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Family: Part One (Tokyo Shock) 
Written by: on August 9th, 2006

Theatrical Release Dates: Japan, 2001
Director: Takashi Miike
Cast: Kenichi Endo, Kojiro Hongo, Kouichi Iwaki, Taishu Kase, Ryuji Katagiri, Kazuya Kimura

DVD released: August 29th, 2006
Approximate running time: 79 Minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Letterboxed
Rating: NR
Sound: Dolby Digital stereo
DVD Release: Tokyo Shock/Media Blasters
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $19.95

Lightning Takashi’s killing a Yakuza boss helps ignite a war between rival Yakuza fractions. During the hit Lighting Takashi let a woman dressed like a nurse get away. The Yakuza are trying to find Lighting Takashi and silence the woman who is now a witness to the hit before the police do.

Family part one does a nice job setting up the characters and their motivations. It may not be a violent as Miike’s other Yakuza films; still it has plenty of moments that are undeniably Miike. Like many Miike film women are often looked down upon and brutalized. There is a scene where a Yakuza steals one of his rivals’ women and rapes her on a mattress while one of his henchmen films the action. What makes this scenes even more amazing is how everyone if the room is oblivious to the two men outside driving a tank and destroying everything all around them.  

Takashi Miik’e direction continues to get with each film and the scene where Lighting Takashi is having sex with the nurse who witnessed him killing the Yakuza boss is beautifully lit with red lighting. The films score like the score Miike used for Deadly Outlaw: Rekkais is filled with loud electric guitars which drive home the films aggressive attitude. This first part of Family moves at a brisk pace and a lot things happen in just less than eighty minutes. Even though Family on the surface appears to be an average Yakuza film that is only half true since this film has Takashi Miike’s imprint all over it.

The DVD:

Tokyo Shock presents Family Part one in a letterboxed widescreen which looks like the films proper aspect ratio. This non anamorphic transfer has been flagged for progressive scan. The image is crisp with details looking strong in the back and foreground. Colors look faithfully reproduced and flesh tones look natural. There are no problems with artifacts or compression and edge enhancement is mild.

This release comes with one audio option the films original Japanese language track which is presented in a Dolby Digital stereo. Dialog is clear and easy to follow. Music and effects sound evenly balanced. Removable English subtitles that are easy to read and follow have been included.

Extras for this release consist of a Takashi Miike trailers collection which includes the following trailers Fudoh the Next Generation, Visitor Q, Ichi the Killer, Deadly Outlaw Rekka, One Missed Call, Negotiator, Izo, The Way to Fight and The Great Yokai War. All these titles are currently available or soon to be released by Tokyo Shock on DVD.

The extras for this release are exactly the same ones included for Tokyo Shock’s Silver which like Family part one is part of The Maki collection. Overall Tokyo Shock gives The Family a solid audio/video presentation.

For more information about Family visit Media Blasters here.

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