Dead or Alive

1999 [JAPANESE]

Action / Comedy / Crime / Drama / Thriller

Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
May 15, 2019 at 05:38 AM

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720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
901.97 MB
1280*682
Japanese 2.0
R
23.976 fps
1 hr 45 min
P/S 1 / 5
1.69 GB
1920*1024
Japanese 2.0
R
23.976 fps
1 hr 45 min
P/S 1 / 11

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Quinoa1984 7 / 10

a little more of the ordinary genre effort for Miike, but still contains a few very notable, outrageous set pieces

On the DVD for Dead or Alive, the first in the trilogy, director Takashi Miike is asked how he would describe the movie to someone who had no idea what it was about, and he describes it as an "enjoyable, healthy Yakuza movie". 'Healthy' is a word I tried to put into context with the film after seeing it, and I'm still not sure how it applies, except maybe in the sense of Miike sticking to a good deal of conventions this time around. It's definitely not that one can't see Miike's mark all over the picture, as it certainly isn't your grandfather's yakuza/crime movie (matter of fact not even John Woo). It's just that with certain elements, like the two main characters: the detective Jojima (Sho Aikawa) who's the decent, hard-nosed sort with the wife and daughter; and Ryuuichi (Riki Takeuchi), who has the face like one of those really crazy villain character actors in 40s film-noir, who wants to take over the mob in the area, by any means necessary. I felt like I could've seen some of this in any given yakuza thriller, albeit my lack of experience with the genre of "V-Cinema" in the 90s or yakuza thrillers in general.

Then again, for Miike he uses a lot of this to spring-board his own visual ideas and real tricks with the material. The way he starts to film is truly and unequivocally disorienting- I had to watch it twice just to sort of, kind of get a sense of what the hell I was watching. It gives the impression, which is both wrong and right with D.O.A., that it'll be a totally knock-your-socks-off work of gonzo film-making, where aberrant sex, brutal violence, drugs, and gangsters will always be lurking in the night (most disturbing is with the scene in the public bathroom, and then following it with the guy on the wheel-spinner being controlled by a guy on a bike). As the story goes into gear, however, this montage usage disappears, and Miike gravitates back into what one recognizes readily from his other films- fairly long takes and deep focus, and outbursts of insanely creative bits of trashy fun (highlights here include a woman who dies via pool of feces, which is actually really sick, a bit involving bestiality out of the blue, and a gigantic shoot-em-up Chinese vs Japanese battle where Ryuuichi and his gang kill both clans in one swift stroke).

Actually, seeing Miike in more genre-familiar territory isn't a bad thing, and sometimes a scene will come up that's meant to play seriously, and does, where in a lesser director would go for the cheap bits with lesser actors. An example of this is the fate of a character's brother, who betrays by taking money not really his and tries to talk his way out of it. So it's actually Miike still experimenting, though it's not a totally fulfilling trip in part because the conventions start to dull up in the middle. It's when Miike finally gets into that last third, with that wildly bloody shoot out- including both hilarious flights of fancy (a thug who was hiding comes out with a sword and goes ape-s*** all over one of the thugs) and the tragic (a character who was a surprise to show up gets killed). The fates grow darker for the detective character, who really was just looking for money somehow for an operation for his daughter. But his allegiance to the law gets put aside, and the "final scene" comes to a head.

Here Miike finally puts his 'wild-man of cinema' gears to full throttle, and it's exciting (as mentioned in trashy, violent, exploitive action-movie ways), ridiculous, and in the end jaw-droppingly funny. It's a good sign of things to come at the end, with the two big stars of V Cinema duking it out as if it's the old West again and the sheriff and outlaw have nothing to lose except for their 'special surprises' up their sleeves at the last bloody gunned down moment. What came before it wasn't all that great overall, and the first in the trilogy, even with a few sweet near X-rated touches of physical and psychological disturbance, doesn't amount to one of Miike's finest triumphs, I wouldn't of traded seeing the last three minutes of the film (final shot included) for anything. 7.5/10

