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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Chinjeolhan Geumjasshi" )

 

directed by Park Chan-wook
South Korea 2005

Acclaimed filmmaker Park Chan Wook returns to the director's chair to helm Sympathy for Lady Vengeance, one of the most highly anticipated Korean films of 2005. The film marks the end of Park's hugely popular "Vengeance Trilogy", a series of films that began with 2002's Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance and continued with 2003's internationally successful Old Boy. Unlike most trilogies, this trio of pictures is united not by plot or by characters, but by its thematic content, namely, revenge and its terrible consequences.


Actress Lee Young Ae (Joint Security Area, Jewel in the Palace) takes up the leading role in Sympathy for Lady Vengeance, portraying Geum Ja, a beautiful woman just released from jail after thirteen years of imprisonment. Her crime? The kidnapping and brutal murder of a young child. Through the use of flashbacks, it is revealed that Geum Ja was extremely kind and generous to the other prisoners during her internment, earning a widespread reputation as a veritable saint among the imprisoned women.
 

****

Finishing his trilogy, writer/director Park Chan-wook makes this movie no less easier, or no less worse than the previous movies. This is a perfect ending to a great trilogy. Here, Miss Lee Geum-ja gets out of prison after 13 years, tells a priest to go screw himself and sets her plan into motion. This plan unfolds through flashbacks and scenes taking place in the present.

Kind-hearted Geum-ja helps everybody out while incarcerated, but once she’s out she’s wearing blood-red eye-shadow and dreams of killing. The flashbacks explain why she was so nice and the present tells you why she’s not being so nice now. Lee Yeong-ae, in a far cry from her role in the ridiculously popular ‘Jewel in the Palace’, is spot-on as Lee Geum-ja. Her range is great and her look is deadly. Her cold exterior mirrors the cinematography, and it only adds to the overall atmosphere of the piece.

As things get bleaker and bleaker, that red eye-shadow seems to dim further and further into blackness. The extra addition of the movie going from colour to darkness is quite intriguing (in the director’s version, in any case). The first half is the same, but after the one-hour mark, things get interesting. It’s a really nice touch by the director and cinematographer. The camera also flows everywhere, as if it has a life of its own, and movement is always in the frame. Something is always going on in the movie. The music, once again, plays an important part in the movie and the score is great. All the little moments, all the little touches, all add up to create a fitting end to the trilogy.

All the nice touches aren’t necessary, but they really make the movie a lot more intriguing. The movie is just steeped in symbolism, themes and styles are carried over from the rest of the trilogy. The squiggles on the wall resemble something else in the movie; her child, the snow, the tofu, the cake and even the cinematography on the director’s cut all add to the layers and mystery of the movie. The symmetry in ‘Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance’ is fun to watch, and it comes full circle in ‘Sympathy for Lady Vengeance’. (Even the names of the movies in the trilogy show symmetry!) Analysis of the trilogy as a whole would so easily be possible, and I’m sure will be done many times, but suffice to say that anybody interested in doing so will be happy, to say the least.

This movie is a tremendous piece of work. Park Chan-wook has a very brutal, yet lyrical way of showing the ills of society. The movie is not easy to take and the ending is not as sweet as vengeance might seem. It’s real and brutal. Nothing is too easy in this world and everybody has to pay a certain price.
 

Pat Pilon

Posters

Theatrical Release: July 29th, 2005

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Comparison:

CJ Entertainment (Special Edition - disc 1) - Region 3 - NTSC vs. CJ Entertainment (Special Edition - disc 2) - Region 3 - NTSC vs. Panorama Entertainment - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 

1) CJ Entertainment (Special Edition (disc 1) - Region 3 - NTSC - LEFT/MIDDLE

2)  Panorama - Region FREE - Blu-ray - RIGHT

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Distribution

CJ Entertainment

Region 3 - NTSC

CJ Entertainment
Region 3 - NTSC
Panorama Entertainment
Region FREE -
Blu-ray
Runtime 1:55:04 1:55:04 1:55:04.000
Video

2.32:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.55 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

2.32:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.69 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1080P / 24 fps Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 23,868,017,168 bytes

Feature: 23,472,015,360 bytes

Video Bitrate: 22.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

 

CJ Entertainment (Special Edition (disc 1)

 

Bitrate:

 

CJ Entertainment (Special Edition (disc 2)

 

Bitrate:

 

CJ Entertainment (Special Edition (disc 2)

 

Audio Korean Dolby Digital 5.1 (384 kbps)

Korean DTS (768 kbps)

DTS-HD Master Audio Korean 1856 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1856 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core:
5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio Chinese 384 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 384 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Korean 384 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 384 kbps
Subtitles Korean, English Korean, English English, Chinese (traditional and simplified)
Features Release Information:
Studio: CJ Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.32:1

Edition Details:
• Commentary by co-writer/director Park Chan-wook and actress Lee Yeong-ae
• Commentary by Park Chan-wook, director of photography Jeong Jeong-hoon and art director Joh Hwa-seong
• Making of Sympathy for Lady Vengeance (10:45)
• Characters for Lady Vengeance:
• - Lee Geum-ja (6:30)
• - Professor Baek (6:39)
• - Prisoners (5:21)
• - Families (7:38)
• Sympathy for Lady Vengeance in Venizia (8:24)
• Promotion (Trailer (1:54), Teaser Trailer (1:52), TV Spot (0:38), Poster)

