Written by: Michael Den Boer on July 10th, 2006
Theatrical Release Dates: Japan, 1999
Director: Takashi Miike
Writers: Hisao Maki, Saburô Takemoto
Cast: Atsuko Sakuraba, Kenji Haga, Shinobu Kandori, Rumi Kazama, Hisao Maki, Fujio Matsushima, Kôji Tsukamoto
DVD released: June 13th, 2006
Approximate running time: 82 Minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Letterboxed Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo
DVD Release: Tokyo Shock/Media Blasters
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $19.95
Jun Shirogane (Atsuko Sakuraba) was away in America while her family back home in Japan was murder by a group of assassin who call themselves The Viper’s Nest. Years later she returns to Japan. Shortly after her arrival she is recruited by Japan’s secret service to infiltrate and dispose of all evil doers. She joins a women’s wrestling league and uses it as cover for her real activities in the various cities the league takes her.
Takashi Miike is a prolific filmmaker who is fearless when it comes to trying something new. He has worked in every genre and many sub genres of film. Most Miike films tend to focus primarily on violence and when there are themes of a sexual nature they are often dealt with in a brutally violent manner.
Silver opens with the silhouette of a woman riding her lover and this is actually foreshadowing a love scene which takes place later in the film. Surprisingly Miike handles the sexuality in this film with less vulgarity then most of his films. The films love scene is beautifully shot and tender in mood. Never fear Miike diehard’s there are plenty of weird images and scenes filled with depravity like the scene in which one of the female character pissed into a jar and makes her reluctant lover drink or better yet later in the film when the same two characters are in a bondage session in which the male begs for a dildo up his anus. These are the typical moments I have come to expect when watching a Miike film.
If you are expecting great performances look elsewhere. This film is all about two things action and big breasted women like the films lead Atsuko Sakuraba who is impossible to take your eyes off when she is in the frame. The action sequences in the film are really well done and in many ways some of the best Miike has directed. The plot on the surface appears to be your standard hit women/revenge theme when deep down there is some much more like how they made the character of Jun a wrestler to help camouflage her missions. This has to be one of the most unique plot devices I have seen in a long while.
Overall Silver is a fun action film that requires no logic to fully appreciate its nuances.
Tokyo Shock presents Silver a letterboxed widescreen which looks like the films proper aspect ratio. This non anamorphic transfer has been flagged for progressive scan. Color look strong and they are nicely saturated. Details in the background look a tad soft and this may have more to do with this film being shot on video then anything transfer related. There are no problems with artifacts or compression and edge enhancement is mild. There are few instances of digital fogging during nudity and
these are part of the source material.
This release comes with one audio option the films original Japanese language track which is presented in a Dolby Digital stereo. The audio is free of any hiss, distortion or any other sound defects. Music, dialog and effects perfectly blend with each. 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.
Despite the lack of extras Tokyo Shock gives Takashi Miike’s Silver a more then adequate release that is also available at a more then affordable price.
For more information about Silver visit Media Blasters here.