Coming to DVD from director/writer Su-yeon Gu and Artsploitation Films comes a tale of gangs, grit and the truth about HARD ROMANTICKER.
This film tells the story of Gu (Shota Matsuda), a blonde haired, laid back gangster of the street in Tokyo. His only normal attachment is to his grandmother who wishes he would find a nice girl and settle down.
When a rival’s grandmother is accidentally killed, the vengance is turned towards Gu with rival gangs. Trying to unravel what has happened, he is constantly being chased by other thugs as well as the police
His way of life is coming to a violent end if he doesn’t confront everyone involved.
FINAL WORD: Matsuda is totally the James Dean rebel without a cause type in this film. Even as his heart wants to reach out to Natsuko, played by Sei Ashina, his hand is bit as he knew it would be. There is a raw and gustiness to Matsuda’s character portrayal and even in the end (without giving anything away) he fights.
The relationship between Matsuda’s Gu and each person he interacts with is a story in itself. There are moments where getting away and finding another life seems the perfect solution to his problems but the streets keep calling him back.
Other cast include: Kento Nagayama as Tatsu, Tokio Emoto as Masaru, Sei Ashina as Natsuko, Kaname Endo as Pak, Yuya Endo as Kim, Naoki Kawano as Kaneko and Shido Nakamura as Takagi.
Artsploitation Films is one of the countries largest DVD/VOD sites. Raymond Murray is the head of Artsploitation Films and some of their prominent releases are SUICIDE CLUB, LATTER DAYS, DEATH OF A DYNASTY and SLEEPER CELL.
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give HARD ROMANTICKER three tubs of popcorn out of five. This is a tough film that doesn’t hold anything back. There are moments that are quite brutal but each act brings the story even closer to its conclusions. The filming is gritty, gray and tough with a soundtrack that is perfect for the film.
Before even reading about the film I thought it reminded me of A CLOCKWORK ORANGE with the rebellion of the young gangsters, how all of this affects the people in their lives and the harsh street justice.
The film is based on the semi-autobiographical novel of Su-yeon Gu, which makes the film even more amazing to watch. The DVD includes a 12-page collectors booklet that includes an essay on HARD ROMANTICKER, a study of Toei Studios Yakuza films by Japanese cinema expert Patrick Macias and a gallery of original Toei movie posters.
In the end – it may be hard to believe but its true!
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