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Liar Game: The Final Stage (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) DVD Region 3

Toda Erika (Actor) | Matsuda Shota (Actor) | Tanabe Seiichi (Actor) | seki megumi (Actor)
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YesAsia Editorial Description

Based on the comic series by Kaitani Shinobu, the 2007 television drama adaptation of Liar Game was such a surprise hit in its late-night slot that it earned Fuji TV's commitment for both a second series and a theatrical film. Stars Toda Erika (Death Note) and Matsuda Shota (Hana Yori Dango) return as the master players of a never-ending game that pits players in battles of deception with intricate rules and simple consequences: money for the winner, and a mountain of debt for the loser. Along with the stars, series one writer Furuya Osho also returns to join forces with series two writer Kuroiwa Tsutomu and pen the final chapter of the saga. With the mind-twisting game reaching its finale, it's no surprise that The Final Stage is also the game's biggest stage yet.

The Final Stage continues the story from the end of the series two, as college student Nao (Toda Erika) and her brilliant swindler partner Akiyama (Matsuda Shota) enter the final round of mysterious corporation LGT's Liar Game. Dubbed "The Garden of Eden Game", the stakes are higher than ever in the final round, as the prize money has been increased from 100 million yen to 5 billion yen. Like the previous games, the winner takes the money home, and the loser is sent into debt for the same amount. With the mysterious and powerful Player X entering as one of the 11 players in the game, even Akiyama may not be able to help Nao win this time around.

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Technical Information

Product Title: Liar Game: The Final Stage (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) 詐欺遊戲 (DVD) (中英文字幕) (香港版) 诈欺游戏 (DVD) (中英文字幕) (香港版) ライアーゲーム Liar Game: The Final Stage (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)
Also known as: 詐欺遊戲-最終回電影版 诈欺游戏-最终回电影版
Artist Name(s): Toda Erika (Actor) | Matsuda Shota (Actor) | Tanabe Seiichi (Actor) | seki megumi (Actor) 戶田惠梨香 (Actor) | 松田翔太 (Actor) | 田邊誠一 (Actor) | seki megumi (Actor) 户田惠梨香 (Actor) | 松田翔太 (Actor) | 田边诚一 (Actor) | seki megumi (Actor) 戸田恵梨香 (Actor) | 松田翔太 (Actor) | 田辺誠一 (Actor) | Megumi Seki/〔撮影〕 (Actor) Toda Erika (Actor) | 마츠다 쇼타 (Actor) | Tanabe Seiichi (Actor) | seki megumi (Actor)
Director: Hiroaki Matsuyama 松山博昭 松山博昭 松山博昭 Hiroaki Matsuyama
Release Date: 2011-03-18
Language: Japanese
Subtitles: English, Traditional Chinese
Place of Origin: Japan
Picture Format: NTSC What is it?
Aspect Ratio: 1.78 : 1
Widescreen Anamorphic: Yes
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: 133 (mins)
Publisher: Panorama (HK)
Package Weight: 120 (g)
Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1024154679

Product Information

Director: Hiroaki Matsuyama

College student Nao Kanzaki (Erika Toda) ends up in debt after being lured to participate in a mysterious game called "Liar Game Tournment" (LGT). In order to get her money back, she consults the help of genius swindler Shinichi Akiyama (Shota Matsuda). With his help, she manages to enter into the final. Waitingin the final stage is a game called "Garden of Eden Games"that offers 5 billion yen as prize money. The theme of the game is to believe each other and if all eleven players can trust and work together, everyone can win the game. However, their probability to win the game is significantly threatened when a mysterious player known as "Player X" lurks among them...
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 "Liar Game: The Final Stage (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)"

April 8, 2011

Having proved incredibly popular on the small screen during its two series run, manga adaptation Liar Game makes its feature length debut with Liar Game: The Final Stage. Based on the comic by Kaitani Shinobu and directed by Matsuyama Hiroaki, the film combines the talents of series one writer Furuya Osho and series two writer Kuroiwa Tsutomu to bring things to a spectacular close, with even more betrayals, deceptions and impossibly high stakes. The cast all return, including popular stars Toda Erika (Death Note) and Matsuda Shota (Ikigami: The Ultimate Limit), who head up the group of contestants vying for the grand prize of 5 billion yen while trying to avoid life ruining debt.

