- Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
- Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
- Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
- Audio Codec: Korean DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit), Korean Dolby Digital 2.0, English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit), English Dolby Digital 2.0
- Subtitles: English
- Subtitles Color: White
- Region: A (Region-Locked)
- Rating: Not Rated
- Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
- Digital Copies: N/A
- Run Time: 115 Mins.
- Studio: Shout! Factory
- Blu-ray Release Date: April 9, 2013
- List Price: $26.97
Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures
(The below TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)
Director Choi Dong-hoon departs from the usual action fare in films like The Big Swindle for this big-budget, special-effects martial arts fantasy film. Woochi: The Demon Slayer, AKA Jeon Woo-chi (전우치) is a nearly perfect escapist martial arts film. Based on an old folktale, the film is like two movies in one. We are first introduced to our characters 500-years in the past during Korea’s Joseon era. A battle ensues between ancient holy men and goblins looking for a sacred flute that can control them. A Tao master’s unruly pupil, Jeon Woochi (Kang Dong-won), insults the king and goes about town trying only to make a name for himself. The flute is split into two halves and put into the care of two masters, one of them Woochi’s, but when he is accused of killing his own master to obtain the flute, the Taoist monks banish him and his sidekick shape-shifting Chorangyi (Yoo Hae-jin) into a painting for 500 years. They are called forth out of the painting into modern-day Seoul, 2009, when the goblins return and Woochi’s help as a Tao master is needed once again to restore balance to the world. There Woochi discovers a woman (Im Soo-jung) who looks identical to a beautiful widow he saved centuries ago and was warned by his master not to follow. Of course, being the the self-centered, egotistical man that he is, he can’t stay away. Hilarity, massive battles, and world-threatening situations ensue.
There are problems with Woochi, of course, as there always seem to be with these over-the-top martial arts films. First, there is never a real answer as to how or why the widow from 500-years ago ends up in the present day or if she is in fact one and the same. We do know that she somehow gets wrapped up in the battles that have the world in the balance, however. It’s par for the course in a film that is laid back and easygoing with a relaxed sense of humor from the very beginning – Woochi for all his ego, never takes himself seriously. Kang almost plays him like a half-drunk buffoon most of the time, but one with a heart of gold, and that makes all the difference in the world. And so do the spectacular visual effects in Woochi.
People fly through the air, goblins throw cars around, lightning pulses from people’s hands – it’s a grand spectacle that rips you out of your ordinary life and never lets up until the credits start to roll. It’s all you could ask for in a fantasy martial arts film.
This high definition transfer to Blu-ray from Shout! Factory is more than up to the task. The film’s 35mm source shot on Arriflex 435 and 535 cameras is finely textured with a thin layer of grain that imparts an organic appearance. There is occasionally a bit of heightened grain that gives it a bit of a gritty appearance, more due to the production and filming techniques than the transfer itself. There is no notice of noise, compression issues or edge enhancement here. Contrast is strong and black levels are deep with nuanced gradations.
There is a fine Korean DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit) soundtrack offered up as well. It’s dynamic, with extended lows that really give weight to the numerous explosions, kicks, punches and crashes that are tossed about the room. Dialogue is clear without any clipping.
All the supplements are offered in standard definition, are generally brief, but still interesting to sit through.
- The Newest Korean Style Hero Movie
- Deleted Scenes
- Original Trailer
- Making Of
- Interview Gallery:
- Interview with Director & Cast
- Interview with the Director, Key Staff & Cast on Pre-Production
- Production Featurettes:
- The Training Process
- The World Outside the Frame
- Production Design
- Action and Special Effects
- Shooting and Lighting
- Post-Production – Sound and Editing
- The Magic of Computer Graphics
- Visual Art
- CG Scenes in the Pre-Production stage
- CG Mixed in the the final stages
- The CG Process – The Before & After
The Definitive Word
Woochi is a fun, dazzling film that will have you laughing and keep you well entertained for its entire run. The acting is relaxed, the martial arts nicely choreographed, and the visual effects amazing. Check it out if you’re into these sorts of films for sure.
Additional Screen Captures