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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 / Olive Films



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

Runtime: 1:53:00.416 / 1:53:41 / Japanese Cut 2:25:20

Disc Size: 32,423,459,880 bytes / 46,768,116,689 bytes

International Feature Size: 25,577,152,512 bytes / 22,624,653,312 bytes

Japanese Feature Size: 23,845,748,736 bytes

Video Bitrate: 25.29 Mbps

Chapters: 12 / 8 / 9

Case: Standard Blu-ray case (both)

Release date: November 28th, 2011/ October 14th, 2014



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


DTS-HD Master Audio Japanese 1066 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1466 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1466 kbps / 24-bit)



English, none


English (burned-in)



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 (International Cut) 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.


Firstly, Olive offer both the International and Japanese Cuts of the film on their Blu-ray disc. No solid differences that I could detect in video. I had some technical trouble obtaining a bitrates. I prefer the Olive for the slight difference in skin tones, but other than that the 'Japanese Cut' looks about the same. The longer 'Japanese Cut' (only available on the Olive) is less robust but doesn't look that much worse. You see a bit more noise in the darker sequences but no real untoward artifacts. Colors might be a shade less rich.




1) Eureka - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Olive ('International') - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM



1) Eureka - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Olive ('International') - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM



1) Eureka - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Olive ('International') - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM



1) Eureka - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Olive ('International') - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM



1) Eureka - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Olive ('International') - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM



More Eureka 'International' Cut








More Olive 'Japanese Cut'







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.


No differences that my crusty ears could detect - still lossless (DTS-HD) and clean. The English subtitles are, unfortunately, burned-in and the disc is region 'A'-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.


Nothing from Olive who used up most of the disc space on having the 2 versions on one lone Blu-ray.



1) Eureka - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - LEFT

2) Olive ('International') - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - RIGHT



Perhaps intentionally less-cohesive - this shorter, International, version has gaps. 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 (International Cut) wasn't 'terrible' but sparks of potential greatness encourage its status as a 'let down'. I am keen to see the full-length 'Japanese Cut' one day. The Eureka 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.


Great to revisit this film and finally be able to see the 1/2 hour longer Japanese Cut, which I personally felt was a much better film. It was far more cohesive and fleshed out the 'dark cinema' angles. Really - a vast step above the 'International Cut' - and sexier to boot. Despite no extras and burned-in subs - I would highly recommend the Olive Blu-ray package as the best way to see this highly interesting film. 

Gary Tooze

November 27th, 2011

October 11th, 2014



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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