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Korean Movies On DVD


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#1 of 78 OFFLINE   Kin Ho

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Posted November 05 2002 - 05:31 AM

Public Enemy

Released by Cinema Service
Korean R3 (Only)
NTSC Colour
138 Mins

OAR 2.35:1 Anamorphic
DVD-9 Korean DD2.0 and DD5.1
English (good) and Korean subs.

Extras (Disc-2, DVD-5)
- Cast and Director Bios/Interview (Disc 1)
- Special Documentary, 39 mins (behind the scenes)
- 4 Deleted scenes
- 15+ NG Cuts (cock-ups)
- Music Video
- Theatrical Trailer
- Production Notes (Korean Only)
- Storyline (Korean)
- Other Trailers (No Blood No Tears, Fun Movie and Volcano High)
- Director Highlights (4 Trailers + Interview)

Feature packed special edition DVD package. Sound and picture are both excellent no complaints.

Director Kang Woo-seok (Two Cops 1 and 2, How To Top My Wife) one of the 90s more successful Korean directors gives us a competent mix of crime thriller and action comedy. Film about a corrupt cop played by SOL Kyung-gu (solid performance) and a heartless stockbroker played by LEE Sung-jae (icy).

The film at 138 mins long is in serious need of editing. Why is it so long? Too many characters and sub plots clog up the movie at the start and even though it all comes together nicely at the end its still way too long.

However, the movie is very watchable, well made and it doesn't drag. The transition from bad cop to good cop and the clean cut serial killer are all very Korean in flavour. So even though the unoriginality of the story could be criticised its still probably something you haven't seen before.

The film is driven by its central character which is a good thing overall.

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#2 of 78 OFFLINE   Kin Ho

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Posted November 05 2002 - 05:47 AM

My Beautiful Days

Korean R3 (All Region), Non-Anamorphic 1.85:1, DD5.0 Eng Subs (good), DVD-5 90mins (cover says 137mins).

Good sound and picture particularly for a DVD-5 Disc.

Autobiographical film about a man and 3 women, 1 older, 1 same age and 1 younger than himself. Disappointed with this meandering and very pointless movie. Uninteresting characters tries to be like other romances I've seen but fails completely. Never picks up your interest and a very unsatisfying ending.

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#3 of 78 OFFLINE   Kin Ho

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Posted November 05 2002 - 05:49 AM

Take Care Of My Cat

Korean R3 (only) 1.85:1 Anamorphic dd5.1, eng subs (good), 2-disc feature laden DVD. 2nd Disc contains 2 short films.
Excellent picture and sound. Strong colours and blacks. Active rears.

Film - Been waiting to see this with anticipation, I wasn't disappointed although it dragged a touch towards the end. Beautiful Incheon Location shots (industrial seaside town, dreary) which is what the film is known for. The principal actresses hold the film together and I like them a lot. Be warned no real story to this movie ... its more a study of 3 girls dreams and hopes.

Refreshing and different ... recommended!

I like this summary of another review ... the 5 girls in the movie are:

Ji-Young has a direction that she cannot pursue; Haejoo is able to pursue her direction with abandon; Taehee is without direction; and Ohnja and Biryu landed long ago.

=^.^=

To those wondering what the hell the film has to do with taking care of a cat:

the cat, is passed on symbolically from character to character. The first pass is from Inchon to Ji-Young, underscoring Ji-Young’s poverty, (she can’t afford to buy Haejoo a gift), and representing Ji-Young as the stray of the group. Haejoo, later, refuses this gift as she refuses her past, passing the cat back to Ji-Young. Ji-Young passes the cat to Taehee as a gesture to Taehee to take care of her. Thankfully, Taehee fully receives this message, standing by Ji-Young through her trials. When it‘s time for Taehee to leave, she passes the cat onto the only ones in their group of friends who ever planned to stay, Ohnja and Biryu.

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Bae Doo-na

#4 of 78 OFFLINE   Kin Ho

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Posted November 05 2002 - 05:51 AM

Wanee & Junah

Korean R3, Anamorphic 1.85:1 DD5.1. Eng subs on this are only so so. Good rear speaker sounds and clean clear picture. no complaints.

My faith in Korean romances has been restored after the disaster of My Beautiful days. Popular Kim Hee-sun and her leading man make for very attractive viewing and both pull off good performances which are essential for these understated Korean romances. Every facial gesture, every look speak volumes and the acting has to be just right.

The movie moves along pleasantly as both leads discover and question their love for each other.

Its above average and if you like romances like I do you will enjoy it.

