Director: Sion Sono
Cast: Jun Kunimura, Fumi Nikaidô, Shin’ichi Tsutsumi
Release Date: Now Available on Blu-Ray & DVD
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 9/10
Disc Rating: 8.5/10
A renegade film crew becomes embroiled with a yakuza clan feud.
‘Why Don’t You Play in Hell?’ follows both a young group of wannabe filmmakers striving to make a film that will go down in history, even if they have to die for it; as well as two rival Yakuza families who approximately ten years after a violent clash are both preparing to attack the other after years of a mutually agreed upon truce, the time for revenge having finally arrived. When Yakuza mob boss Muto discovers that his daughter has abandoned the filming of a movie in which she had secured the lead, he takes drastic steps to get her in a completed film in less than ten days when his wife is set to be released from prison, her only dream to see her daughters screen debut and Muto is determined to come through for his wife whose time in prison was due to her defending his own life. As coincidence would have it, this rival film crew and the Muto clan find their paths linked when both of their goals mutually arrive at the opportunity for the crew to film a real Yakuza raid.
Written and Directed by master filmmaker Sion Sono (director of Cold Fish and much more) ‘Why Don’t You Play in Hell?’ is nonstop fun from start to finish. Filled with hilarious, over the top moments, mixed with some impressive and gorgeous (yet no less hilarious) blood soaked action, this playful and mesmerizing film which Sion Sono describes as “an action film about the love of 35mm” is a unique and well constructed ride that you will not want to miss out on.
Fans of the film or Sion Sono’s work in general will definitely want to make sure to pick up a copy of the Blu-Ray release from Drafthouse to add to their collections. The beautiful high definition video and audio presentations, along with an amazing 11×17 fold-out poster among other bonus goodies (more detailed information regarding the bonus content can be found in the special features section of the technical specification coverage below) make this a definite must own.
The Blu-Ray release of ‘Why Don’t You Play in Hell?’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.35:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks fantastic, the colors are rich and vibrant, especially the heavy quantities of red, and everything else looks sharp, detailed and overall exceptional in every possible way. Even the numerous fast moving action sequences always shine and suffer no instances of pixilation or other artifacts being noticeable throughout. This is definitely another top notch high definition video presentation from the folks at Drafthouse that should leave the masses incredibly pleased.
The Blu-Ray release features a Japanese language lossless 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack accompanied by English Subtitles. This lossless soundtrack is a lot of fun and definitely adds a whole additional level to the overall experience of this fun and over the top film. The ever-frequent action sequences take full advantage of all five available channels and throw bullets and any other objects possible whizzing past the viewer so frequently and effectively it continued to put a smile on my face. While taking full advantage of the films zany activity throughout all of the channels, rest assured that the dialogue and other distinct noises occurring simultaneously are never negatively affected and always more than legible. As with the video presentation, this 5.1 channel Japanese DTS-HD MA soundtrack gets top marks and contributes an incredible amount of fun to the viewing experience.
The Blu-Ray release of ‘Why Don’t You Play in Hell?’ also includes some pretty nice extras. The Blu-Ray release includes a ‘Press Conference Interview with Sion Sono’ which runs approximately 22 minutes in length and rest assured, does indeed include English Subtitles. While the Press Conference Interview is the only extra on the physical disc, the Blu-Ray also includes a few more physical goodies. The release comes with a 24-page booklet and an absolutely gorgeous and epic 11×17 Fold-Out Poster by Comic Artist James Callahan included as well as the usual and always great reverse artwork Drafthouse always provides.
*Please note that the above images are taken from the Blu-Ray and resized. They additionally will suffer quality loss as a result of .jpg compression. Larger versions of each image can be viewed by clicking on the image. All images and content included on this Blu-Ray release are the property of their respective owners.
Film Rating: 9/10
Disc Rating: 8.5/10
‘Why Don’t You Play In Hell’ is now available to own on Blu-Ray & DVD from Drafthouse Films & Cinedigm.