H D - S E N S E I

A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze


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)

Runtime: 2:10:05.798

Disc Size: 42,455,638,704 bytes

Feature Size: 33,393,057,792 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.77 Mbps

Chapters: 12

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



Burned-in English



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)
15 Deleted Scenes (43:53) Korean with burned-in English subtitles (PAL)
Five Alternate Endings -11:41 Korean with burned-in English subtitles (PAL)
Preview for Push in HD





Description: Three outlaws. One map. No prisoners.
Set in the 1930's Manchurian desert where lawlessness rules, three Korean men fatefully meet each other on a train.
Do-Won (Jung Woo-sung) is a bounty hunter who tracks down dangerous criminals.
Chang- yi (Lee Byung-hun) is the leader of a group of tough-as- nails bandits.
Tae-goo (Song Kang-ho) is a train robber with nine lives.
The three strangers engage in a chase across Manchuria to take possession of a map Tae-goo discovers while robbing the train. Also on the hunt for the mysterious map are the Japanese army and Asian bandits. In this unpredictable, escalating battle for the map, who will stand as the winner in the end?



The Film:

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



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

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.

















Audio :

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.




Extras :

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.



The Good, the Bad, the Weird strikes all the right cords and the film is a wonderfully fun ride - one you often wish would continue (run longer) or have sequels. Hopefully this 'new' genre will flourish. The Blu-rays is a keeper providing an exciting, light-at-heart, crisp presentation that is sure to elicit repeat viewings. Audio is strong and extras are rife - and if you need another reason at the writing of this review this Blu-ray is 68% OFF!

Gary Tooze

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 HERE.  

Gary's Home Theatre:

Samsung HPR4272 42" Plasma HDTV
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

Gary W. Tooze








Hit Counter












DONATIONS Keep DVDBeaver alive:

Mail cheques, money orders, cash to:    or CLICK PayPal logo to donate!

Gary Tooze

Thank You!