). Here Azuma is a man alone, surrounded by a cityscape, going his own way, with only the sparse music score to support the visuals. Indeed, the exact same shot with the same score, but this time with Kikuchi, is used by Kitano to excellent effect to close the film (93:40 - 94:21).

    It is these long takes, juxtaposed by short sharp violence, which gives Kitano's films their poetry, their beauty and their power. For Kitano is almost more a painter than film director and his films are replete with beautiful images and sparse dialogue, the vision carrying the film forward. Shadow, light and darkness are very much a part of Kitano's technique; see for example the frequent use of a strong light source behind the actor (such as 41:03, 44:22, 62:38, 60:23 and 82:32) or the diagonal light/dark across the frame in the climax (89:56, 92:14). Sometimes, but not always, his long takes are supported by the music. Indeed, his films are scored very minimally and Violent Cop sets the template for his later collaborations with Joe Hisaishi that started with A Scene at the Sea (1991). Here Daisaka Kume's jazz oriented music is sparsely used and in fact the first 6 minutes of the film are totally without music. When heard, it is an effective support for the film.

     Violent Cop is a stunning debut from a master filmmaker who would go on to make genuine cinema masterpieces like Sonatine and Hana-bi. Many of his later themes and cinematic techniques received their first trial in Violent Cop. If you are familiar with his later work, get this film. You will not be disappointed.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    Violent Cop is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1, which was the original theatrical ratio, and is 16x9 enhanced. The print is not perfect; there are occasional artefacts (92:51), and aliasing (on blinds 59:33 and steps 53:58) but blacks are solid and shadow detail very good, which is just as well as parts of the film are very, very dark indeed. As well, the use of bright light sources behind the actor is a technique often used by Kitano (see above) and in these frames the camera struggles to focus. Colours are muted and there are varying levels of sharpness. Edge enhancement occurs (17:32 and 85:42) and Gibb effect is evident in the closing titles. However, this sounds worse than it is; parts of the film are sharp and clear and none of the items described are more than fleeting and none are overly distracting nor spoil the enjoyment of the film.

English subtitles are the only option. They are in an easy to read yellow text that seems to follow the action and contains no obvious spelling or grammatical errors.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    Violent Cop features a Japanese Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track. It does what is required for a film with long silences. Directional cues are minor but music and ambient sounds in the surrounds are effective. Sub woofer use is minimal. Dialogue is clear, lip synchronisation fine.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Theatrical Trailer

The Violent Cop trailer is quite dark: presented in 2.35:1, Dolby Digital 2.0, 2:11 minutes.

Promotional Trailers

Numerous trailers are presented in diverse aspect ratios and Dolby Digital 2.0 audio. A number of them are anime and manga titles, including children's titles, which seem unlikely to be attractive to Kitano fans. An annoyance is that you must scroll through the titles individually rather than selecting from one menu. Included: the Eastern Eye Promo Reel, (music only, 2:21 min., features Bichunmoo, The Eye, Avalon, Bangkok Dangerous, Seven Samurai, Infernal Affairs and Princes Blade), Sonatine (0:52 min), Boiling Point (2:08 min), Infernal Affairs (1:46 min), Throne of Blood (3:46 min), Zatoichi: Festival of Fire (2:16 min), Hana-bi (1:56 min), Ong Bak (1:49 min), Mobile Suit Gundam Seed (1:36 min), Samurai Champloo (1:37 min), Heat Guy J (1:36 min), GTO (0:37 min) and DSA (1:32 min).

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The Region 1 DVD release is not 16x9 enhanced, has Dolby Digital 2.0 audio, some Cast & Crew information, Production Notes and Trailers. There is a new (May 2009) release in Region 2. By reports it seems to have very similar video and audio to our version. However it also includes as extras an Audio Commentary (reported as heavy going) plus Takeshi Kitano: The Unpredictable (68:06 minutes), an excellent French interview with the master. Based on this, Region 2 is the winner. However, you can purchase three of Kitano's films (Violent Cop, Boiling Point and Sonatine) in this box set for less than $40 which represents fantastic value for money.

