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The Housemaid aka "Hanyo" [Blu-ray]
(Sang-soo Im, 2010)
Review by Gary Tooze
Video: Candle Media
Region: 'A' (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 26,734,548,488 bytes
Feature Size: 22,293,417,984 bytes
Video Bitrate: 23.94 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: November 18th, 2011
Aspect ratio: 2.33:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio Korean 1811 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1811 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio Korean 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
English, Korean, none
• Audio commentary
Description: Kim Ki Young's 1960 classic The Housemaid is widely regarded as one of the best Korean films ever made. Fifty years later, acclaimed filmmaker Im Sang Soo brings the thriller to screen again with a highly anticipated remake that has garnered both critical acclaim and huge box office. Invited to the Cannes and Berlin Film Festivals, the 2010 retelling of The Housemaid magnifies the lust, manipulation, and domestic power struggle of the original into a full-blown erotic psycho-thriller. While Kim Ki Young's Housemaid saw the unraveling of a middle-class family in the hands of a femme fatale maid, Im reverses and subverts the story by sending an innocent housemaid into the lion's lair and witnessing her abuse and transformation amid the cold and cavernous beauty of the palatial mansion.
The ongoing renaissance in South Korean cinema is too
stylistically diverse to constitute a movement, but its major
filmmakers—Park Chanwook (Oldboy),
Lee Chang-dong (Secret
Sunshine), Kim Ki-duk (3-Iron),
Hong Sang-soo (Woman
Is the Future of Man)—share a taste for complex narratives that
challenge social taboos. The most brazen of the bunch may be Im Sang-soo,
whose work is founded on his irreverence toward national sacred cows.
With The President's Last Bang (2005) he created a slick black comedy
around the 1979 assassination of President Park Chung-hee; the
president's son, Park Ji-man, was so offended by the film that he sued
for defamation, hoping to block its release. By presenting sensitive
subject matter in unabashedly bold terms, Im pushes viewers to take a
hard stand on issues most people would prefer to tiptoe around.
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
I've had The Housemaid on Blu-ray a while but was hoping to nab another to compare it to. This is only single-layered with I believe the film was shot on 35mm (Arricam ST/LT) but looks to have some digitization in the 1080P transfer. It's stated as a Digital Intermediate (2K) master format and a Super 35 source format. Sometimes the black levels border on moiring. It's waxy and softer than I would expect and no grain is visible. Edge-enhancement halos are visible when zooming in. While indentifying it - I don't consider it fatal - just apparent to those sensitive to digitization. I don't know where in the process this occurred but it surely was unnecessary. In-motion the film looks less manipulated but limits the Blu-ray presentation's depth and detail.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Candle Media use a modest DTS-HD Master 5.1 surround at 1811 kbps (16-bit) in the original Korean-language. There aren't many effects but, without giving away details, there are some aggressive ones that gain some minor depth via the lossless. The subtle score is by Hong-jip Kim (A Good Lawyers Wife, Wanee & Junah) and sounds flawless. There are optional English and Korean subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.
Plenty of extras, including a commentary, but nothing in English that I found. Menus and options are in Korean (except the English subtitle choice.)
July 2nd, 2017
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 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 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.
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze
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