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Kim Hee Sun:thumbs:

#5 of 78 OFFLINE   Kin Ho

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Posted November 05 2002 - 05:56 AM

Barking Dogs Never Bite

Released by Spectrum DVD
Korean R3 (Only)
NTSC Colour
109 Mins

OAR 1.85:1 Anamorphic
DVD-9 Korean DD5.1 and DD2.0
English Subs (Good)

Extras
- Cast and Director Bios (Korean Only)
- Audio Commentary (No Subs)
- Interview With Bae Doo-na (No Subs)
- Storyboard of Key Scenes
- Theatrical Trailer
- Highlight (Preview Of Movie)
- Music Video
- OST

A relatively clean print with subdued colours but solid blacks. The DD5.1 sound is also clear with a good jazz soundtrack. No real Complaints.

A comedy drama that is light on drama but still full of sharp and interesting observations about life with a Korean flavour. Directed by first time director BONG Jun-ho and starring LEE Sung-jae (Public Enemy) and my favourite Korean actress Bae Doo-na (Take Care Of My Cat, Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance). The story involves living on a grey faceless housing block, annoying yapping dogs, one man's mission to get a peaceful nights sleep and an estate clerk to right the wrongs of the world (well in her neighbourhood anyway).

The Koreans have a black sense of humour especially when dogs are involved, it pulls no punches and its fresh to watch because it doesn't hold back. The female lead (Bae Doo-na) and her rotund friend are a riot to watch and they provide all the biggest laughs. A great little movie with an ending that makes you feel good about our mundane existence which we all share no matter where you live in the world.

Highly Recommended.

(The cheaper HK DVD is great value at about US$5)

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#6 of 78 OFFLINE   Kin Ho

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Posted November 05 2002 - 05:58 AM

The Isle

The isle is a film that relies completely on the unusual setting of floating fishing holiday homes on a scenic lake.

Its completely different from what your likely to ever find in western cinema and it would be hard for me to categorise this if I tried. Nothing really goes on in this movie, there is no plot and very little character development but its intriguing nevertheless.

The film contains acts of cruelty to animals and to humans which only leads me further to believe that Korean cinema is lax in their regulations or their very down to earth people.

Worth watching just to see what directors will do to catch the ever decreasing human attention span.

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#7 of 78 OFFLINE   Kin Ho

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Posted November 05 2002 - 05:59 AM

One Fine Spring Day

HK R3 (only) DVD-5 Non-anamorphic, DD5.1, eng subs (good).
A very good clean non anamorphic picture no pixels evident, DVD -5 black levels. The DD5.1 is very good with active rears throughout the movie.

Film - From the director of x'mas in August we have another excellent picture which is very similar in style (if not identical) to x'mas. Beautiful to look at and very very understated in pace and execution. The only difference here are the two leads who are only a fraction as good as the two in x'mas. However, they still put in competent performances and the ending to this is very very good.

Left me feeling confused about my emotions just like x'mas did but invoked by the movie in a totally different way.

Recommended.

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*The HK R3 universe disc is the only version available with English subtitles and seeing that this release is very cheap and of good quality you can't go wrong.

#8 of 78 OFFLINE   Kin Ho

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Posted November 05 2002 - 05:59 AM

Christmas In August

Technical: Korean R3 boxset with CD soundtrack. Anamorphic 1.85:1 DD2.0. Great picture with good sound no complaints.

A romantic movie thats really about nostalgia, life and death.
I watched this expecting good things and within the opening few minutes the lead male captures your heart. His very existence, his life and thoughts are the envy of us all.

The movie moves perfectly between scenes and people always giving you time to admire whats on screen. I love the pacing found in Korean romance movies, this isn't the first I've seen like this and I hope it isn't the last ... so different from HK and US movies but not slow and boring like UK ones.

Il Mare, Failan and Christmas in August are about the best romances anyone can hope to see. Simple yet touching and never cynical or cover from beginning to end with cheesy dialogue and scenes.

Korean Romances ... Brilliant

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#9 of 78 OFFLINE   Kin Ho

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Posted November 05 2002 - 06:01 AM

JSA: Joint Security Area

Technical: Non-Anamorphic 2.35:1, DTS and DD5.1 DVD-9
Watched it with DTS sound which is excellent. The picture is also clean and clear despite non anamorphic treatment ... No complaints.

Film - Part poltical investigation drama. Not as good as the reviews I've read. The investigation part of the film felt dliberately written to include a female lead in the film ... this part of the movie didn't work for me at all.

However, the rest of the movie is made up excellent scenes between North and South soldiers. If the story spent more time elaborating the story between the 4 leads this would have been an indespensible movie.

Polished and well made. Charming and touching when female lead is not seen.

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#10 of 78 OFFLINE   Kin Ho

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Posted November 05 2002 - 06:02 AM

My Beautiful Girl Mari

Technical - Anamorphic 1.85:1 DTS and DD 5.0 Korean R3.
Reference quality picture and but sound was mixed too loud at front covering whatever sound there was at the rears.

