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Gambling Apocalypse Kaiji (Blu-ray) (Japan Version) Blu-ray Region A

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Gambling Apocalypse Kaiji (Blu-ray) (Japan Version)
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YesAsia Editorial Description

In case the title doesn't tip you off, gambling is a serious matter in the 2009 thriller Gambling Apocalypse Kaiji from Gokusen director Sato Toya. Fujiwara Tatsuya of Death Note fame plays eponymous hero Kaiji who gets pulled into the wildest gamble of his life on a ship that promises hope, but reaps danger and despair. Based on Fukumoto Nobuyuki's manga, the film excitingly reunites Fujiwara with "L", Matsuyama Kenichi, along with the impressive cast of Amami Yuki (Gelatin, Silver Love), Kagawa Teruyuki (Tokyo Sonata), Yamamoto Taro (The Glorious Team Batista 2), and Mitsuishi Ken (Noriko's Dinner Table). Who will master the cards and the mind games for the ultimate victory?

Unable to find a steady job since graduating high school, Kaiji (Fujiwara Tatsuya) falls further and further into debt and misery through a life of drinking and gambling. Debt collector Endo shows up at the door one day, and gives Kaiji two options: a ten-year payment plan or one night on the mysterious gambling ship "Espoire" for the chance to clear his debt. Kaiji accepts the proposal, not realizing he's being conned into an extreme gambling tournament against other equally desperate people. Winner takes all. Loser leaves his life at the table.

Blu-ray Edition comes with Bonus DVD containing making documentary, trailer, and TV spot.

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Technical Information

Product Title: Gambling Apocalypse Kaiji (Blu-ray) (Japan Version) 賭博默示錄 Kaiji (Blu-ray) (日本版) 赌博默示录 Kaiji (Blu-ray) (日本版) カイジ 人生逆転ゲーム 【Blu-rayDisc】 Gambling Apocalypse Kaiji (Blu-ray) (Japan Version)
Also known as: Kaiji Jinsei Gyakuten Game / Ultimate Survivor Kaiji / Kaiji: The Ultimate Gambler Kaiji Jinsei Gyakuten Game / Ultimate Survivor Kaiji / Kaiji: The Ultimate Gambler Kaiji Jinsei Gyakuten Game / Ultimate Survivor Kaiji / Kaiji: The Ultimate Gambler Kaiji Jinsei Gyakuten Game / Ultimate Survivor Kaiji / Kaiji: The Ultimate Gambler Kaiji Jinsei Gyakuten Game / Ultimate Survivor Kaiji / Kaiji: The Ultimate Gambler
Artist Name(s): Fujiwara Tatsuya | Amami Yuki | Yamamoto Taro | Matsuo Suzuki | Kagawa Teruyuki | Sato Kei | Mitsuishi Ken | Matsuyama Kenichi 藤原龍也 | 天海祐希 | 山本太郎 | Matsuo Suzuki | 香川照之 | 佐藤慶 | 光石研 | 松山研一 藤原龙也 | 天海佑希 | 山本太郎 | Matsuo Suzuki | 香川照之 | 佐藤庆 | 光石研 | 松山研一 藤原竜也 | 天海祐希 | 山本太郎 | 松尾スズキ | 香川照之 | 佐藤慶 | 光石研 | 松山ケンイチ Fujiwara Tatsuya | Amami Yuki | Yamamoto Taro | Matsuo Suzuki | Kagawa Teruyuki | Sato Kei | Mitsuishi Ken | Matsuyama Kenichi
Director: Sato Toya 佐藤東彌 佐藤东弥 佐藤東弥 Sato Toya
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: 2010-04-09
Publisher Product Code: VPXT-71085
Language: Japanese
Subtitles: Japanese
Country of Origin: Japan
Disc Format(s): Blu-ray
Other Information: Blu-ray Disc + DVD
Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1022000995

Product Information

[アーティスト/ キャスト]
藤原竜也 / 天海祐希 / 香川照之 / 佐藤東弥 (監督) / 福本伸行 (原作) / 菅野祐悟 (音楽)

本編ブルーレイ+特典DVD

[特典情報]
映像特典収録

[テクニカル・インフォメーション]
本編129分+特典47分
製作国 : 日本 (Japan)
公開年 : 2009

[ストーリー]
26歳の伊藤カイジ(藤原竜也)は、定職にもつかず、コンビニのバイトを適当にこなしながら、その日暮らしの自堕落な生活を送っていた。 半ば眠ったような意識で、「そのうちに…」「いつかきっと…」とただ夢想するだけ。 たまに高級車を見つけては蹴りを入れて憂さを晴らしている。 自分では認めていないものの完全に人生の「負け組」にガッチリ組み込まれている若者であった。ある日、カイジの元に遠藤凛子(天海祐希)と名乗る謎の美女が訪ねてきた。 遠藤は悪徳金融会社の社長で、カイジに借金の取り立てにやってきたという。 しかも、今やその借金は利息が積もりに積もって202万円という高額に膨れ上がっていた。 その日暮らしの生活を送っているカイジに、そんな大金を返すことはできない。 じたばた抵抗をするカイジに、遠藤は「一夜にして借金を帳消しにできるどころか、大金を手にするチャンスがある」と甘く囁く。 数時間後、晴海ふ頭から出航するある船に乗り込めば全て分かると遠藤はいう。 船の名は「エスポワール」、フランス語で「希望」。 怪しげな話に躊躇するカイジだったが、遠藤の「人生を変えるチャンス」という言葉に心を強く動かされ、乗船を承諾する。 遠藤の口八丁に乗せられただけとも気付かず…。 深夜、カイジはその豪華客船「エスポワール号」に乗船した。 カイジのような借金を背負った「負け犬」たちの負のオーラで溢れる船内。 「勝つことがすべて!勝たなきゃゴミ!勝ちもせず生きていることこそが論外!」この船を取り仕切る帝愛グループの幹部である利根川と名乗る男(香川照之)が登場し、挑発とも取れる言葉を参加者たちに投げつける。 今宵のゲームは……ジャンケンだった! カイジたちに渡されたのは12枚のカードと、3つの星のバッジ。 カードはそれぞれ「グー」「チョキ」「パー」が4枚ずつ。 そのカードを使って、ただただジャンケンをせよと言う。 勝ち負けによって星をやりとりし、制限時間内にカードを使いきり、星を3つ以上残せば無事生還。 それ以外は恐怖の「別室」送り。 そこには人間としての尊厳さえも認められない過酷な強制労働が数十年も待っているらしい。 与えられた時間は僅か30分。 彼らの生き残りを賭けた「限定ジャンケン」の幕が開く。 しかしカイジにとって、この<人生の逆転を賭けた究極のゲーム>はまだほんの序章にすぎなかった。 やがて、運命は大きなうねりを伴って、カイジたち参加者を飲み込み始めるのだった……。

