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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Guilty of Romance [Blu-ray]


(Shion Sono, 2011)




Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Nikkatsu

Video: Eureka Entertainment



Region: 'B' (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:53:00.416

Disc Size: 32,423,459,880 bytes

Feature Size: 25,577,152,512 bytes

Video Bitrate: 25.29 Mbps

Chapters: 12

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: November 28th, 2011



Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 24 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



LPCM Audio Japanese 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit

Commentary: LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit



English, none



Commentary by film critic and festival curator Jasper Sharp

• Interview with Megumi Kagurazaka (38:01 - 1080i)

UK Theatrical Trailer (2:02 in 1080P)





Description: On a rainy day, a woman's dead boy is found in an apartment. Female detective Kazuko (Miki Mizuno) is in charge of the case. Although Kazuko has a happy life with her family, she can't disconnect her relationship with her lover. While trying to unravel the mysterious murder case, Kazuko finds out the secret of university assistant professor Mitsuko (Makoto Togashi) and Izumi (Megumi Kagurazaka) who is a devoted housewife. Her husband is a popular novelist.



The Film:

Poet, novelist and notorious filmmaker Sion Sono completes his 'Hate Trilogy' with Guilty Of Romance, following on from Love Exposure and Cold Fish. Guilty of Romance shares more DNA with the grittier Cold Fish than the more exuberant, brighter Love Exposure as both are on the surface crime noir pictures. But the director's trademark vivid cinematography and willingness to explore extremes in tone and content are present and correct here and make Guilty Of Romance as much a frustrating and intensely riveting viewing experience as his other creations.

Excerpt from Owen van Spall located HERE

Cult film-maker Sion Sono plays judge, jury and executioner on this reliably eccentric tale of three women (bourgeois housewife, married cop, ice-cool madame) in search of sexual ecstasy. As the rap sheet unrolls through gore-spattered crime scenes, rain-drenched streets and Tokyo love hotels, one gets the sense the director has become so enamored the details that he's lost sight of the destination. The pungent, ponderous final chapter of Sono's "Hate" trilogy (following Love Exposure and Cold Fish) bows out with lots of bangs and plenty of whimper.

Excerpt from The Guardian located HERE

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

Guilty of Romance looks decent, though rarely stellar, on Blu-ray from Eureka Entertainment in the UK. I can't fault the dual-layered transfer - which seems competent. We've seen this softer-focus look from Asian films for years.  Close-ups export strong detail but contrast seems on the less-demonstrative side. The overall image is consistent in the 1.85:1 aspect ratio. Noise exists - notable in one prominent scene but I expect the digital repre4sentation on 1080P is an accurate one to the theatrical appearance.

















Audio :

A linear PCM 2.0 channel stereo track is supplied at 1536 kbps. There is nothing for the track to be responsive to - except maybe some 'over-the-top' moaning. There are plenty of contemplative Art film-esque empty pauses - and the rest is dialogue. There is an original score by Yasuhiro Morinaga - but I have no notes on it and can't recall much about it. There are optional English subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'B'-locked.


Extras :

I must admit that the Jasper Sharp commentary did add some worthwhile flavor and sparked some appreciation for the director. There is also a 40-minute HD interview with Megumi Kagurazaka in Japanese with English subtitles. She gives a little better than you might anticipate (might). Lastly is a UK theatrical trailer in 1080P. The extras are probably a shade better than the film deserves but nice to see the effort by Eureka.



Perhaps intentionally less-cohesive - I think the gratuitous sex and nudity can't cover-up a weak film effort. There is plenty of intriguing material in Guilty of Romance but it seems to work better in parts than as a whole. The noir angle is never fully developed - neither are the the Belle de Jour references. Guilty of Romance wasn't 'terrible' but sparks of potential greatness encourage its status as a 'let down'. The Blu-ray is fine - looking true and having some viable supplements. Fans of a scorching-ly hot Megumi Kagurazaka in HD may find this as having some value. 

Gary Tooze

November 27th, 2011



About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3500 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze






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