Summary

    Violent Cop is presented with reasonable video and audio (as good as anything else available as far as I can find) and minimal extras, but the film itself is the attraction. Violent Cop is a stunning debut from a master filmmaker who would go on to make genuine cinema masterpieces like Sonatine and Hana-bi. Many of his later themes and cinematic techniques received their first trial in Violent Cop. If you are a fan of Kitano or of Scorsese's gritty films about the American mob, such as Mean Streets or Goodfellas, you owe it to yourself to take a look at the world of the Japanese Yakuza through the eyes of this master filmmaker.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S350, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 42inch Hi-Def LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

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Overall | Sonatine (1993) | Violent Cop (Sono otoko, kyobo ni tsuki) (1989) | Boiling Point (3-4 x jūgatsu) (1990)

Boiling Point (3-4 x jūgatsu) (1990)

Boiling Point (3-4 x jūgatsu) (1990)

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Released 13-Apr-2005

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Crime Theatrical Trailer
Trailer-Takeshi Kitano Trailers
Trailer-Eastern Eye Promotional Trailers
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1990
Running Time 92:44
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Takeshi Kitano
Studio
Distributor
Shochiku
Madman Entertainment
Starring Masahiko Ono
Takeshi Kitano
Yuriko Ishida
Minoru Iizuka
Takahito Iguchi
Makoto Ashikawa
Hiroshi Suzuki
Case Amaray-Opaque
RPI ? Music none


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Unknown Japanese Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Boiling Point is the second film directed by legendary writer, actor and director Takeshi Kitano. After his stunning debut film Violent Cop (1989), Boiling Point was considered a letdown. The reasons are varied. While Boiling Point features a wide range of the cinematic techniques that Kitano tried in Violent Cop and perfected in such magnificent films as Sonatine (1993) or Hana-bi (1997) they don't quite work in Boiling Point.

     The Japanese title of the film 3-4 x jugatsu (3-4 October) indicates the fixation of the Japanese for baseball, a game that features heavily in Boiling Point. The film centres on Masaki (Masahiko Ono). He is a shy, vague young man who works in a petrol station and plays baseball, both indifferently. When he fails to wash properly the car of a local Yakuza gangster the Yakuza boss threatens both Masaki and the business. Masaki's baseball coach Iguchi (Takahito Iguchi), a retired Yakuza, tries to intercede but this leads to escalating violence. So Masaki and his friend Kazuo (Minoru Iizuka) fly to Okinawa to buy a gun. There they come into contact with Uehara (Takeshi Kitano). He is a thoroughly nasty man, cruel, brutal and violent, and he is having his own problems as he owes money to the local yakuza. Having acquired guns, both Uehara and Masaki set out to resolve their respective troubles.

     Boiling Point does feature a range of the cinematic techniques that Kitano experimented with in Violent Cop (1989). There are light sources behind the actor (for example, 63:04) and long, slow static takes between bouts of sudden, brutal violence. But a number of things are missing. First, there is very little of the stunning visual imagery that makes many of his other films so memorable. Second, the character of Masaki is lifeless and dull, lacking the charisma that Kitano brings to the screen in the main role in, for example, Sonatine. Indeed, Kitano does not appear in the film until almost the 46th minute and when he does he is a totally disagreeable character. Some critics have found his performance chillingly funny; I didn't find any comedy in it. Kitano has played violent, disagreeable men elsewhere, but even his brutal yakuza in Sonatine had flashes of humour and humanity. Until his appearance in Violent Cop, "Beat" Takashi had been part of a popular comedy duo and he was appalled and angry when the audience laughed at his character Azuma in Violent Cop. Kitano wanted to be treated as a serious actor, not as a comic, so his intention was that Uehara would not be considered funny. Uehara is brutal and cruel, a rapist and sodomite; certainly no laughing matter. It was only later, in Sonatine and after, that Kitano was comfortable enough to reintroduce a genuine black humour to his characterisations of violent men.

