Battle Royale to Get 3D Treatment?
screendaily.com reported that Japanese film powerhouse Toei is throwing their hat into the ring by converting the hyper-violent cult sensation Battle Royale into 3D. The move is being spearheaded by Kenta Fukasaku, son of Battle Royale's director, Kinji Fukasaku, who died in 2003 shortly into the filming of its sequel and left most of the direction of his company to Kenta.
If you haven't had the pleasure of seeing Battle Royale, it's the story of a dystopian near-future Japan where each year a single class of students is selected to participate in a free-for-all fight to the death on a deserted island where only one student may remain alive. Each student is fitted with an explosive collar that prevents escape (as well as having other features), given basic supplies and a random weapon before being tossed to the wolves. Needless to say, the worst part of teenage angst and pettiness--not to mention some certifiable psychos--inevitably whittle the group down with gory efficiency for our entertainment.
Despite the blood-soaked content, however, the film is not merely violence for the sake of violence. In interviews Fukasaku stated that Battle Royale was a reflection of his experience as a witness to inhumanity towards the end of WWII and his feelings about how Japan's adults are failing their children. With this in mind, and the fact that the movie was never a visually saturated effects-driven blockbuster, I'm really wondering why Toei would go through the considerable expense (estimated in the millions) to convert this ten-year-old cult classic to 3D. Well, other than for the money, that is. If green is all that drives them then Battle Royale is best left as is, preserved as a landmark to turn-of-the-century Japanese film and a tribute to its late, great director.
Cannes Audiences Feel the Beat of Takeshi Kitano's Latest Gangster Flick
And critics so far love it. For my money, Kitano's never failed to amaze and this is one writer who'll be first in line when this is screened here in the States.