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Thermae Romae (2012) (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) DVD Region 3

Abe Hiroshi (Actor) | Ueto Aya (Actor) | Kitamura Kazuki (Actor) | Takeuchi Riki (Actor)
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Customer Rating: Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8 out of 10 (1)

YesAsia Editorial Description

A bath can soothe the body, the soul, and even an empire in Thermae Romae, the live-action adaptation of the popular manga series by Yamazaki Mari. The fantasy comedy stars Abe Hiroshi as an architect in the Roman Empire who finds inspirations for new baths after he accidentally time travels to modern Japan. In addition to adapting the architect's hilarious adventures from the manga, writer Muto Shogo (Crows Zero) also creates new characters and subplots to make Thermae Romae the greatest time-traveling Roman bath epic in cinematic history!

To achieve authenticity, director Takeuchi Hideki (Nodame Cantabile: The Final Score) took the entire cast and crew to Rome's Cinecittà Studios, which has also hosted productions of films like La Dolce Vita, Cleopatra, and Gangs of New York. The quirky mix of irreverent humor and grand historical epic made Thermae Romae a massive box office hit in Japan, becoming one of the top grossing live-action Japanese films of 2012.

An architect in the Roman Empire, Lucius (Abe Hiroshi) is undergoing a creative crisis. After complaining about the appalling state of Roman baths, Lucius is sucked into a tunnel that takes him to present-day Japan. Emerging in a local Japanese public bath, Lucius is astonished by the achievements of those he calls the "flat-faced people". Upon returning, Lucius decides to apply those brilliant methods into his new bath. Every time he returns to Japan, he is amazed by the ideas modern Japanese have for hygiene. The more ideas he copies for his own bath, the bigger star Lucius becomes. However, with fame also comes danger, as Lucius is soon caught between a power struggle involving Emperor Hadrian and two of his most trusted men.

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Technical Information

Product Title: Thermae Romae (2012) (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) 羅馬浴場 (2012) (DVD) (香港版) 罗马浴场 (2012) (DVD) (香港版) テルマエ・ロマエ Thermae Romae (2012) (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)
Artist Name(s): Abe Hiroshi (Actor) | Ueto Aya (Actor) | Kitamura Kazuki (Actor) | Takeuchi Riki (Actor) | Morishita Yoshiyuki (Actor) | Uchida Shungiku (Actor) | Shishido Kai (Actor) | Naomi Kusumi (Actor) | Sasano Takashi (Actor) | Masachika Ichimura (Actor) | Kimura Midoriko (Actor) 阿部寬 (Actor) | 上戶彩 (Actor) | 北村一輝 (Actor) | 竹內力 (Actor) | 森下能幸 (Actor) | 內田春菊 (Actor) | 宍戶開 (Actor) | Naomi Kusumi (Actor) | 笹野高史 (Actor) | 市村正親 (Actor) | Kimura Midoriko (Actor) 阿部宽 (Actor) | 上户彩 (Actor) | 北村一辉 (Actor) | 竹内力 (Actor) | Morishita Yoshiyuki (Actor) | Uchida Shungiku (Actor) | 宍户开 (Actor) | Naomi Kusumi (Actor) | 笹野高史 (Actor) | 市村正亲 (Actor) | Kimura Midoriko (Actor) 阿部寛 (Actor) | 上戸彩 (Actor) | 北村一輝 (Actor) | 竹内力 (Actor) | 森下能幸 (Actor) | 内田春菊 (Actor) | 宍戸開 (Actor) | 楠見尚巳 (Actor) | 笹野高史 (Actor) | 市村正親 (Actor) | キムラ緑子 (Actor) Abe Hiroshi (Actor) | Ueto Aya (Actor) | Kitamura Kazuki (Actor) | Takeuchi Riki (Actor) | Morishita Yoshiyuki (Actor) | Uchida Shungiku (Actor) | Shishido Kai (Actor) | Naomi Kusumi (Actor) | Sasano Takashi (Actor) | Masachika Ichimura (Actor) | Kimura Midoriko (Actor)
Director: Takeuchi Hideki 武內英樹 武内英树 武内英樹 Takeuchi Hideki
Release Date: 2012-11-29
Language: Japanese
Subtitles: English, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese
Place of Origin: Japan
Picture Format: NTSC What is it?
Sound Information: 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: IIA
Duration: 108 (mins)
Publisher: Vicol Entertainment Ltd. (HK)
Package Weight: 120 (g)
Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1032054981