     Third is the total absence of a musical score. In most of Kitano's films he makes very effective use of a minimalist score. From the low budget A Scene at the Sea (1991) until Dolls (2002), the music by Joe Hisaishi wonderfully supports Kitano's visuals during the long, slow takes he favours. In Boiling Point he has chosen not to use any music at all. It may be naturalistic, and some critics like it, but I feel it tends to alienate us even further from the characters in the film. In any case, a scoreless film was not something Kitano chose to repeat.

     In fairness, the narrative of Boiling Point is not straightforward. In a lot of the film very little happens, and it happens slowly, the opening baseball sequence, for example, talking over 8 minutes. The scenes in Okinawa are literally and figuratively another world and could be a separate film. Then there is the ending, in which the opening scene is repeated. What are we to make of it? In an audacious move, Kitano leaves the end of the film very, very open to interpretation.

     Boiling Point divided critics and fans after Kitano's stunning debut film Violent Cop. Kitano was still experimenting, pushing the boundaries he later perfected. Violent Cop may not be in the class of his best work but Kitano's films are always worth seeing for their innovation and unique storytelling. Boiling Point is certainly worth a look and you should make up your own mind.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

Boiling Point is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1, the original theatrical ratio, and is 16x9 enhanced. The print is good if not perfect; there are infrequent artefacts (such as 56:21, 81:57) and edge enhancement (21:52) but blacks are solid and shadow detail very good. The colour palate is muted and lacks the clarity of recent films but none of the items described are distracting or spoil the enjoyment of the film.

English subtitles are the only option. They are in an easy to read yellow font and contain no obvious spelling or grammatical errors.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

Boiling Point features a Japanese Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track that does what is required in a film with long silences and no music. Directional cues are minor but effective, for example aircraft and vehicle noises, and ambient sounds occur in the surrounds. Subwoofer use is minimal and does not really support the one explosion in the film. Dialogue is clear, lip synchronisation fine.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Theatrical Trailer

Presented in 2.35:1, Dolby Digital 2.0, 2:08 min.

Takeshi Kitano Trailers

All presented in 2.35:1, Dolby Digital 2.0. Included are Violent Cop (2:11 min), Sonatine (0:52 min) and Hana-bi (1:56 min).

Promotional Trailers

Numerous trailers presented in various aspect ratios and Dolby Digital 2.0. A number are anime and manga titles, including children's titles, which seem unlikely to be attractive to Kitano fans. Included are the Eastern Eye Promo Reel, (music only, 2:21 min., features Bichunmoo, The Eye, Avalon, Bangkok Dangerous, Seven Samurai, Infernal Affairs and Princes Blade), The Eye (1:49 min), Zatoichi: Festival of Fire (2:16 min), Arahan (2.39 min), JSA: Joint Security Area (2:33 min), Ong Bak (1:49 min), Inuyasha (1:26 min), Studio Ghibli Collection (includes Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, Porco Rosso and The Cat Returns) (3:13 min in total), Samurai Champloo (1:37 min), He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1:06), Chrono Crusade (1:51 min), Last Exile (1:33 min) and Ghost in the Shell: Standalone Complex (1:20 min).

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    There were versions of Boiling Point in Region 1 and Region 2 that are now out of print. Neither was 16x9 enhanced. Region 2 got a new release in May 2009 that is 16x9 enhanced, with video and audio that sounds similar to what we have and no extras. Region 4 seems the best choice. In any case, you can purchase three Kitano films (Violent Cop, Boiling Point and Sonatine) in this box set for less than $40 which is fantastic value for money.

Summary

    Boiling Point divided Kitano's fans after his stunning debut film Violent Cop. Kitano was still experimenting, still learning, and in Boiling Point honing a cinematic craft that he perfected three years later in the magnificent Sonatine. Boiling Point has acceptable video and audio (which does not seem to be bettered elsewhere at present) and minimal extras. While it may not be his best work its inclusion in the three film box set allows one to track Kitano's development as a filmmaker.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Friday, November 27, 2009
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S350, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 42inch Hi-Def LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add) NONE