First off let me say if I misspell any of the character names I do apologize. Takashi Miike has always been a Filmmaker I liked. From his corny Full Metal Yakuza, to his haunting Audition his work has always been amazing. He films a violent and brutal as can be, but they focus more on gripping story telling that keeps viewers watching. His characters have a way of being compelling to the point you become emotionally invested in them, which is odd as for the most part they are total scum bags. 3 of Miike’s best films are known as The Black Society Trilogy. They consist of the following
Shinjuku Triad Society, which is the story of Tatsuhito, a half Japanese/half Chinese cop who is out to get the Wang Triad. As he lived in China and was half Japanese he was picked on as a child and now harbors great resentment for the Chinese people. To complicate things his younger brother has just graduated law school and now represents the Triad Leaders he is out to get. Beautifully filmed, incredibly acted this is a fantast piece of cinema. Full of violence, rape, and murder the graphic scenes seem to flow right along with the marvelous score and acting
Rainy Dog tells the story of Yuuji, a former Japanese hitman who was kicked out of the Yakuaz and shunned by his friends and family. He wanders around as a killer for hire for a local Triad gang. One day a lady shows up and introduces him to his son from a night they once had together. The son ends up accompanying Yuuji on his hits and a bond form between them.
The final film is Ley Lines is about brothers, Ryuichi, Shunrei and their friend Chang. They live in a small village and decide one day to go out to the bad part of Tokyo. It ends bad as they befriend a hooker and are forced into selling a drug called Toluene for money. The devise a plan to rob a local Yakuza boss and use the money to flee the country. The boss is known for being incredibly violent so needless to say the violence in this one is very graphic.
All three of these films are well regarded by critics and fans alike. As I said I have always been a huge fan of Miike so when I heard Arrow Video had acquired the rights and were releasing this on blu-ray I could not wait.
The picture and audio on all the films is incredible. To see a dank, dirty, washed out scene in full 1080p is a thing of beauty. Arrow is really the top Blu-ray distributor for genre films and this release proves that.
Special Features include
· High Definition digital transfers of all three films
· Original uncompressed stereo audio
· Optional English subtitles for all three films
· New interview with director Takashi Miike
· New interview with actor Show Aikawa (Rainy Dog, Ley Lines)
· New audio commentaries for all three films by Miike biographer Tom Mes
· Original theatrical trailers for all three films
· Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Chris Malbon
FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the films
Overall this is a must own for any fan of cinema
4.5 out of 5 Stars!