B L U - N O T E

 

A view on the Blu-ray format by Enrique Michaels 

 

I've been a loyal DVDBeaver patron for many years and am proud to now contribute in this manner as I am passionate about film quality in my home theatre. For my screenshots, I grab directly from the Blu-ray while playing it, with a software like VLC (I am actually using another software, more advanced for AVC playing), like a screenshot. The originals are all saved as PNGs then converted as per Gary's methodology to 90% jpegs (totally suitable for his bandwidth and download-ability for surfers.) The only thing I do to them is change the color profile to sRGB so it doesn't become messed-up for web viewing. The colorimetry is the same, whether the Blu-ray is 4:2:0 or 4:2:2. The problem will happen if the Blu-ray is 4:4:4 and requires a beyond TrueColor or x.v.YCC compatible monitor (I don't know any to date that is 4:4:4, but it may happen in future). In this case some dithering will be applied to the screenshot since only a full 48-bit system (monitor and graphic card) can process a beyond True Color (24-bit) depth correctly.

English is not my first language so please excuse any spelling or grammar errors that I will, frequently, make. I trust Gary to do editing where necessary.  

Enrique's Home Theatre:

Runco CinemaWall SP-60/SP-60xa
Panasonic DMP-BD55 Blu-ray player Multizone + Multiregion (firmware upgraded)

Malata PDVD-N996 with incremental zoom

Paradigm Signature ADP1 speakers

Enrique T. Michaels

 

BLU-RAY STORE      ALL OUR Blu-ray REVIEWS

 

I'm a Cyborg, But That's Okay (aka 'Saibogujiman kwenchana') [Blu-ray]

 

(Chan-wook Park, 2006)

 

 

 

Review by Enrique T.  Michaels

 

Theatrical: CJ Entertainment

Video: Tartan Video (UK)

 

Discs:

Region: FREE

Feature Runtime: 105 minutes

Chapters: 24

One dual-layered Blu-ray

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: May 26th, 2008

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.78:1

Resolution: 1080p

Codec: MPEG4-AVC

 

Audio:
Korean DTS HD MA, Korean TrueHD, Korean 5.1

Subtitles:
Feature: English and none
 

Supplements:

• Making of..., Q&A session (translated), 2 trailers - all in PAL - SD

 

Product Description: With his masterful, multi-award-winning vengeance trilogy, Park Chan Wook won accolades at home and abroad, and became the object of cult for many film fans, from the grindhouse aficionado to the arthouse purist. Following the anger and violence of Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, Sympathy for Lady Vengeance, and Old Boy, however, Park was ready for something new - a romantic comedy, albeit one like no other. For his whimsically titled I'm a Cyborg, But That's OK, the director enlisted versatile actress Lim Soo Jung (Lump Sugar, Tale of Two Sisters) and film newcomer Jung Ji Hoon, better known to fans across Asia as Rain, as his mentally ill romantic leads. A cyborg romantic comedy starring Rain? If anyone can pull it off, it's Park Chan Wook! 

 

 

 

The Film:

This is quite probably the weirdest love story you’re likely to see. It takes place in a mental hospital, between an anti-social schizophrenic and a girl who thinks she’s a cyborg. This, though, is okay, because they’re both comfortable with their situation. They never question things or cause much trouble. They go on with their lives, not really caring or questioning what’s going on. So, it’s okay. In fact, the title is a lot more appropriate that it may seem at first.

The movie starts out simply, with a lady wheeling Yeong-goon in the floor, explaining who everybody is. This, we learn, is trash, as the doctor quickly comes in and tells Yeong-goon that his lady invents stories to make up for lost memories. What, then, should we trust, if the first explanation of the movie is false? Perhaps, not trusting anything is the best way to go about your life.

 

 


Watching everything, insinuating itself everywhere is Park Chan-wook’s incredible visual style. With a camera following, bobbing and weaving through patients and walls, it’s both creepy and stylish. There are no secrets here, and the camera makes sure it stays that way. The music, in contrast, is light and jazzy. A strong counterpoint to the serious matter, it lightens the tone, making everything seem normal and natural.

In his first feature film, Korean pop star Rain (Jeong Ji-hoon in the credis) gives a great performance, subtle but layered. His willingness to help others is commendable, and especially his commitment to Yeong-goon, played by Lim Soo-jeong (who wowed me in ‘A Tale of Two Sisters’). They’re very natural living inside characters that live in their own logic with heir own rules. They play these strange characters, yet feel very natural.

We all have problems. Sometimes, others can help us, but ultimately you’re the one that has to solve the difficulties in your life. I find it interesting that the person diagnosed as being anti-social goes around trying to help everybody. Whether he succeeds or not, I suppose, is not important. It’s the act that counts, right? He falls for this girl wearing dentures and wanting to find out her purpose. He’s nice and understanding, but she’s the only one that can figure out who she is. So, Young-goon is a cyborg, but it’s okay.

Pat Pilon from DVDBeaver HERE

 

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

Shot entirely on DV - this Blu-ray image is quite remarkable. Colors are bright and detail is magnificent. The image fills the 1.78 frame and, being digital, there is no grain whatsoever. I can barely see noise either on this dual-layered transfer. Lines are very tight and this image perfectly showcases the sharpness of DV. The visuals have some depth as well. Really, it is one of the better looking Blu-rays out there. There may be shade of glossiness at times and DV never renders bright contrast in the same manner as film but it's highly impressive nonetheless producing a seamless blemish-free look. No one should be disappointed in the appearance.

 

NOTE: Luiz says: The BD is Dual-Layer and the video sometimes shows a halo around the actors head, like the SD version does as well. And if yo like to mention, the digital camera used is a Thomson VIPER Filmstream, a high end digital camera that competes with the Panavision Genesis Digital camera. It is a real high quality product, i would never exchange a camera like that for a 35mm film camera... but that is probably just me.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio & Music:  
The audio is superb, both the DTS-HD and the Dolby True-HD present an impressive dynamic range and a great level of details. The ambience offered is filled surrounding details. The movie often gets sound-busy but the distinction and clarity between the details and tones is secured. The sub kicks often, but the basses aren't exaggerated, the equalization balance sounded adequate to me. The constant soundtrack music gets the quality and prominence it deserves and completes the mix. Both HD mixes will certainly deliver the goods with the quality HD sound enthusiast demand. Personally, I prefer the TrueHD a bit more than the DTS- HD MA. There are optional subtitles offered in
English only.

 

Extras:
Supplements include a 'Making of...', a translated Q & A session (almost an hour) and two trailers - all in PAL, standard definition. We get none of the three commentaries available on this SD edition. There are no
Blu-ray specific features - nothing in 1080.

 

Bottom line:
Unfortunately Tartan has gone belly-up and this
Blu-ray's availability seems limited
. It is an impressive transfer of a very cool movie.

 

Enrique Michaels

November 13th, 2008

 

 

 

 





 

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