Reviewed by Bogey Man 9 / 10

More cinematic madness and style from Takashi Miike

Takashi Miike's Dead or Alive (1999) begins perhaps as strikingly as ever possible. The very first 5 minutes of this film are incredibly fast paced and edited series of brutal and unexplained (yet) Yakuza murders and images from one sleazy night club in which this mayhem mostly takes place. After that, the speed slows down remarkably and the rest of the film reminds me pretty much of the great art of Takeshi Kitano, another Japanese cinema master. Dead or Alive tells the story of two men against each other, one policeman who has to do dirty things with Yakuza in order to get money for his daughter's expensive medical treatment (she has some dangerous and lethal disease) and the other a charismatic Yakuza criminal and these two men are little like Danny Lee and Chow Yun Fat in John Woo's The Killer; Both these men are on the different sides of the law but share many similar traits and thus respect each other. At the film's finale, which is again extremely over-the-top insanity, they finally confront and it is again something as hysterical that can be invented only by this Japanese director or some other from the East. Dead or Alive's beginning and ending are as fast and outrageous as possible and the middle part of the film is very slow and calm. This creates an extremely effective contrast to the film and reminds me very much of Miike's masterpiece, Fudoh from 1996.

Dead or Alive includes many memorable characters which are from sick pervert Yakuzas (who like to drown people into feces etc.) to junkies and university fellows which all are interesting and personal in the hands of this director. The film tells about many sides of humanity and about things we don't usually want to discuss or at least films don't usually discuss! The most important element in the film however is the finale which thickens it all. The conclusion of this ultra original Yakuza drama is exactly the same as Fudoh's whole point, which is that in the human nature and psyche, there is this thing which necessarily doesn't make it impossible to categorize humans as brutes and savages as it all is destructed because of these reasons in Dead or Alive. Enemies cannot stop until it's too late, and nobody is willing to "give up." Man kills man and acts only more "sophisticatedly" than the actual animals and wild beasts of nature. This is very usual topic in Japanese, honest, cinema and it is one thing which usually makes their movies so unique and brilliant.

The finale in Dead or Alive includes things which are not likely to be imagined especially when the whole film before it (excluding the beginning, of course) was so calm and almost peaceful. The finale is very easy to take seriously as it's meant to be as Miike only says his things with different methods, with the methods of this magic filled form of art. When people don't like elements like these in movies, I think it's because of the fact that they don't want to / cannot accept all the possibilities of this art and thus cannot deal with such imagery and elements in films. It all has to be interpreted in order to understand what film maker has to say and give with his/her film. Miike has said he wants that the viewer can be entertained at the same time, but I'm extremely happy that Miike still keeps these entertainment efforts on the background and things in his films which are meant to be entertaining, are also very personal and tolerable and never calculated as in some Hollywood mainstream effort of nowadays'.

Dead or Alive is no less cinematically stunning as Miike's other films. This includes fine use of photography and long shots without edits. The editing is also great especially in this first 5 minutes when the mayhem is so fierce. It all is done with skill and the fast edits never become irritating as they have been finished with care and interest. The often cartoonish violence is somewhat brutal at times and definitely the most graphic elements of this film will alienate most casual viewers as some of the characters and the acts they commit are very sick and repulsive. When a film is this symbolic and almost surreal, the violence doesn't have to be realistic or "believable" either as it is too symbolic and one element in the film. I think Dead or Alive isn't gratuitously violent or sadistic as it all serves the morality of the characters and the world this film depicts.

Dead or Alive isn't quite as great as Fudoh, but still extremely pleasant film from Takashi Miike, who makes films at incredible speed. He makes some 5 or more films per year and most of them are equally personal and inventively wild and mad. I hope this man can continue his "freedom" as a film maker and that he'd never go to mainstream (not to speak of Hollywood!) and fortunately his statements so far don't show signs about this. 9/10

Reviewed by HumanoidOfFlesh 8 / 10

Wild Japanese action!

Takashi Miike's "Dead or Alive:Hanzaisha" left me speechless.The opening sequence is incredible in its style-we have strippers at work,several bloody shoot-outs,a gangster getting his throat slashed while sodomizing a young man in a public toilet etc.The finale is also amazing-I was literally blown away!The film is strangely amoral-check out especially the scene in which two punks making animal porn try feverishly to excite an Alsatian dog so it can mount naked girl in their presence.The film is not as violent and sadistic as the other Miike's works like "Visitor Q",but there are some really strong images that will surely linger in the memory.The acting is very good,the direction is well-handled and the film is hallucinogenic at times.All in all if you're fed up with predictable Hollywood's action trash check this one out!

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