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Kabukicho Love Hotel (2015) (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) DVD Region 3

Maeda Atsuko (Actor) | Sometani Shota (Actor) | Lee Na Ra (Lee Eun Woo) (Actor) | Tsuji Ayano (Actor)
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YesAsia Editorial Description

Veteran director Hiroki Ryuichi and his Vibrator scriptwriter reunite with Kabukicho Love Hotel, an ensemble comedy-drama about the iconic Tokyo red light district. Mostly set in a love hotel over a 24-hour period, the film follows the lives of the disillusioned hotel manager (Sometani Shota), his musician girlfriend (Maeda Atsuko), the cleaning lady with a secret (Minami Kaho), a Korean call girl (Lee Eun Woo) working her last day, a homeless runaway who has fallen in love with a low-level con artist and a pair of adulterous police officers. Cleverly constructed and dryly amusing, Kabukicho Love Hotel has been cheered by film festival audiences around the world, from the Toronto International Film Festival to the Udine Far East Film Festival.
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Technical Information

Product Title: Kabukicho Love Hotel (2015) (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) 歌舞伎町24小時時鐘酒店 (2015) (DVD) (香港版) 歌舞伎町24小时时钟酒店 (2015) (DVD) (香港版) さよなら歌舞伎町 (2015) (DVD) (香港版) Kabukicho Love Hotel (2015) (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)
Also known as: Sayonara Kabukicho Sayonara Kabukicho Sayonara Kabukicho Sayonara Kabukicho Sayonara Kabukicho
Artist Name(s): Maeda Atsuko (Actor) | Sometani Shota (Actor) | Lee Na Ra (Lee Eun Woo) (Actor) | Tsuji Ayano (Actor) | Omori Nao (Actor) | Oshinari Shugo (Actor) | Matsushige Yutaka (Actor) 前田敦子 (Actor) | 染谷將太 (Actor) | 李恩雨 (Actor) | 辻亞彌乃 (Actor) | 大森南朋 (Actor) | 忍成修吾 (Actor) | 松重豐 (Actor) 前田敦子 (Actor) | 染谷将太 (Actor) | 李恩雨 (Actor) | 辻亚弥乃 Ayano (Actor) | 大森南朋 (Actor) | 忍成修吾 (Actor) | 松重庆 (Actor) 前田敦子 (Actor) | 染谷将太 (Actor) | イ・ウヌ (Actor) | つじあやの (Actor) | 大森南朋 (Actor) | 忍成修吾 (Actor) | 松重豊 (Actor) 마에다 아츠코 (Actor) | Sometani Shota (Actor) | 이나라 (이은우) (Actor) | Tsuji Ayano (Actor) | Omori Nao (Actor) | Oshinari Shugo (Actor) | Matsushige Yutaka (Actor)
Director: Hiroki Ryuichi 廣木隆一 广木隆一 廣木隆一 Hiroki Ryuichi
Release Date: 2015-09-10
Language: Japanese
Subtitles: English, Traditional Chinese
Place of Origin: Japan
Aspect Ratio: 1.78 : 1, Widescreen
Sound Information: DTS Digital Surround, Dolby Digital 5.1
Disc Format(s): DVD
Region Code: 3 - South East Asia (including Hong Kong, S. Korea and Taiwan) What is it?
Rating: III
Duration: 135 (mins)
Publisher: Deltamac (HK)
Package Weight: 100 (g)
Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1045064396

Product Information

A young man dreams of working at a first-rate hotel, but he's stuck managing a love hotel in Kabukicho, an infamous entertainment and red-light district in Tokyo teeming with lovers, streetwalkers, johns and pimps. One day, he learns not only that his sister has become a porn star but also that his singer girlfriend is about to sleep with a music producer in order to get signed to a deal. Over one day at this love hotel, the dreams and desires of tenants intersect and collide in a bittersweet portrait of modern Japan as they try to get through the day while aspiring for something greater.
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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features

Professional Review of "Kabukicho Love Hotel (2015) (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)"

November 4, 2015

Japanese director Hiroki Ryuichi has had a fascinating career, having started off in soft-porn pink cinema before recently making a successful move into mainstream melodrama with the likes of Nobody's Perfect and manga adaptation Strobe Edge. Reteaming him with Arai Haruhiko, writer of his amazing 2003 drama Vibrator, his latest effort Kabukicho Love Hotel is a mixture of his different styles, offering both a searching exploration of modern relationships and plenty of steamy sex. Featuring a mammoth cast made up of young and veteran talent, the film has enjoyed a run at festivals around the world, playing at the likes of Busan, Toronto and Udine.

The film kicks off focusing on Toru (Sometani Shota, Parasyte), a young hotel manager working at the Atlas, a love hotel in the red light Kabukicho district of Tokyo after losing his job at a more upmarket establishment, a fact he's kept hidden from his singer-songwriter girlfriend Saya (former AKB48 idol Maeda Atsuko). Following Toru as he goes about his daily routine at the Atlas over the course of a day, the film dips in and out of the lives of a variety of other characters as they turn up at the hotel, including a Korean prostitute called Mena (Lee Eun Woo, Godsend) who struggles to keep the truth about her profession from her boyfriend Chong Su (Son Il Kwon, aka Roy of the boy-band 5tion), a young runaway who falls in with a gangster talent scout, a cleaning lady with a secret, and a pair of police officers having an extramarital affair.

A two hours plus combination of soap opera and pink cinema sex might sound like a bit of a stretch, but Hiroki Ryuichi and Arai Haruhiko manage to pull off the tricky balancing act and make Kabukicho Love Hotel a surprisingly satisfying drama. The film is the very definition of an ensemble piece, and impresses through its expertly constructed narrative, which weaves together its many different subplots and tales in coherent and naturalistic fashion, holding the interest throughout. While inevitably some parts work better than others, and the film loses points for veering a little too far into sentimentality towards the end, there's genuine insight and emotion here, most of its relationships and their various issues ringing true. Despite the large roster of characters, none really get lost in the mix, and though Sometani Shota and Maeda Atsuko don't have too much to do other than book-ending the film, the rest of the cast are on game, likeable form, in particular Lee Eun Woo. Though deliberately paced, the film benefits from a gentle sense of humour that underscores rather than undermines the human drama, and has many rewards for the patient viewer.

This having been said, the film isn't wholly successful, chiefly in that it does present a rather squeaky-clean and fantastical picture of its red light district setting and the lives of its characters - even the hotel itself looks spotless and respectable. Although there are a few touches of social commentary and a couple of flashes of danger, these are background concerns at best, and the film feels a little uncomfortable in places thanks to its cheerful portrayal of life in the sex industry and its determination to show all of its characters in the most flattering light possible. There is a great deal of nudity and sex scattered throughout, and the conflict between this and the overall sense of kind-hearted sweetness results in a sense of confusion as to whether the film is aiming for realism or titillation, something which might well alienate audiences looking for a steadier and more pronounced moral compass, or indeed either for straightforward drama or pornography.

Nevertheless, as an attempt to bridge the gap between pink and mainstream cinema Kabukicho Love Hotel for the most part succeeds, and regardless of its flaws is an entertaining and engaging watch. There's definitely something to be said for Hiroki Ryuichi's approach, and Arai Haruhiko's multi-layered script helps ensure that it stands out from the crowd of other more traditional Japanese melodramas.

by James Mudge - EasternKicks.com

This original content has been created by or licensed to YesAsia.com, and cannot be copied or republished in any medium without the express written permission of YesAsia.com.
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