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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "The Host" or "Gwowmul" or "Creature")

 

directed by Bong Joon-ho
South Korea 2006

 

When a young girl is snatched away from her father by a horrifying giant monster that emerges from the River Han to wreak havoc on Seoul, her entire family sets out to locate the beast and bring their little girl back home to safety in South Korean director Bong Joon-ho's big-budget creature feature. Hee-bong is a man of modest means who runs a snack bar on the banks of the River Han. Along with his slow-witted eldest son, Gang-du; Gang-du's young daughter, Hyun-seo; archery champion daughter Nam-joo; and unemployed, shirker son, Nam-il, Hee-Bong has managed to maintain a close relationship with his family despite the hardships that come with being a single father. When a rampaging fiend erupts from the Han and throws the city of Seoul into a state of emergency, Gang-du is heartbroken to see his precious little girl scooped up by the scaly creature and spirited away to an unknown destination. This is one family that always sticks together, though, and as the rest of the city denizens scramble to take cover, Hee-bong, Gang-du, Nam-joo, and Nam-il set out to prove that they're not letting their little girl go without a fight.

***

It's hard to write about Bong Joon-ho's The Host (the original Korean title is "Creature") without making puns on the word "monster." The temptation arises not only because of the subject matter, but because everything about the film -- its scale, its budget, its record-breaking performance at the box office, its overseas potential -- is huge within the context of the local film industry. It is a monster movie -- about a truck-sized mutant that crawls out of the Han River and unleashes terror upon the citizens of Seoul -- and yet, it is not one. Part of The Host's appeal is that its core concerns are somewhat slippery, and hard to pinpoint.

You could just as well call The Host a family movie. Hee-bong (Byun Hee-bong) is the owner of a small food stand in the Han River Citizen's Park, selling squid, candy and beer to people who have come out to enjoy the sun. Gang-du (Song Kang-ho) is one of his three children, a man who seems a bit slow mentally and whose one motivating strength is a devotion to his schoolage daughter Hyun-seo (Ko Ah-sung). Rounding out the family is Nam-joo (Bae Doona), an amateur competitive archer and her brother Nam-il (Park Hae-il), a former student radical who at present is drunk and unemployed. There are no mothers in the family -- Hee-bong's wife having passed on and Gang-du's having run away. It's a dysfunctional group, held together only by the crisis that faces them, and yet the family dynamics will feel familiar to many viewers.
 

excerpt from Darcy Paquet's review at Korean Films.org located HERE

 

Posters

 

Theatrical Release: May 21, 2006 Cannes Film Festival

Reviews                                                                            More Reviews                                                                DVD Reviews

 

Comparison:

KD Media (3 Disc Special Edition) - Region 3 - NTSC vs. Magnolia - Region FREE - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Adam Lemke for the DVD Review!

1) KDMedia - Region 3 - NTSC - LEFT

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

 

Box Covers

 

   

North American customers:

Global customers:

Distribution

KD Media

Region 3 - NTSC

Magnolia - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:59:21 1:59:54.187
Video

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

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

1.85:1 Disc Size: 42,058,663,146 bytes

Feature Size: 35,877,568,512 bytes

Total Bitrate: 20.90 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray VC-1

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

Bitrate

Bitrate: Blu-ray

Audio Dolby Digital 5.1EX and DTS ES LPCM Audio English 4608 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 4608 kbps / 16-bit
DTS-HD High-Res Audio English 3018 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3018 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit / DN -4dB)
Dolby Digital Audio English 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps / DN -4dB
LPCM Audio Korean 4608 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 4608 kbps / 16-bit
DTS-HD High-Res Audio Korean 3018 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3018 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit / DN -4dB)
Dolby Digital Audio Korean 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB / Dolby Surround
Subtitles Korean, English, Korean hearing impaired, None English SDH, English and Spanish
Features Release Information:
Studio: KD Media

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
• Director and Actor's Commentary
• Director's Commentary
• Staff's Commentary
• Visually impaired track
• After commentary
• Disc two - 18 extras featurette all WITHOUT eng subs
• Designing creature, Creature animation, Creature making, Creature animatronics
• Gag reel, Visual effects Supervisor - Kevin's Korean life
• Sound effects, still gallery, easter eggs
• Disc three - 1 hour making of feature
• trailers, posters, promotion tour
• Deleted scenes w/ commentary
• Original & Alternate soundtrack w/ music video
• Tony Rayns interview - 4 min
• Short film Sink & Rise (7min) w/ English subs