[解説]
イジ』の3シリーズで全39巻、累計1300万部を突破している大人気コミック。 07年10月には『逆境無頼カイジ』と題してテレビアニメ化もされている。 負け組のエース、伊藤カイジに扮するのは藤原竜也。 極限状態の中学生〜『バトル・ロワイアル』、孤高の天才〜『デスノート』、復讐に燃える詐欺師〜『カメレオン』など、数々の映画や舞台でのストイックなまでの演技で、常に観客を魅了する藤原竜也がこれまでにない新境地を切り開く。 また、カイジの人生を変える運命の女・遠藤凛子役に天海祐希、カイジたち負け組を高圧的にいたぶる利根川幸雄役には香川照之。 さらには山本太郎、光石研、松尾スズキ、佐藤慶といった魅力的なキャスト陣に加え、松山ケンイチが友情出演しているのも大きな話題である。 主人公・カイジの「決してあきらめない」という姿勢が、観終わったときの爽快感を齎してくれるだろう。 負け組、カイジが命を賭け人生を逆転していく!

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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features

Professional Review of "Gambling Apocalypse Kaiji (Blu-ray) (Japan Version)"

June 14, 2010

This professional review refers to Kaiji: The Ultimate Gambler (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)
Based on Fukumoto Nobuyuki's popular manga, Kaiji: the Ultimate Gambler was helmed by Gokusen director Sato Toya, and stars Battle Royale favourite Fujiwara Tatsuya in the lead, with support from his old Death Note nemesis Matsuyama Kenichi, along with the likes of Amami Yuki (Gelatin, Silver Love), Kagawa Teruyuki (Tokyo Sonata), Yamamoto Taro (The Glorious Team Batista 2), and Mitsuishi Ken (Noriko's Dinner Table).

Fujiwara Tatsuya stars as the titular Kaiji, a rather wretched thirty year old man who has never achieved anything with his life. Everything changes when a loan shark called Endo (Amami Yuki) turns up, informing that he has inherited a massive debt from a friend. Being unable to even think of repaying the money, Kaiji instead reluctantly agrees to board a mysterious boat and take part in a mass gambling competition, unaware that the stakes are far higher than he realises.

Despite its title and early scenes, Kaiji: the Ultimate Gambler doesn't feature much gambling in the strictest sense, and the film quickly develops into a series of extreme survival challenges in which the protagonist is pitted against other desperate people while a strange society of decadent elites take bets on their lives. The plot itself is pretty outlandish, involving people being forced into slavery and the building of a giant underground bunker, though this works well, and gives the film a suitably fun and manga feel. Although the trials are interesting enough, it's the card playing sequences at the start and end of the film which are the most effective and gripping, with director Sato Toya managing to notch up a fair amount of tension, even if he does drag out the overturning of vital cards to an almost ludicrous extent. The film is quite tense and exciting, with some great set pieces, and though it's pretty obvious that Kaiji himself is unlikely to get knocked out before the end, the supporting cast are dispatched in an enjoyably ruthless manner.

Perhaps surprisingly, the film's greatest asset is its social conscience, and it benefits considerably from having a bitter edge, dealing with themes of responsibility and the exploitation of the poor and unfortunate. Although the film isn't exactly deep, this philosophical bent makes it more interesting than it might have been, and nicely underscores its final act and climatic card duels. Thankfully, Sato never lets things get too po-faced, and the film is quite funny in places, with Fujiwara Tatsuya making for a likeable everyman protagonist despite his many flaws. There are a few unintentional laughs thanks to some near camp overacting, especially from Kagawa Teruyuki as the main villain and during voice over scenes as characters try to second guess each others schemes. This is certainly no bad thing, and it helps the film to overcome some of its rather variable pacing, being a bit overlong at a weighty two hours and fifteen minutes.

Sato Toya's slick direction similarly gives Kaiji: the Ultimate Gambler a real boost, as do some top notch production values and a bombastic soundtrack. The film has plenty of visual flourishes in the Hollywood style, and certainly has the look and feel of a big budget blockbuster. Coupled with its thoughtful edge, this makes it more entertaining than some of the more hollow Japanese popcorn films of recent years, and it should certainly enjoyed by a wider audience than just fans of the manga or gambling films in general.

by James Mudge - BeyondHollywood.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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