Running Time: 103 minutes
MPAA Rating: NR
Format: Widescreen 1.76:1
Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0
Languages: Japanese
Subtitles: English
Region: 1
MSRP: $19.98

Own It!
Violent Cop (1989)

Takeshi Kitano's first movie as a director is a violent, nihilistic look at the life of an amoral Japanese police detective. Kitano stars as Azuma, a thuggish cop who starts off investigating a drug related murder, and ends up finding corruption in his own department and his own home. Violent Cop might not have any obvious moral, but it is gripping cinema.

Read the full Stomp Tokyo review here.

After the horrible presentation Fox Lorber gave to A Taxing Woman, we viewed this new Japanese release from the company with much skepticism. Luckily, it's an improvement.

The movie is presented at 1.76:1, which looks a little tight at the top and bottom. For example, there is a long tracking shot of Azuma as he walks into police headquarters that chops off the top of his head in a very awkward manner:

Beyond that, the image is detailed, if a tad dark. The sound, despite being in "mere' 2 channel stereo, is quite effective and conveying the sudden bursts of gunfire that pepper the movie.

The subtitles are yellow and DVD generated (as opposed to A Taxing Woman, which had white subs burned on to an often white image), but they can't be turned off.

The extras include a ragged looking copy of the trailer, and a few filmographies. The filmographies feature many mistakes and omissions, chief among them the misconception that Violent Cop was released in 1998, as opposed to the correct date of 1989.

Scott Hamilton, 3/15/00