DVD Release Date: 1/16/2007
Clear keep Case with overlapping inset holder and carboard slip cover

Chapters 23

Release Information:
Studio:
Magnolia

 

1.85:1 Disc Size: 42,058,663,146 bytes

Feature Size: 35,877,568,512 bytes

Total Bitrate: 20.90 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray VC-1

 

Edition Details:

Commentary with Director Boon Joon-Ho
Making-of Documentary with the Director (9:43). Memories of the Sewer (9:42), Storyboards (3:22) and Physical Special Effects (5:04)
Deleted Scenes (8:06)

Designing the creature (11:29)

Animating the Creature (9:29)

Puppet Animation (7:16)

Brining the Creature to Life (20:50)
Cast & Crew Interviews (3:42)

Training the Actors (5:24)
Gag Reel (7:39)
Korean Theatrical Trailer in SD (2:36)
Trailers for Magnolia Blu-ray releases in HD


Blu-ray Release Date: July 24th, 2007
Standard
Blu-ray Case
Chapters: 16

 

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Magnolia - Region FREE - Blu-rays July 17': Although a 10-year old Blu-ray, using a VC-1 encode, the image is quite an improvement over the solid DVD. The HD has greater depth but it appears contrast is the notable attribute to the superior visuals. Some gloss and a tighter, crisper image.

The audio is uncompressed (LPCM), 5.1 surround - very rich at 4608 kbps, and in both Korean or an English DUB, but only 16-bit and there are other lossy audio options but for The Host the depth works wonders for the atmosphere - ditto for some crisper, creature-related, separations. The score is by Byung-woo Lee (A Tale of Two Sisters, Mother, Tokyo!) and benefits from the uncompressed by heightening tension, and adding a sense of urgency and ominous depth. There are optional English or Spanish subtitles on the Region FREE Blu-ray.

The Blu-ray includes many, but not all, of the extras from the, out-of-print, Region 3 , 3-SD, DVD package including the commentary with director Boon Joon-Ho, the Making-of, storyboard, and creature featurettes, deleted scenes etc. with English subtitles.

Immensely please homage capturing many of the creature-feature conventions that fans love - plus it's scary as heck. The Blu-ray is an essential step beyond the SD in regards to the a/v presentation, and is fabulous entertainment at the current price if under $10. Plenty of 'rewatch' value and this disc is strongly recommended to be a part of your digital library.

Gary Tooze

***

ON THE DVD: A flawless image, with stellar sound and extras, think of this as the Korean equivalent to our Universal’s 3-Disc King Kong edition. The only real downfall is that all of the extra materials are without English subtitles. Although one can appreciate the visual documentation on the design of the film, it would have been nice to have a translation of director Bong’s comments on his work (we are talking 3 hours, spanning two discs worth of material here!).

I loved the film, and I think much of the praise it has received (it was the best reviewed film from Cannes ’06 and it is currently the highest grossing film in Korean history) is certainly deserved. I used the excerpt from Darcy Paquet’s review above because the Western culture readings of the film such as the familial bond in the face of disaster and a government’s failure to respond (a la Katrina) is incredibly accurate. Bong has made an old fashioned monster movie, but one that is not afraid to confront the world of today. In this sense the film is timeless. Able to speak to viewers, no matter what their respective cultures may be, The Host is genre-filmmaking of the highest order.

 - Adam Lemke

 


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1) KDMedia - Region 3 - NTSC - TOP

2) Magnolia - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) KDMedia - Region 3 - NTSC - TOP

2) Magnolia - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) KDMedia - Region 3 - NTSC - TOP

2) Magnolia - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) KDMedia - Region 3 - NTSC - TOP

2) Magnolia - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) KDMedia - Region 3 - NTSC - TOP

2) Magnolia - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) KDMedia - Region 3 - NTSC - TOP

2) Magnolia - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) KDMedia - Region 3 - NTSC - TOP

2) Magnolia - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

More Blu-ray Captures

 

Box Covers

 

   

North American customers:

Global customers:

Distribution

KD Media

Region 3 - NTSC

Magnolia - Region FREE - Blu-ray




 

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