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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

The Tiger: An Old Hunter's Tale aka "Daeho" [Blu-ray]

 

(Hoon-jung Park, 2015)

 

There is an OOP Korean Blu-ray with optional English subtitles

North American customers:

Global customers:

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Next Entertainment World

Video: Well Go USA

 

Disc:

Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 2:19:59.182 

Disc Size: 23,142,908,784 bytes

Feature Size: 21,872,105,472 bytes

Video Bitrate: 17.00 Mbps

Chapters: 16

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: August 9th, 2016

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 2.39:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio Korean 2235 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2235 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio Korean 384 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 384 kbps

 

Subtitles:

English, none

 

Extras:

• Trailer  (1:28)

3 Previews

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: Following his role as a naval hero in the period epic The Admiral: Roaring Currents, Choi Min Sik plays a retired sharpshooter this time in the period blockbuster The Tiger: An Old Hunter's Tale, which marks the actor's second collaboration with director Park Hoon Jung after the 2013 crime drama New World. The period drama also co-stars Jung Man Shik (A Hard Day) as a Joseon hunter under the Japanese army, young actor Sung Yu Bin (The Trip around the World) as the retired hunter's son and Japanese actor Osugi Ren (Chasuke's Journey) as a Japanese government official.


In 1925 during the Japanese occupation, retired top hunter Chun Man Deok (Choi Min Sik) moves to a hut in a mountain with his son Seok (Sung Yu Bin). Obsessed with tiger skins, Japanese government official Maejono (Osugi Ren) decides to kill all the tigers in the country. The extermination is also an act to destroy Joseon's morale since tigers are the symbol of the country's national spirit. However, their plan doesn't go as well as expected because the remaining tiger is still missing. Joined by Seok, Gu Kyung (Jung Man Sik), the leader of the Joseon hunters ruled by the Japanese army, is assigned to find that tiger but it won't be an easy task because Chun Man Deok is determined to protect the last tiger of Joseon.

 

 

The Film:

The Tiger is set in 1925, with Korea having already been under Japanese rule for more than two decades. Determined to crush the morale of the local population, the authorities — or, at least, the governor — is at work to exterminate the country's tigers, an animal seen as the embodiment of the Korean national spirit. But the plan has hit a snag: Casualties are mounting as soldiers fail in their attempts to kill a remaining streak on Jirisan, one of Korea's most sacred mountains.

As it happens, Jirisan is also the home of the film's protagonist, Man-duk (Choi), who — as shown in the film's prologue — was once the best and most dignified hunter in the region. By the time he is summoned to the governor's office in 1925, he has already become a wreck, a sickly widower who long ago traded in his shooting prowess for an alcohol-fueled existence. As Man-duk retreats into his stupor, other desperate hunters of more questionable skill come to the fore — namely a gang led by the callous Gu-kyung (Jeong Man-sik). They are soon joined by Man-duk's son Seok (Sung Yoo-bin), a teenager hoping to earn some money and pedigree so he can marry his sweetheart.

Excerpt from TheHollywoodReporter located HERE

South Korean director Park Hoon-jung wrote the excellent “I Saw the Devil” and wrote/directed the innovative-but-flawed crime drama “New World.” “The Tiger,” which he both scripted and helmed, sees him find his footing as a filmmaker with an epic vision, a distinct voice and an artful sensibility, preserved among all the big-budget mayhem. While overlong – and sometimes overblown – “The Tiger” is a thoughtful blockbuster, a truly pleasant oddity these days.

The prologue takes place in 1915: Father Chun Man-duk (Choi Min-sik, who worked with the director on “New World”) teaches his son how to hunt, passing on his highly enviable skills. He goes hunting, promising his wife he’ll bring something back this time. “Bear with me,” he says (pun intended? lost in translation? regardless, made me smile). He follows a bloody trail that leads him to a tiger, and an intense confrontation.

Excerpt from IrishFilmCritic located HERE

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

The Tiger: An Old Hunter's Tale looks solid on Blu-ray from Well Go USA - and the 1080P produces an impressive presentation despite a modest bitrate. Probably more kudos to the film's impressive art direction. The CGI tiger sequences are, for the most part, fast-cut edited and I though they worked fine within the context of the film's plot. There are some beautiful sequences - snow, autumn leaves... blood. Without comparing to the Korean Blu-ray, I thought it was a quite a decent HD video presentation.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

A standard lossless DTS-HD 5.1 surround track at 2235 kbps (16-bit) in the original Korean language (and some Japanese?). The tiger growls are intense to say the least, and it seems the audio transfer adequately supports the film frequent aggression with gunplay taking a second place to the animal noise (yes, there are some wolves, too). The score is credited to Yeong-wook Jo (The Concubine, The Handmaiden, J.S.A.: Joint Security Area, Public Enemy, I'm a Cyborg, But That's OK, Old Boy, Thirst) and sounds resounding in the lossless score and the many effects come across with intense depth. There is a lossy stereo option. There are optional English subtitles on the region 'A' Blu-ray disc.

 

 

Extras :

Only a trailer and 3 previews of South Korean films.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
I liked this film and loved the premise but my complaint would be that the film is, almost, too intense. The Koreans can tend to overachieve in their cinema and this would be a typical  'over-produced' example. I was reminded of the subtler 1996's The Ghost and the Darkness (Michael Douglas and Val Kilmer), which I really liked, where the double tiger combination killed some 900 villagers - a fictionalized account of the 'Tsavo Man-Eaters', two lions that attacked and killed workers at Tsavo, Kenya, during the building of the Uganda-Mombasa Railway in East Africa in 1898. It's an exciting premise and I appreciated the man-beast conflict elevated to a metaphysical level. The Well Go USA Blu-ray produces a fine presentation - worthy of an exciting night in the Home Theater. The price is right. 

Gary Tooze

July 24th, 2017

There is an OOP Korean Blu-ray with optional English subtitles

North American customers:

Global customers:

 

 

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.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
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)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze

 

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