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Guilty of Romance (2011) [DVD]
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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
on 2 December 2011
Guilty of Romance is a recent Japanese film, directed by cult filmmaker Sion Sono. If you've seen any of his earlier films like Suicide Club, you may have an idea of what to expect, for but those new to his work, this is a gripping, thrilling, and often surprising film. The beginning, where two mutilated bodies are discovered by police, sets the film up to be a typical murder-mystery type affair, but we then cut away from this story to focus on the life of Izumi, a 30-year old wife of a famous novelist. She grows bored and disillusioned by the monotony of her routine, day-to-day existence, and when she's approached by a modelling company, she decides to get involved in what turns out to be a dark and seedy underworld. With lots and lots of pink paint balls. Guilty of Romance is full of twists and turns, all the way up to the ending, which I'll happily admit I didn't see coming at all. There's lots of sex in this, and Megumi Kagurazaka, who plays Izumi, pulls off a demanding role in which her character completely alters. The soundtrack is also worth mentioning - it's a mainly classical soundtrack, but really does complement the film extremely well. This is certainly a quirky film, and is one of the best recent Japanese films I've seen. If you've got a strong stomach and don't mind a fair bit of nudity, this is definitely worth adding to your shelf.

The Blu-ray is released by Eureka Entertainment, and is a typically strong package. This is a new film (only recently opening in Japanese theatres), and so the transfer is very strong on the disc. The image is sharp as you'd expect, and the sound, though only in stereo as opposed to surround sound, is clear and works well, especially when the classic soundtrack pumps through. The film is obviously in Japanese, with optional English subtitles. There are no other foreign language subtitles on the disc. As far as extra features go, there's an engaging if light-hearted interview with the lead actress, a full-length audio commentary by film critic Jasper Sharp, and the original UK trailer. The only slight negative is that the longer edit, screened at Cannes, is not included in this package. Though it's hard to imagine how the film could be improved by adding scenes, for completion's sake it would have been nice to have them included by using Blu-ray's seamless branching technology. Don't let that put you off though, this is a very good film, released in a far better package than many similar films have been afforded.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 11 March 2012
So I just came across this Japanese film directed by Sion Soni, who also directed the excellent 'Cold Fish'.

And all I can say is WOW.

This film truly blew me away. It's horrifying in a highly Lynchian/Cronenberg kind of way. It doesn't involve spirits or demons or killers or anything, but it IS classed as a horror film. And for good reason.

It's about physical, emotional and psychological transformation in the most drastic way possible. The lead performance by Miki Mizuno just blew me away.

It's not particularly gory, but the grimness of the tone and how innocent beings can transform into something hideously dark and perverse is what makes it so realistic. I've seen this kind of thing happen myself. In many ways, Kazuko Yoshida (played with eye opening brilliance by Miki) is very much like Twin Peak's Laura Palmer, pretty close to Mulholland Drive's Naomi Watts, but not quite as close to the outstanding brilliance of Laura Dern in Inland Empire (in terms of performance).

GIVE THIS WOMAN AN AWARD!

Her transformation of being a highly sweet and loyal wife to something quite disturbing and uncomfortable to watch is nothing short of breath taking.

If your interested in these horror films about 'a woman in trouble' involving romance and dramatic downward spirals, this is an absolute MUST SEE drama/horror movie.

I honestly can't understand the negative reviews here, as a fan of 'woman in trouble' horror films this is the best I've seen in YEARS.

A 10/10 masterpiece.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 27 April 2014
Murder and sex are the basis of many a good horror story . This film contains plenty of both but in the context of the story this does not seem gratuitous or erotic as the scenes are appropriate to the storyline . The film makes you feel uncomfortable at times both with the sex and the gore but keeps you enthralled and wondering what will happen next .
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 19 February 2013
I have seen several Sion Sono films now and have always felt the same thing; the themes and visual style are always engrossing but he always goes over the top. This was certainly the case with Love Exposure and Cold Fish. I preferred the surreal menace of Strange Circus although it was hardly subtle. Guilty of Roamance has an interesting but unoriginal premise. It is very similar to Bunuel's Belle de Jour. However, whereas Bunuel takes a psychological and more dream-like path Sono can't resist in piling on lots of soft core sex. I like attractive Japanese women alot but the sex is repetitious and does not enhance the narrative. Also, the element of a killer conjoining body parts with mannequins in very interesting and never really developed On the plus side there are some excellent performances and the cinematography is very stylish. There are a few really great scenes such as the dinner table scene where the mother criticises her daughter for being a degenerate prostitute and they tell each other to drop dead. Its dead-pan and very funny. The film is well worth watching and Sono has the potential to become one of Japan's most significant directors. I just think he should hold back a bit and try less hard to shock.
3.5 stars.
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on 28 November 2014
i thought id seen it all old boy, serbian film ,martys, three extremes, and many more but this is a twisted story thats up there with the best. be warned very graphic and im not talking about the gore wich is bad enough
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on 21 January 2015
Neither too pornographic nor horrific (unlike some movies from Japan). This was actually quite a thought provoking film and I am pleased I bought it.
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on 22 May 2015
Usual sono styled film. Has a mixture of everything. But worth a watch.
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on 10 July 2015
All is the Best.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 3 January 2013
Uneven acting and pacing, along with occasionally laughable dialogue sadly bring down Sion Sono's twisted sexual liberation picture. Over the top violence and sex, and questionable moral ideas are to be expected from this director, and GoR does not fail you there. I would still almost give this 4, I do like it, but to maintain consistency with my other ratings I can't. It is at times poignant, hilarious, and shocking in spades. The surface story mostly delivers, and this is certainly an interesting sexual thriller. However, it fails at times when it tries to make important societal observations and finds out it has nothing to say.
The Blu-Ray presentation here is also okay. The picture and sound is slightly better, but they have not done much to improve either. I have a good system and was not wowed by the upgrade from DVD, so I can't suggest you do if you already have it. If not, I would recommend this for Sono fans or those with an interest in the extreme end of Japanese cinema.
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4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 14 February 2012
I'am french and I bought this Blu ray we dont'have in france.
The movie is excellent, weird, trash and sexy.
It stays in your mind for a long time.

The picture of the Blu ray is a little pale but very good anyway.
You can see all the details of 1080p
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