R100 (Blu-ray) (2013)

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Released 22-Jul-2015

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Theatrical Trailer
Trailer-x 4 for other Accent releases
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2013
Running Time 94:58
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Hitoshi Matsumoto
Studio
Distributor
Accent Film Entertainment Starring Nao Omori
Shinobu Terajima
Hitoshi Matsumoto
Ai Tominaga
Lindsay Hayward
Case Standard Blu-ray
RPI ? Music Shuichi Sakamoto
Shuichiro Toki


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None Japanese Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080i
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English (Burned In) Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, after the end credits

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     Takafumi Katayama (Nao Omori) is a middle-aged furniture salesman with a pre-teen son and a wife who has been in a coma in hospital for some years. To give his life a little erotic pleasure he signs a one year contract with an S&M club; at various times and in various places a leather clad dominatrix will appear and kick, punch, whip or otherwise humiliate Takafumi. The club promises ecstasy through pain and has only a few rules; the client must at all times remain submissive and use no violence towards, or touch, the women. As well, once signed the contract cannot be terminated.

     At first the encounters go well and Takafumi looks forward to them. But when dominatrixes appear at his workplace, in his comatose wife’s hospital room and at his home, in front of his young son, Takafumi feels that things have gone too far. He attempts to terminate the contract but the attacks and bondage only get more extreme. The police cannot help: he has willingly entered the contract and no laws have been broken. Then, following the accidental death of one of the women, the appearance of a shadowy government agent and the arrival of the huge, blonde CEO of the S&M club, things get really weird!

     Some years ago the David Fincher film The Game (1997) featured a man who signed up for a game where there were no rules, he had no control over events and he did not know what was going to happen. Perhaps only a Japanese filmmaker like Hitoshi Matsumoto, who has had a long history as part of a TV comedy duo and whose three previous films (Dai-Nihonjin (2007), Symbol (2009) and Saya-zamurai (2010)) were all rather off beat comedies, could come up with such a bizarre variant on the game as R100. The title is a reference to the Japanese film rating system, the director suggesting that only people over 100 years of age would have the maturity to understand his film.

     Personally I doubt that because R100 deliberately makes little, or no, sense. It mixes the bizarre, including whipping, bondage, kicking, humiliations and spit, melodrama, action (there is a car chase and a shootout), eroticism and black comedy, some of which is very funny indeed; the expressions on the face of Takafumi’s boss when he finds Takafumi being whipped by a scantily leather clad dominatrix in the work toilet is priceless. Yet, none of this is meant to be real; characters talk directly to the camera, a Greek chorus of producers are watching a rough cut of R100 with its 100 year old director in a theatre and take time out to discuss the inconsistencies and motifs within the film, and R100 is shot with the colours mostly removed, leading to an almost black and white, or in places a blue / grey and white, presentation. There is a merry-go-round, and a pool where the dominatrixes relax between jobs while in the last act the film spirals into the utterly incongruous. This is clearly not reality.

     R100 is bizarre and kinky, on the weird side of weird and some scenes, such as the “spitting” sequence, is grotesque. It is clearly not a film for everyone but it follows no formula and is perhaps the most unusual and surprising film you are likely to see in a long time. It is also genuinely funny so if you are looking for something a long way from the usual, by the numbers filmmaking, R100 may be just the thing.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     R100 is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, close to the 1.85:1 original ratio, in 1080i using the MPEG-4 AVC code.

     As noted in the review, R100 has most of the colour removed giving the film a monochrome look. Close-up detail is good, but wider shots and shadow detail can be indistinct. Blacks are reasonable, contrast and brightness consistent, skin tones unnaturally white.

     Other than some slight ghosting with motion, there were no marks or artefacts.

     The burnt in English subtitles are in an easy to read white font and were error free. Japanese subtitles appeared to translate the sections of English dialogue.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     Audio is Japanese Dolby Digital 5.1 at 448 Kbps, that is, no lossless audio.

     Dialogue is clear and centred. This is a very front oriented audio track with little in the rears. In fact, the music was also mostly at the front with only the occasional effect, such as an aircraft engine or car engines, in the rears. I only noticed the sub-woofer during the grenade explosions at the end.

     The score by Shuichi Sakamoto and Shuichiro Toki was low key and effective and was well supported by Beethoven’s Ode to Joy.

     There are no lip synchronisation issues.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Trailers (8:26)

     These trailers play on start-up: Late Phases, Little Accidents, WolfCop and White Reindeer. They can also be selected from the menu plus a trailer for R100 (1:38).

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

     The Region A US Blu-ray of R100 is 1.85:1, in 1080p and with DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio. A trailer is the only extra. The 1080p and lossless audio technically give this release the edge but R100 is not a film with vibrant colour or detail and the US audio is reported to be, like ours, front oriented, so I doubt it is worth importing. The Japanese Region A Blu-ray comes with a making of, stage event collection and trailers. The feature is advertised as having English subtitles but I am not sure about the extras.

Summary

     R100 is bizarre, kinky, grotesque, funny and wildly entertaining. It is certainly not your usual film fare and is clearly not for everyone. But if you suspend judgement until you see it and do connect with its rhythms and weird sense of humour, it may well be the most unusual and interesting film you have seen for some time.

     The video is as the filmmaker intended, the audio nothing special. Trailers are the only extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Monday, September 14, 2015
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S580, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

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