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3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5 stars
Format: DVD|Change
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Showing 1-5 of 5 reviews(1 star). Show all reviews
on May 9, 2003
Kitano's "Brother�Egets eaten and spit out by Sony Pictures US. Not exactly a masterpiece, or the best movie he has done, but it gave a great insight into the Yakuza lifestyle rarely known outside of Japan. But on this DVD, the lackluster treatment of this movie is unforgivable.
If some of the story was a little on the unexplained side, maybe it's because the US version is 30 minutes shorter than the Japanese original. Most of the Japanese sequences were cut, so Americans won't have to read too many subtitles. Great move(?). The DTS audio option was thrown out for some reason, thinking people who might like this movie will not have a DTS decoder. Sony, get with the times!
The biggest problem I had with this DVD was that there were no English subtitles! It is listed as 'English Subtitles�Ebut in fact, it's English Closed Captions, so even when they are speaking English, the captions appear. Luckily I understand both languages, but for anyone else, they would be a headache to sit through.
Extras are very minimal, only trailers for completely unrelated Chinese movies? For a list price so high, it just seems smarter to get the fully loaded Region 2 Japanese release. Believe me the story makes a LOT more sense.
Also, the character that Tetsuya Watari plays is such a minor role in the US version, it was a shame that his name appears in the credits. If you want to check out a role where he actually is part of the MOVIE, get 'Tokyo Drifter�E(Criterion Collection). You'll be a lot happier with that film.
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on January 3, 2002
Colors are not to be changed, they are to be left to their original tint or brightness.
Today I bought Brother at Best Buy. I was happy to find that I got the last copy of the 2 shelves of them. I was suprised, so I bought it. When I got to opening it, there was some nice cover art on the disc, and no freaking collecters booklet on most Sony discs. I popped the disc in to my new "Panny" RP56 and set down to watch on my Phillips 16:9 HDTV. Never have I seen a film murdered in front of my eyes. It's a movie about blah, blah go to Internet Movie Database and search under Brother to find out.
Aniki's(main character) world is not exciting, and somewhat gloomy. There is an occasional color flair(rare) to hint at a character's persoanlity. Blacks are deep and accurate, there are tons of gray, blue is on the dark side, green is in some scenes dark and other scenes light, finally red is crimson, and sometimes darker. All of this is representted accurately on the two DVD's I have previously watched(UK and Japan) and seen in a THX certified theater. The theater I saw the movie was dead on, and the picture quality was unbeatable.
All of the above is thrown out in the Sony Pictures Classics version. Gray is subdued and no longer prevalent. Blacks are ruined which killed a couple scenes. Blue is no longer dark or a little dark, it's plain blue. Green is a neon green in some scenes and now is a bright. Red is pushed, but just enough that the color is a bit lighter.
The beginning scene is ruined by the Sony version. Kitano standing waiting for the cab is supposed to stick out, and the background is covered in the back with a thing gray, to make him prevalent. Instead the Sony version completely takes out the gray, and the scene is then butchered. The scene where Kitano murders the Latino drug dealer the blacks are deep, the colors subdued. The Sony version, pushes the flesh tones the blacks are off, and the green door to the left of Claude Maki is now a bright neon green, whereas the other versions had the door dark green or a light pine green.
There also to seems to be a fairly large quantity of edge enhancement, which is absent on the 3 other sources.
What doesn't help the Sony Pictures Classics version is that its edited. The movie begins with a Sony Pictures Classics label pasted over the Kitano label, with the background music still there. This tells you that, you are about to watch an inferior version. There are various edits to the movie digitally. Such as painting over brain matter on walls from gunshots, and time and gore edits. The stark emotion of the Hagakure scene is also killed by the editing.
The features? Just some ...trailers for some movies that remind me of the word 'crud' The audio is okay, but with the lack of DTS,...
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on January 24, 2004
This is supposed to be an artsy movie about the yakuzas and their activities in America. However, it`s not more than an average, empty thriller that`s neither exciting nor funny, let alone creative or original. Takeshi Kitano, who both directs the picture and plays its asian main character, is devoid of charisma while he acts, using the same facial expression the whole time. There are lots of useless moments of pointless violence here, which try to have style and edgyness but fail miserably (Tarantino does it much better). "Brother" is a tedious, unengaging waste of time and is quickly forgotten. Meaningless.
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on April 25, 2003
Seriously, the first review with this title nailed it. I saw a different Takeshi Kitano movie a few years back which was much more stylistically interesting (can't remember the name, but it was a Japanese film), so I know he's capable of making an interesting film. This isn't it. This film is a terrible waste of time.
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on July 11, 2004
This movie was really boring. It was slow and uninteresting. the man who did this movie is the one trying to bring back the Zatoichi series. I have not seen the new Zatoichi movie yet but this movie gives me great doubts about how good it will be. His other movies may be good but this one is a definite time waster. Save yourselves.
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