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Arrow Releasing Toru Murakawa's Game Trilogy

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  • Arrow Releasing Toru Murakawa's Game Trilogy

    Coming in June.

    LIMITED EDITION CONTENTS

    - High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentations of all films
    - Original lossless mono Japanese soundtracks
    - Optional newly translated English subtitles
    - Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Tony Stella
    - Double-sided fold-out poster featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Tony Stella
    - Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the films by Hayley Scanlon and Dimitri Ianni

    DISC 1: THE MOST DANGEROUS GAME

    - Brand new audio commentary by Chris Poggiali and Marc Walkow
    - The Action Man, a 30-minute interview with director Toru Murakawa
    - Original Japanese theatrical trailer
    - Image gallery

    DISC 2: THE KILLING GAME & THE EXECUTION GAME

    - Brand new audio commentary on The Killing Game by Earl Jackson and Jasper Sharp
    - Brand new audio commentary on The Execution Game by Tom Mes
    - Remembering Yusaku Matsuda, an interview with Yutaka Oki, film critic and personal friend of Yusaku Matsuda
    - Game Changer, an interview with The Execution Game screenwriter Shoichi Maruyama
    - Original Japanese theatrical trailers for both films
    - Image galleries for both films

    Click image for larger version

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    Rock! Shock! Pop!

  • #2
    Does anyone have an opinion about these? Amazon has the set for $27 right now.

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    • #3
      One mediocre film followed by two mediocre at best films if you ask me.

      Still buying them for some reason

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      • #4
        Uh oh... I just pre-ordered these and I'm thinking if Takuma thinks they are mediocre they probably won't have much replay value (as I've cut waaaay back on physical media, replay value is of an utmost concern with the discs I'm buying.)

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Takuma View Post
          One mediocre film followed by two mediocre at best films if you ask me.

          Still buying them for some reason
          These films seem popular in Japan. Does is have more to do with the popularity and early death of star Yūsaku Matsuda than the quality of the films? Was curious about them, but they didn't seem to get much love, or access, from the West.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Oily Maniac View Post

            These films seem popular in Japan. Does is have more to do with the popularity and early death of star Yūsaku Matsuda than the quality of the films? Was curious about them, but they didn't seem to get much love, or access, from the West.
            I would certainly say so. Same with Takakura. They both remain hugely popular in Japan, and their popularity tends to elevate even their weakest movies to high popularity.

            Another thing to consider: when you unleash one of these films in the US or UK 40 years after they were made, they are considered "cult films" (a misnomer of a term, but anyway) by default. But many of these were actually made for the widest mainstream audiences they had in Japan back in the day. They were aimed at the domestic equivalent of James Bond audiences or Smokey and the Bandit audiences. And THOSE are the audiences that made them popular in Japan.

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            • #7
              there is at least one die hard fan out there. when I searched for a japanese trailer, one guy literally uploaded hundreds of animated gifs of the movies

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              • #8
                Who knows, maybe I'll enjoy the films better this time. I was disappointed when I saw them for the first time, and sold my DVDs after watching them for the second time. That was about 10 years ago.

                I do love Classroom of Terror and Resurrection of a Golden Wolf (just rewatched my BD a few weeks ago), though. Arrow should certainly pick up the latter since it even came out on UHD here in Japan.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Takuma View Post

                  I would certainly say so. Same with Takakura. They both remain hugely popular in Japan, and their popularity tends to elevate even their weakest movies to high popularity.

                  Another thing to consider: when you unleash one of these films in the US or UK 40 years after they were made, they are considered "cult films" (a misnomer of a term, but anyway) by default. But many of these were actually made for the widest mainstream audiences they had in Japan back in the day. They were aimed at the domestic equivalent of James Bond audiences or Smokey and the Bandit audiences. And THOSE are the audiences that made them popular in Japan.
                  Thanks for confirming. Agreed on the "cult film" misnomer. It is odd how one country's old populist cinema is another country's new marketed cult film.

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                  • #10
                    I fell asleep trying to watch every single one of these three films.

                    However:

                    The Action Man, a 30-minute interview with director Toru Murakawa
                    I'll pick up the set for this and hope it's a career-spanning interview that goes beyond his work on this trilogy. It's incredibly important that companies like Arrow make the effort to interview directors like Murakawa while we still have them around because the distributors in Japan almost never provide extras of this sort.

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                    • #11
                      Great points, Takuma, re: these being mainstream Japanese movies, not "cult films," add everything that often implies. I'm not a fan of these three, either. Find the quite pedestrian. But I will support these releases mostly to support Arrow in this case, and because there is a Murakawa interview.

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                      • #12
                        I am so glad to see I wasn't the only one that the first film left cold. It was my first thought after seeing this film. "Oh boy, what am I missing out on because I bet the peeps at Rockshockpop dug this one". I wanted to love this film. Yusaku Matsuda's got the look down, arguably better than most, but his character's introduction left me cold. He gets his butt handed to him by a bunch of old-timers during a backroom game of mahjong. It was kind of cringe-worthy, and that pathetic vibe stuck around for quite a while. I'm all for enigmatic and aloof anti-heroes, but this film took it too far. He's just too unlikable. And that's a major downer because there are some great aspects buried in this film. Its got these dark, noir-inspired moments peppered throughout, coupled with a super cool mix of jazzy and synth tunes that give it a unique vibe. The shootouts are often intense and seriously fun to watch, set against visually captivating backdrops. There were times when I was tempted to hit pause to grab a screenshot. But even with all that going on, I found myself oddly detached, even during what should've been a gripping finale. And that's largely because I had checked out on the main character. Oh, and I love the generous amount of stunning women who grace the film, often in various states of undress. I'll admit, it's tempting to go on a Yusaku Matsuda film hunt – the guy's got a look and presence that's very impressive.

                        And I need to rewatch Sonny Chiba's Golgo 13, 'cause it seems like I had the same issue with that one.

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