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Battle Royale--R0 Starmax question

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Battle Royale--R0 Starmax question

Old 06-01-07, 04:46 PM
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Battle Royale--R0 Starmax question

Hey, I very recently purchased the R0 Starmax release of Battle Royale. I'm a little suspicious of my copy for a couple reasons. This version is apparently widely bootlegged, with the boots often being hard to distinguish from authentics. Also, my copy came without the tan slipcover, which has been addressed as another warning sign towards a bootleg. Finally, both discs (2 disc set) have 'Region 1 NTSC' printed on them, yet this is (supposed to be) a R0 release. My copy even says 'R0' on the case. I realize this could be a legit factory misprint, but I'm somewhat suspicious. Could anyone who owns the oop Starmax tell me if your discs have the 'Region 1' misprint like mine pictured? I should add that I got this about 3 weeks ago from HKFlix.com, and although I've dealt with them a lot before and have found them very reliable, I found it pretty odd this verison has been oop for awhile, yet they still had it listed in stock and were selling new copies.

Mine:

[IMG]
image uploads at mailboxdrive.com[/IMG]

Last edited by Alkaline; 06-01-07 at 05:00 PM.
Old 06-01-07, 05:04 PM
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i am not a fan of the Starmax version because they murdered the english subtitles... i mean small errors ok... they MURDERED them...

you say the "region 1 misprint"... most, if not all, Starmax versions are region 1...

i would recommend you check the "bootlegs' link, in the lower left, on this site... this is easily the most authoritative site there is on this film... also all the various versions, by region and company, of the film are compared in detail... with strengths and weaknesses in great detail also...

Link to the site...

i've written Criterion many times on this... we can hope...

Last edited by Dr Mabuse; 06-01-07 at 05:08 PM.
Old 06-01-07, 05:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Dr Mabuse
i am not a fan of the Starmax version because they murdered the english subtitles... i mean small errors ok... they MURDERED them...

you say the "region 1 misprint"... most, if not all, Starmax versions are region 1...

i would recommend you check the "bootlegs' link, in the lower left, on this site... this is easily the most authoritative site there is on this film... also all the various versions, by region and company, of the film are compared in detail... with strengths and weaknesses in great detail also...

Link to the site...

i've written Criterion many times on this... we can hope...
The Korean releases from Starmax and Wision are R0. (As with a large percentage of Korean dvds). Go to dvdcompare.net, or dvd aficionado.com to verify. Thanks for the link, but I've been to Battleroyale.net before, and I realize the Starmax and Wision are known for having pretty lousy subs, especially in the scenes of added footage of the director's cut. I've also read the bootleg info before, hence me being suspicious over my copy not having the slipcover--since it mentions the Starmax bootlegs do not have it. On that note, even that site verifies the Starmax is Region 0 (and easy to bootleg on account of that).

Last edited by Alkaline; 06-01-07 at 05:21 PM.
Old 06-01-07, 05:29 PM
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oh my mistake on the region...

maybe it was 'they will play in region 1' i was thinking...

either way i should have 'checked myself before i wrecked myself'...

i'm still waiting on a proper DVD release of the film...

with good subtitles...

surely Kinji's last film warrants it...
Old 06-01-07, 07:20 PM
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I have an original Starmax version of this DVD, I can check to see what is printed on the actual discs when I get home (I'll compare them to the pics you posted). Mine came with the tan slipcase and a map of the island. I know that the map was only included with the first pressing, but I'm not sure about the slipcase.

I don't think the subs are too bad on this disc (but yes, the subs on the added scenes are of a different font and are a bit worse). Then again, I have a higher tolerance of bad subtitling from years of watching boots of HK films back in the day.
Old 06-01-07, 07:42 PM
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No prob Dr. Mabuse, thanks for trying to help out. I agree about a solid R1 release. Apparently the original Japanse distributor, Toei, is asking an absurd price for U.S. rights, and a guaranteed big U.S. theatrical run--which will never work. The U.S. audience that actually appreciates this film has already found it through import dvd. It will sell a ton of dvd's, but won't do much in U.S. theaters. I've read Lion's Gate and Anchor Bay have been after dvd rights forever. We'll see, I guess.


Originally Posted by cultshock
I have an original Starmax version of this DVD, I can check to see what is printed on the actual discs when I get home (I'll compare them to the pics you posted). Mine came with the tan slipcase and a map of the island. I know that the map was only included with the first pressing, but I'm not sure about the slipcase.

