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Takeshis' (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Japan Version) DVD Region 2

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Takeshis' (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Japan Version)
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YesAsia Editorial Description

Get ready for two (2) Kitano Takeshis! Writer-director-star Kitano Takeshi takes a look at his own divided career - and then some - in the mind-bending festival hit Takeshis'. Kitano stars as two versions of himself: a superstar actor/director, and a possibly deranged individual who dreams of being like the other Kitano. Somehow, the lives of the two men collide in mystifying and entertaining fashion, as Kitano Takeshi (the director) constantly references his own work (including Sonatine, Zatoichi, and Brother, to name some) in the name of wild, unadulterated parody. Expect violence, comedy, and plenty of surprises in this self-reflexive comedy that's sure to intrigue Kitano fans!

Kitano stars as "Beat" Takeshi, a popular movie and television star dealing with the spoils - and headaches - of his hard-earned fame. But there's another Takeshi Kitano out there: a mild-mannered convenience store clerk and struggling actor (also played by Kitano) who dreams of being like the "other" Kitano. However, it's superstar Kitano's onscreen life that obsesses the convenience store Kitano, who dreams more and more of becoming like his screen idol and virtual twin. When convenience store Kitano brings home a bag of guns, he tells his neighbors that he's preparing for a new role. But the guns just might be real...

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Technical Information

Product Title: Takeshis' (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Japan Version) Takeshis' (DVD) (英文字幕) (日本版) Takeshis' (DVD) (英文字幕) (日本版) TAKESHIS' Takeshis' (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Japan Version)
Artist Name(s): Kitano Takeshi (Actor) | Kyono Kotomi | Kishimoto Kayoko | Osugi Ren | Terajima Susumu | Beat Kiyoshi | Musaka Naomasa | Miwa Akihiro 北野武 (Actor) | 京野琴美 | 岸本加世子 | 大杉漣 | 寺島進 | Beat Kiyoshi | 六平直政 | 美輪明宏 北野武 (Actor) | 京野琴美 | 岸本加世子 | 大杉涟 | 寺岛进 | Beat Kiyoshi | 六平直政 | Miwa Akihiro 北野武 (Actor) | 京野ことみ | 岸本加世子 | オオスギレン | テラジマススム | ビートきよし | 六平直政 | 美輪明宏 Kitano Takeshi (Actor) | Kyono Kotomi | Kishimoto Kayoko | Osugi Ren | Terajima Susumu | Beat Kiyoshi | Musaka Naomasa | Miwa Akihiro
Director: Kitano Takeshi 北野武 北野武 北野武 Kitano Takeshi
Release Date: 2006-04-07
Publisher Product Code: BCBJ-2450
Language: Japanese
Subtitles: English
Place of Origin: Japan
Picture Format: NTSC What is it?
Disc Format(s): DVD
Region Code: 2 - Japan, Europe, South Africa, Greenland and the Middle East (including Egypt) What is it?
Other Information: DVD
Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1004099447

Product Information

出演:ビートたけし/北野武/京野ことみ/岸本加世子/大杉漣/寺島進/渡辺哲/美輪明宏/六平直政/ビートきよし/津田寛治/石橋保/國本鐘建/上田耕一/高木淳也/芦川誠/松村邦洋/内山信二/武重勉/木村彰吾/STRiPES/TOSHI/DJ HANGER

ビートたけしは芸能界の大スターとして多忙で、リッチな生活を送っている。 一方でビートたけしとそっくりな、しがないコンビニ店員・北野は売れない役者として苦闘中。 偶然にも北野はビートたけしと出会うが、一向に受からないオーディションの連続で、ついに北野はビートたけしの演じる映画の世界に迷い込んでいく。それは、幻とも現実とも区別がつかないファンタジーの世界…

映像特典:『TAKESHIS’』PV/メイキング、監督インタビュー 他(30分)/特報、劇場予告編



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Professional Review of "Takeshis' (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Japan Version)"

December 9, 2005

If you thought Kitano Takeshi's 2003 riff on Shintaro Katsu's Zatoichi character was a little weird, you ain't seen nuthin' yet. Takeshis', his 2005 follow-up, is one strange trip. In addition to writing and directing chores, Kitano follows in the footsteps of such noted thespians as Jackie Chan and Jean Claude Van Damme by taking on dual roles. In Takeshis', the auteur plays a fictionalized version of himself, the world-famous celebrity "Beat" Takeshi and also a blond convenience store clerk-turned-struggling actor named Kitano Takeshi. But just when you think this is going to be yet another movie about mistaken identity or perhaps the umpteenth retelling of The Prince and the Pauper, Kitano pulls a fast one on the audience, delivering a film that is anything but conventional.