Product Information

Director: Takeuchi Hideki

Ancient Roman architect Lucius is too serious. His inability to keep up with the fast-moving times costs him his job. One day Lucius accidentally slips through time and resurfaces in a modern day public bath in Japan. Shocked by the many inventive aspects of Japan’s bathing culture, Lucius returns to ancient Rome and garner tremendous attention when he implements these novel ideas back in Rome. As he time-slips back and forth between ancient Rome and modern-day Japan, Lucius reputation as the ingenious, new bath architect begins to grow….
Additional Information may be provided by the manufacturer, supplier, or a third party, and may be in its original language

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Awards

This film has won 1 award(s) and received 1 award nomination(s). All Award-Winning Asian Films

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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features

Professional Review of "Thermae Romae (2012) (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)"

September 18, 2012

This professional review refers to Thermae Romae (Blu-ray) (Deluxe Edition) (Japan Version)
Manga adaptation Thermae Romae takes a farfetched, one-note premise and delivers a fun if not very intelligent time at the movies. Mari Yamazaki's original manga chronicles the adventures of frustrated Roman bath architect Lucius Modestus (played in the film by Hiroshi Abe), who travels through time from Ancient Rome to modern-day Japan whenever he needs inspiration for new bath designs. Lucius' time leaps are accidental, and occur when he gets sucked into a Roman bath and surfaces in a 21st century counterpart. If only regular travel were that easy.

The first half of Thermae Romae is essentially manga vignettes directly adapted, with Lucius zipping through time and reacting hilariously at his discoveries. The advanced bath culture of the Japanese unfailingly impresses Lucius, allowing him to return to his own time with innovations like private home baths, refreshing flavored milk drinks and even the automatic bidet. Rinse and repeat, with Lucius gaining new inspiration every installment and the comedy arising from fish-out-of-water gags and the primitive Roman versions of Lucius’ appropriated bath technology. As Lucius' bath accomplishments grow, so does his prestige and the potential for political trouble.

There's romance too, or a semblance of it. Lucius frequently runs into Mami (Aya Ueto of Azumi and Softbank commercial fame), a young manga artist who exists basically to lust after Lucius and provide support when he experiences his inevitable and cliched self-doubt. Ultimately, the Empire's future rests on the healing properties of Lucius' mineral baths - a plot development that's so unconvincing that it's nearly insulting to anyone who's studied history or even seen Gladiator. Still, this is a movie where a bunch of Japanese actors play Europeans (only for the main roles), and everyone in Ancient Rome conveniently speaks Japanese. Reality? That's for more ambitious or pretentious movies.

Thermae Romae has plenty of problems, starting with its storyline of Roman political intrigue, which never becomes acute or interesting. History is used as a backdrop only, and time travel rules are undefined or only blithely addressed. Romance is lacking too; the film's "destined" link between Lucius and Mami never feels like anything more than a manufactured detail tacked on by marketing. The film also has grating cultural cliches (e.g., whenever Lucius travels through time, a rotund opera singer makes like Placido Domingo), plus the running time is too long, there are massive plot holes and the second half occasionally drags. Calling the film truly good would be stretching matters.

But Thermae Romae proves to be absolutely enjoyable. This is a commercial and completely throwaway product that would never win any awards, but it's also good, dumb, silly fun. The film's single joke premise is so amusing and so cleverly played that it arguably carries the film through its numerous rough patches. It also helps that the star is the frequently naked Hiroshi Abe, sporting a natty perm and a hilarious air of gravity. Abe essays Lucius Modestus as a righteous straight man, and his wide-eyed reactions to the bath inventions of the Japanese (whom he initially calls the "flat-faced clan") may be worth the price of admission alone. Abe is a true pro, and honors the material by never smirking, winking or letting on to the audience that he's better than the material.