Film about nostalgia which I felt was made to primarily show off some beautiful animation. The plus points are the original design and look of the cartoon with its subtle colours and shapes very pleasing to the eye. The bad points being that the plot was too simple and no real magic was invoked in the film.

Hayao Miyizaki it is not but it is better than most Japanese and disney animation I have seen simply because its different. .... Oh yes the music is wonderful too.

Recommended.

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#11 of 78 OFFLINE   Kin Ho

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Posted November 05 2002 - 06:04 AM

Failan

Released by China Star Entertainment Group
Hong Kong R3 (All Region)
NTSC Colour
116 mins

OAR 1.85:1 Anamorphic
DVD-5 Korean DD5.1 and Mandarin DD2.0
Chinese and English Subs (good)

Extras
- Cast and Crew Bios in English and Chinese
- Film Synopsis in English and Chinese


The sound is fine and the picture is as good as it can be for a single layer disc. Blacks are not completely black and there are compression artefacts. The DVD cover is printed wrong stating that the disc is anamorphic 2.35:1. At US$8 this DVD release is more than acceptable.

The film stars my favourite Hong Kong actress Cecilia Cheung (Fly Me To Polaris) and this film gives you ample evidence as to why. Cecilia doesn't say much in this Korean film with language being the obvious barrier but she acts her little socks off at every given moment. The lead actor Choi Min-sik (Shiri) is also incredibly good and its essential that both leads work very well for a film like this to work.

Directed by SONG Hae-sung (Chara), the film is about a hoodlum who is passed his sell by date and is refered to as all talk and no action by the young gang members. His life is pretty low and he has nothing to live for as he dreams of retiring on a boat somewhere by the sea. The first half of the film concentrates on building up the background of the lead actor.

Just when the lead actor is about to sacrifice his life for his gang boss he recieves a letter telling him that the wife he married from China 1 year ago for cash (to flout S.Korean immigration laws) has died leaving him a letter that has a profound affect on him. The film takes a turn and begins to tell the story of Cecilia Cheung ... she lives a simple naive life and is forever grateful to the lead actor who married her although they have never met.

It is from this point on that the film becomes an interesting study of chracters and this is when it really takes off.

A great film with a great latter half. Recommended ...

(Highly recommended if you like Cecilia Cheung)

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Cecilia Cheung

#12 of 78 OFFLINE   JohnAD

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Posted November 05 2002 - 03:10 PM

Kin Ho:

Thank you for the excellent information! I've been looking to expand my Korean movie collection (all of 2 DVDs Posted Image). Some of these will be a good place to start.

John.
Most Recent Purchases: The Call of Cthulhu, Count Dracula, The Gravedancers, The Legend of Hell House, Prom Night, Starship Troopers, 28 Weeks Later, Unrest

Currently Collecting: Inu Yasha, Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam

Total DVDs: 1436 Anime DVDs: 776 R2 DVDs: 41 R3 DVDs: 6

#13 of 78 OFFLINE   Todd Terwilliger

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Posted November 06 2002 - 10:37 AM

I second the thanks for the great information. I also have a tiny Korean movie collection that I'm trying to improve.
This message ends with Todd.

Hey kid you got no class. Hit the bums, kid. Run like the devil. Get a tin can and take up mooching. Knock on back doors for a nickel.
Tell them your story. Make 'em weep. You could have been a meat-eater, kid. But you didn't listen to me when I laid it down.
Stay off...

#14 of 78 OFFLINE   Kin Ho

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Posted November 06 2002 - 02:39 PM

My Sassy Girl

- 1.85:1 anamorphic DD5.1.

A love story about a boy and a girl with a twist ending that caught me by surprise.

What makes it different from other boy girl romances?

Its the unconventional and funny character of the female lead and the very likeable male lead.

The Director's cut is a tad long and a little trimming won't go amiss but it plays well and I agree with all the good word that has gone already about the film.

Highly recommended ... makes you go all squishy inside ... Posted Image

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#15 of 78 OFFLINE   Kin Ho

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Posted November 06 2002 - 02:39 PM

My Wife is a Gangster

- anamorphic 1.85:1 DD5.1

Picture and sound - fine

A novelty film which is a little slapdash in finish. The plot centres around the female lead who has made various promises to a dying sister, one of which is to get married.

The black comedy only works occasionally and the film plays out like other Korean gangster movies I have seen during the last 3 months or so. Its stylised in places particularly during the fight scenes but they serve no purpose and looks out of place in the film.

Generally good comedy performances from the various male supports even if the joke ain't all that funny.

Likeable and very korean. See it if the idea appeals to you.

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#16 of 78 OFFLINE   Kin Ho

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Posted November 06 2002 - 02:41 PM

Musa

- Anamorphic 2.35:1 DD5.1 Korean language with rough english subs.

