Hipster Netflix Gems: Battle Royale

Every once in a while we’ll come to you with a movie that you’ve probably never heard of, but you should watch it anyways because we say so.

Imagine a world in which students are told to kill each other. Now imagine that these students actually know each other. Now imagine that in this world, if the students decide not to kill each other, they will explode due to metal collars placed around their necks. Imagine no more! This world I speak of is the setting for the film Battle Royale, based off of the novel by Koushun Takami. 42 students. 3 Days. 1 survivor. No Escape.

This film is one of the better ones that I have ever seen, and it really takes what middle school is like (cliques, jealousy, everyone thinking they are in love), and then heightens everything because oh yeah if you don’t kill other people you will die as well. It’s really a shame that for the most part we don’t get to see foreign films more often. The subtitles don’t really take away from anything, and it’s the perfect film to sit down and watch with your kids (kidding).

The film’s director is Kinji Fukasaku, who is famous for directing Battles Without Honor and Humanity (known in the United States as the Yakuza Papers, a series of 7 films whose violence, shaky camera style, and documentary style directing changed the world of film forever.) Battle Royale comes to us in the same mold, and it’s a shame that he had to pass away before directing the second film (eventually finished by his son.)

Now for those of you saying this is just a ripoff of The Hunger Games, your hipster badge has been removed. How dare you assume such a thing, when in fact the reverse is true! The Hunger Games is a Disneyfied (making tragic events seem not like a big deal and actually something you want to be a part of) version of Battle Royale, and Susanne Collins should be ashamed for her blatant copying.

So if you want to go watch Jennifer Lawrence because she’s awesome and do no wrong, go for it, but if you want a quality movie I implore you to watch Battle Royale. Now for the part where I have questions and answers!

My favorite character, played by Kou Shibasaki

Stars of the Film: Tatsuya Fujiwara and Aki Maeda play the people we watch the most, but the two best people in my opinion were Kou Shibasaki and Tarô Yamamoto (you can see him at 58 seconds smoking a cig). (Fun facts on these two, Tarô is now a Japanese politician, while Kou is now J-pop star in addition to being an actress and model. She is also going to be in the upcoming film 47 Ronin.
How did this film do in Japan? It is top 10 all time in money grossing.
What did Rotten Tomatoes say? 86% positive!
When should I watch this film? At night, trust me.
How long does it take to see blood? I didn’t calculate it this time, but I believe in the 5-10 minute range you see a kid die.
Who wins? Watch the film and find out!

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