The film kicks off with college student Nao (Toda Erika) being lured back to compete in the final round of the ruthless LGT corporation's Liar Game in order to support her con man partner and possible romantic interest Akiyama (Matsuda Shota). Facing them off against 9 others and revolving around voting with red, silver and gold apples, the game is now even more intense, with the prize money having been increased from 100 million yen to 5 billion yen, the winner taking all and the losers being landed with crippling debts. Although things seem to start well, with the players essentially having the chance to win through co-operation, it soon becomes clear that there is a traitor in the group, the mysterious Player X, who is determined to finish on top no matter what the cost.

Whilst obviously those who have seen the TV series or are familiar with the characters have a head start, the good news is that Liar Game: The Final Stage is still perfectly enjoyable for newcomers, and doesn't take long to get used to the premise and into the swing of things - in fact, the film quite helpfully begins with a quick couple of minutes' worth of catch up summarising the events to date. The game rules are clearly explained and laid out at the start, and are both easy to grasp and rife with the potential for Machiavellian scheming. The film is fiendishly clever and compelling, neatly structured and packed with deceit and backstabbing, with the ever shifting allegiances and plans making for tense, gripping viewing. Although at two hours and fifteen minutes the film may sound overlong, it passes incredibly quickly and has a non-stop energy that makes it all rather exhausting.

One of the reasons that the film works so well is that it clearly aims first and foremost to be an entertaining thriller rather than anything too deep, with an unpretentious emphasis on excitement and suspense. Although it does touch on a few psychological issues and flirts with the issue of human greed, there's nothing too heavy handed, with writers Furuya Osho and Kuroiwa Tsutomu primarily concentrating on bouncing the viewer around like pinball in trying to guess the identity of Player X. The film is certainly manipulative, though since this is entirely in-keeping with the game itself, this is forgivable, and indeed a key part of the fun. Things are amusingly over the top throughout, with plenty of hysterics, shouting, overwrought emotions, and face pulling along the way. The film is all the better for not taking itself too seriously, though at the same time is oddly more believable than others which have the same game show style plot, with the threat of debt being arguably more down to earth and engaging than the usual gruesome death shenanigans seen in the likes of Death Tube and others.

The characters are an oddball though funny bunch and the film manages to balance laughs with thrills without undermining the tension. Matsuda Shota is fittingly suave and sneaky as the vaguely ambiguous Akiyama, though it's Toda Erika who essentially carries the film, likeable, naive, ditzy and cute. The fact that she relentlessly believes in the good in people and that they can work together as a team, despite the endless betrayals, is both endearing and comical, and this makes for a number of entertainingly daft scenes and impassioned speeches.

Director Matsuyama Hiroaki takes an appropriately hyper-energetic approach to the film, making it flashy, frantically stylish and very much in the manner of the comic. Colourful throughout, the film also features a variety of nice touches, with lots of cartoons and graphics jumping out of the screen, at times to help explain plot points, and at others seemingly just for effect. The sets are pleasantly bright and wacky, with some dynamic camera work hiding the fact that the film basically takes place in just a handful of rooms and is really just people talking and bickering. The music is loud and pumping throughout, and this does at times give the viewer the feel of having been overloaded with caffeine and let loose in a particularly gaudy pachinko parlour.

Whilst this does mean that Liar Game: The Final Stage is probably not recommended for anyone looking for something sedate or laid back, for everyone else it serves up a couple of hours of incredibly manic entertainment that grips from start to finish. Working well whether or not the viewer is familiar with the television series or manga, the film is surprisingly effective, and is definitely one of the best of the continuingly popular Japanese high stakes game show subgenre.

by James Mudge -

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