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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Jjakpae" )


directed by Ryoo Seung-wan
South Korea 2006


The City of Violence is a vigorous revenge saga by Korean director Ryoo Seung-wan. Ryoo also worked as a producer, writer, and actor for this production. While Ryoo’s singular unifying vision is in strong evidence, one wonders if he took on too many things by himself. As revealed in some of the DVD’s bonus features, Ryoo exhausted himself to the point where he couldn’t give the production his full mental acumen towards the end of the shooting schedule. Thus, his options were limited in post-production. What we have is a technically accomplished, stylish, and energetic action movie that is not quite as eloquent as the efforts from Jackie Chan or Jet Li. However, the movie is well worth watching for several reasons. One, it’s a delightful homage to tropes usually found in Westerns (especially the music). Two, there is a delicious scene-stealing turn by Lee Beom-su as the villain. Three, the first half is populated by several neat editing tricks that show how storytelling can be achieved quickly and efficiently without a lot of laborious exposition. Four, Korean stuntwoman Kim Hyo-sun is an impressive screen presence.

David McCoy


Theatrical Release: 18 May 2006 (Cannes Film Market)

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DVD Review: Genius Products (Two-Disc Ultimate Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC

Big thanks to David McCoy for the Review!

DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:


Genius Products

Region 1 - NTSC

Runtime 95 mins

Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 8.58 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

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


Audio DD 5.1 Korean, DD 5.1 English, DTS 5.1 Korean
Subtitles Optional English, English SDH, Spanish
Features Release Information:
Studio: Genius Products

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic -

Edition Details:
• audio commentary by director Ryoo Seung-wan
• trailers for The City of Violence, previews for other DVDs, blooper reel
• The Evolution of Action
• Creating Emotive Action
• The City of Violence: Development and Pre-Production
• The Art of War: Conceptual Designs
• Battle Plans: Technical Test and Pre-Training
• Performance Management
• Blow by Blow
• Two Against the Rest: The Making of The City of Violence
• A Walk on the Wild Side
• Council of War
• deleted/alternate scenes
• footage from Venice Film Festival
• poster designs

DVD Release Date: September 4th, 2007
slim double keepcase with cardboard slipcover

Chapters 12





The 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen image is a bit of a mixed bag. While colors are deep and rich, as a whole, the picture is rather grainy. Also, some shots are a bit soft.

You can listen to the original Korean audio with DD 5.1 and DTS 5.1 mixes. The audio tracks are colorful and lively, especially given the expressive use of music. However, the sound design isn’t as immersive as one might expect of an action movie.

You can also watch the movie with a DD 5.1 English dub. Optional English, English SDH, and Spanish subtitles support the audio.

--Disc 1--
Upon loading, the DVD plays previews for other Genius Products DVDs.

The disc includes an audio commentary by director Ryoo Seung-wan. Ryoo speaks in Korean, and the disc has English subtitles. Ryoo is an engaging speaker and explains his directorial decisions quite well, though his comments can’t quite elevate his material beyond their inherent worth without his explications.

You also get several trailers for The City of Violence and a blooper reel.

--Disc 2--
The extensive extras are divided into Pre-Production, Production, and Post-Production sections.

Pre-Production: The featurettes focus primarily on the development of the action sequences as the two leads are both martial artists and wanted to showcase Korean action stuntwork as equal to what can be found in Hong Kong and Thailand.

Production: There are interviews with members of the cast and crew, an expected promotional “making of” featurette, and more discussion of the action sequences. The best extra is in the Production section; “A Walk on the Wild Side” takes viewers to an action-stuntwork school in South Korea that trains people in a variety of martial-arts maneuvers. This intimate look at the hard work involved in these kinds of movies will make viewers appreciate how much better it is to have people doing stunts for real rather than having computers draw non-existent entities doing ridiculous things.

Post-Production: There are deleted/alternate scenes with optional audio commentary by the director, footage from the Venice Film Festival when the movie was featured there, and a featurette about the development of posters for the movie.

The DVDs are housed in a slim double keepcase. You also get a cardboard slipcover and an insert advertising other Genius Products DVDs.

 - David McCoy


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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:


Genius Products

Region 1 - NTSC


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