Tuesday, 17 August 2010

The Good The Bad The Weird (DVD Review)

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Dir: Kim Ji-woon (A Tale of Two Sisters)
Cast: Song Kang-ho, Lee Byung-hun, Jung Woo-sung
South Korea, 2010

Reason to see: I've been waiting to see this film for over 2 years!

The Good, The Bad, The Weird is a South Korean western directed by Kim Ji-woon (A Tale of Two Sisters) and stars Jung Woo-sung (The Good), Lee Byung-hun (The Bad) and Song Kang-ho (The Weird). It takes a fairly standard western theme of searching for treasure and applies a frantic but ridiculously well put together plot that's driven by the fantastic performances of the sensationally charismatic leads.

The action in the film should please anyone that watches it, as it's entertaining and inventive at every turn. The shoot-outs, action sequences and chase scenes in the film are absolutely glorious, they have high energy, are well choreographed and continue to showcase and solidity the strengths of each of the key characters through the precision of The Good, the brutality of The Bad and with humour in The Weird. Every aspect of the film from the costume design to the music to the editing continue to drive home these characters, it's rare to see the realization of such a complete vision on the screen and for it to be done with such care and excellence.

One of the things that makes The Good, The Bad, The Weird stand a cut above, is that it's a crossover film. It's a film where fans of the specific genre will love it, in this case westerns, but also a film which everybody and their neighbour will enjoy because it's just that good. It has lots of homage-ness for the fans, but stands completely strong on it's own with a great story, fantastic characters and brilliant acting. We have seen more crossover film recently in Let the Right One In / Låt den rätte komma in (vampire), Moon (scifi) and Black Dynamite (blaxploitation), and I always hope to see more as they bring film lovers of all genres together in such an amazing way.

Entertaining and high energy from start to finish, the film is a sweeping epic that fires on all cylinders. The plot is interesting, the characters are compelling, the action is ferocious and the adventurous spirit runs you on a high for the entirety of the film. It was worth the 2 year wait and already can't wait to see it again and again.

DVD Extras (All DVD extras have English subtitles where applicable):
  • Behind the Scenes (15 minutes) - Impressive behind the scenes footage that really highlights the epic endeavour of the production of the film from the huge sets, preparation, complex sequences, high flying action sequences that are all done by the actors, to working with the horses, motorcycle and even dealing with the weather. Unbelievable.
  • Cannes Highlight Reel (3 minutes) - red carpet entrance, audience reception and reactions from director Kim Ji-woon and actors Song Kang-ho, Lee Byung-hun & Jung Woo-sung after the films screening.
  • Making of #1 (3 minutes) - interviews with focus on the epic nature of the films production with director Kim Ji-woon, production designer Cho Hwa-sung, assistant horse Traine Baya, firearms supervisor Lee Joo-Hwan and martial arts choreographer Jung Doo-hong.
  • Making of #2 (1 minutes) - interview footage with director Kim Ji-woon and actors Song Kang-ho, Lee Byung-hun & Jung Woo-sung plus behind the scenes footage
  • Interviews with actors Song Kang-ho (2 minutes), Lee Byung-hun (2 minutes), Jung Woo-sung (2 minutes) on their characters, the experience of working on the film and what they hope people will take from watching the film; interview director Kim Jee-woon (3 minutes) on his vision and inspiration of the film, the extraordinary efforts and hardships endured that went into making the film and the films uniqueness. All the interviews are very heartfelt and engaging.
  • Trailer
  • English subtitles are for the deaf and hearing impaired and therefore include descriptions of sounds as well as dialogue.
The Good The Bad The Weird is available on DVD os of August 17, 2010 and you can check it out over at Amazon.ca and Amazon.com.

Shannon's Overall View:
I loved it it just as much as I thought I would
I own it
I highly & widely recommend it, especially to western fans

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© Shannon Ridler, 2010
Originally reviewed for Theatrical Release - August 9, 2010

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Jung Woo-sung as Park Do-Won (The Good). Photo Courtesy of eOne Films.

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Lee Byung-hun as Park Chang-Yi (The Bad). Photo Courtesy of eOne Films.

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Song Kang-ho as Yoon Tae-Goo (The Weird). Photo Courtesy of eOne Films.

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