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Athena: Goddess of War Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: Korean Dolby TrueHD 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit), English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles Color: White
  • Region: A (Region-Locked)
  • Rating: TV-14
  • Run Time: 117 Mins.
  • Discs: 2 (1 x Blu-ray + 1 x DVD)
  • Digital Copies:N/A
  • Studio: Funimation Entertainment
  • Blu-ray Release Date: October 23, 2012
  • List Price: $29.98

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:3.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:0/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(All 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)

The Film

[Rating:3.5/5]

The beautiful superstar Korean actress Soo Ae headlines this spinoff to the blockbuster Korean series Iris. Strung together here like one two-hour-long feature-length film, the $17 million budget Athena: Goddess of War (아테나: 전쟁의 여신), the most expensive drama ever produced in Korea, along with Iris, follows on from where its predecessor left off. South Korea is involved in developing an innovative new technology that will help advance nuclear technology in asia for Korea, China, and Japan. But an international cadre known as Athena with a grip on the power industry is out to obtain that device and control its development themselves. In this globetrotting international spy thriller, the enthralling Soo Ae plays a butt-kicking double-agent who is caught between the Athena agent Son Hyeok (Cha Seung-won) and her love interest in Korean intelligence Lee Jung-woo (Jung Woo-sung).

Athena: Goddess of War is defined by a sleek production dotted by fantastic gunplay and martial arts sequences. The underlying conspiracy isn’t granted enough time here to really be easily followed or compelling. I’ll admit that, having never seen the original 21-episode series, I can’t say how much of that is due to the 117-minute feature-length edit. Still, this does make for a reasonably enjoyable mixture of spy thriller, romance, and action, with a strong performance from Soo Ae.

Video Quality

[Rating:4/5]

Athena: Goddess of War is shot on the Red One camera at 4K resolution. It has a clean, slightly less than cinematic appearance with a little bit of video noise that isn’t too harsh. Detail is strong, but overall contrast could certainly have been a bit stronger. It’s not that the image looks dim or dull, it’s that black levels never seem to get quite as obsidian as could be, although shadow detail is rather nuanced. There are some issues here and there with banding in the source.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

The Korean Dolby TrueHD 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit) is only average at best for an action/thriller series such as this. While dialogue is certainly clear and natural in tone, the sound effects lack punch due to thin low frequency extension and the boring, monotonous music score offers little dynamics. Surround channels carry only some low level ambience.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:0/5]

All you get is a trailer for Athena: Goddess of War and additional Funimation trailers.

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

There have certainly been better spy thrillers, but this Korean production, Athena: Goddess of War is worth a look if only for the magnetic performance from actress Soo Ae and the fantastic gunplay sequences that dot the production.

Additional Screen Captures

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Purchase Athena: Goddess of War at CD Universe

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Purchase Athena: Goddess of War at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:3.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:0/5]


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