This was originally meant to be a wish list, but it's also turned at least partly into a "guess what?" list. I'd started to write down a wish list for BD titles that have little or no chance of ever coming out in that format in a domestic, English-language edition, but then a funny thing happened on the way to the keyboard ...
- In the Realm of the Senses. Not less that one week after I started to write this article, Criterion announced they had an all-new version of Senses coming out, and on Blu-ray no less. There has never been a decent version of this on DVD for that matter, so this is overdue in more than one respect.
- Battle Royale. This has a slightly better chance of coming to BD than many of the other titles listed here, although now that I think about it all bets are off after the collapse of Tartan (the film's only licensor in English-speaking territories). A picture of this should be in the dictionary next to the term controversial, if only because that's the single most common adjective applied to it by default. It's pretty accurate.
- Gojoe. How a movie this spectacular to look at in every single shot can't be a candidate for BD is beyond me. The movie went through four different DVD pressings in Japan, so I'd bet on it coming out there again sooner rather than later, but I wouldn't put down any odds, Irish or Greek, on whether it comes out here like that.
- Kujakuō / Peacock King. Cu-koo! The best (read: most outrageous) Hong Kong movies all have a reputation for being totally bonkers in the best way. This one, an adaptation of a manga (something I need to see if I can track down; Book-Off might have it), plays like what happens at the supernatural-storyline factory when someone accidentally opens all the ingredient valves. My only copy is a VCD picked up from a Chinatown fire sale; the existing DVD editions of this are irritatingly difficult to find or even more irritatingly expensive.
- Away With Words. Also named Kujakuō in its Japanese release, by some strange coincidence.
- Shirisu no Densetsu. Aka Sea Prince and Fire Child, a beautiful piece of work that only got a tiny U.S. (dubbed) release and hasn't been unearthed since. I think Paramount controls the domestic rights, but at this point who knows.
- Funeral Procession of Roses. Despite a future screening at the Japan Society in NYC, I see no signs of this being released domestically. The Region 2 DVD isn't bad, but let's face it — an HD remaster of a movie this visually whacked-out is mandatory. I show this one to anyone who has even a passing interest in Japanese cinema, and at the very least it sparks a conversation (or, failing that, babbling fandom).
- Mind Game. No more need be said.
- Throw Away Your Books And Go Out Into The Streets. Let this serve as a generic placeholder for "Shuji Terayama on BD"; this movie sits on a four-way cusp of accessible, personal, artsy and incoherent. And fantastic to look at, I should add. I doubt we'll see any of his more experimental films (certainly not the scandalous Emperor Tomato Ketchup) released in English-language HD editions anytime soon.
Digression.. Pre-orders are now being taken for Funimation's Blu-ray edition of Shigurui (aka Death Frenzy). The original manga seems like something the folks at Dark Horse would pick up — and put in shrinkwrap with "ABSOLUTELY NOT FOR CHILDREN" stickers plastered all over it. Their edition of Samurai 7 has been solicited for some time now, though, but it's a distant second for me. (Why not the original movie on BD? Well, I guess it's due before long, esp. since Japanese Region A editions of Rashomon and Ran [no English, don't bother] are coming...)