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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Don-eui mat")

 

directed by Sang-soo Im
South Korea 2012

After The Housemaid, acclaimed director Im Sang Soo again delves into the decadent and despicable world of the obscenely wealthy in The Taste of Money. The provocative film, which makes references back to The Housemaid, enters the morally corrupt private circle of Korea's rich and richer, painting a scathing vision of glamorous, empty lives driven by money, lust, and obsession. Screened in competition at the Cannes Film Festival, The Taste of Money stars veteran actor Baek Yoon Shik (Tazza: The High Rollers), The Housemaid's Yoon Yeo Jung, Kim Kang Woo (A Better Tomorrow), and Kim Hyo Jin (In My End is My Beginning), as well as Ohn Joo Wan (My Mighty Princess), Filipina actess Maui Taylor, and renowned film critic Darcy Paquet.


Young Jak (Kim Kang Woo) works as a private secretary for CEO Yoon (Baek Yoon Shik) who has long sold his soul for wealth, though true power lies in the hands of his ruthless wife Geum Ok (Yoon Yeo Jung). Yoon is carrying on an affair with domestic helper Eva (Maui Taylor), while Geum Ok has her way with Young Jak. Geum Ok's daughter Na Mi (Kim Hyo Jin), the lone innocent in a rotting family, also has eyes for Young Jak. On the surface, all is cold, calm, and elegant, but lives spiral dangerously out of control when relationships are tested and secrets revealed.

***

An ambitious Korean secretary becomes a sexual pawn in the lives of his wealthy employers, experiencing an acute crisis of conscience after falling for their gorgeous daughter in writer/director Im Sang-soo's follow-up to the critically acclaimed 2010 drama The Housemaid. Young-jak works directly for Yoon -- the influential president of a major conglomerate. Young-jak has designs on owning his own company some day when, enraged at having caught her husband sleeping with their Filipino maid, Yoon's wife Madame Baek targets him for seduction. Meanwhile, Young-jak finds himself irresistibly attracted to Yoon and Madame Baek's virtuous young daughter. But to pursue her would mean giving up on his dreams of achieving unlimited wealth -- a sacrifice Young-jak isn't sure he's willing to make as he climbs the ladder to success.

Excerpt from B+N located HERE

Poster

Theatrical Premiere: May 11th, 2011 (Cannes Film Festival)

 

Reviews                                                               More Reviews                                                       DVD Reviews

 

DVD Review: MPI - Region 1 - NTSC

DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

  

available on DVD from Arrow in the UK

available in an English-friendly Korean DVD edition:

Distribution

MPI

Region 1 - NTSC

Runtime 1:54:56
Video

2.35:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.27 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio Dolby Digital 5.1 (Korean)
Subtitles English (SDH), English, Spanish, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: MPI

Aspect Ratio:
Original - 2.35:1

Edition Details:
 Behind the Scenes (27:09)

 Trailer (1:30)

DVD Release Date: June 11th, 2013
Transparent Keep Case

Chapters 12

 

 

 

Comments

Well, raw wealth corrupts, no? It's less obvious when Joo Young-jak (played by Kang-woo Kim) rejects the offer to skim from the massive pile of physical cash he's ordered to 'bag'. He has bigger things in mind, and no amount of 'sex' thrown (even by super-honey Hyo-jin Kim) at him dislodges those aspirations, while he still attempts to cling to his morals. Once again, matriarch of the kitty, brilliantly played by Yeo-jeong Yoon, has significant impact as the most brutal 'boss' of the clan. Money, sex... murder. 

The IRC/MPI disc is dual-layered, anamorphic but interlaced in the original 2.35:1 aspect ratio and looks solid although not at the level of 1080P (it was released on Blu-ray but appears OOP now.) It's clear and consistent, with a shade of depth in the lesser format. Grand cinematographic and art direction visuals enhance the appeal of the SD presentation. It's an impressive looking film, for sure. 

Lossy Dolby surround track in original Korean has no negative issues. The film has little separation - the score is by Hong-jip Kim (A Good Lawyers Wife, Wanee & Junah, The Housemaid) and there are optional English or Spanish subtitles (see sample below) on the NTSC DVD.

Yeo-jeong Yoon makes the film watchable. She's, again, brilliant. The story is a Godfather-eque one - cultural tradition as a backdrop of maintaining and sustaining generational wealth /power- with, one of the facets aggressive enough to exert a no holds barred position, albeit for selficious motivations. The enticement, in this one, is sex and the Yun-shik Baek plays the father who can't keep his hands off the Latina-looking maid (although I believe that Maui Taylor is half-British and half-Filipino). Not bad - kudos to the exorbitant-wealth, and sexy, eye-candy.

  - Gary Tooze

 



 

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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

  

available on DVD from Arrow in the UK

available in an English-friendly Korean DVD edition:

Distribution

MPI

Region 1 - NTSC

 




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