DVD Release Date: December 27th, 2005
2-disc digipak

Chapters 20

Release Information:
Studio: CJ Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.32:1

Edition Details:
• Introduction by Park Chan-wook (1:22)
• Commentary by film critic Kim Yeong-jin
• Style of Lady Vengeance (5 featurettes):
• - Visualization (6:23)
• - Production Design (8:17)
• - Costume & Make-up (8:05)
• - Special Art (7:02)
• - CG (6:58)
• Alternate Scenes (14:02) with optional commentary by Park Chan-wook, Lee Yeong-ae and Choi Min-shik
 

DVD Release Date: December 27th, 2005
2-disc digipak

Chapters 20

Release Information:
Studio: Panorama

 

1080P / 24 fps Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 23,868,017,168 bytes

Feature: 23,472,015,360 bytes

Video Bitrate: 22.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:
Comes with a Chinese-subtitled Bonus DVD containing 103 minutes of special features:
• Making of Sympathy for Lady Vengeance
Interviews with Cast
• Sympathy for Lady Vengeance in Venezia
Promotion
• Introduction by Director Park Chan Wook
Style of Lady Vengeance: Interviews with Director & Staff
• Alternate Scenes: Deleted & Long-take Scenes(with Director & Actors' Commentary)
 

Blu-ray Release Date: August 28th, 2009
Thick Blu-ray case

Chapters 13

 

 

Comments

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Panorama - Region FREE Blu-ray - October 09: The Region-FREE HK Blu-ray gives a dramatic leap in image quality and supports the theatrical version color scheme. Flesh tones lean to the warmer end of the scale but detail takes a impressive improvement. The image is slightly brighter and colors are much richer. Grain is very apparent in the flashback scenes and it exists to a lesser degree for the rest of the film. There is some noise in monochromatic backgrounds but overall this is far better than I was anticipating and is definitely the definitive edition for video.

Audio is offered in a DTS-HD Master 5.1 at 1856 kbps and a Chinese DUB. The lossless track is competent but doesn't give dynamic range. It's obviously superior to a standard 5.1. There are occasionally weak English and Chinese subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.

Extras consistent of a single-layered second disc DVD with extras in Korean and only with Chinese subtitles. It's pretty much useless for English-locked audiences but you can get something out of the alternate and deleted & longer-take scenes.

Fans of the film may wish to indulge as it is such a visual movie and the 1080P image transfer is quite impressive.

****



 

(Mar 2006). The set is quite interesting. The first disc has the theatrical version of the movie, while the second one has the director's preferred version. The difference between the two is in the color scheme. At about the 1-hour mark, the director's version starts to go black and white. Notice the 3rd capture, where the change begins, and the 4 capture, where the change is a bit more noticeable (about 10 minutes separate the two.) It's a nice touch and adds a nice bit of symbolism to the movie. It's a shame it wasn't in the theatres.

For some reason, the first disc's only audio track is a 384kbps track, which, unfortunately (but as is to be expected), isn't as rich or deep as the DTS track on the second disc. The DTS track is clean, enveloping and natural. The picture is also amazing. Anamorphic, progressive, with no damage or hint of digital manipulation, it brings out the great cinematography perfectly.

The extras are nice, but the information will not be caught by most people. There's plenty of behind-the-scenes footage to keep people interested. For people how do know Korean, there's plenty of information to be heard. I listened to the director/star commentary track on the first DVD. It's not too animated and there's some small dead spots, but it's filled with nice information. The critic's track on the second disc seems a bit more low-key but is filled with good information. This is another good quality release from Park Chan-wook and his gang.

 - Pat Pilon

 

 


DVD Menus
(CJ Entertainment (Special Edition (disc 1)) - Region 3 - NTSC - LEFT vs. CJ Entertainment (Special Edition (disc 2)) - Region 3 - NTSC - RIGHT)


 

 

 


 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Screen Captures

1) CJ Entertainment (Special Edition (disc 1) - Region 3 - NTSC - TOP

2) CJ Entertainment (Special Edition (disc 2) - Region 3 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Panorama - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

Subtitle sample

 


1) CJ Entertainment (Special Edition (disc 1) - Region 3 - NTSC - TOP

2) CJ Entertainment (Special Edition (disc 2) - Region 3 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Panorama - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) CJ Entertainment (Special Edition (disc 1) - Region 3 - NTSC - TOP

2) CJ Entertainment (Special Edition (disc 2) - Region 3 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Panorama - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) CJ Entertainment (Special Edition (disc 1) - Region 3 - NTSC - TOP

2) CJ Entertainment (Special Edition (disc 2) - Region 3 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Panorama - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) CJ Entertainment (Special Edition (disc 1) - Region 3 - NTSC - TOP

2) CJ Entertainment (Special Edition (disc 2) - Region 3 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Panorama - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) CJ Entertainment (Special Edition (disc 1) - Region 3 - NTSC - TOP

2) CJ Entertainment (Special Edition (disc 2) - Region 3 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Panorama - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) CJ Entertainment (Special Edition (disc 1) - Region 3 - NTSC - TOP

2) CJ Entertainment (Special Edition (disc 2) - Region 3 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Panorama - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

More Blu-ray captures

 


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Thinking of buying from YesAsia? CLICK HERE and use THIS UPDATED BEAVER PAGE to source their very best...

Distribution

CJ Entertainment

Region 3 - NTSC

CJ Entertainment
Region 3 - NTSC
Panorama Entertainment
Region FREE -
Blu-ray

 



 

 

 

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