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Tuesday, October 11, 2016

'Boiling Point' Blu-ray A Vengeance League of Their Own

  • Boiling Point [Blu-ray]
As the Unreal TV review of the Film Movement Classics October 11, 2016 Blu-ray release of the aptly titled 1989 Takeshi Kitano gritty police drama "Violent Cop" promises, our subject for today is the companion Classic release of the slightly lighter 1990 Kitano film "Boiling Point."

The second film from that director has mild-mannered gas pump jockey/amateur baseball player Masaki getting caught up in the criminal activities of the local Yakuza. Both films sport (no pun intended) the awesome highly stylized cover art that Classics introduces with the spectacular BD release of the (Unreal TV reviewed) German film "Kamikaze '89," which is a wonderful combination of "Brazil" and "Dirty Harry."

"Boiling" opens with Masaki still getting abused despite trying hard at a game of his baseball team The Eagles. These scenes clearly establish that he is not so bright or a very good ballplayer but is very sweet and unassuming.

The abuse continues on Masaki arriving at his day job as a gas station attendant; his boss chastises him for being late coming back from the ballgame and then starts ordering him around. This leads to the fateful event in which Maski is instructed to wash the car of a member of the aforementioned Japanese crime family.

Proving that even the nicest guy has his limits, Masaki strikes back at the wiseguy in most senses of the word in a manner that is humiliating in a few senses of that word. This leads to the Yakuza member becoming comically enraged to the point of knowingly falsely asserting grievous bodily harm.

Failed early efforts to make peace with the legitimate businessman who employs the injured party sets the stage for the ensuing dark comic mayhem. This begins with a former Yakuza member who proves that you can take the man out of the crime family but not the crime family out of the man interceding with his former colleagues on behalf of Masaki. Suffice it to say, this does not go as planned.

The spiraling events lead to Masaki and a mixed group taking a road trip to illegally purchase a cache of weapons. This development allows Kitano to unleash his perverse dark side that "Cop" highlights so well. He further shines in his role as an outrageous member of this not-so-merry band.

Lighter hilarious moments during this journey include a desperate toilet paper substitute, arguably justified semi-public male rape, and other milder unwelcome sexual advances.

Assorted awesome bits include a cocky teen who thinks that he is too cool for helmets getting one expected slamdown and a bonus equally deserved one,  and a "Cop" style"  old-school end with poetic justice during a climatic showdown followed by a final scene that also stays true to the artistic style of Kitano and pays homage to a primetime American soap of the era. 

The insightful essay that Movement seems to include with every Classics release shares similar thoughts regarding the bizarre nature of Kitano and his literally comic alter-ego that the essay in "Cop" addresses. The writing in "Boiling" offers equal depth regarding the metaphor that the prominent baseball element contributes to the film. These thoughts both make all of us feel as if we are constantly playing America's favorite pastime and makes us want to metaphorically beat down the umpire who unduly is getting in our face.

Time constraints require saving what sure is the well-produced and fascinating documentary "Okinawa Days: Takeshi's Second Debut Featurette" on the "Boiling" BD for another day. The companion extra on the "Cop" BD is worthy of its own release.

Anyone with questions or comments regarding "Boiling" is strongly encouraged to email me; you can also connect on Twitter via @tvdvdguy.