Picture and sound a near reference quality - excellent

Film - Historical Epic about a band of korean soldiers who come across a Ming Princess and then spend the entire film dodging Mongol (YUAN) warriors.

Very stylish and visually exquiste to look at.

The characters are 1-dimensional and are all about honour but it worked for some strange reason.

The plot is really too thin to hold any interest but the set pieces are exciting to watch if not interesting.

Fight scenes are a little cut and paste ala gladiator (1st battle).

Summary - all style and no plot but still fun to watch.

Recently watched another Chinese epic - Chen Kaige's The emperor and the Assassin and that has everything MUSA doesn't.

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#17 of 78 OFFLINE   Kin Ho

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Posted November 06 2002 - 02:42 PM

Il Mare (the Sea)

- HK R3 Non Anamorphic 1.85:1 DD5.1 & DTS Edko disc

Story about a time defying post box and how 2 people fall in love although 1 is from 2000 and the other 1998.

Its a romantic movie with a twist that works.

What stood out for me in this film was how beautiful and well put together every shot was which makes this the most polished korean film I have seen. The camera loves Jeon Ji-hyun and the environment she inhabits outdoor and indoor the same goes for the male lead.

The story moves along at a quiet and absorbing pace unlike its american counterparts which does everything over the top.

I really like this movie as its intelligent without being too clever and balances everything out in a way a movie should be.

The perfect time travelling love story.

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#18 of 78 OFFLINE   Kin Ho

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Posted November 06 2002 - 02:43 PM

Hi Dharma

Released by Universe Laser & Video Co. Ltd.
Hong Kong R3 (Only)
NTSC Colour
96 Mins

OAR 1.85:1 Anamorphic
DVD-5
Korean DD5.1 and Cantonese DD5.1
English (Good), Chinese (Trad) and Chinese (Simp) Subs

Extras
- Star File Of Park Sang Myun
- 2 Theatrical Trailers (Korean and Cantonese)
- Trailer For Barking Dogs Never Bite

Ignoring the usual DVD-5 limitations e.g. black is not black the picture quality was very good with no compression artefacts present. The Korean DD5.1 soundtrack is excellent and the english subs on this HK DVD are better than Korean english subs in general although I have not seen the Korean version of this disc. Technical wise this is a great DVD-5 disc. No complaints.

Directed by first time director PARK Chul-kwan the film is about a bunch of gangsters (PARK Sang-myun) hiding out in a monastery and causing havoc to the daily rituals of the monks living there and so begins these comic situation film. The film is a very unassuming comedy in the vein of 4 weddings and a funeral. Not very funny but pleasant to watch all the same. The comedy was a big hit in Korea and runs smoother than My wife is a gangster which I found patchy.

Its a light comedy and if the idea appeals to you then you should enjoy it. I however would plump for the foul King or barking dogs never bite as funnier examples of Korean comedy.

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#19 of 78 OFFLINE   Kin Ho

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Posted November 06 2002 - 02:43 PM

My Boss, My Hero

- Korean R3 Anamorphic 1.85:1 DD5.1

Great picture and sound no complaints.

Film - The modern day korean gangster is educated and intelligent. Our Hero feels he needs to get his high school diploma for the good of his gang. So begins the saga of our 20+ hero pretending to be a high school (secondary) student.

A polished film from start to finish. Its a genre jumping movie, hard hitting comedy, drama and gangland action. All 3 components work very well and are blended together to make a coherent and enjoyable movie.

The no.3 in charge (one with Flashy Shirts) is hilariously dumb, No.2 in charge takes care of the love aspects in the movie and the hero plays the fish out of water character spot on.

Loads and loads of hot Korean girls in this movie.

All in all very funny and recommended.

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#20 of 78 OFFLINE   Kin Ho

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Posted November 06 2002 - 02:44 PM

The Quiet Family (1998)

- HK R3, 1.66:1, Korean DD2.0 only, Eng and Chin subs, DVD-5. Distributed by Modern.

Technical specs are nothing to write home about, adequete sound and picture. Compression problems abound and the source print spicks and specks throughout.

Subs frequently miss out words although the film isn't hard to follow. Modern is a newish small distributor and this DVD is poor compared to releases made by universe and mei ah. There are only 2 versions available this HK R3 or the Korean R3.

Film - Its a black comedy that was remade into a Takashi Miike movie Happiness of the katakuris. I haven't seen the Japanese version but I don't think it could be any funnier than the original which is well made and well acted.

Its a Story about a family who buys a lodge out in the woods and all the guests who turn up die leaving them to clean up the mess.

Its a one joke movie but everything moves along at a quick pace and the characters all have their little stories to act out.

The actors are not really given much to do but each one is clearly defined and the film never bores.

I recommend this Korean black comedy.

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