Compared are the shortened US Version (US DVD by Sony) and the uncut Original Version (German Blu-ray by Capelight)
- 15 differences, among them 9 with alternate footage
- Length difference: 35.5 sec
Instead of the usual 23.976 fps, the German Blu-ray runs with 24 fps which explains the additional length difference of a few seconds.
Takeshi Kitano's first mostly in America shot motion picture with him as director from 2000 didn't have it easy in the US. For the R-Rating, extremly violent footage needed to be censored. Besides simple cuts, digital blood retouches were made in single scenes. In this context, the most interesting fact is that there's no length difference at all. Every single alteration is covered up by slowed down shots or repetitive shots taken from earlier or subsequent scenes. The one and only actual cut regards a character moment at the end of the movie.
All in all, the US Version is still watchable because the alterations have been made rather cautiously but they don't seem really necessary. Not least because the mentioned retouched appear rather random resp. there are similar scenes that have remained untouched.
The uncut Original Version is available on a very recommendable German release by Capelight, a UK release and in Hong Kong of course.
Running time refers to
US DVD / German Blu-ray
Different company logos at the beginning.
German Blu-ray 5.2 sec longer
33:56 / 34:00
The first frames have been removed in order to cut the bloody headshot.
33:56-33:58 / 34:00-34:02
The rest of the shot has been altered with color filters and digital retouches that the blood at the window can't be recognized anymore.
Furthermore, the scene is being played just a little bit slower in order to make up for the previous length difference.
+ 0.3 sec
35:01-35:04 / 35:04-35:07
Any bloos patter has been digitally removed from the walls.
35:28-35:30 / 35:31-35:33
The final headshot has been altered as well: the blood hasn't been entirely removed but distinctly reduced.
42:48-42:52 / 42:51-42:55
While the Original Version sticks to the shot of the gangster who just got riddled with holes, the US Version contains an intercut of the weapons under the table in slow motion.
Though nothing extraordinary violent happens during the removed seconds, the scene lacks some intensity.
61:26-61:28 / 61:28-61:30
Actually, the shot is longer: the hatched cuts off the finger. The US Version contains a previously used shot here.
67:11 / 67:12-67:15
The headshot has been cut from the US Version of course.
Subsequently, the shot of dead Kato has been slowed down in order to make up for the previous difference.
+ 2.4 sec
70:27-70:28 / 70:28-70:29
The beginning of the shot has been shot. As a result, several bullet holes are missing. Instead, the previous shot has been slowed down in the US Version (no screens).
76:43-76:52 / 76:44-76:53
The US Version only contains the end of the shot of Harada with his abdominal cut open - he gets carried out.
In the Original Version, one can see him barging resp. the men are leading him to the door.
The US Version cuts to a man in the room instead. Then a part of the original shot but zoomed in in order to make the abdominal wound disappear. Last but not least a recycled shot of the boss.
81:20-81:22 / 81:21-81:22
As a result of the punch, there's actually blood splatter plus the POV shot is filmed from above resp. the poor fella goes down.
The US Version on the other hand fades to black for a moment - as if one gets actually knocked out which is kind of suitable here.
85:34-85:37 / 85:34-85:37
Only the Original Version contains a shot of the waiter's severed head from the front. The US Version simply repeats the shot from behind.
107:26 / 107:25-107:28
Denny is checking his pocket with the money in it earlier...
107:46-107:49 / 107:48
...which is also in the US Version a bit later but it intercuts the longer shot of Denny swearing here. See also the next difference.
+ 2.7 sec
107:48 / 107:48-108:23
Extended shot of Denny being upset plus he's whining. Then a shot of him being glad about the money.
At the very end, another Sony reference on the US DVD; similar to the beginning (no screens).
+ 5 sec