Despite the doubling involved, this "Tale of Two Takeshis" features a plot that starts out simple enough. By sheer chance, the two identical men meet each other at a TV station. Prodded by his pal (Terajima Susumu), the "Average Joe" Takeshi asks Beat for an autograph. Beat's slick girlfriend (Kyono Kotomi) comments on the resemblance, which later leads the actor to reflect on what his doppelganger's life might actually be like. Meanwhile, the ordinary Takeshi returns to his humdrum life at the convenience store, finding time during his off-hours to audition for small parts, only to be met with rejection at each and every turn. Although quirkiness abounds in the opening reels, things start to get a whole lot weirder as the film progresses.

It seems that Takeshi has a neighbor (Terajima once more) who loves to mock him behind his back to his trashy girlfriend (Kyono again as well), a woman who becomes idealized in Takeshi's mind. If the additional dual roles weren't enough, there's also the appearance of an angry woman (Kishimoto Kayoko), who stalks and harasses both the ordinary Takeshi and the celebrity Beat at a level that defies reality. And then there's the cab driver who offers Takeshi a job (Osugi Ren), who looks an awful lot like Beat's manager (yep, you guessed it - Osugi again). As a cabby, Takeshi finds himself taking on numerous passengers, including two sumo wrestlers and a young boy dressed up as a geisha (who previously appeared in Beat's storyline), as he tries to maneuver the taxi amidst a gaggle of accident victims strewn all over the road. Sure, that last bit can be explained away as a dream, but what about the appearance of a Japanese version of Seinfeld's Soup Nazi, who later reappears in the form of three different men simultaneously, all of whom maintain additional roles in the narrative! And then there's the film's frame story, which shows Kitano as a wounded Japanese soldier staring down the barrel of a gun. Where does that go? Is it a film within a film? A reference to Kitano's first movie, Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence? Who the heck knows? As you might suspect, any further plot summary of Takeshis' would prove wholly impractical, if for no other reason than the rest of the film is completely and utterly bananas.

To Kitano's credit, that's part of the point - in interviews, he's admitted that the film is supposed to make audiences feel confused and uncomfortable. Steeped in references to Kitano's life, Takeshis' is essentially a send-up of the man himself, an in-joke whose punchline depends entirely on how "in" the audience is with the real life Kitano's filmography and personal history.

In addition to the film's efforts toward self-parody, the plot, or what passes for one, can be boiled down to an exploration of dreams - in this case, how one man's dream can not only beget other dreams, but how these dream worlds could cross over and interact. So does that make it all a dream? In a manner of speaking, yes. The sheer body count in the film is so ludicrous that it pretty much telegraphs to the viewer that nothing of what you see really matters, but even so, the dream-like explanation of the film doesn't end up feeling like a cop-out. What it is, however, is excessive. This over the top grandstanding culminates in a climactic scene in which Takeshi (assuming the gangster-like screen persona of the real Beat) stands in front of his Porsche while an armada of policemen and samurai suddenly appear before him on the beach. With machinegun in hand, Takeshi blasts away, killing off numerous attackers, while he himself remains relatively unscathed. It's all a joke, but considering that it's an oft-repeated one, even within the movie itself, it's not quite as funny as it should be.

Still, Takeshis' is ambitious in the sense that it tries to imagine a life for a Kitano Takeshi who never achieved the level of superstardom that befell the real-life man. Despite its glaring flaws, it's definitely a fascinating way to cap off this stage of his career, for the film very much feels like an ending of some kind. Sometimes quirky, sometimes tedious, and always surreal, Takeshi Kitano's cinematic attempt to satirize his celebrity persona is perhaps a bit too puzzling and self-indulgent a film to truly satisfy its lofty ambitions. But all things considered, the sheer audacity of its narrative as well as its welcome comic touch make Takeshis' a compelling, if impenetrable, cinematic ride.

By Calvin McMillin

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