Set for an August 29, 2017 release via Arrow Films is a re-issue of New Battles Without Honor & Humanity. A film series from Japanese filmmaker Kinji Fukasaku, Battles was a massive domestic hit in the early 1970s. Simply put, the series kicked off a boom in realistic, modern yakuza — the Japanese mafia equivalent — films within Japan. Arrow’s six-disc edition includes high-definition digital transfers of all three films to the Blu-ray format.
Generally a film series that gets a multi-disc re-issue is one that the general movie-going public is familiar with. Battles is different in that I had not been familiar with it before receiving this review copy. Upon further research, I have learned that New Battles Without Honor & Humanity was remade in 2000 with a soundtrack by legendary guitarist Tomoyasu Hotei. That film was followed up with a 2003 sequel, New Battles Without Honor And Humanity/Murder. While this edition from Arrow Video has had its audio restored and is chock full of bonus features, it is a shame that it does not include a substantial amount of content related to these reboots. How much would it have cost the producer of this set to license and add movie trailers from the new films and an already-filmed press event or two?
The set of Toei Studio classics includes the following bonus features for the New Battles series:
– Original uncompressed mono audio
– New optional English subtitles for all three films
– Beyond The Films: New Battles Without Honor And Humanity, a new video appreciation by Fukasaku biographer Sadao Yamane
– Two new interviews with screenwriter Koji Takada
– Original theatrical trailers for all three films
– Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Reinhard Kleist
– Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the films by Stephen Sarrazin, Tom Mes, Hayley Scanlon, Chris D. and Marc Walkow
On the same date in which Arrow is releasing the New Battles title, the company will also be putting out Blu-Ray editions of Ronin, The Slayer, Erik The Conqueror and Society. For more information, please visit www.mvdentertainment.com.
Check out Battles Without Honour and Humanity, The Arrow Video Story