Written by: Michael Den Boer on June 14th, 2005
|Theatrical Release Date: Japan, December 5th, 2003
Director: Ryuhei Kitamura
Writer: Tsutomu Takahashi
Cast: Yumiko Shaku, Takao Osawa, Shosuke Tanihara
|Approximate running time:||122 & 134 minutes||122 minutes|
|Aspect Ratio:||1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen||1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen|
|Sound:||Dolby Digital 5.1 & Stereo Japanese & English with English subtitles||Dolby Digital 5.1 & Stereo Japanese with English subtitles|
|DVD Release:||Tokyo Shock||Optimum Asia|
|Region Coding:||Region 1 NTSC||Region
|Retail Price:||$29.95||£15.99 ($29.11)|
Tokyo Shock’s Region 1 DVD
Optimum Asia’s Region 2 DVD
The Film :
On the day of his wedding detective Kanzaki (Shosuke Tanihara) is called into investigate a brutal murder in which a young woman has had her heart ripped out. His bride to be Mina (Yumiko Shaku) becomes the fourth victim as she walks down the isle towards Kanzaki the man she loves. Sayori Toyama is a reporter who is given the rare privilege of interviewing billionaire recluse Tatsuya Kudo a scientists who specializes in genetics. Tatsuya’s has spent the last few years searching for a cure for his wife Eri who he has kept alive on life support. Mina now dead stands at “The Gate of Rage” in which each person who comes to this gateway is given three choices journey into paradise and be reborn, choose to remain as a ghost because of your refuse to accept that you have died or impose a curse on someone from the mortal realm before descending into the fires of hell. Tatsuya continues his quest for a cure for his wife with the help of his secretary Rei who helps him collect the hearts of his victims. Detective Kanzaki overwhelmed by his loss continues to search for his fiancés killers will be forced to make the ultimate sacrifice to save the woman he loves.
Both release present Sky High in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the films original 1.85:1 aspect ratio. The colors look vibrant and flesh tones look healthy on both releases with the main difference between the two being the image looks sharper on the Tokyo Shock release. One negative is that both releases have been interlaced which during more action oriented scenes leads to some ghosting of the image. The ghosting is more pronounced on the Optimum Asia release and is less noticeable on the Tokyo Shock release.
Tokyo Shock’s release comes with several audio options including a Japanese language track in Dolby Digital 5.1 and Dolby Digital stereo as well as an English language track in Dolby Digital 5.1 and Dolby Digital stereo for the theatrical version. Also included as part of the Tokyo Shock release is a extended directors cut of the films that comes with two audio options Dolby Digital 5.1 and Dolby Digital stereo both are available in Japanese only. The subtitles for this release are free of any typos and it is easy to read and follow. Optimum Asia’s release comes with two audio options Dolby Digital 5.1 and Dolby Digital stereo both are available in the films native language of Japanese. The subtitles for this release are free of any typos and it is easy to read and follow. The audio is virtually flawless for both DVD releases and there are no problems with hiss or distortion. Overall all the audio mixes included on Tokyo Shock and Optimum Asia releases are beautifully mixed.
Extras for the Tokyo Shock release include a stills gallery, Sky High’s theatrical trailer and T.V. spots. Other extras include a twenty three minute making of featurette in which the films director Ryuhei Kitamura discusses Sky High in depth. Rounding out the extras in a feature length commentary with Ryuhei Kitamura and the cast of Sky High’s reminisce about working on the film. Tokyo Shock has also included trailers for some of there other releases. Extras for the Optimum Asia release include cast and crew interviews which is essentially behind the scenes footage inter-cut with interview footage of Yukimo Skaku discussing the film and her character Mina. This segment runs about nine minutes in length. Other extras include a making of documentary that is mostly comprised of outtakes and behind the scenes footage. This segment runs about eight minutes in length. Rounding out the extras is two theatrical trailers for Sky High and trailers for some of Optimum Asia’s releases.
Both releases cost about the same and audio/video wise they are damn near identical, still Tokyo Shock’s is the better of the two releases since it offers a slightly stronger image as well as coming with two versions of the film and wealth of extras.