Helter Skelter (2012) (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) DVD Region 3
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YesAsia Editorial Description
Renowned photographer Ninagawa Mika returns to filmmaking five years after her directorial debut Sakuran with Helter Skelter, based on the award-winning manga by Okazaki Kyoko. The controversial Sawajiri Erika gives a career-defining performance in her long-awaited return to the world of cinema, playing a gorgeous superstar whose good looks were created by drastic plastic surgery. Acclaimed for her keen eye for visuals, Ninagawa offers audiences a kaleidoscope-like assault on the senses with her colorful, disturbing exploration into the entertainment industry, showing both its shiny glamor and its darkest corners. In addition to Sawajiri, the hit drama co-stars Omori Nao (Golden Slumbers), Terashima Shinobu (Catapillar), Ayano Go (Gantz), Mizuhara Kiko (Norwegian Wood), Arai Hirofumi (Himizu), plus cameos by Kubozuka Yosuke (Ping Pong) and Suzuki Anne (The Egoists).
Known for her impeccable good looks, television personality and model LiLiCo (Sawajiri Erika) sets the standard for beauty. Like any superstar at the peak of fame, LiLiCo is an arrogant, narcissistic figure who makes everyone around her – including her long-suffering manager (Terashima Shinobu) – miserable. However, LiLiCo also has a secret that only her stylist (Arai Hirofumi) and her talent agency boss (Mamoi Kaori) know: LiLiCo's beauty was almost entirely created via plastic surgery. When LiLiCo's manufactured body begins to fall apart, the superstar's psyche also begins to crumble from her paranoia and insecurities.
|Product Title:||Helter Skelter (2012) (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) 整容天后 (2012) (DVD) (香港版) 整容天后 (2012) (DVD) (香港版) ヘルタースケルター Helter Skelter (2012) (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)|
|Also known as:||惡女羅曼死 / 狼狽 恶女罗曼死 / 狼狈|
|Artist Name(s):||Sawajiri Erika (Actor) | Mizuhara Kiko (Actor) | Suzuki Anne (Actor) | Kaori Momoi (Actor) | Omori Nao (Actor) | Arai Hirofumi (Actor) | Aikawa Sho (Actor) | Harada Mieko (Actor) | Terajima Susumu (Actor) | Terajima Shinobu (Actor) | Ayano Go (Actor) | Kubozuka Yosuke (Actor) 澤尻英龍華 (Actor) | 水原希子 (Actor) | 鈴木杏 (Actor) | 桃井薰 (Actor) | 大森南朋 (Actor) | 新井浩文 (Actor) | 哀川翔 (Actor) | 原田美枝子 (Actor) | 寺島進 (Actor) | 寺島忍 (Actor) | 綾野剛 (Actor) | 窪塚洋介 (Actor) 泽尻英龙华 (Actor) | 水原希子 (Actor) | 铃木杏 (Actor) | 桃井薰 (Actor) | 大森南朋 (Actor) | 新井浩文 (Actor) | 哀川翔 (Actor) | 原田美枝子 (Actor) | 寺岛进 (Actor) | 寺岛忍 (Actor) | 绫野刚 (Actor) | 洼冢洋介 (Actor) 沢尻エリカ (Actor) | 水原希子 (Actor) | 鈴木杏 (Actor) | 桃井かおり (Actor) | 大森南朋 (Actor) | 新井浩文 (Actor) | アイカワショウ (Actor) | 原田美枝子 (Actor) | テラジマススム (Actor) | 寺島しのぶ (Actor) | 綾野剛 (Actor) | 窪塚洋介 (Actor) Sawajiri Erika (Actor) | 미즈하라 키코 (Actor) | Suzuki Anne (Actor) | Kaori Momoi (Actor) | Omori Nao (Actor) | Arai Hirofumi (Actor) | Aikawa Sho (Actor) | Harada Mieko (Actor) | Terajima Susumu (Actor) | Terajima Shinobu (Actor) | Ayano Go (Actor) | Kubozuka Yosuke (Actor)|
|Director:||Ninagawa Mika 蜷川實花 蜷川实花 蜷川実花 Ninagawa Mika|
|Subtitles:||English, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese|
|Place of Origin:||Japan|
|Picture Format:||NTSC What is it?|
|Aspect Ratio:||1.85 : 1|
|Sound Information:||DTS Digital Surround, Dolby Digital 5.1|
|Region Code:||3 - South East Asia (including Hong Kong, S. Korea and Taiwan) What is it?|
|Publisher:||Intercontinental Video (HK)|
|Package Weight:||120 (g)|
|Shipment Unit:||1 What is it?|
|YesAsia Catalog No.:||1032187178|
- TV Spot
Director: Ninagawa Mika
Before undergoing a cosmetic surgery on nearly every part of her body, Lilico (Erika Sawajiri"1 Litre of Tears") was just an ugly fat girl working at a night club. As the sequelae of cosmetic surgery are getting to be exposed, along with the challenges of an up-and-coming junior, this artificial supermodel with flawless face and perfect body determines to keep the long-hidden secret by all means - drugs, sex and even bloods, till her soul is completely eroded....
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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features
Professional Review of "Helter Skelter (2012) (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)"
Quite possibly the best looking and most hysterical film of 2012, Helter Skelter marked the return of Japanese director and former fashion photographer Ninagawa Mika some 5 years after her colourful debut Sakuran. Based on a manga by Okazaki Kyoko, the film also saw the return of controversial and gorgeous actress Sawajiri Erika (Shinobi in an over the top and frequently insane look at the Japanese entertainment industry, packing in madness, sex and black market plastic surgery.
