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JAN
16
2 YEARS

'Battle Royale,' 'Chinatown' Hit Blu-ray for the First Time

The controversial Japanese movie, set in a dystopian future where high school students are forced to fight each other to the death, will hit stores just days before the highly anticipated "Hunger Games" is set to open nationwide.

Battle Royale Blu-Ray Split - H 2012

Battle Royale, the controversial and body-stacked Japanese movie, is getting the Blu-ray treatment and is also being paired with its sequel, Battle Royale II: Requiem, for a multi-disc Battle Royale: The Complete Collection.

The movies are based on the popular manga, which is set in a dystopian future where each year the government sends one high school class to an island where the students are forced to fight each other to the death.

If you think this has shades of Hunger Games, you’re not alone. Anchor Bay has the two editions hitting stories March 20, three days before the Hunger Games movie. Anchor Bay, in making the announcement last week, even touted how the movie inspired imitations and cited Games.

But it didn’t mention the story itself was part of long tradition of humans hunting humans tales, which also include The Running Man or the classic short story, The Most Dangerous Game.

Still, Royale did escalate the violence and scope up a few notches, which got the books and movies banned here in America. And an American remake, which was set up at New Line, got scotched in the years after the tragic events of Columbine.

Royale will come in a theatrical and director’s cut, plenty of extras, and digitally as well.

Meanwhile…

Paramount is celebrating its 100th anniversary and is pulling out a lot of stops this year. It had a huge congregation of stars from decades and decades’ worth of its movies on Friday. It’s releasing Wings, the first movie ever to win the best picture Oscar (way back in 1927), on Blu-ray and DVD for the first time January 24 and precedes that with a screening of the silent movie at the Academy January 17 (with a live organ accompaniment!).

Paramount Home Entertainment is adding to that by giving its 1970s classic Chinatown the Blu-ray treatment which will hit shelves April 3.

The movie, starring Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway and John Huston, was named by the AFI as one of the top American films made, and is taught in film schools for its pitch-perfect writing.

The extras are mostly the one seen in the 2009 DVD edition of the movie, among them a commentary with the movie’s screenwriter Robert Towne and filmmaker David Fincher, and a three-part documentary on the Los Angeles Aqueduct.