I don't think the subs are too bad on this disc (but yes, the subs on the added scenes are of a different font and are a bit worse). Then again, I have a higher tolerance of bad subtitling from years of watching boots of HK films back in the day.
Thanks, much appreciated. I, like you, seem to have a higher tolerance for sketchy subs than many. The only spot where the subs really bothered me is the added scene of the instructor's fantasy/dream sequence near the end where he's walking along the riverbank with the female student.

Last edited by Alkaline; 06-01-07 at 08:00 PM.
Old 06-02-07, 03:17 AM
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as far as i know starmax is the korean company issuing this film over there.
i spotted an amazon.com listing of it recently - given there's been mentions of bootlegs clearly managing to get listings at amazon, it's hard to define if what's happened remains a case of a foreign company (with a botched version of the film, with regards the subs) importing to america, and selling it themselves, or if someone is bypassing the lack of an american license and taking advantage of how it's possible to get an amazon listing.

i don't personally see why there would be a campaign for a criterion release of the first BR film, especially as there's certainly a clear amount of opinion which suggests criterion legitimises admiration for a film without it necessarily being that applicable to all the individuals who buy it - clues are there, because there's other films by the same filmmakers which get ignored to the point where it bares no apparent relation to admiration for the qualities in their work... and there's the pictures in threads of peoples criterion collections - if ever there was a tenuous-but-credible reason to buy a film, it's that it was issued by a label whose status is perhaps akin to buying deisgner clothes as opposed to buying decent stuff with the same characteristics issued elsewhere, well, it's with peoples admiration and desire to see a film admired by those collectors of criterion. sure, it's easy to see that criterion might select specific films out on individual merit, but there's a 'criterion style' of film to license, and there's films which match those merits (both clearly and in all kinds of personal variations) which don't go anywhere when released. yes, i've criterion discs, but wouldn't in a million years suggest 'BR' was above many things criterion could have put out. a legit american release would be nice though... i have the R2 UK tin.

Last edited by logboy; 06-02-07 at 03:20 AM.
Old 06-02-07, 04:45 PM
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^^^

Yeah, because films like Armageddon and The Rock just SCREAM Criterion.

I figure if Criterion can release things like RoboCop, Hard Boiled and The Killer, they could certainly release Battle Royale.
Old 06-03-07, 03:18 AM
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Originally Posted by logboy
as far as i know starmax is the korean company issuing this film over there.
Here's the whole lowdown on that. There have been a total of 3 Korean releases so far: The first Korean version was from Cream. It was coded R3. When the Cream release went out of print, it was picked up by Starmax. Starmax split the movie and extras onto two discs, added a dts soundmix, and made it R0. Aside from that, it's identical to the Cream (same transfer, extras, etc.). The Starmax went oop a couple years ago, and that exact same version is now distributed by Wision, also R0. It comes bundled in a 3 disc package with the original shorter version of Battle Royale II (Requiem) and a 3rd disc of bonus features, mainly devoted to BR II.
So now, you may be wondering 'why don't you just go for the Wision release, since it's identical to the Starmax and readily available?' Well, I'm only interested in the first film, since the sequel is pretty terrible. Wision offers only the 3 disc bundle and not seperate releases, and it generally costs over $30--about the price of two dvd's--thus why I'd prefer to track down the Starmax. I've also considered the oop Tartan UK NTSC version for the superior subtitles, but it's the original theatrical verison and I generally prefer longer/complete/director's cuts of films whenever possible.

Originally Posted by logboy
i spotted an amazon.com listing of it recently - given there's been mentions of bootlegs clearly managing to get listings at amazon, it's hard to define if what's happened remains a case of a foreign company (with a botched version of the film, with regards the subs) importing to america, and selling it themselves, or if someone is bypassing the lack of an american license and taking advantage of how it's possible to get an amazon listing.
I know exactly what version you're talking about. There's a version on amazon (shows up as the first listing, I think) which is the director's cut, is coded R0, has corrected subs--even on the added footage--has the same extras as the Korean releases and english subtitles for them (none of the official Korean releases do). That version's definitely unofficial--there's been a lot of buzz over it on forums. It apparently uses the cover art from the Australian dvd, according to a few posts I've seen. But it's basically considered the 'best of both worlds' since it it the full director's cut version like the Starmax, etc, but with corrected subs like on the Tartan releases. Even though it's a bootleg, it's a pretty good one, from what I hear. The video transfer is (supposedly) the same as the Korean releases, but no dts sound.