Sawajiri headlines as LiLiCo, the country's top model and all-round media darling, famed for her amazing beauty and elegance. Unsurprisingly, behind her flawless image lurks darkness, and LiLiCo is in fact a vain, cruel woman who uses and treats everyone in her life terribly, in particular her manager Michiko (Terashima Shinobu, Caterpillar. However, she herself is suffering behind her smile, being moulded and manipulated by her talent agency boss and mother figure Hiroko (Mamoi Kaori, Memoirs of a Geisha) who urges her into radical and illegal plastic surgery to keep her looks and body intact. With a pushy policeman (Omori Nao, Golden Slumbers) investigating her and a new, fresh-faced young model (Mizuhara Kiko, Norwegian Wood) grabbing the front pages, the pressure on LiLiCo builds, and her mind slowly starts to crack.
On a visual level, Helter Skelter is absolutely stunning throughout, Ninagawa Mika delivering some mind-bending, jaw-dropping eye candy, and it's a film which fairly sears itself onto the eyeballs. Luxuriating in its opulent, glossy production values, the film is a directorial tour-de-force, stylish to a fault and filled with arresting tricks and techniques, with pretty much every single scene having something in it to grab the attention. Ninagawa's photography background comes to the fore and the film shows some amazing and intricate shot composition and bold, sweeping use of colours and colour clashes. This all combines to give the film an impossibly glamorous feel, and a bewitching, insane beauty which fits its subject matter perfectly, even if it does threaten at times to overwhelm the viewer.
Though open to accusations of style over substance, there's thankfully enough going on behind the film's pretty face, Ninagawa focusing on the manga's themes of celebrity culture and the price of being obsessed with beauty. Though such issues are common enough in cinema around the globe, the film's over the top approach and near-surrealism give it a powerful and engaging edge. Wisely, though the film is ostensibly a drama, and one which goes to some very dark places, Ninagawa avoids being too serious or stoic, and the overall feel is of a manically comic tragedy, almost revelling in the grotesquery of the garish yet seductive world it portrays. The film also benefits from a definite moral ambiguity and a mile-wide streak of knowing irony, walking a fine line between inviting the viewer to both admire and despair at its wild excesses.
Ninagawa has a perfect leading lady in Sawajiri Erika, who utterly dominates the film, turning in a superb, mesmerising performance. LiLiCo makes for a quite daring choice of protagonist, an anti-heroine of sorts who is in many ways a paranoid, empty shell of a woman and whose behaviour for the most part is genuinely horrible. Though this does mean that the film is cold, Sawajiri is captivating in the role, and succeeds in the challenge of making such an aggressively monstrous character interesting, engaging and even sympathetic, in a pitiful kind of way. It's certainly a brave part for the actress to have taken, mirroring some of her own real life troubles, and demanding a great deal of nudity. Fascinatingly, despite being about beauty and featuring LiLiCo in various states of undress and with her various sexual partners, the film is determinedly unerotic, Ninagawa regarding her subject with an eye which is both detached and fanatically adoring, with a bodily obsession that at times recalls the work of Cronenberg.
As its name suggests, Helter Skelter is a crazed, provocative ride that makes for hallucinogenic and dizzying viewing. Marking a triumphant return for both Ninagawa Mika and Sawajiri Erika, though possibly a bit too much for some tastes, it's a fantastic and unique piece of sensationally visual cinema.
by James Mudge – BeyondHollywood.com
Editor's Pick of "Helter Skelter (2012) (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)"
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January 30, 2013
Having Ninagawa Mika direct the film adaptation of Helter Skelter is ironic, to say the least. As one of the most famous photographers in the Japanese entertainment world, Ninagawa herself is partly responsible for constructing modern pop culture's idea of beauty with her iconic photos of gorgeous stars in heavy makeup. At the same time, perhaps it's Ninagawa's first-hand knowledge that makes her the best choice for a dark exposé of the very world that made her famous.
The other inspired choice of the film is Sawajiri Erika. Before being literally exiled from the Japanese entertainment world for a series of public relation disasters, Sawajiri was on a fast track to stardom as a talented actress with a clean, innocent image. LiliCo is a role that Erika-sama (as some have dubbed her) wouldn't have touched five years ago – a rude, arrogant, promiscuous and needy superstar who verbally and physically abuses everyone around her to get what she wants, but it's certainly a role that her new persona was born to play. It's also an inspired choice for a comeback role, and one that speaks volumes about the persona this unrepentant star plans to embody in the future.
Unlike Sawajiri's current career path – which resembles a liberation of the real Sawajiri – Helter Skelter is about the slow collapse of an artificial world. LiLiCo is on the brink of destruction due to the side effects of plastic surgery and her own insecurities. Ninagawa intentionally lays a colorful surface, providing a strong contrast to the dark and ugly edges of the story.
Ninagawa also uses the film to attack Japanese society's obsession with artificial beauty, showing young girls chirping on about different types of cosmetics they use and hypocritically criticizing LiliCo's reliance on plastic surgery when her secret is revealed. Helter Skelter appears to be a cynical indictment of the entertainment world, but it's Ninagawa's cautionary message to young Japanese girls who treat fashion magazines as their bible. Helter Skelter doesn't go as far as to tell those girls to stop buying Ninagawa's photo albums, though that would've been a natural progression.