The Good, the Bad, the Weird aka Joheunnom nabbeunnom isanghannom [Blu-ray]
(Ji-woon Kim, 2008)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: CJ Entertainment
Video: Icon Home Entertainment
Region: 'B'-locked (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 42,455,638,704 bytes
Feature Size: 33,393,057,792 bytes
Video Bitrate: 29.77 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray (UK thicker) case
Release date: June 15th, 2009
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio Korean 2269 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2269 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1
/ 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio Korean 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps
•Running Fast - 1:30:24 Korean with burned-in English subtitles (PAL)
• The Good, the Bad, the Weird and the Vicious – 18:53 SD Korean with burned-in English subtitles (PAL)
• Analogue - 10:54 SD - Korean with burned-in English subtitles (PAL)
Space - 11:14 SD
- Korean with burned-in English subtitles (PAL)
Description: Three outlaws. One map. No prisoners.
The Good, The Bad, The Weird represents, along with Takashi Miike's Sukiyaki Western Django (2007), Shashank Ghosh's Quick Gun Murugan (2008) and Sadik Ahmed's The Last Thakur (2008), a new kind of genre: the "eastern", or Asian western. Where Sergio Leone's spaghetti westerns may have borrowed a few ideas, or sometimes even an entire plot, from the samurai films of Akira Kurosawa, this new film from Kim repays the debt in full, reimagining Leone's finest work The Good, The Bad And The Ugly (1966) transplanted to the lawless badlands of Japanese-occupied 1930s Manchuria, a desert landscape of ever-shifting boundaries where everyone is out to make their fortune, and everything is for sale. Here anything goes - and the same is true for this anarchic epic, as unbounded and pillage-happy as its three main characters.
Three exiled Korean adventurers, played by a dreamteam of Korea's biggest stars - vain bandit Chang-yi (Lee Byung-hun - A Bittersweet Life), lucky train robber Tae-goo (Song Kang-ho - Memories Of Murder, The Host), and relentless bounty hunter Do-won (Jung Woo-sung, Musa: The Warrior) – come into violent collision during two simultaneous assaults on the same train, and then engage in a mad cross-country race to secure a stolen map which they hope will lead to the fulfilment of their dreams, whether it is to get rich fast, to exorcise the past, to wreak revenge or just to be proven the best.Excerpt from Anton Bitel's review at Eye For Film located HERE
This is a very impressive image that I had trouble finding distracting flaws in, although edge-enhancement exists I never found it intrusive (see train track shot below). The Blu-ray supports a bright 1080P transfer via the MPEG-4 AVC encode. The 2 hour 10 minute film takes up over 33 Gig of space on the dual-layered disc. Contrast is very strong with deep black levels and colors never appear disproportionately brilliant. Detail is strong notable in the film's many close-ups. Everything has a consistent tightness to it. I don't know why I wasn't expecting The Good, the Bad, the Weird to look this strong - but I wasn't and am happy surprised. This Blu-ray produces a fantastic presentation.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Audio is offered in two Korean tracks - a heavier, resonating, DTS-HD Master 5.1 at 2269 kbps and a more standard Dolby Digital 5.1 offering. If your system is capable of supporting it - the DTS is the way to go as it's clearly heads and tails above the other in some of the more aggressive scenes where I tested both. There are plenty of sequences where powerful bass comes into play and the surround separation and effect noises are abundant. I would equally credit the sound engineers for the film which created a buoyant track befitting the mood and action sequences. The track has some responsive depth to it. There are burned-in English subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'B'-locked.
Supplements are almost exclusively in PAL (SD) with Korean language and burned-in English subtitles. Running Fast is a kind of extensive Making of.. which includes input from the director Ji-woon Kim, many of the production crew and some cast. It runs over 1 1/2 hours and covers a lot of ground including behind-the-scenes material. If you are keen on the film this is surely worth seeing. The Good, the Bad, the Weird and the Vicious is essentially interview excerpts with both the director and the snippets from the cast. It touches on conflicts but praise is mentioned too and this runs almost 20 minutes. There are two 10-minutes featurettes on the film's production design, sound engineering ,the cinematography and similar technical details. There are 45-minutes worth of, a whopping, 15 deleted scenes and five, separate, alternate endings lasting over 10-minutes. Some of these are very amusing and worth indulging in. Finally we get a preview for Push in HD. Quite a solid lot and fans should be pleased with the supplemental content.
August 18th, 2009
About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 7500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.
Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who
focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I
find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction. So be
it, but film will always be my first love and I list my
favorites on the old YMdb site now accessible
Samsung HPR4272 42" Plasma HDTV
Gary W. Tooze