As for your comments about Criterion releases, logboy, I tend to disagree with a lot of what you said, but I don't really feel like getting into it now, so to speak, haha. Suffice to say I feel there is justification in terms of historical/cultural importance and relevance for just about every film given "The Criterion treatment" thus far--The Killer, Hard Boiled, and Robocop included. Perhaps I'll expand some upon that at another time. I guess I feel that's another discussion for a different time/place. Cheers.

Last edited by Alkaline; 06-03-07 at 03:38 AM.
Old 06-03-07, 03:23 AM
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Originally Posted by clckworang
^^^

Yeah, because films like Armageddon and The Rock just SCREAM Criterion.

I figure if Criterion can release things like RoboCop, Hard Boiled and The Killer, they could certainly release Battle Royale.
not really what i was getting at.

for me, what was said about trying to get criterion to release BR relates to the idea that far from following criterion and selecting from what they release based on film qualities, people think the quality is there because criterion selected it. yes, people follow labels, some take that as a sign of it being worthwhile collecting all their editions, i (and i see many others doing this) take it as a general indicator for choices being made regularly enough around there to make it worthwhile (and less risky - it's still russian roulette as to what a dvd will turn out like) keeping an eye on them.

there's also no guarantee they'll do a faithful job - see the criterion forums mention of potential westernising of eastern skin tones, with particular relation to the recent imamura disc 'vengeance is mine' - it's not too much of a stretch to imagine people getting things the wrong way around and encouraging not a further understanding of the qualities of the film and the filmmakers other work, but instead to rely upon others to decide it for you.

if you have criterion in control of BR, this is like asking them to give the film a certain criterion status with potential audiences, and detracts from lots of interesting fukusaku work dating back to the 70's, as well as potentially from BR itself... granted, BR is a film without a USA home that has a huge status online, with a regular dedicated audience, and i suppose a criterion edition would be the ultimate justification for getting a little too interested in what remains a great film with political undertones but primarily also looks a little too much like a teen movie (although appropriately too) to be applicable to audiences above that age group.

and 'hard boiled', 'robocop' and 'armageddon' (particularly the first two) remain early and odd licenses for criterion, i think. 'hard boiled' is often said to have been surpassed by the HK disc - wonder how well the dragon dynasty edition will turn out?

still, with BR, criterion over most companies, also oddly because of their reputation
Old 06-03-07, 10:36 AM
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IMHO the director cut really adds nothing to the film it just makes it longer and screws of the pacing of the film, so if you have not seen it them you won't know that you are missing anything...
Old 06-03-07, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Alkaline
As for your comments about Criterion releases, logboy, I tend to disagree with a lot of what you said, but I don't really feel like getting into it now, so to speak, haha. Suffice to say I feel there is justification in terms of historical/cultural importance and relevance for just about every film given "The Criterion treatment" thus far--The Killer, Hard Boiled, and Robocop included. Perhaps I'll expand some upon that at another time. I guess I feel that's another discussion for a different time/place. Cheers.
it's not something i find that easy to describe - it's a complicated situation - but i do think there's a reliance on criterion as a best-possible-chance to both support a films reputation and give it the best possible chance of a decent DVD, something you cant' quite expect with other labels (however good they might be or seem) and yes this is partly down to doing a good job, but it's partly on the flip-side too, with good work being distorted in order to give a certain representation that's not ultimately identifying the film as good because of what's in it, as you might expect if you saw how similar work, from the same directors, may well gain little to no attention when they appear on decent DVDs. this is a sign people look to the label before they look to the films, and i see it all the time, almost every time a criterion gets announced there's rampant discussion - but comparable work doesn't garner anywhere near as much attention or discussion.
Old 06-04-07, 12:07 AM
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why didn't you just buy the Tartan version?
Old 06-04-07, 01:15 AM
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Sorry, OP, I forgot to give you an answer on this. My Starmax discs look similar but not identical to yours, and mine do say "ALL", not "1" in the region coding logo on the discs themselves. Not sure what you have (later/different pressing or a boot), but it is not the first pressing of the Starmax release at least.
Old 06-04-07, 01:28 AM
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Originally Posted by cultshock
Sorry, OP, I forgot to give you an answer on this. My Starmax discs look similar but not identical to yours, and mine do say "ALL", not "1" in the region coding logo on the discs themselves. Not sure what you have (later/different pressing or a boot), but it is not the first pressing of the Starmax release at least.
I agree with cultshock's assessment. You either have a later printing of a bootleg. I suspect it is a bootleg because I just checked my copy (first printing with the tan slipcover and map) and there are quite a few differences:

