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Takeshis' (2005) (DVD) (Hong Kong Version) DVD Region 3

Kitano Takeshi (Director, Actor) | Osugi Ren (Actor) | Kishimoto Kayoko (Actor) | Terajima Susumu (Actor)
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Takeshis' (2005) (DVD) (Hong Kong 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' (2005) (DVD) (Hong Kong Version) 北野武遇上北野武 (2005) (DVD) (香港版) 北野武遇上北野武 (2005) (DVD) (香港版) Takeshis' Takeshis' (2005) (DVD) (Hong Kong Version)
Also known as: 雙面北野武 双面北野武
Artist Name(s): Kitano Takeshi (Actor) | Osugi Ren (Actor) | Kishimoto Kayoko (Actor) | Terajima Susumu (Actor) | Kyono Kotomi (Actor) | Musaka Naomasa (Actor) | Miwa Akihiro (Actor) 北野武 (Actor) | 大杉漣 (Actor) | 岸本加世子 (Actor) | 寺島進 (Actor) | 京野琴美 (Actor) | 六平直政 (Actor) | 美輪明宏 (Actor) 北野武 (Actor) | 大杉涟 (Actor) | 岸本加世子 (Actor) | 寺岛进 (Actor) | 京野琴美 (Actor) | 六平直政 (Actor) | Miwa Akihiro (Actor) 北野武 (Actor) | オオスギレン (Actor) | 岸本加世子 (Actor) | テラジマススム (Actor) | 京野ことみ (Actor) | 六平直政 (Actor) | 美輪明宏 (Actor) Kitano Takeshi (Actor) | Osugi Ren (Actor) | Kishimoto Kayoko (Actor) | Terajima Susumu (Actor) | Kyono Kotomi (Actor) | Musaka Naomasa (Actor) | Miwa Akihiro (Actor)
Director: Kitano Takeshi 北野武 北野武 北野武 Kitano Takeshi
Release Date: 2006-12-15
Language: Japanese
Subtitles: English, Traditional Chinese
Place of Origin: Japan
Picture Format: NTSC What is it?
Aspect Ratio: 1.78 : 1
Widescreen Anamorphic: Yes
Sound Information: Dolby Digital 5.1
Disc Format(s): DVD
Region Code: 3 - South East Asia (including Hong Kong, S. Korea and Taiwan) What is it?
Duration: 107 (mins)
Publisher: Panorama (HK)
Package Weight: 130 (g)
Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1004600349

Product Information

* Screen Format : 16:9 (Anamorphic Widescreen)
* Sound Mix : Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Surround

Director: Takeshis

Nominated for Golden Lion Award, Venice International Film Festival 2005


  Beat Takeshi lives the busy and sometimes surreal life of a showbiz celebrity. One day he meets his blond lookalike named Kitano, a shy convenience store cashier, who, still an unknown actor, is waiting for his big break. After their paths cross, Kitano seems to begin hallucinating about becoming Beat.
Additional Information may be provided by the manufacturer, supplier, or a third party, and may be in its original language

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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features

Professional Review of "Takeshis' (2005) (DVD) (Hong Kong Version)"

December 9, 2005

This professional review refers to Takeshis' (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Japan Version)
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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