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Twentieth Century Boys: Chapter 1 (Blu-ray) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) Blu-ray Region A

Tokiwa Takako (Actor) | Toshiaki Karasawa (Actor) | Kuroki Hitomi (Actor) | Tsutsumi Yukihiko (Director)
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Twentieth Century Boys: Chapter 1 (Blu-ray) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)

YesAsia Editorial Description

Doomsday is upon Japan (again) in the thrilling all-star blockbuster 20th Century Boys based on Urasawa Naoki's acclaimed manga. Too big for just one film, 20th Century Boys is being released in three installments over one year's time. The first chapter lays the roots for the visionary trilogy's ambitious tale about a group of friends who emerge as unlikely heroes in the battle against an apocalyptic evil they had unwittingly foretold as children. More than just a good vs. evil doomsday saga, 20th Century Boys makes for a positively epic exercise in filmmaking and storytelling that spans multiple generations and genres, and bites into conspiracy theory, pop culture nostalgia, and spectacular special effects. Helmed by hit-making director Tsutsumi Yukihiko (Memories of Tomorrow), 20th Century Boys is certainly one of the greatest undertakings Japan Cinema has ever seen, with its six billion yen budget and staggeringly long cast list that runs 300 deep. Karasawa Toshiaki (Casshern) leads the ensemble cast that includes Tokiwa Takako (Mamiya Kyodai), Toyokawa Etsushi (The Sinking of Japan), Kagawa Teruyuki (Sukiyaki Western - Django), and Sasaki Kuranosuke (After School).

Kenji (Karasawa Toshiaki) used to be a wannabe rocker but, now in his thirties, he's back in his hometown running a convenience store and taking care of his baby niece. All seems quiet and uneventful in Kenji's life, save for the worried whispers about the rise of a cult led by a masked man who calls himself "Friend". The cult's logo seems eerily familiar, as do the news of mysterious deaths and terrorist acts around the world. Back in the summer of 1969, Kenji and his buddies sketched for fun a Book of Prophecy that predicted the world's end. Twenty-eight years later, the scenarios laid out in the Book of Prophecy are coming true one by one, and all fingers point to "Friend". As friends and foes of the past reappear for mankind's last stand, can Kenji fulfill his own prophecy and save the world?

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Technical Information

Product Title: Twentieth Century Boys: Chapter 1 (Blu-ray) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) 20世紀少年 (Blu-ray) (中英文字幕) (香港版) 20世纪少年 (Blu-ray) (中英文字幕) (香港版) Twentieth Century Boys: Chapter 1 (Blu-ray) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) Twentieth Century Boys: Chapter 1 (Blu-ray) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)
Also known as: 20th Century Boys 二十世紀少年 二十世纪少年 20th Century Boys 20th Century Boys
Artist Name(s): Tokiwa Takako (Actor) | Toshiaki Karasawa (Actor) | Kuroki Hitomi (Actor) | Toyokawa Etsushi | Ishibashi Renji | Namase Katsuhisa | Ishizuka Hidehiko | Sasaki Kuranosuke | Kagawa Teruyuki | Ukaji Takashi | Kohinata Fumiyo | Nakamura Katsuo | Miyasako Hiroyuki 常盤貴子 (Actor) | 唐澤壽明 (Actor) | 黑木瞳 (Actor) | 豐川悅司 | 石橋蓮司 | 生瀨勝久 | Ishizuka Hidehiko | 佐佐木藏之介 | 香川照之 | 宇梶剛士 | 小日向文世 | 中村嘉葎雄 | 宮迫博之 常盘贵子 (Actor) | 唐泽寿明 (Actor) | 黑木瞳 (Actor) | 丰川悦司 | 石桥莲司 | 生濑胜久 | Ishizuka Hidehiko | 佐佐木藏之介 | 香川照之 | 宇梶刚士 | 小日向文世 | 中村嘉葎雄 | 宫迫博之 常盤貴子 (Actor) | 唐沢 寿明 (Actor) | 黒木瞳 (Actor) | 豊川悦司 | 石橋蓮司 | 生瀬勝久 | 石塚英彦 | 佐々木蔵之介 | 香川照之 | 宇梶剛士 | 小日向文世 | 中村嘉葎雄 | 宮迫博之 Tokiwa Takako (Actor) | Toshiaki Karasawa (Actor) | Kuroki Hitomi (Actor) | Toyokawa Etsushi | Ishibashi Renji | Namase Katsuhisa | Ishizuka Hidehiko | Sasaki Kuranosuke | Kagawa Teruyuki | Ukaji Takashi | Kohinata Fumiyo | Nakamura Katsuo | Miyasako Hiroyuki
Director: Tsutsumi Yukihiko 堤幸彥 堤幸彦 堤幸彦 Tsutsumi Yukihiko
Blu-ray Region Code: A - Americas (North, Central and South except French Guiana), Korea, Japan, South East Asia (including Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan) What is it?
Release Date: 2009-04-03
Language: Cantonese, Japanese
Subtitles: English, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese
Country of Origin: Japan
Picture Format: [HD] High Definition What is it?
Aspect Ratio: Widescreen, 1.78 : 1, 1.85 : 1
Sound Information: DTS-HD Master Audio, Dolby Digital
Disc Format(s): Blu-ray, 50 GB - Double Layer
Screen Resolution: 1080p (1920 x 1080 progressive scan)
Rating: IIB
Duration: 142 (mins)
Publisher: Kam & Ronson Enterprises Co Ltd
Package Weight: 120 (g)
Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1014523007

