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Smuggler (2011) (Blu-ray) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) Blu-ray Region A

Tsumabuki Satoshi (Actor) | Ando Masanobu (Actor) | Abe Tsuyoshi (Actor) | Matsuyuki Yasuko (Actor)
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YesAsia Editorial Description

Failed actor Kinuta (Satoshi Tsumabuki) is forced to repay his debt to the yakuza by helping shady characters transport sensitive packages at night. When his latest package turns out to be the body of a murdered yakuza boss, Kinuta and his two partners become the targets of a psychotic henchman looking for vengeance and the tattooed super-assassin (Masanobu Ando) who killed the yakuza boss.

After his low-key 2008 remake of Yama no Anata, director Katsuhito Ishii (A Taste of Tea) returns to the brand of filmmaking that established his reputation. Based on the manga by Shohei Manabe, Smuggler is an outrageously over-the-top action thriller with an unusually inspiring message. In addition to Tsumabuki as the besieged smuggler, the intense and violent thrill ride also co-stars Nagase Masatoshi (Kaasan Mom's Life), Matsuyuki Yasuko (Detroit Metal City), Mitsushima Hikari (Love Exposure), and Abe Tsuyoshi (Zebraman 2).

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Technical Information

Product Title: Smuggler (2011) (Blu-ray) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) 龍骨王與走屍男 (2011) (Blu-ray) (香港版) 龙骨王与走尸男 (2011) (Blu-ray) (香港版) Smuggler (2011) (Blu-ray) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) Smuggler (2011) (Blu-ray) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)
Also known as: 搬運你的未來 / 走私者 搬运你的未来 / 走私者
Artist Name(s): Tsumabuki Satoshi (Actor) | Ando Masanobu (Actor) | Abe Tsuyoshi (Actor) | Matsuyuki Yasuko (Actor) | Osugi Ren (Actor) | Nagase Masatoshi (Actor) | Terajima Susumu (Actor) | Shimada Yohachi (Actor) | Kohinata Fumiyo (Actor) | Takashima Masahiro (Actor) | Tsuda Kanji (Actor) | Tatsuya Gashuin (Actor) | Matsuda Shota (Actor) 妻夫木聰 (Actor) | 安藤政信 (Actor) | 阿部力 (Actor) | 松雪泰子 (Actor) | 大杉漣 (Actor) | 永瀨正敏 (Actor) | 寺島進 (Actor) | Shimada Yohachi (Actor) | 小日向文世 (Actor) | 高嶋政宏 (Actor) | 津田寬治 (Actor) | 我修院達也 (Actor) | 松田翔太 (Actor) 妻夫木聪 (Actor) | 安藤政信 (Actor) | 阿部力 (Actor) | 松雪泰子 (Actor) | 大杉涟 (Actor) | 永濑正敏 (Actor) | 寺岛进 (Actor) | Shimada Yohachi (Actor) | 小日向文世 (Actor) | 高嶋政宏 (Actor) | 津田宽治 (Actor) | 我修院达也 (Actor) | 松田翔太 (Actor) 妻夫木聡 (Actor) | 安藤政信 (Actor) | アベ,ツヨシ (Actor) | 松雪泰子 (Actor) | オオスギレン (Actor) | 永瀬正敏 (Actor) | テラジマススム (Actor) | 島田洋八 (Actor) | 小日向文世 (Actor) | 高嶋政宏 (Actor) | 津田寛治 (Actor) | 我修院達也 (Actor) | 松田翔太 (Actor) Tsumabuki Satoshi (Actor) | Ando Masanobu (Actor) | Abe Tsuyoshi (Actor) | Matsuyuki Yasuko (Actor) | Osugi Ren (Actor) | Nagase Masatoshi (Actor) | Terajima Susumu (Actor) | Shimada Yohachi (Actor) | Kohinata Fumiyo (Actor) | Takashima Masahiro (Actor) | Tsuda Kanji (Actor) | Tatsuya Gashuin (Actor) | 마츠다 쇼타 (Actor)
Director: Ishii Katsuhito 石井克人 石井克人 石井克人 Ishii Katsuhito
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: 2012-10-18
Language: Japanese
Subtitles: English, Traditional Chinese
Country of Origin: Japan
Picture Format: [HD] High Definition What is it?
Aspect Ratio: 1.78 : 1
Widescreen Anamorphic: Yes
Sound Information: Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS-HD Master Audio
Disc Format(s): Blu-ray, 25 GB - Single Layer
Screen Resolution: 1080p (1920 x 1080 progressive scan)
Video Codecs: AVC (MPEG-4 Part 10)
Rating: III
Duration: 115 (mins)
Publisher: CN Entertainment Ltd.
Package Weight: 120 (g)
Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1031731858

