Thieves, The (Blu-ray) (2012)

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Released 2-Jan-2013

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Crime Main Menu Audio & Animation
Featurette-Making Of
Interviews-Cast & Crew
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2012
Running Time 135:55
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Dong-Hoon Choi
Studio
Distributor

Madman Entertainment
Starring Dong-Hoon Choi
Lee Gi-Cheol
Chae Gook-Hee
Jin-mo Ju
Gianna Jun
Guk-Seo Ki
Hae-suk Kim
Hye-su Kim
Soo Hyun Kim
Yun-seok Kim
Case Standard Blu-ray
RPI ? Music None Given


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None Korean DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
Korean Dolby Digital 2.0
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
Korean
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

     Korean cinema is certainly producing some excellent material including historical action epics like Bichunmoo or War of the Arrows, action films like Tube and war films like The Front Line. The latest Korean blockbuster to hit local home entertainment is The Thieves or Dodookdeul. This film was a big hit at the Korean box office and is, I believe, a new genre for Korean cinema, the caper film. It's style is somewhat reminiscent of American and European caper films such as the Ocean's Eleven trilogy, The Italian Job or Rififi (however that is a significantly superior film).

     The story revolves around a Korean gang of thieves including the beautiful and acrobatic Yenicall (Gianna Jun) and her on-again, off-again lover Popie (Jung-Jae Lee), the just released from jail Pepsee (Hye-su Kim) and older woman Chewingum (Hae-suk Kim who won the Korean Oscar equivalent for her performance). The film opens with an impressive action sequence where the team take down a young Korean businessman by stealing some of his art collection. After that job, they are contacted by Macao Park (Yun-seok Kim), who some of them have worked with before. He wants them to join forces with a Hong Kong based robbery team to steal a famous diamond 'Tear of the Sun' from someone at the Macao casino. Some members of the team are reluctant due to some unhappy history with Park but eventually they agree. This setup then allows for impressive action sequences, crosses, double-crosses and triple-crosses and humour as the story plays out.

     This is a fun and exciting film with some excellent action sequences especially in the final half an hour. It was shot in Korea, Hong Kong & Macau. The cast are good looking and also do their jobs well. My biggest problem with this film is that it goes on for too long and the crosses and double crosses become quite convoluted towards the end, not assisted by the number of main characters between the two teams. The film was shot digitally which gives it a slightly harsh look at times. Regardless there is a lot of fun to be had with this light and exciting caper film. The MA15+ rating seems a little harsh to me as this film does not have the intensity of violence which films earning that rating usually have.

     Another quality product of Korean cinema which will be enjoyed by those who like caper films or Asian cinema in general.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     The video quality is very good but not quite up to the best of Blu-ray.

     The feature is presented in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio which is the original aspect ratio. It is 1080p HD encoded using the AVC codec.

     The picture was clear and sharp throughout. Shadow detail was very good.

     The colour is very good without bursting off the screen.

     Artefacts include some blocking during fast motion (possibly from the source) and some mild shimmer at times.

     There are subtitles in English and Korean which are clear and easy to read.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     The audio quality is very good without setting the world on fire.

     This disc contains a Korean soundtrack in DTS HD-MA 5.1 plus a Dolby Digital 2.0 track also in Korean. The 5.1 track lacks the impact that you would normally expect from a modern action film, whilst having no specific faults.

     Dialogue seemed to be clear and easy to understand but my Korean is not strong.

     The score is fine, doing its job without standing out.

     The surround speakers provided some surround activity during action scenes and shootouts whilst also providing atmosphere and music.

     The subwoofer added bass to the music and to action scenes.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

     A small set of extras are included.

Menu

     The menu includes scenes and music.

Making Of (5:49)

     A light (and short) making of which covers the six months of production with interviews featuring the actors and director.

Meet the Thieves (4:41)

     A collection of promo pieces featuring the different characters and the actors who play them.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The Region A version of this film is basically the same. Buy local.

Summary

    A fun and exciting Korean caper film.

    The video quality is very good.

    The audio quality is very good.

    The extras are minor.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Thursday, May 02, 2013
Review Equipment
DVDSONY BDP-S760 Blu-ray, using HDMI output
DisplaySharp LC52LE820X Quattron 52" Full HD LED-LCD TV . Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt into amplifier. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationMarantz SR5005
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer

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