- Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
- Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
- Resolution: 1080i/60
- Audio Codec: Korean DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Korean LPCM 2.0 Stereo
- Region: A
- Rating: R
- Discs: 1
- Studio: MPI Home Video
- Blu-ray Release Date: August 17, 2010
- List Price: $29.98
Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures
(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)
Renowned South Korean filmmaker Kim Ji-woon has crafted a relentlessly thrilling action film in this reworking of the Sergio Leone/Clint Eastwood spaghetti western The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. From start to finish and without pause, The Good, The Bad, The Weird is a pulse-pounding and hectic bullet riddled frenzy that combines the quick pace and edits of Hong Kong martial arts films with sprawling shoot ’em up westerns.
Greed is the name of the game here in 1930’s Manchuria as a hired killer, “the bad” (Lee Byung-hun), a bumbling bandit and holy man, “the weird” (Song-kang Ho of The Host) and a steadfast bounty hunter (Jung Woo-sung) are all after a map and the buried treasure they think it leads to. But in their violent race across Asia, they have to deal with Russians, Chinese, and Japanese as well before they can claim their ultimate prize.
The story is about as thin as a shallow pool, but the two-hour run goes by so quickly you’ll hardly notice. This is exhausting fun, hilarious violence (if that’s even possible), and amazing editing anchored by an updated twist on the famous spaghetti western scores of old that pulsate in hyperkinetic, 2010 rhythms. Good stuff.
I find it perplexing that this movie, captured on 35mm film, has been transferred to high definition in a 1080i AVC/MPEG-4 encoding on Blu-ray. The result isn’t horrible; it just doesn’t quite have that cinematic look of a true 24p transfer. The picture does look bright and detailed with beautiful color reproduction and extended shadow details. At times, it looks film-like, but at others it looks like a Discovery Channel nature documentary. It’s still an overall pleasing image.
The Korean DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix is as relentless as the action in the film itself. The surround channels are constantly active with sounds, the balance is superb between ambience and discrete sounds, and the sound follows the action everywhere. This mix will have you ducking bullets and the bass will pass through every bone your body.
The supplements offer brief and friendly interview segments with the stars and filmmakers as well as an abundance of behind-the-scenes footage.
The supplements provided with this release are:
- Trailer (1.78:1; 1080p/24)
- Behind the Scenes (1.33:1; 480i/60; 0:15.02)
- Cannes Highlight Reel (1.78:1; 480i/60; 0:03.02)
- Making of #1 (1.33:1; 480i/60; 0:03.22)
- Making of #2 (1.33:1; 480i/60; 0:01.02)
- Interview with actor Song Kang-ho (1.33:1; 480i/60; 0:02.41)
- Interview with actor Jung Woo-sung (1.33:1; 480i/60; 0:02.45)
- Interview with director Kim Jee-woon (1.33:1; 480i/60; 0:03.14)
The Definitive Word
Fans of Asian cinema will love The Good, The Bad, The Weird and anyone familiar with the Sergio Leone film that this one takes its mark from should enjoy it even more. The 1080i encoding is a bit of an odd choice, but it’s still quite good, especially when coupled with the awesome DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack.
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