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Category:    Home > Reviews > Action > Martial Arts > Crime > Gangsters > Japan > China > Black Society Trilogy (1995 - 1999/Takashi Miike/MVD Visual/Arrow Films Blu-ray Set)

Black Society Trilogy (1995 - 1999/Takashi Miike/MVD Visual/Arrow Films Blu-ray Set)

Picture: B Sound: B Extras: B Films: B/B/B-

Director Takashi Miike is one of the most recognizable names in international filmmaking and is known mainly to American audiences for this more violent films such as Ichi: The Killer, Audition, and 13 Assassins to name a few.

Here, we get a chance to see some of his early works with the action packed Black Society Trilogy (also known as Triad Society) which is comprised of three films: Shinjuku Triad Society (1995), Rainy Dog (1997), and Ley Lines (1999). Taking on the gangster worlds of both the triads and the yakuzas, the three films don't connect or tell a full story, but are separate entities (though some cast members do return).

Shinjuku Triad Society takes place during a Chinese (triad) and Japanese (yakuza) mafia war where a lawyer for the Chinese mob finds a rift forming between him and his corrupt police office brother. In Rainy Dog, a Japanese assassin stranded in Taiwan must take work from a local crime boss to make ends meet when suddenly a woman from his past delivers a son to him. In Ley Lines, a group of Chinese youths living in Japan struggle to make their way in life and eventually find trouble with the local crime syndicate.

The films star Kippei Shiina, Tomorowo Taguchi, Kazuki Kitamura, and Naoto Takenaka.

All three films have been remastered to 1080p high definition with a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.85:1 (all shot on 35mm film) culminate into virtually flawless presentations that bring the masterful cinematography to new heights. The audio mix has also been remastered to original Japanese 2.0 stereo tracks presented in uncompressed PCM 2.0 Stereo that aren't necessarily mind-blowing, but due to the budget and nature of the films, sound perfectly fine.

Special Features...

New interview with director Takashi Miike

New interview with actor Show Aikawa (Rainy Dog, Ley Lines)

New feature length audio commentaries for all three films by Miike biographer Tom Mes

Original theatrical trailers for all three films

Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Chris Malbon

(First Pressing Only) Illustrated collector's booklet featuring new writing on the films

These films are definitely worth checking out for fans of Miike, and fans of international action films that center around gangs. Full of violence, the films also have some pretty funny moments and inspired filmmaking that makes them notable. Arrow has done a great job, as usual, with this release!

- James Lockhart



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