Region code says "ALL" not "1"
The region code logo is to the left of the DTS logo on mine
There is also a Korean rating logo after the DTS logo
Underneath the title, there is a Starmax logo
There are credits written in Korean and English along the bottom edge of the disc
Old 06-07-07, 04:55 PM
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Cool, thanks for the replies guys. Let me throw this out there, too: If anyone is interested in selling their (legit) Starmax copy or knows of someone who is, email me at: [email protected]. Ditto for the Tartan NTSC 5.1 edition.
Old 06-08-07, 09:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Alkaline
As for your comments about Criterion releases, logboy, I tend to disagree with a lot of what you said, but I don't really feel like getting into it now, so to speak, haha. Suffice to say I feel there is justification in terms of historical/cultural importance and relevance for just about every film given "The Criterion treatment" thus far--The Killer, Hard Boiled, and Robocop included. Perhaps I'll expand some upon that at another time. I guess I feel that's another discussion for a different time/place. Cheers.
You might at least a little bit be referring to my comments on those Criterion releases. For the record, I agree with you that those do have a certain historical/cultural significance that warrants those DVDs being on the Criterion label. My point was mainly that there may not be a definitive Criterion type of film, especially when there's a version of Armageddon on their banner.

And going back to the discussion logboy initiated, I often wonder how much of what Criterion releases, like certain selections from certain directors, has to do with rights issues. Some of the better, more important titles from certain directors might be more difficult, expensive to obtain rights for.

But I do have to admit that I'm not completely sure I understand the point you're going for or why a BR Criterion release wouldn't be a good thing.

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Old 06-10-07, 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by clckworang
You might at least a little bit be referring to my comments on those Criterion releases. For the record, I agree with you that those do have a certain historical/cultural significance that warrants those DVDs being on the Criterion label. My point was mainly that there may not be a definitive Criterion type of film, especially when there's a version of Armageddon on their banner.

And going back to the discussion logboy initiated, I often wonder how much of what Criterion releases, like certain selections from certain directors, has to do with rights issues. Some of the better, more important titles from certain directors might be more difficult, expensive to obtain rights for.

But I do have to admit that I'm not completely sure I understand the point you're going for or why a BR Criterion release wouldn't be a good thing.
I'm pretty much on the same page as you. I think Battle Royale would be a perfect candidate for Criterion treatment--not sure why you got the impression otherewise. And I was actually going to make the exact same point in response to logboy about Criterion often only releasing certain works from a given director's filmography simply because of rights issues--i.e. Criterion not having the rights to some of a filmmaker's more well-known/larger films on account of the asking price from the owning studio being simply too impractical for Criterion's budget. That of course is due to (insert major studio name here) knowing their's more profit to be made in distributing a special edition of the flick in question themselves as opposed to simply selling off the rights, since it's practically guaranteed to be a big seller and 'move some units'.
I, too, feel there's no such thing as a specific Criterion 'type' of film--their library obviously covers a far and wide range of films which are important and relevant both within many genres and for many different reasons. To me (and to you, apparently) this is a pretty obvious thing, and one of the main reasons Criterion is so highly regarded--their embracement of variety.

In regards to stuff like Armageddon, The Rock, almost all of Wes Anderson's filmography, etc.--I have always assumed that, from time to time, Criterion 'cheats' somewhat--by way of ponying up the hefty rights price for a few "high profile releases" like these--in order to be able to use the large profits made from these releases towards putting out more of the product that the 'true Criterion audience' craves--in other words, your Fellini, Kurosawa, Henri Georges-Clouzot, etc.--which obviously have great artistic merit, but nothing in the way of mainstream appeal. Those restoration jobs and matierals searching are mighty expensive, and the money raked in from these occasional 'cheat' jobs allows Criterion to do what they are best known for. A release like 'The Rock' or 'Armageddon' will attract a considerable portion of even Criterion non-fans, and are often made avaliable at venues which do not typically carry many Criterions, such as Best Buy. Ditto for their Wes Anderson releases.

Last edited by Alkaline; 06-10-07 at 03:33 PM.
Old 06-10-07, 09:07 PM
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^^ Very true.

I'm always shocked when I see one of Criterion's "cheats" at a Wal-Mart or something, a store that would normally NEVER have a Criterion disc.

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