Special Version Region 2 DVD Review :: Page 1 / 9

.: Introduction :.

As long as the wait was for me to see the theatrical release of BR, it would take 13 months after its release to finally take in the Special Version. It's been a long haul, but after countless questions and ponderings about it, it's finally here! On the 8th February 2002, Toei Video followed up it's magnificent previous release with a rental version of SV. It wouldn't be until 21st May 2002 that the disc would become available to buy. Can Toei out do themselves? Does the additional 9 minutes of SV create an all round better movie? Are those extras as good as they seem? Do we find out why the hell Tarantino is on a TV Spot? All these answers, and more will finally be revealed as Battle Royale Online brings you an indepth, informative review, chock full o' screen caps and opinions from webmaster, Bawpsherep. ^_^

.: The Film :.

Unlike the previous reviews I've done, I've decided to give my $0.02 on the film. Afterall, this is a different *version* of BR.

The all-singing all-dancing new CG logo! The basketball match begins...

BR begins and immediately, significant changes are evident. The new Toei logo is incredibly polished and much more visually appealing. A new CG created spinning "BR" logo rotates, as the opening text whooshes onto the screen, finally ending with the kanji "Millennium Educational Reform Act" literally slamming onto the screen. After the prologue, a newly created CG title slams to the screen followed by a shining gold "Special Version" (written in kanji) that glitters and flares. What a way to start! The entire opening 3 minutes scream confidence. It's like as if the makers are fully aware of the love us fans have for the film and by bombarding us with loud, OTT sound effects and a shit-cool aura of cockiness, they say "We know you love BR, so stand tall and shout it proud". Honestly, I couldn't think of a better way of beginning the SV. It definitely prepares you for another 2 hours of a film you treasure, lovingly reedited...for the fans.

"Requiem I" in which Class B win the match!Mitsuko's flashback gives you greater sympathy for her

The Basketball scenes were something that I initially didn't fully understand. Upon my first viewing of SV and watching the first basketball scene, I immediately asked myself, "what was the point of that?". It seemed at first that the most substantial addition to the film was a waste of time! But as the film progresses, it's very clever how the match is used to symbolise emotions and feelings that characters are going through. The final "Requiem I" is possibly the most effective basketball scene, as we see how much of an outsider Mitsuko really is. You honestly can't help but feel sorry for the poor girl! ^_^

I must admit, there's fewer additions to the film than I initially thought. They're also pretty inconsistent: you can be hit with a barrage of new shots and then a 10-15 minute wait for something significant. But maybe that's the best way to do it. The curiosity of what's new and what's not makes watching SV a treat.

The extension of Nanaharas despair is most welcome Nobu returns in "Requiem II" to give Shuya a message

The newly added CG blood is a welcome, especially during the lighthouse scene. I used to have problems with the way bullet hits were handled in the film, but now when Satomi is shot, and the blood fountains from her wounds, the scene becomes all the more visually shocking.

So, is BR:SV the new definitive version? I would have to disagree. Fukasaku didn't call this a "Director's Cut" for a reason. Don't get me wrong, I love this new version but the original Battle Royale will always be Battle Royale to me. Special Version is like another flavour of BR. It's a new unashamedly cocky reward for fans of the movie.

BR... but with sprinkles on top! ^_^


Front Cover
Back Cover

- Toei Video (Japan)
- Released: 21 May '02
- Region 2
- 122 mins
- ¥ 5,200

.: AUDIO :.
- Japanese Dolby 5.1
- Japanese Dolby 2.0

.: VIDEO :.
- Aspect: 1.85:1 (16x9 Enhanced)
- Dual Layer [change: 1:18:53]

- Battle Royale: Prologue
- Audition & Rehersal Footage
- Behind the Scenes Footage
- Basketball Behind the Scenes
- Video No Oneesan: Birthday Version
- Memorial Photo Album
- Composite Shots Featurette
- Recording the score at Warsaw ver.2
- 13th Annual Tokyo Film Festival Stage Greetings
- About the Battle with Politicians
- Art Gallery
- TV Spots
- WOWOW TV Spot (Tarantino Version)
- Spot for VHS/DVD Release
- Spot for Featurette VHS
- Easter Eggs!

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