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Attack the Gas Station (Korean film)-fullscreen?


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#1 of 14 OFFLINE   Travis_W

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Posted December 29 2003 - 08:52 AM

I just imported a region free version of 'Attack the Gas Station', a very funny Korean film. For some reason the disc is fullscreen only, a problem I've never encountered on an import. It's from Mei-Ah and it's not a bootleg as the same disc is available on HKFLIX.com as well. Does anyone know if maybe the film was made 4:3 or is it really MAR?
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#2 of 14 OFFLINE   Brian Thibodeau

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Posted December 29 2003 - 10:07 AM

I have the Korean DVD of this great movie and it's widescreen (something like 1.77 or 1.85, can't remember), although it's one of the few discs that requires me to change the aspect ratio settings on my DVD player before i can see it widescreen. Can't remember what the setting change is, exactly, but the film is widescreen for sure. I think Mei-ah put out other Korean films on DVD in full-frame as well, but then for a long time they weren't known for putting much effort into their transfers.

#3 of 14 OFFLINE   Travis_W

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Posted December 29 2003 - 11:17 AM

That sucks, I'm stuck with the MAR version. Oh well, at least it's open matte (more than likely anyway) but it's the principal of the thing...
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#4 of 14 OFFLINE   Mark_Wilson

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Posted December 29 2003 - 04:35 PM

The Korean disc is mis-flagged. Its 4:3 letterboxed widescreen but its flagged as 16:9. Even the dvd case says 16:9.

#5 of 14 OFFLINE   Jeff Adkins

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Posted December 30 2003 - 03:56 PM

The HK release is indeed 1.33. Jeff

#6 of 14 OFFLINE   Brian F

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Posted December 30 2003 - 04:59 PM

I also [accidentally] purchased the HK full-frame version of "Attack the Gas Station," and just recently watched it. I noticed many instances of what appeared to be actual pan-and-scan, so I do not think it is open-matte. It was driving me nuts! Luckily I got this at a cheap price...

#7 of 14 OFFLINE   Travis_W

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Posted December 31 2003 - 03:56 AM

I've watched my disc and not only is the transfer pretty bad it was indeed pan-and-scan. In a lot of scenes I noticed that the film was just not centered correctly. I payed 18 bucks for mine so it's not a total loss but I wish I would have examined the DVD more carefully before I bought it. Just the fact that I bought a fullscreen DVD makes me cringe.
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#8 of 14 OFFLINE   Brian Thibodeau

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Posted December 31 2003 - 05:30 AM

Korean movies on anything other than Korean DVDs seem to be such a crapshoot. Mei Ah also did a crappy, full-frame, barely panned-and-scanned DVD of the Korean horror flick MEMENTO MORI a couple years back, and I think it's still on the market. So that might be one to avoid. I think Universe also released an awful, full-frame versions of the Korean gangster comedy NO. 3 and the supernatural horror flick THE GINGKO BED, so I guess Mei Ah isn't the only guilty party. Hell, in the early days, they actually dubbed some Korean and Japanese films (including SAKURA: SLAYER OF DEMONS) into Cantonese and then left off the original audio tracks. Nice... My advice, stick to the pricier Korean releases or wait until the Americans actually bother to put out versions for the western market.

#9 of 14 OFFLINE   Roger Mathus

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Posted January 01 2004 - 02:08 AM

I also recommend the Korean release of Korean films. Several years ago I also ran into the improper flag problem on Gas Station and a couple of other Korean releases. For the past two years, however, the quality of the Korean DVDs has been excellent in general. If you like comedy, try "I Married A Gangster."

#10 of 14 OFFLINE   Mark_Wilson

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Posted January 01 2004 - 02:48 AM

Is that another title for 'My Wife is a Gangster'? If so I too recommend it.

#11 of 14 OFFLINE   Roger Mathus

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Posted January 01 2004 - 05:47 AM

Yes......I made a mistake. You have the correct title.

#12 of 14 OFFLINE   Brian Thibodeau

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Posted January 06 2004 - 02:22 AM

There is, however, another Korean mafia comedy called MARRYING THE MAFIA which traded on the success of MY WIFE IS A GANGSTER. I have it, but haven't watched it yet. I've heard fairly good things about it, though. Also looking forward to MY WIFE IS A GANGSTER 2, despite some mixed reviews. I think critics are sometimes a little hard on Korean films since they view them as trying too hard to be "hollywood" and yet Korea is one of the last bastions on this planet where local product gives Hollywood imports a seriously tough time at the boxoffice. More power too them if they have to occasionally go high-concept to stick it to the Hollywood system. I think more countries should seriously look at quota systems, since it seems to have done wonders for the Korean film industry. That said, I also highly recommend the horror flick PHONE, the action-adventure TUBE, the comedy SEX IS ZERO, the visually stunning (if and the sci-fi adventure 2009 LOST MEMORIES (although the latter is better enjoyed if you do a little research on patriot Ahn Chung-gun and Japanese statesmen Ito Hirobumi, real-life figures whose fateful meeting in 1909 anchor the film's premise, and NOT the simple fact that Japan wins WW2, as many website reviews claim). Just thought of another Korean film done no justice by the Hong Kong DVD release: THE HARMONIUM IN MY MEMORY, a beautiful little drama that suffers from a full frame presentation and extremely skinny subtitles. What a shame.

#13 of 14 OFFLINE   Matthew_V

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Posted January 15 2004 - 08:53 AM

A little bit off topic ... The only reason that I have still held on to my widescreen version is that I love those two songs that are sung "a capella" (sp?). Was a cd soundtrack for the film ever released ? If not, is there a cd available anywhere with one or both of those songs ? Thanks in advance

#14 of 14 OFFLINE   Brian Thibodeau

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Posted January 16 2004 - 02:41 AM

There was definitely a soundtrack. I saw it in a Korean gift store in Toronto before I saw the movie. Then after I saw the movie, I tried to find it to no avail. Kinda forgot about it until you mentioned it. Perhaps an internet search might yield something? CDJapan, Yesasia, Sensasian, etc.?




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