Product Information

* Capacity: 50GB Dual Layer
* Video Resolution (maximum) : 1920 X 1080p Full HD
* Audio Specifications:
- Japanese: PCM 7.1, DTS-HD Master 7.1, Dolby Digital EX 6.1
- Cantonese: Dolby Digital EX 6.1
* Special Feature:
- Trailer

Director : Yukihiko Tsutsumi

1969 was a special year for Japan. It was a year before Expo '70, an event that marked Japan's progress and bright future. It was also the year that men first stood on the Moon. Everything indicated a path towards a promising future.
In the summer of 1969, Kenji was an elementary schoolboy. He built a secret base in a vacant lot with his friends Otcho, Maruo, Yoshitsune, Mon-chan, Donkey, Yukiji and Fukube. One of their secret activities included writing in the Book of Prophecy. In their Prophecy, the children fantasized that they had to fight villains who were out to conquer the world, bringing about doomsday.
Additional Information may be provided by the manufacturer, supplier, or a third party, and may be in its original language

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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features

Professional Review of "Twentieth Century Boys: Chapter 1 (Blu-ray) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)"

January 31, 2009

This professional review refers to Twentieth Century Boys: Chapter 1 (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)
Another manga to movie adaptation? Hollywood produced half-a-dozen hit comic book movies in 2008, but in terms of quantity they've got nothing on Japan, which seems to be churning out manga movies every other week. There are now so many manga movies being made that the words "based on a manga" have lost their pop entertainment luster. 20th Century Boys, however, is a doozy. Created by acclaimed manga creator Naoki Urasawa 20th Century Boys is not only a popular manga - it's a complete, generations-spanning epic that's so dense and complex that it simply cannot be told in a single film. So, instead of one movie, the filmmakers are giving us three, all being released over a period of twelve months.

An ensemble cast of stars and character actors populate the first of director Yukihiko Tsutsumi's three 20th Century Boys films, which is initially set in 1997. Toshiaki Karasawa (Goodbye Mr. McDonald) stars as Kenji, a thirtysomething convenience store owner who learns of a religious cult led by a mysterious masked man known only as "Friend". Simultaneously, people worldwide begin dropping dead from a mysterious virus that makes their blood burst from their veins. Though he's not directly affected by these events, something about the whole thing strikes Kenji as familiar.

Things get stranger when Kenji realizes that the logo for Friend's cult - an eye drawn inside a pointing hand - is the same logo used by Kenji and his gang of childhood pals back in 1969. During that summer, Kenji and his friends built a secret fort and spent their time fighting bullies, reading manga, and dreaming up fanciful plans to destroy and also save the world. Those plans are now coming true; Kenji and his pals dreamt up the deadly virus, and it's now being unleashed in the exact locations described in their childish "Book of Prophecy". Kenji soon realizes that he can predict the next tragedies because he planned them when he was a kid.

Since Kenji is the creator, he's also the one who can stop it - at least, that seems to be the role assigned to him by Friend, who taunts Kenji with playground-worthy fervor. All signs point to Friend being a kid from Kenji's past, leading Kenji and his old pals to reunite as Friend's childish plot begins to take shape. However, there are lives and even nations at stake, and Friend's people are everywhere. Are these former childish dreamers up to a challenge so epic in scope? And which one of their former friends is "Friend"?

The concept behind 20th Century Boys is immediately entertaining, as the idea of an unending children's game makes for wonderful fiction. Urasawa uses real pop culture and history to add depth and color to his story. The film's title comes from a rock song by British band T.Rex, with its usage reflecting the disconnect between childish dreams and ego-crushing adulthood. The song was beloved by the teenage Kenji, who failed in his dream of becoming a rockstar. However, now that he's being asked to "save the world", can he get his youthful swagger back? Urasawa's original manga mixed intricate details, sentimental themes, and creepy conspiracy theories into a single compelling whole, and director Tsutsumi doesn't mess that up.

However, Tsutsumi can't really do justice to the story either, because it's just too big. Manga can be cinematic, but the depth and rich detail contained in Urasawa's work is impossible to translate with even 9 hours of screen time. Urasawa's manga is filled with deliberate suspense, non-linear storytelling, and some rather outlandish concepts, but he had plenty of time to involve readers in his story - and even then, the whole thing bordered on ridiculous. 20th Century Boys is terrific fiction, but that judgement is more of a testament to Urasawa's detailed vision and storytelling abilities than the work's actual coherence. The manga gets really out there, but it works largely because readers become invested in Urasawa's sprawling, intricately-plotted narrative and well-defined characters.

Yukihiko Tsutsumi's film version earns goodwill largely due to audience familiarity. Anyone who read the manga should want to see how this plays out onscreen - though if one steps back, the cracks in the paint are apparent. The whole story is rather far-fetched, and the commercial tone, obvious acting, and semi-chintzy CGI make the film seem fake and unconvincing. 20th Century Boys was a tough sell as a manga, but it's an even tougher sell as a live-action film. Still, Tsutsumi has two more installments to deliver, and it's only fair to withhold complete judgement until they're all done. Regardless of the first film's success, the filmmakers still tried, so the least we can do is applaud their ambition and keep watching to see if they can pull it off.

by Kozo - LoveHKFilm.com

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