Getting Any? Blu-ray Review
Getting Any? Well you certainly won't get this.
Movies reviewSRP: £12.99
Defying description, Takeshi Kitano vents his comic spleen in Getting Any? his odd sex-comedy with very in-joke Japanese sensibilities.Having just made arguably one of the greatest films of his career, the underrated and under-released 1993 gangster flick Sonatine, acclaimed Japanese filmmaker Takeshi 'Beat' Kitano's star was on the rise. However he took a step away from the serious and violent Yakuza dramas he's made his film name on and returned to his stand up comedy roots, delivering a madcap vignette-style sex-comedy that has hints of accessible humour but will likely mostly work for those in on the joke and, given the distinctly Japanese humour, that's likely not Western audiences.The loose concept is a middle-aged guy desperate to get laid, who devises increasingly ludicrous plans to make his dreams come true - buy a car he can have sex in; rob a bank; join the Yakuza; or become a film star. Along the way, the humour explores Japan's collective psychology, poking fun at caricatures and cliches, and outright mocking many of the elements Kitano's fans will be familiar with in his own work (the Zatoichi nod presages his own, far better and funnier, remake). Clearly Kitano had to get something off his chest, but it's likely most of us just won't get it.
Picture QualityGetting Any? hits UK shores courtesy of Third Window Films, who have previously served up no less than five Kitano gems, all afforded new 2K remasters courtesy of Kitano's own Japanese Office Kitano studio. Although a slightly older vintage than the majority of the other releases Third Window Films secured (reportedly Office Kitano won't let them get their hands on his earliest - and arguably best - films) the 2K remaster work on this leaves the end result pleasingly impressive for the most part.
The film is undoubtedly better than it's ever looked before
The film comes presented with a strong 1080p/AVC-encoded High Definition video rendition, framed in its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1 widescreen - Kitano's ratio of choice. Detail is remarkably good for the era and budget, lapping up skin textures and background nuances, with the various, increasingly outlandish sets and settings given solid observation on the finer flourishes. The colour scheme is of that Kitano era, running a little warm and with several gaudy tones but, oddly, not that many striking primaries. Still, the colours are generally natural enough and blacks remain stronger than you might have otherwise expected. Indeed, this remains one of the better Kitano presentations, despite being an older film, standing up to scrutiny and showcasing the film undoubtedly better than it's ever looked before.
Sound QualityThe soundtrack is also a solid offering
The accompanying DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 soundtrack, in the film's original Japanese, is also a solid offering, delivering strong presentation of the key core elements of the piece, with clear and coherent promotion of the dialogue across the frontal array, dominating the proceedings, whilst effects lap up a few nominal gunshots, car-noises, fires, bustling crowds and manic mayhem. There's nothing particularly stand out to showcase, and the near non-existent score offers little more to add to the bargain - with a few throwaway 'themes' adding flavour to the vignettes - but the track does a solid job with the material it has to offer. Decent optional English subtitles will carry you through the piece.
ExtrasAside from Third Window Films' typically excellent slipcase packaging, with distinct artwork to match up to their previous releases, we also get a strong Takeshi Kitano Interview to accompany the piece as well as film expert Sean Redmond's Audio Commentary which sheds some light on the production and is arguably more enjoyable than watching the film itself. There's also the film's original Theatrical Trailer.
Blu-ray VerdictClearly Kitano had to get something off his chest, but it's likely most of us just won't understand it
Takeshi Kitano is one of the greatest filmmakers that Japan has seen since Kurosawa, and has produced some absolute masterpieces. Whilst we wait for him to round out his seminal Outrage trilogy, his Japanese film studio, Office Kitano, has licensed a number of his catalogue titles to UK distributor Third Window Films, who have delivered each and every one with dedication and style. Unfortunately, we're scraping the barrel a little bit with the 1995 flick Getting Any? to fill the void whilst waiting for Office Kitano to give UK audiences access to his early masterworks (including Sonatine, which has, only this year, received a non English-friendly German Blu-ray release and, finally, an English-friendly Japanese Blu-ray release just last month).
The release boasts strong video based off the new 2K remaster Office Kitano provided, as well as a solid audio track and a decent Kitano Interview and strong Audio Commentary in the form of extras, but will likely only be of interest to absolute dedicated Kitano collectors and, even then, may not get played more than once, if at all.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £12.99
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