Product Information

* Special Features:
1. Trailer
2. TVC

Director: Ishii Katsuhito

After seeing his dreams of becoming an actor go nowhere, 25-year-old Kinuta does nothing but spend his time gambling every day. Broke, framed and now neck-deep in debt, he is recruited as a Smuggler – underground movers of everything from dead bodies to illegal goods. Apprenticing under Smuggler veleran Joe, Kinuta’s first cargo consists of the slaughtered bodies of yakuzas - including the headless corpse of Boss Tanuma. The killers Vertebrae and Viscera, a pair of assassins working for the Chinese mafia, are now wanted by the Tanuma clan who are out for their blood. When the assassins are tracked down. Joe is crew are assigned to deliver them – one dad, one alive – to the Tanuma Family. But when Kinuta’s kindness leads to Vertebrae’s escape, putting their lives in jeopardy, he has no choice but to play Vertebrae in an attempt to deceive the yakuzas…
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 "Smuggler (2011) (Blu-ray) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)"

November 27, 2012

This professional review refers to Smuggler (2011) (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)
Shohei Manabe's manga Smuggler makes it to the big screen courtesy of director Katsuhito Ishii, previously known for varied and off beat fare such as The Taste of Tea, the bizarre Funky Forest: the First Contact and the frankly crazed Party 7. With Ishii at the helm, the film is an unsurprisingly wild take on the Japanese yakuza genre, Satoshi Tsumabuki (Waterboys) starring as an unfortunate young man pulled into an oddball and extremely violent criminal underworld of crooks, corpse disposal and murderous assassins.

The film starts off with Tsumabuki as Kinuta, a slacker who gave up on a not particularly promising acting career, forced to work as a smuggler in order to pay back his debt to a group of local heavies. Serving under veteran Joe (Nagase Masatoshi, Sakuran), his life gets complicated when the latest package on the back of their beat up truck turns out to be the headless body of yakuza boss called Tanuma, recently murdered by Chinese assassins Vertebrae (Masanobu Ando, The Butcher, the Chef, and the Swordsman) and Viscera (Ryushin Tei, Tokyo Island). After Vertebrae is eventually captured by the gothic Lolita dressing Banker (Matsuyuki Yasuko, Detroit Metal City), he is given to the smugglers to deliver alive to the vengeance seeking gang, now locked in a power struggle between Tanuma's widow (Mitsushima Hikari, Love Exposure) and the crazed Seiji (Takashima Masahiro, Hayabusa). The killer escapes, landing Kinuta in deep water, and the young man is forced to impersonate him in a desperate bid to fool the raging yakuza.

Though manga adaptations are common enough, very few films truly manage to capture the look and feel of their comic origins and successfully combine it with big screen cinematics. Smuggler does very well indeed in this respect Ishii proving a great choice as director, his own idiosyncratic, off the wall style bringing the film very close to live action cartoon while at the same time retaining a tough, gritty edge. There are definite shades of his cult favourite 1998 debut Sharkskin Man and Peach Hip Girl with lots of bright colours and wackiness, Ishii employing a wide range of different visual tricks and techniques, including plenty of both hyperactivity and slow motion.

Eccentric and showing an outlandish sense of humour, it's for the most part a lot of fun, thanks in no small part to an interesting and entertaining set of characters, who are generally likeable despite being uniformly strange and quirky. Satoshi Tsumabuki does well as the everyman loser lead, and though his last act transformation and some of his behaviour is very leftfield, this is in-keeping with the film's tone, and he makes for a solid and atypical protagonist. The rest of the cast all seem to be having a great time, Masanobu Ando and Takashima Masahiro standing out in particularly memorable roles, and the always awesome Mitsushima Hikari continuing to cement her position as one of Japan's most talented young actresses. As a result, for all its psychotic whimsy, the film has a surprisingly genuine and big heart, coupled with an upbeat message that hits home most unexpectedly, again setting it apart from other similarly plotted genre flicks.

At the same time, it has to be noted that Smuggler really is an exceptionally violent film, with an incredible amount of skull cracking, mutilation and murder, most of it depicted in graphic, loving detail, Ishii frequently using slow motion to focus in on the gruesome gore. The last third takes a sudden diversion into sadism, with a few stomach troubling scenes of torture porn that venture into Ichi the Killer territory, and the film does at times come across like the somewhat more friendly and cheerful version of Takashi Miike;s notorious kinky shocker.

Of course, for many viewers this will make the film a must-see, and Smuggler is certainly one for the cult film crowd or anyone looking for stylish and vicious thrills. One of the better and most visually faithful manga adaptations of late, it's also one of the most unique and enjoyable Japanese crime outings, and another wonderfully outrageous effort from Katsuhito Ishii.

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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