the Variety article about New Line getting the rights left out a few tidbits of info. yes, New Line is in negotiations to get the remake rights and as far as i know have yet to actually get them signed by Toei. ever since BR hit the screens there have been several parties interested in distribution or remake rights for North America and all fell out of favor because of Toei's very strict guidelines for release or remake. but, after checking all my sources it's still an "in the works" deal so i'm not too concerned right now.
as for the movies themselves, the first BR was amazing. i was fortunate enough to catch in on the big screen in japan and was hooked. i think the thing that really hit me most was that no matter how little screen time a student may have had, their death affects you. part of it is the shock of their gory demise but also that they're simply paying the price of the game and in some cases it was terribly depressing.
i was suprised by a couple of things with BR as well that put a smile on my face just out of nostalgia. such as Masamichi Amano composing the music, who I got hooked on when he did the Giant Robo soundtrack. the other was cutey idol Yuko Miyamura as the BR idol! yay!
i could go on a serious rant about BR but i'll save you all the time. i can't say as much for BR2, but i did find it entertaining and the camo pattern was damn cool thanks to BA-TSU. yay!