Tech credits are fine, with extra mention going to the film's impressive Ancient Rome set (shot at Rome's Cinecitta Film Studios) and the plentiful extras, many multiplied by obvious CGI. For Japanese populist fare, this is a good-looking, high-quality production, and the fake or unconvincing portions are made largely tolerable thanks to the film's good-natured, self-effacing attitude. This is such a ridiculous concept that if someone takes it seriously and gets upset, well, that's really their fault. It's apparent that everyone involved with Thermae Romae was in on the joke and had a grand old time. If you see it, following suit would be smart.

by Kozo - LoveHKFilm.com

Editor's Pick of "Thermae Romae (2012) (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)"

Picked By Sanwei
See all this editor's picks


December 20, 2012

You had me at Abe Hiroshi in a toga
Because there is no topic too obscure and no genre mashup too strange for a manga and subsequent film adaptation, we have been blessed with Thermae Romae. Based on the manga by Yamazaki Mari, this delightful oddball of a blockbuster follows the adventures of a Roman bath architect (Abe Hiroshi) who time travels via drowning to present day Japan. There he discovers the awesome amenities of modern bathing from banana milk at the public sauna and shower heads for private baths to jelly fish ambience for the jacuzzi and medicinal hotsprings. After every time-travel trip, he adapts his discoveries into his designs and becomes the toast of the empire for his bath innovations, attracting the favor of even the emperor.

The parallel between ancient Rome and modern Japan is unlikely yet inspired as both cultures do indeed place great importance on the bath. In Thermae Romae, bathing is elevated to a position of utmost reverence, so much so that the right bath can affect the fate of an empire. A Japanese film about baths partially set in ancient Rome could easily fall on the wrong side of campy, but Thermae Romae manages to just be a good time at the movies. Takeuchi Hideki, director of the Nodame Cantabile series, knows a thing or two about adapting manga into live-action gold, and his straightforward take of Thermae Romae proves to be sometimes ridiculous, frequently funny and thoroughly enjoyable.

The film doesn't try to do anything fancy with the narrative or visuals, instead letting the quirky episodes drive the story from one scenario to the next. The bath designs are far more exciting than the Roman politics that inspire them and Ueto Aya's cute mangaka character doesn't bring much to the film beyond having someone for Abe Hiroshi to interact with, but overall Thermae Romae maintains its amusing tone the whole way through while getting in all the requisite silly and serious moments.

At the heart of it all is Abe Hiroshi, delivering poker-faced hilarity as the ultra serious Roman architect who suddenly breaks out animated expressions of pure reverence, joy and shock when he encounters the miracles of modern baths. He also speaks Latin exaggeratedly, occasionally lapses into chauvinistic ancient man behavior and spends most of the film walking around in either a toga or his birthday suit. If that isn't entertainment, then I don't know what is.

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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.

Customer Review of "Thermae Romae (2012) (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)"

Average Customer Rating for this Edition: Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8 out of 10 (1)

Kevin Kennedy
See all my reviews


November 9, 2014

1 people found this review helpful

Good clean fun Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8 out of 10
If, before watching "Thermae Romae", anyone had asked me what ancient Rome and modern-day Japan have in common, I would have been stumped. Now I know the answer: They shared a love of bathing in public bathhouses. This love of public bathing is the foundation upon which "Thermae Romae" is built. Abe Hiroshi stars as Lucius a renowned Roman architect during the reign of Emperor Hadrian.

Lucius feels about the then-current state of Rome's public baths a bit like Jesus Christ felt about the moneychangers in the Temple. Lucius yearns to clean things up and create a bathhouse worthy of the great Roman Empire and its great Emperor. But how to begin on this important undertaking? While musing on this question, Lucius finds himself transported to a public bathhouse in 21st century Japan, where he mistakes these "flat-faced" people for slaves of the Roman Empire. Lucius marvels at the modern-day conveniences and, when he returns to his ancient world, finds creative ways to copy those modern bathing features.

As his travels in time continue, Lucius gains fame and the Emperor's favor by bringing the 21st century Japanese bathing experience to the Roman realm. Along the way, he encounters Mami (Ueto Aya), a failed manga artist and daughter of the owners of an onsen. Mami is smitten by the handsome stranger, but astonished when she finds herself transported to ancient Rome, where Lucius has been commissioned for a project upon which the fate of the Emperor relies.

As I have noted elsewhere, director Takeuchi Hideki is much better at creating interestingly quirky characters than he is at shaping a convincing narrative and never has that been more true than in "Thermae Romae". The travels through time and the political scheming in the ancient world never make much sense, but the viewer cares little because Lucius and Mami are delightfully compelling characters. The film is filled with wry humor and, for the ladies, lots of glimpses of Abe Hiroshi's buff body. I was quite satisfyingly bemused.
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